What’s up with… Türk Telekom, Xiaomi, Charter Communications

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Feb 1, 2021

  • Türk Telekom disaggregates its fixed access network
  • Xiaomi hits back at ‘factually incorrect’ US ruling 
  • Charter Communications unveils $5 billion broadband initiative 

The latest significant disaggregated fixed broadband network development and a legal counter-punch from a Chinese smartphone firm are the pick of today’s news bunch.

  • Türk Telekom has deployed disaggregated fixed broadband access technology based on the SDN-Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) reference architecture developed by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in two provinces in Turkey, the operator announced. Türk Telekom’s Argela R&D operation, including its US-based unit Netsia, has been at the heart of its SEBA development, which Türk Telekom says will enable it to reduce its dependency on technology from overseas and “accelerate domestic production,” a sentiment that is becoming increasingly common in the telecoms sector. The SEBA reference architecture is also at the heart of Deutsche Telekom’s Access 4.0 platform, which has just been incorporated into the German operator’s domestic network (albeit in a small way to start). That the two operators are making significant progress with SEBA at roughly the same time is not a coincidence, as they have been heavily involved in the ONF’s Engineering Cluster based in Berlin during the past nine months or so, where SEBA has been a key focus of development. For more on Türk Telekom’s efforts, see this announcement
  • Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi is taking legal action against the US Department of Defense and the Treasury Department in an effort to get itself removed from a NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act] blacklist. In one of the final acts of the Trump administration, Xiaomi was last month added to the list of companies branded as a “Communist Chinese military company,” a move that means US investors have to divest their holdings by November this year. In its legal documents, the company says its addition to the list is “factually incorrect and has deprived the Company of legal due process… the Company has pleaded to the courts to declare the Decision illegal and that it be reversed.”    
  • In the US, major cable operator Charter Communications has unveiled a $5 billion fixed broadband network investment initiative to take high-speed fixed broadband network services to more than 1 million “unserved customer locations.” The investment includes $1.2 billion in funding from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The operator expects to hire more than 2,000 staff and contractors to support the initiative. For further details, see this announcement.
  • Ahead of the launch of its FiberCop wholesale fixed access network venture, TIM (Telecom Italia) has issued a co-investment offer to companies that want to jointly invest in fibre access infrastructure in 1,610 municipalities across Italy. See this TIM announcement for further details.  
  • Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) has appointed William Webb as its new CTO. Webb’s 30-year career (so far) has included stints at Ofcom and Motorola. At CBNG he’s going to lead its big push on next generation Fixed Wireless Broadband using millimetre wave spectrum for point-to-multipoint applications with its VectaStar product line for carriers.
  • International wholesale carrier HGC Global Communications has reported a "major telecoms outage" in Myanmar that impacted all domestic and international services. The report came as the Myanmar military staged a coup and arrested the country's elected leaders, reports the BBC.  
  • UK communications regulator Ofcom appears set to welcome Paul Dacre as its new chairman, an appointment that would prove controversial, according to this Guardian report.
  • Huawei is set to create 110 new jobs in Ireland by the end of 2022 and invest €80 million in R&D in the Republic during the next two years, the Chinese vendor announced today
  • According to comparison website Compare Fibre, 57.4% of lower-income UK households have not taken up any lockdown broadband assistance offers, including the government’s own “Get help with Tech’ scheme. It reckons that 7.1 million people are missing out on such broadband offers. Part of the problem might be traced to the plethora of schemes on offer for both fixed and mobile services, all with different terms, conditions and obligations - something which does little to disguise the commercial ulterior motives of the donor telcos. Nobody doubts their willingness to help during a time of crisis, but equally we know they are also hoping to garner extra regular customers when the lockdowns, and school closures, end. Compare Fibre Co-Founder Nathan Hill-Haimes maintains that Internet connections become even more important to education when disadvantaged children need to catch up. “That's why we're calling for a long-term solution in the form of means-tested (free or subsidised) broadband," he says.
  • Qualcomm has announced plans to open a new R&D centre in France to “work on the future evolution of 5G and beyond.” The centre will have two locations – one in Lannion, Britanny, and the other in Issy-Les-Moulineaux on the outskirts of Paris. The wireless chip giant already has two facilities in France, based in Paris and Sophia Antipolis. There’s no word yet on the number of jobs that will be created, but the development should provide some respite for telecoms professionals based in Lannion, one of the locations hit by recent Nokia job cuts. For more on the Qualcomm R&D centre, see this press release
  • South Korea ended 2020 with 11.85 million 5G subscribers, an increase of 8.4% compared with the end of November, reports The Korea Herald, citing government statistics. However, the number falls short of the 15 million target the country had hoped for by the end of last year. 
  • Bharti Airtel is claiming to be the first operator in India to have successfully demonstrated 5G services over its commercial network. Read more.
  • Neutral host giant Crown Castle has landed a deal to provide Verizon with 15,000 new small cells during the next four years to help with the expansion of the US operator’s 5G network. Read more. 
  • News of the Verizon deal came as Crown Castle reported a 4% increase in full year revenues to $5.32 billion and a 23% increase in net profit to just over $1 billion. The company is forecasting 2021 full year revenues of $5.56 billion. Read more.  

- The staff, TelecomTV

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