Also in today's EMEA roundup: Iliad's 1-Gig broadband; Windows Phone surges in Europe; ADVA does 100G in Moscow.
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is looking to bolster its network functions virtualization (NFV) credentials with the opening of a cloud research and development facility in Kfar Saba, near Tel Aviv. The vendor is presenting the move as part of its "Shift Plan," the name given to its long-term strategy of transforming itself from a telecom generalist to a specialist in IP networking and "ultra-broadband access." As part of its NFV push, AlcaLu is also creating the CloudBand Ecosystem Program, which it describes as the first open community of service providers and vendors adopting NFV. Fifteen companies have signed up to the program so far, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) among them. (See Alcatel-Lucent Opens Cloud R&D Facility in Israel, Alcatel-Lucent Creates NFV Community, and Alcatel-Lucent Builds Future Around IP.)
French operator Iliad (Euronext: ILD), through its Free brand, claims to be offering the fastest residential broadband in Europe with the launch of a 1Gbit/s service for its Freebox Revolution subscribers. And Iliad is stressing that because this is true fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), punters really will get 1Gbit/s -- it won't be another case of "up to" speeds. Could this disrupt the French broadband market as much as Free's cut-price mobile service did? (See Iliad Launches 1Gig Broadband in France, Iliad Disrupts the French Mobile Scene, and Free Disrupts French Mobile Market.)
Is there hope yet for Windows Phone? New research from Kantar reveals that the operating system is making strides in Europe, with Windows Phone posting its highest sales market share to date in the three months to the end of August 2013 -- 9.2 percent -- in the EU "Big Five" countries of Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. This compares with a sales share of just 5.1 percent in the same period a year earlier. The growth is being largely attributed -- ironically, perhaps, considering recent developments -- to the success of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s Lumia 520 and 620 handsets. These, says Kantar's Dominic Sunnebo, have found a "sweet spot" with 16- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 49-year-olds -- two groups that wouldn't normally have too much in common with each other. (See Nokia on the Road to Hell? and Nokia Launches 'Affordable' Lumia 620.)
JSC Fortex, the Moscow-based service provider, is deploying ADVA Optical Networking 's 100G Metro technology throughout the Russian capital and its environs. JSC Fortex is using the 100G Metro primarily to upgrade existing 10G services and prepare for increased bandwidth demand.
Cable & Wireless Communications has, via its local unit Monaco Telecom , launched LTE services in the bling-heavy principality of Monaco, in southern France. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. installed the necessary technology, while also carrying out a broader upgrade of the operator's network.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading