Also today, Prysmian Group gets closer to floating its new boat, Telefónica's wholesale division expands while its parent company contracts, Alaskan PoP plus fiber empowers NOAA scientists to speedily share data (and resumes?), Moldovans love fiber and Electronic Arts' cloud-based gaming trial bodes well for fixed broadband.
Financier George Soros will likely sell his shares of UK full-fiber altnet Hyperoptic, the Daily Telegraph reports. The billionaire's discussions place Hyperoptic's value at more than £500 million ($616 million) -- about the amount the operator promised to invest in its broadband infrastructure over the next three years. Quantum Strategic Partners, Soros' investment firm, hired LionTree bankers to manage a full or partial sale, the Telegraph wrote.
Prysmian Group completed the basic design phase and is well into the detail-engineering stage of its new cable-laying vessel, Leonardo da Vinci. The Italian cable-systems and energy company began steel cutting in May 2019 and started keel laying work last week, meeting Prysmian Group's plan to have an operational ship by second-quarter 2021. The company is investing more than €170 million ($187.7 million) into the ship, which will accommodate 120 people and include a gym, auditorium, games room, dayroom and officers’ lounge, according to Prysmian Group.
Built for the Long Haul
An artist's rendering of Prysmian Group's Leonardo da Vinci, an almost $188-million cable-laying vessel currently under construction.
Telefónica's International Wholesale Services division has completely automated its networking services, allowing it to automatically provision and orchestrate clients' needs from a common control layer, the operator said. TIWS also upgraded its transport layer and expanded its Internet resale offering roster to include more than 30 countries in Europe and Latin America. Access technologies include FTTH, satellite and mobile, according to the Telefónica unit.
In other Telefónica news, the Spanish operator is expected to cut about 5,000 jobs through an "incentivized retirement plan" for employees aged 53-plus, Bloomberg reported today, citing Spanish news reports and two sources familiar with the plans. The operator could present a formal plan to unions on Wednesday, sources said. Included in that plan: Re-educating some remaining staff on new skills such as IoT, smart homes and other fast-growing opportunities, Bloomberg said.
A newly launched fiber-based point of presence in Utqiavik, Alaska will empower NOAA scientists to rapidly communicate and send scientific data, reported Anchorage TV station KTUU. Advocates hope the high-speed broadband, which combines the new PoP, satellite signals and FTTx, will bring more business to the Arctic region and help residents find jobs, improve their lives via connected communities and enhance education. Partly because the town -- which is the northernmost city in the United States -- is dark from November to January, satellite-only service was often slow and suffered from high latency; it also was unreliable during the area's frequently poor weather, according to KTUU. Adding fiber increases speed about 600-times, dramatically improves reliability and reduces latency, the TV station said.
Moldova Adds More Fiber
More of Moldova's almost 4 million residents are adopting fiber, according to new government statistics. (Image source: Wikimedia)
Moldova's fixed-broadband subscriber base grew 3.3% in the first six months of 2019, according to regulator ANRCETI. Of the 643,600 subs adding this service, 65.5% chose FTTx, 26.7% opted for xDSL, 7.5% picked DOCSIS x and 0.3% took other, the Eastern European country's government agency reported. Total fiber customers reached 421,500 and xDSL 171,700; penetration of fixed Internet services per 100 inhabitants grew 1.2% to 24%.
Electronic Arts began public trials of its cloud gaming service Project Atlas at 10 pm PST Sept. 9. The offering could benefit fixed-access broadband providers that offer high-speed services, especially as Project Atlas initially is limited to computers, according to PC Mag. The gaming service arrives to select testers as a 15 Mbit downloadable app and streaming requires a connection of between 5 Mbps and 30 Mbps, EA told PC Mag. At the slowest speed, games will render at 480 pixels. (See Cloud-Based Apps Power 10G PON.)
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
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