5G and Beyond

Eurobites: Operators Slam EC's 'Timid' 5G Efforts

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson heads up connected car project; Actility forges IoT alliance in Sweden; Nokia brings "mixed reality" to neurosurgery live streaming.

  • An alliance of telecom industry lobby groups has issued a joint statement expressing its unhappiness at what it sees as the European Commission's lack of focus on 5G. The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , GSM Association (GSMA) and Cable Europe are among those criticizing European lawmakers for a "timid approach that will do little to improve Europe's chances of success" and calling on them to create a regulatory environment that will put 5G investment at its heart and favor innovation -- in effect, putting into practice the ambitions outlined in the "Manifesto for timely deployment of 5G in Europe" issued in 2016 and endorsed by many of the biggest names in the European telecom industry.

  • And still on a 5G tilt, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is heading up a consortium of 14 companies that will work on the 5GCAR project, which, as its name suggests, will aim to develop a 5G system architecture that provides "vehicle-to-everything" (V2X) network connectivity. 5GCAR is just one of 21 new projects that form part of phase two of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) initiated by carmakers, telcos and others. Partners in the two-year project, which has a budget of €8 million, include Huawei, Nokia, Orange, Sequans, Bosch, Volvo and PSA group. (See Ericsson's Ekholm Trumpets 5G Role But Still Lacks Plan.)

  • France's Actility has joined forces with Blink Services, a Swedish company specializing in LoRaWAN technology, to launch a national IoT network in Sweden. In April Actility raised about $75 million in a funding round, and last month it acquired Abeeway, a geolocation systems developer. (See Actility & Blink Services Team on IoT in Sweden and Eurobites: Actility Buys Geolocation Firm to Boost IoT Offer.)

  • Colt Technology Services Group Ltd has selected Netcracker Technology Corp. , a division of NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), for its next-generation OSS upgrade. The operator, which runs its Colt IQ network across Europe and Asia, plus some key routes in the US, is deploying Netcracker's OSS and Service Orchestration system to "optimize" its network, enable customer self-provisioning and enable more efficient service delivery across its physical and virtual network elements. The OSS and Service Orchestration system is part of NEC/Netcracker's Hybrid Operations Management solution, which runs on its Agile Virtualization Platform and Practice (AVP) system. (See Netcracker Promises Risk-Free NFV for Business Services.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has conducted what it says is the world's first trial of "mixed reality" neurosurgical live streaming, at a hospital in Helsinki. The vendor's OZO Live technology was used to deliver a stereoscopic 360 degree OZO camera live stream, complemented by interactive microscope and graphics overlays, to around 100 watching neurosurgeons. Typically, only ten to 15 observers can fit in an operating theater in addition to the operating team, so the educational benefits are obvious.

  • In a different educational sphere, Nokia's Passive Optical LAN offering has been deployed at a school campus in Cambridge, UK -- a deployment Nokia claims is the first of its kind. The school chose a GPON approach rather than a copper-based Ethernet LAN upgrade for the usual reasons of improved data capacity and speed, though removing the need for additional network cabinets and switches was also a factor.

  • Ole Bjørn Sjulstad has been appointed CEO of Telenor Bulgaria, succeeding Michael Foley, who took over as CEO of Grameenphone in Bangladesh in May. Sjulstad has been with Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) for nearly 17 years, including stints in Norway, Russia and Hungary.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has rustled up a new team of CIOs which the operator hopes will bring it closer to the CIOs of its corporate and public sector customers. On complex deals BT will get really mob-handed, adding a dedicated CTO and COO to the mix as well. The team will be led by Philip Baulch, CIO of BT's Major Corporate and Public Sector division. All of which begs the question: How many CIOs does it take to change a light bulb? (Answers on the message boards below.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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