Video services

Eurobites: Sky Goes Ultra HD

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: MTS deploys Nokia carrier aggregation tech in Russia; IoT spending on the rise; delay on Apple tax probe decision.

  • Pay-TV giant Sky has joined the 4K club with the launch of an Ultra HD service in the UK for those customers who have forked out for one of the recently launched Sky Q set-top boxes. Amongst the content being offered in the format are 124 live Premier League soccer games and more than 70 movies, including the latest effort in the Bond franchise, Spectre, and the bonkers Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle, The Revenant. In 2015, rival BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) launched what it claimed was the UK's first Ultra HD service, BT Sport UHD, and signed a deal with Ericsson to support its launch. (See Sky Launches Next-Gen Sky Q Set-Tops and Eurobites: OTT Feel for Sky's New Set-Top.)

  • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has put Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s FDD-TDD carrier aggregation technology to work on its commercial LTE network in Moscow. MTS subscribers will now be able to enjoy downlink speeds of up to 187 Mbit/s, and will experience better in-building reception, according to the operator. Carrier aggregation allows non-contiguous bands of spectrum to be bonded to create wider channels, resulting in faster LTE speeds. (See MTS Boosts 4G With Nokia's FDD-TDD Carrier Aggregation Tech.)

  • In Kenya, meanwhile, Nokia is helping Safaricom Ltd. to improve its services with the deployment of its CEM on Demand offering, which uses "big data" technology to gain insights into network usage and customer behavior. Safaricom claims more than 25 million subscribers in Kenya. (See Safaricom Deploys Nokia's CEM on Demand.)

  • A new report from Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has found that 89% of companies investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) have increased their budgets over the last 12 months, and that 63% of IoT adopters are seeing "significant" returns on investment, up from 59% in last year's edition of the report. The research was conducted across the world, and included input from Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. The full report can be downloaded here.

  • It will be September or October before the European Commission comes to a decision on whether Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has infringed international rules in its tax dealings with Ireland, reports Reuters. Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan, revealed that EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager had told him that the original deadline of July would not now be met. The Commission accused Ireland in 2014 of illegally "sheltering" billions of dollars in profits in return for jobs.

  • Media Broadcast, a German media and broadcasting service provider, has turned to ADVA Optical Networking to power its fiber backbone. The technology is being used to help transport data services, uncompressed high-quality video and audio services directly on the optical network.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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