October 7, 2022
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ofcom updates on UK fiber rollout, hybrid working; Deutsche Telekom takes lead on airborne 6G project; Orange lands SD-WAN gig.
Iliad, the telco owned by noted French moneybags Xavier Niel, is continuing with its fiber piggybacking strategy in Italy by signing a deal with rival Fastweb. As Reuters reports, Swisscom-owned Fastweb will allow Iliad to use its fiber network across the country, a move that will see Iliad covering 10 million households by early 2023. Iliad entered the Italian market in January of this year, prompting its rivals to sit up, take notice and wave goodbye to thousands of customers. (See Iliad plots low-cost mayhem for Italy's fixed market and Iliad odyssey continues in Italy, France.) Figure 1: (Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)
Full-fiber broadband coverage in the UK has risen by 13% in a year – but still only reaches 37% of households, or 11 million homes. And of those 83,000 properties unable to get a "decent" (10 Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload) broadband service, 66,000 are not expected to be covered by a publicly funded rollout scheme in the next 12 months. So says the latest Connected Nations update from Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.
Ofcom has today also published research on how the trend towards "hybrid" (part at home, part in the office) working is going for small and midsized companies. According to the regulator's figures, 41% of such companies are using the hybrid model, compared with 33% prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly perhaps, 40% are entirely/mainly office-based (down from 49% pre-pandemic), with 19% going down the entirely/mainly non-office route (up from 17% pre-pandemic).
Deutsche Telekom says it's taken the lead in a new research project, 6G TakeOff, which will aim to develop a 6G architecture for communications network comprising "ground stations, flying infrastructure platforms and satellites." The hope is that the airborne element of the network will help close any remaining coverage gaps not covered by the terrestrial basestations. Twenty-two partners from research and industry have come together for the project.
Orange Business Services has landed an SD-WAN deal with Norauto, a French automotive repair company. The network upgrade will, among other innovations, allow Norauto customers to see maintenance on their vehicles in real time with status updates and (ouch!) electronic price tags.
Orange Slovakia has deployed its 100th solar-powered transmitter this year, taking its overall total to 180. The company says it is the only Slovak operator that uses solar power on a "significant" number of transmitters. It plans to accelerate construction of them in the coming months, with the aim of getting around 250 of them into operation each year.
Sparkle, the international arm of Telecom Italia (TIM), is acting as system integrator in a childhood cancer research project with the Netherlands-based Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology. The project will draw on the cloud-based technology provided by Google Cloud and its partner Omnigen. The aim is to gain a fuller picture of potential tumor-specific mutations, ultimately offering a state-of-the-art data resource for researchers worldwide.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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