What’s up with... UK telecoms start-ups, HMD Global, Sunrise/Liberty Global, GSA

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Aug 12, 2020

via Flickr © osde8info (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Flickr © osde8info (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • UK startups take coronavirus hit
  • HMD Global raises funds
  • Liberty Global bids for Switzerland’s Sunrise
  • GSA counts 5G devices

Fledgling British telecoms start-ups are failing to fly as we report in this mixed bag of dispatches from the front

UK telecoms start-ups suffer coronavirus fall-out.  The latest Red Flag Alert data analysis from RealBusinessRescue.co.uk shows that the coronavirus pandemic is causing significant distress in the UK's telecoms and IT sector. The report indicates that in an already stressed part of the economy an additional 21 per cent of telecoms and IT start-ups (defined as having started in business in 2017 or later) fell into deep financial problems over the course of the second quarter of 2020. Some 34,000 SMEs, employing 103,00 people, are in real trouble, it claims. This news arrives as the UK government officially confirms that its furlow scheme is set to run out over the next couple of months.

HMD Global, the Finnish phone company that took on the Nokia brand, has raised $230m funding from its strategic partners including Google, Qualcomm and, of course,  Nokia. The funds will enable it to expand into the 5G handsets market with a focus on “consumer accessibility” -  ie budget phones.  

Liberty Global has just made a surprise £5.7 billion bid for Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications. According to Reuters the move effectively reverses Sunrise’s failed bid to buy Liberty’s Swiss business last year  and marks a strategic reversal by the U.S. company which had been divesting European assets.

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has announced that the number of 5G devices out there has broken the 350 barrier (didn’t know there was one). Anyway, there are now 364 devices - an improvement, it claims, of  86% over the last four months and here are the stats..  Now to see if the public will enthusiastically buy them. 

Bricking it: It might be just a matter of time before all our new buildings are, literally, powerhouses, thanks to a new technology which takes advantage of the porosity of ordinary oven-fired house bricks by cramming the tiny empty spaces with nano-fibres of conductive plastic that can store an electrical charge. According to an article in the journal Nature Communications subsequent experiments will use metal oxides in place of the plastic fibres enabling bricks to store a ten-times greater electrical charge and, in due course, make them a commercial product.

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