Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange and Cisco combine on SD-LANs; Hungary has no beef with Huawei; Nokia claims battery breakthrough.
BT has been taken part in a demonstration of the UK's first remote ultrasound scan over a public 5G network. The operator teamed with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and 5G testbed organization WM5G for the demo, which simulated a paramedic in the field performing an ultrasound scan on a patient, under the remote guidance of a clinician who is able to interpret the ultrasound image in real time. The clinician uses a joystick to send control signals over the network to a "haptic" glove worn by the paramedic.
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Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT Enterprise, wears the haptic glove while Fotis Karonis, BT 5G executive advisor, and Cameron McVittie, operations manager at West Midlands Ambulance Service, have fun with the scanner.
Orange Business Services has hooked up with Cisco to develop software-defined LANs (SD-LANs) as part of Orange's Open Labs program. According to Orange, SD-LAN technology addresses deployment and visibility issues on campus WiFi networks, monitoring usage and anticipating any essential upgrades.
In other Orange-tinted news, KaiOS Technologies, the company behind the eponymous mobile operating system for "smart feature phones" (low-cost, push-button phones with Internet access that are proving popular in Africa), has confirmed that the French giant took part in a recent Series B funding round led by Cathay Innovation.
A Hungarian government minister says his country has no evidence that Huawei gear is posing a security threat, Reuters reports. Laszlo Palkovics said: "Until it is proven that Huawei, or Cisco or any other technology poses any threat to our community, that is Hungary, NATO or the European Union, we will handle Huawei’s technology as any other technology." European countries have come under pressure from the US, which has already blacklisted Huawei, to bar the Chinese vendor from their respective 5G rollout plans. (See Huawei Stew Hits Boiling Point.)
Researchers at Nokia Bell Labs and Trinity College Dublin have come up with a new formula for battery composition which they say packs two and a half times more life into batteries compared with anything currently available on the market. The team behind the project believe the new battery technology could have a profound impact on 4G and 5G networks, where conventional power may not be available for network equipment.
Dutch incumbent KPN says it is accelerating its fiber rollout in The Hague, and expects that at least 80,000 households in different districts of the city will be connected by the end of 2021. KPN has already installed fiber in the Benoordenhout and Ypenburg districts and it will begin work in the Regentessekwartier district in early July.
A new report from CTA and Dalberg Advisors estimates that the market for digital services that support African smallholders could be worth more than €2 billion (US$2.26 billion). Already, says the study, nearly 400 different digital agriculture products are being used by 33 million registered farmers across sub-Saharan Africa.
A BBC report reveals how the government Internet shutdown in Sudan earlier this month has made life so much more difficult for the people who live there, be they taxi drivers who are reliant on ride-hailing apps or protesters trying to organize their opposition to military rule.