Huawei and Vodafone say they have completed the world's first 2Tbit/s WDM field trial, having successfully deployed the vendor's optical technology on a 3,325-kilometer stretch of the carrier's transport network in Europe. Huawei says the trial included transmission over 1,500 km using "a super-channel PDM-16QAM-based high spectral efficiency solution" and reached 3,325 kms using "a super-channel Nyquist PDM-QPSK-based ultra-long-haul solution." Huawei unveiled its 2Tbit/s WDM prototype system in July 2012, the same month in which Vodafone boosted its transport network asset portfolio considerably with the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide. News of the Vodafone/Huawei trial follows details of a recent 1 Tbit/s subsea trial in Asia/Pacific. (See Huawei Intros 2Tbit/s WDM, Vodafone Appoints C&WW Execs and Vodafone Offers £1B for C&W Worldwide.)
Alcatel-Lucent is now seeking to raise about $2.65 billion in loans to refinance its debts, about $500 million more than it had previously planned to borrow, according to this Bloomberg story.
The Windows Phone operating system is experiencing healthy growth in Europe, particularly in the U.K. and Italy, according to sales data for the 12 weeks to Dec. 23, 2012, collated by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In the U.K. and Italy Windows Phone's market share reached 5.9 percent and 13.9 percent respectively, up from 2.2 percent and 2.8 percent a year earlier. The performance of the OS in the U.S. and China, however, "remains underwhelming," says Kantar. (See 5 Challengers to Apple & Android, Orange Waves the Windows 8 Flag and OS Watch: Samsung Beats Nokia to Windows 8.)
KPN is the latest European telco to strike a deal with shared public Wi-Fi access services specialist FON Wireless Ltd. The Dutch operator is to undertake trials in the coming months with a view to a commercial service launch later in 2013. FON already has deals with operators in Belgium, France, Poland, Portugal, Russia and the U.K. as well as Brazil and Japan. For more on FON's strategy, see this video interview with the company's COO.
The U.K.'s 4G spectrum auction is underway, with seven companies bidding for capacity and licenses. The process is expected to last several weeks: No bidding details will be released until the process is complete. For more details see this announcement. (See BT's Hot for 4G.)
ZON Multimédia, Portugal's largest cable operator, and Optimus Telecomunicações, the country's smallest mobile operator, have agreed to a merger, hoping to make savings of up to €400 million (US$533 million) in the process. Portugal, like most of southern Europe, is in the grip of a fierce recession, its economy shrinking by 3 percent in 2012. (See First NDS 'Snowflake' Falls on ZON.)
It's a country that doesn't even have a single landline at the moment, but that hasn't stopped South Sudan, one of the world's newest nations, from planning to lay a fiber network this year to bring affordable Internet access within reach for some, reports Reuters. According to the report, the average retail price of Internet bandwidith (via satellite) in South Sudan is a scarcely credible $4,000 per megabit.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading