5G and Beyond

Eurobites: UK told Huawei the 5G ban is partly political – report

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: South Africa's Rain taps Huawei for 5G SA; Ericsson lands more 5G SA work at SoftBank; is time up for the rush hour?

  • The UK government has privately admitted to Huawei that it was being banned from Britain's 5G network partly for "geopolitical reasons" following relentless pressure from the Trump administration over the Chinese vendor. That's the claim in the Observer newspaper, which cites anonymous sources suggesting that the ban – announced last week – could be reversed should Donald Trump fail to win another term in office, as is looking increasingly likely while the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc in several US states.

  • Elsewhere on planet Huawei, the vendor has been helping Rain, a data-only mobile network in South Africa, launch what Huawei says is the first commercial 5G standalone (5G SA) network in Africa. The service, built on Rain's own sites using Huawei's Converged Core Solution and massive MIMO technologies, is currently available in selected areas of Cape Town.

  • Ericsson has been chosen by SoftBank to supply a cloud-native 5G core for the Japanese giant's 5G SA network. The software jigsaw includes Ericsson's Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy and its network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) offering. The decision is hardly a surprise though: Ericsson got the 5G RAN nod from SoftBank in May 2019.

  • Openet, the Dublin-based business support systems (BSS) outfit, has struck a partnership deal with Salesforce, launching its Openet Real-Time Care Insights on the Salesforce AppExchange. This, says Openet, facilitates real-time access to customer usage information via the Salesforce service cloud, making for a more efficient queries-handling process.

  • Is the rush hour about to go the way of the VHS video format and the mullet? That's the possibility being investigated by BT, which supplied anonymized mobile network data to boffins at engineering consultancy Atkins so that they could work out how traffic patterns have changed in the north of England since pandemic "lockdown" measures were introduced in March. The research concluded that the road usage changes have indeed been profound, with not just a reduction in traffic volumes but also a major shift in the type of journeys being made – and the reasons for them.

  • In related news, Openreach, BT's network access division, has brought FTTP broadband to around 1,000 homes and businesses in Carmarthen, one of the oldest towns in Wales. Speeds of "up to" 1 Gbit/s will be available to those who choose to sign up for the service.

  • Media service provider Mobilelinks is expanding its network capacity with Nimbra software from Sweden's Net Insight, which will be deployed at 50 network points of presence for arenas and broadcasters throughout the Nordic countries. The deployment will, says Net Insight, offer 10Gbit/s capacity per arena.

  • Belgium's Proximus has signed a five-year channel distribution deal with Eleven Sports. The deal covers Eleven Sports' new Pro League channels covering all live matches in the top two tiers of Belgian soccer (Jupiler Pro League and D1B). This agreement comes on top of Proximus' existing rights to all UEFA Champions League matches.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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