Eurobites: BT Deploys Nuage for SD-WAN

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: the cost of a gigabit society; Telia acquires Phonero; Wind/3 Italia deal signed and sealed; Deutsche Telekom on drone alert.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has officially named Nokia unit Nuage Networks as a provider of SD-WAN technology as the UK incumbent moves to improve the range of services it can provide to its enterprise customers. The operator's chief network architect, Neil McRae, discussed the selection during the recent SDN World Congress event in The Hague, praising the capabilities of Nuage's Virtualized Network Services (VNS) application. BT launched its SD-WAN portfolio earlier this year using Cisco's Intelligent WAN (IWAN) technology. SD-WAN is one of the hottest trends in enterprise services and is expected to drive new revenues for service providers and vendors in the next few years, with Nuage already well established as one of the primary providers of enabling technology to communications service providers. (See BT Deploys Nuage for SD-WAN Services, BT Enters SD-WAN Fray With Cisco, CenturyLink Confirms Nuage Selection and Telefónica, Nuage Networks Complete Service Chaining PoC.)

  • It might sound suspiciously like a no-frills airline but the Easy Go service today launched by Orange Business Services marks the French operator's first big step into the world of network-as-as-service offerings. Following lengthy trials with customers, the enterprise arm of the French telco is to make the service available in 75 countries by the end of the year, it revealed in a statement. Taking advantage of SDN and NFV technologies, Easy Go allows business customers to order network functions using a self-service portal. Orange expects it to make the process of ordering and setting up services a hassle-free and less costly experience. At launch, Orange will offer security functions in partnership with VNF vendor Fortinet Inc. but it plans to make additional functions available in 2017. Light Reading reported extensively on Orange's NaaS plans earlier this year. (See Orange Plots Mass Network-as-a-Service Rollout.)

  • A new report commissioned by the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) estimates that the investment required to fulfill its vision of a truly "gigabit society" runs to €660 billion (US$729.8 billion), comprising €360 billion ($398 billion) to enable FTTH broadband for all European households and €200 billion ($221 billion) in 5G radio access networks, as well as €100 billion ($110.6 billion) for low-latency proximity data centers. The report, prepared by the Boston Consulting Group, also proposes an "investment-centric" regulatory environment that would help the gigabit society vision be realized by 2025.

  • Telia Company is hoping to boost its share of the B2B market with the acquisition of Phonero, a Norwegian provider of mobile services to small and midsized companies. The value of the deal has not been disclosed. During its most recent financial year, Phonero reported net sales of 1.1 billion Norwegian kroner ($133 million) and adjusted EBITDA OF NOK217 million ($26.3 million).

  • And in another corner of the Telia empire, Telia Carrier has announced it has a new point of presence (PoP) in Zagreb, Croatia, providing wholesale IP transit and Ethernet services for carriers, content and cloud providers. Telia Carrier hopes that this new PoP will encourage content providers to extend their services into the region.

  • The €20 billion ($22.1 billion) merger of VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP)'s Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA with CK Hutchison's 3 Italia has become a done deal over the weekend, the Financial Times reports. The new 50/50 joint venture will serve more than 30 million mobile customers in Italy. (See Eurobites: Italy Blesses €20B Wind/3 Italia Merger and Eurobites: Hutch, VimpelCom's Italian Job Gets EC Blessing.)

  • Here's an odd one: Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is planning to launch anti-drone systems to guard car test tracks and other sensitive locations from prying airborne eyes, Reuters reports, citing German weekly Welt am Sonntag.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is bolstering its mission-critical LTE public safety offering with the launch of Nokia Group Communications, which the vendor says will enable first-responder teams to securely communicate through cutting-edge applications such as instant video alongside more traditional push-to-talk features on a single device.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has launched 4G services with the offer of free (as in, it doesn't count against a customer's monthly data allowance) messaging on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as "data rollover," which means that any unused data can be transferred into the subsequent month's data allowance.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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