What’s up with… Vodafone, Openet, Nokia

  • Vodafone pitches 5G as key to UK productivity gains
  • Openet underpins Lebara’s DSP credentials
  • Nokia lands exclusive 5G deal

Vodafone’s efforts to position 5G at the heart of the UK’s economic productivity prospects and Openet’s embrace of cloud native functionality are atop this news pile. 

  • Vodafone doesn’t want anyone in the UK left in any doubt as to the value it believes 5G will bring to the economy, which given the double whammy of Covid-19 and Brexit is going to need all the help it can get. In a new report introduced by Nick Jeffery, CEO at Vodafone UK, the operator states that the rollout and adoption of 5G will be vital to productivity gains in the UK in the coming decade and notes: “Our research… highlights just how big these gains could be were businesses to move from 4G to 5G. In the five years to 2025, cumulative benefits to UK output stand at more than £38 billion, and for the five years to 2030, they stand at more than £120 billion. Over 10 years, this means a productivity-based boost to UK output worth more than £150 billion.” Now, there’s something for Jeffery to hang his hat on!
  • Ireland-based digital BSS software vendor Openet is to provide an AWS-based cloud native charging solution that will support the operations of Lebara, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), in five countries (UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, France and Germany). Lebara says the move comes as it "bolsters its ambitions to become a cloud-based mobile service provider." Openet’s ‘Evolved Charging Suite’ is built from microservices – the fruit, Openet claims, of a major investment in a full redesign of its software.
  • None of yer fancy 5G disaggregated openness for Taiwan Mobile. It’s gone for the safety and contractual simplicity of a single vendor and a comprehensive support deal from Nokia. The €400 million contract will see Taiwan Mobile build out with the Finnish vendor’s AirScale Radio Access products including its Micro Remote Radio Head (RRH) solution to densify its coverage where required indoors and outdoors. The deal includes 5G Core and 5G IMS. Nokia will also provide digital design and deployment, optimisation and technical support; along with security and a full battery of applications on top of Nokia’s Cloudband infrastructure. Given the level of vendor competition at this stage of the 5G game, it's reasonable to assume that contract value represents a good deal for Taiwan’s second largest operator (behind Chunghwa Telecom). Nokia has previously provided the operator with the infrastructure for its 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks. The telco won 60MHz in the 3.5GHz band and 200MHz in the 28GHz band in the country’s spectrum auction in January.
  • Ericsson has landed an exclusive mobile core network deal with Liberty Latin America: The vendor will supply “virtualized and cloud-based mobile core network solutions” to support the operator’s businesses in Puerto Rico, Panama, and the Caribbean islands. 
  • Still with Ericsson, it has joined the Association of the European Rail Supply Industry (UNIFE) to “show how 5G and mission-critical networks can enable the rail industry to meet the challenge of rail digitalization.”
  • The Netherlands has started its first 5G spectrum auction, with the country's three main mobile operators (KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone) participating, reports Reuters.
  • The Paris underground train network is now fully covered by 4G connectivity thanks to the efforts of the country’s four leading mobile operators -- Orange, Bouygues Telecom, Free (Iliad) and SFR – during the Covid-19 lockdown. The network comprises 300km of cables, 3,000 antennas and 280 technical rooms have been set up at 321 sites to cover 304 subway stations. For more details, see this Orange press release (in French).

- The staff, TelecomTV

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