What’s up with… Ericsson in China, Eutelsat, Iliad

  • Ericsson squeezed again in China
  • Eutelsat hails its first software-defined satellite
  • Iliad takes a shine to Liberty Global’s Polish assets

The latest kick to Ericsson’s 5G shins in China and lofty claims from Eutelsat take pole position on today’s industry news grid.   

Ericsson has reportedly been handed just a 3% share of a joint 5G radio access network (RAN) tender from China Telecom and China Unicomaccording to Reuters, a far cry from the 11% it was given during the first round of 5G contract awards. The massive reduction is in line with expectations after Ericsson CEO President and CEO Börje Ekholm warned on 16 July that the Swedish vendor was in line for a significant reduction in 5G market share in China due to the impact of geopolitical tensions. That prediction was swiftly confirmed on 19 July when it emerged that Ericsson had won just 2% of the China Mobile 700 MHz 5G deals, about half of the share awarded to Nokia. As usual, Huawei and ZTE picked up most of the latest 5G contract awards, but it would seem that Nokia did not get a slice of the China Telecom/Unicom 5G action this time around. 

Eutelsat heralded a “new era of commercial satellite service” with the successful launch over the weekend of its Eutelsat Quantum satellite, which was taken into Geostationary Transfer Orbit by Arianespace using an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. Eutelsat Quantum, which will provide commercial services for the Middle East and North Africa region (and "beyond”) by the end of this year, boasts “in-orbit reprogrammable features [that] set a new standard in flexibility that will enable users, notably in the Government and Mobility markets, to actively define and shape performance and reach thanks to its software-based design.” Intelsat is also gearing up to operate software-defined satellites. Read more
The launch followed on the heels of Eutelsat’s full year financial results report for the 12 months to the end of June. The satellite operator generated revenues of €1.23 billion, down 3.5% year-on-year, and an operating income of €347 million, down 29.2%. Read more

Proving himself an accomplished multi-tasker, as well as currently planning to take full control of and then de-list Iliad, the European telecoms empire he founded, Xavier Niel is in deep talks to acquire cable operator UPC Polska from Liberty Global for $1.9 billion. Liberty Global cited the “non-binding” talks in its second quarter earnings report, but noted there was no certainty a deal would be struck. Iliad stated in its trading update issued late last week, to accompany news of Niel’s buy-out plans, that it had “put forward an indicative offer” for UPC Polska in an effort to provide fixed line support for the Play mobile operation it acquired last year. “In line with its aim of becoming a convergent operator in Poland, the Group is working on various projects for growing its fixed business – both organically, with the possibility of setting up a specific vehicle in charge of fiber rollouts, and externally, with the possibility of acquiring a leading fixed operator.” It seems the latter course of action is Iliad’s preferred option.   

Back to the satellite world… Inmarsat, which is now run by former Nokia chief Rajeev Suri, claims to have unveiled the “communications network of the future” in the form of Orchestra, which brings together “existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G into an integrated, high-performance solution.” Suri stated: “By combining the distinct qualities of GEO, LEO and 5G into a single network, we will deliver a service that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Our customers will benefit from dramatically expanded high throughput services around the world. This is the future of connectivity and Inmarsat is perfectly positioned to bring it to the world with its proven technology expertise, right base of customers and partners, and financial strength.” Read more

Global data centre operator Equinix recorded its 74th consecutive quarter of revenues growth in the three months to 30 June, during which it generated revenues of $1.66 billion, a 4% sequential improvement and 13% higher than a year earlier. The company also noted it had passed 400,000 interconnections, “highlighting its critical role in the digital infrastructure of today's businesses.” Read more

- The staff, TelecomTV

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