What’s up with… KT, BAI, Lumen

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Jul 15, 2021

  • KT shifts to 5G SA
  • BAI strikes street furniture partnership
  • Lumen linked to asset sale

A bold, early switch to a 5G standalone architecture by KT, a partnership that sheds light on the connectivity potential of street infrastructure and the potential sale of assets at a major US operator take the top spots in today’s news nugget line-up. 

South Korean operator KT Corp. has pushed ahead with its migration to a 5G Standalone architecture, which will enable it to offer a greater range of services (particularly those that require low latency) to its customers and should deliver operational efficiencies, as well as drain less power from device batteries. KT is in a cut-throat 5G services battle with market leader SK Telecom and LG Uplus in what is one of the most advanced mobile services markets in the world. For more, see this Korea Herald report.

Neutral host BAI Communications has struck a ‘street furniture’ deal with Dutch lighting specialist Signify to “develop and deploy innovative solutions for converting outdoor lighting infrastructure as a wireless communications platform.” The pair will “combine BAI’s portfolio of neutral hosting facilities and capabilities with Signify’s innovative portfolio in connected lighting.” The partnership will concentrate on BAI’s operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, “ahead of exploring further opportunities across Europe.” Read more

Lumen Technologies, the US operator formerly known as CenturyLink, is reportedly in talks to sell its consumer business in certain states for about $5 billion, with Apollo Global Management identified as a suitor. This would fit in with the company’s strategy, articulated in early May when CEO Jeff Storey noted during the operator’s first quarter earnings call that “we are actively looking at selling non-core assets to unlock value in our business.” Lumen is very much focused on enterprise customers these days and has recently announced a relationship with Microsoft Azure and an expansion of its partnership with T-Mobile US to advance its enterprise services strategy. 

Qualcomm and Nokia have commissioned Plum Consulting to issue a ‘Giddy Up’ to Europe’s governments and regulators over the assignment of 26GHz spectrum for 5G. The resulting report calls for the mmWave spectrum to be released as a “priority” and uses GSMA estimates of GDP improvement as a spur. It says 5G is expected to yield $2.2 trillion in GDP between 2020-2034 with mmWave applications making up an increasing proportion of the overall 5G contribution to global GDP. The report also recommends a package of tax breaks for both telcos and private network developers. The Plum Consulting report can be downloaded here

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has ordered the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) to investigate Facebook over the legality of data sharing related to its WhatsApp policy update, reports TechCrunch.

Industry lobby group ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association) has praised the European Commission ‘Fit for 55’ package, which “aims at promoting socioeconomic transformation through a smarter and greener economy and society,” noting that telcos “ will be pivotal to the achievement of the EU climate goals, both by continuing to significantly reduce their own impact and by empowering Europe’s traditional industries to become environmentally sustainable.” Read more.

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