Eurobites: Nokia Lands Full-On 5G Deal With Austria's A1

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson targets Industry 4.0; UK broadband's big beasts must do better; Tele2 restructures; Telia helps with smart-city planning.

  • Nokia has landed a 5G rollout gig with Austria's A1, comprising both Nokia's radio access and cloud-native core technologies. The pair have a long-standing relationship, having previously worked together on the expansion of A1's 3G and 4G networks and, more recently, having carried out 5G-related trials at Vienna Airport and in Gmünd, which Nokia describes at the first 5G city in Austria.

  • Ericsson has launched a new offering that enables communications service providers to offer dedicated cellular networks at factories and warehouses, beginning with 4G and, says Ericsson, "with a clear path to 5G." Ericsson Industry Connect, which can be used for such industrial applications as collaborative robotics and collision avoidance systems, has already been implemented by truck maker Scania at its smart production lab in Södertälje, Sweden.

  • The big beasts of British broadband are still "failing to connect with customers," according to a new study by Which?, the influential consumer rights organization. TalkTalk and Sky came bottom of the rankings, with both companies managing only a 50% customer score. BT didn't do much better, however, notching up a 51% score and falling down particularly on perceived value for money. Vodafone, which had been a top-four performer in the equivalent study last year, suffered a fall from grace this time around, slumping to the bottom half of the rankings table.

  • Thomas Björklund, Tele2's current EVP Technology Mobile, is to leave the Swedish operator at the end of this month as part of a reorganization that sees the fixed and mobile divisions of the company being combined. Heading up the new unit will be Thomas Helbo, currently EVP Technology Fixed. In a statement, Anders Nilsson, Tele2's president and CEO, said of Björklund: "He remains a part of the Tele2 family and is welcome back to the company at any given time."

  • Telia, one of Tele2's rivals in the Nordics, is launching a new, subscription-based service that allows city authorities to draw on mobile data from the Telia network to help them make better planning decisions. Called City Vitality Insights, the service uses "grouped" movement patterns and Telia says the data is "irreversibly anonymized," meaning individuals cannot be identified from their data. The service is the first of a number of smart city related offerings from Telia, and forms part of its Location Insights product portfolio.

  • The advent of automation means that around 1.5 million people in England are at high risk of losing their jobs to an algorithm and/or robot, the BBC reports, citing a new study from the Office for National Statistics. Those who should be most worried include waiters, shelf fillers and those in "elementary sales occupations," while medical practitioners and teachers are, in relative terms, sitting pretty.

    There's an App for That...
    Automation has put waiters on the endangered species list.
    Automation has put waiters on the endangered species list.

  • UK communications regulator Ofcom has set out its annual plan, detailing its program of work for the coming year. Among the expected priority items are better broadband and mobile coverage, a fairer deal for customers and raising awareness of potential online danger, but there's also a section dedicated to Brexit. "Ofcom takes no view on the means or merits of Brexit," states the plan, and it adds that Ofcom's "future relationship with EU regulatory networks will be subject to negotiation between the UK and the EU." All this, of course, assumes that Brexit will actually happen one day…

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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