Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MegaFon opens up new route; Three fibers up for 5G; Deutsche Telekom soups up its cloud.
UK incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is in talks with Alibaba Group , the Chinese online giant, over a possible collaboration in the European cloud services market, according to a Bloomberg report. The report says that such a collaboration would challenge Amazon's dominance in the region and be similar in nature to Alibaba's existing partnership with Vodafone in Germany.
Russian operator MegaFon has opened up a new overland route between Moscow and Frankfurt am Main, via Belarus. With a length of 3,200km and an initial throughput capacity of 1.7 Tbit/s, the route was made possible partly through the use of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s international carrier sales unit, which provided a 17×100G lambda connection between the Polish/Belarusian border to Frankfurt. MegaFon says available capacity on the new route has already been fully booked by its Russian and international customers until the end of 2018.
Mobile operator Three UK has tweaked its agreement with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to allow Three's network to connect to hundreds of BT local telephone exchanges, facilitating fiber connections from masts to data centers and, says Three, helping prepare its network for the arrival of 5G. Previously Three announced that SSE would provide a fiber "resilience ring" connecting all of Three's data centers as a back-up to the main supplier for these sites. (See Eurobites: Three UK Preps for 5G With Backbone Deal.)
Deutsche Telekom claims it has turbocharged its Open Telekom Cloud through the introduction of FPGA-powered hardware acceleration, among other enhancements. According to DT, the use of FPGAs accelerates image recognition by a factor of ten, data analysis by a factor of 50 and genome sequencing by a factor of 100.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has expanded its "Connect to Learn" initiative in India, which uses online technology to help underprivileged young people develop a range of skills to help them find work in the retail and service sectors. The Swedish vendor lent a hand with the development of the new web-based training modules and donated computers to the centers taking part in the scheme.