Eurobites: Nokia Touts Its Terabit in UAE

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK government promises £5 billion for broadband and mobile rollout in the sticks; private equity firms vying for Vivacom; Telefónica agrees deal with Spanish labor unions.

  • Nokia has completed what it says is the world's first single-carrier terabit-per-second field trial, clocking up 50.8 Tbit/s using multiple wavelengths over Etisalat's fiber network in the United Arab Emirates. This, as Nokia helpfully points out, is enough bandwidth to download the entire Game of Thrones series in HD in under two seconds. Other fantasy-historical nonsense with the occasional rude bit is also available.

  • In an announcement that will no doubt be overshadowed by ongoing shenanigans over Brexit and his boss's treatment of women, UK Chancellor Sajid Javid has told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that he has earmarked £5 billion (US$6.1 billion) to support the rollout of "ultrafast" broadband and mobile coverage to some of the UK's more remote regions. However, as the BBC reports, Javid did not confirm a deadline for when the targeted "hardest-to-reach 20% of the country" would be connected.

  • Two private equity firms are competing to buy Vivacom, Bulgaria's largest operator, the Financial Times reports (paywall applies). United Group and Providence Equity Partners have launched indicative bids for the company, which is being sold by Bulgarian businessman Spas Roussev. (See Eurobites: Bulgaria's Vivacom Goes on Sale, Despite Ownership Row.)

  • Telefónica's Spanish unit has done a deal with its unions which it says "provides the company with a framework of stability for more than 21,000 employees." The two unions in question, UGT and CCOO, signed a collective bargaining agreement with the telco that is valid for three years and covers Telefónica España, Telefónica Móviles España and Telefónica Soluciones de Informática y Comunicaciones. The agreement establishes a salary review of 1.5% per year, which, according to Telefónica, "takes a further step towards the homogenisation of conditions for the employees of the three legal entities." More than 6,000 employees are also expected to participate in "reskilling" programs that in theory will see them better suited to new, more digital-oriented, roles within the company.

  • Google has formed a partnership with Poland's Domestic Cloud Provider (DCP), with the intention of helping Polish businesses make better use of the cloud. Under the terms of the agreement, DCP will become a reseller of Google Cloud services in Poland. The search giant is also opening a new Google Cloud region in Warsaw.

  • BT is launching a "smart cycling" trial, which will see 200 volunteers from BT's Adastral Park complex attach IoT-connected lights to their bikes. The lights incorporate sensor technology that monitors the environment, sending data back to BT's IoT Data Hub relating to ride conditions, route selections and more. The hope is that the data gathered by the guinea-pig cyclists will help improve the cycling experience and ultimately encourage others to get on their bikes.

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media has launched its Gig1 gigabit broadband service in the southern English coastal city of Southampton. The service will be available to around 100,000 homes in the city, offering an average peak-time download speed of 1,104 Mbit/s, says Virgin. Prices for the service start at £62 ($76.36) a month on an 18-month contract.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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