Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica strikes data center deal with China Unicom; CityFibre turnover up 115%; DT's full-duplex 5G trial.
The European Union has signed a 5G partnership agreement with China, which will see the two parties committing to, among other things, reaching a "global understanding" on the "concept, basic functionalities, key technologies and time plan for 5G" by the end of 2015. (Yes, I know, that's this year!) The agreement is similar in scope to those struck by the EU with South Korea and Japan in recent months.
In similar territory, Telefónica has struck a reciprocal deal with China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU), under the terms of which the two companies have agreed to share their international data center capabilities as a first step towards "larger-scale cloud cooperation."
CityFibre , the UK fiber network rival to BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has issued its unaudited results for the first half of the year, which show turnover up 115% year-on-year to £2.7 million ($4.1 million) and its EBITDA loss narrowed by 8% to £1.8 million ($2.7 million). During the period covered by the results, CityFibre has notched up contract wins the cities of Newport and Edinburgh, and its total metro core network route fiber kilometres increased 14% to 618km. Look out for more fiber broadband news this week from Light Reading's Gigabit Europe event in Munich. (See CityFibre Aims for BT's Wholesale Business.)
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has completed what it describes as the world's first field trial of self-interference cancellation (SIC) technology, together with Kumu Networks. SIC, says DT, is a "potential 5G technology" that allows in-band full-duplex communication, simultaneously transmitting and receiving signals at the same time and on the same frequency.
Sweden-based operator Telia Company , which has recently announced its decision to reduce its presence in Eurasia, is reorganizing its management team. The Group Commercial and Group Technology units will be combined, while Malin Frenning will leave the company and Emil Nilsson will head what's left of Region Eurasia. (See TeliaSonera to Quit Eurasia, Focus on Europe.)
The boss of UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) believes UK soccer fans are being ripped off by the cost of their favorite sport on pay-TV. Taking aim at broadcast rivals BT and Sky , Tom Mockridge told the Daily Telegraph that: "The rivalry for the exclusive rights to broadcast live Premier League football is an anathema to real markets: as competition for the rights has grown fiercer, the consumer has suffered, not gained," adding that UK soccer fans "pay twice as much as fans in Europe to watch half the games." (See Confirmed: BT's Got Euroballs.)
The respective boards of Telecom Italia (TIM) and Telecom Italia Media have agreed to the proposed merger of the two companies.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading