Eurobites: BT Broadens Gfast Rollout

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT makes progress in security sector; Smarsh buys Cognia; Spotify silences the hate; uh-oh, here comes the "bothie."

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is extending the use of Gfast technology -- which "turbocharges" existing copper lines for better broadband performance -- to 26 more locations in the UK, Computer Weekly reports. The move forms part of a program that will see Gfast-driven service being made available to half a million homes and businesses across the UK in the near term and up to 10 million by 2020. BT's soon-to-be-estranged network access division, Openreach , made the announcement in Glasgow, where it named the Douglas and Bridgeton areas of the city as the latest to be upgraded with Gfast technology. (See Long-Range, High-Speed Gfast Is Coming – BT.)

  • Still with BT, the UK national operator has been named as a "Leader" in IDC 's MarketScape: Worldwide Managed Security Services 2017 Vendor Assessment, which is a step up from the "Major Player" level, where it languished previously. BT is making its presence felt in the security sector, and recently explained to Light Reading how it is attacking its own network in a bid to stop others from doing the same.

  • With a deadline extension until September 1, there's still time to enter the annual Global Telecoms Awards run by our sister site, Telecoms.com. This year's shindig, to be held at the swanky 8 Northumberland Avenue venue in London on November 2, includes five new categories: VR/AR Trailblazer; Connected Cars; TV/Video Innovation; AI Initiative of the Year; and Managed Services Innovation of the Year. Check out the submission form here. (See Still Time to Enter Telecoms.com's Glotel Awards.)

  • Cognia, a London-based specialist in cloud-based voice archiving, audio search and analytics, has been acquired by Smarsh Inc. of Portland, Ore. Smarsh hopes the acquisition will boost its presence in Europe and offer its customers enhanced capabilities around mobile and fixed-line communications within the Smarsh archiving platform. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Following the horrific events in Charlottesville, Sweden-based Spotify has removed a number of white supremacist bands from its music streaming service, the BBC reports. The words "no great loss" have never been more apposite. (See Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board.)

  • If you thought the selfie epidemic was bad, it is time for ye to abandon all hope: The "bothie" has arrived. HMD Global, the Finnish outfit that is trying to revive Nokia as a mobile phone brand, is trumpeting the "dual-sight video" capabilities of its new Nokia 8. In plain English this means it has a camera front and back, allowing the user to film him or herself at the same time as he/she is filming something or someone else. Check out the YouTube video below, posted by Btekt. Such a refreshing new twist on self-absorption…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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