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Eurobites: Telefónica Preps NG-PON 1 Rollout

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Iliad sets T-Mobile US bid deadline; Brocade staffs up for EMEA push; Netflix seeks Belgian partners.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is planning to offer a 1Gbit/s symmetrical broadband access service in Spain as soon as 2015 using NG-PON 1 technology from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , according to a report in Spanish newspaper Expansion. Fixed broadband competition is intensifying in Spain, so to keep ahead of rivals the Spanish incumbent is planning to double its current fiber-based broadband speeds to 200 Mbit/s and start introducing 1Gbit/s services next year. NG-PON 1 can be introduced using the existing physical plant that is used for GPON, making the upgrade less problematic at the physical network level. (See Eurobites: Orange Agrees €3.4B Jazztel Buy, Fiber Sizzles in Spain as Orange Targets Jazztel and NG-PON2 Tech: A Done Deal?)

  • French operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD) has set itself a deadline of mid-October to improve on its unsuccessful US$15 billion bid for T-Mobile US Inc. , reports Reuters. Iliad is in talks with a number of US banks, and is also thought to be looking to team up with private equity funds such as KKR to help bolster its bid. (See Iliad's Bid for T-Mobile: This Ain't No Joke.)

  • New IP vendor Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) has poached a senior Juniper executive to head up its push in Europe. Brian Levy was until recently the CTO of Service Provider Sector EMEA at Juniper, and had been at the vendor for almost four years. He was previously at HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) (and for a short time at Red Bee Media). In his new role, working alongside Brocade's EMEA CTO Curt Beckmann, Levy will be "responsible for bringing Brocade's vision for cloud strategy and virtualized infrastructure to the market," and "providing insight and communicating product vision and direction internally and externally, to both customers and analysts."

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the OTT streaming service that is making a concerted push into Europe this year, is in talks with Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG) and several cable operators with a view to setting up content distribution deals in Belgium, reports Reuters. (See Eurobites: Could Netflix Crash Europe's Networks? and HBO Braces to Battle Netflix in Europe.)

  • Irish operator eir has issued an update on its strategic review, which reveals it has abandoned plans to launch an IPO.

  • The Russian government is looking at ways of isolating the country's section of the Internet at times of crisis, reports the Moscow Times. The authorities have denied that they intend to permanently cut off Russia's Internet to create a so-called "RuNet."

  • Drones are definitely, erm, taking off. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is obsessed by their potential, and now, according to The Independent, you can barely move for them in the UK. There are now more than 300 organizations with permission to operate the slightly creepy unmanned aircraft, the majority of them photography firms and TV production companies. (See Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go.)

  • A substantial number of jobs will be saved at Phones 4u Ltd. , the collapsed British mobile phone retailer, following the decision of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and EE to snaffle up a number of the stores. As the BBC reports, Vodafone agreed to take over 140 of the stores, closely followed by EE, which is to buy 58.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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