Eurobites: Our 5G Door Is Open, Germany Tells Huawei

Paul Rainford
10/15/2019

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre wants to engage on UK's FTTH future; KKR buys majority stake in Hyperoptic; Eurofins targets media industry.

  • Germany has somehow resisted the entreaties of Team Trump and has finalized rules that do not exclude China's Huawei from its 5G rollout. As Reuters reports, a government spokesman told reporters: "We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company." Back in May the US government issued an edict forbidding US companies from dealing with Huawei as either buyer or seller, though its mission to persuade European leaders to follow suit has proved largely fruitless. (See For Trump's Attack Dogs, There's No Stopping Huawei, Trump Is Losing the European War Against Huawei and Can Huawei Survive Trump?)

  • UK altnet CityFibre is positioning itself to take advantage of the UK government's new-found love of fiber-to-the-home by launching an industry-wide consultation on the role of full-fiber infrastructure builders such as, erm, CityFibre, in helping to move customers off legacy copper networks and onto their all-singing, all-dancing FTTH replacements. CityFibre says it looks forward to "engaging with the whole industry, including Openreach and BT Retail, to help develop a national plan to efficiently and smoothly upgrade Britain." UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised a few eyebrows when he announced he wanted to see the rollout of fiber across the UK by 2025, eight years sooner than a previously stated target. (See BoJo's UK Broadband Plan Looks Barmy, but Don't Write It Off.)

  • Another UK altnet, Hyperoptic, has been acquired by KKR, a US-based investment firm, though the British company will continue to be led by CEO Dana Tobak. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2011, Hyperoptic has developed a full-fiber network covering 43 towns and cities across the UK, with gigabit broadband services passing almost 400,000 homes and businesses. (See Eurobites: Hyperoptic Bags 21M EIB Loan for UK Gigabit Rollout.)

  • Eurofins has launched CyberSecurity Framework: Media Edition, a new set of services intended to increase cybersecurity robustness across the media marketplace, from media production to consumption.

  • Net Insight, the Swedish media distribution specialist, has appointed Crister Fritzson as its new CEO, replacing Henrik Sund, who will leave the company during the fall. Fritzon is currently CEO and group CEO of SJ AB and has been a member of the board of Net Insight since 2013. (See Net Insight Appoints New CEO.)

  • Finnish mobile operators have been told that they will be required to provide a 4G signal along all rail routes in the country, no matter how remote, in a licensing condition stipulated by their government. As YLE reports, Finland's three main mobile operators -- DNA, Elisa and Telia -- are less than thrilled, and have warned that significantly better data services for all rail passengers could cost millions of euros.

  • Some Vodafone UK customers have had their vacations marred by a technical glitch which meant that they were wrongly billed for up to 10,000 (US$12,650) in roaming charges and/or could no longer use their phones whilst on their break. As the BBC reports, one customer, just a day into his vacation, received a text message from Vodafone telling him that he had spent 4,902 ($6,199) in "additional charges" and that he would no longer be able to make any calls. It's enough to make you fall off your lilo.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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