Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre buys more duct and fiber assets; Aussie broadband challenge to BT; Nokia's traffic-busting drones; HERE services hit the road.
Telefónica has turned to Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) to beef up its network security, opting for the US vendor's SRX Series gateways. In addition, Juniper will provide the Spanish giant with various support services including network design, training and onsite support. According to Juniper, the new cloud-based network architecture with integrated security will allow Telefónica to simplify its operations as well as improving network performance. (See Telefónica Deploys Juniper SRX to Bolster Network Security.)
UK "altnet" CityFibre has completed the £5 million (US$6.4 million) acquisition of metro duct and fiber network assets belonging to Redcentric, an IT managed services provider. Totaling around 137km in length, the three networks in question are located in the cities of Cambridge, Portsmouth and Southampton, and their acquisition takes CityFibre's portfolio of UK metro networks to 40. CityFibre has also just released its half-yearly results, which show its turnover rose 147% year-on-year to £6.6 million ($8.5 million), while in EBITDA terms it converted its H1 2015 loss of £1.8 million ($2.3 million) into a profit of £0.4 million ($0.52 million). During the period covered CityFibre closed its £90 million ($116.3 million) acquisition of KCOM's duct and fiber assets, adding 2,200km to its network. (See CityFibre Buys Duct, Fiber Networks, CityFibre Aims High in BT Battle and CityFibre Takes On BT With $136M KCOM Acquisition.)
And it seems UK incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is going to face another challenge to its broadband dominance, this time in the shape of Australian ISP Exetel Pty Ltd , which, according to the Daily Telegraph, is this week launching cheap fiber-based broadband and data services aimed at small businesses. Having signed wholesale deals with BT, Virgin, TalkTalk and Vodafone, Exetel hopes to raise £2.5 million ($3.2 million) in sales from the launch. Exetel recorded sales of £58 million ($75 million) in the year to June 30 in Australia and New Zealand.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is lending its support to what it claims is Europe's first drone-based "smart city" traffic management test facility, located at Twente Airport near Enschede in the Netherlands. The facility is intended to enable Nokia to develop its UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) traffic management system, which, says Nokia, is underpinned by a combination of LTE and 5G-type technologies. (See Nokia Helps Test Drones for Smart Cities.)
Still on the traffic-busting front, HERE, the mapping firm that used to be a part of Nokia before it was bought for $3.1 billion by a consortium of German car makers, is to introduce a new set of traffic services this week that it claims will use live, car-generated data to give drivers a true picture of what road conditions are like ahead of them. As Reuters reports, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen will all contribute data to the new service, while other vehicle manufacturers will come on board in due course. (See Eurobites: Nokia Closes HERE Sale.)
A new study from Deloitte has concluded that the UK smartphone market is "plateauing," with 81% of adults now laying claim to such a device. The study found that smartphone penetration rose by 7% in the year to June 2016, compared to a rise of 9% in in 2015, 13% in 2014 and 19% in 2013. Also (and these are the sort of stats we really want), 38% of those aged between 25 and 34 said that their excessive use of smartphones had caused arguments with their partners.