What’s up with… Deutsche Telekom towers, Ericsson, NTT Docomo
- Another bidder emerges for Deutsche Telekom’s towers
- Ericsson is at the heart of some 5G slicing action
- NTT Docomo looks set to create an enterprise metaverse R&D unit
In today’s industry news roundup: Another €20 billion bidder for Deutsche Telekom’s towers unit has been identified; Ericsson gets a slice of some innovative 5G action; NTT Docomo lines up an enterprise metaverse R&D unit; and much more!
Deutsche Telekom has reportedly received another €20 billion (US$21 billion) offer for its telecom towers business, this time from a consortium of three private equity firms – KKR, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Stonepeak Partners – according to Bloomberg. Cellnex has previously confirmed it is bidding for DT’s towers business, with reports suggesting it has teamed up with Brookfield Asset Management to make an offer. And others are interested too, with Bloomberg reporting that Vodafone-owned Vantage Towers could emerge as a bidder, either on its own or with a partner, as could DigitalBridge. Maybe it would be easier to list who's not interested!
Ericsson has been less in the limelight recently due to the ongoing issues related to its historic Iraq operations, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as busy as ever. The Swedish vendor has been involved in some intriguing 5G network slicing trials with Qualcomm and device developer Oppo – see this announcement. Slicing is also one of the services that Ericsson is enabling for Bouygues Telecom now that it is providing the French operator with its 5G standalone core platform as well as its 5G radio access network gear. For more on the Bouygues deal, see this announcement.
Japanese operator NTT Docomo is to set up an industrial metaverse development company with about 150 engineers later this year to develop next-generation applications and digital platforms for business users, the company’s CEO Motoyuki Ii told the Nikkei Asia newspaper. It already has consumer metaverse efforts underway dubbed XR World. Key to the operator’s enterprise metaverse developments will be the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) next-generation network developments, which have already been underway at parent company NTT for several years and are underpinning the NTT Group’s 6G efforts.
Enterprise technology customers are dissatisfied with the current service-level agreements (SLAs) they get from their telecoms service providers, according to research company GlobalData. Current SLAs are “rooted in old-fashioned telco thinking and do not match the increasingly dynamic needs of enterprises,” the company has discovered. However, every cloud has a silver lining. GlobalData noted that there is opportunity in making SLAs relevant by using artificial intelligence (AI) and linking the agreements “more closely to business outcomes”. New technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation can bring a positive change, explained Gary Barton, research director at GlobalData. He gave the example of Orange Business Services’ Service Manage-Watch, which includes SLAs for AI-generated trouble tickets: “The ultimate ambition is for AI to enable ‘self-healing’ networks that deliver the level of service performance consistency that enterprises crave”, he noted.
The European Union’s strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation has received official support from 34 signatories, including Meta (Facebook), Google, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft. It has also garnered support from “a variety of other players like smaller or specialised platforms, the online ad industry, ad-tech companies, fact-checkers, civil society or [those] that offer specific expertise and solutions to fight disinformation,” the European Commission announced in this statement. Věra Jourová, vice president for values and transparency at the commission, stated: “This new anti-disinformation Code comes at a time when Russia is weaponising disinformation as part of its military aggression against Ukraine, but also when we see attacks on democracy more broadly. We now have very significant commitments to reduce the impact of disinformation online and much more robust tools to measure how these are implemented across the EU in all countries and in all its languages. Users will also have better tools to flag disinformation and understand what they are seeing. The new Code will also reduce financial incentives for disseminating disinformation and allow researchers to access to platforms' data more easily.” Great. Now all that is required is for all parties to actually do something, rather than sign up, then selectively ignore their responsibilities as and when it suits them.
The global market for second-hand and refurbished smartphones was worth $13.3bn in 2021, according to latest research from CCS Insight. Some 107 million units (including informal peer-to-peer sales and those made through organised resellers) were sold in the past 12 months, up 28% year on year. This smartphone circular economy growth is expected to accelerate in 2022 due to efforts by large companies to buy, refurbish, recycle and resell the devices. Simon Bryant, vice president of channel and supply chain research at CCS Insight, noted a tendency in the US to lease phones, a practice that has created a surplus of traded-in smartphones. Such activity is also on the rise in the UK, the Netherlands, France and India. Currently, some 80% of refurbished and resold phones are Apple iPhone models. A notable takeaway from CCS Insight’s research is that companies are more driven than consumers by sustainability. “Consumers do not yet appreciate how their smartphone choice has a material impact on the planet, but larger companies in the supply chain have a sense of the “smartphone problem” – the sheer volume of devices manufactured, distributed and discarded annually,” notes the analyst. Find out more.
- The staff, TelecomTV
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