Displaying items by tag: UK

UK telcos face fines for using Huawei after 5G ban

Written on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 05:36

Britain’s telecom companies could be fined up to 10% of turnover or $133,140 a day if they violate a ban on using equipment made by China’s Huawei under a fresh law put forward this week.

The Telecommunications (Security) Bill will tighten the security standards of the UK’s telecoms networks, the government said.

Britain in July decided to ban the use of Huawei in 5G networks from the end of 2027 because of growing security concerns and future co-operation with the US.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said the benefits of 5G and fiber networks could only be realized if they were secure and resilient.

“This groundbreaking bill will give the UK one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world and allow us to take the action necessary to protect our networks,” he said.

Huawei said it was disappointed that the government was looking to exclude it from the roll-out of 5G.

“This decision is politically motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks,” said Vice President Victor Zhang.

“It does not serve anyone’s best interests as it would move Britain into the digital slow lane and put at risk the Government’s levelling up agenda.”

The government said the tougher security standards in the bill would also help protect Britain from potential cyber-attacks from countries and criminals.

Regulator Ofcom will be given the duty of monitoring and assessing the security of telecoms providers.

Published in Telecom Operators

Huawei contributes €16.4 billion to EU economy

Written on Thursday, 19 November 2020 12:19

In the latest part its ongoing campaign to fight back against having to remove its communications solutions from European countries’ infrastructure, Huawei has released the findings of a report from business analysts Oxford Economics. 

According to the report, Huawei contributed €16.4 billion to Europe’s GDP and supported 224,300 jobs in 2019. The Chinese telecoms giant holds the largest global market share (~35.3%) of any vendor. The second-largest, Nokia, holds less than half of Huawei’s market share at around 16.1 percent.

Huawei’s impact in Europe has grown markedly over the last five years. Its contribution to GDP increased by an average of 19.1% per year, in real terms, between 2015 and 2019.

The total employment and real tax contributions associated with Huawei’s activities in Europe grew by an average annual rate of 17.1% and 16.8% over the same period.  

In 2019 alone, Huawei also supported €6.6bn in tax revenues – sufficient to pay for over 151,000 teachers’ salaries.

The study, penned by the UK think tank, highlights that pulling out Huawei’s equipment and replacing it with alternatives is going to be a costly and time-consuming endeavor—one that will likely delay 5G rollouts.

Hanging over the report is the decision in July 2020 by the UK government to commit to a timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment from the country’s growing 5G communications infrastructure by 2027 – effectively a huge U-turn to the decision it took only in January 2020 to restrict Huawei’s presence to just the radio access network element of 5G setups.

Pete Collings, Director of Economic Impact Consulting at Oxford Economics said: “This report is an objective way to show the full extent of Huawei’s economic impact in the UK. Companies like Huawei are major contributors to the UK directly but their impact is extended through the spending they undertake with other UK firms. This spending, and the further economic activity it generates, sustains jobs across the country, contributing to UK GDP and government tax revenues.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Ofcom moves to ban sale of carrier-locked phones in the UK

Written on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 05:45

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has banned phone carriers from selling locked phones starting December 2021 in an effort to give people greater autonomy when it comes to switching between providers.

While operators such as Sky, Virgin, Three and O2 already sell unlocked phones, some of the UK’s other operators like Vodafone, Tesco and EE, still sell phones that need to be unlocked manually before users can switch to a different carrier.

According to Ofcom, the banning of this practice comes as a set of new measures are about to be launched. The telecoms watchdog found that more than a third of people in the UK who were against switching operators said that one of the contributing factors to their decision was that they were put off by having to go through the process of unlocking their phone. In the UK, unlocking a phone costs £10 and it can often lead to delays, loss of service or other issues.

Ofcom’s connectivity director, Selina Chadha, said, “We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we’re banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort – and help them unlock better deals.”

In reference to this, Vodafone said that it was “ready to implement these changes when they come into force”. BT also said that it was willing to “work with Ofcom to comply with the guidelines”.

In an official statement by Ofcom, the regulator disclosed that it plans to also simplify the switching process for broadband customers.

“We’re also making it easier to switch between broadband networks. At the moment, customers switching between providers such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk on Openreach’s copper network can simply contact their new provider, who will manage the switch from there,” the statement read.

