Eurobites: Germany Finds Another €1.3B for Broadband

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Dutch claim world's first nationwide LoRa network; Telecom Italia adds a touch of CloudRAN in Sicily; better connectivity for sub-Saharan Africa.

  • The German government is to earmark an additional €1.3 billion (US$1.45 billion) for the expansion of broadband to underserved regions, Reuters reports. This comes on top of the €2.7 billion ($3 billion) already announced last October as part of a drive to give all households downlink speeds of at least 50 Mbit/s by 2018. See this short statement on the matter from Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

  • Dutch national operator KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) says it has built the world's first national LoRa network to support IoT services. The operator launched the network in November 2015 in Rotterdam and The Hague but following "substantial customer interest" the rollout was accelerated and coverage is now national. KPN it has already struck deals that will see 1.5 million IoT "devices" connected to its LoRa network. For more details, see this press release. LoRa is one of a number of low-power, wide-area (LPWA) network technologies designed to support more IoT services and there is divided opinion as to its worthiness, with multiple operators supporting and deploying it while others are more critical. (See IoT's Year Zero, LoRa May Not Be for Long Haul at Orange, Vodafone to 'Crush' LoRa, Sigfox With NB-IoT, SK Telecom Completes Nationwide LoRa Network Rollout for IoT and LoRa Alliance Defends Tech Against Sigfox Slur.)

  • Germany automotive giant BMW is collaborating with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Mobileye to "develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving" and bring self-driving cars to market by 2021. The proposition makes for fascinating reading: "The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called 'eyes off' (level 3) and ultimately the 'mind off' (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling 'driver off' (level 5) without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world." An ambitious goal? Five years is a long time. For those who don't know Mobileye, it is a developer of "computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving" with annual revenues in 2015 of $241 million and a market value of about $10 billion. (See BMW, Intel, Mobileye Team on Driverless Cars .)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is claiming a European first with its trial of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's CloudRAN technology on its 4G network in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. The trial was carried out on live basestations, and used a range of technologies, included carrier aggregation, to achieve download speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s.

  • Intelsat Ltd. , the France-based satellite connectivity company, has teamed up with AfricaOnline to provide a managed broadband Internet service for sub-Saharan Africa. Under the terms of the agreement, Intelsat will provide satellite services, while AfricaOnline will provide ground support and network management services from its facilities at Hartebeesthoek in South Africa.

  • The number of smart home controllers used in western Europe is set to soar, from just 100,000 in 2015 to more than 9 million in 2020, according to new research from Parks Associates . The growing use of such devices in smart TVs and other household appliances is largely behind their anticipated growth, says the company.

  • Christian Leicher has been appointed president and CEO of test and measurement vendor Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG , succeeding Manfred Fleischmann, who is retiring.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • [email protected] 7/4/2016 | 7:32:52 AM
    It's all about fixed broadband.... Virtualization? 5G? none of it will happen successfully without ubiquitous truly high-speed fixed broadband networks. THis is where capex should be going right now.
    Sign In