In today's regional roundup: The French government gives le lumière verte to the 5G license sale process; Huawei hints at European components production site; EE turns on its 5G service in six more locations (hello Sunderland!); Rohde & Schwarz's golden CATR reflector sees some action; mobile data prices in Africa; and more.
The French government has given the go-ahead for 5G spectrum license awards by validating the specifications put forward by regulator Arcep. It has fixed the price of a basic block of 50 MHz spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band at €350 million, while the reserve price for an additional 10 MHz block is set at €70 million. "Payment for 50 MHz blocks will be spread over 15 years while payment for blocks 10 MHz will be spread over four years, thus meeting the competitive concerns raised by Arcep," the Economic Ministry announced in a statement Tuesday. Agnes Pannier-Runacher, State Secretary to the Minister of the Economy and Finance, noted that the obligations on license-holders to ensure broad coverage of rural and industrial areas made the French approach "much more ambitious than in other European countries." In total, 310 MHz of spectrum is to be allocated, with Orange, Bouygues, Iliad and Altice all hoping to get a decent chunk of capacity.
Huawei's chairman Liang Hua says the Chinese vendor may build a components manufacturing plant in Europe as it reorganizes its supply chain in the wake of US procurement restrictions, reports RTE, citing AFP (Agence France-Presse).
Earlier this week, Huawei launched its 5G Innovation and Experience Centre in London in a move to "promote greater collaboration between businesses and innovators in the development of 5G ecosystems." The vendor is still waiting to find out if the UK government will bar it from parts of the UK's 5G network infrastructure.
For those Brits whose Christmas lists include 390 Mbit/s mobile broadband connections delivered by non-standalone 5G radio access network infrastructure (it pays to be specific in the Yuletide season, I find…), there's encouraging news. Mobile operator EE (part of the BT Group) has switched on its 5G services in six more UK locations -- Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland -- taking the total number of towns and cities where it offers 5G to 50. The operator says it aims to have "5G live in more than 70 cities and large towns by March 2020, in time for the next big 5G device launches." For the full details, see this press release.
If all you want for Christmas is 300 Mbit/s and a sore arm from taking Yuletide selfies, then you might be in luck... (Pic: EE)
IoT components specialist Sierra Wireless has selected the compact antenna test range (CATR)-based R&S ATS1800C from German test vendor Rohde & Schwarz for mmWave frequencies (FR2) testing. "The transportable solution… features a state-of-the-art golden CATR reflector with rolled edges and a very smooth surface to minimize scattering and to provide precise measurement results as required for operation at high frequencies," notes the German outfit. For more details, see this press release.
Egypt boasted the cheapest price for 1 Gbyte of mobile data in Africa during the third quarter of this year, according to think tank Research ICT Africa. For the full story, and to find out where the most expensive mobile data in Africa is to be found, check out this article from our sister publication Connecting Africa.
The ethical use of personal data is a massive issue in Europe, so the efforts of a non-profit called MyData, which enables the management and tracking of personal data, are worth tracking, especially as companies such as Finland's Vastuu Group seek to create a network of organizations that will share data under specific ethical guidelines. To find out more, see this article at our sister site Telecoms.com.
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