Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Openreach commits to "Fibre First" for the UK

Openreach announced plans to accelerate its rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) across the UK.

The new "Fibre First Programme" represents a strategic shift in the way that Openreach thinks about last mile infrastructure. Going forward, the company will seek to deploy "fibre first" wherever possible, including in rural areas.

Openreach said its new goal is to reach three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020. The programme will start in a few months in an initial eight cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.

Reaching an all-fibre network across the UK is a massive and Openreach said the full rollout may take decades.

"I believe Openreach can be at the heart of this digital revolution and has a critical role to play in ensuring the UK has a FTTP network, fit for the future. The prize for our wholesale customers, their customers and the UK as a whole is huge," stated Clive Selley, Openreach CEO.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

UK's National Research and Education Network to activate 400G with Ciena

Jisc, which operates Janet – the UK’s world-class National Research and Education Network (NREN), is deploying Ciena’s 6500 packet-optical platform to enable 400G wavelength connectivity -- a world first for an NREN.

“Our vision is for the UK to be at the forefront of scientific research. To make that happen, we must have a highly robust network powered with industry-leading technology that can scale to support bandwidth-intensive applications like genome editing and The Square Kilometre Array,” said Jeremy Sharp, Network Infrastructure Director, Jisc.

“Working with Ciena, the Janet Network was the first NREN to provide 100G for users and, as demand has grown, is now the first to provide 400G. WaveLogic Ai enables us to operate efficiently and accurately engineer the network for optimal capacity to manage massive flows from new data-intensive research activities,” Sharp added.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BT adds direct connect to IBM Cloud services

BT launched a new service to provide global businesses with direct access to IBM Cloud via the BT network.

Within the UK, the BT Cloud Connect Direct now provides connectivity into IBM Cloud data centres in the UK.

This will be followed in the coming months with direct connectivity into IBM Cloud data centres in mainland Europe, the US, Australia and Asia, optimising performance and compliance for customers in those regions.

Cloud Connect Direct for IBM will be managed and supported from a single BT-managed service desk, providing proactive management and quality of service.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Vodafone initiates 5G trial with Ericsson

Vodafone UK is conducting a trial of pre-standard 5G using 3.5 GHz spectrum in central London.

The testing is carried out in partnership with Ericsson and King’s College London. The trial includes both indoor and outdoor configurations using MIMO, beamforming, beam tracking, and other advanced technologies.

Vodafone UK Head of Networks Kye Prigg said: “We’re delighted to be the first provider to test standalone 5G in the field, however, building a 5G network will take time. Right now, we’re also modernising our network by making smarter use of our existing mobile technology to keep ahead of consumption demands and provide the mobile coverage our customers deserve.

“5G also needs fibre optic cables. Together with CityFibre, we will soon start work installing the advanced fibre networks providing high-capacity backhaul connections required for 5G mobile services.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

China Mobile to enter UK as MVNO

China Mobile is entering the UK telephony market as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with leased capacity on the EE network.

The new service -- called CMLink -- will provide mobile voice and data services for Chinese immigrants, students and professionals living in and traveling to the UK. The company estimates the size of the Chinese community in the UK at 433,000. A further 82,000 Chinese nationals are studying in the UK on student visas. During the first half of 2017, there were 115,000 Chinese tourists visiting the UK, up 47% over last year.

Two key features of the service:

  • CMLink promises no extra fees on data, minutes and texts across the UK, selected destinations in the EU, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.
  • CMLink subscribers can  make free calls to 880 million China Mobile users in China.

