Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor extends its 5G pilot program; why Brexit could boost sales of Android phones in the UK; Telefónica's green bond.
The French European Affairs Minister, Nathalie Loiseau, has called for EU countries to act as one on the issue of Huawei, rather than each doing their own thing. As Reuters reports, Loiseau told an audience in Warsaw that: "Talking to China, we can’t do it each state on its own. ... we should act as Europe." As the rumpus over Huawei reaches new levels of febrility (yes, it is a word -- we checked) in the US, EU countries have had a variety of responses, with some governments issuing warnings about perceived security vulnerabilities in Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd 's equipment and a number of major operators operating in those countries applying various restrictions to the use of the Chinese vendor's gear. (See Huawei Controversy Pits Spooks Against CSPs and Where Huawei Fears to Tread.)
Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) is expanding its 5G testing program in Norway, with a new pilot involving Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) scheduled to start in the second quarter of this year, location and other details as yet unspecified. The operator's existing pilot is taking place in Konigsberg.
Will Brexit bring a sales boost to Android smartphones in the UK? That's the possibility being raised by a detail on the British government website which says that EU citizens hailing from outside the UK who wish to carry on residing in the UK will have to use an Android smartphone to initiate their application for "settled status." As The Independent reports, a tweet from journalist Sam Wolfson highlighted the detail, prompting the obligatory "Twitter storm." Those who do not have an Android phone to run the government-issued app that confirms their identity will have to go to one of 13 centers located around the UK -- not a problem, probably, for those living in the UK's major cities, but a potential headache and expense for those living in, say, Cornwall.
Telefónica has issued what it describes as the telco sector's first "green bond," raising €1 billion (US$1.14 billion) over a five-year term. The bond proved a hit with institutional investors, being more than five times oversubscribed. The proceeds, says the Spanish operator, are intended to "finance projects devoted to increase the company's energy efficiency thanks to the network transformation from copper to fibre optic in Spain."
Ericsson says it has brought the in-vogue technologies of artificial intelligence and automation to bear on its new managed services offering, the Ericsson Operations Engine. It will be attempting to show what it means by this at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
Swiss mobile operator Salt SA has chosen Nokia to uprade its radio and mobile core network. According to Salt CEO Pascal Grieder, it was the combination of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s "advanced technological capabilities" and its "reliability and security" that won the day.
Elsewhere on the Nokia front, the Finnish vendor has landed a deal with Norwegian real estate company Miris, which will deploy Nokia's Open Edge data center technology to support the delivery of smart-city services in business parks and residential areas.
Ireland's Data Protection Commission has expressed concern at Facebook 's plan to integrate its Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms. In a statement, it said: "Previous proposals to share data between Facebook companies have given rise to significant data protection concerns and the Irish DPC will be seeking early assurances that all such concerns will be fully taken into account by Facebook in further developing this proposal."
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading