Eurobites: UK Operators Seek Clarity From Government on Huawei

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei exec maintains there are Chinese walls; Tele2 bags AT&T's Lensch for its IoT arm; Intracom opens Italian subsidiary.

  • A number of UK mobile operators have drafted a letter to the British government demanding clarity over its stance on the use of Huawei equipment in 5G rollouts and warning that the UK could fall behind its rivals in terms of mobile connectivity if such clarity is not forthcoming soon. As the BBC reports, the letter requests an urgent meeting between telecom industry leaders and the government to thrash out the issues. Both Ericsson and Nokia are hoping for a bigger piece of the 5G action in the UK, though Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri told Light Reading this week that it was "too early to tell" if the backlash against Huawei represented a business opportunity for his company. (See Ericsson, Nokia Boast 5G Wins Against Each Other, but Fail to Stop Huawei.)

  • Meanwhile, Huawei's global cybersecurity and privacy officer, John Suffolk, has told a UK parliamentary hearing that the vendor, contrary to the popular perception, does not have to share its secrets with the Chinese government. Suffolk claimed that the obligation on Chinese companies to cooperate with the country's intelligence agencies when asked to do so did not apply in Huawei's case, the Guardian reports.

  • Tele2 has poached Greg Lensch from AT&T to become the new CEO of the Swedish operator's IoT arm. He takes over from acting CEO Johan Ragnevad, who will continue in his role as strategy director at Tele2 IoT.

  • Greece-based Intracom Telecom has opened a subsidiary in Monza, Italy. Since 2014 Intracom has been supplying and supporting networks in Italy, specializing in rural "ultra-broadband" connectivity.

  • Openreach, BT's quasi-autonomous network access division, is using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology for the first time to accelerate the rollout of fiber-to-the-premises in the southern English city of Salisbury. The use of GPR technology reduces the risk of engineers accidentally chopping through existing utilities pipes and supports Openreach's use of "micro ducting," which, the company says, allows it to install up to 300 meters of new cable per day.

    Radar Love
    An Openreach engineer uses GPR technology to detect hidden obstacles before digging in fiber cables, in Salisbury.
    An Openreach engineer uses GPR technology to detect hidden obstacles before digging in fiber cables, in Salisbury.

  • Germany's ADVA has landed another cloud deal, this time with POST Luxembourg. The postal service has begun deploying ADVA's FSP 150-Z4806 100Gbit/s service aggregation platform, a box of tricks that features ADVA's Ensemble Activator network operating system.

  • London mayor Sadiq Khan, who made global headlines earlier this month as the subject of a trademark Trump Twitter tirade, has blamed the ongoing debacle of Brexit for holding back the progress of London's technology sector. As Reuters reports, Khan used the launch of London Tech Week on Monday to offer his view that the only way to break the Brexit gridlock would be to hold a second referendum on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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