Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 5G fever sweeps Switzerland, Italy and the UK; Elisa spies Chinese TV opportunity; Agama targets OTT providers.
Berit Svendsen is to step down from her role as CEO of Telenor Norway and will leave the company, despite apparent efforts by the board and the group CEO, Sigve Brekke, to keep her at the operator. "I have tried to find a good solution tailored to Berit's own wishes, while at the same time ensuring development of competence and experience both for her and others," said Brekke in a prepared statement. "It's disappointing that we have not succeeded in finding a role that Berit wanted to take on," he added. The departure of Svendsen has prompted a senior management reshuffle, with Petter Furberg coming in as the new Norway CEO and Kaaren Hilsen returning to Telenor Sweden as CEO, among other changes.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) have achieved what the vendor claims is Europe's first multivendor 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) data call on the 3.5GHz band. The call was made in the Swiss city of Burgdorf over Swisscom's 3GPP-compliant network using the Ericsson Radio System, with data transmissions carried out using Intel's Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) device and a Swisscom 5G-subscribed SIM card. Swisscom hopes to have 5G services in selected locations by the end of this year.
Telecom Italia (TIM) 's ambitious plan to make tiny San Marino the "first 5G state in Europe" continues apace with the switching on of what the operator claims is the first 5G 3GPP standard antenna, in Faetano. The antenna, says TIM, is able to "simultaneously handle dozens of incoming and outgoing radio signals and dynamically adapt to the position of individual users and the traffic demand." Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is TIM's technology partner in the project. (See Eurobites: San Marino to Be 5G Testbed for Telecom Italia.)
The West Midlands region of England, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, has been chosen as the UK's first large-scale 5G testbed. The trial, which is supported by "up to" £50 million (US$64.1 million), made up of central government money and match funding from regional partners, will initially focus on potential healthcare- and public transport-related applications of the technology, while "real-world" testing of driverless cars with Jaguar Land Rover is also in the mix.
Who knew? Chinese TV viewers apparently have a taste for Nordic content and, what's more, are willing to pay for it! On the back of this revelation, Finnish operator Elisa Corp. has partnered with China Broadcasting and Television Media to provide its Nordic TV video service potentially to 245 million cable-TV households.
Sweden's Agama Technologies AB is teaming up with California-based CastLabs to deliver a pre-integrated SDK offering for OTT video providers looking to shore up their service quality assurance. The combo is intended to provide CastLabs-powered devices with real-time 24/7 monitoring, assurance and analytics technology.