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portfolios are expected to transition to Vecima, however Nokia will retain its remaining cable-related products and the companies say they intend to maintain an ongoing business relationship, including resell agreements for key, enabling technologies, to address unified cable access opportunities. “Our cable access solutions have played a very important role in helping to redefine next generation cable solutions and our customers’ strategies for addressing evolving network demands using distributed architectures,” said Sandra Motley, president of Fixed Networks at Nokia. “However, the industry continues to go through significant shifts, and we believe the timing is right to transition our cable access business to Vecima Networks. Vecima has the focus, resources and complementary product portfolio needed to support these changes and help operators move toward a Distributed Access Architecture.” “Nokia’s portfolio to be acquired aligns perfectly with Vecima Networks’ strategy to provide open, independent, and future- proof cable access solutions that support a multi-vendor ecosystem,” said Sumit Kumar, President and CEO at Vecima Networks. “The addition of these products and world- class talent broadens our DAA platform and adds 10G-EPON products to our portfolio. In addition to expanding the products and services we are providing to existing customers, we look forward to partnering with service providers around the globe we don’t currently do business with.”

brands like TalkTalk and Sky. However, that is changing rapidly and our research shows that the operators are keen to work together on a wholesale platform that can bridge the gap in the market,” said INCA CEO Malcolm Corbett. Henry West, Commercial Director, Truespeed, which provides full fibre broadband in the South West of England says, “Smaller independent providers, like Truespeed, are already working full pelt to roll out full fibre infrastructure to rural and hard to reach areas of the UK, and the creation of a common wholesale platform would be a welcome reinforcement to those efforts. A dual strategy approach, employing both wholesale and direct sales to consumers, would enable infrastructure providers to cover more ground more quickly and, crucially, give consumers more choice. Whether through supplying customers directly or by leasing our infrastructure to other suppliers, our priority is ensuring consumers have access to the best value full fibre service for their needs.” INCA is supporting the development of a ‘Common Wholesale Platform’, which would enable groups of independent wholesale network providers to combine together and offer a real competitive alternative to the limited number of large players which currently dominate the market. The aim is to make it as simple as possible for service providers to deliver their services over challenger networks, thus helping to foster credible competition and consumer choice in the delivery of the UK’s new digital infrastructure.

Directors and Treasurer in 2019. Council president Eric Festraets commented, “The FTTH Council Europe is proud to announce the appointment of Vincent as the new director general, succeeding to Erzsébet Fitori whom we would like to thank again for her dedication and outstanding contribution to reshaping the FTTH Council Europe. I am confident that Vincent’s solid experience in the telecommunications sector, vast understanding of the association’s membership, focus on growth and proven ability to implement creative change in such a transforming industry like ours will allow him to work effectively in the Council members’ best interest.”

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37,000KMSUBSEA CABLE TO CONNECT 16 AFRICANCOUNTRIES China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC are to partner to build 2Africa, the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region. At 37,000km, 2Africa will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects and will interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa. The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system. 2Africa will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, supplement the fast-growing capacity demand in the Middle East and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people. In countries where the 2Africa cable will land, service providers will obtain capacity in carrier-neutral data centres or open-access cable landing stations on a fair and equitable basis. This will support healthy internet ecosystem development by facilitating greatly improved accessibility for businesses and consumers alike. The 2Africa cable has been designed to improve resilience and maximise performance, including the option of a seamless optical crossing between East Africa and Europe. The 2Africa cable will implement a new technology, SDM1 from ASN, allowing deployment of up to 16 fibre pairs instead of the eight fibre pairs supported by older technologies, bringing much greater and more cost-effective capacity. The cable will incorporate optical switching technology to enable flexible management of bandwidth. Cable burial depth has also been increased by 50% compared to older systems, and cable routing will avoid locations of known subsea disturbance, all helping to ensure the highest levels of availability.

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UK ALTNETS BACK COMMON WHOLESALE PLATFORM Nearly nine out of ten (88.7%) of the UK’s challenger broadband network providers support the creation of a common platform through which they could provide wholesale services to third-party content providers, according to a new survey. The creation of a common wholesale platform is an important step forward in enabling independent operators to attract service providers to their networks by aggregating the large volume of customers they could potentially reach. By cross referencing against the Spring INCA / Point Topic survey, it has been estimated that there will be 11 million premises accessed via independent networks by 2025. The number of premises provided with full-fibre coverage is increasing rapidly with independent networks increasing their deployment by 50% last year to 1.2 million. However, with just over 10% of all UK premises covered with full fibre there is a long way to go, although Virgin Media’s cable network makes a significant contribution to the Government’s 2025 target of “gigabit-capable broadband” to all homes. “For some time, it has been presumed that challenger independent providers do not have the scale to attract major

RESHUFFLE AT FTTHCOUNCIL EUROPE Following the May 2020 departure of Erzsébet Fitori after three and a half years as director general of the FTTH Council Europe, the Council has named Vincent Garnier as Fitori’s replacement. Filling Garnier’s vacated position on the Board of Directors is Su Guaglianone, senior marketing director EMEA at CommScope. In addition, acting director general Aurélie Bladocha Coelho becomes the new chair of the Policy and Regulation Committee in addition to her responsibilities of director of communications and public affairs. She succeeds Karin Ahl. Vincent Garnier brings to this position 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, in Marketing and Business Development in EMEA and Asia for B2B companies. Most recently he was Marketing Director responsible for defining the marketing strategies for the broadband solutions at CommScope. Prior to joining CommScope, Garnier worked in international business development at TKH Group NV and as a Marketing Manager at Prysmian & Exide Technologies. He has been actively involved in the FTTH Council Europe activities for several years and became a member of the Board of

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