Eurobites: Vodafone Goes Hand in Glove With CityFibre, Lays Down the Gauntlet to BT

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom raises full-year forecast on strength of Q3; TIM, Fastweb and Huawei tackle Italian 5G job; machine learning developments.

  • In what will be seen by many as a challenge to the UK incumbent, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Vodafone UK has struck a wholesale deal with altnet CityFibre , under the terms of which Vodafone will have a period of exclusive rights to market gigabit consumer broadband services on an FTTP network to be built, operated and owned by CityFibre. Ultimately, by 2025, the partnership hopes to reach 5 million homes and businesses with its new infrastructure, the first phase of which will start to be built in the first half of 2018. In a pointed reference to its current arrangement with BT, Vodafone says in a statement: "The agreement provides Vodafone UK with access to a superior product at a lower cost and with better service conditions than the regulated wholesale terms offered by the incumbent operator for access to its legacy copper telephone line broadband network." (See CityFibre's Gigabit Vision.)

  • Adjusted third-quarter EBITDA at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) rose 3.3% year-on-year to €5.7 billion (US$6.6 billion), on revenue that was up 0.8% to €18.3 billion ($21.2 billion). A sweet spot was T-Mobile US Inc. , where service revenues rose 6.5% to $7.4 billion; a black spot was enterprise division T-Systems International GmbH , which saw orders decline by around 10% over the first nine months of the year. On balance, though, the numbers were positive enough for DT to raise its full-year profit forecast for the second time this year, from around €22.2 billion ($25.8 billion) to somewhere in the €22.4-22.5 billion ($26-26.1 billion) range.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) , Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd have joined forces for what they're calling the "Bari Matera 5G" project, which will see €60 million ($69.7 million) invested in the two southern Italian cities of Bari and Materi over the next four years to facilitate the testing of 5G technology and related services. It is hoped that the program will help Bari become one of the first "4.0" ports in Italy (that's a good thing, apparently), while Materi plans to exploit the technology to underline its credentials to be the 2019 European "capital of culture."

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s healthcare division has teamed up with online health company Sanoïa to demonstrate that flare-ups in inflammatory rheumatism can be detected using an activity tracker combined with machine learning technology. At a convention in Paris, analysis of 15 million information points from a cohort of 170 patients tracked over three months was presented to experts in the field. Data scientists at Orange Labs used an in-house machine learning tool called Khiops to develop their tracking model.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and has renewed its research project with Inria, a French national research institute dedicated to promoting "scientific excellence in the service of technology transfer and society as a whole," for another four years. The new phase of the "common lab" will focus on, amongst other things, machine learning, cybersecurity and network virtualization.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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