Eurobites: Three Ireland Postpones 5G Launch

Paul Rainford
12/2/2019

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Orange Poland goes with Juniper; the incredible shrinking KPN; BT ends performance-related pay for top execs; Ericsson shares on spectrum sharing.

  • Mobile operator Three Ireland has postponed the launch of its 5G network until 2020 after initially announcing it would happen before the end of this year. As the Irish Times reports, the company said: "Rather than launch with a small number of sites this year, as other operators have done, we will launch with a substantial footprint in 2020." The operator has not named its 5G network partner yet, but it is believed to be in discussions with controversial Chinese vendor Huawei, the newspaper adds.

  • Orange Poland has chosen Juniper Networks to upgrade its IP network core in preparation for the operator's planned 5G rollout. The overhaul will include Juniper's Contrail HealthBot, an analytics offering that offers visibility into a network performance and infrastructure resources.

  • Dutch incumbent operator KPN appears to be in shrinking mode: The sale of its enterprise division, KPN International, to GTT Communications has been completed, while KPN has also announced the sale of its webhosting subsidiary, Argeweb, to Total Webhosting Solutions, for an undisclosed amount.

  • In a move that sounds like bad news for the operator's top execs, UK carrier BT is to end its performance-related bonus scheme and replace it with a guaranteed but smaller payout, the Irish Times reports. Former BT boss Gavin Patterson did himself few favors back in 2018 by taking an effective pay rise of 72% while drawing up plans for 13,000 job cuts. (See BT's Patterson Gets Tasty CEO Bonus as Troops Suffer and Eurobites: BT Faces Shareholder Revolt Over Outgoing CEO's Bonus.)

  • Ericsson is trumpeting its latest demonstration of spectrum sharing, which involved a data call connecting Bern, Switzerland and Gold Coast, Australia over live, commercial 5G networks (run, respectively, by Swisscom and Telstra) and "commercial form factor" 5G smartphones. The call was achieved using spectrum sharing on a 3GPP Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) band. Pre-commercial 5G smartphones from OPPO, powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, were used on both ends of the call. OPPO is the first 5G device manufacturer to implement Ericsson spectrum sharing technology on its smartphones.

  • The European Commission has published its first full review of the roaming market since mobile roaming charges within the EU and European Economic Area were ended in June 2017, and it will come as no surprise that roaming has gone through the roof, with a peak of 12 times higher use of mobile data abroad during the traditional summer holiday period. The existing roaming regulation is currently in force until June 2022, but the Commission seems pretty happy with the way things have worked out and expects that the legislation will continue for the foreseeable future.

  • Sweden's Telia Company has completed its 9.2 billion Swedish kronor (US$1.03 billion) acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, a deal that brings Telia an additional 1,200 employees and a number of new TV brands. (See Eurobites: Telia Turns Up TV Offer With Bonnier Acquisition.)

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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