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Optical/IP Networks

Eurobites: Proximus goes 5G slicing with Nokia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson updates on Vonage deal; Telecom Italia in line for state-backed loan; BT targets the unconnected.

  • Belgian operator Proximus claims that a live trial with Nokia has boosted the performance of 5G network slicing through the application of "radio software-defined networking and radio resource allocation technologies." During the trial, at the Proximus 5G Innovation Lab in Brussels, real-life applications were used to show how congested network conditions need not mar the customer experience, says the operator. The trial was performed using spectrum in the 3600MHz band based on Nokia's 5G AirScale basestation, combining RAN slicing capabilities in the basestation with radio software-defined networking (SDN) technology.

    (Source: Proximus)
    (Source: Proximus)

  • Slovenia's Telekom Slovenije has been trialing the use of Iskratel's Lumia C16 "Combo PON" optical line terminal to help upgrade its fiber network to "next-generation" PON broadband. Telekom Slovenije's Mitja Štular described Iskratel's Combo PON technology as a "catalyst for the fusion and unification of FTTH access networks."

  • Ericsson is still hoping to complete its $6.2 billion acquisition of Vonage before the end of July, it said in a statement. It is waiting for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to conclude its deliberations, though Ericsson maintains that the merger "has cleared all other requisite foreign and US regulatory approval requirements." These days Vonage is chiefly about unified communications, so Ericsson's decision to bring it into the fold has mystified many observers. (See Ericsson's $6.2B Vonage deal has befuddled investors – no wonder.)

  • The Italian government is on the verge of guaranteeing a €2 billion ($2.1 billion) loan to Telecom Italia (TIM), according to a Reuters report citing "sources close to the matter." The hope is that the loan will help provide stability for the beleaguered operator as it seeks to restructure itself under the relatively new leadership of CEO Pietro Labriola. (See TIM closes in on €3B in funding – report.)

  • Tele2 Estonia has turned to Germany's ADVA for network monitoring technology, using its ALM device to improve efficiency and service availability by pinpointing the location of fiber impairments.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has teamed up with utility contractor O'Connor Utilities to open a training facility in the northern English city of Sheffield. The facility is part of a Ł250,000 ($306,000) investment by O'Connor Utilities into recruiting new employees into the industry to support CityFibre's infrastructure rollout.

  • Responding to the UK government's call on telcos to help their customers cope with the rising cost of living, BT has announced a partnership with Home-Start UK, a charity that supports families with young children who are facing a range of challenges. Under the terms of the joint scheme, 2,500 households with no connectivity will be offered free laptops and access to BT's Home Essentials social tariff. A recent Fabian Society report revealed that 12% of UK homes had no home broadband connection in 2019, with that figure rising to an alarming 21% by late 2021 – equivalent to around 5.8 million households.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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