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Eurobites: Tele2 Sweden goes 5G roaming in Latvia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK operators to be "compensated" for Huawei strip-out; Italy pilots decentralized COVID-19 app; CityFibre poaches some of Ofcom's legal firepower.

  • Not that there is much call for it in the current COVID-19 climate, but Tele2 claims it is the first Swedish operator to offer 5G roaming following its setting up of a 5G roaming agreement between Tele2 Sweden and Tele2 Latvia. Tele2 switched on its Swedish 5G network in on May 24, though the network is initially available only in the cities of Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg to those with a Tele2 Unlimited subscription and the appropriate handset.

  • The Telegraph understands that talks have begun on the possibility of compensating UK operators for having to strip out Huawei equipment from their networks earlier than originally anticipated, as the British government apparently positions itself for a reversal of its stance on the use of the Chinese vendor's gear. The decision of the US government's Commerce Department – announced on May 15 – that it would prohibit Huawei from buying chips built with US hardware or software seems to have been the catalyst for a UK rethink on the whole Huawei question. (See Eurobites: Is a Huawei handbrake-turn ahead for UK?)

  • Italy has begun piloting its COVID-19 contact-tracing app in four regions, and, unlike some other major European countries, such as the UK and France, it has gone with the "decentralized" platform developed by Apple and Google. As Engadget reports, the app, called Immuni, will be piloted in Liguria, Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia before being rolled out across the country.

  • This looks like a canny appointment: UK altnet CityFibre has bagged Polly Weitzman, previously general counsel at communications regulator Ofcom, as its new senior general counsel. She should know her way around the appropriate legislation – and where the bodies are buried, as the saying goes.

  • Etiya, the Dutch business support systems (BSS) vendor, wants the world to know that its cloud-native Digital Business Platform played a key role in the launch of Videotron's Helix TV and Internet service. All Etiya's customer relationship management (CRM), product catalog, order management, billing, customer management and API gateway are on AWS for Helix. The service also incorporates some of Etiya's AI data analytics capabilities.

  • Vodafone UK has launched what it's calling a "broadband rescue package" aimed at businesses that employ fewer than 50 people. The package offers those businesses free business broadband for the first six months of a 24-month contract before defaulting to standard tariffs thereafter. It also throws in a Microsoft 365 Business Standard license for free for the first six months. Existing Vodafone business customers are eligible for the deal.

  • Navenio, a healthcare company that was "spun out" of Oxford University, has received a £50,000 (US$63,000) investment from the UK government to help it develop its infrastructure-free indoor location technology. Navenio's AI-led Intelligent Workforce Solution (IWS), which is the equivalent of GPS for use indoors and runs on users' smartphones, is being used in hospitals to improve efficiency, based on a "right person, right time, right place" approach.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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