April 15, 2021
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cosmote to shut down 3G services; MTS switches on 5G in Moscow with Huawei; Liberty Global trials Teleste's DAA in UK.
After almost 30 years of faithful service, Swisscom has finally switched off its 2G technology. According to the operator, the proportion of traffic transmitted via 2G fell to less than 0.03% by the end of 2020. Swisscom now plans to use the freed-up bandwidth for 4G and 5G services.
And in other turn-off news, Greek operator Cosmote says its 3G services will be gradually phased out from September 2021. Cosmote is offering free replacement of obsolete SIM cards for subscribers who currently use 3G data services. Again, freed-up spectrum will go to bolster the operator's 4G and 5G networks.
Russian mobile operator MTS has, with the help of Huawei, activated 5G networks at what it describes as "14 iconic locations" in Moscow. The activation, says Huawei, is a prelude to "accelerated commercialization" of 5G in Russia. Russia has been slow out of the blocks in the 5G race, but in July 2020 MTS picked up a license for the 24.25-24.65GHz band that covers 83 regions and is valid until mid-2025. (See Russia's long 5G wait goes on.)
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is leading a new investigation into the Facebook data breach that exposed the details of some 533 million users, saying that the social media giant's initial response to the incident probably contravenes EU data privacy laws. According to the Daily Telegraph, the DPC concluded that "one or more provisions of the GDPR and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook Users' personal data."
Liberty Global has opted for Finnish knowhow by choosing Teleste's distributed access architecture (DAA) for a trial in Baguley, a suburb of Manchester, UK. According to Teleste, DAA is a new way of building DOCSIS networks and is being trialed to see if data core and edge devices can bring data and video services to Liberty's Virgin Media customers at speeds of more than 1 Gbit/s.
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has launched a gaming/e-sports platform, stcplay, in a partnership with the grandly named Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS). Hey, we'll decide if these "sports" are intellectual or not…
CityFibre is extending its network in the UK town of Milton Keynes by an additional 7,000 homes. The initial fiber rollout began in early 2018 and was, according to CityFibre, "substantially completed" at the end of last year.
Italtel has joined AI@EDGE, a European Union project that involves industries, universities and research institutes from eight different countries looking at how to develop a secure and reusable artificial intelligence platform for edge computing in "beyond 5G" networks.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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