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Eurobites: Finland prepares to make life easier for Nokia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: OMG it's an FWA record; where we are with open RAN; Ethiopia's telecom privatization going ahead.

  • The Finnish parliament is expected to approve a bill today that could pave the way for the introduction of a law that effectively bans Huawei and ZTE from its networks, according to a Bloomberg report. Finland is, of course, home to network equipment giant and Huawei rival Nokia, which adds an extra twist to proceedings. Johannes Koskinen, from the ruling Social Democratic Party, denied that he and fellow lawmakers were "pointing fingers at any one party," adding, optimistically perhaps: "We should ensure we don't take action that closes doors for Nokia as a result of any backlash." (See Europe is showing Huawei the exit.)

  • Ericsson, Telecom Italia (TIM) and Qualcomm are linking arms to claim another world record, this one for achieving 1 Gbit/s on 26GHz 5G millimeter-wave frequencies, at a distance of 6.5km from the radio antenna, using fixed wireless access (FWA) technology. (As world records go, it's quite specific.) Ericsson reckons the milestone will ultimately offer a way of providing TIM customers beyond the current reach of fiber with "enhanced ultrabroadband connections."

  • In other Ericsson-related news, the Swedish vendor's support for open RAN has helped maintain the momentum of the networking trend, according to a new blog from Dell'Oro's Stefan Pongratz. In the third quarter of 2020, says Dell'Oro, open RAN revenues as a whole were trending ahead of schedule, thanks largely to "positive developments" in the Asia-Pacific region. However, Pongratz warns that short-term acceleration "does not necessarily translate to faster or slower brownfield adoption beyond 2020."

  • The privatization of the Ethiopian telecom industry will go ahead, despite recent military conflict in the northern Tigray region of the country, according to report in the Financial Times (subscription required). There are warnings, however, that some would-be participants in the process may be put off by a couple of conditions, one preventing them from offering financial services and the other forcing them to lease towers off Ethio Telecom.

  • TIM has completed the sale of its remaining 1.8% in towers company Inwit to Canson Capital Partners, for €161 million (US$195 million). The operator will continue to exercise joint control of Inwit, with Vodafone, through Daphne 3, a holding company that owns 30.2% of Inwit.

  • Amdocs, the US-based supplier of business support systems (BSS) software, is to help Vodafone Romania with the task of "digitalizing the retail experience," deploying its "Digital Experience" platform. According to Amdocs, the platform will give the operator a "360-degree view" of its customers. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud is involved.

  • UK communications regulator has opened an investigation into whether Sky has failed to meet its obligations by not issuing end-of-contract notifications to its standalone pay-TV customers. Sky maintains that standalone TV services fall outside the scope of the term "electronic communications service" and so aren't covered by those rules; Ofcom isn't so sure.

  • Plymouth, a seafaring city in the south-west of England, is to benefit from a £52 million ($69 million) investment from altnet CityFibre. Work on the FTTH/B project is due to start in January.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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