MTN and NEC claim 400G first for Africa

Pan-African operator MTN and technology giant NEC Corporation say they have launched Africa’s first 400G optical transponder.

Called Phoenix, this initiative, according to MTN and NEC, marks a significant milestone for the telecommunications industry in Africa, with the potential to revolutionise the way optical networks are built and operated, thereby transforming internet delivery across the continent.

Phoenix is part of the Telecom Infra Project’s (TIP) Open Optical and Packet Transport (OOPT) project group, a collaborative effort involving multiple telecom operators and technology providers. The solution has met TIP’s rigorous test requirements, earning it a Controlled Environment Silver Badge, indicative of its readiness for deployment.

TIP describes itself as a global community of companies and organisations working together to accelerate the development and deployment of open, disaggregated, and standards-based technology solutions that deliver the high-quality connectivity that the world needs.

The deployment of Phoenix is designed to accelerate internet connectivity and optimise network operations, thereby democratising access to information. More importantly perhaps, it aims to make affordable internet more widely available across Africa.

MTN has embraced this technology, integrating it into its production network, specifically across its optical network between Johannesburg and Centurion in South Africa.

Phoenix is a network device, known as a white box L0/L1 transponder, that can transmit data at speeds of up to 400 gigabits per second. Its disaggregated nature allows it to be programmed to run any vendor’s software, offering operators flexibility in hardware and software selection.

This disaggregation, we are told, leads to cost reductions, accelerates innovation, and enables quicker and easier deployment of new network services.


From gigabit goals to sustainability: Navigating the optical fibre frontier in Europe and beyond


In the optical fibre industry, trends are like threads weaving across Europe and worldwide. Vendors and suppliers face challenges but also big opportunities in this ever-evolving landscape. The push for innovation often goes hand in hand with tough competition, creating an environment ripe for growth.

In Europe, vendors and suppliers deal with specific challenges, but overcoming them opens doors to new tech breakthroughs and market dominance. Shifting focus to the UK, we examine the status of gigabit broadband. What obstacles hinder seamless connectivity, and where does the UK stand in this fast-paced race?

Our journey goes beyond tech – sustainability is a key theme. As connectivity rises, so does the importance of eco-friendly practices in the industry. By embracing sustainable practices, we can pave the way for a greener and more environmentally responsible connectivity future.

STL is a leading global optical and digital solutions company providing advanced offerings to build 5G, Rural, FTTx, Enterprise and Data Centre networks. The company, driven by its purpose of ‘Transforming Billions of Lives by Connecting the World’, designs and manufactures in 4 continents with customers in more than 100 countries. With a focus on developing eco-friendly products while driving community transformation, STL is championing sustainability and has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2030.

Dive into the connected stories of trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping our digital future. The full picture is waiting, offering a clearer understanding of this crucial industry.

Watch the video to learn more:

 [embedded content]

TM hails profit doubling in Q3

Telekom Malaysia reported profits doubling due to lower costs and taxes, despite revenues taking a dip due to market challenges.

Profit for the Malaysian operator surged 102.9% from MYR265.2 million to RM538.2 million (US$114 million) in Q3, primarily due to lower taxes and reduced net finance costs. Meanwhile, operating revenue declined 2.6% from MYR265.2 million to MYR538.2 million, and CAPEX stood at 15.1%  which equates to MYR1.38 billion as the operator spent on network infrastructure expansion, but this was down from 15.9% in 2022. 

The company noted strong performances from its broadband and TV brand Unifi and wholesale business arm TM Global, both having “pivotal” roles in growth this quarter. Unifi broadband subscriptions increased 4.6% to 3.12 million, while TM Global revenue grew 5% to MYR769.9 million on the back of strong data services demand. 

TM CEO Amar Huzaimi said: “Our commitment to advancing quad-play convergence services, coupled with the introduction of attractive and competitive packages, enabled us to retain and expand our customer base, solidifying our portfolio as the true convergence champion.

