Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone shareholders like the sound of a merger with Liberty; German spectrum auction imminent; TeliaSonera makes IoT investment.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) says it has successfully carried out a 400G trial with T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. , using its 1830 Photonic Service Switch and 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE) over the 320km stretch of DWDM network between Prague and Hradec Králové. This is just the latest in a series of trials involving AlcaLu's 400G technology. (See Eurobites: Vodafone Spain Checks Out 400G With Alcatel-Lucent.)

  • A number of major shareholders in Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) have expressed their support for a plan for the operator to sell off operations in countries such as India, Turkey and South Africa to fund a ₤120 billion (US$185 billion) merger with Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), reports the Sunday Telegraph. Reports emerged last week that Liberty Global Chairman John Malone was very much in favor of such a merger. (See Liberty Global Keen on Vodafone Tie-Up – Report.)

  • Wednesday sees the start of the latest German spectrum auction, with blocks of 700MHz band included in the process for the first time. As Bloomberg reports, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Vodafone and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) will be placing their bids, with some analysts expecting a total of €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion) to be raised by the auction.

  • Nordic operator Telia Company has invested an undisclosed amount in Springworks, a Sweden-based firm that specializes in building smart interfaces for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

  • Is Skype Ltd. a telco? That's the question a court in Belgium in posing, reports Reuters. If the answer is deemed to be "yes," Skype will be forced to hand over customer data to aid a criminal investigation, something the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)-owned OTT service provider has initially refused to do.

  • Accenture has landed a three-year contract worth 180 million Saudi riyals ($48 million) with Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) , reports Arab News. Accenture has been hired to upgrade Mobily's BSS platforms.

  • UK regulator Ofcom is inviting feedback from operators and other interested parties on its proposals for how additional spectrum resources in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands will be released. Specifically, Ofcom is putting forward an option that would see the regulator awarding most of the newly available spectrum later this year, or early in 2016, with the remaining frequencies being held back for award at a later date.

  • Greece's OTE S.A. is beginning a voluntary redundancy program in a bid to cut costs, reports Reuters. It is thought the program will be offered to around 700 employees.

  • UK mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) suffered a major outage on Monday, with users in the cities of London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow, as well as some in Northern Ireland, taking time out from their public holiday to complain about a lack of service, reports The Guardian. Some customers claimed they had had no service for up to five hours.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Ariella 5/27/2015 | 10:43:49 AM
    Re: Skype @mhhf1vwe Apple probably would claim it doesn't track its users, but that doesn't mean it doesn't.
    mhhf1ve 5/27/2015 | 10:39:18 AM
    Re: Skype Metadata is certainly revealing -- it's the reason why privacy wonks are up in arms about Ed Snowden's leaks. Does anyone know more about this specific case in Belgium? Is it a terrorist investigation or..?
    mhhf1ve 5/27/2015 | 10:33:35 AM
    Re: Skype In the US, some telcos have "cooperated" by providing wiretapping data to govt agencies. And these telcos have been rewarded with legal immunity for doing so. Skype might connect to a traditional phone call, but that doesn't make it a telco. Is Apple a telco -- it makes the phones that are used to make phone calls....
    Ariella 5/27/2015 | 8:43:12 AM
    Re: Skype @mhhf1ve yes, but even that kind of data can be revealing in terms of who called whom when. That's the same info cell phone data typically provides.
    Kruz 5/27/2015 | 3:14:48 AM
    Skype But what happens in the case when the company is based outside the country where access to data is requested? Should this be even allowed? Which country laws should be enforced if the call involved two parties residing in 2 different countries?
    t.bogataj 5/27/2015 | 2:20:14 AM
    Re: Skype mhhf1ve: "they could only provide user account data, and not messages or wiretapping"

    The telcos are not required to gather messages/contents, but metadata (recall "data retention"), so this is not a point in question.

    By providing "phone" calls, nothing makes Skype any different than traditional telcos in that respect -- so the regulation should be the same for all providers of similar services.

    mhhf1ve 5/26/2015 | 10:50:41 PM
    Re: Skype I think Skype is the only app being scrutinized because it's the only one (so far) involved in a criminal investigation....
    mhhf1ve 5/26/2015 | 10:49:01 PM
    Re: Skype How is Skype even remotely a telco? They don't provide phone numbers nor any kind of underlying connectivity service. Is Google Hangouts a telco? Apple Facetime? 

    I also thought that Skype encrypted their messages between client-servers... so even if they were forced to hand over customer info.. they could only provide user account data, and not messages or wiretapping.
    Ariella 5/26/2015 | 4:27:25 PM
    Re: Skype Interesting question. I'm curious: what did Skype claim it was if not a telco?
    Kruz 5/26/2015 | 1:56:51 PM
    Skype The question is then legit to all the voice calling IM. What is Viber?Whatsapp? Why is Skype the only one being scrutinized?
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