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Eurobites: Altice Preps Gigabit Launch With Arris

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei powers Finland-Germany link; Sky falls foul of ad authority; Proximus creates "smart mobility" joint venture.

  • French cable and mobile operator Altice is to deploy the Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) E6000 Converged Edge Router at its SFR operation in France, at Orange-Tricom in the Dominican Republic and at its US cable operation Suddenlink Communications as part of its plans to offer gigabit broadband services to its customers. The operator also announced Cisco as a supplier of next-generation cable broadband access gear for its French operations last year. Altice acquired SFR in 2014 to add to its Numericable operations in France and announced the acquisition of Suddenlink last year to start its expansion into the US market: It also hopes to buy US cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), but is facing opposition to its planned $17.7 billion takeover. News of the gigabit plans with Arris come only a day after Altice announced its 2015 financial results, which suggested it needs to do plenty more to win back market share in France. (See No-Growth Altice Results Send Shares Falling, Analyst Sounds Warning on Altice/Cablevision Deal, Altice to Buy Suddenlink in $9.1B Deal, Altice Picks Cisco for CCAP, DOCSIS 3.1 and Eurobites: Numericable Wins SFR M&A Tussle.)

  • Cinia, the Finnish connectivity provider, is teaming up with China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to build a high-capacity optical link between Finland and Germany, forming part of what Huawei likes to call the "digital Silk Road" between Europe and Asia.

  • Separately, Huawei is to provide the IP backbone network for French Internet service provider IMS Networks. IMS, operating in southern France, will use Huawei's NE40E routers and WAN SDN technology in its revamped network.

  • A subsidiary of Belgium's Proximus , Mobile-For, has joined forces with a company involved in real-time traffic information and another dealing in sensor-based traffic management systems to create a new, as yet unnamed, joint venture specializing in "smart mobility."

  • Gunter Oettinger, the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, has told CNBC that the arrival of 5G will herald a true "revolution" in digital communications. Speaking at the CeBit show in Hanover, Oettinger played it safe by predicting that Europe will be ready to roll out 5G by 2020. (See 5G: Hurdles on the Track.)

  • Sky has had its knuckles rapped by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority for claiming that it offered the "fastest peak time speeds measured by Ofcom." In a case sparked by a challenge to Sky's national press advertisement from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), the ASA ruled that the ad was misleading because it referred only to fixed-line residential broadband that did not involve the use of WiFi. Sky was told that the ad must not appear again its current form.

  • UK FTTP challenger Hyperoptic has been chosen to supply gigabit broadband to social housing in the northern English city of Salford, in what the local authority is the first deal of its type in the country. Life in pre-gigabit Salford is famously portrayed in Coronation Street, Britain's longest-running soap: watch Ken punch Mike below for a taste of what you might be missing.

  • Italtel SpA has landed a contract to build two portable data centers for NATO. The data centers will be deployed at the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC – ITA), in Solbiate Olona.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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