5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Nokia, O2 Germany trumpet 5G carrier aggregation breakthrough

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU scrutinizes Broadcom/VMware deal; Orange helps Medusa land subsea cables in France; Openreach announces more rollout locations.

  • Nokia and O2 Telefónica Germany are claiming an industry first with what they describe as the successful aggregation of sub-6GHz spectrum frequencies in a trial of two-component carrier uplink carrier aggregation on 5G standalone. Nokia has previously demonstrated four-component carrier downlink 5G carrier aggregation, as well as uplink carrier aggregation on millimeter wave spectrum. Carrier aggregation helps mobile operators maximize their spectrum assets to achieve higher throughputs and, in theory, an improved experience for users of 5G, be they the content-sharing person in the street or industrial users such as those in the automotive sector.

    (Source: Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash)
    (Source: Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash)

  • EU antitrust authorities are set to open a full-scale investigation into Broadcom's $61 million bid for VMware, according to a Reuters report citing "people familiar with the matter." Broadcom supplies some of the core chips for cable modems and other devices, including those that run Wi-Fi, while VMware is a big noise in the "cloud native" space, whereby network operators run their software in the cloud. (See Broadcom makes massive $61B bid for VMware.)

  • Medusa, the independent subsea operator centered on the Mediterranean, has opted for Orange infrastructure in Marseille, France, to land a new route connecting Southern Europe with North Africa. Medusa, which Orange claims will be the first and longest submarine cable to connect the main Mediterranean countries, is due to make landfall in Marseille in 2024.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of BT, has announced 12 new locations – the majority of them in London – where it intends to deliver gigabit-speed broadband to around 184,000 homes and businesses. The company has also tweaked its website to make it clearer what progress or otherwise has been made on its various network build programs.

  • France's SFR claims it is the first operator to create a 5G standalone (SA) network "slicing service" for companies. It says it has tested the service in real-world conditions on the campus of parent company Altice, preserving upstream speeds necessary for video journalists carrying out live reporting.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has launched SASE Connect, which it describes as a suite of integrated security and network services that enables corporate users to securely access their international networks regardless of the physical location of the device and the connection used.

  • Sweden-based Wyld Networks has launched a new satellite IoT service which can enable IoT applications to be deployed across remote locations without the need for terrestrial connectivity.

  • Vodafone has switched on 5G at George Best Airport in Belfast and Newcastle International Airport, and plans to introduce the technology at Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports in the near future. Installation was carried out by Exchange Communications.

  • Cellnex Sweden has landed a deal with German DIY chain Bauhaus to provide mobile coverage in its Sundsvall and Löddeköpinge stores, with the possibility of a rollout to other stores in due course. Cellnex will carry out the design, installation, start-up and operation of multi-operator distributed antenna systems (DAS) which, once deployed in the stores, should make it easier for customers to use their smartphones to call, browse and manage their digital payments.

  • Freshwave, the UK-based infrastructure-as-a-service company, has appointed Nick Wiggin as its partnerships lead, effectively heading up Freshwave's public-sector contracts team. Handily, Wiggin was previously a connectivity specialist within the UK government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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