Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telecom Italia appeals €28 million antitrust fine; update on Colt's top table; Christmas connectivity.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) have signed a five-year agreement to collaborate on 5G research, with particular areas of R&D interest including the standardization of a new 5G Air Interface and the Internet of Things (IoT). This is just the latest in a series of similar collaborations entered into by Ericsson; other 5G research partners include Ooredoo, NTT Docomo and SoftBank. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile operator in terms of subscriber numbers, with 825.2 million customers at the end of November. (See Ericsson, China Mobile Team on 5G R&D.)
Telecom Italia (TIM) is going to appeal against a €28 million (US$30.6 million) antitrust fine imposed upon it and six other companies by the Italian competition authority. In a statement, the operator maintains that it "acted in an absolutely lawful way" with regard to network maintenance services, which were the crux of the matter.
Also on the fining front, the Nigerian government has said it will await the outcome of MTN Group Ltd. 's appeal against its $3.9 billion fine before it attempts to enforce it, reports Reuters. The fine was imposed on MTN for its failure, in Nigeria's eyes, to disconnect unregistered mobile phones with sufficient haste. (See MTN to Challenge $3.9B Fine in Nigerian Court.)
And finally… Christmas may almost be upon us but that doesn't mean Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED)'s crack research unit is resting on its laurels. Oh no. The UK cable operator's latest contribution to thought leadership on broadband matters has unearthed this gem: 10% of UK adults would gladly give up alcohol this Christmas in exchange for the chance to go online. And, what's more, 43% of those staying away from home over the festive period would expect to be offered their host's WiFi password. Well, fair enough, when the alternative is actually having to, you know, talk to your relatives.
Team Eurobites is off to fiddle with mobile devices for the Christmas holiday. Normal service will be resumed on January 4. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays (delete where applicable) and a happy new year to all our readers.