Eurobites: Vodafone Tweaks Wholesale Terms With CityFibre to Speed ‘Gigafast’ Rollout | Light Reading

Eurobites: Vodafone Tweaks Wholesale Terms With CityFibre to Speed ‘Gigafast’ Rollout | Light Reading

Paul Rainford


Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: A1 flips 5G switch in Austria; ADVA connects trains over 5G in Spain; handset sales slump at Dixons Carphone.

  • Vodafone UK has amended its commercial terms with CityFibre, the wholesale fiber access network altnet, in a move the operator hopes will speed up and broaden the rollout of CityFibre’s access network infrastructure, which Vodafone uses to offer its Gigafast Broadband service. Under the new agreement, Vodafone will offer its Gigafast service on a rolling, 12-month exclusive basis as homes become available for service in each of the 12 towns and cities covered in the first phase of the deployment. Previously, the duration of exclusivity was dependent on the total time taken to roll out the network in each town or city. The move also allows CityFibre to sell access on its wholesale network to other ISPs earlier than previously planned. The news comes as CityFibre announces plans to expand its empire with the 200 million (US$261 million) acquisition of FibreNation. (See CityFibre Expands UK Empire With 200M Acquisition.)

    Separately, Vodafone is also backing a new trial in the south-western UK city of Salisbury in which Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, will replace every copper line within the catchment area with fiber. Vodafone intends to migrate its customers to the Gigafast service there without charging an upfront connection fee.

  • Telekom Austria’s domestic unit is switching on 5G this Friday (January 25), with 350 locations set to go live on day one, making A1 the largest 5G network in Austria, according to the operator. The Austrian government, members of which lent their support to A1’s 5G launch yesterday, is aiming to make Austria one of the leading digital nations in Europe, and it hopes that rural areas in particular will benefit from the new technology.
  • Germany’s ADVA has been demonstrating what it claims is Europe’s “first 5G rail deployment.” Deployed across three stations on the FGC rail network in Barcelona, the 5G testbed connected a variety of end-user devices and compute resources using optical and wireless technologies, including ADVA’s G.metro passive optical technology and FSP 150 edge aggregation offering. According to ADVA, the demo successfully delivered multi-Gbit/s connectivity to fast-moving trains — something that, until now, has been very hard to do.
  • People can’t get enough of supersized TVs, it seems, but Dixons Carphone, one of the UK’s biggest electronics retailers, is having a lean time of it on the smartphone front. Its “peak trading statement,” covering the Christmas period, found that like-for-like mobile phone revenue in the UK and Ireland was down 9% year-on-year. Maybe the appointment of Lindsay Haselhurst to the new role of chief supply chain officer will help turn things around
  • Cable giant Liberty Global has connected to the Asteroid Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Amsterdam. The move will allow other networks to exchange traffic with Liberty Global over the IXP, resulting, it is hoped, in better response times for end users.
  • Facebook is to create 1,000 new jobs in London during 2020, with more than half of them being techie roles such as software engineering, product design and data science. Some of them will be focused on policing what is being posted on the social media’s pages, with the ultimate aim of removing dangerous and offensive content. As the BBC reports, this bout of recruitment will take Facebook’s UK workforce to more than 4,000.
  • As Greta Thunberg gives Donald Trump the evil eye in Davos this week, the Exponential Roadmap initiative, of which Telia and Ericsson are a part, has launched a “playbook” for climate action which commits the corporate world to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade.
  • Nokia, apparently not known as a generous payer, even in its chunky-handset heyday, is now close to the top of the salary rankings in the Finnish tech sector, with its employees averaging 6,000 (US$6,600) a month, YLE reports, citing magazine Talouselm. That’s almost enough to buy a round in Finland

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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