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Euronews: Swisscom Unveils 1Gig Plan

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA roundup: Vivendi considers shedding SFR; Vodafone hacked in Germany; Virgin Media deploys Ciena's packet-optical gear.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is promising that by the end of the year all its 700,000 customers with FTTH access will be able to take advantage of 1Gbit/s broadband speeds. This month, the operator is conducting a pilot of the super-fast service with around 100 subscribers. The move is part of the carrier's aim to provide superfast broadband to more than 2.3 million households and businesses, including those outside main towns and cities, by 2015. (See Swisscom Preps 1G Broadband and Swisscom Picks Huawei for Fiber Expansion.)

  • Will Vivendi bail out of telecom? That's looking increasingly likely, according to a Bloomberg report, which says that the French conglomerate will begin a "formal study" into the viability of separating out its SFR telecom unit. Vincent Bollore, who is to become deputy chairman of Vivendi, told Les Echos newspaper that there were "no synergies between telecoms and content, and that was dragging down Vivendi." Funnily enough, Euronews said the same thing back in February… And, as it happens, SFR is one of the names on the increasingly long list of potential Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) acquisition targets. (See Euronews: Vodafone in M&A Rumor Frenzy and Euronews: SFR Drags Vivendi Down.)

  • Vodafone Germany has suffered a hack attack, and been relieved of the personal data of 2 million of its customers, reports Reuters. In a statement, Vodafone said -- not altogether reassuringly -- that it is "hardly possible to use the data to get directly access [sic] to the bank accounts of those affected."

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Business Ltd. is deploying Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)'s converged packet-optical gear to provide datacenter interconnect services to Redstation, a British cloud services provider. Redstation is expected to introduce its high-capacity network in its two Hampshire datacenters before the end of the year. (See Virgin Media Business Deploys Ciena's Packet-Optical Gear.)

  • The head of Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)'s Spanish division has been hinting that better times might be around the corner, reports Reuters. "We aren't on the path to growth yet but we are close to reversing the trend in clients and revenues," said Luis Miguel Gilperez. Telefónica has been having a particularly torrid time on its home soil, with straitened economic times leading many to seek out cheaper telecom deals with smaller rivals. (See Euronews: Telco Pain Continues in Spain.)

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is mounting a legal challenge in the European courts to a fiber rollout in the northern English city of York, according to the company that laid the network. But, in a response to CityFibre 's claims in this Computing report, BT dismissed the allegations as "utter nonsense."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    9/12/2013 | 9:26:53 AM
    Re: Pain in Spain
    What are the recovery signs in Spain, Ray? They aren't apparent on this side of the ocean, especially given the unemployment statistics that Paul cites.
    User Rank: Blogger
    9/12/2013 | 7:59:43 AM
    Re: Pain in Spain
    Thankfully thre are some signs of a recovery in Spain and, once people have jobs and more disposable  income, they'll be able to hook up to a selection of 4G services, should they so wish. I was just in Spain and there are some very enticing deals to be had, esp if you take fixed and mobile broadband from the same provider. 
    User Rank: Blogger
    9/12/2013 | 7:57:16 AM
    BT vs CityFibre - Goliath ahoy....
    My takeaway from the news that BT is challenging a fiber network rollout by a company not called BT is that the incumbent  must be a bit woried about what CityFibre is up to from a competitive standpoint...

    This really is a David vs Goliath fight.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    9/12/2013 | 7:31:27 AM
    Pain in Spain
    Is it any wonder that Spaniards don't want to spend any more on their phones than they absolutely have to? Since the construction bubble burst in 2007, the overall unemployment rate has soared to nearly 27 percent, while the rate among the under-25s is a staggering 56 percent. Telefonica faces an uphill climb, as do those looking for a job.
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