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Eurobites: Colt Offers Gig Guarantee

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: eir rolls out 1-Gig rural broadband; Chinese vendors make hay in Africa; Inmarsat hit by government spending slump.

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd is promising to supply gigabit service to businesses in 20 European cities, under the terms of its new 1Gb Always initiative. Participating companies will be provided with a 1-Gig "bearer circuit," which, says Colt, will allow bandwidth to be increased as required. Outside those cities selected for the 1Gb Always treatment, 600Mbit/s service is being offered. (See Colt Pledges Gigabit Service in 20 Cities.)

  • Irish incumbent eir (formerly eir ) has revealed the first 100,000 rural homes that will be offered the opportunity to access 1Gbit/s broadband, in a move that sees the operator stepping outside the Republic's National Broadband Plan and doing its own thing. As the Irish Times reports, towns and villages in Galway, Connemara, Donegal, Cork and Kerry all stand to benefit from the rollout.

  • Chinese vendor ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) has upgraded Airtel Uganda's 3G network and paved the way for 4G services. ZTE deployed a UMTS900 3G network, replacing Airtel's existing UMTS2100 set-up, swapping out equipment at 674 sites.

  • In a similar vein, Intercellular Nigeria has chosen China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to transform its existing CDMA network to LTE. (See Intercellular Nigeria Deploys LTE With Huawei.)

  • UK-based satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) saw its 2015 profits dented by a decline in government spending worldwide, reports the Financial Times. Pretax profits fell 17.3% to $282 million. A rocket launch failure that knocked a high-speed broadband project off course also negatively affected results.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is beefing up the security of its cloud services with technology from Palo Alto Networks Inc. As part of the deal, BT's Assure Managed Firewall service will now integrate WildFire cloud-based malware prevention. (See BT Adds Palo Alto Tech to Its Managed Firewall.)

  • Facebook is to start paying millions of pounds more tax in the UK, according to a BBC report. In the wake of criticism that it was naughtily circumventing British corporation tax laws, the social networking giant has said it will no longer route sales of its largest advertisers through tax-friendly Ireland. Facebook paid just £4,327 ($6,125) in corporation tax in the UK in 2014 -- this despite the UK being one of its biggest non-US markets.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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