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Eurobites: KPN and Prysmian trial eco-friendly fiber

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Openreach rolls out more fiber; here comes the Nokia SON; Facebook given some breathing space in data-transfer rumpus.

  • Dutch incumbent KPN is to be the first European operator to try out a new, more environmentally friendly fiber cable developed by Italy's Prysmian. The Sirocco HD 96f cable is 4.5mm in diameter with a 10mm sleeve, compared to the traditional 6mm cable in a 14mm sleeve, thus guaranteeing an approximate halving of plastic volumes used. Also, the reduced diameters mean that a longer length of cable can be supplied on a single reel, reducing transport and storage costs. The pilot projects will be developed in Buitenpost and Nijmegen.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, has added another 67 locations to its "Fibre First" FTTP program, with the various builds scheduled to take place over the next two years right across the UK, from Ayrshire in the north to Devon in the south-west. Overall, says Openreach, more than 560 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets have now been included in the £12 billion (US$15.5 billion) buildout. (See Eurobites: Openreach Finally Puts 'Fibre First'.)

  • And one of the companies to benefit from the Openreach program is Telent, based in the English Midlands, which has announced it will be doing the spadework for Openreach in a dozen of the projected buildouts. Telent will be responsible for construction tasks such as surveying, building and testing.

  • Finland's Nokia is playing buzzword bingo with the launch of its upgraded Self-Organizing Network (SON) software, which the vendor claims can "provide communication service providers with the promise of zero-touch network automation for 5G and increased operational efficiencies." SON, says Nokia, removes the traditional operator console and replaces it with an "objective driven dashboard," which apparently is a good thing. In a proof of concept pilot with a "leading North American operator" SON increased operational efficiency by 80%, claims Nokia.

  • The Irish Data Protection Commission's investigation into the lawfulness of Facebook's data transfers between the European Union and the US has been temporarily frozen by Ireland's High Court. As Reuters reports, the social media giant had sought a judicial review of the Commission's preliminary decision that the data transfer mechanism, called the Standard Contractual Clause (SCC), "cannot in practice be used."

  • T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's IT services arm, is teaming up with data center firm OVHCloud to create a "trusted public cloud offering for Germany, France and other European markets." The joint project will seek to follow the principles of Gaia-X, the pan-European project that aims to develop a data infrastructure for Europe that "meets the highest standards of digital sovereignty while promoting innovation" and is less reliant on those big, bad US tech titans.

  • Proximus' Android TV service, Pickx, has gone live, powered by 3Ready software from 3SS. The new service replaces the Belgian operator's existing AOSP-based TV offering in its entirety, and is currently being made available to the operator's 1.65 million-plus legacy set-top boxes.

  • CityFibre, the UK alternative network infrastructure provider, has begun work on a new, £40 million ($51.6 million) fiber rollout in the Scottish region of Renfrewshire. This will be a 700km extension of CityFibre's existing network there, which currently connects a range of council-owned buildings such as schools, libraries and community centers. PMK is delivering the construction program on CityFibre's behalf.

  • France's Ekinops has appointed Vincent Munière as its new chief technology officer and vice president of research and development. Munière has more than 20 years' experience in software engineering, most recently with French operator SFR.

  • Uber, the company behind the (almost) all-conquering taxi-summoning app, begins its legal battle today to overturn London's decision to ban it from its streets over safety concerns. As Reuters reports, the city's transport regulator, Transport for London, refused to grant Uber a new license in 2019 after what it described as a "pattern of failures," some of them relating to driver identification.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading


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