Eurobites: Nokia's Suri Warns Against 5G Security Overload

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telia acquires Fello AB; Tele2 audits its network following sequence of outages; Michael Joseph returns to Safaricom following death of Bob Collymore.

  • Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has issued a warning against introducing stricter security processes for the certification of communications networking equipment. Talking to the Financial Times (paywall applies), Suri remarked on proposals to introduce country-by-country security certification for 5G technology, noting that such a move would be cumbersome, slow down the delivery of new or updated products and introduce additional costs. His warnings echo those of Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, who noted earlier this year that the introduction of post-development 5G testing regimes would be a "tax burden" and "an insufficient tool to ensure the integrity of the network." Ekholm was reacting to a 5G technology testing proposal put forward by industry body the GSMA, which represents mobile network operators. (See Ericsson CEO Slams 5G Test Plans as 'Tax Burden,' Economic Threat and Euro 5G Test Regime Would 'Slow Innovation' – Ericsson.)

  • Telia Company has acquired Swedish mobile operator Fello AB, which has been using Telia's network since it started business in 2013. Fello, considered a "stripped down" operator, brings just seven employees and a customer base of around 45,000 into the Telia fold. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

  • Following three significant outages over the past 12 months, Tele2 is to conduct a full audit of its mobile network's components and infrastructure. The audit will be led by consultants from Analysys Mason in cooperation with Tele2's own technology division.

  • Tele2's CEO, Anders Nilsson, has also been sounding off to Reuters about the US sanctions on Huawei, saying that his company has been holding fire on agreeing deals with equipment vendors because of the uncertainty created by President Trump's moves against the Chinese giant (which are now, apparently, subject to a rethink). "We have a global supply chain, so whoever you buy equipment from you will find components from China. Even if we buy equipment from Ericsson, which is our neighbor here, you will find Chinese hardware and parts in that equipment," said Nilsson.

  • Following the death of Bob Collymore on Monday morning, Michael Joseph is returning to Kenya's Safaricom as interim CEO. Joseph was CEO of the mobile oeprator for ten years before retiring in November 2010, when he made way for Collymore. Joseph is a Safaricom board member and the current chairman of the board of Kenya Airways. See this story on our sister site, Connecting Africa, for more details.

  • The market for smart home products in Europe grew by 23.9% in the first quarter of this year, reaching 21.3 million units, according to new research from IDC. In the smart speakers category, Google is beating Amazon, just, with the former's Google Home devices constituting 45.1% of speakers shipped, compared with 41.8% from the Amazon Echo stable.

  • Greece's Intracom Telecom has landed a contract with the Hellenic Police Directorate for its "smart policing" project, which is aiming to speed up the identification and "verification" of citizens, vehicles and security documents. Intracom's job will be to carry out the study, design and deployment of an integrated information system that makes use of face-recognition and other authentication technologies.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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