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open RAN

Eurobites: Telecom Italia bangs open RAN gong

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google's Grace Hopper cable lands in Cornwall; GÉANT network trials 800G with Infinera; EU promises chip sovereignty.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is looking to establish its open RAN credentials with two new launches on its mobile network. In the city of Matera, the technology was activated in partnership with Mavenir, MTI, Dell, Intel and VMware, allowing, says TIM, the separation of the hardware and software components of the RAN with a view to diversifying the operator's supplier base. In Turin, meanwhile, TIM has established an open RAN 5G standalone connection at its Innovation Lab, using the 3.7GHz frequencies on TIM's 5G network.

  • TIM has also been tooting its trumpet on the FTTH front, claiming that it is the first operator in Italy to test 25GS-PON technology. Again, the testing was carried out at TIM's labs in Turin, this time in collaboration with Nokia using existing OLT equipment already adopted in active exchanges. 25GS-PON technology multiplies the capacity of the current FTTH GPON network by ten times in download and the FTTH XGS-PON one by 2.5 times.

  • Google Cloud's "Grace Hopper" subsea cable has made landfall in the surfers' hotspot of Bude, Cornwall, in the UK's south-western corner. The 16-fiber pair cable, which is intended to improve the resilience of Google's all-powerful network, will connect New York to Bude and the northern Spanish city of Bilbao.

  • GÉANT, the European scientific research network, has completed a live network trial of 800G transmission using Infinera's ICE6 800G coherent technology on its GX Series Compact Modular Platform. Boffins of all persuasions rely on the GÉANT network to share vast amounts of data, with traffic levels growing by an average of 30% per year over the past five years.

  • Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission's president, has used her State of the Union address to announce the imminent presentation of a new European Chips Act, which will seek to create a "state-of-the-art European chip ecosystem," including home-grown production facilities. Recalling the skepticism in some quarters that greeted the announcement of the Galileo satellite navigation platform 20 years ago, von der Leyen said: "So let's be bold again, this time with semiconductors." The prez also found the time to have what could be interpreted as a pop at the UK over its go-it-alone approach to the pandemic: "In the biggest global health crisis for a century, we chose to go it together so that every part of Europe got the same access to a life-saving vaccine. We followed the science. We delivered to Europe. We delivered to the world. We did it the right way, because we did it the European way. And it worked!" Take that, Boris.

  • Telefónica Tech has done a deal with pandemic favorite Zoom, becoming the official distributor for all Zoom's products within the Telefónica footprint. Telefónica Tech will be promoting, among other things, the potential benefits of the cloud-based Zoom Phone offering to small and large companies alike.

  • Orange has launched a new shareholding operation, Together 2021, which aims to increase the capital held by company employees by around 1%. The French company's long-term goal is to achieve 10% employee share ownership and to allow employees to play a more active role in Orange's development.

  • Sure has announced plans to roll out fiber across the island of Guernsey, the British Crown Dependency that is just off the north French coast. The project, which represents an investment of £37.5 million (US$51.8 million), is due to start in 2022.

  • The BBC has renewed and expanded its content agreement with Sky, the UK-based purveyor of pay-TV and more. The agreement, says Sky, will ensure that content from the BBC's iPlayer and Sounds streaming services will be prominent on Sky platforms.

  • Lyca Mobile, the UK-based MVNO best known for cheap international calling, is to invest £250 million ($345 million) over the next three years in a bid to reach a wider audience. The money will be spent on, among other things, a new "commerce cloud" and content partnerships with well-known media platforms.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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