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Eurobites: Telent acquires Harlequin Group for private-networks push

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica Tech brings security to CAVs; Ericsson eyeing Russia for basestation manufacturing, claims report; BT's speed guarantee found wanting.

  • Telent, a UK-based builder of critical digital infrastructure, has acquired the Harlequin Group, which specializes in dealing with planning issues related to mobile and fixed-line rollouts. The market for 5G private networks has become a significant one for Telent, and the company believes that the acquisition will bolster its efforts in this area. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

  • Telefónica's digital business unit, Telefónica Tech, has signed an agreement with Darwin Innovation Group to develop a cybersecurity offering for connected autonomous vehicles using technology that combines satellite and terrestrial 5G networks. The hope is that the two companies' collaboration will create a "shield" that allows different networks to support each other without compromising security.

  • Ericsson is considering a site in the Russian region of Kaliningrad for a basestation manufacturing plant, according to a Reuters report citing the Kommersant daily. Like the Nokia-Yadro deal revealed last month, the potential move is no doubt linked to the Russian government's decision to extend operators' LTE licenses beyond 2023 on condition that they begin building networks using only home-grown equipment.

  • BT has caught flak from the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a website ad from December 2020, which trumpeted a "Stay Fast Guarantee 60Mb." An existing customer, who endured download speeds significantly lower than 60 Mbit/s, complained that the "guarantee" was misleading. The ASA agreed, and told BT not to run the ad again. BT's attempted defense centered on the fact that the existing customer in question had most recently renewed their broadband deal over the phone, and as such was "not therefore representative of the average consumer to whom the speed claims were addressed (i.e. new customers progressing through an online sales journey)."

  • The European Commission has approved unconditionally the proposed acquisition of Nuance Communications by Microsoft. The Commission was happy that the deal would present no competition concerns in the European Economic Area. Nuance is big in voice-recognition software, with a particular tilt towards the healthcare sector.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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