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5G

Eurobites: Ericsson, Intel Combine on Software-Defined Infrastructure for 5G

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: US Secretary of State Pompeo pummels Huawei in Hungary; Nokia offers IoT-in-a-box; Allison Kirkby joins BT board; how to monitor your smart baby.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is teaming up with chip giant Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) to develop what they are describing as a "software defined infrastructure for the 5G era." The agreement includes, among other things, the alignment of development efforts relating to Ericsson's SDI Manager software and Intel's Rack Scale Design program. The plan is to offer jointly developed software and hardware in future Ericsson hardware platforms, and possibly with Intel's server products too. Ericsson will be showing its SDI Manager at Mobile World Congress later this month.

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has begun his tour of central and eastern Europe, the basic purpose of which is to persuade the governments therein that using equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd in their networks is a bad idea, and that if they did, they might lose a valuable, US-shaped friend. As Reuters reports, on Monday he told reporters in Budapest: "If that equipment is co-located where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them." Subtle as a flying mallet, just like his boss… (See Will Trump Fan the Flames as Huawei Is Burned at the Stake?)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is making a play for the "just add water" instant IoT market, unveiling four vertical-market offerings that are based on its Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) infrastructure. The offerings, intended for operators wanting a pain-free way to attract potential IoT customers, include IoT sensors, user applications and business models tailored to four specific sectors -- in this case, agriculture, livestock management, logistics and asset management.

  • Allison Kirkby, who became CEO of Denmark's TDC Group in December after a successful stint at the helm of Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), is to join the board of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) as a non-executive director in March. She had been tipped by some as a possible successor to former BT CEO Gavin Patterson, but in the end that job went to former Worldpay boss Philip Jansen. (See Eurobites: Kirkby Leaves Tele2 for Denmark's TDC (And Not BT) and Eurobites: Kirkby signs off on a high at Tele2.)

  • Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), the Israeli analytics and security systems specialist, has landed a gig keeping tabs on/attending to the security needs of Safaricom's fixed and mobile customers. Safaricom is the market leader in Kenya but looks likely to face stiff competition from a merger of Telkom Kenya and the Kenyan unit of Bharti Airtel. (See Eurobites: Bharti Unit, Telkom Kenya to Merge Operations.)

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is considering an appeal against the decision by ComCom, Switzerland's Federal Communications Commission, to further reduce network access prices for the years 2013 to 2016. According to a statement, it is the mandated reductions in the cost of leased lines of between 65% and 80% that Swisscom "finds difficult to comprehend."

  • TalkTalk , the UK quad-play provider, has joined forces with Silicon Valley WiFi specialist Plume to launch what it's calling a "smart home service bundle" to customers willing to pay £9 (US$11.50) a month for the privilege. The service, which sounds more like a WiFi optimization package than a remote-control-of-your-fridge kind of deal, includes Plume's trademark Adaptive WiFi technology as well as advanced parental controls.

  • And talking of parental controls… BT has launched what it claims is the UK's first voice-controlled Smart Baby Monitor (though we're not sure what you're supposed to use to keep an eye on those dumb babies). Touchingly, the monitor enables couch-potato parents to ask Alexa or Google Assistant to play a lullaby, report on the temperature of the baby's room and turn motion detection on or off.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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