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5G

Eurobites: Ericsson elbows its way into Ooredoo's 5G RAN

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Italtel board accepts bid from PSC Partecipazioni; A1 Telekom Austria joins HERE's data exchange; Vodafone does deal with Discovery.

  • Ericsson's march to 5G glory continues with its signing of a five-year radio access network (RAN) agreement with Ooredoo. The deal covers all ten of Ooredoo's operating companies in Qatar, Indonesia, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, Myanmar and the Maldives (though Ericsson RAN gear is already used by several of these companies already). In Qatar, which is preparing to host a number of global sporting events (not least the soccer World Cup in 2022), Ericsson is deploying 5G midband Massive MIMO radios to help meet the needs of sports fans in stadiums, at home or in transit. In March Ooredoo surprised industry observers by deciding to source 5G kit from Huawei in both radio access and core networks in five of its ten markets. (See Huawei picks up five-market 5G deal from Ooredoo.)

  • The board of Italtel, the Italian telecom equipment manufacturer and IT services company that once employed more than 30,000 but now gets by with around 1,300 willing hands, has accepted a €44 million (US$54 million) bid from PSC Partecipazioni for 100% of the company. That bid won out over another, from Exprivia. Italtel believes its "extraordinary skills" can play an important role in the development of high-speed broadband and 5G networks in Italy.

  • A1 Telekom Austria has joined the HERE Marketplace, a data exchange platform created by HERE Technologies, the location data company that was once a part of Nokia but is now majority-owned by a consortium of German automotive companies. A1 claims to be the first telco to join the exchange, and says it will use HERE Marketplace as a new distribution channel, offering location and mobility analytics based on anonymized movement data provided by its cellular network.

  • Vodafone has signed a multi-year deal with Discovery that will allow the operator's TV and mobile customers in 12 of its European markets access to the Discovery's various channels via the Vodafone platform (though in the UK and Turkey the service will only be available to Vodafone's mobile customers). It will also, for a limited period, allow access to the new Discovery+ streaming service, which is trumpeting itself as the "Home of the Olympics in Europe," beginning with wall-to-wall coverage of the Tokyo Games next year.

  • Virgin Media has announced average price increases of 4% for its broadband, TV and phone services in the UK. As the BBC points out, this is roughly 13 times higher than the current inflation rate in the country, and may be considered something of an own goal given the third national lockdown announced by Boris Johnson on Monday evening.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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