While the UK has moved to ban the sale of carrier-locked mobile phones, the US is on the other end of the spectrum; it is still quite a common practice in the US.

Published in Reports

Nokia has announced that its cloud-native Subscriber Data Management (SDM) software has been chosen by Telefónica UK to enhance the security and reliability of the operator’s networks, and to drive 5G services innovation.

As the heart of Telefónica UK’s converged mobile core, Nokia’s SDM will securely oversee pivotal functionality for all Telefónica UK networks and services, including 5G. By controlling network data in a centralized hub and utilizing containerized micro services that have only what is required by an application to efficiently and autonomously manage all subscriber data and services, SDM increases both reliability and operational efficiencies. 

Nokia’s SDM solution serves approximately 4.8 billion subscribers and devices around the world.

Telefónica’s SDM is delivered using Nokia’s core engineered systems program for fast deployment and rapid upgrades.

The deal is supporting subscriber data management for all Telefónica UK’s 3G, 4G, 5G networks, as well as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) and Voice over 5G (Vo5G) services; along with the operator’s IoT devices and nationwide Smart Metering. Deployment is expected in the fourth quarter and Nokia will oversee all professional services to complete the migration.

Supporting the modernization of Telefónica UK’s unified database deployment, Nokia will also deploy Shared Data Layer, a cloud-native database accessible via industry standard protocols to enable an open ecosystem and the integration of third party applications.

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, Telefónica UK, said, “Nokia’s Subscriber Data Management software offers secure, robust connectivity capabilities, while simultaneously streamlining our network services. This allows us to better support our growing 5G networks and capture operational efficiencies. We look forward to developing a new generation of 5G services with Nokia.”

Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software and Nokia Chief Digital Officer, said, “As we drive cloud-native 5G innovation together, Nokia is pleased to be building on our existing relationship with Telefónica UK by further optimizing and securing the company’s networks with Nokia’s software portfolio, and enriching the customer experience.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Nokia extends strategic partnership with UK operator

Written on Tuesday, 29 September 2020 10:23

Nokia has announced the extension of its long-term strategic relationship with BT into the 5G arena, following its selection as a 5G RAN vendor for the UK operator.

As part of the deal, which will make Nokia BT’s largest equipment provider, Nokia will provide equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK, helping to evolve BT’s radio access network to 5G and supporting its goal of maintaining the UK’s best network.

BT’s Nokia-powered network, which currently includes Greater London, the Midlands and rural locations, will be extended to also cover multiple other towns and cities across the United Kingdom. This enhanced Nokia footprint will support BT’s commitments to the UK government around the use of High Risk Vendors (HRVs) in UK network infrastructure.   

Nokia will supply its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including 5G RAN, AirScale base stations and Nokia AirScale radio access products. These solutions will enable BT to build on its existing network leadership in the UK to deliver connectivity and capacity benefits to consumers at ultra-low latencies as well as reducing complexity and increasing cost efficiencies. The deal will also see Nokia optimize BT’s 2G and 4G networks and work alongside BT on the development of the OpenRAN ecosystem.

As part of BT’s network transformation, the operator will also utilize Nokia Software’s ng-SDM and NetAct network management platform, supporting the network evolution to 5G. These build upon the existing network architecture and provide an immediate cornerstone and single platform for new 5G-based services. Nokia will also provide its state-of-the-art Cell Site Gateway product providing key backhaul connectivity. 

Nokia will also provide digital design and deployment for a faster time to market as well as optimization and technical support services.

Philip Jansen, CEO, BT Group said,“Digital connectivity is critical to the UK’s economic future, creating jobs and underpinning sustainable growth. That’s why BT is making game-changing investments in full fibre and 5G. In a fast-moving and competitive market, it’s critical we make the right technology choices. With this next stage of our successful relationship with Nokia we will continue to lead the rollout of fixed and mobile networks to deliver stand-out experiences for customers.”

Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, Nokia, said, “I am delighted that BT has extended its partnership with Nokia on 5G RAN, making Nokia BT’s largest infrastructure partner. Our two companies have collaborated for over a quarter of a century in order to deliver best-in-class connectivity to people across the United Kingdom. We are proud to support BT’s 5G network evolution and look forward to working even more closely together in the years to come.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei, ZTE lose landmark patent appeals

Written on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 13:53

The UK’s Supreme Court unanimously dismissed appeals by China's Huawei and ZTE in patent disputes over mobile data technology with Unwired Planet International and Conversant Wireless.

The first appeal concerned an action brought by Unwired against Huawei for the infringement of five UK patents, which Unwired had acquired from Ericsson and were said to be essential in mobile telecoms.

An English court had previously ruled that two of the patents were valid and essential, and in a subsequent trial found Unwired's licence terms were justified and enforceable.

The second appeal concerned action brought by Conversant against Huawei and ZTE for infringing four of its UK patents, which had been acquired from Nokia and related to LTE standards used by 4G handsets to download and send data.

Huawei and ZTE argued that the English Courts did not have jurisdiction to determine the validity of foreign patents. But the trial judge had ruled against them, saying the court had jurisdiction under an international patent framework agreed by the mobile industry.

Conversant's CEO Boris Teksler said he was "very pleased" by the outcome, which the firm said would have "significant implications worldwide" for standard-essential-patent (SEP) licensing.

"It confirms Conversant Wireless' approach, that as a holder of cellular standard-essential patents, we can seek proper value for our patents without having to resort to what the UK courts themselves called the 'madness' of country-by-country licensing and related litigation," he said.

"This helps level the playing field when small companies are trying to license SEP portfolios to global giants with seemingly limitless litigation resources."

Published in Telecom Vendors

UK makes U-turn decision on Huawei after US pressure

Written on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 13:09

Huawei has called on the UK government to reconsider a ban on the purchase of its 5G equipment, saying London had reacted to pressure from Washington rather than security concerns.

The Chinese telecoms giant's UK spokesman Ed Brewster called the move "disappointing", adding: "Regrettably, our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy, not security."

Britain's digital minister Oliver Dowden announced in parliament that it approved the phased removal of Chinese technology giant Huawei from the country’s 5G network, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired meetings with his Cabinet and the National Security Council.

The policy reversal hands a major victory to US President Donald Trump's administration in its geopolitical and trade battle with China.

However, it threatens to damage Britain's relations with the Asian power and carry a big cost for UK mobile providers that have relied on Huawei equipment for nearly 20 years.

In January Britain said that Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis. Since then, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing political pressure domestically to take a harder line against Beijing, and in May the United States imposed new restrictions to disrupt Huawei’s access to important components.

"Given the uncertainty this creates around Huawei's supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment," Dowden said.

"From the end of this year, telecoms providers must not buy any 5G equipment from Huawei," he told lawmakers.

The new guidelines also require all existing Huawei gear to be stripped out by the end of 2026.

Published in Government

UK set to phase Huawei out of 5G networks

Written on Tuesday, 07 July 2020 05:05

Britain is set to phase out Huawei equipment from its 5G mobile networks this year, the U.K. press has reported. If so, it marks a major U-turn in the government’s position on the Chinese telecommunications giant.

The government is drawing up plans to strip Huawei gear from Britain’s next-generation networks by the end of the year, The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph newspapers reported. 

It comes after London said in January that Huawei could play a limited role in Britain’s 5G networks, a move which angered the U.S. as it sought to get other countries to block the Chinese company.

Washington maintains that Huawei is a national security risk, alleging its equipment could be used by Beijing for espionage. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim. 

The apparent policy reversal was driven by a new report from a branch of British intelligence agency GCHQ that raised new security fears over Huawei following U.S. moves to cut off the Chinese firm from key chips.

China's ambassador to Britain has warned that London faced a risk to its international reputation if it blocked Huawei from the nation's 5G network.

The Financial Times said the government will decide this month to phase out the Chinese technology giant's equipment because of persistent concerns about spying.

A UK security investigation, yet to be published, has raised "very, very serious" questions over Huawei's limited 5G role in Britain, the newspaper added.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said separately he had received the National Cyber Security Centre report and there would be a "significant" impact on Huawei's 5G role.

But Beijing's top envoy in London, Liu Xiaoming, described Huawei's involvement as a "win-win" for both the company and UK-China relations.

