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Eurobites: Ericsson Firms Up Fiber Services With Abentel Buy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre seeks level playing field; Openreach trials new ducts-and-poles processes; Digital Realty completes on Equinix data centers acquisition.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is hoping to beef up its fiber services capabilities with the acquisition of Spain's Abentel, a subsidiary of Abengoa that specializes in fiber rollouts. Around 500 Abentel employees will join Ericsson in the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. (See Ericsson to Acquire Abentel.)

  • CityFibre , which is having a busy month so far, with announcements of developments in the UK cities of Milton Keynes and Peterborough announced only this week, is to appeal against the conclusions of regulator Ofcom 's 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review. In a statement, Mark Collins, CityFibre's director of strategy and public affairs, said: "We believe Ofcom is implementing poor and inconsistent regulation, and we have a duty to robustly contest their decisions and policies in the normal course of business -- especially where they conflict with stimulating long-term investment in the critical digital infrastructure which the UK so badly needs."

  • Separately, Three UK and CityFibre are claiming that mobile Internet use on 3's network in Hull has increased by 380% following the completion of CityFibre's dark fiber backhaul connections in the northern English city. According to CityFibre, before the new connections were in place, microwave links over the Humber estuary would regularly be affected by adverse weather conditions, such as heavy fog.

  • Meanwhile, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 's Openreach , which lies behind CityFibre's gripes with Ofcom, has begun trialling new, simplified duct-and-pole sharing processes with five communications service providers. According to Openreach, the new processes offer CSPs the chance to: more easily inspect Openreach's ducts and poles and install their own fiber cables without seeking additional permission; clear any blockages they find, without requiring consent from Openreach; and install new distribution joints inside Openreach junction boxes.

  • Digital Realty Trust Inc. has completed its acquisition of eight European data centers from Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) for approximately $874 million following final regulatory approval from the European Commission. As part of the deal, Digital Realty also sold its facility at 114 rue Ambroise Croizat in Paris to Equinix for €190 million ($210.2 million). (See Digital Realty Completes Acquisition of Equinix Data centers.)

  • KOSC Telecom, a newcomer to the French telecom market, has gone with ADVA Optical Networking 's metro and long-haul technology for its nationwide DWDM transport network. KOSC's network stretches across 20,000km, connecting 180 cities. (See KOSC Telecom Deploys ADVA's FSP 3000 for 100G.)

  • Epsilon Telecommunications has been chosen by African connectivity specialist BringCom for an outsourced point of presence in London. The PoP will be located in the Epsilon Global Hubs facility and be supported by Epsilon's team of engineers. (See BringCom Gets Connected With Epsilon.)

  • Slough, the much maligned home of spoof documentary series The Office, is to get a full Gigabit City/Smart City makeover courtesy of Ireland-based Angie. The company says it has already signed up Colt Technology Services Group Ltd and Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) to build fiber infrastructure into various Slough neighborhoods to help bring such benefits as real-time public transport information, remote health monitoring and home automation to the city's denizens. ("Angie," by the way, is a play on the letters N and G, as in "next generation," and has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones or Eastenders. It almost works.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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