Eurobites: AlcaLu Adds to Small Cell Backhaul Mix

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 1,700 jobs lost at Phones 4u; BT signs solar-power deal; Google goes Dutch.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is extending its mobile backhaul offer by introducing a range of new microwave networking devices which the vendor hopes will simplify small cell deployment, offering operators more options for placement of the pint-sized base stations. For more details of the individual devices and technologies being launched, see this press release.

  • The collapse of UK retailer Phones 4u Ltd. has led to the loss of nearly 1,700 jobs and the closure of 362 stores, reports the BBC, despite the intervention of EE and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), who bought 188 of the stricken outlets between them, and a rescue attempt by a group of bondholders. Prior to its demise, the retailer had more than 700 outlets across the UK, employing 5,600 staff.

  • To paraphrase the ever-perky musical titan Sir Paul McCartney, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has decided to follow the sun. Sort of. The UK incumbent has struck a £26 million (US$42 million) deal with UK Sustainable Energy, under the terms of which it will take all of the electricity generated by the energy firm's new solar farm near Ipswich in the English county of Suffolk to help power its Adastral Park research campus for the next 20 years. By the end of this year alone BT will have taken 8 megawatts of power from the farm. In 2013/2014, BT consumed 2 terawatt hours of electricity in the UK.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is planning to spend €600 million ($773 million) over the next four years on a new data center in the Netherlands to help power its European operations, Bloomberg reports. The facility will be at Eemshaven, around 130 miles north-west of Amsterdam, and will employ around 150 people.

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) is nailing its colors to the gender equality mast by signing a joint declaration on the issue with UNI Europa, a trade union federation representing more than 20 million workers. According to the partners' press release, the declaration is all about "reaffirming the position of the telecom sector on gender equality and its belief that diversity in all functions and at all levels of a company is a guarantee of success." And apart from anything else, if you're a woman in telecom you are entitled to a damn fine breakfast on a pretty regular basis.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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