Eurobites: UK 5G Report Slams 4G Network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica turns to Cisco for mission-critical network upgrade; Enea completes Qosmos acquisition; Nokia and Ooredoo demo 4.5G Pro.

  • The UK's National Infrastructure Commission -- a government body that deals with all aspects of the country's infrastructure, including communications and transport -- has published a report on what the UK needs to do to prepare for 5G, a report that finds the country's existing 4G network in a parlous state. It concludes, among other things, that Britain is 54th in the world in terms of 4G coverage -- a ranking that places it behind Romania and Albania, Panama and Peru -- and criticizes Britain's roads and railways as feeling like "digital deserts." Looking ahead, the report recommends that the UK's motorways have 5G infrastructure in place by 2025, and that the government should, by 2017, provide a plan for greatly enhanced connectivity on the railway network. A full list of the Commission's recommendations, including the development of meaningful mobile-coverage metrics and a review of the current regulatory regime, can be seen here.

  • Telefónica is to upgrade its mission-critical network in Spain with the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) IOS XR operating system running on ASR 9000 series routers. The hope is that this combination will give the operator a chance to push into new areas of cloud-scale networking, such as automation, SDN/NFV, telemetry and analytics. (See Telefónica Upgrades Critical Comms With Cisco.)

  • Swedish software firm Enea AB has completed its €52.7 million (US$56.1 million) acquisition of Qosmos, a privately held French company that specializes in IP traffic classification and network intelligence tools. Enea's pitch is that the acquisition will strengthen its hand in SDN and NFV. (See Enea Snaps Up Network Intelligent Specialist Qosmos.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Ooredoo Qatar claim to have achieved speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s in a demonstration of what Nokia calls its 4.5G Pro technology, which uses the vendor's three-carrier aggregation and 4x4 MIMO in combination with its AirScale radio platform. The demonstration took place at Ooredoo's headquarters in Doha.

  • Swiss operator Sunrise Communications AG has turned to Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) for a digital overhaul of its call center systems. Amdocs promises that the new technology will enable Sunrise to simplify call center workflows, shorten call resolution time and offer users a more consistent experience. (See Sunrise Embraces Digital With Amdocs.)

  • If the planned acquisition of Sky by 21st Century Fox goes ahead, their combined strength could give Sky a stranglehold on European soccer rights, edging out BT. That's the vision being offered by Guy Peddy, an analyst at Macquarie, the Daily Telegraph reports. (See 21st Century Fox Bids £18B for Sky.)

  • UK mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone recorded a 19% year-on-year rise in underlying profits in its first-half financials but, as the Financial Times reports (subscription required), Chief Executive Seb James said that the company was "planning for the possibility of more uncertain times ahead" in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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