“Our relentless pursuit of improving mobile coverage nationwide aligns with our dedication to inclusivity, bridging the digital divide, and fostering widespread digital adoption. By ensuring our services are accessible to all, we contribute to creating a more connected and inclusive society.

“Simultaneously, our aggressive expansion of data and network infrastructure is strategically positioned to meet the growing demands of our domestic market and attract more international players. This is a crucial step towards positioning Malaysia as a digital hub for the region, contributing significantly to the creation of a globally connected digital economy.”



Orange aims for 45m active users with super app

Orange Group unified its suite of apps under one super app called Max It, with the aim to more than double the number of active app users on its network over the next two years, as part of part of wider plans to maintain growth in the Middle East and Africa. 

Speaking to Developing Telecoms, Orange Middle East and Africa Deputy CEO Brelottte Ba noted that 22 million customers are actively using multiple Orange apps for a range of services, and the group expects this figure to more than double to 45 million in 2025 with Max It. Currently Orange serves 146 million customers in the Middle East and Africa.

“The vision is to bring the world to the fingertips of our customers. No matter what they want to do, they can do it in our application. This is, of course, a driver of growth and loyalty. We expect our customers to be spending more and being more loyal to our offers,” said Ba.

The app will first be deployed in five markets Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Botswana. It will then be launched in phases across Orange’s other 11 markets in the Middle East and Africa. 

Max It will display together three core services in one interface: managing mobile and fixed lines, Orange Money payments and mobile money transfers, and an e-commerce platform offering digital content such as online games, music, TV, and news. It will also include a digital ticketing service for concerts and transport and extra services from local and international partners. 

The executive added the launch of the super app was a natural progression for Orange as its markets in MEA mature and digitalise.

“When we look at the figures from the GSMA, smartphone penetration is at 52% and this is predicted to go up to 88% by the end of this decade. It means that the vast majority of consumers will be using smartphones in a continent that is mobile-first,” said Ba. 

“The idea is really to leverage all services we provide and make sure that customers don’t have to download multiple apps. Especially given the fact that when we look at our footprint, customers don’t have high-end smartphones that allow them to download tons of apps.”


World Communication Awards 2023: The Winners 


The World Communication Awards 2023 has seen its fiercest competition to date, with entries from across the world battling it out to be recognised as the best of the best. The black-tie gala evening was a great success, with senior executives from across the globe gathering in Amsterdam to see the winners named for the 25th annual World Communication Awards

A big thanks to all our award presenters, our generous sponsors and the excellent panel of judges, who spent the last number of months analysing entries for each of the categories. 

Onto the awards! 

B2B Service of the Year 

Winner: Telia Company 

“Simple to manage, scalable, and secure, the judges praised this entry as “an elegant spin on global network aggregation” that would help to “break down the barriers limiting IoT adoption”. Featuring excellent testimonials and an enormous number of customers from around the world, Telia’s Global IoT Connectivity solution is paving the way for a more vibrant and varied IoT landscape.” 

The finalists were: 

China Mobile International 


Freshwave and Three UK 

Tata Communications Limited 

MATRIXX Software 


Best Digital Transformation Programme 

Winner: PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) 

Aiming to take a leading role in Indonesia’s digital ecosystem, Telkomsel’s Indico project supports the way customers engage digitally with numerous vertical industries, including health services, education, and entertainment. Generating roughly $700,000 in revenue in its first year, this is a project with huge potential for growth and societal change. “This is a great example of how a company’s clear vision and unwavering dedication to drive positive change not only impacts the telecommunications industry but also Indonesia’s society.” 

The finalists were: 


Netcracker Technology 

Viettel group 

Verizon Communications Inc. 

Telekom Research & Development Sdn Bhd 



Best Network Transformation Initiative 

Winner: Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison 

A great example of a merger done right, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison’s work to harmonise its two networks has been lightning fast and highly effective, despite the nation’s challenging geography. “This network integration project overcame incompatible technologies, conflicting cultures, and legal obstacles to successfully integrate 43,000 sites while decommissioning 17,000 overlapping coverage sites – all finished 12 months ahead of schedule. Very impressive.” 

