Eurobites: You don't need Huawei for 5G, US diplomat tells Europe

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ooredoo improves the customer experience with Nokia; BICS connects up exoskeletons; ADVA hints at coronavirus-linked trouble ahead.

  • A senior US diplomat has used a trip to Portugal to express the view that European countries don't need Huawei in their 5G networks as Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung are "on a par" with the Chinese vendor when it comes to supplying equipment and software for the next-generation technology. As Reuters reports, Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary for cyber, international communications and information policy at the US State Department, told reporters in Lisbon that it was "necessary to demystify" the idea that Huawei's 5G offerings are more advanced than its rivals. "The good news is Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung all provide 5G technology that is on par with the one Huawei is providing today," said Strayer. "They are leading the world in the type of technology they have." (See US weighs tighter export controls to check Huawei – report and Trump is losing the European war against Huawei.)

  • Doha-based Ooredoo has turned to Nokia's customer engagement product to better understand its customers' needs and use that analytics-driven understanding to deliver targeted, personalized and real-time advertising campaigns.

  • BICS, the wholesale arm of Belgium's Proximus, is providing global IoT connectivity for a robotic exoskeleton, the Cray X, developed by German Bionic. The exoskeleton is used in industry to reduce the risk of injury to those workers involved in repetitive heavy lifting. BICS' cellular connectivity offering embeds IoT connectivity within the Cray X, enabling data to be transmitted from sensors in the body-worn suit to smart factory systems and software. Using machine learning, the exoskeleton learns the movements of its user and adjusts accordingly.

    Steady now...
    The Cray X exoskeleton helps protect workers who do a lot of heavy lifting.
    The Cray X exoskeleton helps protect workers who do a lot of heavy lifting.

  • Germany's ADVA has posted annual revenues of €556.8 million ($601 million) for 2019, up 10.9% on the previous year. Fourth-quarter revenues increased by 4.7% to €151.1 million ($163.1 million). On the less sunny side, gross margin was affected by US tariffs on Chinese-made goods in the US market and the strong dollar, while ADVA also fears that the coronavirus epidemic will lead to delays in the global supply chain, not least because Wuhan, the city at the heart of the epidemic, is an important center for photonic components and subsystems.

  • UK-based Gamma Communications Europe has offered to buy Spanish cloud PBX provider VozTelcom for €30.5 million ($32.9 million). In 2019, VozTelecom's turnover was €15.6 million ($16.8 million) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was €2.5 million ($2.7 million).

  • Lycamobile, which describes itself as the world's largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), has announced a partnership with Tunisia's state-owned postal and banking service operator, La Poste. The partnership will see the MVNO's pre-paid vouchers and SIM cards sold by cashiers across La Poste's network of more 1,000 branches in Tunisia.

  • Sky Studios has struck a multiyear development and production partnerhship deal with The Apartment, which is part of the Fremantle group. Under the terms of the deal, Sky Studios will provide development funding for a minimum of three shows. Lorenzo Mieli has is the CEO of The Apartment; this deal extends the relationship between Sky and Mieli, who has produced a number of hits for Sky and HBO including Paolo Sorrentino's recently aired The New Pope and Luca Guadagnino's We Are Who We Are.

  • Customers of T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's IT services arm, can now access one of the fastest high-performance computers worldwide via the Open Telekom Cloud. "Hawk" is a new supercomputer based at Stuttgart's High-Performance Computing Center boasting a computing power of approximately 25.95 petaflops, handy for aerodynamic analyses and climate modeling.

  • Telenor Denmark and development house Seluxit have teamed up to create an IoT offering that monitors cardiac defibrillators in order to remotely detect any potential problems with the apparatus. An IoT unit on the defibrillator communicates via Telenor's network and sends an alert to the Danish Heart Foundation when an error or a low battery is detected.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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