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Eurobites: O2 Signs Up to the Connected Carpool

Paul Rainford
6/24/2019

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson bigwig can't understand the UK's approach to Huawei; Huawei claims its smartphone sales are on the rise in western Europe; Telxius and DE-CIX cuddle up.

  • UK operator O2 and the European Space Agency have put their weight behind a four-year trial program focusing on "next-generation" connectivity technologies for connected and autonomous vehicles. The trials will encompass both satellite-driven approaches -- Spanish satellite operator Hispasat is also on board -- and terrestrial offerings such as 5G. "Project Darwin," as the program is called, will be based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire and will include teams from Oxford and Glasgow Universities, startups specializing in self-driving mobility systems and Oxford's Darwin Innovation Group, the latter exploring ways of connecting terrestrial and satellite communications.

  • The chief executive of Ericsson North America, Niklas Heuveldop, says he doesn't understand the UK's suggested plan to exclude Chinese equipment-maker Huawei from so-called "core" elements of its 5G networks while allowing it to play a role in the "non-core" ones. According to the Financial Times (paywall applies), Heuveldop said: "You [the UK government] need to make up your mind. What's the problem you are trying to solve?" The UK, like other European countries, has been under pressure from the US government to show Huawei the door, but is yet to make its mind up on the matter. (See Huawei Ban Decision in UK 'More Difficult' After US Moves, Says Minister.)

  • And, in related territory, Huawei has claimed that its smartphone sales in western Europe have risen recently as customers begin to believe that the Chinese giant can still prosper in the face of US sanctions. But as Reuters reports, Huawei's Walter Ji also said that it wasn't yet clear just how the company's new smartphones would be affected by the company's blacklisting in the US. (See Google & Tech Giants Cut Huawei Adrift.)

  • Telxius, the infrastructure arm of Telefónica, has teamed up with Internet exchange operator DE-CIX to offer interconnection services from any Telxius point of presence in the world to the DE-CIX exchanges in Marseille, Madrid, New York and Dallas. Telxius operates MAREA and BRUSA, two subsea cables that link the Americas to Europe.

  • The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has released three new specifications relating respectively to smart cities (ETSI TS 103 410-4), industrial manufacturing (ETSI TS 103 410-5) and agriculture (ETSI TS 103 410-6).

  • Grant Shapps, a UK politician who is chairman of the cross-party British Infrastructure Group, has called on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate claims of price-fixing in the country's mobile phone industry, the Daily Telegraph reports (paywall applies). Last week the newspaper reported claims from BT-owned EE that the former bosses of rivals O2 and Vodafone UK had made "inappropriate" approaches to compare notes on sales plans.

  • Deutsche Telekom's network upgrade has reached another 46,000 households across 104 German municipalities, offering those within reach of the beefed-up connections speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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