“China Mobile’s ‘Big Connectivity’ strategy affirms its vision of becoming a leading global operator with innovative digital services.” said Dr. Li Feng, Chairman and CEO at CMI. “While China Mobile serves 880 million domestic mobile subscribers, CMI – its operating subsidiary responsible for international business – is breaking new ground in overseas markets. With the growing business and cultural exchanges between China and the UK, the launch of CMI’s CMLink MVNO, enables Chinese communities to stay connected with family, friends and business partners anytime, anywhere. We expect the UK launch to be a new chapter in CMI delivering compelling digital services that break down barriers of communication for global consumers while fostering open exchange between Belt and Road companies.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

BT awards 5-year contract renewal to Ciena

BT awarded a five-year contract renewal to Ciena to deploy its 6500 Converged Packet Optical Platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The UK-wide deployment, which commenced in summer 2017, will enable BT to grow its optical services business.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

EE flies a 4G mast in helium balloon

EE, which is now part of BT Group, deplyed a Helikite ‘air mast’ at a Red Bull Foxhunt downhill mountain biking event in Wales. Specifically, the EE air mast was flown 300 feet above Machynlleth, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, to boost 4G coverage and capacity for the Red Bull mountain biking event.

EE claims this was the first time the balloon technology has been used to provide mobile connectivity to consumers.

EE also noted that it recently upgraded more than 900 sites across the UK to support the latest smartphones with Cat 12 and Cat 16 capabilities, increasing the maximum downlink rate from 50Mbps to up to 100Mbps.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Iron Mountain to buy data centres in London and Singapore

Iron Mountain has agree to acquire two Credit Suisse data centers in London and Singapore for approximately $100 million. As part of the transaction, Credit Suisse will enter into a long-term lease with Iron Mountain to maintain their existing data center operations. The two facilities combined add 273,000 square feet and over 14 megawatts (MW) of capacity (including future expansion) to Iron Mountain’s growing portfolio – of which 4.2MW is leased to Credit Suisse. The London data center is 120,000 total square feet and located in the Slough Trading Estate, while the Singapore data center is 153,000 total square feet located in Serangoon.

The deal represents the first international expansion of Iron Mountain's data center business.

Iron Mountain plans to fund the purchase with proceeds from a new share issua.


  • In September, Iron Mountain acquired the FORTRUST data center business.
  • Also in September, Iron Mountain opened the first of four planned data centers at a new, 83-acre campus in Northern Virginia. The first is a Tier III, 165,000 square-foot, 10.5-megawatt multi-tenant and cloud facility located in Prince William County. The company invested over $80 million in the first phase of this data center and expects to invest $350 million to bring the full campus to completion. The first phase opens with more than half of its first phase capacity pre-leased, including customers like Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business. 
  • Northern Virginia is Iron Mountain’s fifth U.S. data centre market. Additional locations include Boston, Denver, Kansas City and Western Pennsylvania.

Monday, October 2, 2017

VIRTUS plans massive data center in West London

VIRTUS Data Centres announced plans two new buildings at its eight-acre campus near Stockley Park, West London.

The new two facilities, known as LONDON5 and LONDON6, measure 34,475m2 and are designed to deliver 40MW of IT load. LONDON5 is expected to be ready in early 2018.

The VIRTUS campus is 16 miles from central London on the main fibre routes from London to Slough, and 7 miles from Slough. The company said this expansion strengthens its position as the largest hybrid colocation provider in the London metro area.  These two new data centres will provide an additional 17,000NTM (net technical metres) of IT space and will increase VIRTUS’ portfolio in London to approximately 100MW across their six facilities in Slough, Hayes and Enfield, with the power to expand to circa 150MW on the various campuses.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Toshiba's Cambridge Research Lab Sets Quantum Encryption record

Quantum cyptography is postulated to be unbreakable. However, the quantum key must be held by the receiving party for the encrypted message to be deciphered. Until now, the speed at which a quantum key can be distributed has been limited to 1.9 Mbps.

Toshiba Research Europe Limited’s Cambridge Research Laboratory in the UK has just announced a new data distribution speed record of 13.7 Mbps - seven times the previous record, which was also achieved by Toshiba last year. The transmission spanned 10km over an optical fiber.

The details of the new device will be announced at the QCrypt 2017 conference, which will be held at the University of Cambridge from September 18-22.

Toshiba says it is already applying quantum encrption to secure genomic data in Japan.