"We have tried our best to tell the story of Huawei but we can't control the British government decision," he told a news conference.

However he warned that if Huawei was rejected, it could impact Britain's international standing and erode the trust of other existing or potential overseas investors.

He suggested it would be an example of Britain succumbing to "foreign pressure", in a clear reference to Washington's position on Huawei.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under intense pressure from the US, and members of his own ruling Conservative Party, to cut ties with Huawei.

US officials argue that the company could spy on Western communications or simply shut down the UK network under orders from Beijing - a charge the company denies.

Huawei's position has been complicated further by Washington's decision to roll out a new wave of sanctions to cripple the company's production of the chips used in 5G.

The FT said Johnson was drawing up plans to remove the Huawei technology from Britain's 5G network after warnings that the US sanctions could curtail the company's access to American semiconductors and force it to use riskier supplies.

Ambassador Liu rejected claims China was a "hostile country".

"We want to be your friend, we want to be your partner but if you want to make China a hostile country you have to bear the consequences," he added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei said it will invest $1.2 billion in a chip research and manufacturing center in Britain that has been strongly opposed by the United States.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Verizon unveils first 5G lab in the UK

Written on Thursday, 13 February 2020 12:53

Verizon has opened a new 5G Lab and production studio in London – the company’s first 5G-enabled facility outside the United States – to support its international business and media customers. The Lab, which is now open for business, is based at Verizon’s Mid City Place office in central London, and offers a live Verizon 5G-enabled environment where organizations can develop and test 5G applications and experiences.

US operator Verizon sought to extend its 5G reach beyond its home market, opening a laboratory in the UK where it can experiment and share ideas for next generation use cases with international partners. European investment enables Verizon to more easily share 5G leadership and expertise with companies based outside the U.S.

Verizon’s 5G Labs are designed to offer technology innovators a space to grow the 5G ecosystem. Start-ups, academics, companies and organizations work with Verizon in the Labs to explore the boundaries of 5G network technology, co-create new applications and hardware, and rethink what’s possible in a 5G world. The potential use cases include exploring how autonomous vehicles, smart communities, virtual healthcare, smart manufacturing, the industrial Internet of Things, immersive education, augmented and virtual reality and responsive gaming can be enhanced with 5G's super fast speeds, massive bandwidth and low latency.

Verizon’s London Lab enables the company to share its experience and expertise in 5G-enabled application delivery with companies based outside the U.S. Organizations visiting the Lab can see existing 5G use cases and experiences in action, and can also work with the Verizon team to develop 5G-enabled applications. 

“Verizon has proven expertise in delivering 5G in the U.S.,” said Tami Erwin, Group CEO, Verizon Business. “One of the best ways of unleashing the true possibilities of 5G is getting it into the hands of innovators and visionaries. Our London facility enables our international customers to benefit from this expertise as they look to deploy 5G-enabled applications and experiences.”

The London Lab showcases a selection of 5G-enabled use cases across a number of different verticals, including advertising and entertainment, education, manufacturing, medical, retail, utilities and venues. These include a mobile command center, an augmented shopping experience and smart retail shelving, intelligent asset management and AR-enabled workspace reimagining. 

In addition, Verizon will open a 5G-enabled production studio in London in April 2020 to complement the 5G Lab facility. The studio will offer a space where Verizon Media’s owned and operated brands, as well as its partners and customers, can produce premium quality, 3D content including virtual and augmented reality experiences using state-of-the-art facilities like volumetric capture, motion capture and AR broadcast.  It is also 5G-enabled, providing an incubator space for innovative creative companies to test and learn about how they can build content in the future that benefits from its capabilities to transmit massive amounts of data almost instantaneously.

Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media said: “Our 5G Studio, powered by RYOT’s platform, in Los Angeles was the world’s first 5G production studio when it opened last year, and now we are opening a new studio in London, offering all the same incredible next-generation content production facilities and platform. The new London studio represents our continued commitment to give our consumers access to premium next-generation experiential content across our global ecosystem of brands. As we move from a 2D world into a world that includes 3D content, Verizon Media is providing our publishers and advertisers access to a cutting-edge technology platform, giving them the ability to experiment with 5G, and providing the means to distribute them at scale.”

Published in Telecom Operators
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