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Eurobites: Telefónica Fires Up Nokia's XGS-PON

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: crystal ball gazing; more router hacks; Tunisian government to sell telecom stakes; Azure price hike.

  • Telefónica says it has successfully tested Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s XGS-PON fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology in its labs, clocking up symmetrical broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s. The Spanish giant is hoping that as well as bringing faster broadband speeds to its customers, the deployment of XGS-PON will help pave the way for Telefónica's 5G rollout, as the technology can be used for mobile backhaul as well as the aggregation of remote access node traffic. According to Nokia, nine operators worldwide have now installed its XGS-PON gear. (See Telefónica Trials Nokia's XGS-PON With 5G in Mind and Eurobites: Kuwait Trials Nokia's XGS-PON Tech.)

  • Swedish wireless consultancy Northstream has been dusting off its crystal ball and making its annual predictions for the mobile industry. Among its tips for 2017:
      - While IoT-related revenues will remain at less than 1% of overall income for most operators, certain Tier 1 operators could see IoT revenues making up around 3% of their overall take;
      - NFV will really take off, driven by the requirements of new services such as VoLTE;
      - Automatic speech recognition technology will go truly mainstream, though Europe will trail behind the U.S. and China in terms of its deployment;
      - The bulk of network investments will come in the form of upgrades rather than new rollouts.

  • Following Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s router-related security issues reported earlier this week, the BBC reports that thousands of TalkTalk and Post Office broadband customers in the UK have also had their Internet access temporarily blocked after a malware attack on their routers that used a modified form of the Mirai worm.

  • The Tunisian government is to sell its stakes in Orange Tunisia and Ooredoo in 2017, according to a Reuters report. It holds 51% and 10% stakes in the two operators respectively. The government will, however, retain its 65% holding in Tunisie-Telecom.

  • UK customers of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Azure cloud service have been told they will face a price hike of 22% in the new year to reflect the post-Brexit fall in value of the pound. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has apparently taken heed of regulator Ofcom 's disquiet over how old-school landline-only customers are treated by announcing a new phone-only plan which will freeze the cost of line rental at £17.99 (U.S. $22.71) a month indefinitely for its elderly and disabled customers. Customers currently on Virgin's phone-only plans who are over the age of 65, or have hearing, sight, speech and mobility issues, will be upgraded to the new tier from January 2017. (See Eurobites: Ofcom Lays Into Landline Charges.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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