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Eurobites: VEON Trials NB-IoT With Ericsson in Moscow

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Broadnet launches SD-WAN services with Huawei; Telefónica calls for a new digital deal; Openreach extends Gfast rollout.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has teamed up with Russia's VEON to run a trial NB-IoT network in Maryino, Moscow's most heavily populated district. Participants in the trial -- who include utilities, social services and small businesses -- have been given special SIM cards that allow them to access the restricted network free of charge, at least until the launch of the commercial network at the end of 2018. To facilitate the trial, Ericsson has installed two basestations in the one square kilometer trial zone.

  • Broadnet, a Norwegian fiber-based broadband provider, has launched SD-WAN services with the help of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd . Using Huawei's technology, Broadnet says it can improve the quality of its private-line offerings and the overall user experience for its European enterprise customers.

  • Telefónica has called for a "new digital deal" that ensures everyone benefits from the digitalization that is increasingly creeping into people's lives. The operator sets out five guiding principles, among them a timely call for governments to "provide adequate education and training to ensure the right to employment of individuals facing the risk of automation of many jobs as a result of the strength of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence." And, as Telefónica acknowledges, it's only right that some of that education and training will be funded by a more equitable tax system that sees the online giants contributing their fair share to governments' coffers. (See Big Telcos Have Slashed 107K Jobs Since 2015.)

  • Openreach , the quasi-autonomous network access division of BT, has announced the expansion of its UK Gfast rollout, with another 59 exchanges added to its Gfast to-do list. BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) estimates that this rollout extension will provide what it terms "ultrafast" broadband to more than 370,000 homes and businesses across the UK.

  • Polish OSS player Comarch SA has landed a deal with LG U+ to help the South Korean operator prepare for the launch of what Comarch says will be one of the world's first commercial 5G networks.

  • EE , the UK mobile operator plugged remorselessly by Kevin Bacon and owned by BT, has launched a range of smart home products, providing options for customers regardless of whether they prefer Google Assistant, Alexa, Hive or Apple HomeKit smart home "ecosystems." Products in the line-up include thermostats from Hive, Nest and Honeywell and remotely controlled lighting offerings from Hive and Philips. Customers can, if they prefer, add the cost of these products to their existing smartphone plan.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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