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Eurobites: Huawei frozen out of Italian 5G job – report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Swisscom lands banking contracts; Vodafone helps out with drone delivery of medical supplies; Google may escape EU probe over Fitbit buy.

  • It hasn't been looking good for Huawei for some time and now it's looking even worse. Unnamed sources have told Reuters that Telecom Italia (TIM) has frozen the Chinese vendor out of the tender for its 5G core network, restricting its invited suppliers to Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Mavenir and Affirmed Networks. As is the case in a number of European countries, TIM is weighing up whether Huawei, as the Trump administration keeps telling anyone who will listen, is too much of a state-sponsored security risk to allow near its 5G network. In June, analyst firm New Street Research said Huawei had "12 months left to live," while analysts at Jefferies think it will run out of vital components by March next year. (See Huawei still has no fix to being cut off from TSMC and Europe's dependence on Huawei laid bare in new study.)

  • Swisscom has landed two new contracts with an existing customer, the Cantonal Bank of Basel. The first sees the bank relying more heavily on Swisscom's Enterprise Service Cloud for its IT infrastructure needs, while the second sees the operator taking on a large new business process outsourcing contract from 2021 onwards.

  • Vodafone is teaming up with drone delivery specialist Skyports and consultancy Deloitte to transport medical supplies and samples for the UK's National Health Service to the more remote parts of Scotland. The drones will be remotely piloted from the Skyports operations center in Argyll and Bute and will fly automatically along predefined routes. Communication between the drone and the ground control station will be provided using Vodafone's 4G network and satellite communications. The hope is that pickups that currently take up to 48 hours will take only 30 minutes, and be carried out on a more regular basis.

  • Google's proposed takeover of step-counting wearables company Fitbit has raised a few eyebrows and attracted the attention of the European Union's competition commissariat. Reuters reports, however, that the search giant may be able to fend off a full-scale EU probe into the deal by promising not to use the personal fitness data it gleans from Fitibit devices to target its advertising. (See Google Buys Fitbit for $2.1B to Increase Wearables Presence.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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