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Eurobites: BT says only 1% of traffic is still on Huawei core

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Nokia says it will miss its 2023 outlook; Elisa acquires Elenia's fiber network; Turkcell offloads Ukrainian units.

Paul Rainford

January 2, 2024

3 Min Read
BT Group office building
(Source: BT)
  • BT has confirmed that it has all but expunged Huawei equipment from its network, a spokesperson saying in a statement: "All 4G and 5G data sessions and voice calls are now delivered by non-Huawei core equipment – meaning that over 99% of all core traffic is now being served by non-Huawei kit." (The "non-Huawei kit" refers to a newer platform built by Ericsson.) This means that it has in large part met a UK government deadline, which stated that BT "must not make use of Huawei equipment or any services delivered by, or on behalf of, Huawei in the execution of its core network functions" after December 31, 2023. Of course, the powers-that-be could still penalize BT for failing to eliminate Huawei gear from its 3G and 2G networks – a project that BT admits is still a work in progress. (See BT has nearly switched off Huawei core days ahead of ban.)

  • Nokia says that it does not now expect to achieve its 2023 financial outlook, blaming the predicted miss on a failure to reach agreement on outstanding technology license renewals before year-end. Resolution of these negotiations is now expected in 2024, meaning that they will benefit next year's financial performance. In a statement, the vendor admitted that its fourth quarter had "proved somewhat more challenging than expected given on-going customer spending constraint." Nokia will report its full-year results on January 25.

  • Nokia has also reached a deal to sell its Device Management and Service Management Platform businesses to Lumine Group, for €185 million (US$203 million). The move is being presented by Nokia as part of a strategy to "actively manage" its Cloud and Network Services (CNS) business group, of which the two units being sold formed a part. Approximately 500 Nokia employees are expected to transfer to Lumine as part of the deal.

  • Finland's Elisa has acquired the fiber network constructed by Elenia which serves around 8,000 households and small businesses in the cities of Akaa, Hämeenlinna, Jyväskylä, Kalajoki, Kangasala, Laukaa, Lempäälä, Nokia, Orivesi and Viitasaari. Elisa's network already reaches nearly 200,000 premises in central Finland. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

  • Turkish operator Turkcell has agreed a deal to sell its Ukrainian units to NJJ Capital, Bloomberg reports. No specific reason has been given for the divestments.

  • Sparkle, the international services arm of Telecom Italia (TIM), has begun work on a new subsea cable system, GreenMed, that will cross the Adriatic, connecting Italy to Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, to Greece and Turkey, before extending further into the Mediterranean.

  • Airtel Africa's current CEO, Olusegun "Segun" Ogunsanya, is to retire on July 1. Ogunsanya joined Airtel in 2012 and was appointed CEO in 2021. He will be succeeded by Sunil Tandar, who joined the company in October 2023.

  • TalkTalk's outgoing CEO, Tristia Harrison, has been made a Dame in King Charles III's New Year's Honours list. The official citation refers to Harrison's time "leading the UK's only scale affordable broadband provider through the pandemic, providing critical national infrastructure to keep millions of customers connected," whilst also making mention of the work she has done with regard to "recruiting, promoting and inspiring more women into the technology sector."

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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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