Eurobites: Swisscom Claims G.fast First

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Allot revenues up 4.4%; EU takes its time over Apple/Amazon tax probe; Abertis lists masts business.

  • Following a field trial in April, Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is upgrading a small number of customers to high-speed fixed broadband connections powered by G.fast, the latest standard developed to enhance the data transmission capabilities of copper access lines. The company says it's the first service provider in Europe to connect customers to services enabled by "the standardised G.fast chipset." The operator has upgraded customers in the Swiss village of Bibern and says they can now attain broadband speeds of up to 500 Mbit/s, though this would be dependent on many factors, particularly the length of the copper line between the customer's CPE and the G.fast network element, which would be either in the basement of a multi-tenant building or a street cabinet within about 200 meters. Currently, Swisscom’s FTTB (fiber-to-the-building) and FTTS (fiber-to-the-street) broadband services offer speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. The operator, which is currently working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on its G.fast plans, intends to start upgrading all FTTB and FTTS connections to G.fast starting early in 2016. Swisscom was one of the operators that presented its G.fast plans during the recent Light Reading webinar, G.fast: Turning Copper Into Gold. (See Swisscom's Fiber Feast, BT Backs G.fast for Backhaul and G.fast G.ets G.reen Light.)

  • Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), the Israel-based traffic management specialist, has posted first-quarter revenues up 4.4% year-on-year to US$29.5 million, while its net loss was reduced to zero, from a loss of $0.4 million a year earlier. The vendor says that it received 18 "large orders" in the first quarter, three of which were from new customers. It also completed the acquisition of security company Optenet. (See Allot Reports Q1 Sales Growth and Allot to Acquire Optenet for $6.5M.)

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has been told by the Spanish competition authority that it must offer rival operator MasMovil access to its 4G network within the next ten days, reports Reuters.

  • The European Commission 's competition chief has admitted that regulators will miss their own deadline for the completion of their investigations into the tax arrangements of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), among others. Bloomberg reports that Margrethe Vestager is unwilling to "sacrifice the rule of law or the quality" of the regulators' work by trying to meet the original, mid-year deadline. (See Eurobites: EC to Charge Apple With Illegal Tax Deals in Ireland.)

  • Spain's Abertis is expecting to raise €2.14 billion ($2.4 billion) from the listing of its Cellnex Telecoms radio masts business. Its share offering now stands at 66% of Cellnex's equity capital. (See Abertis Looks to IPO for Euro Expansion.)

  • The CEO of Telekom Austria Group , Hannes Ametsreiter, has expressed his bafflement at why the European Commission thinks it needs so many competing operators in the EU. In an interview with the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , Ametsreiter says: "While in the States there are five operators and in China there are three, we have more than 150 in Europe. Why is it a necessity for example that two million Slovenians have more operators than one billion Chinese?"

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has turned to Canada's Sandvine Inc. and its customer experience management expertise to generate key performance indicators for its fixed and mobile networks in Italy. (See Telecom Italia Uses Sandvine to Enhance CEM.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 5/6/2015 | 7:28:32 AM
    Re: Capital talk Albeit with restrictions, there's a reason why the MVNO model; is being introduced in China.... 

    I think it's possible that some European markets will not be able to sustain the number of mobile service providers currentlyin operation but comparing Europe to China is not the making of a coherent argument.
    t.bogataj 5/6/2015 | 2:32:17 AM
    Capital talk Ametsreiter: "Why is it a necessity for example that two million Slovenians have more operators than one billion Chinese?"

    Because they can. The Chinese can not. And obviously, Ametsreiter would not let anyone have more than one (his own, that is).

    In the same paragraph, Ametsreiter claims that "Europe can only succeed by being more innovative than other parts of the world". Exactly! And the precondition for innovation is competition -- not monopolies.

    [email protected] 5/5/2015 | 2:21:04 PM
    G.fast is moving... fast! The momentum behind G.fast is quite amazing -- there's no doubt that Swisscom is at the vanguard but this is quite aggressive and by teh end of 2015 I expect it will be one of a number of telcos that have pushed ahead, especially with street cabinet as well as distribution point deployments. 
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