Eurobites: Safaricom launches 5G in Kenya with support from Nokia

Also in today’s regional summary of the EMEA: Suri re-establishes the French connection; Telenor is renaming its IoT offering. Ofcom opens tech hub in Manchester

  • Nokia has announced that it (along with China’s Huawei) is partly responsible for the courage of East Africa’s first commercial 5G services provided by Safaricom in Kenya. The Finnish provider supplied its AirScale SRAN (Single Radio Access Network) technology and 5G FastMile gateways to provide fixed wireless services to Safaricom subscribers in Kisumu and the Kenyan Western Province. The Nairobi launch channeled Star Trek, with Safaricom executives being “teleported” from their Kisumu office to the Nairobi event via the magic of 5G. For more information, check out this story on our sister site Connecting Africa.
  • In the meantime, former Nokia boss Rajeev Suri is hosting a mini reunion at Inmarsat, where he is now CEO: He has hired Barry French, formerly Chief Marketing Officer at Nokia, as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Inmarsat. French joined Nokia in 2006 as Head of Communications before holding senior positions at United Airlines and Dell. Also in motion at Inmarsat is Jat Brainch, who, after serving as SVP of the company’s Group Commercial Management, has been appointed Chief Commercial and Product Officer.
  • Telenor has renamed its IoT offering and merged its Nordic IoT portfolio and its global Telenor Connexion unit under a new name: Telenor IoT. At the same time, Telenor is creating a “new operating model” that brings together 200 full-time IoT specialists from 18 countries in Africa, America, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
  • Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, is preparing for its new role in cybersecurity by building a new “digital and technology hub” in Manchester. The hub is expected to be operational in the summer, and the regulator expects the project to create 150 new jobs by 2025.
  • Virgin Media, the UK-based cable operator that is part of the Liberty Global group, has tried a new approach to network rollout using a combination of techniques in the South Derbyshire region to connect 1,660 locations with “ultra-fast” broadband. In addition to the standard techniques for narrow trenches, Virgin also installed new cables in existing underground channels and used openreach overhead telegraph poles. The combination, according to Virgin, meant that homes and businesses could be connected much faster than would otherwise have been possible: the program went from design to delivery in four months.
  • Telia Company has invested Swedish crowns ($ 11.5 million) of its excess liquidity in a recent sustainable development bond issued by the World Bank. The bond, as the name suggests, focuses on issues such as gender equality and health – issues that are at the fore during the current pandemic.

    ?? Paul Rainford, Editorial Assistant, Europe, Light Reading

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