Eurobites: We're all heading back to the office, predicts UK think-tank

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Virgin Media O2 uses recycled rubble; AWS plans more data centers in Spain; Ericsson-backed report sings the praises of mmWave.

  • Put your pants back on! Uninstall Zoom! Settle for ropey home broadband! A UK think-tank is predicting that workers currently languishing in front of their laptops at home, waiting eagerly for the postman to arrive to brighten their day, will return to the office full time within two years. As the BBC reports, Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at Centre for Cities, reckons that the move is inevitable because productive interactions between staff often happen randomly rather than on a scheduled call. Meanwhile, in the US, Apple employees have launched a campaign against an edict from the tech giant's top brass telling them that they needed to be back working in the office at least three days a week by September.

    Light Reading staff head back to HQ.
    Light Reading staff head back to HQ.

  • Newly merged UK operator Virgin Media O2 says it has successfully trialed the use of recycled aggregate while building its new fiber network in Cranhill, Glasgow. The trial saw the company use recycled stone and sand when reinstating the ground after laying fiber in two streets – most telcos, says Virgin, use new materials sourced from quarries for this type of job. With more than 100,000 tons of aggregate used each year by Virgin Media O2's Project Lightning network expansion program, switching to recycled aggregate could save more than 450 tons of carbon emissions per year, claims the company.

  • Amazon Web Services is to invest €2.5 billion (US3.04 billion) in new data centers in the Aragon region of Spain, according to a Reuters report (paywall applies). The facilities are expected to open in mid 2022.

  • A new study carried out by Analysys Mason on behalf of Ericsson and Qualcomm predicts that deploying 5G mmWave alongside sub-6GHz 5G deployments will bring a significant positive economic impact to Europe. However, the study says that there is much work to be done to catch up with other regions around the world that are already reaping the benefits of commercializing 5G mmWave services.

  • Neos Networks – the relatively new name for SSE Enterprise Telecoms – has unbundled a further 201 exchanges across the UK. Neos hopes to have 550 exchanges "on-net" by the end of the year, with capacities of up to 100 Gbit/s.

  • Germany's ADVA has launched its its FSP 3000 TeraFlex CoreChannel, which it claims delivers 800G capacity with the longest reach on the market, enabling ultra-high-capacity transport over existing and new infrastructure of more than 1,600km.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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