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Eurobites: Vodafone kicks off open RAN rollout in UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft unbundles Teams to keep EU happy; BT troubleshoots fixed voice with Infovista; ETNO aligns with South Korea on the 'fair share' campaign.

Paul Rainford

August 31, 2023

3 Min Read
(Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft unbundles Teams to keep EU happy; BT troubleshoots fixed voice with Infovista; ETNO aligns with South Korea on the "fair share" campaign.

  • Vodafone has begun its rollout of open RAN to 2,500 sites across Wales and southwest England. The technology – which has its knockers – will be used to replace existing Huawei kit in compliance with UK government guidelines regarding the use of what is seen as "high-risk vendor" platforms within the radio access network. So Huawei's out on its ear, and in comes a veritable open RAN smorgasbord comprising (among others) Samsung, Intel, Keysight, Dell Technologies, Capgemini and Wind River.

  • Microsoft is hoping it will persuade the EU's antitrust watchdog to withdraw its fangs by promising to unbundle its Teams collaboration platform from its general-purpose business software suite, Reuters reports. Earlier in the year the European Commission opened a formal investigation into whether Microsoft may have breached EU competition rules by bundling Teams with Office 365 and Microsoft 365. In particular, the Commission was concerned that Microsoft may be giving Teams a "distribution advantage" by not giving customers a choice on whether to include access to Teams when they subscribe to their general-purpose productivity software. The investigation was largely prompted by a complaint made against Microsoft by Slack, the Salesforce-owned company behind a rival collaboration platform.

  • BT has hooked up with Infovista on a proof-of-concept project aimed at developing an automated troubleshooting application for BT's fixed voice services. The fruits of the collaboration, which draws on Infovista's Ativa software, will be demonstrated at TM Forum's DTW23 show in Copenhagen next month.

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has joined forces with its South Korean counterpart to push the case for Big Tech (or "large traffic generators") to contribute to the cost of network maintenance and development. In a statement, ETNO says: "ETNO and KTOA [Korea Telecommunications Operators Association] share a vision of a healthy and growing Internet ecosystem, where users can enjoy ever better connectivity, in full respect of the net neutrality principles. Our organizations will work together to address the sustainability of the Internet ecosystem. To ensure that all users benefit from digital innovation … we believe that large traffic generators should make a fair contribution to the sustainability and development of the connectivity networks that empower the Internet. Policymakers should make effective policies to achieve the goal." (See Telefónica's 'fair share' cost case is mumbo jumbo and How would 'fair contribution' work? It wouldn't.)

  • Deutsche Telekom has opened a new facility in Berlin dedicated to research into quantum technology and how it can be integrated into telecom networks. The Quantum Lab will focus specifically on something Deutsche Telekom calls "quantum entanglement," which includes quantum cryptography for ultra-secure communication as well as networks with improved latency, throughput and resilience. Various academic institutions and technology partners will work with Deutsche Telekom on these projects.

  • Mobile subscriptions in central and eastern Europe fell by a million in the second quarter of 2023 compared with the same period a year ago, according to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report. Not surprisingly, Africa proved a happier hunting ground for operators, with mobile subs there up by 16 million. On a global level, mobile network traffic grew 33% year-over-year, reaching 134 exabytes per month.

  • Nokia is to roll out its Interleaved Passive Active Antenna (IPAA) product across the southern islands of the Philippines for Globe Telecom. The IPAA combines 4G passive and 5G active antennas in a single, space-saving product. Nokia and Globe's engineering team say they successfully trialed a Globe-specific variant of the IPAA on the island of Mindanao.

— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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