Eurobites: OneWeb sends up another 36 satellites | Light Reading

Eurobites: OneWeb sends up another 36 satellites | Light Reading

Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: Nokia lands ultra-broadband deal with United Group; Deutsche Telekom and Slovak Telekom lose appeal against EU fine; Virgin Media taps Infinera for Dublin backbone.


  • OneWeb, the low-Earth orbit satellite operator that emerged from bankruptcy in November last year and is now jointly owned by the UK government and India’s Bharti Global, has confirmed the successful launch of its latest batch of 36 satellites. The satellites, launched by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East, bring OneWeb’s total in-orbit “constellation” to 146 satellites. This is the second in a five-launch program and is intended to bring OneWeb’s connectivity to all regions north of 50 degrees latitude by the middle of 2021, covering the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada. Eventually, OneWeb hopes to have 648 LEO satellites delivering high-speed, low-latency connectivity across the globe. (See Eurobites: OneWeb emerges from Chapter 11, hires new CEO and OneWeb exec: Telco deals are imminent.)
  • Nokia has landed an ultra-broadband deal with United Group (UG) to deploy a fiber network and in-home mesh Wi-Fi offering across the eight countries in south-eastern Europe in which UG operates. UG will work with Nokia to extend its fiber network into new areas and upgrade existing ones with 10Gbit/s enabled infrastructure based on XGS-PON technology.
  • Deutsche Telekom and its Slovak Telekom subsidiary have lost their appeal against an antitrust fine dished out by the European Commission nearly a decade ago. As Reuters reports, the pair were jointly fined 38.8 million (US$45.8 million) for what was deemed an unfair wholesale pricing strategy aimed at squeezing out their broadband competitors.
  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Business has deployed Infinera‘s XTM Series packet optical transport platform on its Infinity Ring metro optical network that connects major data centers throughout Dublin, Ireland. Infinera says that the deployment means operators are now able to connect sites with 10G and 100G protected services on a dedicated network ring, beefing up capacity for end users.
  • Nordic operator Telia has extended its partnership deal with ViacomCBS, a decision that will, among other things, allow Telia’s TV customers in Sweden, Norway and Finland to access the Paramount+ streaming service from a TV, smartphone, tablet or PC.
  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, says it has hit its target of making full-fiber broadband available to 4.5 million premises across the UK by the end of March. It also maintains it’s on track to get to 20 million premises by the mid to late 2020s. The UK government is aiming to get 85% of UK premises within reach of gigabit-capable broadband by 2025. (See Eurobites: UK’s gigabit rollout needs to roll a lot faster, says EY report.)
  • BT, meanwhile, has struck a five-year network upgrade deal with train-maker Alstom. The new network, which will be based on VMware‘s SD-WAN technology, will connect Alstom’s operations at 350 locations in 60 countries, including manufacturing plants, offices, depots and data centers.
  • Swisscom and SIX are making a concerted effort to get their respective financial services hubs to be more compatible with each other in a bid to simplify the implementation of so-called “open finance” principles in Switzerland.
  • Exoscale, A1 Austria’s cloud platform, has become the latest company to hitch its wagon to the European Commission’s Open Clouds for Research Environments (OCRE) project. It is doing so in partnership with DevOps company VSHN. A total of 27 cloud providers have now been added to the OCRE list.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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