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By Namerah S
Google to lay a new subsea cable connecting the US, UK and Spain
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Alphabet-owned company Google has announced that it will be laying a new subsea cable christened Grace Hopper. The path of the new cable from Google Cloud is set to connect the U.S., UK and Spain. It is to be used mainly for the purpose of carrying traffic for the company's enterprise and consumer products.
The new undersea cable is set to use some of the latest technology in the industry. It will incorporate novel optical fiber switching, making it the first submarine cable in the world to have such features. Google hopes that this will result in making Grace Hopper faster and more reliable than the rest.
Speaking about the upcoming transatlantic cable, VP of Google's global network Bikash Koley delved into the details of the project:
It is expected that Grace Hopper will be ready by 2022. Google has selected SubCom, an experienced company in the undersea cable industry, for the project. A contract for the cable has already been signed by the two parties.
This, of course, isn't Google's first such venture. The first privately-owned undersea cable laid down by the company was named Curie. It was announced in early 2018 and subsequently commissioned in 2019. Apart from Curie, the tech giant owns two other private cables named Dunant and Equiano.
Plex adds more streaming content thanks to new partnership
by Paul Hill
Plex has announced that more content will be available to users in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain after it reached a partnership agreement with Endemol Shine Group.
The partnership will see free ad-supported content arrive in the aforementioned countries; titles include Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Bananas in Pyjamas, City Homicide, Deal or No Deal, MasterChef, McLeod’s Daughters, Mr Bean and Peaky Blinders. The content will vary by country so you may not see all the titles listed here on Plex.
Commenting on the development, Shawn Eldridge, vice president of strategic alliances and content at Plex, said:
Endemol Shine Group said that it was pleased with the partnership and that it was looking forward to working with Plex in the future. The firm didn’t specify how it sees its relationship with Plex evolving.
Today’s news arrives almost two weeks after it announced the launch of ad-supported video content from Crackle. The content offered by Crackle was limited to the United States so today’s news will be welcomed by those elsewhere in the world who are waiting for new content.
Nokia and Deutsche Telekom are the latest companies to quit MWC 2020
by Paul Hill
Nokia and Deutsche Telekom are among the latest firms announcing their withdrawal from MWC 2020. It comes just a day after a report surfaced which suggested that the event could be called off with a decision due on Friday. The two firms join ZTE, LG, Ericsson, Nvidia, Sony, TCL and Vivo in skipping the event.
In a statement regarding its decision, Nokia said:
Aside from Nokia and Deutsche Telekom, Reuters reported that Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics is also withdrawing from the event. Reuters also said that an official statement from other European telecoms operators about whether they’d attend the event or not.
MWC 2020 is scheduled to take place between the 24th and 27th of February. The firms that have withdrawn from the event are worried that bringing people together from all over the world to a venue could contribute to the spread of COVID-19 after attendees return to their home countries.
Source: Nokia & Reuters
Nvidia backs out of MWC 2020 over coronavirus fears
by Paul Hill
Nvidia has informed GSMA, the organisers of MWC Barcelona, that it will not be attending the event this year over coronavirus fears. It’s the latest firm to announce similar measures with LG and Ericsson announcing earlier that they would not be attending the event either.
In a statement discussing its withdrawal, Nvidia said:
Following Ericsson’s withdrawal from the event, GSMA put out a statement saying that it was “of great importance” that the industry meets at this time when 5G is just beginning to take off. While it plans to monitor and assess the impact of the coronavirus on the event, it is still planning to go ahead with it from 24-27 February as scheduled.
To mitigate risks at the event, GSMA is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus at its venue, it said: “there are extensive additional health measures that have been put in place.” It is also asking exhibitors and attendees to implement guidelines and protocols as suggested by the World Health Organization and other health authorities to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Sony offers freebie for those buying Xperia 10 or Xperia 10 Plus from Sony eStore
by Paul Hill
Sony has announced that customers planning to buy the Xperia 10 or the Xperia 10 Plus will get a freebie if they opt to buy their phone through the Sony eStore. Users making the purchase from the UK, France, Ireland, Germany, Italy, or Spain will receive a free case-######-stand for their device.
The Xperia 10 Style Cover Stand SCSI10 doubles as a cover and smartphone stand with adjustable viewing angles. It weighs 54g and is made from PU leather. Additionally, it offers protection from water as it's rated IPX5/8 for water resistance. Once you place the order, the case will automatically be added to your order.
If you do want to take advantage of the offer you’ll have to be prompt, as Sony plans to withdraw the offer on Sunday, March 10. Sony also noted that the Gold version of the Xperia 10 Plus is not available on the eStore in the UK or Ireland so you’ll have to choose from the black, navy, and silver variants.
To learn more about the hardware specifications on these two phones, be sure to check out our previous coverage which includes detailed specifications, and image galleries of the devices.