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Cellnex picks up private 5G deal in automotive space

Cellnex has inked another deal to roll out a private 5G network for an enterprise customer, this one marking its entry into the automotive sector.

The fast-growing neutral host company will deploy a private 5G network for engineering group Segula Technologies at its test centre in Rodgau-Dudenhofen, Germany. The pair are talking up the usual advantages of private 5G, namely low latency, dedicated spectrum, enhanced security and so forth. These attributes will help Segula serve its car manufacturing customers and tier one suppliers, they said.

This is a valuable deal for Cellnex. Naturally, we can’t put an actual figure on it, but it forms part of a broader push by the firm, which was once thought of as exclusively a towers company, into the neutral host market, where – to be blunt about it – it is essentially eating the mobile operators’ lunch.

We have heard so much from mobile operators about the opportunities 5G affords, beyond the provision of ever-increasing data packages to smartphone users. The enterprise space in particular could be a money-spinner, but when it comes to private 5G networks, the telcos are not taking the impetus, leaving the market to others, including the big equipment makers and alternative service providers.

Cellnex’s Edzcom business, which will deliver the Segula contract, falls into the latter category, as a specialist provider of private networks and edge connectivity.

Read the full article here.

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OneWeb cancels satellite launches on Russian rockets

  • Fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits satellite comms operator.
  • Decision could delay service launch and have knock-on effect on distribution partner BT’s rural coverage vision.

OneWeb, the UK‑backed satellite communications operator and BT Group partner, cancelled all launches scheduled from the Russian cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, following a standoff between the UK government and Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The decision could delay the launch of OneWeb’s services later this year and cost the company in the region of $300m (£226m), according to the Financial Times. More generally, the move also signals the end of years of space collaboration with Russia as Western sanctions effectively isolate the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

OneWeb was due to launch 36 satellites on Russia’s Soyuz rocket from Baikonur on 4 March, and had five more launches planned before August this year to complete its low‑earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Since 2019, the operator has put 428 of the planned 648 satellites into orbit, all of which were launched on Soyuz rockets (BTwatch, #321 and #330).

Read the full article here.

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VMO2 confirms fibre JV talks with investors

The new joint venture (JV) would seek to cover an additional 7 million premises with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) in areas beyond Virgin Media O2 (VMO2)’s current footprint

Last week, rumours were emerging suggesting that the owners of VMO2 – Liberty Global and Telefonica – had entered into discussions with investors for the creation of a new JV to help accelerate the rollout of FTTP in the UK.

At the time, sources were suggesting that VMO2 would be looking to raise as much as £1 billion to help launch the new business, which would target areas VMO2’s FTTP network currently is not set to reach. 

Now, alongside announcing their financial results, VMO2 have confirmed that they are indeed in discussions with a number of potential investors to take part in a JV. This JV will aim to build a new FTTP network covering roughly 7 million premises by 2027, which will then be offered on a wholesale basis to UK operators. VMO2, naturally, will be an anchor tenant of the new network. 

Ultimately, seeking partners for additional network investment should come as little surprise, with VMO2 having said last year that it would prefer not to fund the rollout of FTTP to another 7 million on its own. In the past few years we have seen numerous rumours related to UK ISPs that could potentially have joined forces with Virgin Media to facilitate this joint build, though until now they have never been confirmed.

Read the full article here.

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