Also in today's EMEA regional roundup, German spectrum auction process kicks off; BT lands UK police IT gig; has Deutsche Telekom's Dutch passed the EU's antitrust test?
Europe is set to be one of the world's 5G laggard regions, with the technology accounting for just 30% of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024, compared with 55% in North America and 43% in North East Asia. This is one of the predictions made in Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s latest Mobility Report, which also says that 5G is expected to reach more than 40% of the world's population and account for 1.5 billion subscriptions over the next six years. According to Ericsson, this would make 5G the fastest-growing cellular technology to date.
But as well as looking forward, the Mobility Report looks back too, measuring the growth of data traffic in Q3 2018 -- up 79% year-on-year overall, with North America still registering the highest data traffic per smartphone, a figure that is set to reach 8.6 gigabytes per month by the end of this year.
Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) , the German network regulator, has opened the applications process for 5G spectrum, reports Reuters, with January 25 being set as the deadline for submissions and the auction proper beginning in "early 2019." Germany's operators have previously expressed concern about the way the auction was being organized, not least the rural coverage obligations being discussed and the potential cost of the airwaves. (See Germany's 5G Auction & the Gigabit Dream and DT CEO: 80% of Our Network Is '5G Ready'.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has been named as one of the main suppliers to the National Enabling Programme Office for Policing, a £100 million (US$127.5 million) initiative that is intended to help the UK police buy and use IT services more effectively. Part of the initiative sees the creation of a National Management Centre, which will monitor and respond to internal and external cyber threats and will be based in one of BT's existing Security Operations Centres. The hope is that the police's data will be kept safe as each local force moves its applications into the Microsoft Azure Cloud. The cloud is clearly the future for UK policing; only last week Motorola announced that it had landed the contract to deliver what it said was the UK's first cloud-based police control room, in Lincolnshire.
Meanwhile, over in "First World problems" corner, new research from BT reveals that 43% of UK families claim that they would be "more productive and happy" if their WiFi worked right across the home, and that 52% of families are put off living in or buying a house that has WiFi black spots. Get a grip, people.
Shares in Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) climbed on Monday, reports Reuters, as word spread that the German incumbent was set to receive the approval of the EU antitrust authorities for its proposed acquisition of Tele2 Netherlands Holding NV , despite signs earlier in the year that the deal might be running into the sand. (See T-Mobile, Tele2 Merger in Netherlands Hits EC Opposition.)
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has teamed up with operator StarHub to complete what the Finnish vendor says is the first outdoor pilot of 5G New Radio on the 3.5GHz band in Singapore. One application showed how 5G-enabled video analytics could be used to enhance efficiency and reduce production errors in an industrial environment, while another showed how sports fans could don virtual reality headsets to immerse themselves in "live" events, virtually lag-free.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading