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Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom has launched the continent’s first large scale 5G networks in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.
In a statement released by the Swedish telecommunications behemoth it confirmed that the 5G network was launched in 54 cities across Switzerland after the operator secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.
Ericsson has seen its financial coffers significantly boosted by its success in the North American market following the publication of its Q1 results.
Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm expressed his delight at the launch of the 5G networks in Switzerland and predicted that the company would up the ante in relation to 5G in the large parts of Asia by the end of this year.
Ekholm said, “To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor. The company would continue to incur costs for field trials and we’re expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019. Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term.”
Shares of Ericsson rocketed on the Stockholm stock exchange with the company reporting an increase of 3% which represented a four-year high for the vendor.
Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei's main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn't felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei's equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.
US electronics behemoth Intel has made the decision to withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business following the unlikely resolution agreement that was brokered between Qualcomm and Apple.
Apple and Qualcomm managed to settle the dispute between both parties over royalty payments and reached a deal ahead of fresh court case that was set to get underway in San Diego next week.
The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm. Following the announcement the dispute had been resolved Intel wasted no time in exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.
Intel had clearly recognized and identified that there was an opportunity for them to capitalize on the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, and then Apple had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.
The lawsuit was expected to be a protracted legal battle, but after the unlikely resolution it’s expected that Apple and Qualcomm will now become partners again before there fall out in 2017.
Intel issued a statement in which it indicated that it would complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.
CEO Bob Swan insisted that 5G will remain a key focus for the US electronics conglomerate and said its diverse portfolio of products will help them to become a major player in the 5G space.
Swan said, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."
The company also added that it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020
Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals that are equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.
Apple and US chipmaker Qualcomm will resume their long-running feud as a new court case between the two titans of American enterprise begins in San Diego next week.
The two companies have been embroiled in a bitter row over patent licensing practices for the best part of two years. Last month, a Californian jury ruled in favour of Qualcomm and awarded the company $31m after it found that Apple’s iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus and X infringed two patents.
Apple has expressed its confidence that this new lawsuit in San Diego will rule in their favour as they seek damages of up to $27bn after accusing its one-time supplier of engaging in patent license practices that amounted to double-dipping.
Qualcomm on the other hand are claiming that the US technology behemoth forced some of it business partners to stop paying the company royalties and is seeking $15bn in damages.
The initial lawsuit was filed by Apple back in 2017, which forced the US chipmaker to counter-sue the iPhone maker and winning bans on the sale of some iPhone models in some markets for patent violations.
Qualcomm charges its customers for the chips themselves and also adds on patent licensing charges. It asks customers to sign an agreement before supplying any products.
Apple has termed this "no licence, no chips" policy a way of charging twice for the same thing. Along with its business partners, Apple is seeking an end to this practice and a refund of something in the region of US$9 billion.
This amount could be tripled if the jury comes to the conclusion that Apple's anti-trust allegations against Qualcomm are correct. Apple claims Qualcomm's practices kept rivals like Intel - from whom Apple is now sourcing chips - from competing in this sector for a long time.
Companies that are on contract with Apple, such as Foxconn, have paid the royalties to Qualcomm and been reimbursed by Apple. But Apple has pushed some of these firms to violate their contracts and deprive Qualcomm of about US$7 billion in royalties, the chip producer claims.
A victory for Apple will not mean much in terms of money but it would destroy a business model that Qualcomm has used with great success for many years.
3 UK has expressed their scepticism over Ofcom’s plans to address poor rural coverage in the United Kingdom, highlighting that the costs of the proposal were too excessive and overall the initiative lacked ambition.
3 UK’s Chief Operating Officer, Graham Baxter has called for the regulator to ditch their plans and work collectively with all UK operators in an effort to find a lasting solution to the ongoing problems experienced by users in rural parts of the UK.
Baxter blasted their plans to remove partial hot-spots in the UK’s countryside, areas which are not covered by any of the country’s four major operators.
As a way to incentivise investment, Ofcom in 2018 said it planned to offer mobile operators a discount in a spectrum auction planned for 2020, if they make binding coverage commitments.
Ofcom said two operators could receive discounts of up to £400 million on the cost of spectrum licences by committing to meet three targets within four years; providing good outdoor data coverage to at least 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass; improve mobile coverage for 140,000 buildings; and install 500 new masts in rural areas.
However, Baxter has criticized the plan for lacking ambition, while also hitting out at the expense incurred by the operator to execute the program.
Instead, he said the regulator should push an initiative for a single rural network, which would see the country’s operators jointly invest in a shared infrastructure.
In addition, he urged authorities to relax planning permission rules for taller mobile masts in rural areas of the country.
In addition to this, Baxter also argued that Ofcom’s plan would only benefit two mobile operators, but conceded that a single network would be beneficial for all four of the country’s operators with regards to coverage.
Telecom Egypt announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nokia to introduce 5G network and test use cases This announcement took place during the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The MoU has been signed by Adel Hamed, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt, and Amr K. El Leithy, head of the Middle East and Africa market, Nokia, in the presence of a number of dignitaries from the two companies.
