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Eurobites: UK ahead of Euro rivals on 5G speeds – Ookla

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Amdocs talks up Orange project; Nokia lands new deal in Netherlands; MobiledgeX trials road safety systems; GlobalConnect fibers up.

  • The UK is beating other European countries and the US on the performance of its early-stage 5G networks, according to the latest speed-test data from Ookla, a monitoring firm. Average download speeds were about 167 Mbit/s in Blighty, versus just 142 Mbit/s in Germany and 140 Mbit/s in France, while the US could barely muster 81 Mbit/s. The UK also did reasonably well on 5G availability compared with most European countries, with the service covering 10.2% of the population in the first half of 2021, according to Ookla. On coverage, unfortunately, it falls well behind the US, where 5G is available to about half the population. And it badly trails both China and South Korea on connection speeds and availability. Ookla's data raises questions about some of the 5G claims made by operators. Germany's Deutsche Telekom, for instance, recently put its 5G network coverage at 85%, while Ookla reckons 5G services are available to less than 3% of Germans. (See How 5G rollout became such a long, hard slog.)

  • Israeli software giant Amdocs talked up its role in the experimental network that Orange is building in Lannion in the northwest of France. Amdocs had already been identified as the provider of business support systems when Michael Trabbia, Orange's chief technology officer, first briefed reporters about the plans in June. The main revelation this week is that the Amdocs technology will run inside an AWS data center, raising the possibility of a more far-reaching deal between Orange and AWS in future. Operators in Europe and North America have been moving IT systems and even network software into public clouds provided by AWS, Google and Microsoft as they try to reduce costs. (See Orange is building a network that will run itself.)

  • The optics are looking good for Nokia in the Netherlands. The Finnish equipment maker has just landed a transport deal with the unimaginatively named NL-ix, Europe's largest Internet exchange. In its statement on the deal, Nokia said the new technologies would support connection speeds of between 1 Gbit/s and 400 Gbit/s between European points of presence for the Netherlands-based firm. Nokia's optical equipment division was a high flyer for the company in the recent second fiscal quarter, growing revenues by 8% year-on-year, to €391 million (US$462 million).

  • MobiledgeX, the Deutsche Telekom spinoff that develops software for edge networks, hailed its involvement in trials of low-latency road safety systems in Frankfurt for Continental, an automotive parts company. The trials, which also featured network operators Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica, were designed to show that services can run effectively over multiple networks. A video developed by the companies shows how a driver and cyclist using different service providers can be quickly notified by mobile app of a potential collision as they approach a junction.

  • Fiber network operator Global Connect announced plans for an investment in new cable systems running between the north of Sweden and Berlin. The fiber lines will provide additional capacity for GlobalConnect Carrier, the company's wholesale division, which caters to Internet companies, communications service providers and systems integrators. GlobalConnect said the new technology would be able to handle 3 million times more data than standard cables used to connect private households.

    — Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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