5G and Beyond

Eurobites: EE takes 5G underground

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT goes down the sewers; SPL attracts Indonesian investment; Three UK migrates data with Amdocs.

  • UK mobile operator EE has brought 5G connectivity to three stations on the London Underground – the first 5G to reach the subterranean rail network, claims the operator. EE customers with 5G-compatible phones using Archway and Tufnell Park on the Northern line will be able to connect in the ticket hall and platform areas while those using Notting Hill Gate on the Central line will achieve 5G nirvana in the tunnel section too. EE's 5G rollout on the tube is being carried out in partnership with BAI Communications, which runs a multi-carrier network linking the tube's tunnels and stations. In December, EE announced it was bringing 4G to six more stations on the Central and Northern lines. (See Eurobites: Three, EE get onboard London's tube connectivity plan.)

    Going underground: EE is working in partnership with BAI Communications to bring 5G to London's tube users. (Source: Markus Freise on Unsplash)
    Going underground: EE is working in partnership with BAI Communications to bring 5G to London's tube users.
    (Source: Markus Freise on Unsplash)

  • Meanwhile, EE's parent company, BT, is taking part in a trial that seeks to use AI to help water supplier Severn Trent better predict weather conditions, forecast maintenance and control waste flow. BT is providing predictive maintenance technologies and hoping to demonstrate how smart technology can be the "bedrock to build an intelligent sewer network." UK water companies have been getting an absolute pasting for the amount of sewage they have been dumping in the UK's coastal waters recently, threatening wildlife and considerably lessening the already dubious appeal of "wild swimming."

  • Stratospheric Platforms (SPL), which this week announced it was working with BT to test novel antenna technology installed on a High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) aircraft, has attracted an unspecified amount of investment from PT Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Protelindo), which describes itself as the largest telecom infrastructure company in Indonesia. Indonesia's complex topography presents challenges for mobile coverage but once developed, SPL's HAPS unmanned aircraft will have the ability to provide direct coverage to users over 15,000 square km and connection speeds of up to 200 Mbit/s, says the company.

  • Three UK has hired Amdocs to migrate its data to a cloud-based architecture in the hope of exploiting it better and ultimately providing a more personalized customer experience.

  • Activist investor Elliott has taken a 5.6% stake in Vodafone-owned Vantage Towers, Reuters reports. (See Vantage Towers CEO: Consolidation game is still on.)

  • Truespeed, a full-fiber broadband provider based in southwest England, has been updating on the progress of its rollout in 2022. The altnet said that it had achieved record levels of growth during the year, expanding its footprint to 60,000 properties, connecting 13,000 customers and hiring more than 80 new employees. By the end of this year Truespeed hopes to more than double the size of its footprint.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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