What’s up with… Verizon Business & Nokia, Airtel Africa, MATRIXX Software

  • Verizon Business and Nokia land major private 5G deal
  • Airtel Africa sells another stake in its mobile money unit
  • MATRIXX Software goes sub-zero... and underpins another DSP

A significant 5G private network deal, further investments in Africa’s mobile money sector and some noteworthy announcements from a digital platform stalwart lead the way in today’s news procession. 

Verizon Business, with partner Nokia, has landed a deal to deploy a private 5G network at one of the UK’s busiest ports. The Port of Southampton (pictured above), part of the Associated British Ports (ABP) empire, will be the first UK mainland port with a private 5G network, and Verizon’s first European Private 5G deal since it teamed up with Nokia to offer private 5G capabilities to enterprises in Europe and Asia-Pacific in October 2020. The network will provide ABP with a private wireless data network across selected areas within the East and West Docks of the Port and will enable data communications to be consolidated onto a single network, reducing the previous complexity, claims the operator. “Verizon’s private 5G is the foundation for a completely dedicated edge compute infrastructure, enabling ultra-low latency at the premise, higher levels of security and deeper customization for our partners,” stated Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin. The deal is another feather in Nokia’s private networks cap, but surely some questions will be asked at BT headquarters about why this deal wasn’t snapped up by the UK national operator… For more on the deal, see this press release

Airtel Africa says Mastercard is investing $100 million in its mobile money subsidiary Airtel Mobile Commerce BV and that, alongside the investment, two companies have “extended commercial agreements and signed a new commercial framework which will deepen their partnerships across numerous geographies and areas including card issuance, payment gateway, payment processing, merchant acceptance and remittance solutions, amongst others.” The move comes only weeks after The Rise Fund took a $200 million stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV: Airtel Africa says this is related to its “pursuit of strategic asset monetization and investment opportunities,” which implies it’s a bit strapped for cash.  

A special mention for MATRIXX Software, which made our day with the launch of its 7G Charging Platform, capable of sub-zero latency. We recommend you read the full announcement

MATRIXX, of course, continues to be a key partner to telcos as they make the transition to becoming digital service providers (DSPs), and it has once again teamed up with part of the Orange empire. On this occasion it has supplied its Digital Commerce system to YOXO, the recently-launched all-digital brand of Orange RomaniaRead more.  

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, has committed to invest $100 billion in expanding its capacity during the next three years, reports the BBC. The news follows recent reports from multiple sectors of chip shortages and only days after Intel announced plans to invest $20 billion in two new fabs in Arizona

KPN has filed a patent infringement suit against Ericsson, which is one of its 5G tech suppliers, reports Reuters.

TIM (Telecom Italia) and its partners have completed the formation of FiberCop, the standalone company running the Italian operator’s fixed access network assets in which TIM holds a 58% stake: Its equity partners are investment firm KKR (37.5% stake) and Fastweb (4.5% stake). FiberCop, which aims to reach 76% of Italian properties in remote areas with fibre connections, says it’s open to co-investment opportunities. For further details, see this announcement. Ultimately, the aim is to combine FiberCop with wholesale broadband operator Open Fiber to form a new entity called AccessCo, but there appear to be multiple hurdles getting in the way of that particular combination. 

Virtual radio access network (vRAN) specialist JMA Wireless has named Joe Constantine as its Chief Technology and Strategy Officer: He was most recently CTO, North America, at Ericsson. “The wireless technology landscape is changing, and JMA is emerging as a leader in the field,” Constantine said. “Its unique software-based technology has already made JMA a force in the private wireless revolution, and the sky’s the limit for its continued growth, not just in the U.S. but around the world.” JMA, best known for its 5G-ready XRAN platform, is one of a number of companies challenging the traditional radio access network players with open, software-oriented products and playing a role in increasingly influential organizations such as the O-RAN Alliance, Open RAN Policy Coalition and Telecom Infra Project (TIP). For more on Constantine’s appointment, see this announcement

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has been showered with praise by industry associations for its decision to designate the entire 6 GHz band as unlicensed spectrum. The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) noted in this announcement that the move “paves the way for Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7,” and that it is “difficult to overstate the importance of the Kingdom’s decision for digitizing its economy and enabling next-generation services.” The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s President, Martha Suarez, noted in this announcement that the decision “will foster innovation and provide last-generation connectivity and digital empowerment in the Kingdom.”

Telesur, the leading operator in the small Latin American country of Suriname, has awarded a 10-year contract to Cerillion for a fully converged BSS/OSS platform. Cerillion is implementing the Enterprise Product Catalogue, Convergent Charging System, CRM Plus, Revenue Manager, Service Manager, Self Service and Business Insights modules from its pre-integrated BSS/OSS suite, and managing the migration from Telesur’s legacy pre-paid and post-paid systems. Read more.

Retail giant Walmart has joined LF Networking as a Platinum member. “We are thrilled to welcome Walmart to the LF Networking community,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, at the Linux Foundation. “As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart brings expertise across a broad swath of areas, including retail point of sale networking, enterprise IT, and hybrid cloud deployments.  We look forward to collaborative efforts that accelerate the open source networking community.” Read more.

UK network operator SSE Enterprise Telecoms has reverted to its original name of Neos Networks. “Alongside the new logo, representing the continuous connection between Neos Networks and its customers, the rebrand embodies the company’s vision to continue developing a new network, purpose built for the specific high capacity, high resilience needs of UK businesses,” noted the company in this press release

- The staff, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.