Eurobites: Arqiva Gets the Jitters Over IPO

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom pilots Gigabit LTE; Ericsson upgrades in Greenland; Deutsche Telekom updates on vectoring rollout.

  • UK towers business Arqiva has called off its flotation, which had been set for this morning, citing "IPO market uncertainty" as the reason for its decision. As the Daily Telegraph reports, the £6 billion (US$7.85 billion) flotation would have been London's biggest of the year if it had gone ahead. Earlier this year Arqiva announced plans to offer a 5G-based wholesale broadband service using spectrum assets in the 28GHz band. (See Arqiva Bags Extra 28GHz UK License, Eyes 5G Launch and Arqiva: 5G FWA Can Shine in London.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is rolling out Gigabit LTE in its retail stores, using Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s Radio Dot System. The operator says it is using carrier aggregation over three LTE frequency bands, 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM, delivering up to 1.2 Gbit/s in downlink capacity. By the end of the year Swisscom plans to have Gigabit LTE in 15 of its stores (currently it's in three) in order to demonstrate the potential of the technology to speed-hungry customers.

  • You thought Switzerland was cold? Pah! Ericsson is also carrying out a network transformation project in Greenland, for Tele-Post, the country's main operator. The Ericsson Radio System will be used to increase the speed and capacity of mobile broadband services for both residential and business customers, as well as being deployed for Fixed Wireless Access in some settlements. A "full-stack" NFVi offering will also be implemented as part of the project, enabling voice-over-LTE services, among other things.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has been updating on the progress of its network upgrade: The operator now says it is providing around 3.5 million households across 50 German cities with speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s, and that an additional 2.5 million will follow by February 2018. Much of the upgrade program is based on vectoring, the technology that can get more out of legacy copper lines, a strategy which has come in for some flak from its rivals. (See Eurobites: DT Defends Vectoring, Slams Vodafone.)

  • The UK government has restated its commitment to full-fiber broadband, with Matt Hancock, the Digital Minister, saying in a speech yesterday: "UK full-fiber coverage is just 3%. This will not stand. We will strain every sinew to get it rolled out in Britain." To help remedy the situation, the government says it is, among other measures, investing £200 million to fund locally led full-fiber projects across the UK.

  • Telefónica has been tapped by Spanish banking group BBVA to upgrade its communications network and move more of its operations to the cloud. The agreement with Telefónica is just one of a number that BBVA has made with technology companies as part of its "digital transformation" program -- Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Red Hat and IBM also form part of the wider picture.

  • In what sounds a bit like the dullest ever iteration of the Harry Potter franchise, Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO) has entered Gartner's Magic Quadrant for its M2M services. The research group gave Tele2 its mystically-named seal of approval for the operator's "completeness of vision" and its "ability to execute."

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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