Monday, September 4, 2017

BT unveils “Business Platform-as-a-Service”

BT unveiled its new “Business Platform-as-a-Service” for helping enterprise customers engage in digital transformation.

The service lets enterprises use the BT Personalised Compute Management System (PCMS) to enable them to sell, fulfil and monetise their own portfolio of digital services.

This is the same platform that BT uses for its own cloud portfolio.

BT said enterprises wanting rapid entry into the cloud market will be able to resell its existing digital ecosystem services, such as Cloud Compute, Compute Storage and Apps , or develop their own new services. BT's platform offers more than 45 fully digitalised business support processes, such as product management, customer management, user authentication, order management, service management and billing and collections.

Services are deliverd from 22 BT locations around the world.

“PCMS brings to life a vision of how businesses can innovate in the digital economy. It is a ready-made platform that allows new ways for companies to digitalise, manage and build profitable business models from their own vibrant ecosystem of consumers, producers and innovators," stated Neil Lock, vice president Compute, Global Services, BT.

http://www.btplc.com/News/#/pressreleases/bt-announces-business-platform-as-a-service-2129340
https://www.globalservices.bt.com/uk/en/products/personalised-cms

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

UK's Jisc selects GTT to support national R&E network

GTT Communications, a major global cloud networking provider serving multinational clients, announced an agreement with Jisc, the provider of digital solutions for the UK research and education community and operator of the Janet network for the delivery of Internet services.

Under the agreement, GTT will provide high-speed Internet services for the Janet network to support the research and learning of its approximately 18 million UK college and university users.

GTT delivers Internet services over its Tier 1 global IP backbone, which features over 300 points of presence and enable the provision of flexible, high-capacity cloud networking services to major organisations worldwide.

GTT’s resilient Internet connectivity solution for Jisc is designed to guarantee high network availability, interconnecting via three geographically separated points of presence. The initial service agreement provides up to 120 Gbit/s of Internet capacity with the opportunity to further upgrade the service as Jisc's user demand increases. GTT noted that the Janet network is also the UK operator of Eduroam, the international roaming service for the education community with 70 million users.

Janet operates a network that includes over 5,000 km of optical fibre and a backbone that runs at 100 Gbit/s with interconnect capacity of around 40 Gbit/s.

Monday, July 31, 2017

BT restructures, appoints EE CEO to lead new Consumer business

UK-based telco BT Group has announced organisational changes designed to simplify its operating model, strengthen accountabilities and accelerate its transformation.

The organisational changes are as follows:

1.         Marc Allera, currently CEO of the EE business acquired in 2016, is appointed to lead a newly created Consumer business, combining BT's Consumer and EE businesses, effective September 1, 2017. The new Consumer business will operate via three distinct brands - BT, EE and Plusnet – encompassing fixed and mobile networks, consumer products and services and content.

Marc Allen previously served in a number of roles with Three UK, including as chief commercial officer and sales and marketing director, and prior to that with its parent company Hutchison Whampoa.

2.         Cathryn Ross, currently chief executive of Ofwat, the water sector regulator in England and Wales, has been appointed as director of regulatory affairs, following the decision of Sean Williams, current chief strategy officer at BT Group, to leave the company. Cathryn Ross is expected to take up her new role in January 2018.

Prior to joining Ofwat, Cathryn Ross was executive director of markets and economics at the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and also worked at the Competition Commission (now Competition and Markets Authority).

3.         John Petter, after nearly four years serving as CEO of BT Consumer, has announced he will step down to pursue roles outside BT Group.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BT Openreach seeks support for large-scale roll-out of full fibre

BT unit Openreach has called for greater industry and political collaboration to support the construction of a large-scale, full-fibre broadband network that could help strengthen UK competitiveness and its position as a leading digital economy in the G20 group of countries.

Openreach provides phone and broadband infrastructure to around 30 million UK homes and businesses via more than 580 communications provider customers, and has launched a consultation with retail providers and is engaging with government and the regulator Ofcom to identify locations with widespread demand for a large-scale, full fibre, or FTTP, network capable of delivering more reliable service and gigabit speeds.