Under this MoU, collaboration between the two sides will focus on 5G deployment as well as the evaluation of appropriate use cases of the 5G technology in the Egyptian market. As a matter of fact, this MoU represents a turning point for Telecom Egypt towards its digital transformation strategy, particularly because the company has already a set of state-of-the-art 5G-ready solutions and services from Nokia.
Adel Hamed, Managing Director & CEO of Telecom Egypt, said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with our strategic partner Nokia which paves the way for the development of 5G use cases in Egypt. This MoU marks a new chapter of the partnership between the two companies as it will allow our company to support the realization of the digital transformation strategy in Egypt.
We are confident that Nokia with its global expertise will help us maintaining our leading position in providing the best and latest technological solutions to our customers. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to put a strategic roadmap to develop our network capabilities and make sure of its readiness to deploy 5G technologies.
Amr K. El Leithy, head of the Middle East & Africa market at Nokia, said: “This MoU is part of the long-term strategic partnership between the two companies. Nokia, as one of the global leading providers of network and communications technology, is keen to provide the latest communications technologies to the Egyptian market.
We are committed to innovating new and exciting 5G solutions to meet the business objectives of our operator customers. 5G solutions will allow Telecom Egypt to proactively address the increasing data traffic, create new revenue streams as well as continue working on the improvement of customer experience".
Nokia and Telecom Egypt are working together to deploy 5G network with Nokia’s end-to-end 5G solutions that provides ultra-fast connectivity with ultra-low latency. This will allow the operator to flexibly support various use case scenarios and many business models in addition to connecting billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to enable smart cities and improve the quality of life for citizens.
In advance of Mobile World Congress, Nokia today announces a raft of enhancements to its Anyhaul transport portfolio that help operators prepare their networks for 5G by delivering throughput speeds of up to 25 Gbps to base stations.
The launches span microwave, optical, IP and broadband technologies within a carrier Software Defined Networking (SDN) transport architecture. This simplifies the integration of transport with cloud-based radio access and core networks, thereby enabling an automated end-to-end 5G network slicing and service provisioning system.
Nokia Anyhaul is the industry's most extensive range of transport solutions. These solutions can be rapidly and dynamically provisioned to support the massive connectivity, extreme low latency and very high throughput demands of 5G services.
Programmability and automation dynamically create transport network slices to quickly and cost-effectively match diverse application and user needs with end-to-end service delivery guarantees.
The Nokia Anyhaul portfolio enables operators to deploy the optimal mix of transport technologies to create a flexible fabric that matches their unique network and business needs.
The new Nokia 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) Translation Line Unit (TLU)-200 provides high density wavelength translation at 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps speeds. Purpose-built for Cloud RAN and Edge Cloud requirements, it simplifies operations and improves reliability of fronthaul connectivity for 4G Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI)/Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) and 5G eCPRI data.
A new, compact interconnect router, the Nokia 7250 IXR-e, is purpose-built to support 5G and edge cloud requirements at or near base stations with 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces. The 7250 IXR-e features a compact architecture with efficient cooling and optimized space efficiency for minimal installation costs. It complements the previously released 7250 IXR-R6, which also supports 5G requirements and 1/10/25/100 GE interfaces.
A proof of concept of Nokia Broadband Anyhaul 25G Passive Optical Network (PON) demonstrates the viability of building on existing fiber infrastructure to offer 25 Gbps speeds. Co-existing with 2.5G and 10G PON technologies, 25G PON enables more radio access sites to be connected on the same fiber to reduce costs.
Nokia has successfully trialed 25G PON proof of concept with T-1 operators in North America and Japan in January 2019.
Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group, said: "Mobile backhaul has always been done with a variety of transport technologies to balance the needs of performance, time, and economics. This will continue with 5G, and for this reason, operators will need an assortment of transport technologies-microwave, optical, IP and PON-that suit their unique requirements in 5G fronthaul and backhaul. The rollout of 5G has just started this year and if our predictions are correct, demand for 5G backhaul transport systems (not including fiber) will begin ramping in a year's time and surpass $1 billion of annual sales in the following two years."
Phil Twist, VP of Networks Marketing and Communications, at Nokia said: "Our Anyhaul portfolio is a key element of the Nokia 5G Future X architecture, which equips our customers to take advantage of the promise of this next generation of network technology. Nokia Anyhaul has been deployed globally and is now being selected in countries such as the US, Japan, China, and South Korea where we are helping the fast-movers transform to 5G. The expertise and invaluable best practices we gain will further simplify and reduce risk for other operators as they move to 5G."
US ride-hailing colossus Uber disclosed its financial earnings for the final quarter of 2018 which showed its revenue growth has slowed ahead of its much anticipated stock market debut.
The financial figures released by Uber indicated that for the final three months of the year its loss amounted to $865 million, compared with $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The San Francisco-based firm reported revenue of $3 billion, which represented a 25 percent increase from a year earlier. Uber remains a private company, but routinely discloses some earnings information.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has managed to guide Uber through choppy waters since assuming the CEO role from Travis Kalanick.
