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4G/3G/WiFi

Eurobites: MTN Goes LAA With Huawei & Qualcomm

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: O2 splurges on small cells in London; Nokia trials public-safety innovations in Finland; Bouygues' numbers up.

  • South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. says it has completed a successful commercial implementation of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology in Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country. The project was a collaboration with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , which supplied its LampSite basestation, and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), which brought its Snapdragon 835 mobile platform to the party. LAA is a variant of LTE, which enables LTE networks to make use of unlicensed spectrum to increase network capacity. The project follows a similar one in Turkey earlier this year involving Huawei, Qualcomm and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD). (See Eurobites: Vodafone & Huawei Enter LAA Land.)

  • Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) is to splurge £80 million (US$103 million) on installing 1,400 small cells in London to enhance current connectivity and help pave the way for 5G technology. Its partner in the project, which is scheduled to start later this year, will be Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has trialed the use of some new features -- some of them involving the use of video in an emergency scenario -- on the public-safety network in Finland, where the authorities are preparing to make the transition from a TETRA-based system to one grounded in commercial LTE networks. The trial was carried out in partnership with Telia Finland and State Security Networks, the country's public-safety network provider. In the UK, the TETRA network was also abandoned, being replaced by an LTE-based network operated by EE . (See Eurobites: EE Lands Emergency Services Deal.)

  • French conglomerate Bouygues saw its first-quarter results boosted by the performance of its telecom arm, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rising €97 million ($107.7 million) year-on-year, to €243 million ($270.1 million), on revenue that rose 8% to €1.22 billion ($1.35 billion). Bouygues Telecom added an impressive 364,000 mobile subscribers during the quarter, and signed up another 144,000 to its FTTH services.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to screen soccer's UEFA Champions League final on June 3 in 4K Ultra HD and in 360-degree virtual reality formats, both for paying customers of BT Sport and -- in a move that might leave those same paying customers feeling a little aggrieved -- for everyone to see for free on YouTube.

  • Also appearing in UHD in June will be the Isle of Wight Festival, which Sky has bagged the rights to for its Sky Arts channel. Performing within earshot (if the wind is in the right direction) of Eurobites Towers, this year's line-up includes croaky blonde-botherer Rod Stewart and loads of other acts Team Eurobites has never heard of. So they can't be any good.

    The Isle of Wight Festival: Now available in Ultra HD.
    The Isle of Wight Festival: Now available in Ultra HD.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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