Openreach will also assess the potential market benefits of implementing such a major infrastructure deployment and seek support for the key enablers required to make a commercial investment case viable.

The enablers that Openreach believes are necessary to drive larger scale FTTP deployment include:

1.  Greater collaboration, including new investment, risk and cost sharing models.

2. Agreement on how the mass migration of customers onto the new platform can be achieved.

3. Reducing logistical barriers, for example improved planning and traffic management processes.

4. Agreement on the right method for sharing the costs of FTTP investment.

5.  A new legal and regulatory environment that will encourage investment.

Openreach noted that, drawing on BT's R&D teams at its labs in Martlesham Heath in Suffolk, it recently became the first company to demonstrate 100 Gbit/s speeds utilising its existing FTTP infrastructure, illustrating the potential to meet future consumer and business bandwidth demands.

Openreach stated that it is currently working towards making ultra-fast speeds of more than 100 Mbit/s available to 12 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2020 employing a mixture of technologies. However, it is also interested in exploring the conditions that could allow it to invest in more full-fibre infrastructure.

Over the last decade, Openreach noted that it has invested more than GBP 11 billion in its network and currently manages more than 158 million km of cable extending from Scotland to Cornwall and from Wales to the east coast.

Commenting on the initiative, Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said, "With the right conditions I believe Openreach could make FTTP available to as many as 10 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s, but it needs to understand if there is sufficient demand to justify the roll-out and support for the enablers needed to build a viable business case… that includes removing barriers to investment and incentivising those… prepared to take a commercial risk".

Thursday, July 13, 2017

O2 Picks Cisco for free Wi-Fi in the City of London

O2 has selected Cisco to roll-out free, public access Wi-Fi in the City of London, replacing the current service currently provided by The Cloud. Activation is expected this autumn. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cisco will deploy its Aironet 1560 Series outdoor access point technology to offer internet connectivity to more than 400,000 people working in the Square Mile.

Cornerstone Telecommunication Infrastructure (CTIL) and the City of London Corporation are overseeing the project.

"Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK's reputation as a digital leader and we needed a partner that would be able to provide cutting-edge technology to help us realise this. We're pleased to be working with Cisco to support this initiative using its robust, speedy and seamless technology to create a Wi-Fi network and enable the capital to help retain its position as a leading global centre" said Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2.

http://www.cisco.com

Friday, July 7, 2017

EE, Qualcomm and Sony Demo Gigabit LTE

Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, UK mobile operator EE and Sony Mobile Communications have showcased what they claim is Europe’s first commercial Gigabit LTE/4G mobile device and network.

During the event, held at the Wembley Stadium in London, the companies demonstrated live upload speeds over the EE 4G network of 110 Mbit/s and download speeds of 750 Mbit/s, which are claimed to be more than twice the speed of the UK's fastest commercial available fibre broadband offering.

The demonstration also featured what is believed to be Europe's first commercial gigabit LTE mobile device, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, which is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform.

During the event, the companies showcased Gigabit LTE capabilities in four real-world use cases: streaming 4K HDR10 content from Amazon Prime; downloading of large files via Google Drive; download of music/video files for offline use; and a network simulation designed to showcase the network-wide benefits of deploying Gigabit LTE.

It was noted that EE, the mobile operation of BT, has activated the latest upgrades to its 4G network in Cardiff, Wales and in London's Tech City, and will be rolling out the technology to more major cities during 2017 and 2018. EE stated that real-world speeds of up to 428 Mbit/s have been demonstrated in Cardiff city centre to mark the launch of Sony’s flagship Xperia XZ Premium smartphone.

EE noted that it was the first network in the UK to support Cat 9 mobile devices in September 2016, and is extending its leading position by being the first operator to support the latest Cat 16 mobile devices with Gigabit LTE.

