What’s up with…. Huawei, TIM, NTTVC, Cellnex

Source: Huawei

Source: Huawei

  • The latest ups and downs at Huawei
  • TIM plots monster FTTH investment
  • NTTVC eyes US startup investments
  • Cellnex linked to further M&A

Huawei’s latest international blows and its ongoing financial success, plus news of investment activity in Italy, the US and Europe, lead the way in this charge to the news finishing line.

The number of countries in Europe shunning Huawei continues to grow. Bulgaria, Kosovo and North Macedonia have all joined the US administration’s ‘Clean Network’ initiative that aims to protec 5G networks from untrusted technology suppliers (ie. Huawei and ZTE), while the Italian government has apparently intervened to stop Fastweb (Swisscom’s Italian operation) from sourcing 5G core technology from Huawei. According to Reuters, the Italian government has specified that Huawei kit must not be used in Fastweb’s core network and has asked it to diversify its supplier base. There has been no confirmation of the ban, believed to be the first Huawei veto the Italian government has imposed. Italy played host to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September.

Still with the Chinese vendor… Despite the growing pressure it’s under around the world, Huawei announced that its revenues for the first nine months of 2020 grew by 9.9% compared with the same period last year to CNY671.3 billion ($100.15 billion). It also claims an 8% net profit margin for the aggregated first three quarters of the year. 

TIM (Telecom Italia) is lining up investments of up to €4.5 billion on its fiber access network rollout, according to Bloomberg. The move that would involve FiberCop, the fixed access network unit that (if Italian and EU regulatory permission is forthcoming) plans to merge with Open Fiber to form a giant Italian wholesale fixed access network wholesale operator. (See TIM buys into national Italian broadband plan.)

NTTVC, an independent venture capital firm formed in partnership with giant Japanese telecoms company NTT, plans to ramp up its startup investment activity in the US, founding partner Vab Goel told Nikkei Asia. NTTVC just led a new investment round in private wireless networks technology specialist Celona. 

Having just announced the acquisition of the towers unit of Poland’s PlayCellnex is now reportedly close to a deal for the European towers assets of the Hutchison group, according to Bloomberg.  

Superconductivity, the property that allows the perfect flow of electrical current through materials without any resistance or loss of energy whilst magnetic flux fields are expelled from the materials, has been the holy grail of computing and telecoms science for generations. However most superconducting materials only work at temperatures just above absolute zero, which is zero on the Kelvin scale and equivalent to -273.15 C. That's tricky to maintain in the most advanced laboratories and, to our current knowledge, impossible in consumer devices. Hence the long search for superconductors that work at room temperature. Now the British scientific journal, Nature, has reported that a team of scientists at the University of Rochester in upper New York state in the US have discovered that carbonaceous sulphur hydride can exhibit superconducting properties at 15 C. There is a drawback though; it becomes superconductive only at a pressure of 267 billion pascals, which is about 1 million times higher than the tyre pressure of the most massive vehicle on the planet. It's also about the same as 75% of the pressure at the centre of the earth, so somewhat extreme. Interestingly though, the Nature article concludes that "the introduction of chemical tuning within our ternary system could enable the preservation of the properties of room-temperature superconductivity at lower pressures." The long-term dream is that room temperature superconductors will one day revolutionise electronics and make batteries unnecessary.​

- The staff, TelecomTV

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