Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sky and BT exchange TV channels; UK military chief warns of Russian subsea skullduggery; Sunrise demos 5G with Huawei.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is claiming a world speed record after a 5G demonstration in Turin with Telecom Italia (TIM) that achieved speeds of more than 20 Gbit/s over the 28GHz band on millimeter waves. The vendor says that this represents "the fastest connection to date using this technology in an urban context." The trial forms part of the "Turin 5G" project, which is aiming to make the northern Italian city the first in Europe to have a fully fledged 5G network. During the trial, the technology was put through its paces to facilitate a "virtual visit" to a historic square on the other side of the city, the "visitor" in question wearing a virtual reality headset and sensors. (See Eurobites: Turin to Be Shrouded in 5G.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) have agreed to supply each other with their respective TV sports channels, with Sky receiving a wholesale supply of BT Sport channels and a BT Sport app being made available on the Sky's pay-as-you-go Now TV streaming service. Sky will make its Now TV service, which includes its sports channels, available on the BT TV set-top box. It seems a surprising move, given Sky and BT's fierce rivalry in the bidding war for the rights to premium sports coverage -- and especially coverage of English Premier League soccer. The new services, however, won't be available until early 2019. (See BT Splashes $1.5B to Beat Sky in Latest Soccer Rights Battle and BT's Bogeyman: A Soccer-Mad Amazon.)
A senior officer in the UK military has warned of "potentially catastrophic" consequences if the newly modernized Russian navy decided to cut subsea communications cables. As the BBC reports, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said that the vulnerability of such lines represented a "new risk to our way of life" and called on Nato to make their protection a priority.
"He's either catching haddock or unplugging the Internet – it's hard to see from here."
Switzerland's Sunrise Communications AG has also been demonstrating the potential of 5G, in this case with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd , using various virtual reality and video applications to make its point. The demo took place at Sunrise's headquarters in Zurich, achieving download speeds of up to 3.28 Gbit/s, which Huawei claims is the fastest ever measured for a mobile Internet link with 3.5GHz.
Spotify , the Swedish music streaming service that still outranks similar offerings from the likes of Apple and Amazon, has seen its value grow by around 20% in the last few months as it approaches a potential stock market listing in the first half of 2018, according to a Reuters report. Last week Spotify and its Chinese equivalent, Tencent, bought minority stakes in each other.
A British security research firm has discovered that the "smart" heating systems installed in a number of UK schools are very vulnerable to being hacked. As the BBC reports, Pen Test Partners says that in such cases the equipment's controllers have been connected to the "wider Internet," against the recommendations of the manufacturer.