Eurobites: Swisscom Goes All Out for Gigabit LTE, 5G

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Huawei and Vodafone make 5G data connection in Italy; automation not that scary after all; welcome to Gigabit Island.

  • Just last week Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) announced that it would be teaming up with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) to demonstrate the wonders of Gigabit LTE to customers at some of its retail stores: Now, the twosome have gone much further and have revealed plans to carry out a "complete digital transformation and evolution" of Swisscom's network, with the intention of deploying Gigabit LTE nationwide by 2018 and 5G from 2020. The program will include the development of enterprise use cases built on something Swisscom calls Massive Machine Type Communication (MTC) in fields such as factory automation and smart grids. Swisscom hopes to have Gigabit LTE services up and running in 11 Swiss cities by the end of this year.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is claiming to have helped Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) achieve the first 5G data connection in Italy, in trials at Vodafone Village in Milan that used Massive MIMO technology over frequencies in the 3.7-3.8GHz range. Download speeds of more than 2.7 Gbit/s were clocked during the trials, according to the Chinese vendor.

  • Automation, schmautomation. Those, in summary, are the findings of a survey carried out by YouGov for TalkTalk Business. The survey found that only one in five British workers saw AI and automation as a threat to their jobs. Splitting things along gender lines, more than a third of male workers believed AI and automation would actually make them better at their jobs, whereas female workers weren't quite so sure -- just 24% of them felt the same way.

  • Belgium's BICS is to provide its range of voice and data roaming services to Swazi Mobile, Swaziland's recently launched second mobile network. According to BICS, there are around 250,000 inbound "roamers" in Swaziland, with the vast majority traveling from neighboring countries South Africa and Mozambique.

  • The Isle of Wight, a sun-kissed holiday mecca just off the south coast of England and the spiritual home of Eurobites, has been rechristened "Gigabit Island" by altnet WightFibre. As the Isle of Wight County Press reports, WightFibre has become the first company in the UK to receive investment from the government's Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, and it plans to use the £35 million ($45.8 million) injection to roll out full-fiber gigabit broadband across the island over the next five years.

    A sea-change in connectivity? The Isle of Wight is being promised full-fiber gigabit broadband.
    A sea-change in connectivity? The Isle of Wight is being promised full-fiber gigabit broadband.

  • Israeli startup Corephotonics has filed a patent infringement case against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Reuters reports. The company claims Apple incorporated its dual camera technology in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization.

  • Sky , the pay-TV giant, has told the UK's Competition and Markets Authority that it may shut down its Sky News operation if that stands in the way of the takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. As the BBC reports, Sky told the CMA that it could not assume the "continued provision" of Sky News. The regulator is currently examining the proposed takeover deal amid fears that it would make Murdoch too dominant in the UK media landscape.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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