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5G

Eurobites: Ericsson takes 5G into space with Thales, Qualcomm

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia leads German 6G project; security block to Truphone deal challenged; chip firms collaborate on French plant.

  • Ericsson has teamed up with French aerospace company Thales and US chip giant Qualcomm to conduct smartphone-focused testing and validation of 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTN) that rely on low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. According to Ericsson, the result could mean that a future 5G smartphone could enjoy 5G connectivity anywhere in the world and provide global coverage for wideband data services. The space-based network could also be used as backup support to terrestrial networks in the event of major network outages or disasters, says the vendor.

    (Source: Ericsson)
    (Source: Ericsson)

  • Nokia is to lead 6G-ANNA, a German state-funded "lighthouse" project that, as its name suggests, will attempt to drive forward 6G research and standardization. Nokia will collaborate with 29 partners in the project, including those from industry, research institutes and experts in their field. Nokia's specific role will be to focus on designing an "end-to-end" 6G architecture and work with other partners on three key technology areas: 6G access; network of networks; and automation and simplification. Selected topics such as sub-networks, XR and real-time digital twinning will be also be explored.

  • The would-be buyers of Truphone, a UK-based business telecom company owned by noted Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and some of his associates, are to challenge the British government's decision to block the deal on security grounds to allow time for it to be more closely examined. As the Financial Times reports (paywall applies), lawyers for German businessman Hakan Koç and business associate Pyross Koussios wrote to the UK government's Investment Security Unit telling it that the delay caused by the unit's decision could make it more likely that Truphone goes bust, leading to hundreds of redundancies.

  • STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a new, jointly operated 300mm chip manufacturing facility adjacent to ST's existing plant in Crolles, France. The new facility, say the two companies, will support a broad range of technologies, including automotive, industrial, IoT and communications infrastructure applications. The project is receiving "significant" support from the French state. The European Chips Act, introduced in 2021, seeks to put in place a framework to increase European chip production capacity to 20% of the global market by 2030.

  • Neelie Kroes, who at one time terrorized Europe's telcos in her role as the European Commission's unflappable vice president for the Digital Agenda, has found herself once again in the spotlight following an investigation by the Guardian which, says the UK newspaper, suggested she "secretly helped" Uber lobby the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, and a number of other politicians. Kroes maintains she did nothing wrong, saying that her role as a sort of special envoy for tech companies meant that it was her job to talk to politicians about startups in the sector. The details of Kroes' involvement with the US-based ride-hailing company form part of the "Uber files," a collection of 124,000 records leaked to the Guardian and shared with media partners in 30 countries. (See Steely Neelie Cracks Spectrum Whip.)

  • Telecom Italia has signed an agreement with Confimi Industria, an Italian manufacturing confederation, intended to promote the adoption of digital approaches to creating new business opportunities for more than 45,000 small and midsized companies in Italy's manufacturing sector that belong to the confederation.

  • UK altnet CityFibre appears to be dipping a toe into new territory through an agreement with Massachusetts-based Telco Systems. CityFibre is piloting Telco Systems' Edgility Suite, a edge compute offering, in a bid to deliver "value-add" services for business ISPs. According to CityFibre's Group CTO, David Tomalin, the move represents another step toward the altnet's goal of a "fully virtualized network."

  • Virgin Media O2 has done a deal with BAI Communications which allows the converged operator's customers to access 4G and "5G-ready" connectivity across London's underground rail network (or "the tube," as the locals call it), including within tunnels. BAI was awarded a 20-year concession by London's transport authority in June 2021 to deliver mobile connectivity on the tube. (See Eurobites: Three, EE get onboard London's tube connectivity plan.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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