Eurobites: Ericsson, Nokia Get the 5G Call From SoftBank

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom extends cloud offer with Microsoft; Telia resists website-blocking order in Moldovia; what Google's ostracization of Huawei means for Europe.

  • Lots of noise from the Nordics today as both Ericsson and Nokia trumpet their selection by Japan's SoftBank as key vendors in the operator's 5G rollout. Ericsson will supply SoftBank with radio access network (RAN) gear for mid- and high-frequency 5G bands, allowing the operator to launch 5G services on its newly granted 3.9-4.0GHz and 29.1-29.5GHz bands for 5G New Radio (NR), while also bolstering its existing LTE network. Nokia, meanwhile, will see its 5G AirScale radio platform being deployed across Japan, helping SoftBank deliver "5G-enhanced" mobile broadband.

  • Deutsche Telekom is teaming up with Microsoft to expand its cloud services across nine countries in central and eastern Europe, from Poland to Greece. DT will offer standardized services based on Office 365, Azure and Dynamics 365, as well as complementing Microsoft's products with its own security packages. And it's making bold claims for its services -- it reckons enterprises could save between 30-50% of IT operations costs by ditching the on-premises approach and hopping on DT's cloud.

  • Moldcell, Telia Company's unfortunately named Moldovian subsidiary, has successfully resisted a request from the country's police authority to block certain websites that were selling drugs. The operator, following guidance from Telia head office, deemed that the requesting authority failed to follow the correct legal procedure and requested that a judge look at the case. More than a year on from the original police request, the Moldovian Court of Appeal declared the blocking request was indeed unfounded. In a statement, Telia said: "As internet service providers, we are not to -- and will not -- take the role of legislator and court by deciding what is legal or not, nor act upon unauthorized requests. We will, however, act swiftly based on proportionate and necessary decisions by courts and legislators, based on the rule of law, on what is illegal and must be blocked."

  • A competition lawyer at global law firm DWF has piped up with his view on how Google's cold-shouldering of Huawei and its handsets could affect the European devices market. In Europe, says Christian Peeters, "Huawei is a serious contender accounting for around 20% of the market. Any measure limiting Huawei's ability to effectively compete in Europe threatens to result in a material reduction of the competitive constraint that other device manufacturers experience … Yet, the harm potentially resulting from the ban is not limited to the rather abstract concept of effective competition. Large numbers of European consumers might find themselves in a situation where the expensive smartphone they recently purchased loses key functionalities or cannot be kept up-to-date and safe to use." As Peeters points out, the world waits to see what the European Commission makes of Google's actions. (See Google & Tech Giants Cut Huawei Adrift.)

  • In other Google news, YLE reports that the search giant is to invest nearly €600 million ($669 million) in a new data center in Hamina, Finland, on the site of a former paper factory.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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