The finalists were: 

Cohere Technologies, Intel, Mavenir, Juniper and VMware 

EXFO and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) 

Jio Platform Limited 


Telstra International 


Best Operator in an Emerging Market 

Winner: Digicel Group 

Here is an example of an operator going above and beyond for its customers, not only providing infrastructure and connectivity, but also supporting education, mobile banking, and community projects. In a country facing a myriad of challenges, Digicel is a force for good and societal change in Haiti. “Adapted to one of the most difficult markets in the Western world, Digicel clearly has a great focus on empowering consumers and giving back to the community they serve.” 

The finalists were: 

Highly Commended: Lightstorm 

PLDT & Smart 

Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd 



Best Wholesale Operator 

Winner: Orange Wholesale 

Orange Wholesale is one of the few established players offering stable, secure, and scalable connectivity across the whole value range, continuing to grow organically by expanding its product portfolio with innovative new solutions, and setting and meeting ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility goals. 

“A compelling pitch showing true industry leadership.” 

The finalists were: 


Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier 

Bayobab, Formerly MTN GlobalConnect 


EXA Infrastructure 



Crisis Response Award 

Winner: VEON 

VEON demonstrated a three-pronged approach to providing services during natural and man-made disasters, focussing on network resilience, the implementation of early warning apps, and the provision of humanitarian aid to assist victims. Doing amazing work in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and, of course, throughout the war in Ukraine, VEON has been exemplary when it comes to supporting customers in a crisis. “A comprehensive approach to some of the most difficult operating environments on Earth, sometimes making a life-or-death difference for their customers.” 

The finalists were: 

easypaisa and Ericsson 


PLDT & Smart 

Altice Portugal 


Operator of the Year 

Winner: KT 

Demonstrating tremendous growth, an exceptional 5G standalone rollout, and innovative offerings including AI-based call centres and Assistant Robots for small businesses, KT continues to go from strength to strength. “A digital and 5G juggernaut, KT has never stopped innovating and is setting a great example for other telcos.” 

The finalists were: 

Colt Technology Services 

China Mobile International 

China Unicom Global 

SK Telecom 

Viettel Timor Unipessoal Lda., Telemor 


The 5G Award 

Winner: Singtel & Ericsson 

Working in collaboration with Ericsson, Singtel has not only demonstrated the effective use of network slicing in a live 5G standalone network, but shown an effective route to monetisation. With telcos around the world struggling to make a significant return on their 5G investment, Singtel is leading the way in showing that 5G can still live up to the hype. “Some great examples of innovative 5G network slicing with proven monetisation, such as for the Singapore F1 2022 the 20222 World Cup.” 

Highly Commended: KT 

The finalists were:

Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier 

Jio Platform Limited (JPL) 

Altice Portugal 

China Mobile International 


People & Culture Award 

Winner: Moldcell 

This is a company that continues to invest in its staffs’ mental and physical health through a comprehensive wellness programme, as well as providing training and development opportunities that ensure that employees stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies. From promoting teambuilding to fostering innovation, Moldcell’s holistic approach to company culture has created a great place to work. “Moldcell showed exceptional devotion to the development and well-being of their employees, creating a positive work environment where employees can thrive.” 

The finalists were: 

Viettel Group 

EXA Infrastructure 


Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier 


The Access Innovation Award 

Winner: Telstra & Ericsson 

Telstra has achieved a number of significant technical milestones this year, including completing a 100km long-range 5G data call on a mid-band Advanced Antenna System (AAS) radio, deploying network slicing at a construction site, and the dynamic spectrum sharing of 4G, 5G, LTE, and Narrowband IoT. “A clever use of technology and collaboration to achieve massive range gains in the Outback.” 

