Eurobites: EU tries to make AI less scary

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson wins Slovakian 5G deal; ADVA has 'best ever' Q1; Proximus turns to Velocix for content delivery.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

April 22, 2021

3 Min Read
Eurobites: EU tries to make AI less scary

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson wins Slovakian 5G deal; ADVA has "best ever" Q1; Proximus turns to Velocix for content delivery.

  • Does AI have an image problem? The European Commission clearly thinks so, and for this reason it is proposing a series of rules that it hopes will help EU citizens to place its trust in the technology. The Commission is taking what it describes as a "risk-based approach," dividing potential AI applications into "unacceptable," "high," "limited" and "minimal" risk. Those in the "unacceptable" category include systems or applications that manipulate human behavior to "circumvent users' free will," such as toys using voice assistance to encourage dangerous behavior in children; the "high risk" category includes AI in critical infrastructure (for obvious reasons) and AI used in employment, such as sinister resume-sorting software increasingly favored by bone idle human resources departments and recruitment consultants. The Commission is also proposing new regulation covering the use of AI-controlled machinery, be it "look, no hands!" lawnmowers or industrial production lines.

    • O2 Slovakia has given Ericsson the nod for its 5G RAN needs, though the Swedish vendor will upgrade the operator's 2G, 3G and 4G RAN infrastructures while it has its tools out. Ericsson reckons its bits and bobs will also enable O2 Slovakia to decrease power consumption across its network. In late 2020 O2 Slovakia successfully acquired spectrum in the key 5G 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency ranges.

    • Germany's ADVA has posted what it describes as the strongest Q1 results in its history, with revenues up 8.9% year-on-year to €144.5 million (US$174 million). The company attributes this growth to high order volumes from network operators, private companies and governments. Looking ahead, ADVA expects revenues for fiscal year 2021 to be in the range of €580 million ($698 million) to €610 million ($734 million) and a pro forma operating income of between 6% and 10% of revenues.

    • Proximus, Belgium's incumbent operator, has turned to UK-based Velocix for content delivery. It will use Velocix CDN software to scale up its Android-based Pickx IP video streaming service. Proximus holds nearly 38% of the digital TV market in Belgium, serving more than 1.7 million TV customers.

    • Cinos, a UK provider of integrated audio-visual and unified communications products to enterprises and the public sector, has launched its own MVNO, Cinos Mobile. The service will run on EE's network.

    • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia, has boosted the coverage of its Virtual Network Access Point (NAP) service by offering access to DE-CIX locations in the US. Virtual NAP allows operators to access the main Internet Exchange Providers (IXPs) worldwide without having to implement and manage a proprietary infrastructure nor bear the costs of colocation.

    • Eighty percent of UK households still have a landline, but a quarter (26%) of them don't have a handset attached. And 35% of people say they only have a landline because they need it for their broadband connection. These are just some of the not wholly unexpected findings in a new survey carried out on behalf of uSwitch, a utility price-comparison service. On average, the survey found, households that still have a landline spend just five minutes a day talking on it, down more than a quarter from two years ago.

    • Talk Straight, a communications services provider for businesses and schools, has chosen Adtran's MetNet 60G mmWave fixed wireless access (FWA) offering to help it deliver gigabit broadband in rural areas of the UK.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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