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Eurobites: Can GTT Build on Interoute Acquisition?

Ray Le Maistre

In today's regional roundup: Can GTT get the best out of Interoute?; Orange Spain claims optical backbone milestone; KPN to close its OTT TV service; and other end-of-week stuff.

  • GTT Communications Inc. has completed its US$2.3 billion acquisition of European network operator Interoute Communications Ltd. , little more than three months after it announced the deal. "The acquisition of Interoute represents a major milestone in delivering on our purpose of connecting people across organizations, around the world and to every application in the cloud," said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO in an official statement announcing the closure. "Our enhanced scale, expanded network footprint and award-winning product capabilities reinforce our position as a global leader in cloud networking. We look forward to bringing the benefits of this acquisition to our valued clients across the world." Indeed. But here's the rub. GTT has acquired a progressive, in many ways cutting edge network operator in Interoute but that doesn't guarantee anything. As with any acquisition, the people are as, if not more, important that the physical assets. The key for GTT will be retaining, encouraging and building upon the experience and know-how of the Interoute team. If that doesn't happen then it could turn into a very expensive turkey. (See GTT Completes Interoute Acquisition, GTT Brings In New Investors for Interoute Deal and GTT Snaps Up Interoute for $2.3B.)

  • Orange Spain says it has completed the construction of a 200 Gbit/s backbone transport network, built using gear from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd , that boasts "the largest capacity in the world -- up to 96x200 gigabits per second (Gbps), which will cover distances of almost 1,000 km without regeneration." So that's 19.6 Tbit/s of capacity. Oof!! (See Orange Spain Completes 200 Gbit/s Optical Build with Huawei.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and Telecom Italia (TIM) are among the major operators to have joined the LF Networking Fund, the Linux Foundation group that brings together the developments of initiatives such as ONAP, OPNFV, ODL (Open Daylight), FD.io and more. (See LF Networking Fund Boasts New Carrier Members and Linux Foundation Re-Orgs to Simplify Open Source Networking.)

  • Highly respected venture capitalist Mary Meeker has just delivered her annual Internet Trends presentation, and she doesn't hold much hope for Europe being at the vanguard of technology innovation any time soon. See European tech ambitions might be hampered by regulation – Meeker for more.

  • Dutch incumbent KPN is axing KPN Play, its own OTT TV service, due to lack of customer interest, reports TelecomPaper. KPN launched the service in 2015. (See Dutch Telcos Take Lead on OTT Transformation.)

  • The European Commission (EC) has re-approved the 2014 merger in the Netherlands between Liberty Global's UPC and Ziggo, but with conditions. The merger had been annulled by the European General Court in 2017, forcing the EC to reassess the deal. To find out more, see this EC announcement. (See Liberty Global to Buy Ziggo for €10B.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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