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Eurobites: GÉANT Builds SDN TestbedEurobites: GÉANT Builds SDN Testbed

Also in today's regional roundup: Romania's RCS & RDS buys LTE TDD license; BT crunches big data with Cloudera; Vodafone quits Lebanon bid; Africa's Liquid launches Hai; EE upgrades TV offering.

August 21, 2015

4 Min Read
Eurobites: GÉANT Builds SDN Testbed

Also in today's regional roundup: Romania's RCS & RDS buys LTE TDD license; BT crunches big data with Cloudera; Vodafone quits Lebanon bid; Africa's Liquid launches Hai; EE upgrades TV offering.

European research and education network GÉANT has integrated open source SDN capabilities into its test bed to enable researchers to "define, build, test and rebuild highly scalable, high capacity virtual networks quickly, easily and cost-effectively." Its GÉANT Testbeds Service, a virtual network resource managed with Openflow-enabled SDN controllers, now includes a number of Open Network Operating System (ONOS) clusters in multiple locations around Europe that are synchronized using the Inter Cluster ONOS Network Application (ICONA), a tool developed by CREATE-NET and the University of Rome Tor Vergata/CNIT in collaboration with ON.Lab 's ONOS Project. GÉANT says Europe's research community can now connect to a "network slice" to develop, test and run trial deployments of new technologies and applications. See this press release for more details. The GÉANT Testbeds Service is also linked, via its Amsterdam PoP, to the US research network Internet2, which in turn interconnects with the AmLight network in Latin America, with all three organizations running Openflow-enabled SDN networks running ONOS. (See ONOS Expands Its Reach on Internet2 and ON.Lab Releases 'Blackbird' Open Source SDN Operating System.) Romania's leading cable network operator RCS & RDS SA , which offers cable, FTTH, TV and mobile services using its Digi brand, has, with the blessing of Romania's regulator ANCOM, bought a TDD LTE license from 2K Telecom for an undisclosed sum and plans to launch 4G services in the 2.6GHz band in 25 cities by the end of this year. RCS and RDS says it will offer its customers mobile broadband services with speeds at up to 150 Mbit/s at no extra charge and intends to offer LTE TDD-compatible smartphones by the end of September. BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has deployed a big data system from Cloudera Inc. to more efficiently manage and process its customer data. "The data cycle now takes eight hours instead of 24, and we process five times the amount of data," according to Phillip Radley, chief data architect at BT. (See BT Deploys Cloudera Big Data Hub.) Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) is reported to have dropped out of the bidding for a contract to manage one of Lebanon's two state-owned telecom operators. Touch and Alfa are currently managed on short-term rolling contracts by Zain Group and Orascom Telecom respectively, but authorities want to find a long-term partner. Six companies had been in the running for a contract -- those being Zain, Vodafone, Orange (NYSE: FTE), Maxis Communications Bhd. , Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE: TKC) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) -- but Vodafone has told Reuters it is no longer interested in pursuing the opportunity. The operator did not provide an explanation for its decision to quit the race. African fiber operator Liquid Telecom says it has launched a new retail broadband service under the brand of Hai, which means "I am alive" in Swahili. The service is already available in Zambia and will go in sale in Kenya and Rwanda soon. Hai includes a 100Mbit/s fiber-to-the-home service as well as WiFi connectivity and various content offers. Liquid Telecom has until now been operating largely in African wholesale markets but is keen to expand into the retail sector. UK mobile operator EE has launched a range of new features for its TV offering, allowing customers to personalize their viewing experience and share content more easily with friends and family. Another upgrade lets subscribers shift content from the big screen on to a mobile device. EE is in the process of being acquired by UK fixed-line incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which may look to improve its own TV offering through the functionality of EE's service. (See BT Locks Down £12.5B EE Takeover Deal.) — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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