Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and Intel help China Mobile test standalone 5G; Italy's 5G auction will go ahead; Telia announces 5G partner program, and Volvo digs it.
Quantum Week continues: After earlier announcements by BT and ADVA, now it's the turn of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Telefónica to toot their respective trumpets about how they are breaking new ground in their use of quantum technology -- which uses individual photons to create "unhackable" encryption -- on a commercial optical network. Telefónica and Huawei teamed up with UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) on the trial, connecting three different sites within the Madrid metropolitan area and employing a principle called quantum key distribution (QKD) in combination with a number of software-controlled devices.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has joined Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) to conduct what they claim is the first live 3GPP-compliant Standalone (SA) 5G New Radio (NR) interopability tests, at Ericsson's labs in Beijing. The trial, operating at 100MHz on 3.5GHz mid-band, used Ericsson's 5G NR basestations and Intel's 5G NR UE (Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform) prototypes. China Mobile announced its 5G plans at Mobile World Congress in March, setting itself apart from other early 5G adopters by opting to go all-in on the "standalone" variant of the technology. (See China Mobile Confirms Aggressive 5G Standalone Plan.)
Despite apparent attempts by broadcaster Mediaset S.p.A. and media group Cairo Communication to put a spanner in the works, it seems Italy's 5G spectrum auction will go ahead as planned, Reuters reports. Mediaset and Cairo currently use some of the frequencies for their broadcasts, and they will have to give them up once they come up for auction. It is expected that the auction will raise at least €2.5 billion ($2.96 billion) for state coffers.
Sweden's Telia has announced a 5G partner program, and the first company to sign up is Volvo Construction Equipment. Volvo CE will test 5G technology in its remote-controlled machines and automation equipment at the company's research and development facilities in Eskilstuna, Sweden.