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Eurobites: UK UBB Providers Cry Foul Over 'Phony Fiber'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: du goes large with Massive MIMO; Free Mobile receives poor QoS review; Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale.

  • When it comes to broadband, what constitutes "fiber"? That's the question being posed currently in the UK, where three providers of "ultrafast" full-fiber broadband are calling on the Advertising Standards Authority to stop the likes of Virgin Media and BT from promoting their hybrid offerings as "fiber" in broadband advertising campaigns. As ISPreview reports, Gigaclear , CityFibre and Hyperoptic have teamed up to make their feelings known, claiming that neither Virgin's hybrid fiber + coax (HFC DOCSIS) network nor BT/Openreach's hybrid fiber optic + twisted pair copper network (FTTC/VDSL2) merit the "fiber" tag. The disgruntled threesome also point out that some fixed wireless ISPs also use terms such as "air fiber." The ASA is due to pronounce on the matter later this summer.

  • Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) is claiming to have achieved "record breaking cell capacity" that exceeded 700 Mbit/s using a single carrier of 20MHz using Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology. It also says it is the first operator in the Middle East to use three simultaneous carriers totaling 60MHz, bringing the cell capacity to 2.1 Gbit/s. The trial was carried out on a live du site using commercially available handsets and terminals. (See du Runs 700MBit/s Massive MIMO Trial.)

  • An audit of mobile operators' quality of service by French regulator Arcep brings bad news for Free Mobile , which came bottom of the pile behind Orange (NYSE: FTE) (out in front), Bouygues Telecom and SFR (in equal second place). This was no cursory assessment: more than a million measurements were taken on 2G, 3G and 4G systems across the country, in every department, both indoors and outdoors, and on transport systems. ARCEP concluded that, with the exception of Free Mobile, every operator had improved their overall service. The detailed results can be found here.

  • Christian Petit is to step down as head of the corporate business segment at Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), to be succeeded by Urs Lehner, who has been with the company for six years. Petit is heading off to "take on a new challenge in digital transformation outside of Swisscom," according to a company statement.

  • UK graphics chip designer Imagination Technologies Group plc has put itself up for sale, following the announcement in April by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), its main customer by far, that it would henceforth develop its own graphics chips. As Reuters reports, Apple's decision wiped 70% off Imagination's value. Imagination says that it has received interest from "a number of parties" in a potential acquisition over the last few weeks. (See Eurobites: Imagination Rocked by Apple Shut-Out.)

  • UK Autodrive, which its backers claim is the largest collaborative trial of connected/autonomous vehicle technology in the country, has been given the go-ahead to move its testing program onto actual city streets, in Milton Keynes and Coventry, after its final set of private test track demonstrations. The three partners in the UK Autodrive project are Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC). One of the features being tested is Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA), which is meant to send traffic light information to the connected car, enabling it, in theory, to calculate the optimum speed for approaching the lights, with a view to minimizing the number of red light stops. You mean you don't just speed up when the lights turn to amber?

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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