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Eurobites: Europe's big three join EU's 'digital ID' trialsEurobites: Europe's big three join EU's 'digital ID' trials

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson brings 5G network slicing to Android 14 phones; Orange, E& consider stake in Ethio Telecom; Telenor invests in Shapemaker.

Paul Rainford

July 10, 2023

2 Min Read
Eurobites: Europe's big three join EU's 'digital ID' trials
(Source: Andrey Kuzmin/Alamy Stock Photo)

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson brings 5G network slicing to Android 14 phones; Orange, E& consider stake in Ethio Telecom; Telenor invests in Shapemaker.

  • Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone are taking part in an EU-led project that is looking to develop "digital ID" functions and standardize them across the bloc. The ultimate aim of the initiative is to provide EU citizens with a secure digital identity, or "ID wallet," which is another term being thrown into the mix. This particular grouping, which calls itself "Potential," is the largest of four consortia taking part in the field tests across 19 countries and takes its cue from the eIDAS regulation which was adopted by the EU two weeks ago.

  • A new feature in the forthcoming release of Android 14, supported by Ericsson core network software, will allow users to – for a price – request a 5G "network slice" from their operator to boost their phone's performance for specific, bandwidth-hungry applications, such as gaming. So it means customers already on pocket-challenging 5G standalone tariffs can be charged even more, albeit on an occasional basis. Nokia has been trialing something very similar. (See Eurobites: Nokia trials network slicing for Android users.)

  • Orange and UAE operator E& are both considering bids for a 45% stake in state-owned Ethio Telecom, Bloomberg reports, with "early stage talks" already taking place, according to the news agency. The Ethiopian government first invited bids for the stake earlier in the year. Just a few weeks ago Ethiopia launched a tender for a second international mobile license in the country. (Safaricom owns the first.) (See Ethiopia launches tender for telco license.)

  • Telenor's investment arm, Telenor Amp, is pumping an unspecified amount of money into Shapemaker, a company specializing in design automation for the civil engineering side of telecom infrastructure. By automating the design process, Shapemaker reckons it can shrink the time it takes to make structural calculations "from weeks to minutes." Telenor Amp, which was launched last year, now boasts an investment portfolio spanning 16 companies with a combined value of 10-15 billion Norwegian kroner (US$946 million to $1.41 billion).

  • South Africa's Telkom has decided to reject a takeover bid from a consortium comprising Afrifund Investments Proprietary, Axian Telecom and the Government Employees Pension Fund, dismissing the bid as "not in the best interest of shareholders" and insisting that "the current Telkom strategy will yield better value for shareholders." In January, merger talks between Telkom and rival operator Rain were called off, with Telkom deciding that "a suitable transaction is not possible at this time." (See Telkom SA hangs up on Rain merger.)

— 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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