He is also being tasked with the responsibility of steering the high-value startup to a stock market debut this year, and has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader that has been hit by a wave of misconduct scandals and has become embroiled in a series of legal battles regarding its services, particularly in Europe.
Revenue for the full year rose 43 percent to $11.3 billion, with Uber's annual loss shrinking 15 percent to $1.8 billion, according to an official statement from the startup.
Uber operates its’ rideshare business in dozens of countries and has expanded to new areas including food delivery, electric scooters and bikes. The company is recognized as the largest of the venture-backed startups with a presumed valuation of some $70 billion.
Uber CFO Nelson Chai expressed his satisfaction with Uber’s financial results and said, “Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record for engagement on our platform. Our ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, Uber Freight gained exciting traction in the US, JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities."
Based on gross bookings, Uber Eats has apparently become the largest online food delivery business outside of China.
US technology behemoth Google has announced that it will spend $13bn in expanding its US data centre network.
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has vowed to work closely with Polish authorities in order to ensure it plays a key role in the buildout of its 5G networks.
Reports are claiming that Huawei executives will meet with officials from the Polish government in a bid to iron out any major security concerns that the country may have following the ongoing allegations that the Chinese vendor is a risk to national security.
Huawei also became embroiled in controversy last month, when one of its executives was arrested on suspicion of espionage.
Huawei’s senior standards manager in Europe, Georg Mayer, insisted that there has been no slowdown of sales of end-user equipment in Poland despite the negative press.
However, he acknowledged that if the negative press and scaremongering regarding Huawei’s security continues then it will eventually negatively impact business.
Huawei has reportedly offered to build a cybersecurity centre in Poland in another effort to show its commitment to addressing the security issues that have come to the fore in recent months.
In addition to this, Huawei’s head fiure in Poland, Tonny Bao, said the company was ready to establish a cyber security focused operation in the country “if authorities accept this as a trusted solution”.
The company has set up information security labs in Germany and the UK, designed to assure authorities its equipment is safe.
Indranil das, Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa has outlined a comprehensive 5-step framework that is specifically designed to enable communication service providers to prosper in the ‘digital economy’.
The future is digital, and digital service providers will lead the way. From enhancing the way you engage with your customers to automating operations, service providers reach new levels of programmability, access and agility – levels that digital natives call home.What does it mean to become a digital service provider?
Here is a 5-step framework that can help service providers prosper in the digital economy:
Step 1: Build your Cloud Infrastructure:
Cloud infrastructure is the foundation for 5G & IoT. The scale and performance requirements of 5G and IoT demand a different approach to digital infrastructure. Increase speed, efficiency, and agility in offering new services while reducing risk and shortening lead time while you transform the network.
With an open and pre-integrated NFVI solution which can be deployed both at central and distributed sites and organizations will be better prepared to manage all workloads.
Step 2: Quick Time to Market with VoLTE:
Whether you are a service provider with millions of customers or just thousands of users, you have your own cloud datacenter, or you want a full-stack solution for VoLTE services, there is an industrialized solution that will suit your requirements.
The same is true if you are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) or mission-critical service provider looking for an easy way to get both mobile broadband and voice services over LTE and Wi-Fi ready in your network in one step. You can deploy VoLTE in weeks now allowing a quicker time to market.
Step 3: Boost revenue with digital BSS:
Digital business support systems are critical to uncovering new revenue streams. Customer experience is vital for a successful transformation to a digital business, and digital business support systems are in the center of this change.
Businesses cannot deliver an agile digital customer experience with the transformation of the ‘front-end’ experience alone – it needs to be a complete business transition – to put in place the end to end tools and processes to make real the goal of delivering a truly digital, simple, ‘one-click’ business.
Customers experience simplicity and ease in administering their accounts through the ability to find information online, compare offerings, make online purchases, and get fast and automated deliveries. This results in real, measurable business improvements from simplification including much faster time-to-market and better customer experience.
Step 4: Explore new revenue streams via network slicing:
The IoT era has the potential to transform industry and society, and with 5G on the horizon, countless new business models become a possibility. IoT services come with their own complex connectivity and performance-related challenges.
As such, operators must invest in technologies to meet efficiency and flexibility demands of these new services – making an alternative approach necessary in order to maximize revenue generation. That’s where network slicing comes in – providing the capability to enable new business models across a broad industry spectrum.
Network slicing is a powerful virtualization capability and one of the key capabilities that will enable flexibility. This solution allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.
Step 5: Embrace cloud native design principles:
In the next few years all telecom applications will be cloud natively designed so as to increase efficiency and utilization of the cloud infrastructure. Benefits include increased speed of software upgrades and releases plus improved granularity, and enhanced automation through already embedded features in the NFVi layer (Cloud infrastructure for NFV).
Adapted software architecture makes much better use of cloud data center resources. In the case of 5G, the new ETSI standardized 5G Core functions will be cloud native and container based. This is expected to start during 2019.
Ericsson’s digital services blueprint will equip organizations with the tools needed for today’s technological landscape. By finding the right blueprint for their businesses, they can reach new heights of agility, access and automation.