5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Ericsson and friends try W-band for 5G backhaul

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia puts charging system on AWS cloud; fiber discussions in the UK; A1 cracks cloud gaming with Blacknut.

  • Ericsson has teamed up with Deutsche Telekom and Greek operator Cosmote to trial the use of the W-band (92GHz-114GHz) for 5G backhaul. The trials took place at Cosmote's headquarters in Athens and, according to Ericsson, they demonstrated for the first time a W-band "wireless hop" over a 1.5km range with telecom-grade availability using pre-commercial equipment. The trial recorded speeds of 5.7 Gbit/s over the 1.5km distance and topped 10 Gbit/s over 1km hops.

  • Nokia has launched its cloud-native "convergent" charging system on Amazon Web Services to help service providers migrate their charging applications to the public cloud. According to the Finnish vendor, Nokia Converged Charging (NCC) helps service providers tap new 5G-related revenue streams, including differentiated pricing and network slicing.

  • UK operators TalkTalk and Vodafone are among those back in discussions with BT's Openreach over the use of its wholesale fiber network following a ruling by regulator Ofcom last month that could change market dynamics, the Telegraph reports. (See BT to build fiber 'like fury' after Ofcom ruling.)

  • A1 Telekom Austria is making Blacknut's cloud gaming service available to its more than 5 million customers. The service offers access to over 500 games on a monthly subscription model, removing the need for pesky in-game purchases, "lootboxes" or advertising. The games can be played on most widely used platforms, Android and Fire TV among them.

  • Orange Business Services has made a couple of significant appointments in the UK and mainland Europe: Glenda Brady, previously head of international development at the French Major Accounts division, has been named as the new managing director for UK and Ireland; and Nemo Verbist is taking over from Fabrice de Windt as senior vice president of Europe.

  • Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) is reviewing the data leak that saw the details of more than 530 million Facebook users being made freely available on a hackers' forum. As the BBC reports, the involvement of the Irish regulator is significant as Ireland is home to Facebook's European headquarters. Specifically, the DPC wants to establish whether the new leak is mainly made up of a dataset first reported in 2019, as has been claimed.

  • Hyperoptic, along with CityFibre (see below), one of a gang of UK alternative network operators looking to flourish in the full-fiber broadband era, has appointed Richard Woodward as its new chief financial officer. Woodward was most recently chief commercial officer at Three.

  • CityFibre has been given the green light to bring fiber to 22,000 homes owned by Wolverhampton Homes, a social housing provider. CityFibre is investing £50 million (US$69.1 million) in Wolverhampton's full-fiber network.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) says it is investing £4.4 million ($6.08 million) in revamping some of its retail stores in readiness for their reopening next week as part of the UK's slow journey out of pandemic lockdown. At its flagship stores in some larger cities O2 will be trying out "holographic technology" to help lure customers over the threshold.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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