Eurobites: Telefónica Fires Up MIMO & More for 4G Boost

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Tele2 secures loan for 4G expansion; Sky invests in Caavo; CityFibre has plans for South Yorkshire; Google not facing EU tax probe, yet.

  • Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has teamed up with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) to demonstrate download speeds of up to 800 Mbit/s over the operator's 4G network. A range of technologies were deployed, including MIMO 4x4 and 256QAM modulation, which allows the use of a greater amount of bits per signal transmitted through the air. Telefónica now plans to introduce all of these elements into its Spanish 4G network in due course.

  • Nordic operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has secured a €125 million (US$138.5 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to expand its 4G networks in Sweden and the Netherlands. The EIB is owned by and represents the interests of the European member states.

  • Sky , has invested $2 million in Caavo, a US-based consumer electronics startup on a mission to improve the in-home entertainment experience for consumers. The UK-based pay-TV giant is also now offering its Sky Q "next generation" set-top box to new customers as standard, Broadband TV News reports. (See Eurobites: OTT Feel for Sky's New Set-Top.)

  • UK "altnet" CityFibre has announced that Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham will be the next places to get the Gigabit Cities treatment, with a 110km network providing local businesses with downlink and uplink speeds exceeding 1 Gbit/s. The projects in the three cities are being delivered in partnership with Exa Networks, a local Internet service provider.

  • The European Commission 's antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, has said that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is not currently earmarked as a target for a tax-related investigation, reports Reuters, though it is still on the hook for possibly abusing its market dominance. Vestager hit the headlines earlier this year for ordering the Irish government to claim €13 billion ($14.4 billion) in back taxes from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). (See Eurobites: EC to Charge Apple With Illegal Tax Deals in Ireland.)

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is to connect an additional 360,000 homes and businesses in Scotland to its fiber network by the end of 2019 as part of its Project Lightning expansion program. Premises in Ayrshire, Fife, West Lothian and Renfrewshire will potentially benefit from the rollout. (See Virgin Media Plots £3B Invasion of BT Turf.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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