What’s up with… Ericsson, Helios Towers, Dish Network

  • Ericsson faces China crisis
  • Helios expands into Middle East with M&A deal
  • Dish Networks lands another towers deal

Pressure on Ericsson in the Chinese media and two towers deals top today’s news chart. 

Ericsson’s CEO Börje Ekholm has been trying to downplay the potential impact on the Swedish vendor’s business in China as a result of Huawei and ZTE’s ban from the Swedish 5G market, but the thorny issue may be coming to a head asan article in The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, cites a source suggesting that Ericsson’s 5G radio access network (RAN) business may be negatively impacted unless the Swedish regulator, the PTS, reverses its decision to exclude Huawei and ZTE on ‘security’ grounds. Ekholm stated during Ericsson’s recent Q1 earnings report webcast that the next 5G tender process “will probably come in the next few months [but] that's a bit unpredictable… we have no insight into how that would look like.” Ericsson’s share price is down by 3.9% today, so the report is having the desired impact of putting pressure on the Swedish vendor. Whether it will put any pressure on the Swedish regulator is another matter.

Helios Towers is acquiring the towers portfolio of Omantel for $575 million as it expands beyond its current strategic focus on passive infrastructure in Africa. The company says it will “establish its presence in the Middle East region, becoming a leading independent tower infrastructure provider in Oman with 2,890 sites,” as a result of the deal. Read more.

Dish Network, which is building an Open RAN-based 5G network across the US, has expanded its tower infrastructure options by signing a Master Lease Agreement with Telephone and Data Systems (TDS), the parent company of UScellular, the country’s fourth largest mobile network operator: The deal was revealed during TDS’s earnings call late last week. Dish has been striking a number of tower deals in recent months as is moves towards its 5G service launch in the second half of this year (starting in Las Vegas). Dish has also previously been linked to a potential acquisition of TDS

Apple is facing legal action in the UK over its 30% commission on app sales, with damages of up to £1.5 billion being sought on behalf of Apple apps store customers, reports the BBC

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2040, Orange is accelerating its deployment of solar power systems in Africa and the Middle East. “Across the entire region, many sites are not connected to the electricity grid and when they are, the quality of the grid often requires alternative backup solutions. To avoid using generators that run on fuel (fossil energy that emits CO2), Orange is putting in place several initiatives, such as solar panels,” notes the operator in this announcement.

US operator Verizon has struck a deal to be the exclusive provider of 5G connectivity at three major sports (ice hockey) venues run by Oak View Group – the New York UBS Arena, the Seattle Climate Pledge Arena and the Coachella Valley Arena. The venues “will harness Verizon 5G technology, as well as the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and Converged Network Services (CNS) providing voice, data and wifi services. These will enhance the fan experience utilizing the power of the 5G network,” noted the operator in this announcement.

Verizon has also announced IoT connectivity service availability in 170 countries via its ThingSpace self-service IoT platform. Read more.

And Verizon Business has struck a new strategic partnership with RingCentral to offer “cloud-based enterprise communication solutions with integrated team messaging, video meetings, and a cloud phone system to enterprise businesses.” Read more.

- The staff, TelecomTV

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