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Eurobites: BT immerses itself in new 5G testbedEurobites: BT immerses itself in new 5G testbed

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK looks at broadband Universal Service Obligation; TalkTalk sells B2B unit; Ofcom raps BitChute.

Paul Rainford

October 3, 2023

2 Min Read
Two people in immersive reality goggles at BT testbed
'I still say it's too small for 3,000 people.'(Source: BT)
  • BT is launching a new testbed dedicated to exploring how immersive technology riding on its EE-branded, publicly available 5G network and on private 5G networks could find commercial applications. The focus will be on so-called augmented reality, with digital-twin technology forming part of the mix. BT claims that although the testbed is still in its development phase, it has already enabled demonstrations of potential applications in sectors that include car retailing, education, sports broadcasting and medical imaging.

  • HMD Global, the Finnish smartphone company that bought the rights to the Nokia phones brand, has begun manufacturing 5G-compatible phones in Europe. The first device off the line is the Nokia XR21 Limited Edition in exclusive Frosted Platinum, which sounds well fancy and is available to enterprise customers in the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Finland.

  • The UK government has launched a consultation into whether its Universal Service Obligation (USO) program for the broadband industry is still fit for purpose. The program, which came into force in March 2020, offers households and businesses the legal right to request what is termed a "decent" broadband service of at least 10 Mbit/s download and 1 Mbit/s upload from one of the two designated Universal Service Providers designated by communications regulator Ofcom, namely KCOM in the city of Kingston-upon-Hull and BT in the rest of the UK. Since the program was launched, only 7,000 USO connections have been delivered, suggesting that either much more needs to be done to increase awareness of the program or that it is not meeting potential users' needs.

  • UK broadband provider TalkTalk is to sell its B2B unit to a special-purpose vehicle controlled by its main shareholders as part of a company reorganization that sees TalkTalk being split into three independent companies covering, respectively, wholesale telecom services, residential broadband and connectivity for small businesses. As Bloomberg reports (paywall applies), the deal values the unit at £95 million (US$116 million).

  • BitChute, a UK-based video-sharing platform that inclines toward extreme right-wing and other unsavory fare, has had its knuckles rapped by regulator Ofcom for failings exposed by the livestreaming of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York last year. In response to Ofcom's chidings, the owners of the platform now promise to triple the size of its moderation team, increase the number of hours when moderators are available and change the design of its platform to allow non-registered users to directly report potentially harmful content.

  • Ericsson has formally appointed Jan Sprafke as its new chief compliance officer, though he has been acting CCO since February. Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, who has been dragged through the compliance and ethics mire somewhat in recent years, said: "Our compliance program and controls have been significantly enhanced since 2019 and I'm confident that Jan will continue driving these enhancements in a sustainable way for the organization."

About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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