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Eurobites: Proximus Sinks More Money Into Speed-Boosting Startup Tessares

Paul Rainford
3/22/2018

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Peterborough next on Vodafone/CityFibre's FTTP hitlist; Telecom Italia considers IPO for planned fixed-line unit; visualizing 5G.

  • Belgium's Proximus is to participate in a €3 million funding round in Tessares, a UCL University spin-off that has developed a technology based on Multipath TCP (MPTCP) which, say its backers, makes it possible to boost Internet speeds in isolated rural areas by combining the flows from the 4G/LTE mobile networks and fixed-line DSL networks. In the three years since its inception, Tessares has landed contracts with Proximus, KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) in the Netherlands and Telia in Lithuania.

  • The UK city of Peterborough has been named as next rollout location for Vodafone UK and CityFibre 's joint FTTP program. The Peterborough project is effectively an extension of an existing fiber network, built in 2013, which connects several sites in the public sector, such as schools, council offices and the city's main hospital. CityFibre has committed to invest at least £30 million (US$42.4 million) in the project, which will extend the network to "nearly every home and business" in the city, according to a statement. Construction is set to start in May. Vodafone and CityFibre announced their partnership last September, with the former making it clear that it was less than happy with its existing wholesale arrangements with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA). (See Eurobites: Vodafone Goes Hand in Glove With CityFibre, Lays Down the Gauntlet to BT.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is considering a listing for its Netco fixed-line network unit, which is still in the planning stages. According to Reuters, TIM would opt for an IPO of the unit once it had become a fully regulated business. (See Telecom Italia to Spin Off Fixed Lines, Increase Automation.)

  • Boffins at the University of Bristol's Smart Internet Lab have been demonstrating its "ray visualization" software which, they say, helps map how radio signals travel from 5G basetations to mobile devices as well as smart city sensors and connected cars. The video below explains the project.

  • Data center provider E-shelter has acquired a new development site in Frankfurt, its fourth in the city. "Frankfurt 4 Data Center" will feature five data center buildings built in phases, with the first scheduled to open in early 2019. E-shelter is a subsidiary of NTT Group (NYSE: NTT)…

  • …Speaking of which, British Formula 1 team McLaren is to adopt SD-WAN technology from NTT to connect the McLaren Technology Centre with racing circuits in 21 countries during the 2018 season. This follows a successful test deployment of the technology during the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix, when McLaren was able to send 100GB of data during a race from Japan to the UK via NTT's SD-WAN.

  • The M&A saga in Nigeria involving the country's fourth mobile operator, 9mobile, could be drawing to a close as the preferred bidder, Teleology Holdings, appears to have slapped down a deposit and set in motion a takeover process. For more, see the coverage at our sister site, Connecting Africa -- Teleology Closes In on 9mobile Acquisition.

  • Cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is launching what it claims is "the UK's fastest widely available broadband," offering download speeds of up to 350 Mbit/s. Packages on the "Vivid 350" tier start at £48 ($68).

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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