What’s up with… BICS, Huawei, Ericsson

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Jul 20, 2020

  • Majority stake in BICS is up for grabs
  • UK government doing 5G market no favours
  • Ericsson secures cloud native core deal at SoftBank 

Potential M&A action and the latest shenanigans in the UK’s 5G network sector are the first items plucked from another mixed bag of news goodies.

  • The shareholders of BICS (Belgacom International Carrier Services) are looking to sell a 51% stake in the wholesale operator. Belgian national operator Proximus (formerly Belgacom), which currently holds a majority stake, plans to hold on to a 49% shareholding. Other shareholders include MTN, which holds a 20% stake, and Swisscom, which is looking to offload its full 22.4% stake. BICS specializes in international mobile network interconnectivity services and so plays a key role in enabling roaming. 
  • Huawei has been told the recent decision to exclude it from the UK’s 5G networks was, in part, due to “geopolitical” reasons and may be reversed, according to a report by The Guardian. This could explain why Huawei continues to invest in UK-based operations, such as a new R&D centre outside Cambridge. It will also make the folks at the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre wonder how much weight was given to their advice, which, according to the UK government’s official announcement, was instrumental in the U-turn. What a farce.
  • Meanwhile, the Nikkei reports that the UK government officials have asked their Japanese counterparts for help with 5G developments, with NEC and Fujitsu – both of which have been developing radio access network elements and functionality for open disaggregated 5G networks – regarded as the potential tech firm beneficiaries. There is concern that with Huawei out of the picture, the UK’s network operators could be left with only Ericsson and Nokia as credible 5G RAN tech suppliers. 
  • SoftBank is deploying Ericsson’s cloud native dual-mode 5G Core to enable it to launch standalone 5G services. The vendor’s system includes its Cloud Packet Core, Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy and Ericsson NFVI. The Swedish firm is already SoftBank’s primary 5G radio access network technology supplier.
  • Nokia has also been crowing about customer wins in the Asia/Pacific region. It has landed an IP/MPLS network deal with True Group in Thailand, while Australian national operator Telstra (regarded as something of an Ericsson shop) is using Nokia’s self-organizing network (SON) software to “automate network operations and to support its move to 5G.”
  • Telefónica is reportedly exploring ways in which it can cash in on its majority-owned towers group Telxius, with an IPO or merger with another towers company under consideration, according to Bloomberg. Telxius recently grew significantly through the acquisition of Telefónica Deutschland’s towers portfolio.
  • TIM Participacoes (Telecom Italia’s Brazilian operation), Telefônica Brasil (Vivo) and Claro (part of América Móvil) have pitched a joint offer for the mobile unit of bankrupt Brazilian operator Oi, according to Reuters.
  • Optical networking vendor ADVA had such an unexpectedly successful second quarter that it issued preliminary numbers prior to publishing its full financial report on July 23. Its second quarter sales are up nearly 9% to €145 million, while operating profit more than doubled compared with a year ago to €10.1 million.
  • Openet has unveiled Real-Time Care Insights, an application for the Salesforce platform that enables customer care agents to gain a real-time view of service usage as they deal with customer enquiries. Salesforce recently bolstered its position in the telecoms market with the acquisition of CRM specialist Vlocity for $1.33 billion. 

- The staff, TelecomTV

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