Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson opens its 5G Garage; OTE looks to raise €350 million on debt market; Israeli big data startup bags $15 million in Series A.
CityFibre , the UK network infrastructure provider that is attempting to challenge BT on the fiber rollout front, has committed to building an "ultra-fast" fiber network in Glasgow, creating, it says, Scotland's third Gigabit City. Work will begin on the network in early 2016 in the center of the city, in partnership with HighNet, a local Internet service provider. CityFibre estimates that 7,000 city center businesses will initially be within reach of the network. The news follows Wednesday's announcement by Gigaclear , a rival UK fiber infrastructure company, that it was preparing to launch a 5Gbit/s service for homes and businesses across a number of mainly rural locations. (See CityFibre Adds Glasgow to Gigabit Cities List, CityFibre's Gigabit Vision, UK Needs Fiber Infrastructure Rivalry – CityFibre and Eurobites: CityFibre Hooks Up With Vodafone.)
Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has switched on a 3G network in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, where it operates a subsidiary under the Vodafone Ukraine brand. In a statement, MTS said its Ukrainian subsidiary is now providing 3G services at speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s in the cities of Bukovel, Uzhgorod, Mukachevo, Chernovtsy and Odessa. Conscious that Russian brands may be none too popular with Ukrainians in the current circumstances, MTS signed a partner market agreement with Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) last month, allowing it to offer Vodafone-branded services in parts of Ukraine still under the control of the Ukrainian government (as opposed to Russia-backed rebels). (See Eurobites: Vodafone Enters Ukraine With MTS.)
Move over "hub" and "incubator," the hip new word for an innovation program is "garage," at least according to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which has opened its own 5G-focused Garage in Budapest, Hungary. The Swedish vendor hopes that operators, enterprises, developers, universities and others will use its Garage to develop new ideas in the 5G sphere. But if it's anything like the garage adjoining Eurobites Towers, they'll have to move the broken lawnmower, unused kayak and rusting tins of old paint out of the way first. (See Ericsson Opens 5G 'Garage' in Hungary.)
Ericsson has other irons in the 5G fire: It has signed a collaboration agreement with Qatari operator Ooredoo , which will see them work together on the evaluation of "potential key 5G components" in a controlled environment. (See Ericsson, Ooredoo Team Up on 5G R&D.)
Greek operator OTE S.A. , which is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), plans to raise €350 million ($370 million) with a new four-year bond, reports Reuters.
Iguaz.io , an Israeli startup specializing in big data storage, has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round. The brains behind Iguaz.io include former employees of Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) and Radvision Ltd. (Nasdaq: RVSN). (See Big Data Storage Startup Raises $15M.)
The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that an increase in charges for telecom services in accordance with a consumer price index does not constitute a modification to the conditions of the subscriber's contract, so does not allow the subscriber to exit the contract without incurring a penalty. The case was brought before the Austrian Supreme Court by an Austrian consumer association against A1 Telekom Austria.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading