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Openreach taps STL for UK full fibre network

Digital network integrator STL has announced a strategic collaboration with Openreach, the UK’s largest digital network business for the supply of optical cable solutions for a ‘Full Fibre’ broadband network.

Under the agreement, STL will be responsible for delivering millions of kilometres of optical fibre cable to support the build over the next three years. The collaboration with Openreach strengthens a 14-year-old technology and supply relationship between the two companies and further reinforces STL’s commitment to the UK market.

Openreach plans to use STL’s Opticonn solution – a specialised set of fibre, cable and interconnect offerings designed to drive performance improvements, including a claimed up to 30% faster installation. It will also have access to STL’s Celesta – a high-density optical fibre cable with a capacity of up to 6,912 optical fibres. STL says the compact design is 26% slimmer compared to traditional loose tube cables, allowing 2000 metres of cable to be installed in under an hour. The high density cable will also help minimise the use of plastic across Openreach’s new network.

Kevin Murphy, MD for Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach, said, “Our Full Fibre network build is going faster than ever. We need partners like STL on board to not only help sustain that momentum, but also to provide the skills and innovation to help us go even further. We know the network we’re building can deliver a host of social and economic benefits – from boosting UK productivity to enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips – but we’re also trying to make this one of the greenest network builds in the world. So, it’s good to know that STL’s compact and efficient designs will contribute to this in a significant way.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Ankit Agarwal, CEO Connectivity Solutions Business, STL, said, “We are extremely excited to join hands with Openreach as a key optical solutions partner to build Full Fibre broadband networks for millions in the UK. Our customised, 5G-ready optical solutions are ideally suited for Openreach’s future-proof network requirements and we believe they will enable next-gen digital experiences for homes and businesses across UK. This partnership will be a major step towards our mission of transforming billions of lives through digital networks.”

The announcement comes as Openreach continues to ramp up the build rate for its Full Fibre broadband programme, which aims to reach 20 million homes and businesses by the mid-to-late 2020s.

For more information, visit

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Infinera Introduces New Suite of XR Optics-powered Coherent Pluggable Solutions

Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) announced today that it has expanded its portfolio of open optical networking solutions with a suite of coherent optical pluggables designed to seamlessly address point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transport applications from the network edge to the core. Leveraging innovative XR optics technology, Infinera’s new suite of vertically integrated ICE-XR pluggables will offer network operators the performance, scale, and efficiency critical to the delivery of differentiated 5G, enhanced broadband, and next-generation cloud and business services. ICE-XR pluggables will support a range of transport rates, including 100G, 400G, and 800G, and utilize industry-standard form factors such as QSFP-28, QSFP-DD, and CFP2 to enable ease of deployment in a wide variety of router and transport devices.

“We have been engaged with 100+ network operators globally and the feedback that we have received has surpassed anything I have seen in my 35+ years of experience in successfully bringing game-changing technologies to market,” said Dave Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Infinera. “Leveraging the innovative capabilities of XR optics, ICE-XR will enable Infinera to create a completely new market with functionality that is uniquely positioned to address the point-to-multipoint traffic demands at the rapidly growing network edge and provide TCO savings of as much as 70%. Additionally, with Infinera’s deep vertical integration, ICE-XR will enable us to address the rapidly growing market for point-to-point pluggable coherent applications with a differentiated and cost-reduced solution.”

ICE-XR builds on Infinera’s history of delivering innovative, highly differentiated, and vertically integrated coherent optical engines. ICE-XR can be seamlessly software configured between point-to-point and point-to-multipoint operations. When used in point-to-point applications, ICE-XR can enable network operators to benefit from seamless generational upgrades, enhanced performance in capacity and reach, and the ability to utilize pay-as-you-grow service activation. In multipoint applications, ICE-XR can enable network operators to reduce the total number of transceivers in their networks by 50% or more and simplify their network architectures by eliminating electrical aggregation points and driving down capital expense and operational complexity. 

XR optics is an open technology initiative with the support of network operators, equipment manufacturers, and subsystem manufacturers. 

Initial ICE-XR pluggables are scheduled for release in 2022.

Read the full story on the Infinera website.

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Ofcom 2021 Study Ranks Mobile and Broadband ISPs by Quality

Ofcom has published their 2021 survey of UK broadband ISP and mobile service quality, call waiting times, complaints and install times among the largest providers. Overall TalkTalk attracted the lowest satisfaction for broadband (77%), while Three UK did the same for mobile (86%). Generally, customer service has taken a COVID-19 hit.

As usual this annual report is based on data that the industry regulator has gathered via a combination of consumer research (survey of people and social media posts etc.), submitted complaints and some new statistics that have been obtained directly from broadband, landline phone and mobile operators.

Overall 80% of fixed broadband ISP consumers claimed to be satisfied with their service (down from 85% last year), which compares with 90% for mobile (down from 93%) and 77% for landline phone (down from 85%). Subscribers to EE reported the highest levels of satisfaction with broadband (82%), while TalkTalk scored the lowest (77%).

Read the full story here.

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Oxbotica and Navtech launch “Terran360”: A world-first radar based localisation system giving cm precision to autonomous vehicles

Oxbotica and Navtech have launched Terran360, the world’s first all-weather radar localisation solution for industrial autonomous vehicles, with the pioneering technology typically accurate to <10cm on any vehicle, in any environment.

Combining Navtech’s patented FMCW radar sensor and Oxbotica’s autonomy software platform, Terran360 is an entirely new offering to the off-road autonomy market. It utilises a single long-range, high-definition radar sensor to give a detailed 360o picture of a vehicle’s surroundings, allowing it to work alongside conventional systems and be deployed in GPS-denied environments or in harsh conditions not suitable for LiDAR or vision while maintaining full pinpoint localisation at all times. 

Navtech’s high-resolution radar sensor is able to operate in the harshest conditions – such as in rain, fog, dust, or dirt and in complete darkness. The vibration resistant and IP67-certified sensor is designed to be maintenance free for 10 years, helping to reduce disruption to operations with no compromise to precision, reliability, or safety.

Terran360’s output can be fused with other sensor feeds or used as a standalone system, and is also able to provide independent and highly accurate vehicle motion. Terran360 operates on any vehicles, from slow moving to speeds of up to 120kph (75mph) and has been comprehensively tested on different vehicle platforms and in dramatically different environments, including in mines, on urban roads, on railways and in marine settings.

Paul Newman, Founder & CTO at Oxbotica, said: “We are delighted to launch Terran360 in collaboration with Navtech. We are bringing a game-changing localisation system to market that gives operators and manufacturers a new way to answer the crucial autonomy question of “Where am I?” – and one that is unimpeded by environment or place.”

Phil Avery, Managing Director at Navtech Radar, commented: “We are extremely proud to launch this outstanding product for commercial use, offering a radar localisation solution never seen before. Thanks to decades of experience in delivering radar solutions for safety and mission critical applications, and together with Oxbotica’s world-leading autonomy software platform, Terran360 is trusted to answer the fundamental question for autonomous vehicles: “Where am I?”, everywhere, every time.”

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