Eurobites: Vendors Vie for 5G Laurels Ahead of MWC Americas

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU approves Apple's acquisition of Shazam; Deutsche Telekom's data fortress; streaming piracy plagues soccer World Cup.

  • The battle for 5G one-upmanship between the big European vendors is hotting up ahead of Mobile World Congress Americas, which opens its doors next week.

    In the Swedish corner, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has teamed up with Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) to conduct what they say is the "first announced" 3GPP-compliant 5G NR mmWave over-the-air call with a mobile form factor device. The call was completed at the Ericsson lab in Kista using mmWave in the 39GHz band using non-standalone (NSA) mode and a mobile test device with an integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem.

    Meanwhile, Finland's Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has cozied up to Verizon to complete what the twosome describe as the first over-the-air, end-to-end data transmission on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network. Carried out in Washington D.C., the signal was sent over commercially deployed Nokia radio equipment and Verizon's mmWave spectrum and 5G network core to a Nokia test van parked in the city.

  • Elsewhere on the 5G front, Ericsson's newly announced relationship with Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has borne fruit in a deal with Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), which sees the carrier choosing Ericsson to deliver a new "end-to-end" 5G IP transport network using the Swedish vendor's 6000 range of routers and Juniper's MX10008 5G Universal Routing Platform. Swisscom plans to launch its 5G network by the end of 2018. (See 5G Is Shifting the Packet/Optical Tectonic Plates and Ericsson Links 5G Hands With Juniper & ECI, Snubs Cisco & Ciena.)

  • The European Commission has cleared Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) 's acquisition of Shazam Entertainment Ltd. , the company best known for its music-recognition app. The Commission investigated whether the acquisition would allow Apple access to commercially sensitive data relating to customers of its competitors and whether Apple's competitors would suffer if Apple, after completing the deal, were to discontinue referrals from the Shazam app to them. The Commission declared itself happy on both counts.

  • T-Systems International GmbH , Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) 's corporate IT arm, has flicked the "on" switch on its new cloud data center in Biere, Germany, expanding its capacity to 150 petabytes (which DT's press release helpfully points out is about 200 times as much data as is found in the digital collection held by the state library of Bavaria). DT says Biere 2 has been designed as a "data fortress," with servers only physically accessible via bridges and emergency generators ensuring a constant power supply.

  • Selfie-diagnosis: Sweden's Kry, which Reuters describes as the best-funded healthcare startup in Europe, is planning to expand into France later this month, touting its smartphone app which allows patients to schedule a 15-minute video call with a doctor. So far Kry has a presence in Norway and Spain, as well as in its home country.

  • Video streaming piracy was rife during this summer's soccer World Cup, with more than 40,000 dodgy links detected during the tournament, more than 14,000 of them doing the rounds on social media. Such were the findings of a series of reports from OTT TV specialist Viaccess-Orca , which carried out a detailed analysis of illegal streaming during the Russia-hosted tournament.

  • Orange Digital Ventures Africa has made a second investment in Yoco, a specialist in mobile point of sale (mPOS) technology, in a Series B funding round. The total investment raised by the South African company to date totals $23 million.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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