Private Networks

Eurobites: Vodafone, Ericsson apply AI to the 5G private network

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: French developers cheesed off with Apple; Bezeq ups its forecasts; TIM ready to sell Inwit stake.

  • Vodafone and Ericsson have together launched what they are calling a "preemptive support service" for private 5G networks. The Service Continuity for Private Networks offering uses artificial intelligence to work out where trouble might be lurking on the network and is currently being deployed in the real world at the Foxconn factory in Komárom, Hungary. Foxconn uses a 5G-based network to connect its test cars, on which its PCs are put through their paces before being packaged at the Komárom plant.

    (Source: Ericsson)
    (Source: Ericsson)

  • More courtroom-based grief is heading Apple's way from European shores, this time in the shape of French app developers, who are accusing the tech behemoth of violating US antitrust law by overcharging them to use its app store. As Reuters reports, the plaintiffs in the proposed class action include the people behind the Figaro news app and L'Équipe sports news and streaming app. Such is Apple's stranglehold on its app store, say the plaintiffs, that the company has been able to take a hefty 30% slice on app commissions for the past 14 years on top of $99 annual fees. Sacré bleu!

  • Israel's Bezeq has updated its forecast upwards for 2022, predicting that adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) will come out between 3.65-3.75 billion Israeli shekels (US$1.08-$1.11 billion), compared with approximately NIS3.6-3.7 billion ($1.06-1.09 billion) in the original forecast. The company also estimates it will reach 1.5 million homes with fiber during the period, compared to 1.4 million in its original punt.

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) says it is now ready to complete on the sale of its 30.2% stake in towerco Inwit to a consortium led by investment house Ardian. TIM will receive approximately €1.3 billion ($1.32 billion) from the deal. Ardian already owns a stake in Inwit via a holdIng company called Daphne 3 following a deal with TIM in 2020. (See Telecom Italia plans to do the splits.)

  • Stockholm-based Ovzon has received a $1.1 million order from the UK's Ministry of Defence for an 18-month renewal of Ovzon's "satcom-as-a-service," erm, service. Ovzon offers mobile broadband via satellite combining high bandwidth satellite communications services with mobile terminals.

  • The UK online safety tech sector's revenues jumped by 21% last year, to £381 million ($465 million), according to a new report from the UK government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. More than 100 companies in UK are now creating products and services aiming to make online platforms safer. The UK Safety Tech Sector: 2022 Analysis also discovered there was a 30% rise in the number of safety tech jobs in 2021, with an additional 650 roles bringing the total number of people employed in the sector to 2,850.

  • Virgin Media is pitching itself as the cheapest TV soccer option in the UK, claiming its bundled offering can, over the course of a year, save fans £363 ($443) compared to Sky's and £307 ($374) to BT's services respectively. Virgin's "Bigger +" service – which offers access to all Sky Sports channels in HD and BT Sport channels as well as 516Mbit/s broadband – costs £72 ($88) per month.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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