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Private Networks

Eurobites: Eutelsat beams Konnect broadband to Brits

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone hopes for AR specs appeal; Nokia knocks up more private networks; Slovenian winemaker toasts 10G XGS-PON.

  • Eutelsat is bringing its Konnect satellite broadband service to the UK, targeting rural users who have been forced by the ongoing pandemic to discover the charms of remote working. The service will be available through a range of channel partners, offering speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s and what Konnect describes as pricing that is "close to terrestrial technologies" (starting from £29.99 – US$40 – per month). The satellite the service uses, also called Konnect, was launched into space from French Guiana in January. (See Eurobites: Telecom Italia Konnects with Eutelsat for 'ultrabroadband' boost and Viasat seizes control of destiny in Europe.)

  • Vodafone is trying its luck with Nreal's augmented reality/mixed reality glasses, making them available to consumers and businesses in its European markets to enjoy/endure AR/MR experiences via its 5G network. The glasses, called Nreal Light, connect to an Android phone via a USB cable to get help with processing and the running of control functions. They will launch first in Germany and Spain in the spring, with other markets to follow.

    Nreal Light augmented reality glasses: Vodafone's new focus
    Nreal Light augmented reality glasses: Vodafone's new focus

  • Nokia is deploying more private networks, this time industrial-grade 5G standalone ones, at five research centers in the German state of Baden-Württemberg that are part of the 5G4KMU project. This project aims to provide small and midsized enterprises with an introduction to 5G, helping them to develop 5G-based products and applications. The networks will run on Nokia's recently announced Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) 5G SA platform.

  • Slovenia's Iskratel says it has helped connect the first residential user of the 10G XGS-PON network it has developed with RUNE Enia. Silvo Crnko, who makes his living in the wine industry, is the beneficiary of the symmetric superduperfast speeds. RUNE Enia is building an optical infrastructure in rural areas of Slovenia as part of the RUNE (Rural Network) project.

  • Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Orange International Carriers have concluded a proof of concept project to enhance IPX services using blockchain technology. The two carriers wanted to show how blockchain can facilitate the exchange of key performance indicators between providers, ensuring transparency and (thanks to encryption of data) privacy. The results of the PoC will now be presented to the GSMA.

  • The FTTH Council Europe is predicting a massive surge in the number of homes passed for FTTH/B: According to the body, 202 million homes in the 27 EU countries plus post-Brexit UK in 2026, compared with 26.2 million in 2012. In terms of individual countries, it expects Russia to "continue leading the charge," while tipping Germany for second place in the homes-passed rankings in 2026.

  • Four more Internet service providers have signed up to launch consumer services on networks developed by CityFibre, the fast-growing UK altnet. They are as follows: Air Broadband (targeting East Anglia); HighNet (Inverness and beyond); Triangle Networks (Milton Keynes); and Trunk Networks (Eastbourne and Worthing).

  • Germany's ADVA has teamed up with 6WIND to provide service providers and enterprises with a new uCPE platform, combining ADVA's Ensemble Connection with 6WIND's routing technology. The joint offering has already been chosen by Witcom to power its smart city initiative.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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