Eurobites: UK PM Promises Big Bucks for 5G

Also in today's guaranteed alternative-fact-free edition of the EMEA regional roundup: Infinera does DWDM in western Europe; Nokia and SKT get mission-critical in Poland; Sky focuses on original content; UK fiber moves.

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May is today announcing that part of a £4.7 billion (US$5.8 billion) R&D fund designed to bolster the UK's industrial base will go towards 5G and AI (artificial intelligence) research. As the Daily Telegraph reports, the fund forms part of a wider industrial strategy Green Paper, which will be put out for consultation before anything is set in stone. On Friday May will become the first foreign leader to officially chew the fat with Donald Trump since his inauguration on Friday. On the agenda will be a potential US-UK trade deal that could cut tariffs on goods and services traded between the two countries and make it easier for American citizens to work in the UK and vice versa. On the other hand, May has committed to leaving the European single market...

  • Network service provider RETN is to deploy Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN)'s Cloud Xpress system to help it provide 100Gbit/s DWDM services on two of its routes in western Europe. RETN operates a backbone network that stretches over 32,000km of fiber and connects 29 countries across Europe, Asia and North America. (See RETN Deploys Infinera's Cloud Xpress System.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) say they have jointly developed the world's first "mission-critical push-to-talk" system running over VoLTE, demonstrating their handiwork at Nokia's Research and Development Center in Krakow, Poland. The pair claim that unlike existing IP-based equivalents, their system isn't affected by the number of users on the same network. (See SK Telecom, Nokia Team Up on 4G Push-to-Talk.)

  • Sky , the UK-based pay-TV giant, is increasing its commitment to original programming by taking a stake in True North, a documentary-making company based in the northern England, and Chrysalis, a UK drama production firm. And, according to the Daily Telegraph, Sky is also preparing to dip its toes into the risky world of movie production.

  • Icelandic operator Síminn has turned to Poland's Comarch SA for help with its billing and related processes. It's not the first time the two have done business -- Síminn has been using Comarch's BSS offerings since 2013.

  • On the UK fiber front, Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has announced that the town of Louth, in Lincolnshire, is next on its Project Lightning hitlist, with 4,500 homes and business earmarked for coverage by its network. Further north, in Aberdeen, the city council has become the latest organization to sign up for CityFibre 's gigabit network, with more than 100 public buildings scheduled to be welcomed into the connectivity fast lane. (See Aberdeen Council Hooks Up to CityFibre, Virgin Media Plots £3B Invasion of BT Turf and Eurobites: CityFibre Forges Ahead.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • iainmorris 1/23/2017 | 11:53:12 AM
    Old news I've only skimmed over the paper so far but I can't really see what's new when it comes to fiber and 5G, which was called out in some of the mainstream press reporting earlier. The £740m govt commitment to those technologies was a part of the Autumn Statement, unless I'm mistaken.
    DanJones 1/23/2017 | 11:39:02 AM
    Re: Try not to bite your lip too hard... I haven't seen any plans from the UK for mmWave AFAIK, seems like 3.5GHz will be the UK 5G band. Nonetheless, if the spectrum isn't  available then the rest is talk 
    mendyk 1/23/2017 | 10:27:55 AM
    Re: Try not to bite your lip too hard... It sounds like the U.S. isn't the only place where alternative facts are the new normal.
    [email protected] 1/23/2017 | 8:45:46 AM
    Try not to bite your lip too hard... Political promises of funds for 'buzzword' developments is par for the course... how much money is made available for what and over what time period? And what are the conditions? Make the UK a world leader in AI and 5G or give the money back?

    The chances of that happening have been reduced by turning the UK university sector into a profit-driven beast (that's not to denigrate the efforts of the University of Surrey 5G center, btw).  

    Meanwhile, the same government that like sto throw around laughable lists of practically meaningless industrial goals ('Developing skills' is a strategic pillar - well done!) is cutting funds to local councils that result in homelessness, fewer resources to support the elderly and a greater need for food banks.


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