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Eurobites: Huawei urges UK to rethink 5G ban now that Trump is toast

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telecom Italia and Google launch AI Academy; Nokia deploys Internet gateway in Iraq; Wifinity acquires PCCW Global Networks.

  • The UK should reconsider its decision to ban Huawei equipment from its 5G rollout in the light of Donald Trump losing the US election, says the company's vice president, Victor Zhang. As the Guardian reports, the Huawei bigwig sought to portray the government's decision as having a detrimental effect on its much trumpeted "levelling up" agenda, whereby the north and the midlands regions of England would be equipped to better compete with the more prosperous south – not least through improved connectivity. Said Zhang: "I hope the government will keep an open mind and, once they review the economic consequences, look to see if there is a better way forward." (See UK report cites flaw of 'national significance' in Huawei kit, Brits unleash crack squad to save telecom from Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, Huawei ban risks turning UK into Nordic duopoly and Broadband everywhere, for everyone? Tom Wheeler on President-elect Biden's telecom ambitions.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) and Google have joined forces with the Sapienza University of Rome to launch the AI Academy, which will offer training to those working in artificial intelligence. Not surprisingly, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one of the first courses available will consider AI's potential for helping to deal with health crises.

  • Nokia is to deploy an Internet gateway for Informatics and Telecommunications Public Company (ITPC), one of the companies owned by Iraq's Ministry of Communication (MoC). It is hoped that the deployment will set up a secure mechanism for data traffic flow to Iraq from Tier 1 Internet service providers. Al-Awsat will support the project with installation, civil works and required power supply through generators.

  • Wifinity, an Internet service provider with a focus on the UK's public sector, has acquired PCCW Global Networks (UK), which operates under the brands Mediaforce and Optify. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • France's Ekinops is targeting the remote-working market with the launch of SD-WAN Home Office Connect, which allows enterprises to establish a secure remote VPN connection from the employee's location to the branch office.

  • BT's Marc Allera says his company is bracing itself for "more big moments" on the data traffic front this month, as England's second nationwide lockdown collides with the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the rumored return of Fortnite to mobile devices. Allera compares the situation in the UK to that of Greece, where, he says, citizens have been advised not to use online entertainment apps and social media between 9 a.m and 6 p.m. to avoid degrading connectivity for those needing to work from home during lockdown.

  • Belgium's Proximus has appointed Mark Reid as its new chief financial officer. Reid, a chartered accountant, is currently working as CFO of UPC, which is part of the Liberty Global Group. Proximus is also creating a new post, chief digital and IT officer, which is being filled by Antonietta Mastroianni, who is currently with Danish operator TDC.

  • Proximus' international services arm, BICS, has been chosen by cloud contact center company Talkdesk to provide global coverage of Session Initial Protocol (SIP) Trunking and Cloud Numbers to Talkdesk's customer base.

  • Erillisverkot Group, the Finnish state-run body responsible for national communications networks for public authorities, emergency services and other critical services, is to add Ericsson Security Manager to its 5G core network public safety network. According to Ericsson, the software provides security policy automation for security compliance and visibility, analytics for detection and response to security threats, and risk intelligence for a strong security posture.

  • UK altnet CityFibre is making a £50 million (US$66.2 million) investment in bringing fiber to North Tyneside, in the north-east of England. Work is due to start on the project next month.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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