5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Use smaller vendors for 5G, UK government tells industry

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson drives private network for automotive testbed; Openreach invests £100 million in Northern Ireland; Three UK hires new CTO.

  • A UK government task force is recommending that smaller equipment makers – i.e. vendors considerably smaller than Nokia and Ericsson – should supply at least 25% of the kit used in the country's 5G networks once Huawei has fully left the field of play. According to a Financial Times report, the Vendor Diversity Task Force also said that the UK and its western allies should collaborate on standards that will provide the foundation for mobile connectivity post-5G in the face of China's efforts to call the shots in this area. Last year the UK government announced that 5G networks must include no Huawei products whatsoever by the end of 2027. (See Open RAN's a winner, UK decides, as it closes door on Huawei.)

  • Ericsson is providing the guts of an Orange private 5G network for Applus + Idiada, a company based near Barcelona that validates technologies for the automotive industry. Driverless technology, automated services, vehicle performance, telematics and infotainment will be among the focus areas that could benefit from the network. Ericsson's offering, the elements of which include its Router 6000 and Enterprise Core products, will be capable of supporting legacy networks as well as 5G.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of UK incumbent operator BT, is to invest more than £100 million (US$137 million) in Northern Ireland networks over the next 12 months, according to a BBC report. The money will support the maintenance of its FTTC network, upgrade its "ultrafast" FTTH network and create 100 new apprentice roles.

  • Three UK has appointed David Hennessy as its new CTO. Hennessy has been CTO of Three Ireland since 2008 and, according to the operator, he will now lead a dual role in the technology and operations functions across both businesses, responsible for the network and IT systems. He takes over from Susan Buttsworth, who will leave Three in June after 25 years with the group.

    Three UK's new CTO, David Hennessy
    Three UK's new CTO, David Hennessy

  • Italian towers company Inwit has issued a €500 million ($594.4 million) bond, with a ten-year duration, to raise money to help it meet "sustainability" goals.

  • Colt Technology Services, the UK-based provider of SD-WAN knowhow, among other things, has launched a recruitment drive. It's looking for 70 new members to the Colt "family," and is encouraging applications from far and wide. For software development roles, there is a particular focus on attracting talent from Portugal, for some reason.

  • In your actual Portugal (this stuff isn't just thrown together, you know), NOS and Blacknut have teamed up to offer what they claim is the first 5G cloud gaming experience in the country. Blacknut already powers cloud gaming services for Telecom Italia and Swisscom, amongst others.

  • Orange Business Services has been chosen by electronics firm RS Components to overhaul its entire global infrastructure, digitizing its sales processes and moving its contact center activities to the cloud. SD-WAN will be involved.

  • Swisscom has landed top spot in mobile network tests carried out by CHIP, a trade journal covering such matters. Cue a riposte from rival Salt within the next few weeks...

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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