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AI/Automation

Eurobites: Vodafone turns to Nokia's machine learning for network mending

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and MediaTek upgrade the uplink; Three UK overstates its 5G case; Prysmian is back to court.

  • Nokia has combined with Vodafone on a machine learning product that runs on Google Cloud and, say its backers, can quickly detect and address network anomalies before they start causing serious problems for users. The Anomaly Detection Service is based on Nokia Bell Labs technology and is being rolled out across Vodafone's pan-European network, starting with Italy, where it has been deployed on more than 60,000 4G cells. Vodafone has high hopes of the product: It expects that around 80% of all its mobile network issues will be automatically detected and tackled by the software.

  • In another high-tech combo, Ericsson has teamed up with chip company MediaTek to carry out a four-component (4CC) uplink aggregation on millimeter wave that resulted, they say, in a peak throughput rate of 495 Mbit/s (425 Mbit/s in New Radio plus 70 Mbit/s in LTE). The demo used pre-commercial software on a device containing a MediaTek M80 5G chipset. Uplink speeds have taken on more significance during the coronavirus pandemic, as videoconferencing over apps like Microsoft Teams or Zoom becomes ever more common as people increasingly work from home.

  • The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has agreed with Vodafone and ruled that a TV ad for Three Mobile seen in March 2020 was misleading. At issue were two specific points: Three's claim that it "is building the UK's fastest 5G network" and the statement "Three, it's real 5G." For the full, unexpurgated explanation of its actions, see the ASA's statement here. (Best bit: "We noted that the claim was made in the context of scenes such as a woman being beamed up from her sofa and passengers flying on a plane to the moon, which were clearly fantastical.")

  • Italian cable maker Prysmian has begun patent infringement proceedings against Sterlite Technologies. Prysmian claims that Sterlite's Micro-LITE Multitube Single Jacket optical fiber cable products infringe the UK designations of Prysmian's European Patents EP (UK) 2,390,700B1 and EP (UK) 1,668,392B1 for fiber optic cables. The first particularly relates to bundled units containing optical fibers, the second to optical cable with a highly reduced diameter.

  • Virgin Media O2 has begun tests of a new "ubiquitous communications" technology in Cornwall, England, which can switch between 5G and satellite broadband as and when the need arises, allowing devices to stay connected while on the move. As ISPreview reports, the ultimate goal of the project is to produce a device that can be installed in vehicles at the assembly line stage. Amazon Web Services, Hispasat, the UK Space Agency (UKSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Darwin Innovation Group are also involved in the project.

  • Israel wants to build a global cyber shield, and its prime minister has called on other nations to help them build it. As Bloomberg reports (paywall may apply), Naftali Bennett – who just happens to a former cybersecurity entrepreneur – told delegates at a conference in Tel Aviv: "If you try and fight alone you will lose."

  • Telia has the best 5G network in Stockholm – at least according to testing company Umlaut. Telia scored top marks after data performance on web browsing, file download, file upload and YouTube on 5G devices was examined during the first week of June.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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