News Roundup

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #19

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Orange considers buying infrastructure assets it sold almost two decades ago

Orange is considering a probable purchase of the former telecommunications infrastructure unit TDF. The company sold TDF nearly two decades ago to lessen its debt. Orange is considering combining TDF with the recently established European mast company TOTEM, as infrastructure appraisals have recently increased with interest from investors such as the US private equity firm KKR and Spain’s Cellnex. TDF, previously known as Télédiffusion de France, operates TV and radio towers, mobile sites, as well as fiber infrastructure and related services through around 19,000 sites, of which 7,300 are active.

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AT&T to modernize U.S. DOT’s network

AT&T and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) have signed a 12-year, $175 million deal to assist DOT in upgrading its IP and voice infrastructure. AT&T will supply DOT with virtual private networking and secure cloud technology, together with IP-based voice services and security features, as well as a network firewall and managed trusted Internet protocol services. This will help meet the demand for telecommuting opportunities and the release of new IP-based applications. According to the company, the contract will cover everything related to data flow through the DOT’s network.

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FCC approves Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has collectively agreed on the final rules for imposing the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The regulations outline the equipment and services, the locations of the services, the appropriate uses and the fair-minded qualities covered by the program. The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program aims to assist schools and libraries throughout the country to offer students and teachers connectivity gadgets and access to the Internet. The FCC estimates that as many as 17 million kids in the US do not have access to the Internet that is needed for distance learning, excluding them from receiving education in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and beyond.

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Cisco plans to acquire Socio Labs

As the pandemic changed how events take place, Cisco announced its plans to obtain the privately held company Socio Labs, a state-of-the-art event technology platform. The platform gives event organizers all the tools they possibly might need to host physical, virtual or hybrid events of any kind. This acquisition will upgrade Cisco’s Webex events by adding large-scale, multi-session hybrid events and conferences to complement their list of meetings, webinars and webcasts. This solution will allow live streaming, sponsorships, networking and advanced analysis, as well as ongoing engagement before, during and after events, together with Webex survey, Q&A, chat and real-time translation features.

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OneWeb and SoftBank collaborate on satellite communications

SoftBank Corp. and OneWe have announced their cooperation in promoting OneWeb’s satellite communication services in the Japanese and the global markets. SoftBank and OneWeb will together further advance satellite communication services by merging OneWeb services with SoftBank services that incorporate advanced communication and Digital Transformation platform services. The two companies will work in partnership on technical advancements and product development to increase their competitiveness in the listed markets. This cooperation includes obtaining regulatory permits and installing ground stations in Japan.

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