Eurobites: Ericsson, Vodafone Take a 5G Front Seat With eGO

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Dixons Carphone hit by slump in demand for new handsets; new UK fiber contender; startups have faith in 5G.

  • Ericsson, Vodafone and electric car company e.GO Mobile have begun 5G-fueled car manufacturing at e.GO's facility in Aachen, Germany. A private Vodafone network using Ericsson gear and deploying 36 antennas in the 8,500sqm production facility will enable secure and "almost real-time" data networking across the production chain. Among the 5G technologies used will be mobile edge computing (MEC) and network slicing.

  • Dixons Carphone, the UK retailer of mobile phones and more, saw its share price slump by more than 20% in early Thursday trading on the news that it lost £259 million (US$329 million) in the year to April 27, compared with a pre-tax profit of £289 million ($367 million) last year. As the BBC reports, straitened pre-Brexit times in the UK mean that people are hanging onto their handsets for longer.

  • The UK fiber market is getting mighty crowded. And three existing fiber companies -- British Fibre Networks, Pure Fibre Zone and Pure Fibre Housing -- have now come together under a new umbrella consortium, i4 Technology Group. It is a thoroughly Welsh affair: The Group is led by fiber entrepreneur Elfed Thomas and former Wales rugby star Rupert Moon has joined the board as head of business development. Each of the i4 Group subsidiaries is committed to providing infrastructure that enables premises to access (up to) 1-Gig broadband. (See Brexit-bound Britain's broadband blues.)

  • Startups have high hopes for 5G, with 58% believing that the technology would their enhance their competitiveness within two years and 56% expecting it will change the way they operate their businesses. Those of two of the findings of a new Vodafone-sponsored study, which sought the view of startup leaders across six industry sectors.

  • It's exciting times for British wrestling fans as BT Sport, the UK incumbent's pay-TV offering, has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement that will bring WWE's main weekly programming available to BT Sport viewers in the UK and Ireland, beginning January 2020. Of course, these days wrestling is all about oiled-up, muscled hunks -- both male and female -- grappling athletically and photogenically, but for Team Eurobites, wrestling will always be about obesity in leotards.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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