Eurobites: Kuwait Trials Nokia's XGS-PON Tech

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT ups FTTP speeds; Internet exchanges get it on; Tele2 collaborates on basestation energy back-up product; Ireland appeals against Apple tax demand.

  • The Kuwaiti government says it has achieved upstream speeds of 10 Gbit/s over a single fiber during lab tests of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s XGS-PON fiber technology, paving the way for the government to offer speeds from the current 1 Gbit/s to 10G symmetrical.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s network access unit, Openreach , is to more than double the maximum download speeds available on its FTTP network, from 330 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. On the back of this commitment, Openreach is also launching two wholesale products over FTTP next month aimed primarly at small and midsized businesses -- an "up to" 500 Mbit/s offer and 1 Gbit/s option. BT says it intends to double the size of its FTTP network over the next 12 months as it works towards a goal of reaching 2 million premises by the end of 2020. (See BT Ups Its FTTP Speed to a Gigabit.)

  • LINX, the London-based Internet exchange, is joining forces with its French opposite number, France-IX, collaborating on areas such as operations, software development and promotion to "enhance the value of peering" in Europe and beyond.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has teamed up with Northstar, an energy storage provider, to sell a back-up power offering for mobile basestations. Called Northstar ACE, the solution is based on security technology from Kombridge, a company acquired by Tele2 earlier this year.

  • The Irish government is to formally appeal today against the European Commission's ruling that it demand €13 billion (US$14.2 billion) in back taxes from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) for what the Commission deemed an illegal tax break for the California-based giant, Reuters reports. (See Eurobites: Don't Pick On Apple, Says Irish Telecom Tycoon.)

  • Russian operator MegaFon saw third-quarter net profit fall by 52.3% year-on-year to 6.34 billion Russian rubles ($99 million), partly as a result of tax issues in Tajikistan. Revenue for the quarter remained flat at RUB81.11 billion ($1.27 billion). In the face of increasing competition and the resulting need to find new areas of growth, the operator says it is currently re-examining its overall strategy.

  • The CEO of Telefónica Deutschland GmbH is calling for a debate about the issue of customer data privacy as the operator looks for new ways of monetizing such data. As Reuters reports, Thorsten Dirks told journalists that it could, for example, use anonymized data on its 44 million mobile subscribers' movements for crowd and traffic control. Data privacy is a particularly sensitive area in Germany, and its Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has mooted the possibility of a "Europe-only Internet." (See Eurobites: Germany Gets Tough With Facebook and Euronews: Merkel Moots US Data Bypass.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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