What’s up with… Action Against 5G, OneWeb, Tecnotree

  • UK 5G activists line top lawyer’s pockets
  • OneWeb may need lots more money
  • Tecnotree continues its rehabilitation 

Further evidence that the UK is trying to put satirists out of work leads the way in today’s roundup of telecom industry developments.

UK activist group, Action Against 5G, which has crowdfunded a £105,000 war chest, is going to spend some of it on Michael Mansfield QC, a celebrity barrister with a history of taking on the UK government over human rights issues. Mansfield won’t be arguing before the High Court that 5G causes Covid-19 (that would probably take a lot more money...), but he will argue that the government has failed to take due account of possible 5G health risks by authorising the roll out of the latest mobile broadband technology.

The UK government’s investment in beleaguered satellite firm OneWeb looks worse by the day, as the Daily Telegraph reports that, according to the company’s bankruptcy documents, it’s likely to need a further injection of £1 billion in 2021 in order to survive. The UK government committed in early July to invest £400 million for a 45% stake in the satellite firm, but that holding, as well as those held by Bharti Enterprises and Hughes Network Systems, could well be diluted if the company needs to attract further investors.The big question, of course, is whether any of these investments are worth anything at all, especially for the seemingly misguided UK government.   

Tecnotree has continued its rehabilitation with a positive financial performance during the first half of this year. The Finnish BSS vendor’s revenues are up by 17% to €24 million, while adjusted EBITDA was up by 76% to €8.1 million, according to the company’s latest earnings release. The news gave the vendor’s share price a 23% lift to €0.44 in morning trading on the Helsinki exchange. After a difficult few years, Tecnotree has stabilized and is now growing under the stewardship of CEO Padma Ravichander, as we reported in July.

Like many of its peers, Singtel has reported a dip in sales during the three months to the end of June, with operating revenues sliding 14% year-on-year to S$3.54 billion (US$2.59 billion).

Small cell boom: The expected growth in small cell deployments will lead to a parallel boom in microwave backhaul designed explicitly to support small cells, according to a report from Rethink Research. It predicts the number of small cell backhaul links will grow almost nine times between 2019 and 2026, from 1.4 million to 12.27 million.

Finnish virtual reality (VR) technology startup Varjo has raised $54 million in its Series C funding round, taking its total investments to more than $100 million. The company also appointed Timo Toikkanen (previously president and COO) as the new CEO. Varjo has been collaborating with Finnish operator Elisa on VR trials enabled by 5G connectivity and edge computing.

Deutsche Telekom’s domestic TV business did well through the first half of the year, reports Digital TV Europe, with its subscriber base and revenues growing partly thanks to new exclusive content on its Megathek on-demand service. The operator boasted more than 3.7 million domestic TV customers at the end of June, up by 106,000 compared with the start of the year. TV service revenues hit €438 million during the second quarter, up by 10.3%. The numbers came as part of the operator’s latest earnings report, which showed a significant rise in overall group revenues thanks to the inclusion of Sprint’s operations to the T-Mobile US business. But it’s worth noting that DT managed to report an increase in domestic revenues compared with a year ago, something many other operators have not managed.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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