Telefónica Germany plans to cover about 2 million households with a new fiber network built in equity partnership with Allianz, according to a report in Spain's Expansion newspaper. Including the full costs of connecting properties, the overall investment would reportedly be about €5 billion ($5.9 billion), according to the latest report. It says the resulting network would be operated as an "open" wholesale network, offering connectivity services to broadband retailers. Responding to the news, analysts at Jefferies said the project did not look disruptive because it would only account for about 5% of German premises. "However, once fiber is deployed in an area, it is spoken for as overbuild is generally uneconomic," said Jefferies in a research note. "In this sense, competitive fiber deployments nibble away at Deutsche Telekom's incumbent status even if relatively limited in scope."
Covage, the French builder of fiber-optic networks, announced that its deployment had reached the milestone of 1 million homes and business premises. The company, which is said to be France's fourth-largest fiber wholesale operator, was acquired last November by Altice, a service provider with both fixed and mobile networks in France and other countries. At the time of the deal in November, Altice said the two companies had already built networks to around 2.5 million homes and would eventually cover about 8 million. "All our teams are mobilized in the territories to maintain the acceleration of deployments despite the current health context in order to allow all French people to have access to optical fiber," said Pascal Rialland, Covage's chairman, in today's announcement.
There was another shout-out for open RAN technology and some of its usual suspects after Vodafone said it had made a voice call on an open RAN test network in the Netherlands using gear and software provided by Japan's NEC and US-based Altiostar (majority owned by Japan's Rakuten). Open RAN, lest anyone is still ignorant, promises a level of interoperability between different suppliers that is lacking in traditional networks. NEC is already providing many of the 5G radio units for Rakuten's commercial deployment in Japan, with Altiostar responsible for the software that runs across them.
Finland's Nokia received a pat on the back from analyst firm GlobalData for its managed services efforts. The vendor, which was quick to parade its achievements in a press release, was called out as a "leader" for its network design and optimization skills in 5G. It's the second year in a row that Nokia has been hailed as a managed services leader. "Nokia's network operations services – supplemented with operations of data centers and customer-facing applications – has often been earlier than its peers in rationalizing contracts, driving efficiencies through AI and quality methodologies, and experimenting with applying webscale models to carrier operations," said Andy Hicks, a principal analyst at GlobalData, in a statement.