Eurobites: DT gung-ho on 5G – but is trouble in store? | Light Reading

Eurobites: DT gung-ho on 5G – but is trouble in store? | Light Reading

Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: European Commission wants 5G-supplier diversification; Ooredoo tests 200MHz spectrum; Virgin Media extends fiber network.

  • Deutsche Telekom is in full trumpet-toot mode, announcing that half the German population that’s 40 million people is now covered by its 5G technology, following the upgrading of 18,000 or so antennas in the past five weeks. And that includes “even the antennas on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze,” says the operator’s press release, breathlessly. But, with the news of Deutsche Telekom’s tie-up with Ericsson on 5G RAN only just announced, the inference here is that pretty much all this 5G gear already sweeping over the German nation is supplied by Huawei. And where will that leave Deutsche Telekom should the German government decide to follow in the footsteps of others, including the UK, and ban Huawei from its 5G networks? (See Deutsche Telekom is in a 5G mess if Huawei is banned.)
  • And while we’re on the subject the European Commission says that progress on the diversification of 5G suppliers is “urgently needed to mitigate the risk of dependency on high-risk suppliers.” As Reuters reports, a Commission report, released on Friday, said: “Challenges have been identified in designing and imposing appropriate multi-vendor strategies for individual MNOs (mobile network operator) or at national level due to technical or operational difficulties.”
  • Ooredoo Qatar says it has, in cahoots with Ericsson, successfully tested the 200MHz spectrum and achieved a record system throughput of 4.2 Gbit/s, describing the development as “as part of the growing shift towards complete 5G delivery.”
  • A1 Telekom Austria has extended the scope of the cashless payment system it provides to retailers so that it is able to access digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dash.
  • UK cable operator Virgin Media has connected a further 3,300 homes to its fiber network, the latest beneficiaries of Virgin’s Project Lightning rollout program being in the small town of Shirebrook, in England’s East Midlands region. Virgin says that the build will bring average top downlink speeds of 516 Mbit/s to residents and small businesses there.
  • Sparkle, the international services subsidiary of Telecom Italia, has launched an online, interactive map detailing the range and scope of its 540,00km global network. Click here for the full Global Backbone Experience, which is not to be confused with this.
    Sparkle's network: So twinkly

    Sparkle’s network: So twinkly

  • Epsilon has teamed up with NAPAfrica, a not-for-profit, carrier-neutral Internet Exchange Provider (IXP), to deliver peering the process by which two Internet networks connect and exchange traffic at the largest Internet exchange on the African continent. Customers of Epsilon can access NAPAfrica directly via the Remote Peering service, without a physical presence at the Internet exchange points (IXPs) located in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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