Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre strikes public sector deal; Avanti lines up next satellite; BT in unified communications collaboration.
Can our brains cope with big data? That's the question being addressed by a team of EU-funded researchers in the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Working as part of the CEEDs project, the researchers say that they have transposed big data into an immersive, interactive environment by building an eXperience Induction Machine (think Woody Allen's orgasmatron), which deploys virtual reality to enable users to "step inside" large data sets. Like, heavy, man.
CityFibre , the optical infrastructure provider that is setting out to challenge BT's fiber rollout dominance in the UK, has formed an agreement with managed services provider Easynet Global Services to offer gigabit-speed connectivity to the government's Public Sector Network (PSN) framework. The first area to benefit from the collaboration will be the northern borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire. CityFibre has already played a part in delivering 1Gbit/s services to the nearby city of York. (See Eurobites: BT's Rivals Go Ultrafast in York.)
UK satellite operator Avanti Communications Group plc is to launch its next satellite in 2017, completing its coverage of Africa and Europe, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The HYLAS 4 satellite, which could also serve Latin American markets, will offer 28GHz of capacity in 66 fixed beams.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Avaya Inc. have signed a five-year agreement which will see BT Wholesale offer Avaya's unified communications and contact center applications as a cloud service to midsized companies and enterprise customers.
Telecom Italia (TIM) has extended the deadline on the completion of its sale of its Argentinian arm, Telecom Argentina (NYSE: TEO), to September 1, reports Reuters. US investment firm Fintech agreed to pay $960 million for Telecom Italia's controlling stake in Telecom Argentina in November 2013.
UK regulator Ofcom has released its latest piece of research into mobile call quality, which finds that EE topped the list in terms of successfully completed calls. According to the data, compiled by RootMetrics and covering the second half of 2013, 97% of calls on the EE network were successfully connected, compared with 95.3% on Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2), 94.5% on Three UK and 92.6% on Vodafone UK .
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading