Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Seacom goes live on Equiano subsea cable; go higher, says Telecom Italia; Open Fiber revenue up by a quarter in 2022.
Proximus has struck a five-year deal with Google to deliver "sovereign" cloud services in Belgium and neighboring Luxembourg. Under the terms of the agreement, sovereign cloud services will support "disconnected" operations through Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, which does not require connectivity to Google Cloud's central nervous system – situated god knows where – to manage infrastructure, services or APIs. The hope is that this partnership will help government-related organizations and others to securely handle sensitive workloads. Proximus plans to work with LuxConnect, a data center service provider owned by the Luxembourg state. Proximus CEO Guillaume Boutin described the deal as a "major milestone" that would "guarantee full operational sovereignty for its clients – on EU's terms."
African managed services provider Seacom has gone live on the Equiano subsea cable following the cable's landing in Cape Town last year. Seacom, which uses optical transmission gear from US-based Infinera, offers private line services with latency speeds of +/-110ms between South Africa and Europe.
Telecom Italia (TIM) plans to ask state-backed lender CDP and Australian fund Macquarie Infrastructure to increase their joint bid for TIM's fixed-network assets, according to a Reuters report. The bid includes the assets of FiberCop as well as a stake in Sparkle, TIM's international services unit. The CDP-Macquarie offer comes in the wake of a rival bid from US private equity fund KKR, which was rejected by TIM's board. (See Telecom Italia hopeful about future as it reveals plans for 2025.)
In related matters, TIM rival Open Fiber has revealed its financial results for 2022, showing that EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased 18% year-over-year, to nearly €179 million (US$189 million), on revenue that rose 24% to around €470 million ($497 million). Open Fiber's "ultra-broadband" network now covers 15.5 million Italian properties, 13 million of them via FTTH and the rest over FWA.
Ericsson and Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) have renewed their existing network upgrade contract in a fresh multi-million-pound deal. VMO2 plans to offer its 4G/5G customers in a number of major UK cities improved coverage and faster speeds. Ericsson will bring its quad-technology baseband, multiband and 5G Massive MIMO radio AIR 3258 to the party. As part of the agreement, VMO2 could also become one of the first operators in Europe to trial Ericsson's Cloud RAN offering.
US-based Lumen is planning to push on with its rollout of 400G services across Europe during 2023. To date, Lumen has enabled more than half of its intercity network footprint in Europe to support 400G wavelength services, as well as 70 data centers and two transatlantic routes on subsea cable systems Grace Hopper and Dunant.
UK-based Colt Technology Services has opted for Amdocs' Resource Manager software as part of its ongoing digitalization process.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading