Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Drei and ZTE fire up 5G in Austria; 5G mmWave network to be tested in Moscow; UK MVNO targets those with hearing loss.
Vodafone has launched what it says is Ireland's first commercial 5G network, covering locations in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Waterford. The network plumbing has been provided by Ericsson, using the vendor's Baseband 6630 and AIR 6488 products, which form part of the Ericsson Radio System range. The project partners will expand their network across the country over the coming months.
Also cranking the 5G handle is Austrian operator Drei, which has teamed up with ZTE to bring the technology to the Pörtschach/Wörthersee region in the state of Carinthia. In 2016 ZTE and the Federal State of Carinthia entered into a partnership with the not unambitious aim of making Carinthia the "digital flagship region of Europe."
A group of Russian mobile operators is teaming up with US chipmaker Qualcomm and Moscow's Department for Information Technologies to test and hopefully deploy what they say is Europe's first 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) network, in Moscow in the fall. It is anticipated that the project will kickstart a range of new 5G-enabled digital services in the city, including virtual and augmented reality applications.
A new MVNO has launched in the UK with the aim of making mobile phone use easier for people who suffer from hearing difficulties. Audacious, as the MVNO is called, will use EE's mobile network, using "enhanced audio services" to help make calls clearer. Audacious was founded by Matthew Turner, who has himself suffered from severe hearing loss since birth.
Telenor is hoping to improve the digitalization experience for Norwegian businesses by setting up a "digital transformation hub" at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, in partnership with that institution and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, where Telenor co-founded an AI lab in 2016.
UKCloud, which specializes in bringing a multicloud approach to the public sector, has been awarded a place on the YPO Data Centres, Maintenance, Security and Cloud Hosting services Framework Agreement which has a maximum value of £400 million (US$483.5 million) and went live today. Based in the northern English county of Yorkshire, YPO supplies products and services to a range of customers delivering public services, including local authorities, emergency services, schools, charities and care homes.
Mobile Internet use continues to rocket in the UK, with 26% more people accessing the net "on the go" via a mobile device now than was the case in 2013. The findings come in the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, which also reveal that more than half of all adults aged 65 or over are now confirmed online shoppers and that, surprisingly perhaps, email remains the most common Internet activity in the UK.