The finalists were: 

ZTE Corporation 

SK Telecom 

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 

Bahrain Network (BNET) 


The Beyond Connectivity Award 

Winner: MTN and Ericsson 

MTN has opened up its Mobile Money (MoMo) service with the launch of its MoMo Open API platform and portal, allowing third-party developers to thoroughly test applications before going live. With over 24,000+ developers experimenting with Open APIs in the platform’s Sandbox and 1,600+ partners in live production, this is one of the leading Open API financial technology platforms in Africa, with the potential to have a major impact on MoMo’s 69 million active users. “This truly goes ‘beyond connectivity’ and includes fantastic application examples. Mobile Money platforms like this can be lifechanging on the African continent.” 

The finalists were: 

Torry Harris Integration Solutions & TIGO 


Bridge Alliance 

WIOCC Group 



Orange Business 

Whale Cloud & Telkomsigma 


The Cloud Award 

Winner: SK Telecom, BICS, Samsung Electronics & AWS: Roaming Edge Cloud 

SK Telecom, alongside BICS, Samsung, and AWS have developed a highly impressive Roaming Edge Cloud technology that enhances 5G roaming quality by deploying the User Plane Function closer to roaming customers resulting in a huge reduction in Round-Trip-Time significant improvement in web page access speeds. “This is a highly agile and scalable approach to roaming that is already delivering some impressive results.” 


The finalists were: 

Rakuten Symphony 


Viettel group 

Jio Platforms Limited. (JPL) 

Epsilon Telecommunications 

stc with Red Hat 

Colt Technology Services 


 The Cyber Security Award 

Winner: SAM Seamless Network 

The winner in this category presented an innovative solution using deep network visibility to protect against sophisticated cyber-attacks in real-time and prevent the spread of zero-day attacks on networks of fragmented devices. As networks continue to grow more complex and cyberattacks more frequent, solutions like this will be at the forefront of consumer security. “A great submission with great supporting documentation. I would be happy to use this solution in my home.” 

Highly Commended: Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier & Mobileum 

The finalists were: 


Globe Telecom Inc. (Globe Business) 

PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. 


The Future Award 

Winner: KT 

Leveraging its impressive 5G network alongside satellite connectivity, KT is looking to take a global lead in the nascent field of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Featuring a host of technical collaborations, most notably with Hyundai, KT is already playing a major role in this emerging ecosystem, laying the groundwork for the future of flying taxis and beyond. “This could help alleviate congestion and pollution across South Korea and potentially, if shared, globally. I’m looking forward to seeing a larger rollout of the UAM worldwide, with telco support.” 

The finalists were: 

Vodafone Automotive and Celfocus 

CITIC Telecom CPC 

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and Ericsson 


The Platform Award 

Winner: Bango 

Bango’s Digital Vending Machine platform brings together subscription services from media, entertainment, lifestyle, shopping, transportation, and other categories, allowing telcos to become true subscription hubs for their customers. With numerous leading operators, such as Verizon and Optus, already on board, this platform is already offering enormous value to tens of millions of their consumers. “This platform enables telcos to become subscription hubs, with each allowed to customise their offerings as they choose. A lot of great value for customers here.” 


Rakuten Symphony 

Bridge Alliance 

Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and Ericsson 

Tata Communications Transformation Services Limited 


The Satellite Telecoms Award 

Winner: OneWeb & Celfocus 

As Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications becomes an increasingly exciting field, OneWeb continues to prove itself as an innovative and exciting company. The company’s Order Management Solution, developed in partnership with Celfocus, has played a vital role in expanding the company’s reach, helping to connect customers in some of the most remote places on Earth. “A wonderfully detailed entry that shows the great progress being made in a rapidly expanding industry. I look forward to seeing what comes next.” 


Highly Commended: Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd 


The Smart Places Award 

Winner: Orange 

Orange’s work alongside La Banque des Territoires (The Bank of Territories) to commercialise their Live Territory digital support tool provides an invaluable building block in creating the smart cities of the future. Helping cities to betted understand their infrastructure’s effectiveness through data integration, this solution can have a huge impact on smart city efficiency and, perhaps more importantly, sustainability. “Wide ranging and holistic, this approach is going to be really important in allowing cities to become more sustainable and manage their infrastructure in a smarter way.” 


