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Eurobites: Vivendi to Up Stake in Telecom Italia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia does carrier aggregation in Saudi Arabia; ECI's new hybrid OTN/packet switch; re-living the chicken kiev years.

  • Vivendi looks set to become the largest shareholder in Telecom Italia (TIM) , raising its stake to 14.9%, according to a Reuters report. The French media group, which last year sold its SFR unit to Numericable, is also likely to get two seats on the Telecom Italia board as part of the deal, the report adds. (See Eurobites: Numericable Funds SFR Buy With €4.7B Rights Issue.)

  • Nokia Networks and Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) have together completed a pilot project that used carrier aggregation technology to combine 1800MHz and 2100MHz FDD-LTE bands to bring downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s in Zain's LTE network.

  • ECI Telecom Ltd. has launched what it claims is the "densest, most energy efficient, hybrid OTN/packet switch on the market" in the form of the Apollo OPT 9900 Series, designed for core transport networks and subsea network landing stations. The vendor says the system not only incorporates 100G, 200G and 400G coherent interfaces, but is also designed to support 1Tbit/s line rates and be deployed as part of an SDN environment as it includes the vendor's LightApps management suite. (See ECI Unveils Its SDN Framework.)

  • France-based Ekinops SA has introduced a a new 200G muxponder aimed at the data center interconnect market. Ekinops is plugging the muxponder's green credentials, claiming that, with a consumption of just under 130 watts per 200G, it is the most energy-efficient such device on the market. (See Ekinops Launches 200G DCI System.)

  • Hot on the heels of Germany's multi-band spectrum auction, French telecom regulator Arcep has announced plans to hold a 700MHz auction before the end of the year. Judging by the proposals, authorities are keen to see the 700MHz band divvied up four ways, with France currently a four-player market, but a merger between Numericable-SFR and Bouygues Telecom -- mooted this week -- could leave one operator as a dominant 700MHz player in future. German operators spent about €1 billion ($1.1 billion) on 700MHz spectrum in last week's auction, far less than the €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) they forked out for new 1800MHz licenses. (See Altice Confirms Bid for Bouygues Telecom and Vodafone Big Spender in $5.8B German Auction.)

  • The iconic revolving restaurant at the top of London's BT Tower is to a re-open to the public for two weeks only as part of 50th anniversary celebrations of the building's opening. The restaurant, the crowning glory of what was originally called the Post Office Tower, was closed to the public in 1980. If they win the ballot, would-be diners can enjoy a seven-course dinner for £67.95 (US$107) a head. One assumes that such artery-hardening 1970s classics such as chicken kiev and black forest gateau will be on the menu…

    Swinging (and Revolving) London
    'And presumably sir would like his bottle of wine served in a pointless basket?' 
An archive shot of the revolving restaurant at the top of what was then London's  Post Office Tower. (Source: BT)
    "And presumably sir would like his bottle of wine served in a pointless basket?"
    An archive shot of the revolving restaurant at the top of what was then London's
    Post Office Tower. (Source: BT)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • PaulERainford 6/22/2015 | 10:06:30 AM
    Re: Changing tmes I understand it will be, Dennis, though as the restaurant's on BT property you might have to wait around six months for your password to be set up.
    mendyk 6/22/2015 | 9:44:51 AM
    Changing tmes Paul: Will WiFi be available in the BT Tower restaurant?
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