Eurobites: Swisscom Brokers 5G Roaming Deals With SKT, Elisa

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Arcep sets out its ground rules for 5G spectrum allocation; Facebook exec moves to VEON; Eurofins lands smart-home testing deal.

  • Swisscom is at the center of the world's first 5G roaming deals: It has struck a deal with Finnish service provider Elisa that will enable 5G roaming between the two starting on July 17; and it has also agreed a 5G roaming deal with South Korean operator SK Telecom that will come into effect before the end of July. Belgian international operator BICS announced that it has enabled the roaming service between Switzerland and South Korea. Swisscom, which switched on its domestic 5G network in April, says it will announce further 5G roaming deals within the next few weeks. (See Eurobites: Swisscom & Ericsson Flip the 5G Switch, Europe's Long Walk to 5G and SKT Boasts 34K 5G Basestations, Undercuts 4G Pricing.)

  • French communications regulator Arcep has launched a public consultation on its draft procedure for awarding licenses in the "core 5G" 3.4-3.8GHz band in metropolitan France. There are a number of stipulations being put forward for consideration: 5G services must benefit every region; the allocation procedure must allow at least four operators to be capable of providing 5G services "under good conditions," while also having the ability to "distinguish themselves from the competition"; and the particular needs of industry verticals must be considered, though no frequency will be reserved for them. Interested parties have until September 4 to make their feelings on the draft procedure known.

  • Will Britain ever make its mind up about Huawei? In the latest twist to the ongoing controversy over the UK's future relationship with the embattled Chinese equipment vendor, the chair of the country's influential Science and Technology Committee, Norman Lamb, has written DCMS Secretary of State (and would-be Prime Minister) Jeremy Hunt stating there is insufficient evidence to ban Huawei from the UK's 5G networks, or any other networks for that matter. For more, see this story on our sister site, Telecoms.com. (See also For UK 5G Users, the Only Way Is Huawei and Donald Darkens UK Outlook for Huawei as Brexit Nears.)

  • VEON has appointed Sergi Herrero as COO of its new division, VEON Ventures, effective from September 2019. Herrero, currently Facebook's global director of payments and commerce partnerships, will be looking to exploit opportunities for VEON to make money from digital products in emerging markets, moving the operator beyond "traditional connectivity."

    Sergi Herrero
    Changing his Facebook status in September, when he leaves the social media giant for Russia-focused operator VEON.
    Changing his Facebook status in September, when he leaves the social media giant for Russia-focused operator VEON.

  • Eurofins Digital Testing has landed a smart-home deal with Niko, a Belgian company that will use Eurofins' Testwizard system as part of its IoT-based home automation offering. Testwizard includes a set of tools for automated testing of IoT devices and applications, which Eurofins says cuts the time spent on repetitive testing tasks.

  • UK incumbent operator BT is playing its part in the monitoring of air quality in the mean streets of Birmingham and Bradford, with its InLink digital street units sending environmental data via WiFi to BT's data hub for analysis by Bradford Council and researchers in Birmingham. Other UK cities are set to benefit from the same system in the coming months.

  • COM-IN, a German broadband provider based in the town of Ingolstadt, has chosen the MileGate access platform from DZS-Keymile to help expand its optical fiber infrastructure for both residential and corporate customers.

  • Vodafone UK has launched a 5G version of its GigaCube wireless mobile router for businesses and consumers, which provides an alternative to fixed-line broadband for locations beyond the reach of conventional cabling. In effect, this marks Vodafone UK's opening gambit in the 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) services market. The unit has a 90-meter WiFi range and offers download speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. Prices start at £25 (US$31) per month, with an £83 ($103) upfront cost, for 100GB of data on a 12-month contract.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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