Announced at MWC 2017 and launched in June, Sony's Xperia XZ Premium is claimed to be the first Gigabit LTE-enabled smartphone. The device, powered by the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, is also the first smartphone to feature a 4K HDR display. The Gigabit LTE performance is enabled by the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem integrated into the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform.

Gigabit LTE leverages LTE Advanced features including 4 x 4 MIMO, 3 x CA (3 carrier aggregation) and 256QAM higher order modulation. Gigabit LTE capability will provide a key element of future 5G mobile networks by providing the high-speed coverage layer that will co-exist and interwork with 5G networks.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

UK-based Optoscribe, developer of photonics technology, raises $2.3m

Optoscribe based in Livingston, Scotland, a global supplier of glass-based integrated photonics components, announced that it has closed a series B investment round of $2.3 million (GBP 1.8 million) that will support its expansion and product supply plans.

The second round of funding was led by Scottish business angel investment syndicate, Archangels, and supported by other existing investors Par Equity, Scottish Investment Bank and the Optoscribe management team.

Optoscribe previously announced it had raised GBP 1.2 million of funding in April 2016 in a round led by Archangels, which provided GBP 825,000 of funding, supported by Par Equity, the Edinburgh venture capital fund, with GBP 325,000 of investment, and Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) which invested GBP 50,000. The company said that the new funding would be invested in its manufacturing facilities, with a focus on its FCX product line for the data comms market.

At that time Optoscribe stated that it had been awarded development contracts by a number of technology companies and that it was supplying products worldwide to these companies for R&D purposes.

Recently, in March of this year Optoscribe announced the opening of a new facility to accommodate growth and meet future expansion plans. The new 7,400 sq foot building includes a Class 1,000 laser processing clean room and Class 10,000 assembly, characterisation, test and assembly clean room. The new facility also offers room for future expansion to accommodate the company's growth plans.

Optoscribe has developed advanced technology that enables the production of optical components at a wafer level, primarily targeted at high-volume optical transceiver manufacturers supplying the growing data centre equipment market.

The company's technology is designed to enable simple, precise coupling of optical fibres to arrays of laser emitters and/or photodetectors within optical transceivers. This allows transceiver manufacturers to automate the assembly process leveraging Optoscribe's monolithic single optical interconnect component, while also significantly reducing the costs associated with assembly and testing.

Founded in 2010, Optoscribe applies its laser direct write technology to manufacture glass-based integrated photonic components for the telecoms and data comms markets. Optoscribe is a spin out business from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Telstra acquires UK-based Company85

Australian incumbent telco Telstra announced that it has acquired Company85, a UK-based technology services business headquartered in London that offers data centre, workspace, cloud, security and network services.

Established in 2010 and based in London, Company85 has approximately 75 employees and focuses on providing services to major UK-based business and government customers including the BBC, NHS, Royal Mail and London City Airport, as well as multinational corporations including AstraZeneca, J.P. Morgan and Roche.

Company85 CEO Adrian Spink stated that the combination of Telstra's network and global reach and Company85’s technical capabilities and established relationships with CIOs and chief information security officers at large organisations was expected to create significant growth opportunities.

The acquisition aligns with Telstra's strategy of expanding its technology services business internationally, and is expected to significantly enhance the company's service offering for UK and European-based businesses and government sector customers.

Company85 originally operated under the Company-I name as a specialist data centre consultancy. The company became the UK and EMEA consulting arm of Symantec Global Services before a management buyout and in 2013 acquired XOR, a specialist provider of workspace and channel services. In 2015 it acquired DVS Channel Services, providing consulting for data, voice and security services.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Openreach to Consult on Broadband Expansion

Openreach, a unit of BT and the largest network infrastructure provider in the UK, responsible for a network serving around 30 million residential and business customers, has announced that it will consult with its communications provider customers regarding the best way to enhance broadband connectivity across Britain.

The company, which provides broadband infrastructure to more than 580 service providers, is to request customer input relating to two key policy issues for the UK: developing the investment case for a large-scale, 'full fibre' network; and extending faster broadband speeds to 'not-spots' that currently have access to services offering less than 10 Mbit/s bandwidth.

