Eurobites: Vodafone speeds up download with a dash of QAM

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ukraine cheap-calling scheme extended; CityFibre automates its testing platform; CK Hutchison reviewing its European telco options, says report.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

July 11, 2024

3 Min Read
Vodafone logo on shop window
(Source: Paul Rainford/Light Reading)
  • Vodafone, Qualcomm and Xaiomi say they have successfully tested 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology in Germany and Spain, bringing download speeds of close to 1.8 Gbit/s over 5G. The tests used the Xiaomi 14 Ultra smartphone – powered by the Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System – allied to 1024 QAM with a Time Division Duplexing (TDD) spectrum band. In Germany, the team measured a throughput improvement on the commercial network of around 20% over a distance of up to 600 meters, while at the Vodafone test center in Ciudad Real, Spain, peak download speeds fell just short of the 1.8Gbit/s mark.

  • The special scheme that allows for cheaper calls to be made to and from war-torn Ukraine has been extended for another 12 months. The scheme was enabled by a voluntary agreement between 22 EU and seven Ukrainian operators. According to the European Commission, the latest data provided by regulators' association BEREC shows that the scheme has proved very effective. Margrethe Vestager, the Commission's executive vice president for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said in a prepared statement: "Russia's illegal war of aggression on Ukraine has had a devastating impact on people's lives. We can only hope that staying connected via affordable phone calls has brought some solace."

  • UK altnet CityFibre has automated its infrastructure platform testing facilities with technology from Red Helix and IGXGlobal UK. According to CityFibre, the new framework enables testing to be carried out up to 100 times faster while increasing test capacity by 300%, freeing up the company's engineers to address issues raised by the tests.

  • Hong Kong-based conglomerate CK Hutchison is reviewing the options for its European telco assets, according to a Reuters report. Those assets include the Three networks in Italy, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Ireland. Citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation, the report says that the conglomerate has been looking at several routes: a spinoff of these holdings with a view to an IPO; a sale of the assets as a block; or continuing to be open to selling controlling stakes in some countries. (See Vodafone and Three merger announcement imminent – Reuters.)

  • CISPE, the European cloud body, has reached an agreement with Microsoft regarding a competition complaint filed by CISPE against Microsoft with the European Commission in November 2022. Microsoft has committed to making certain changes to address the complaint, not least the release of an enhanced version of Azure Stack HCI for European cloud providers to offer features that Microsoft customers using Azure Stack HCI already enjoy outside Europe. Microsoft has nine months to come up with the goods.

  • Rob Shuter, whose resume includes stints as CEO of South Africa's MTN Group and BT's Enterprise unit, has joined the board of Dutch operator KPN. (See BT's Rob Shuter: Enterprises want solutions, not just connectivity.)

  • Arcep, the French communications regulator, has announced that its director-general, Cécile Dubarry, is moving on to a new position at the Institut Mines-Télécom. Dubarry began her career in 1994 at France's Directorate-General of Posts and Telecommunications before heading to Arcep in 2002.

  • One in five Brits has decided to take their vacation in the UK to avoid having to pay those pesky roaming charges. That's the scarcely credible finding of a new study by Lyca Mobile, which calculates that a family of four without inclusive roaming could expect to pay at least £48 ($62) in phone "bolt-ons" per week during a trip to mainland Europe.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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