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Eurobites: BT's Openreach adds Adtran to its fiber force

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange announces new subsea project; Bouygues' first quarter dinged by COVID-19; Germany's approach to coronavirus contact tracing.

  • Openreach, the semi-detached network access arm of BT, has chosen Alabama-based Adtran to help it roll out full-fiber broadband across the UK. Specifically, Adtran will be supplying its SDX Series of OLTs and Mosaic Cloud Platform. The appointment is significant because up until now Openreach has been relying on a combination of China's Huawei and Finland's Nokia for its FTTx equipment needs – a situation less than ideal for Openreach bearing in mind the UK government has set strict limits on how much Huawei gear can be used in the country's networks.

  • Orange has announced its participation in a project to build what it promises will be "the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region." At 37,000km long, 2Africa will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC are also taking part in the project, which is expected to go live in 2023/4. The 2Africa cable will make use of a new technology, SDM1 from ASN, allowing the deployment of up to 16 fiber pairs instead of the eight fiber pairs supported by older technologies, a development that brings greater and more cost-effective capacity, says Orange.

  • France's Bouygues Telecom reported first-quarter sales of €1.48 billion (US$1.59 billion), up 2.5% year-on-year. The operator reckons it took a €20 million ($21.5 million) hit from the COVID-19 pandemic on first-quarter sales. EBITDA after Leases was pretty much flat at €299 million ($322.6 million). Like rival Orange, Bouygues began to reopen its stores this week, as France tentatively begins to come out of lockdown.

  • Türk Telekom has upgraded its synchronization network with ADVA's OSA 3230B cesium clocks, which, says ADVA, enable high levels of frequency stability across the operator's timing and sync network. Netaş, a partner company of Türk Telekom, was also involved in the technology's implementation.

  • Germany has revealed that its coronavirus contact-tracing app will only send alerts if users test positive for the virus, setting it apart from the UK version, which prompts the user to self-diagnose via an on-screen questionnaire. As the BBC reports, Germany decided against a "centralized" app approach in April, opting for the "decentralized" protocol that carries out the contact-tracing on the phones themselves rather than on a central server. (See ETSI joins COVID-19 contact tracing app party.)

  • France is getting tough with social networks and other purveyors of online content, voting on Wednesday to force the likes of Facebook and Twitter to remove paedophile- and terrorism-related content from their platforms within an hour or face a fine up of up to 4% of their global revenue. As Reuters reports, other "manifestly illicit" content would have to be taken down within 24 hours.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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