Eurobites: Elisa, Nokia Test 5G on 3.5GHz Band

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: WiFi on the buses in Barcelona; Virgin Media admits to Facebook shut-out; Vodafone argues with broadcasters in Germany.

  • Finnish operator Elisa Corp. is claiming a European first after testing 5G technology on the 3.5GHz band in partnership with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). The test, which took place in Rusko, Finland last week, achieved speeds of 1.5 Gbit/s and recorded the lowest latency at 1.5 milliseconds. The trial was a continuation of 5G testing carried out last year, when the pair tested the remote control of robots and 360-degree video streaming. 3.5GHz is basically mid-band spectrum that is likely to play a key role in 5G rollout, especially in Europe. It's predicted to be much more economical than using very high band spectrum (28GHz), where you don't get much coverage for your money and need to build out a lot of equipment. The 3.5GHz band will become available in Finland on December 31, 2018.

  • Barcelona Wi-Fi, a public/private partnership serving the public WiFi needs of the groovy Spanish city, has expanded its service to Barcelona City Council's entire fleet of 1,003 buses. The service is powered by Aptilo Networks AB 's Aptilo Service Management Platform. The Barcelona Wi-Fi service is one of the biggest of its type in Europe, boasting more than 1,100 access points -- both indoor and outdoor -- across the city.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has 'fessed up and admitted that it was to blame for a fault that shut out some of its broadband customers from Facebook and Instagram, the BBC reports. Though the operator had originally blamed Facebook for the fault, it turns out that an interconnect router going down on Virgin's network meant that some of Virgin's DNS (domain name system) requests were not able to contact Facebook servers.

  • A row has broken out between Vodafone Germany and German regional broadcaster Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR) over the operator's refusal to distribute SR's high-definition (HD) channel, Broadband TV News reports. As is usual in such cases, both sides blame each other, but the spat is just the latest manifestation of a long-running legal battle between public broadcasters and cable operators over whether the former should have to pay the latter for the distribution of their channels.

    Eurobites Towers will be closed for the Easter break to allow for annual maintenance and some of this. Eurobites will return to your screens on Tuesday, April 18.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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