Highly Commended: Subtonomy Crowds 


The Social Contribution Award 

Winner: Globe Telecom, Inc. 

In this category, Globe Telecom’s ‘Tuloy ang Edukasyon, Tuloy ang Pag-asa’ (Continued Education, Continued Hope) campaign showcased an operator fully at one with its customers. Using digital learning solutions, digital expertise, and its product and network ecosystem to reach millions of Filipinos, Globe is showing their ongoing commitment to shrinking the digital divide. “A very positive project with amazing impact on digital learning across the country.” 

The finalists were:

PLDT & Smart 

Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison 

A1 Slovenija & Taktik 


SK telecom & Tuat Corp. 


 The Sustainability Award 

Winner: SK Telecom & Intel 

Power consumption remains a major challenge for telcos around the world, but this category’s winner is tackling the project head on. Working alongside Intel, SK Telcom’s Infrastructure Power Manager software can dynamically adjust a site’s power consumption based on real-time data traffic, in some cases leading 

to reductions in energy usage of almost 50%. 

“Really significant reductions in power consumption in one of the most energy-hungry parts of the 

network. This is a great use of AI and ML to support sustainability goals.” 


Vertical Bridge 

Singtel and Ericsson 

stc group 


Total Experience Award 

Winner: Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison 

Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison’s Marvelous Experience (MX) programme aims to streamline the employee onboarding experience, humanised the employee offboarding process, and reduce network compensation resolution times. With the creation of Marvelous Xperience Centre in collaboration with industry leaders like Google, Meta, Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei, this operator continues to collaborate with stakeholders at every level. “A comprehensive approach to total experience that involves input from every stakeholder, notably including employees and customers in the idea generation process.” 

The finalists were:  


Colt Technology Services 



Viettel group 

Tech Mahindra 


Woman in Telecoms Award 

Winner: Olena Lutsenko, Managing Director of Black Sea Region, RETN 

Overseeing operations in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia, Olena Lutsenko has played pivotal role in RETN’s exceptional growth in the Black Sea region. More recently, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership in an extremely difficult operational environment throughout the war in Ukraine, becoming a leading voice in the telecoms industry on how to handle network operation during times of crisis. “Exception leadership in the face of unbelievable headwinds. I find her journey over the last year very inspiring.” 

The finalists were: 

InterDigital, Diana Pani 

Moldcell, Carolina Bugaian 

Bayobab (Formerly MTN GlobalConnect), Lillian Mutwalo 

Project Isizwe, Shireen Powell 

Rakuten Symphony, Azita Arvani 


CEO of the Year Award 

Winner: Ahmed Mohamud Yusuf, Hormuud Telecom 

Since 2002, Ahmed Mohamud Yusuf has been the CEO of Hormuud Telecommunications, successfully building it from scratch into Somalia’s largest private sector employer and the force for good it is today. Ahmed’s leadership has positioned him as a visionary force within telecommunications for twenty years. “It is important to recognise the unsung heroes in often-overlooked emerging markets. Ahmed Mohamud Yusuf deserves enormous praise for returning to his troubled home country with a vision to improve people’s lives. He has delivered upon this promise time and time again. Inspiring.” 

The finalists were:  

Highly Commended: MasMovil, Meinrad Spenger 

Colt Technology Services, Keri Gilder 

Deutsche Telekom AG, Tim Höttges 

Kacific Broadband Satellites Ltd, Christian Patourau 

 The winners magazine can be found here

See you next year! 2024 Award entries open 1 March 2024 

Want to keep up to date with all of the latest international telecoms news? Sign up for Total Telecom’s daily newsletter 

Also in the news:
‘The Great Rural Revival’: countryside connectivity to boost UK economy by £8.8 billion 
Ericsson, Vodafone and Qualcomm demonstrate first Reduced Capability data call in Europe
How China Unicom are addressing the issue of 5G monetisation

Viettel validates its homemade 5G Open RAN gear on live network

Viettel High Tech says it has successfully deployed and validated its 5G Open RAN gNodeB, co-developed with Qualcomm, on Viettel’s live network in Hanoi.

