Eurobites: Telecom Italia pushes forward on fiber

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Three Ireland chooses Viavi for 5G testing; Three UK leaves stranded customers high and dry; Telia goes underground; Telenor brainstorms AI.

  • Telecom Italia has been updating on the progress of its fiber rollout, boasting that around 3,000 municipalities have been reached in the space of eight months. The operator has made the perhaps hard-to-define commitment of "closing the digital divide" by 2021, preparing the ground for more post-pandemic (one day!) remote working and distance learning. To ensure "ultrabroadband" connections are available to municipalities that do not yet have access to fiber, TIM has also confirmed its commitment to the use of FWA (fixed wireless access) technology, which employs a hybrid system of wired and wireless connections.

  • Three Ireland has chosen Viavi to meet its 5G testing needs, deploying the California-based vendor's Nitro Mobile offering to give it increased visibility into network and service performance.

  • Some customers of Three UK are less than pleased with its service performance right now: These are Three customers who have found themselves stranded abroad as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and they have been expressing their disgruntlement at being cut off by the operator after being deemed to have exceeded Three's two-month roaming limit. As the Guardian reports, customers stuck as far away from home as Australia have understandably complained about being left unable to access online bank accounts or take important work calls.

  • Telia is to build and manage a "5G-ready" private network for Boliden's open-cast copper mine in Aitik in the north of Sweden. The network, based on Ericsson's 4G technology, will be used to monitor and control the machinery used in mining operations.

    Boliden's open-cast copper mine in Aitik, Sweden. Brrrr.
    Boliden's open-cast copper mine in Aitik, Sweden. Brrrr.

  • Belgium's Proximus has turned to Technicolor's "Connected Home" technology to power its "Pickx" TV service, using the vendor's v7 decoder, which is equipped with the Android P operating system. The decoder blends OTT offers like Netflix and Disney+ with live, replay and on-demand content from contracted content providers.

  • The Norwegian Research Center for AI Innovation (NorwAI) has opened its doors, with backing from, among others, Norway's Telenor. Located at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Center will focus on applied research and innovation, with Telenor taking the lead in developing machine-learning methods for streaming and sensor data.

  • Jurassic Fibre, the quirkily named fiber broadband company that operates in south-west England, has extended its network to Barnstaple, Wellington, West Hill and Marsh Green. Ultimately the company hopes to deploy FTTP broadband to 350,000 households and businesses across the region over the next four years.

  • Another UK fiber provider, Hyperoptic, is about to open swanky new headquarters in London's Hammersmith district that is designed to enable "workshopping" [eh? – Ed.] between teams and comes complete with a "curved war room" and "personalised audio-sensory features." There was a time when people were happy with a ping-pong table and couple of bean-bags.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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