What’s up with... Vodafone & Mavenir, Nokia, Telecom Italia

© Flickr/cc-licence/Ervins Strauhmanis

© Flickr/cc-licence/Ervins Strauhmanis

  • Vodafone switches on  rural  UK Open RAN site
  • Nokia establishes Centre of Excellence in India
  • Telecom Italia will sell a minority stake in its last-mile network come what may

Diverse big company moves today as the US goes for China's jugular while Burberry does a deal with Tencent

Vodafone switches on rural UK Open RAN site, claiming it’s the first UK operator to do so. It maintains that the OpenRAN technology is designed to pave the way for faster rollout of remote rural mobile coverage using alternative technology partners able to provide readily-available, low-cost hardware at rural sites. It’s understood that the Open RAN model is most likely to perform well under relatively light rural loads at its current point of development. Mavenir is supporting Vodafone with the deployment at the Royal Welsh Showground. Full story tomorrow.

Nokia has announced a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to establish the Nokia Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Networked Robotics. The CoE will promote inter-disciplinary research around robotics, advanced communications, and AI with the aim of developing socially relevant use cases. These might include using drones for remote management of agricultural orchards to promote water conservation and avoid human contact with pesticide; Drones using a 5G-enabled wide-area network to gather info for  first responders during disaster relief. Nokia says it will support and align with the Government initiatives of ‘Start-up India’.

Telecom Italia (TIM) intends to sell a minority stake in its last-mile network even if its attempts to merge with smaller broadband rival, Open Fiber, to create a single broadband network in Italy fails, it’s been revealed. Reuters says Open Fiber, jointly controlled by state utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), is a wholesale-only broadband unit. CDP also owns 10% of TIM.

Claro Brasil has deployed the first 5G network in Latin America using Ericsson’s dynamic spectrum sharing technology. The resulting 5G services are initially being rolled out across 12 areas in Brazil in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

Even as the Trump administration draws a sniper's bead on Chinese social network platforms and aims to "cleanse" them completely from US networks, the renowned UK fashion brand, Burberry, long a firm favourite with upmarket Chinese consumers, has announced a deal with China's Tencent that will use the WeChat messaging to provide access to a "social retail store where the physical world meets the social media world." It has been launched in Shenzhen, China.  Here's the best PR bit; "Each customer will also get an animal character to represent them." So a bit like going out to a shop dressed in a pantomime horse costume then? How could anyone resist?

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