Eurobites: ADVA & Friends Claim Free-Space Optics Breakthrough

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Amdocs reports fiscal Q2; BT to pay £120 million to Phones 4u administrators; ex-boss of Cambridge Analytica hauled before UK MPs.

  • ADVA Optical Networking has teamed up with the German Aerospace Center to set what the pair claim is a new data transmission record for free-space laser communications. The trial, which simulated a ground-to-satellite link (the "satellite" was on top of a mountain), succeeding in transmitting 13.16 Tbit/s of data over a distance of 10.45km. ADVA brought its FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform to the trial, while the aerospace experts developed the free-space terminal technology. The trial had to overcome "extreme levels" of atmospheric turbulence to transmit the data, and its success is being trumpeted as an important step towards delivering high-speed broadband to hard-to-reach areas.

  • Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), the Israel-based BSS specialist, saw revenue inch up 1.5% year-on-year to $992.3 million in its second fiscal quarter, though net income was down slightly, at $137.4 million. Looking ahead, the vendor expects revenue growth of 2.3%-4.3% for the full year, compared to previous guidance of 0.0%-4.0%. During the quarter Amdocs closed its acquisition of Vubiquity for $224 million. (See Amdocs Reports Fiscal Q2 Revenues of $992M and Amdocs Scoops Up Vubiquity in $224M Deal.)

  • Buried deep in BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s latest earnings statement, which understandably majored on job cuts, fiber plans and 5G ambitions, was the news that its mobile arm, EE , has agreed to pay the administrators handling the winding up of defunct retailer Phones 4u around £120 million ($162.7 million) in owed commission. As the Daily Telegraph reports, EE had argued that the collapse of the retailer in 2014 had already led to EE incurring heavy losses so it should be excused from the debt, but the High Court had other ideas. (See BT Kicks Off 5G Campaign With Plans for 2019 Launch, BT's Patterson May Be Running Out of Time and BT to Slash 8% of Jobs in Efficiency Drive.)

  • Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica and the man who, among other things, was caught on camera by the estimable Channel 4 News bragging about the use of so-called "honey traps" as part of his company's armory of data-driven political persuasion, has been summoned to appear before a committee of British politicians. As the BBC reports, his appearance, if it happens, will form part of an investigation into the "fake news" phenomenon and how it relates to the unauthorized collection of personal data.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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