O2-branded Telefónica UK plans to start a fiber-based broadband access trial in the U.K. soon and hopes to launch a commercial service with "super fast speeds" later this year. No details are available yet about when, where and what services will be offered. But Felix Geyr, O2's managing director for home and broadband, wrote on the operator's blog, "we are currently looking at the infrastructure and where in the UK we run the trial." Before the service is launched, Geyr said O2 would open a pre-registration program, "prioritizing our existing customers first."
From the bowels of Brussels comes news that the European Commission is launching and part-funding 13 -- count 'em -- photonics research projects, which it hopes will accelerate the introduction of "super fast" (1 Gbit/s or more in this case) broadband to the home. The projects will run from two to three years. (See EC Funds 13 Fiber Projects.)
Today sees the launch of the mobile spectrum auction in Spain, which the government hopes will bring in around €1.45 billion (US$2.08 billion) to the nation's ailing coffers, reports Reuters. Eleven operators are bidding for a slice of the action. (See Euronews: C&W Worldwide Mulls Asset Sale.)
Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), the Italian broadband provider owned by Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), is using a combination of Nokia Siemens Networks and Juniper Networks to increase its network capacity and strengthen its IP backbone. NSN is deploying Juniper’s T1600 core routers as part of the overhaul. (See Fastweb Adds Capacity With NSN.)
After only a few weeks in the job, the COO of Kuwait-based Zain Group is on his way, according to Reuters. Abdul Malek al Jaber said in a statement that he will be spending more time with his family and on personal business interests, making way for current Zain group Chief Executive Nabil bin Salama to take the reins temporarily. (See Euronews: March 21 and Etisalat Extends Zain Talks.)