Eurobites: Bolton Arrives in UK to Turn the Huawei Thumbscrews

Paul Rainford
8/12/2019

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: DT and friends go password-free with Mobile Connect; O2 complains about 5G auction terms; Telenor enables soufflé-defined networking.

  • John Bolton, Donald Trump's luxuriantly mustachioed national security adviser, is expected to put pressure on the UK government this week to get tougher on Huawei, the Guardian reports. Bolton arrived in Britain yesterday (Sunday) and has a series of meetings lined up with UK ministers on a range of issues, including Huaweigate and the UK's policy on Iran. The coronation of right-winger Boris Johnson as the UK's new prime minister has raised US hopes of a meeting of minds between the US and UK on such matters. (See Huawei Stew Hits Boiling Point.)

  • In Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone have joined forces to get onboard with the password-free secure login procedure, Mobile Connect, which allows a customer to register his or her smartphone and mobile number as a "unique digital identity" for Internet purchases and other online activities requiring authentication. After entering the mobile phone number in the relevant Internet portal, an SMS is sent to the customer's mobile phone. Using the link embedded in the text message, the customer confirms receipt on his or her smartphone. This allows the network operator to transmit a "pseudonymised customer reference number" to the portal operator in encrypted form. Using this method, the operator can assign the customer a reference number again and again and also grants access to the online shop without a password.

  • O2, Telefónica's UK operation, has complained to communications regulator Ofcom that the terms of an upcoming 5G spectrum auction are being skewed in favor of its rival, Three, the CK Hutchison-owned operator. As the Telegraph reports (paywall applies), O2 says Ofcom must stop operators from acquiring "narrow slivers" of spectrum that, in its view, stymie competition.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) has added Sky's Now TV over-the-top streaming app to its TIMvision service, bringing Serie A soccer matches and UEFA Champions League, among other premium sports and general entertainment content, to its customers.

  • Imagination Technologies, the UK-based but China-owned chip design company, saw royalties fall from £83.3 million (US$100.6 million) to £71.5 million ($86.3 million) last year following the decision by Apple to stop using Imagination's designs in its iPhones, the Telegraph reports. (See Eurobites: Imagination Sale Gets Investor Approval, Eurobites: Imagination Cashes In Its Chips With Canyon Bridge for £550M and Eurobites: Imagination Rocked by Apple Shut-Out.)

  • Telenor has been carrying out more 5G trials, its latest effort seeing the technology being put through its paces by a top Bulgarian chef, Andre Tokev, who used a 5G-powered live video feed to mentor three amateur cooks who were preparing food in the kitchen of his restaurant in Sofia while he kicked back in Burgas, several hundred miles away.

    You're Doing It Wrong!
    Chef Andre Tokev reads the riot act to amateur cooks hundreds of miles away, thanks to the magic of 5G.
    Chef Andre Tokev reads the riot act to amateur cooks hundreds of miles away, thanks to the magic of 5G.

  • Speed tests carried out by the Ookla app have identified Swisscom as having the fastest mobile network and the widest coverage in Switzerland, the operator boasts. The operator averaged 53.88 Mbit/s download and 16.95 Mbit/s upload, according to the Ookla tests, which are carried out on customers' smartphones in "real conditions."

  • The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport may give Ofcom, the communications regulator, the power to impose multi-million-pound fines on the likes of Facebook and YouTube if it judges that they have failed to take sufficient steps to prevent young people from seeing pornography, violence and other nasty stuff on their platforms. As the BBC reports, the move is intended to meet the UK's legal obligations -- at least until Brexit occurs -- to the European Union under the terms of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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