5G and Beyond

Eurobites: ETNO Spreads Gloom on Investment & the Race to 5G

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange bullish on fiber rollout; O2 takes 4G to the Highlands; Vodafone starts analog switch-off in Germany.

  • The latest Annual Economic Report from the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) reveals that telecom investment per capita is still less than half that of the US, with the respective 2016 figures being €92.90 ($109.42) and €193.30 ($227.67). The report puts total sector investment in 2016 at €47.2 billion (US$55.6 billion). Also, ETNO believes the region will continue to trail both Asia and the US in the race to 5G, a state of affairs it partly attributes to a lack of EU "leadership" on the issue.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) is today updating investors on its progress on the fiber front and more in a report that marks the operator having reached the halfway point of its "Essentiels2020" long-term plan. The French giant claims that its deployment of fiber in France is now ahead of schedule, and that it now expects to have reached 20 million households in "high-density and medium-density areas" with fiber by 2021 rather than 2022, which was the original timeline. And in Spain, Orange says it will reach 16 million FTTH connectable households in 2020 rather than the 14 million originally planned for. As for capex, Orange is aiming to reach a "peak investment spend" of €7.4 billion ($8.7 billion) in 2018, before declining from 2019. (See Orange Capex to Peak at €7.4B in 2018.)

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) is trumpeting its progress this year on bringing 4G to the far-flung regions -- the "Highlands and Islands" -- of Scotland. The operator says it has so far launched 4G in more than 80 towns and villages across the region in 2017, and is starting work on bringing 4G to an additional 90 new locations in the coming months. With Storm Caroline bashing the region as we speak, the provision of an effective alternative to fixed-line connections could be very timely.

    Stromness in the Orkneys: Bracing itself for Storm Caroline, and 4G.
    Stromness in the Orkneys: Bracing itself for Storm Caroline, and 4G.

  • Vodafone Germany will start switching off its analog cable network in January as it begins converting to a fully digital TV and radio distribution set-up, Broadband TV News reports. The work will be carried out a region-by-region basis, says the operator, with parts of Bavaria being the first to get the treatment.

  • The European Commission's Internet Forum has called on the likes of Facebook , Twitter Inc. and YouTube Inc. to make better use of artificial intelligence to detect terrorist content online, and to get better at sharing what they know about the disseminators of such content with Europol and other law enforcement authorities. Commissioners pointed out that there have been 38 jihadist attacks in the EU since August 2015, most of which were at least partly facilitated by the use of social networks and/or online messaging services.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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