Eurobites: Vodafone Launches Gigabit LTE in 4 German Cities

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: du trials Nokia's SDAN on NG-PON; Nokia unveils wireless PON offering; UK study bigs up AI's business potential.

  • Vodafone Germany is launching Gigabit LTE in four cities -- namely Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin and Hanover -- using multi-carrier aggregation and 256 QAM signal transmission in what it calls 4.5G technology. The operator, which already has a 500Mbit/s service running in 20 German cities, says it plans to offer its first gigabit smartphone "soon." Vodafone is pushing the gigabit on all fronts: Last month the operator announced that it was investing €2 billion (US$2.4 billion) in gigabit-speed fiber networks serving around 13.7 million German premises by the end of 2021. (See Vodafone to Pump €2B Into German Gigabit Networks.)

  • Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. (du) claims it is the first operator in the Middle East to trial Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s software-defined access network technology (SDAN) on NG-PON, as part of a plan to build "intelligent networks" that can deploy automation to handle 5G use cases and generally improve the customer experience.

  • In Germany, Nokia is today unveiling another PON-related offering: a wireless PON solution that allows operators to bring gigabit services to customers using WiGig, a high-speed 60GHz WiFi standard otherwise known as 802.11ad. The necessary hardware is mounted on telephone poles, street lights or building facades and uses beamforming technology to bring connections of up to 1 Gbit/s to Nokia WPON home units located up to 300 meters away on the outside of the receiving building. Nokia will be showing its wireless PON offering at next week's Broadband World Forum in Berlin.

  • A study commissioned by the UK government has concluded that artificial intelligence could bring in £630 billion ($837 billion) to the British economy by 2035, Bloomberg reports. The study calls for industry to sponsor 300 new masters degree students in AI each year and recommends "conversion courses" for people wanting to acquire skills in machine learning.

  • There will be high-fives around the water-cooler at Germany's ADVA Optical Networking today as the vendor has landed the Layer 123 2017 Network Transformation Award for Best Energy Efficiency at SDN NFV World Congress for the low power consumption of its FSP 3000 platform.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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