Eurobites: EU Sets Out Its 5G Security Stall

Paul Rainford
3/27/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT and ADVA make quantum leap; Openet rings Canada's Bell; T-Mobile Austria activates 5G.

  • The European Commission has mandated all EU member states to carry out a "national risk assessment" of their 5G network infrastructures by the end of June 2019 and share appropriate information with each other as part of an effort to establish a coherent strategy on 5G-related cybersecurity. The hope is that the EU as a whole will then be able to complete a coordinated risk assessment by October 2019, agreeing a set of "mitigating measures" such as testing and certification procedures. The recommendation also says that member states "have the right to exclude companies from their markets for national security reasons, if they do not comply with the country's standards and legal framework." The elephant in the room here is clearly Huawei, the Chinese vendor that the US and others have painted as a major threat to national security, particularly in the context of 5G network rollouts. (See European Parliament Calls for 5G Checks on Chinese Suppliers and It's No Huawei or No Intelligence, US Warns Germany Report.)

  • BT says it has opened the world's first commercial-grade quantum test network link, stretching over 125km of optical fiber from the BT Labs in Suffolk to the Cambridge node of the UK's new Quantum Network. The link has been built with the help of ADVA and ID Quantique, which supplied the quantum key distribution (QKD) systems and transmission equipment. The hope is that the link will help boost the development of new quantum technologies, which offer a quantum leap (geddit?) in computing power but could render some security encryption measures obsolete, says BT. QKD is tipped to be a vital tool for securing highly sensitive data transport from all forms of cyber attack.

  • T-Mobile Austria has activated what it claims are Austria's first 5G basestations, located primarily in rural regions such as the Tyrol and Styria. According to Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile Austria, Austria is serving as a "5G pioneer country" for the German giant.

  • A new study from UK-based market research firm CCS Insight confirms that we have passed "peak smartphone," with global sales of the devices predicted to fall by 3% year-on-year in 2019. According to CCS, the one bright spot in the global smartphone gloom is India, which is expected to reach almost 400 million units by 2023. Sales of smartphones in western Europe, where consumers have become less inclined to upgrade, tumbled 23% between 2013 and 2018, says CCS, while sales in China fell by 13% in 2018 and are predicted to fall by 9% in 2019.

  • MIND CTI, an Israeli billing software company, is to acquire Germany's Message Mobile, a provider of enterprise communications and mobile payment software, for around $3 million.

  • Vodafone and Movicel Angola have entered into a consultancy agreement, with Vodafone providing strategic and operational support in a number of areas, such as marketing and technology. The non-equity agreement forms part of Vodafone's Partner Markets programme in Angola.

  • Plume, the US-based company behind the smart-home platform of the same name, has launched in the UK as a standalone service, offering what it claims is extra security in the domestic IoT sphere. Earlier in the year Plume teamed up with UK broadband provider TalkTalk, offering an adaptive WiFi product exclusively for TalkTalk customers, but it is now broadening out its availability for use with any UK Internet service provider. For more details, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com. (See Plume Launches Direct Sales in UK .)

  • German car giant Volkswagen has called on Amazon Web Services to help turbocharge its production systems and processes. As Reuters reports, AWS will help integrate the data from 122 VW facilities with that of its suppliers using the "Volkswagen Industrial Cloud."

  • Bahrain is tooting its own trumpet as far as 5G is concerned, claiming that preparations for the rollout of 5G networks are complete, that it's on course to provide commercial 5G services by June 2019, and that the only fly in the ointment is the lack of availability of next-generation handsets. For more details on the desert kingdom's 5G ambitions, see this story on Telecoms.com.

  • Irish BSS specialist Openet has secured a berth at Canada's Bell, where the operator will work with Openet to develop new customer data usage tools and notifications.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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