Eurobites: Have Nokia-Branded Phones Been Sending Personal Data to China?

In today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia-branded phones in data transfer probe; MEC and the connected car; Ericsson wants Poles to get their 5G act together; Deutsche Telekom teams up with EWE on €2 billion fiber rollout.

  • Finland's data ombudsman is to investigate claims that some Nokia 7 Plus smartphones -- which are made on license by Finnish firm HMD Global and rebadged with the Nokia name -- sent users' personal data to servers in China, Light Reading sister site Telecoms.com reports, citing Norwegian public broadcaster NRK. A Nokia 7 Plus user, who is obviously more data-savvy than your average smartphone owner, told NRK that his phone sent unencrypted data packets to the Chinese servers when the phone was powered up, the screen activated or when the phone was locked.

  • Nokia proper has been involved in a two-year project, along with Deutsche Telekom, tire company Continental, Fraunhofer ESK and MHP, which has been looking into the use of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) in the connected-car sphere. Called Car2MEC and funded by the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, the project has been carrying out extensive trials on the A9 motorway digital test track in Germany. And the conclusions? Well, MEC is a "key enabling technology" for connected driving, specifically for driver safety, say the project partners, and it is crucial that the various industries involved work closely together to turn concepts into reality.

  • Nokia is also in the news today following the discovery of some potential business practices related to the former Alcatel-Lucent operation that are giving compliance officers the heebeegeebees. (See Nokia Unearths AlcaLu Compliance Timebomb.)

  • Ericsson's manager for Poland, Martin Mellor, has called on the Polish government to make regulatory changes to prevent the country falling behind on 5G, Reuters reports. Mellor called on the government to release suitable spectrum by 2020 at the latest and ease regulations governing the building of new basestation sites.

  • Deutsche Telekom has formed a joint venture with energy firm EWE to provide up to 1.5 million households and businesses with full-fiber connectivity. Called Glasfaser NordWest (NorthWest Optical Fiber), the company will establish a presence in parts of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen. The two partners expect to invest up to €2 billion (US$2.25 billion) in the project over ten years, with the first lines becoming active in 2020.

  • South Korea is becoming a happy hunting-ground for Ericsson: Yesterday it was trumpeting its 5G deal with KT, and today it's the turn of rival SK Telecom to step into the Nordic spotlight, with the pair signing a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) focused on developing SKT's cloud-native 5G core network. (See South Korean 5G Launch Expected to Be Delayed Until April – Report.)

  • BT has licensed its Saturn cybersecurity analytics technology to Qio Technologies, a company specializing in analytics software for industrial engineers. Saturn will be integrated into Qio's IIoT Foresight Platform.

  • Swisscom is transferring its customer field services to its Cablex subsidiary, with effect from January 1, 2020. Around 1,000 Swisscom engineers will join Cablex's 1,500-strong workforce.

  • Swisscom rival Salt is celebrating the first birthday of its fiber offering, which gives customers a 10Gbit/s connection along with an Apple TV 4K set-top box with access to more than 370 channels and unlimited calls to landline and mobiles in Switzerland.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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