Eurobites: Ericsson Plays Backseat Driver in 5G Auto Antenna Trials

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Spotify adds paying customers; Proximus makes progress in Q2; O2 invites everyone into its 5G testbed.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has joined forces with NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) and glass manufacturer AGC to demonstrate how glass-mounted antennas can be used for 5G-based communications between vehicles traveling at fairly high speeds. According to the vendor, the antennas are barely visible from the outside, so make little impact on the look of the vehicle. The trial, which took place in Japan, used the 28GHz band and employed beamforming and MIMO technology to accelerate data transmission. Throughput of 8 Gbit/s was recorded on cars traveling at around 62mph, while throughput climbed to 11 Gbit/s at lower speeds.

  • In its second financial report since making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year, Swedish music-streaming service Spotify revealed that it had added 10% more paid subscribers in the second quarter, bringing its total of paying customers to 83 million. As Reuters reports, this figure exceeded analysts' forecasts, and helped quash rumors that it was losing ground to rival service Apple Music in the US.

  • Belgium's Proximus saw revenue grow 2.6% year-on-year to €1.454 billion (US$1.69 billion), while earnings climbed 6.1% to €493 million ($573.3 million). Domestically, higher revenues from fixed data and TV services compensated for the continuing decline of fixed voice services. The operator's international arm, BICS , recorded a 12.7% rise in earnings, to €39 million ($45.3 million), though that figure includes the operations of TeleSign, the US-based authentication specialist it agreed to acquire last year for $230 million. Proximus reiterated its guidance for the year. (See Eurobites: BICS bags TeleSign for $230M.)

  • Telefónica 's UK unit, better known as O2, has written to every CEO of companies in the FTSE 100 Index to invite them to participate in O2's 5G testbed trials, ahead of the UK's expected 5G launch in 2020. Businesses wanting to get on board need to let O2 know by September.

  • Thomas Arnoldner has been appointed CEO of Telekom Austria Group , with effect from September 1. Arnoldner's resume includes stints at T-Systems, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent. The terms of COO Alejandro Plater and CFO Siegfried Mayrhofer have also been extended.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has been confirmed as the sponsor of Italy's prestigious Serie A soccer league for the next three seasons. "Football is entertainment and social aggregation, as well as healthy competition: values that TIM treasures while daily involved in the process of digital transformation of the country," said TIM's Pietro Scott Jovane, in a quote as clumsy as one of Claudio Gentile's less refined tackles.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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