Euronews: €1B Boost for Spanish FTTH
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 3/13/2013
Vodafone España S.A., Orange Spain, ST-Ericsson, Ericsson AB and Telefónica SA are caught in the net in today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.
The Spanish operations of Vodafone Group plc and France Télécom – Orange have joined forces to invest €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) in FTTH access networks in the southern European country. The news will come as a welcome boost to the Spanish economy, which is currently in a deep recession. The two operators will each build their own access networks in different areas to the same technical specifications: Each will then grant the other open access to their networks. Between them, the two operators plan to reach 6 million Spanish households (about 40 percent of the country's total) with FTTH connections by 2017. Commercial services are expected to start in Jan. 2014, with the duo expecting to have passed 800,000 homes by March next year. For the full details, see Vodafone, Orange Team on Spanish FTTH.
The respective owners of the chip joint venture ST-Ericsson are considering giving up their search for a buyer, according to a report on Bloomberg. Earlier this week current ST-Ericsson CEO Didier Lamouche announced he would be stepping down at the end of the month. (See Euronews: ST-Ericsson CEO Resigns.)
Telefónica has begun talks with its labor unions over a range of cost-cutting measures, reports Reuters. Measures being mooted include reductions in summer and Christmas bonus payments and a scrapping of weekend overtime rates. With the current high unemployment rate in Spain, it will be tough for the unions to fight their corner. (See Telefonica Restructures, Creates New Units and Euronews: Layoff Costs Tear Into Telefonica's Q3.)
Ericsson has landed a five-year managed services contract with Atlantique Telecom,which is part of the Middle Eastern Etisalat Group and runs operations in western and central Africa. The contract covers network operations, field maintenance, network optimization and spare parts management. (See Ericsson Lands Services Deal in Africa.)
Bezeq, The Israel Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. called on the technical knowhow of ECI Telecom Ltd. to run 100G traffic on its Jonah international submarine cable, transmitting data from Tel Aviv to Bari, Italy and back, a distance of 4,600 km. (See ECI Runs 100G for Bezeq.)
About 40 percent of enterprises in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. are dissatisfied with their connectivity supplier. That's the main conclusion drawn from a survey, commissioned by Ciena Corp., of 400 IT decision-makers in those four major European markets.
On Tuesday Euronews reported that Autonomy Corp. was to be investigated by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for alleged over-valuing of itself prior to acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co. Today the Daily Telegraph reports that that probe could be in doubt as the SFO itself uses an Autonomy product, Introspect, as a document management tool. Funny old world. (See HP/Autonomy: Nothing to Get Excited About.)
BT Group plc has extended its promise of fiber-based broadband to 95 percent of homes and businesses in the outlying U.K. region of Cornwall under the part state-funded Superfast Cornwall program. Initially the aim had been to reach 80 percent of premises there with fiber. (See Cornwall to Get Superfast Broadband Early.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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