Also in today's regional roundup: MTN tests Transport SDN; 2.4 Tbit/s WDM with Huawei; Bluetooth chip specialist CSR rejects takeover bid; and more.
Openreach , the access network division of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), is deploying a range of Carrier Ethernet switches and OSS tools from Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) to support the expansion of its Ethernet Access Direct (EAD) services. The operator will use Ciena's 3916 and 3930 Service Delivery Switches and 5142, 5150 and 5160 Service Aggregation Switches, as well as its Service-Aware Operating System (SAOS) and OneControl Unified Management System for testing, reporting, provisioning and service management. Openreach has, to date, built out its EAD service capabilities using equipment from ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) . (See BT's Openreach Deploys Ciena Gear and BT's Openreach Reaches Ethernet Access Milestone .)
Still with BT, the British incumbent has been accused by a human rights group of aiding US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia by running a transport infrastructure circuit between the UK and Africa, The Guardian reports. An initial complaint against BT has already been rejected by the UK government, but the issue has flared up again.
MTN Group Ltd. has completed trials of next-generation optical transport and SDN capabilities on its network in South Africa, using technology from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. . The operator tested a single-channel 2.4Tbit/s connection over 300 km using 16QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) capabilities, and a 2Tbit/s connection over 1,031 km with QPSK (quadrature phase shift keying). The operator also tested Huawei's Transport SDN capabilities, which offer "transmission pipe virtualization" to enable features such as bandwidth-on-demand and virtual transport services. Transport SDN is a hot topic currently among network operators and vendors. (See MTN Trials Transport SDN, 2.4T WDM With Huawei and OIF/ONF Efforts Could Speed Transport SDN.)
UK chipmaker CSR plc (London: CSR) has seen its share price soar by more than 36% to 783 pence, valuing it at more than £1.2 billion (US$2 billion), after it confirmed it had received, and rejected, a takeover bid from Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP). "The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the Board is considering its options for the company," noted Bluetooth specialist CSR in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
A consortium of 15 operators, vendors, research centers and academic institutions have launched MiWaveS (Millimeter-Wave Small Cell Access and Backhauling), a European collaborative project that aims to develop millimeter-wave radio technologies for the 5G era. Among the participants are Telecom Italia, Orange (NYSE: FTE), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and the University of Surrey, UK, which is home to a 5G lab. (See UK Kicks Off 5G R&D.)
British mobile giant EE has rolled out its 4G LTE coverage to 13 more towns, taking its coverage to 75% of the UK population. Among the new locations is Witney in Oxfordshire, the constituency of Prime Minister David Cameron, who can now send his sometimes ill-advised text messages over an even faster connection when he's back on his political stomping ground. The operator, which has more than 30 million customers, had 4.2 million 4G users at the end of June and is on course to have 6 million by the end of the year.
Czech mobile minnow SWAN as, which was awarded a mobile license earlier this year, has handed ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) a contract to build a nationwide mobile network, including a circuit/packet core and more than 1,100 GSM/LTE software-defined radio base stations.