December 9, 2020
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia goes zoom! with Zain; Elisa brings its SD-WAN knowhow to paper giant; Benetel unveils open RAN radio unit.
The relatively new broom at Nokia, Pekka Lundmark, continues to make sweeping changes in his empire, with Sanjay Goel, the erstwhile head of global services, being the latest to leave the company. Others leaving in the shake-up include CMO Barry French and CTO Marcus Weldon. Kathrin Buvac, the enterprise unit boss, left in May to join AWS and Kristian Pullola, the CFO, has been replaced by Marco Wiren. Lundmark took over the CEO reins from Rajeev Suri in August, and since then he has been making his presence felt, steering the company away from the "end to end" product strategy that was favored by his predecessor and carving Nokia into four new business groups. (See Nokia CEO lays out 5G turnaround plan as shares tank.)
Meanwhile, in non-people news, Nokia is claiming a Middle East 5G indoor speed record after a trial of its AirScale Indoor Radio System (ASiR) at the headquarters of Saudi Arabia's Zain in Jeddah achieved a throughput rate of 1.9 Gbit/s. The speeds were achieved at 3.5GHz. Zain launched commercial 5G services in October 2019 in Saudi Arabia and now covers 50 cities across the kingdom with its more than 4,600 towers.
Valmet, a Finnish developer of process technologies for the pulp, paper and energy industries, has chosen a combination of Elisa and Vodafone Business to provide data network and related data security services. Elisa brings its SD-WAN knowhow to the party, while Vodafone is providing access to its global network.
Benetel, an Irish outfit based stereotypically at the Guinness Enterprise Center in Dublin, has launched what it describes as its flagship open RAN radio unit, the catchily named BNTL-RAN550. The unit comes equipped with two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports for fronthaul network interfacing, and the built-in antennae supports 4T4R MIMO operation.
Orange Ventures, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson have all taken part in a $36.65 million Series C funding round for WeaveWorks, the company that sets out to help enterprises attain "cloud native agility" with GitOps, a developer-centric operating model for Kubernetes (which itself is an open source platform for managing "containerized" services).
Axell Wireless, a UK antenna systems specialist that was spun out from defense group Cobham less than six months ago, has gone into administration, the Financial Times reports (paywall applies). Axell's systems are used to bolster signals in locations – such as deep tunnels – that mobile phone coverage struggle to reach.
Germany's ADVA has joined forces with Advantech to launch a "test-drive portal initiative" for remotely assessing SD-WAN and security offerings on universal customer premises equipment (uCPE). The joint portal combines ADVA's Ensemble NFV technology with Advantech's edge appliances.
UK altnet Hyperfast has struck a fiber rollout deal with L&Q, which it describes as London's largest housing association (a form of social housing). As well as providing connectivity, Hyperoptic will also be running a digital inclusion program which will offer free Internet training to those tenants who desire it.
Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of Britain's BT, says it is "making its final connections" to its fiber network in Scotland's Highlands and Islands region before handing it over to the Scottish government's Reaching 100% (R100) program. Its gigabit services have just made landfall in South Whiteness, Shetland, to the obvious delight of its two inhabitants… Figure 1: Remote working: Openreach's Jack Scobie brings gigabit joy to South Whiteness, Shetland
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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