Eurobites: UK hints at Huawei volte-face

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom throws more cash at gaming; Three UK targets enterprise with Amdocs; EU adopts small cell rules.

  • The UK government has strongly hinted that it will reverse its earlier decision to allow Huawei to play a limited role in the country's 5G network. Commenting on US sanctions against Huawei in front of the Special Defence Select Committee, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Given that those [US] sanctions are targeted at 5G and [are] extensive, it is likely to have an impact on the viability of Huawei as a provider for the 5G network." As The Guardian reports, the review of Huawei's role in the UK's 5G network is being carried out by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of the UK's military intelligence outfit, GCHQ. According to Dowden, the NCSC is in the "final stages" of its review, so a decision should be expected soon. (See UK in search of Huawei 5G replacements – report and Huawei befuddled by reports of total 5G ban in UK.)

  • Deutsche Telekom has invested €2 million (US$2.2 million) in RemoteMyApp, a Polish cloud gaming company, via its Telekom Innovation Pool GmbH investment fund. RemoteMyApp owns and operates the Vortex.gg gaming platform, which has seen its apps being downloaded more than 10 million times since its launch in 2017.

  • Mobile operator Three UK is hoping to increase its share of the enterprise market by tapping into the software and services offered by Amdocs, the US-based BSS specialist which modestly claims its purpose is to "enrich lives and progress society." The pair have signed a multi-year managed services deal, under the terms of which Amdocs will act as Three's main systems integrator in the building of an "Omni Channel" digital business system. The project follows in the footsteps of a similar exercise carried out at Three Ireland.

  • The European Commission has adopted new rules on small cells that set out the physical and technical specifications of the equipment, Reuters reports. The Commission hopes that the rules will help speed up the rollout of 5G across the European Union, says the report.

  • Orange Business Services has had its cloud-based call center services contract with ZIM shipping extended. ZIM is one of the largest carriers in the container shipping industry, and has combined Orange's Managed Contact Center software with its own customer relationship management system to help deal with customer queries.

  • Belgium's Proximus has made a couple of new appointments: Anne-Sophie Lotgering, formerly of Orange and Microsoft, becomes chief enterprise market officer, while Bain veteran Christophe Van de Weyer is named chief operating officer within the Enterprise Business Unit.

  • Ericsson has notched up another live commercial 5G network, this time on the island of Madagascar, located 250 miles off the coast of East Africa. The operator in question is Telma, which hopes to use the new technology – activated on the 3.6-3.7GHz midband – to power mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA).

  • The UK's University of Glasgow is teaming up with Rakuten Mobile to carry out research into edge computing. Rakuten will provide financial and other support for a post-doctoral research assistant and two Ph.D. students at the university's School of Computing Science for 24 months and 42 months respectively. The aim of the research is to prototype next-generation edge management tools to simplify the operation of large-scale edge compute infrastructure, such as that found in 5G networks.

  • This coming weekend sees the arrival of so-called "Super Saturday" in the UK, where beer-starved drinkers will finally be allowed back into pubs that have been closed since late March by the coronavirus pandemic. Whether or not the repercussions will be that super remains to be seen, but BT is hoping to do its bit in keeping the nervous returnees entertained by allowing pubs with a BT Sport pay-TV contract to show their channels for free on the big screen during the month of July. After July, charges will be reinstated, though in a tapered way.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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