Eurobites: For Nokia, 63 Is a 5G Magic Number

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: TIM beats 2 Gbit/s on live 5G commercial network; UK altnet ITS bags £45 million in funding; T-Mobile Poland heads out into the open source.

  • As numbers go, it may not be obvious milestone material, but Nokia is trumpeting the fact that it has reached 63 commercial 5G contracts worldwide, including deals with such telco heavyweights as AT&T, KDDI, SoftBank and Verizon. This total does not include other 5G-related agreements, such as paid network trials or demonstrations. In a statement, Nokia's president of mobile networks, Tommi Uitto, said that those 63 customers represented "some two thirds" of Nokia's global Radio Access Networks business in a typical year. (See Eurobites: Nokia's 5G Juggernaut Rolls On.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is claiming a European first with its success in surpassing 2 Gbit/s on a 5G live commercial network on 26GHz millimeter-wave frequencies issued by Italy's Ministry of Economic Development. Helping TIM achieve this feat were Ericsson and Qualcomm.

  • UK altnet ITS, which builds "open access" wholesale fiber broadband access networks, has secured £45 million (US$58.7 million) in funding from Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, to help it roll out networks in additional areas and pass an additional 200,000 premises. ITS currently operates networks in Bristol, the East Midlands, Greater Manchester, North Wales, the North East of England and the South East, including London.

  • T-Mobile Poland has deployed multiple open source evolved packet core (EPC) components (gateway control, user plane, billing) based on the Open Networking Foundation (ONF)'s Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC) platform. The move is the latest example of an operator bypassing traditional vendor systems and deploying technology based on open source code.

  • Colt Technology Services has completed a fiber "densification" project in and around London, adding 110km of new fiber to its IQ Network. The project was run alongside similar expansions in eastern Europe, Dublin and Berlin.

  • BT has teamed up with video compression company Ateme in the battle against piracy of premium subscription-based video content. BT is hoping to use Ateme's encryption techniques to protect satellite-uplinked content, and will be offering this technology to its media and broadcast customers around the world.

  • Orange is considering an IPO for its Middle East and Africa (MEA) operations, according to a report from news agency Bloomberg. Orange MEA has 125 million customers across 18 markets and generated revenues of more than €5.2 billion ($5.78 billion) in 2018. Read the full story on our sister site, Connecting Africa.

  • Deutsche Telekom's current brand manager, Hans-Christian Schwingen, is leaving the company on April 1 after 12 years in the job. He will be succeeded by Ulrih Klenke, former CEO of advertising agency Ogilvy and most recently a consultant for Volkswagen. The Brand Finance Global 500 has listed Deutsche Telekom as the most valuable telecom brand in Europe since 2014, so Schwingen must have been doing something right…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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