Security Strategies

Eurobites: US Tries to Strong-Arm UK Over 5G (Again)

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson brings home the Danish 5G bacon at TDC; Orange migrates long-distance network, with a Nokia assist; Salisbury fibers up.

  • Senior US government officials have warned the UK that its plan to test Huawei's equipment prior to installation would not prevent it from being used by Beijing for nefarious purposes once 5G network rollout begins in earnest. As the Financial Times reports (subscription required), a representative of the Trump administration used a coffee-cup example to make the point that because 5G networks will be largely software-controlled, new, previously unseen, dangers arise: "One analogy that we can often use is, one minute you're holding a 5G coffee cup that is transmitting back telemetric data on what the temperature is what the actual liquid is inside. And then the next moment that object can turn into something radically different." US officials have been touring Europe in recent weeks, trying to persuade governments to give Huawei equipment the cold shoulder in future network rollouts. (See Huawei Stew Hits Boiling Point and US Won't Work With Countries That Use Huawei, Pompeo Warns.)

  • Ericsson has landed a 5G network rollout contract with Denmark's TDC in a deal that spans TDC's radio access and core networks. TDC will make 5G available to selected customers on a pilot-testing basis from mid-2019, with actual 5G network rollout expected to start in October -- pending the approval and availability of licensed 5G spectrum. The pair have also signed a five-year managed services deal that will focus on artificial intelligence and automation and deploy Ericsson's Operations Engine platform.

  • Orange and Nokia are trumpeting what they claim has been a successful migration of Orange's 18,000km long-distance network in Europe and Asia to a photonic control plane, which allows operations to be more software-controlled. According to Orange, the migration was completed without having any detrimental effect on its customers.

  • Elsewhere in the Nokia empire, Room40, a company specializing in "context aware" and audio security monitoring analytics, has opted for Nokia Scene Analytics to help it increase security at various sites across Belgium. Specifically, it will be used at a number of highway service stations, which have become focal points for vandalism, theft and coordinated drug and human trafficking, to spot anomalies in thousands of simultaneous streams of video, audio and sensor information. This information is then put through the machine-learning wringer to flag up potential incidents that require attention.

  • Salisbury, which found unwanted fame last year through the Novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, is set to become the first UK city to have universal access to Openreach's full-fiber technology. Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access division of BT, hopes to complete the network within a year, bringing fiber from the exchange directly to more than 20,000 premises across the city. (See BT's Jansen: We Need to Talk About Openreach.)

  • Another company with skin in the UK fiber game is Hyperoptic, which has just signed up housing association Network Homes to connect 20,000 units to its gigabit broadband service. Hyperoptic has trained its fire on the social housing sector, and claims to have 160,000 social housing units connected or about to be connected to its full-fiber network. (See UK FTTH Altnets Press for Gigabit Britain.)

  • German data center operator Telemaxx has upgraded its network with the help of Ciena and Kapsch in preparation for a rollout of Ethernet-based business services. According to Ciena, Telemaxx's existing TDM platform was running out of capacity, which presented problems to its customers.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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