Eurobites: Ericsson hops into the record books

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: AMP Capital to acquire VX Fiber; Vodafone vets its suppliers for diversity credentials and more; Swisscom's Herren to leave at end of the year.

  • Ericsson reckons it has achieved the longest "commercial hop" ever recorded – 26.8km – on the mobile network of Croatian operator A1 Hrvatska using MIMO and Mini-Link technologies. As Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown explains, "hop" refers to the distance between each end of the microwave link – several of these links may make up a transmission path. The hop was deployed on A1 Hrvatska's commercial network across locations near the city of Split using MINI-LINK gear with 2X2 MIMO functionality.

  • AMP Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in VX Fiber, a fiber infrastructure company based in Sweden. VX Fiber designs, builds and operates full-fiber open access networks globally and has developed its own software platform which it operates on third parties' passive fiber infrastructure. The entire network is remotely run through a network operations center in Umea, Sweden. VX Fiber has existing operations in South Africa and the UK and is looking to expand into Belgium, Austria and Germany. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

  • From next month, Vodafone Group will start evaluating its potential suppliers on their commitment to "diversity, inclusion and the environment." Such considerations will account for 20% of the evaluation criteria for a Request For Quotation (RFQ). The operator says it will provide practical support for its smaller suppliers in how to jump through the necessary hoops.

  • Swisscom's Heinz Herren is to leave the company at the end of 2020 after nearly 20 years' service, nine years of it (2010 to 2019) spent in the CTO hotseat. Last year he reduced his hours and handed over the reins of IT, Net & Infrastructure to Christoph Aeschlimann.

  • Yes, the pay-TV subsidiary of Israeli telco Bezeq, has incorporated multi-device technology from 3 Screen Solutions (3SS) into its StingTV streaming service. 3SS developed an operator application in both English and Hebrew to offer a range of features for subscribers including video-on-demand, live TV, mini EPG and parental controls. The new app is based on 3SS's 3Ready software framework, and works with devices from Samsung, Tizen as well as Web OS smart TVs.

  • UK broadband challenger Truespeed is offering 50 rural schools in the Bath and North East Somerset region free, full-fiber "ultrafast" broadband connectivity "for life." Anyone who knows a school or community hub that could benefit from this offer should contact Truespeed.

  • A health charity in the UK is badgering the government to release data from the two trials of the COVID-19 track-and-trace app, fearing that the technology could exacerbate existing inequalities, leaving vulnerable people at a higher risk of being infected by the virus. As the BBC reports, the charity, The Health Foundation, highlighted a poll which indicated that participants from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, women, younger and older age groups, and unemployed people were all among those with a relatively low awareness of the app. The app is due to launch nationwide tomorrow (Thursday).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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