Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Ericsson and Telia test 5G in Stockholm; ADVA makes itself small; Safaricom trials tubular basestations; Yandex has a smartphone.
The rise of the Internet of Things, and in particular the growing popularity of smart in-home gadgets, is largely to blame for a surge in botnet-driven malware attacks, according to Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s latest Threat Intelligence Report. The report says that IoT botnet activity accounted for 78% of "malware detection events" in communications service provider networks in 2018, up from just 33% in 2016, when IoT botnets first made their presence felt. Kevin McNamee, director of Nokia's Threat Intelligence Lab and lead author of the report, said in a statement: "Cyber criminals are switching gears from the traditional computer and smartphone ecosystems and now targeting the growing number of vulnerable IoT devices that are being deployed. You have thousands of IoT device manufacturers wanting to move product fast to market and, unfortunately, security is often an afterthought." (See Nokia Threat Intelligence Report 2019 Warns of IoT Attacks.)
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telia are claiming to have switched on Sweden's first 5G network based on standardized and commercial radio and core products. The deed has been done on the campus of Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology, using a test license to create, says Ericsson, a testbed for innovation open to both industry and academia. The two companies have been working together on 5G-related projects for a year or two, exploring "use cases" that include a high-speed connection to a cruise ship and a remotely controlled construction excavator.
Safaricom Ltd. is trialing the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd 's TubeStar basestation at a location on the Nairobi-Thika highway that will offer coverage along the Roysambu drift, an area of Kenya that has been plagued by call drops. The TubeStar replaces the standard tower basesation with a tubular structure that, according to Safaricom, occupies 75% less land than is typically required. Also, the TubeStar eliminates the need for a compound and perimeter wall around the base station by incorporating all equipment within the tubular structure.
Huawei Kenya CEO Stone He (left) and Safaricom Chief Technology officer Thibaud Rerolle (right) cutting the ribbon during the launch of TubeStar basestation. The balloons cost extra.
Russian online giant Yandex LLC has launched its first smartphone. Incorporating Yandex's "intelligent assistant," Alice, the phone retails for 17,990 rubles (US$270).
Barcelona-based Fractus Antennas, which claims to offer the "smallest off-the-shelf, multi-band and multi-purpose antenna that fits any IoT device and works for any IoT band," has become a member of the Sigfox partner network. Sigfox has developed a non-cellular technology that provides connectivity for objects such as smart meters, which consume little bandwidth and require extremely power-efficient, low-cost technology.
France's Iliad (Euronext: ILD) has been singing the praises of its new Freebox Delta set-top, which has been styled by big-name designer Jasper Morrison and comes complete with pre-installed Amazon Alexa and Netflix as well as high-end audio courtesy of six built-in Devialet speakers.
Orange Business Services has landed a connectivity contract with the Arctic Shipping Company, which runs cargo ships along the Northern Sea Route between the Barents Sea, near Norway, to the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. Orange's Martime Connect combines several networks, including satellite-based ones, to keep the ships connected.
Finland's Elisa Corp. has awarded €50,000 ($56,700) to a team of developers who came up with software that, says the operator, can predict problems with home WiFi before a customer even knows one exists, using artificial intelligence to feed data back to the service provider so that the issue can be addressed. The Lifemote team was the winning entrant to the Elisa AI Co-Creation Challenge, which sought innovative uses of AI to solve problems that tend to crop up in Elisa's various business areas.