Viettel High Tech, the R&D arm of Vietnamese telco Viettel, says its 5G Open RAN equipment is the first to use Qualcomm’s X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card and QRU100 5G RAN Platform on a live network with real users and data traffic. The two companies have been working on the 5G Open RAN gNodeB since the initial design was revealed at the Mobile World Congress 2023 in March. Viettel and Qualcomm announced plans in Mayannounced plans in May to collaborate on developing next-gen technology to fast track development and rollout of 5G in Vietnam and globally.

The 32T32R 5G Open RAN gNodeB was installed in Viettel’s network cluster in Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi. Viettel High Tech says it chose that site, which has been operational since 2021, because the area sports a dense urban high-traffic population with a high concentration of mobile users – between 300-400 subscribers in a cell. That environment allowed Viettel and Qualcomm to put the 5G gNodeB through its paces and facilitate product optimization.

According to Viettel, the 5G gNodeB achieved downstream data speeds of up to 850 Mbps in real-network scenarios. Viettel says those results make it competitive with other vendors. With the equipment validation completed, Viettel plans to introduce these products across their eleven international markets and extend to other global operators.

“To enhance competitiveness and establish Viettel as a reputable global provider, we must continually improve our products and focus on key factors: high performance, Open RAN compliance, low power consumption, virtualization, and cloud-native design,” said Viettel High Tech CEO Nguyen Vu Ha in a statement. “The collaboration between Viettel and Qualcomm Technologies aims to address these critical factors, enabling our products to meet the requirements for mass commercialization in Vietnam and global markets.”

Viettel High Tech has produced a range of 5G gear, including 5G gNodeB antennas and base stations, 100G site routers, and an automatic online charging system (OCS). Earlier this month, Viettel High Tech revealed that it had developed its own 5G DFE chipset, which it said would finally give it “complete control” over its domestic 5G equipment ecosystem.


Emerging markets to fuel smartphone growth

Analyst company Canalys reported the smartphone market is showing signs of recovery predicting a lower decline in 2023, and growth will be pushed by emerging markets next year. 

Global shipments were predicted to dip 5% year-on-year to 1.13 billion units this year, an improvement on the decline of 12% in 2022. 

The lower decline is due to stabilisation and growth in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America this year. In 2024, 1.17 billion units are expected to ship representing a growth rate of 4% in 2023. 

Canalys senior analyst Toby Zhu said the smartphone sector is “emerging from its darkest days” even though shipments are 20% below the 2017 peak. Consumers are also buying more expensive devices as average selling prices are now exceeding US$440 compared to US$332 in 2017. 

“Profitability is looking up for hardware makers strategically launching flashy new features to captivate consumers in key growth markets,” said Zhu. 

Fuelled by emerging markets

“The smartphone rebound in 2024 will be fuelled by emerging markets, where the devices remain integral to connectivity, entertainment and productivity,” added Sanyam Chaurasia, Senior Analyst at Canalys. 

“One in three smartphones shipped in 2024 will be purchased in the Asia Pacific versus only one in five back in 2017. This region will also witness some of the fastest growth at 6% year-over-year, driven by resurging demand in India, Southeast Asia and South Asia. As macroeconomic conditions and consumer confidence stabilise in these countries, smartphone upgradation will accelerate.” 

Canalys tipped Chinese vendors including Honor and Xiaomi to “aggressively expand outside of Greater China” due to improving business conditions. 


