5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Nokia deploys microwave network for Asiacell in Iraq

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: smart grids in Greece; Deutsche Telekom updates on fiber and 5G; BT relaxed about remote working.

  • Nokia has landed a microwave network gig in Iraq, for mobile operator Asiacell, supplying products from its Wavence range to help Asiacell simplify network operations and, in the words of the Nokia press release, "further enable Asiacell to provide fiber-like connectivity even in areas where fiber cannot be deployed." The two companies have been working together for some time – Asiacell recently chose Nokia to provide nationwide network optimization for a period of two years, starting in January 2021.

  • Nokia is also involved in the digitization of Greece's energy transmission system, being chosen by project contractor OTE Group to procure the relevant equipment and services. The six-year project, overseen by Greece's Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), forms part of the country's gradual transition to a full-on "smart grid."

  • Deutsche Telekom has been updating on the progress it's making in its fiber and 5G rollouts, with 430,000 gigabit-capable FTTH connections enabled this year on the fixed-line side and 55,000 antennas transmitting with 5G on its mobile network (meaning 85% of the population can access 5G). The operator is currently testing 5G standalone (5G SA) technology in four German cites and though it declares itself "very satisfied" with the tests it cautions that "various development steps are still necessary before the switchover is complete."

  • There is much talk afoot of "the return to the office," as COVID-19 vaccination rollouts in Europe and beyond begin to convince company bosses that the time has come for their wage slaves to get out of their loungewear and back onto the commute to corporate HQ. Many companies see "hybrid working" as the future, with some mandating that employees need to commit to spending at least two days a week in the office. UK operator BT, however, seems to be taking a more relaxed approach, saying in a statement: "We're not prescribing a set number of days or a minimum requirement for people to be in an office or work from home. We're empowering our teams to ensure that customers are at the centre of their decisions."

    BT is cool with this sort of nonsense, apparently. (Source: Photo by Good Faces on Unsplash)
    BT is cool with this sort of nonsense, apparently.
    (Source: Photo by Good Faces on Unsplash)

  • Sweden's Tele2 has appointed Torkel Sigurd as executive vice president of corporate affairs. Sigurd has been with Tele2 for 14 years, in recent times leading the operator's M&A unit.

  • Greek vendor Intracom Telecom is touting a new analytics offering, Smart Retail, that it says allows brick-and-mortar stores to increase average revenue per customer, cut costs and automate processes, among other claimed benefits.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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