Eurobites: Telia Promises 5G Services in 2018

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT-commissioned report doubts viability of third ultrafast network; Ericsson snaffles up content for mobile VoD service; Sky maintains growth in fiscal first quarter.

  • Telia is claiming a European first with field trials of 5G technology in Stockholm in partnership with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), promising that its customers in the Swedish capital and in the Estonian capital, Tallin, will "experience 5G services" in 2018. According to Telia, the field trials achieved maximum throughputs of 15 Gbit/s per user, compared to a maximum throughput of 150 to 450 Mbit/s per user in today's 4G networks.

  • A report commissioned by BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), compiled by consultancy Analysys Mason and submitted to regulator Ofcom has described the chances of a third "ultrafast" broadband network proving viable in the UK as "highly unlikely," reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Ofcom is hoping for increased competition in the ultrafast sector, but the report claims that any new entrant would need to achieve a market share of 25%, or 2 million homes, to be commercially viable.

  • On more mind-bending matters, BT has teamed up with Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502) to open the UK's "first secure quantum communication showcase" at its R&D center near Ipswich. The two companies will demonstrate advances in quantum cryptography, a technology that works by delivering secret "keys" over fiber optic cable, using the smallest possible packets of light.

  • Ericsson has struck a series of content deals for Nuvu, the subscription video-on-demand service it has developed for mobile operators. The vendor has acquired more 2,500 hours of content from the likes of Viacom, MGM, CBS and Al Jazeera, with titles ranging from Hawaii Five-O to SpongeBob SquarePants. So basically something for everyone.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has launched Gigabit Smart Build, a "portfolio" of services and automated processes that the vendor says will help service providers build "ultra-broadband" networks more easily and more cheaply. The umbrella offer includes Nokia Bell Labs' patented business and technology modeling tools and a network build control management service.

  • Sky , the UK-based purveyor of pay-TV and more, has had a decent fiscal first quarter, with revenues in the UK and Ireland up 5% in constant-currency terms to £2.1 billion (US$2.5 billion), up 9% in Germany and Austria to £434 million ($529 million) and up 4% in Italy to £610 million ($744 million). According to CEO Jeremy Darroch, however, the quarter had a slow start as the free-to-air Rio Olympics and Euro 2016 soccer tournament took folk's minds off the perks of pay-TV. Darroch also hinted at the imminent launch of a mobile offering in the UK.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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