What’s up with... The FCC, Verizon, BT

  • FCC finally gets a permanent leader
  • BT builds some M&A barricades  
  • Verizon likes Amazon’s LEO plans

Some top seat resolution at the FCC and some defensive moves at BT lead the way in today’s news roundup. 

Jessica Rosenworcel, current FCC commissioner and acting chair at the FCC, is US President Joe Biden’s choice as permanent FCC chair, the White House announced on Tuesday. Rosenworcel is a Democrat, a broadband access advocate for low income households and a staunch net neutrality supporter. She is the first woman to be named to the position in the agency’s almost 100-year history. “I am deeply humbled to be designated as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden.  It is an honor to work with my colleagues on the Commission and the agency’s talented staff to ensure that no matter who you are or where you live, everyone has the connections they need to live, work, and learn in the digital age,” said Rosenworcel. In addition, Biden has nominated another net neutrality advocate and telecoms progressive, Gigi Sohn, to the open chair on the Commission. Sohn was a top advisor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, and the move would give Rosenworcel a majority to push through her agenda, which has been stalled by the commission’s deadlock. Read more.

Still with the FCC… The Commission has voted to revoke the authorization for China Telecom's US subsidiary to operate in the United States, citing national security concerns. Read more.

BT appears to be preparing to defend itself against an unwelcome takeover bid with the appointment of advisory firm Robey Warshawreports Sky News. The move has been seen as a move by the UK operator to repel any planned takeover bid by Patrick Drahi’s Altice, which took a 12.1% stake earlier this year: Before 2021 is out, Altice would, under stock market rules, be allowed to propose an acquisition if it so wished... (See Drahi’s Altice grabs 12.1% chunk of BT.)

Verizon has announced that it’s going to partner with Amazon to tap its planned Project Kuiper LEO satellite network to extend its connectivity services to the harder-to-reach parts of the US. Project Kuiper is the ambitious 3,236 satellite constellation announced about a year ago with an initial $10 billion investment: There’s no word yet from Amazon as to when the first satellites are to be launched. Read more

At Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles, KDDI, Deutsche Telekom, MobiledgeX, Sturfee and Mawari have jointly developed a mobile application proof of concept (PoC) to demonstrate an augmented reality (AR) application. It runs on MobiledgeX across edge networks jointly provided by KDDI and Deutsche Telekom. A video demonstrating the PoC is available at https://youtu.be/NoaqlsZoW2o.

Femtocells are back for 5G. Nokia and TPG Telecom say they’ve deployed the Asia Pacific region’s first 5G femtocell in a live network using Nokia’s modular 4G/5G Smart Node. The solution allows operators to provide their customers with superior indoor 5G coverage from a dedicated femtocell. Read more...

Integration service costs for private 5G networks will hit US $5.8 billion by 2026, predicts ABI Research. The surprising bit is that this number is greater than the total connectivity revenues for the category over the same period. The analyst firm expects that connectivity will only amount to $5 billion in 2026 because, it points out, deployments for energy generation (oil & gas, mining, and power plants), industrial manufacturing and logistics are the main drivers behind system integration revenue and these verticals are early adopters of private 5G networks and are therefore hit by a big bill for the high complexity and stringent performance requirements. Read more… 

VEON and Amdocs have signed a seven-year agreement to enable innovative digital services for VEON customers in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The agreement will lay the foundation for VEON’s Beeline mobile operators in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan who will launch digital services by deploying Amdocs’s microservices-based monetisation and commerce suites, using technology based on cloud-ready architecture. Read more... 

Qualcomm has introduced four new Snapdragon platforms: the 778G Plus 5G, 695 5G, 480 Plus 5G, and 680 4G. Qualcomm believes mid-range smartphones will be the main driver for accelerating 5G device adoption - especially in emerging regions,” said Deepu John, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. Read more...

- The staff, TelecomTV

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