What’s up with… Ericsson & Samsung, net neutrality, Cellnex

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

May 7, 2021

  • Ericsson and Samsung kiss and make up
  • US net neutrality lobby was rigged, claims report 
  • Cellnex M&A spurt bolsters top line

The rare sight of a patents peace agreement and a shameful episode in the US battle over net neutrality rules take pole position on today’s news grid.

It’s nice to end the week with an outbreak of peace, so we’re pleased to report on a global patent license agreement between Ericsson and Samsung that “ends all ongoing patent related legal disputes… includes global patent cross license of cellular technologies, including 5G” and covers all network infrastructure and handset sales from the start of this year. As a result of the deal, Ericsson expects its patent licensing revenues in the second quarter of this year to be between SEK2.0-2.5 billion ($240-300 million): In the first quarter, patent licensing revenues only hit SEK800 million ($96 million). Read more.

It’s worth noting also that, as part of the agreement, Ericsson and Samsung have “agreed on technology cooperation projects to advance the mobile industry in open standardization and create valuable solutions for consumers and enterprises.” That’s a powerful combination that will make rivals wary… 

Controversy and net neutrality very often go hand-in-hand, but here’s an absolute doozie…  A report from the New York attorney general has cast a very dark and large shadow over the decision by the FCC, under the leadership of Ajit Pai, to repeal the net neutrality rules that were designed to keep ISPs in check. Pai announced plans to repeal the rules in 2017, a move that prompted Broadband for America, a lobby group funded by various network operators and trade bodies (including AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, CTIA, Comcast, Cox, NCTA, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the USTA), to solicit public support for Pai’s plan. The public support was forthcoming to the tune of 22 million comments, but as the New York attorney general’s team discovered, 18 million of those comments were fake as a result of skullduggery by the lead generation companies involved in drumming up support. The report, which you can read here, and which opens with a classic example of the fraud that was perpetrated, brings shame to all involved and associated with the campaign, either as a result of direct and willing fraud, by wilful negligence, or lack of action. A truly shameful episode.

European neutral host giant Cellnex has published first quarter results bolstered by the M&A spending spree on which it has embarked in the past 18 months, as its revenues for the first three months of this year were up by 40% year-on-year to €506 million. For the full details, see this press release

TIM (Telecom Italia) has hit back at reports suggesting the plan to merge its access network with that of Open Fiber have been scuppered by the Italian government’s economic recovery plans, which are believed to take into account European Commission concerns that having a single national fixed access broadband network would harm competition. “Interpretations reported by the press relating to the content of the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan – the purpose of which is the digitisation of the country and the completion of the network in areas where private investments are insufficient – are entirely inappropriate and unsubstantiated,” noted TIM in this statement, adding that the merger plan was in the hands of the companies involved and their shareholders. 

Neos Networks has forged a partnership with broadband service provider toob, under which toob will utilise existing Neos Networks subducts to deploy its network. This will help toob to expand its network footprint to provide customers with its full fibre broadband connectivity. By using pre-existing infrastructure, toob will avoid the need to commence costly digs that are disruptive to local residents. This will enhance deployment speeds, keep costs down and is a more environmentally conscious decision the companies say. Neos has already won some kudos for network innovation with its sub 1Gbps ethernet services for sites and applications that can’t justify multi-gigabit access services but have outgrown residential broadband services with their lower service guarantees. It has dubbed its technical solution EoFTTx (Ethernet over fibre to the whatever). 

IBM has unveiled a 2-nanometer chip that packs more than 50 billion transistors into a package the size of a fingernail and promises up to 45% higher performance over the current generation data-center chips, it reveals. The announcement is initially couched in that traditional way with the usual ‘more transistors/less silicon real-estate/improved performance’. But it then veers off in a ‘WOKE’ direction with promises to help society address major challenges, from climate and sustainability to food scarcity. The company sees the new chip as pivotal to reducing data centres’ carbon footprints along with enabling new technologies like 5G and 6G communications. Further evidence of the industry’s apparent pivot to full-on support for the UN’s sustainability goals

Vodafone and Accenture plan to make ‘enterprise-grade’ cybersecurity services available to UK SMEs with the launch of Vodafone Managed Security Services – a new portfolio of cybersecurity services to help SMEs detect, react to, and recover from, cyber-attacks. The Accenture strategic alliance was announced last year, and this latest announcement puts additional SME-attractive security services on the table to flesh out its existing portfolio. They initially include Cyber Exposure Diagnostic (CED); Penetration Testing/Vulnerability Assessment; and educating employees on cyber trickery with a Phishing Awareness offering. Find out more…

A slightly surprising turnaround... New vehicle sales contracted by 15% in 2020, a lower drop than initially anticipated given the dismal prospects in the third quarter of last year, says ABI Research. But consumer enthusiasm began to recover at the end of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, which caught carmakers and their suppliers by surprise. ABI now expects a 20% growth in connected vehicle sales in 2021 and a 10.4% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. Read more...

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