Eurobites: UK Tucks £40M Into 5G Testbed

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UK textiles giant chooses Aryaka for SD-WAN; Israel's Pelephone gets with the eSIM program; DSZ Keymile lands UK FTTx gig.

  • The UK government is allocating £40 million (US$50.7 million) to the development of new 5G testbeds and trials as part of a broader £200 million ($253.4 million) 5G funding plan. The new investments will focus on how 5G services can help enterprises in the logistics (road, sea and air-based) and manufacturing sectors. Existing UK government-funded 5G test and trial investments have focused on the needs of the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. A bidding process to choose which organizations will host the testbeds and conduct the trials will be launched later this year. The new allocation was announced by the Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, at the 5G World event in London. "Pre-deployment testing, exercising the network, emulating users and validating services before they go live in testbed labs provides the confidence for a robust, high quality network when it rolls out to consumers and businesses," noted Paul Gowans, Wireless Strategy Director at test vendor Viavi Solutions, in an emailed comment.

    Wright Stuff
    Jeremy Wright spreads the 5G good news at this week's 5G World event in London.
    Jeremy Wright spreads the 5G good news at this week's 5G World event in London.

  • In a separate but related development, Wright also announced that the UK government is to launch a consultation on how to simplify planning processes in an effort to make it easier for UK network operators to expand their 4G networks and more easily roll out their 5G networks.

  • Coats, a UK-based industrial textiles giant, has chosen SD-WAN technology from California's Aryaka to connect its various locations in China to its European offices, replacing an existing MPLS-based set-up. The project was completed in partnership with GAB Enterprise IT Solutions.

  • Israel's Pelephone, a service provider focused on consumer IoT, has joined Amdocs' eSIM platform, enabling it to launch eSIM-enabled devices in its market, starting with the Apple Watch. (See Apple: It's the End of the SIM as We Know It.)

  • GPON and XGS-PON technologies from Germany's DZS Keymile have been chosen by Full Fibre, a broadband wholesaler based in the south west of England, for its new fiber network. Full Fibre is currently using DZS Keymile's modular V8106 OLT platform in a beta environment and a pilot project is underway now.

  • Vodafone UK has been attempting to demonstrate the point of 5G by inviting "YouTube sensation" Tom Cassell, otherwise known, for some reason, as "Syndicate," to test-run a number of cloud-based games from Hatch. The demo, which took place at the Bullring shopping mall in Birmingham, live-streamed the action via Vodafone's 5G network, allowing computer science students from the local university to take on the gaming superstar. Well it beats going to the library…

  • UKCloud, which sells multicloud services to the the UK's public sector, is integrating the Moogsoft AIOps platform into its offer. Moogsoft correlates alerts from various monitoring systems used in the UKCloud "stack" into a single interface, helping pinpoint the location of any potential trouble.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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