5G and Beyond

Eurobites: San Marino to Be 5G Testbed for Telecom Italia

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telenor shows steady growth in Q2; MTS parent runs into technical default on credit facility; problems at Vodafone Qatar.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) is to use the enclaved micro-state of San Marino as the testbed for 5G technology, making it the first country in the world to boast a nationwide 5G network, according to the Financial Times (subscription required). The operator plans to start 5G trials in San Marino next year, doubling the number of mobile sites and installing a network of small cells in the republic's capital. San Marino, which is best known to many as the whipping-boy of European soccer, extends to just 61 square kilometers in area and is home to slightly more than 30,000 people.

    San Marino: Like Disneyland, but with better coffee and a worse soccer team.
    San Marino: Like Disneyland, but with better coffee and a worse soccer team.

  • Second-quarter revenues at Norway's Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) grew by 2% year-on-year to 31.5 billion Norwegian kroner (US$3.85 billion), with reported EBITDA increasing by 12% to NOK12.7 billion ($1.5 billion). Based on these results, Telenor has revised its financial outlook for 2017, lifting the EBITDA margin guidance to 38-39%, from around 37% previously.

  • Sistema, the parent company of Russia's Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT), has been hit by a "technical default" on 3.9 billion Russian roubles ($66 million) of debt as a result of an assets freeze imposed on the company as part of its legal dispute with oil giant Rosneft. According to a statement from MTS, the default is due to non-compliance with certain conditions relating to its credit arrangements and should not prevent Sistema from "servicing its credit and financial obligations in a timely manner."

  • Vodafone Qatar QSC 's mobile network was being plagued by "technical issues" on Monday, with a number of customers telling Reuters that they were unable to make or receive phone calls.

  • Exponential-e Ltd. , the UK cloud services provider, has appointed Henry Pepperall as chief financial officer. Pepperall's resume includes stints at big-name companies such as Vauxhall Motors and Electrolux, but his most recent berth was at technology reseller Kelway.

  • Openreach , the network access company that is in the process of being legally separated from parent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), is in advanced talks with the UK government over a deal to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to fulfill a new Universal Service Obligation (USO) that is intended to ensure that no household or business receives a broadband downlink speed of less than 10 Mbit/s. As the Daily Telegraph reports, Openreach is offering to make the investment without the help of a government subsidy, subject to guarantees on regulated pricing.

  • A report commissioned by insurance giant Lloyds of London has concluded that a major global cyber attack could lead to an average of $53 billion (£40.48 billion) in economic losses, Reuters reports. This would put the impact of such an event on a par with Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked such havoc back in 2012. The recent WannaCry ransomware attack was thought to have caused around $8 billion worth of economic fallout globally.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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