Eurobites: Ericsson Files Patent for '5G Foundations'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom open to Dutch tie-up with Tele2; EE hits 2.8 Gbit/s in 5G tests with Huawei; Bouygues profits up.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is staking out its 5G territory with the filing of what it calls its "5G Foundation Patent Application," a wide-ranging if seemingly rather nebulous effort that combines the work of 130 Ericsson "inventors" to lay claim to a "complete architecture for the 5G network standard." The patent covers devices, network architecture, nodes in the network, methods and algorithms -- and, says Ericsson, the knowhow to connect all this lot together into a fully functioning 5G network. For a video that seeks to explain Ericsson's rationale for the patent application, click here.

  • The proposed deal with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) in the US might be off the table, but Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) CEO Tim Hoettges has told a conference organized by Morgan Stanley that he is open to merging its T-Mobile Netherlands unit with the corresponding local division of Sweden's Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), Reuters reports. T-Mobile has increased its market share in the Netherlands but still lies well behind Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) and Ziggo B.V. , the tie-up between Vodafone and Liberty Global. (See What Next for DT After T-Mobile, Sprint Bust-Up?)

  • EE , the UK mobile operator now owned by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has teamed up with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd to demonstrate 2.8Gbit/s download speeds across a 5G test network at its UK lab. The test linked the virtualized 5G core to the 64x64 Massive MIMO active antenna unit. EE says its 5G architecture is aligned to Option 3 of 3GPP Release 15, due to be finalized next month.

  • Huawei is busy on many 5G fronts: it has also just signed a research cooperation agreement with the University of Edinburgh to investigate the potential for AI robotics systems to operate over 5G networks. Initial areas of focus will include healthcare robotics and mobile video.

  • France's Bouygues Telecom is going well: in the first nine months of 2017 it has seen EBITDA rise 27% year-on-year to €882 million (US$1.03 billion), on revenue that was up 6.4% to €3.72 billion ($4.37 billion), excluding incoming traffic. In mobile, 940,000 new customers were added during the period, taking Bouygues' total to 13.9 million customers. And in fixed, its fiber rollout program has now reached 18 million premises, an increase of 2 million premises since the end of June 2017.

  • In the Belgian courts, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has lost an appeal against a fine imposed on it for refusing to share data from messages and calls made over its Skype service. As Reuters reports, Microsoft argued that it was not a telco and that it did not have the technical wherewithal to share such data. The judge was having none of it, and the none-too-scary €30,000 ($36,000) fine was upheld.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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