Eurobites: Hyperoptic bags another £150M in fiber rollout funding

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone works with Meta on short-form video; Ericsson incorporates POST Luxembourg signaling security smarts; MTN totals up its tax payments.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

July 9, 2024

2 Min Read
Purple fiber optic cable illustration
(Source: Science Photo Library/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Hyperoptic, one of the shrinking gaggle of alternative network providers (altnets) in the UK snapping at the heels of market leader Openreach, has received another £150 million (US$192 million) in investment from the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) to further its fiber rollout. This takes Hyperoptic's committed debt facility to more than £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion). The UKIB is a government-owned "policy bank" that was launched in 2021 to drive growth in what are seen as key industry sectors. Hyperoptic now claims to pass more than 1.73 million homes and connect 340,000 customers across the UK.

  • Last week it was Telefónica; this week it's Vodafone collaborating with Meta on research into ways of carrying all that short-form video (think Facebook, Instagram) on the network without clogging up those famously "dumb" pipes. During the course of a three-week test, the two companies say they recorded a "meaningful reduction in network traffic for Meta applications" across Vodafone's network. Without going into technical details, Vodafone says it freed up additional network resources on some of its most popular 4G/5G sites so that all mobile customers could get a look-in. The network optimization program has been applied in 11 European countries, says Vodafone, with the level of reduction in network traffic varying because of several factors including network load and the nature of the end user devices.

  • Ericsson is incorporating signaling intrusion detection system capabilities from POST Luxembourg – the state-backed provider of telecom and postal services – into its own signaling security offering. The partnership, says Ericsson, will enable it to offer comprehensive signaling security to mobile and mission-critical network operators, helping to protect their 5G roaming and interconnect interfaces and subscribers.

  • South Africa-based MTN says its total tax contribution to governments across its territories climbed by more than 12% year-over-year in 2023, to 61.7 billion South African rand ($3.4 billion), a figure MTN's chief financial officer, Tsholo Molefe, equates to the building of more than 500 schools.

  • Free's OQEE TV app has become available on Philips Smart TVs powered by Titan OS – the first such move by a French operator, the Iliad-owned company says.

  • Openreach, the network access arm of UK operator BT, is doing its bit for social mobility through a series of broadband-related training workshops for disadvantaged young people. The workshops, run in conjunction with the IntoUniversity education charity, were hosted by volunteers from Openreach. Official figures from UCAS, the university admissions organization, show that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are four times less likely than others to go to university in the UK.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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