Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google faces another EU mega-fine; Ikea and Sonos team up for smart speaker; Yahoo told to improve on data privacy.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) are limbering up for the start of the soccer World Cup, which kicks off next week with a less than mouthwatering match-up between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia. Vendor and operator have teamed up for what they claim is Europe's largest deployment of Massive MIMO to date, with Ericsson installing its 5G New Radio (NR)-capable AIR 6468 radio at more than 40 sites in seven of the 11 cities hosting the month-long tournament. When they're not light-heartedly bantering and/or throwing plastic chairs at each other, it is expected that the 1.5 million visiting fans will be hungry for data, not least to let the folks back home see all the fun they're missing.
Ericsson describes its AIR 6468 as the industry's first NR-capable radio designed for compatibility with the 5G New Radio standard while also supporting LTE. It features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas, enabling it to support the vendor's 5G plug-ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) could face another monster EU antitrust fine, this time for using its Android operating system to unfairly freeze out its rivals, according to a Reuters report. Unnamed sources cited by Reuters say that the fine will likely top the €2.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) knuckle-rapper Google was given last year for what was deemed to be unfairly promoting its own shopping-comparison services in its search results. (See Eurobites: EU Fines Google $2.7B Over Shopping Shenanigans.)
Ikea, the Sweden-based purveyor of flat-pack furniture, meatballs and more, has entered the smart speaker game, teaming up with Sonos to present the Symfonisk, a prototype speaker that doubles up as a shelf -- its dimensions have been set so that it fits into a number of products available in Ikea's furniture range, including the legendary Billy bookcase. According to Wired, Symfonisk is just the first in a series of products that Sonos and Ikea are planning.
Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has ordered Yahoo to beef up its privacy settings, saying that the online company's data processing operations currently fail to meet EU standards. As Reuters reports, Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) suffered a massive data breach in 2014, with at least 500 million of its accounts being hacked. Ireland's DPC has a major say on all matters Yahoo because Yahoo's European headquarters are in Dublin.