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Eurobites: Ericsson tells UK it can fill void left by Huawei ban

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom integrates e-SIM onto Qualcomm chipset; Telia takes control of rail signaling in Oslo; Bouygyes Telecom buys Credit Mutuel subsidiary.

  • Could Ericsson replace all Huawei's equipment in the UK's 5G network, if push came to shove? "Absolutely," says Ericsson's president for Europe, Arun Bansal, in an interview with Sky News. However, Bansal maintained he was not lobbying for Huawei to be dumped on security grounds – the outcome that the Trump administration has been aggressively lobbying for – but that he was just offering reassurance that his company has the ability to cope, should the need arise. Of course, the Swedish vendor's ability to meet demand is probably not the main issue for operators or even the British government; the loss of competition and the resulting growth in dependence on two Nordic vendors would be a major stumbling block. (See A £1.5B bill should not stop a UK ban on Huawei and UK opportunity knocks for Ericsson and Nokia.)

  • Deutsche Telekom wants the world to know that its nuSIM initiative, which is developing an integrated SIM specifically for the IoT market, has advanced a notch or two with the integration of nuSIM functionality on a Qualcomm chipset. The joint offering has been developed in accordance with Deutsche Telekom's open nuSIM specification, using an operating system from Redtea Mobile in a Quectel BG95-M3 module which contains a Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem. (See Qualcomm Adopts DT's nuSIM Tech for Its 9205 IoT Modem.)

  • Nordic operator Telia is claiming a world first with the news that the Oslo Metro rail network is using its mobile network to implement a new signaling system. In the new system, the data transmission to the metro trains goes over a wireless connection. In other cities with similar signal systems, says Telia, the system is usually based on purpose-built Wi-Fi networks.

  • France's Bouygyes Telecom is buying out Euro-Information Telecom (EIT), a subsidiary of Credit Mutuel, and forming a distribution partnership with the French bank to bolster its presence in the domestic market. The deal, says Bouygues, is expected to boost its customer base by more than 2 million and extend its potential customer reach via Crédit Mutuel and CIC bank branches and their 30,000 customer advisers. The acquisition price includes a fixed part of €530 million (US$594 million), to be paid on the closing of the deal, and an additional part of between €140 million ($157 million) and €325 million ($364 million) contingent on performance and payable over several years.

  • Drei, an Austrian mobile operator, has hooked up with Bolttech, a device protection company that has been building up a strong presence in Asian markets. The deal will bring bring Bolttech's protection software to Drei's customers, kicking off with the "Drei Direkktausch" mobile phone switch service, which allows customers to easily swap devices should the need arise.

  • The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA), a UK-based industry group that counts Adtran, Calix, Zayo, Sky and Vodafone amongst its members, has given itself a pat on the back with an expression of thanks to the independent networks industry and its workforce for their response to the COVID-19 crisis. "The sustained resilience of independent networks has played a major part in ensuring that the country has kept running," said Malcolm Corbett, the organization's CEO, in a statement.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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