Full fibre network

Openreach has previously stated its aim of making ultra-fast broadband of more than 100 Mbit/s available to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020. However, the business wishes to explore the conditions that might enable it to invest in more full fibre, FTTP, infrastructure.

The consultation with providers will assess the demand for FTTP, the potential benefits and costs of a expanded FTTP deployment, and the enablers required to support investment. Openreach is currently engaged in a scoping phase, with the expectation of launching a formal consultation in the summer of this year.

Universal broadband coverage

Openreach also plans to launch a consultation with providers on the next steps for the emerging broadband technology Long Reach VDSL, which has been demonstrated to enable higher broadband speeds over long phone lines connected to fibre cabinets. This technology could help deliver universal broadband in line with the government's policy objectives as set out in the Digital Economy Act, which targets the availability of minimum 10 Mbit/s access speed for all customers.

The consultation process is designed to enable Openreach to determine the most effective way of deploying Long Reach VDSL technology so that it delivers the most benefit for customers, as well as supporting the aim of achieving universal broadband in the UK.

Openreach stated that by the end of 2017, according to analysis by Thinkbroadband, an estimated 95% of the UK is due to have access to broadband speeds of at least 24 Mbit/s, while currently around 3% of the UK does not have access to a service with at least 10 Mbit/s bandwidth.

Additionally, Openreach is planning to introduce changes to the way it interacts with the industry that include a confidential process allowing service provider customers to discuss new strategic initiatives with Openreach, prior to any public consultation. The proposed changes are part of Openreach's preparations for greater functional separation from BT Group.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kaiam expands UK manufacturing capacity via acquisition of facilities from CP

Kaiam, a privately-held developer of hybrid photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology, announced the completion of its acquisition of the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics (CP) in Newton Aycliffe, Durham in the UK as part of a transaction that also includes investment by CP into Kaiam to further develop the facility.

The Newton Aycliffe facility will enable Kaiam to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity for silica-on-silicon planar lightwave circuits (PLCs) and 40 and 100 Gbit/s transceivers, and adds both electronic and optoelectronic compound semiconductor devices to the product line. The acquisition also includes tooling and an experienced team that complements and expands Kaiam's existing Livingston, Scotland factory.

Kaiam noted that the new facility will enable it to produce InP photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that will form the basis for advanced transceivers in the future. The transaction continues Kaiam's strategy of achieving vertical integration, building on its acquisition of Gemfire's PLC fab in 2013.

The Newton Aycliffe facility encompasses 300,000 sq feet and includes a fully operational wafer fab with 100,000 sq feet. of cleanroom space for processing, packaging, and testing of III-V devices. The factory is currently shipping GaAs devices and circuits, with the capability to produce InP optoelectronics. Kaiam noted that the facility was originally built as a silicon fab for DRAMs before being converted to III-V materials and currently has 3 and 6 inch lines.
Kaiam announced in March that it planned to acquire the manufacturing facilities of Compound Photonics (CP) in Newton Aycliffe. Kaiam acquired Gemfire, its strategic PLC supplier, in 2013 and currently operates an 8 inch silica-on-silicon line for the fabrication of integrated optical components in Gemfire's Livingston facility in Scotland. It also operates 40 and 100 Gbit/s optical packaging lines at the facility, and noted at the time that these were nearing capacity.

Compound Photonics (CP) is a privately held photonics company with a focus on liquid crystal on silicon display devices and laser technologies for a range of applications in the projection and near to eye display markets.


Commenting on the acquisition, Bardia Pezeshki, Kaiam CEO, said, "… future transceivers that run at higher speed and use complex modulation formats will require integrated photonic elements that are highly differentiated and will not be readily available in the market… this new facility will give Kaiam this essential PIC capability, positioning it to meet customers' needs for improving speed, cost, power, density and manufacturing scale".


See also