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Eurobites: Telefónica Upgrades Metro Optical Network With Nokia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson in 5G-powered robotic surgery demo; BT connects with Oracle Cloud; more antitrust trouble for Google?

  • Telefónica de España has chosen Nokia to supply a new optical metro network that will underpin its Fusión quad-play services in general and its Movistar TV service in particular. The deployment, which will be focused on high-population areas such as Barcelona, forms part of the operator's three-year Fusión Red project. Fusión boasts more than 15 million fiber lines and 4 million pay-TV subscribers.

  • Tomorrow, at the 5G World show in London, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) will team up with King's College London to demonstrate a 5G use case of tactile robotic surgery. In the demo, a probe will act as a robotic representation of a biological finger that gives the surgeon the sense of touch in minimally invasive surgery, using 5G technology to send accurate information to the surgeon about hard nodules in soft tissue, thus helping identify potential cancer tissue.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has teamed up with Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) to launch BT Cloud Connect for Oracle FastConnect, which allows customers to use a private connection based on BT's IP Connect VPN service to access Oracle Cloud locations in Amsterdam and London. The Oracle Cloud supports 70 million users and runs in 19 data centers around the world.

  • Another front in the battle between the European Union and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) could be opening up, according to a Bloomberg report. EU officials, investigating potential anti-competitive practices relating to the search giant's advertising services, have sent requests to critics of Google to allow their evidence to be shared with the company, says an unnamed source. If it goes ahead, this would be the third such antitrust complaint against Google. (See Eurobites: Google Denies EU Charges.)

  • Pan-African services provider Liquid Telecom is to acquire Neotel, the South African operator, for 6.55 billion South African Rand (US$430 million). According to Liquid Telecom, the acquisition will create "the first pan-African fiber player." To fund the deal, Liquid Telecom is partnering with Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), a South African investment group, which has committed to take a 30% equity stake in Neotel.

  • Edward Snowden, the former CIA operative who fled to Russia after leaking details of the US National Security Agency's Internet and phone surveillance techniques, has attacked new anti-terrorism legislation being approved by his host country's parliament. As the BBC reports, the proposed legislation means that, among other things, telcos must keep copies of their customers' phone calls and text messages for six months, and operators of social networks must keep message records for a year. Snowden said of the proposed legislation: "Mass surveillance doesn't work. This bill will take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety." (See Mobile Security: The Snowden Fallout and Obama Weighs In on NSA Data Collection.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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