- Deutsche Telekom explores quantum opportunities
- BT hit with massive compensation claim
- Huawei, and its suppliers, dealt parting shot by President Trump
An exploration of quantum computing/AI’s role in telecoms and a massive customer compensation class action suit are at the front of today’s news queue.
- Deutsche Telekom is to further explore the potential uses of quantum computing and quantum AI in the telecoms sector as part of its role in the German Federal Ministry-funded PlanQK (Platform and Ecosystem for Quantum-Assisted Artificial Intelligence) project in which 15 partners and 33 associate partners are involved. The operator’s Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) unit will contribute work on use cases such as “the optimization of communication networks, Industry 4.0 applications or AI-clustering problems for customer segments.” For further details, see this press release.
- BT has been hit with a class action claim for £589 million in compensation that is, allegedly, owed to some fixed line customers who were overcharged: The UK national operator says it will “defend itself vigorously” against the accusations. The claim alleges that BT overcharged fixed-line customers, particularly the elderly, and then failed to compensate them. UK regulator Ofcom raised concerns about BT’s fixed line charges in 2017, after which tariffs were lowered, but the class action suit claims BT should also compensate customers for years of overcharging prior to that price cut. In this statement issued over the weekend, BT said it takes its “responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.” For more on the claim, see this Reuters article.
- Huawei has taken a fresh upper cut from US President Donald Trump as his administration denied export licenses, some of which had already been previously approved, to chip companies planning to ship products to the Chinese equipment vendor, reports Reuters. Among the companies impacted, according to an email sent by the Semiconductor Industry Association that was seen by Reuters, is Intel. Trump is set to cede his White House seat to Joe Biden on Wednesday this week.
- But in better news for the Chinese vendor, it seems Brazil’s anti-Huawei stance has been eroded by political pressure and financial considerations and that Huawei will not, after all, be barred from supplying network equipment to the country’s network operators for their 5G rollouts, reports Reuters.
- The “clock phase” of the FCC’s Auction 107, which involves scores of companies battling for 280 MHz of “prime mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band—a portion of the C-band,” has concluded, with bidders stumping up a total of $80.92 billion for 5,684 blocks of spectrum. The FCC considers the outcome “a strong endorsement by the private sector of the service rules and transition plan put in place by the FCC to quickly make the C-band a critical part of 5G rollout in the United States.” Others will wonder how else the spectrum might have been allocated without having to prise so much money from the coffers of network operators that now need to find the capital to make use of the spectrum and meet the licensing terms. But Auction 107 is not yet over: The winners now have to “bid for frequency-specific licenses in the assignment phase of Auction 107.” The total bid shatters the FCC’s previous auction record, which stood at $44.9 billion. You can see the FCC statement on the auction here.
- Italian systems integrator Reply has signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement (SCA) with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop industry solutions for Financial Services, Manufacturing, Automotive, Retail, Energy, and Telco customers. See this announcement for further details.
- Telefónica Germany is planning to accelerate its Open RAN plans and add Nokia to the roster of vendors with which it will conduct tests in 2021, according to a Reuters report that cites the operator’s Director of Access & Transport networks, Matthias Sauder. Late last year, the German operator outlined its Open RAN plans, which centre around a systems integration relationship with NEC. (See Telefónica Germany begins Open RAN deployment, teams with NEC.)
- Cisco and Inphi have teamed up to “drive an open ecosystem” around the development of co-packaged optics, a way of integrating optical and switching silicon in the same package. Both companies have published blogs about the partnership, which aims to deliver the type of products that will soon be needed to efficiently manage data centre traffic: The Inphi blog is here, while the Cisco blog can be found here.
- There’s hope yet for the uptake of Rich Communication Services (RCS), the mobile operator-backed multimedia messaging platform that has struggled for traction, a forecast by Juniper Research suggests. The number of RCS messaging users globally will increase from 1.2 billion in 2020 to 3.9 billion by 2025, with 40% of mobile users globally connected to networks that support RCS by that year, compared with just 15% last year. One key to the potential success of RCS could be the security and validation capabilities of the platform.
- UK ISP Call Flow Solutions has decided to go all in on FTTP and, as part of that move, change its name to Trooli, the brand name it has been using for the full-fibre operations it launched in 2018 and which has been funded by €30 million in backing from the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund in 2019 and a £5 million bank loan in January 2020. The company aims to have its network available to 150,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2021, rising to 500,000 by December 2023 and 1 million in 2024. For the full background on the company and its progress, check out this article from the ever-reliable ISP Review.
- Samsung has launched a new range of 5G smartphones that is getting a lot of people excited. See this press release about the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ and this announcement about the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which apparently can “push the boundaries of what a smartphone can do.”
- The staff, TelecomTV
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