‘The Great Rural Revival’: countryside connectivity to boost UK economy by £8.8 billion 


A study undertaken by Cebr on behalf of Virgin Media O2 has found that excellent levels of digital connectivity in rural areas could increase turnover for rural manufacturing businesses by more than 7%, adding an extra £8.8 billion to the UK economy 

The report, called The Great Rural Revival, noted that a large number of factories are located in rural areas, meaning that nearly half of all jobs in the UK manufacturing sector are based rurally. The sector has been struggling with productivity (as have many industries) partly relating to the current economic conditions in the UK. 

These issues can be aided through technology, through processes of automation that reduce human error, for example. However, these solutions require high-speeds, reliable connectivity. The operator gives the example of their work with British Sugar, which has benefited from UK’s first multi-site 4G (and 5G ready) private network in Norfolk, Suffolk and Nottinghamshire, which has supported the implementation of automated process and the introduction of AI, which have streamlined production. 

The operator is further working to tackle rural “not spots”, those areas with poor levels of connectivity, through the Shared Rural Network (SRN) scheme. 

The SRN is a £1 billion scheme, designed to improve the 4G coverage in rural areas across the UK. It is a joint project between the UK’s four mobile operators and the government, aiming to help expand to expand the geographic coverage of 4G to 95% of UK by the end of 2025. 

 This involves upgrading existing infrastructure and deploying new equipment, which will be shared by all four operators. The SRN is backed by £500 million of public funding and £500 million provided by the mobile network operators.  

“The last decade has been fixed and mobile networks rolled out to new corners of the UK and we are committed to continuing this rollout. By working closely with industry partners, the UK Government, planning authorities and landowners, we can deliver the essential network upgrades that will enable rural manufacturers to adopt new technologies and continue to thrive,” said Janie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2. 

 Keep up to date with all the telecoms news by subscribing to the Total Telecom daily newsletter – subscribe here.  

Also in the news:
Altice to sell control of data centre business
BT in early talks to buy musicMagpie
Optus CEO resigns after network outage

OneWeb gets satellite approval from India 


The move is the country’s first ever authorisation for satellite broadband access 

Eutelsat OneWeb has been given approval from Indian authorities to launch its commercial satellite broadband services in India, being the first operator in the country to be granted such access. 

According to IN-SPACE, Indian governmental agency responsible for the regulation of space activities, the approval period is valid for five years. 

The approval means that once the spectrum has been allocated by the government, Eutelsat OneWeb can launch their commercial connectivity services. 

“This will be a critical step forward to meet India’s ambition of providing internet connectivity for all and will enable the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India. Eutelsat OneWeb is ready to deploy as soon as it receives the final spectrum authorization to launch commercial services,” said Bharti Group Chairman and Vice-President (Co-Chair) of the Board of Directors of Eutelsat Group, Sunil Bharti Mittal.  

“Bridging the connectivity gap around the world requires collaboration across business but also with governments and regulators. We are pleased to have received these approvals from the space regulator that bring the country a significant step closer to providing high speed connectivity to even the most remote locations. Having completed our LEO constellation last year, we are perfectly placed to deliver this vital connectivity service to businesses across India,” Cyril Dujardin, Co-General Manager of Connectivity at Eutelsat Group.  

OneWeb India had already had the necessary licences from the Department of Telecommunications to provide broadband services using satellite connectivity. 

The two firms Eutelsat and OneWeb confirmed the completion of their merger in September this year, which was worth $3.4 billion. The merger saw OneWeb’s constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites added to Eutelsat’s geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites, creating the “only GEO–LEO operator in satellite communications that can offer a ubiquitous connectivity service,” according to Eutelsat CEO Eva Berneke. 

The UK government also owns a minority stake in in OneWeb, after a rescue deal was completed in 2020 that prevented the collapse of the company. After the merger, the UK share was retained along with a number of exclusive rights. 

Keep up to date with the latest international telecoms news by subscribing to the Total Telecom daily newsletter – subscribe here.    

Also in the news:
Ofcom fines shell £1.4m for customer protection rules breach
China Mobile and Huawei explore green and sustainable network
Altice to sell control of data centre business