What’s up with… Iliad, CityFibre, China Mobile and Nokia
- Iliad has outlined its carbon-neutral strategy
- CityFibre attracts more ISP customers
- China Mobile trials AI-enabled RAN and near-real time RIC with Nokia
The latest environmentally-friendly network operator strategy and additional wholesale broadband customers for CityFibre stand at the front of today’s news queue.
- French operator Iliad, known to many by its brand Free, has made 10 pledges to help it become carbon neutral at a Group level (France and Italy) by 2035. Its Climate Strategy includes three milestones, including one this year (100% of its electricity supplies to come from renewable sources), and a commitment to invest €1 billion during the next 15 years to hit the 2035 goal. To find out more about the pledges and milestones, check out this Iliad statement.
- CityFibre has added purebroadband as an ISP customer for its wholesale fibre broadband access services. purebroadband plans to offer Gigabit fixed broadband services in nine towns and cities in the north of England. Earlier this week, CityFibre, which offers an alternative to the services provided by BT’s quasi-autonomous Openreach unit, announced that ISP Quickline would also be using its network to offer services in four towns and cities in the north of England: It also announced the start of its £58 million fibre network rollout in Reading.
- China Mobile has completed live trials of a radio access network system with Nokia that included the use of AI tools for bandwidth management and error detection and a near-real time RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller). See this press release for more details.
- It’s unclear yet how far the administration under new US President Joe Biden will go in following or reversing Donald Trump’s anti-China policies. Some of the companies that would love to know include China's three big telcos – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – which have petitioned the New York Stock Exchange, asking it to ’relist’ them now that Trump is no longer in power. (The opereators were delisted recently in a somewhat embarrassing flip-flop set of decisions...) According to Nikkai Asia, the timing of their letters and their near identical contents suggests the “requests were made in concert.” The move closely followed the publication of a sanction list against US officials issued by the Chinese earlier today (Thursday, Jan 21st) naming 28 individuals, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who, it claimed, had "severely infringed on Chinese sovereignty."
- The UK’s telecoms operators have spent £940 million so far on blunting the impact of COVID-19 on connectivity for the vulnerable, according to UK analyst house Assembly. Many offered additional allowances of texts, calls and data, free access to healthcare information, and, more recently, zero-rated access to education resources and even devices to help with online learning. Assembly points out that similar initiatives have been launched around the world and it’s tracking those too.
- In a related matter, Vodafone UK has been in the spotlight this week after saying it couldn’t (technically) offer free access to the BBC Bitesize web resource that is used as a resource for remote schooling, whereas EE (BT’s mobile operation) had announced such a move, the BBC reported.
- But Vodafone is, like the other operators, doing its bit where it can. As part of an ongoing nationwide community effort to equip more schools with computers, so that disadvantaged families can participate fully in remote learning during the pandemic-indiced lockdown, supermarket chain Asda is donating 7,000 Dell laptopsequipped with Vodafone SIM cards. Each laptop will have a mobile data dongle, with Vodafone UK donating a 20 Gbytes data allowance for each device.
- Galileo, Figaro, magnifico... French newspaper Le Figaro reports that the European Commission has distributed contracts to the value of €1.47 billion (£1.31 billion; US$1.97 billion) to several companies to construct the next generation of generation of satellites for the EU's Galileo global navigation system that was built as an alternative to the US provided Global positioning System (GPS). Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, Europe's biggest satellite and space sector manufacturers, will get the lion's share of the deal with contacts for each company to build six of the new constellation. As of 31 December, 2020, there were 24 operational Galileo satellites in orbit while a further two are listed as "unavailable" and two more as "retired" - presumably "hurt" (... small cricketing joke there). "Galileo, The Next Generation" satellites will feature "digitally configurable antennas" and new atomic clocks that will be able to compensate for the tiny but measurable slowdown in the speed of the earth's rotation. An earth day today is about 1.7 milliseconds longer than it was a century ago which means it is increasingly necessary for the rate at which UTC (Universal Time Co-ordinated) has to be adjusted by periodic leap seconds. Additionally, the propulsion systems on the new satellites will be electric rather than chemical. Airbus of Germany and TAS of Italy have also been awarded contracts but no details will be revealed until they have been signed-off. Meanwhile, although the UK contributed cash and expertise to the Galileo project prior to Brexit, it is now classified as a "third country" and excluded from participation in the system. Not to worry though, having taken back control, the country's awash with empty cocoa tins and billions of bales of garden twine, so, in an emergency, the government will be able quickly to deploy a new world-beating. ready-basted, oven-ready "John Bull" fixed line (yet eminently mobile) communications system at the drop of a hat… or within a decade or so anyway.
- What role will mmWave services play in the 5G market? That’s the question the team at GSMA Intelligence tackled in a new report called The Economics of mmWave 5G, which includes a look at the potential TCO (total cost of ownership) of mmWave deployments in different scenarios (dense urban areas, for fixed wireless access and for indoor deployments). The report can be found here.
- Radisys, the telecom software developer now owned by Indian operator Reliance Jio, has selected Keysight Technologies to provide the test and verification systems for Open RAN interoperability tests. Radisys selected Keysight's user equipment emulation (UEE) solution platform(UeSIM), radio unit simulator (RUSim), Open RAN Studio software and Keysight's PROPSIM channel emulators to validate the performance of distributed units (DUs) and central units (CUs) under real-world scenarios across the full protocol stack. Read more.
- It's bad news for gamer aficionados. At the ripe old age of 25, Thomas 'ZooMaa' Paparatto is "stepping back" from his role as a professional "Call of Duty" gamer in the New York Subliners team. He used to be part of the FaZe Clan based in Los Angeles and his digits have done some heavy-duty dancing over the years and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the cause of ZooMaa's permanent log off. His thumbs are knackered, his wrists too, and serious surgery was necessary. He has issued a statement to his 360,000 Twitter followers fans saying, "It breaks my heart to step away from a game I put my heart and soul into every single day for eight years" as he did battle with "the best players in the world". He added that he is "grateful to have had a long playing career". It just goes to show that everything's relative. The New York Subliners is a professional Call of Duty League (CDL) esports team based in New York City. The team is owned by esports organisation Andbox, which, in turn is owned by Sterling Equities, a subsidiary of venture capital company Sterling. Obviously, then, there's money to be made. Esports (professional gaming) has long been popular but has really come to the fore under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions worldwide and the pros spend at least ten hours a day practicing their skills and craft. Even academics are pitching their two penno'rths into the debate. Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the University of Oxford's Internet Institute, commented, "We're at a really exciting point with games in our societies now. They're no longer seen as a pursuit of social outcasts, they're now part of the mainstream". He said it, not us.
- EE, BT’s mobile division, has taken the overall performance gold medal in RootMetrics’ latest UK national results for the 15th consecutive time. EE was named number one for overall performance, reliability, speed, data, call and text, and joint first for accessibility in the tests undertaken by RootMetrics during the second half of last year. Read more.
- Qualcomm has a double-header of announcements worth noting: The wireless chip giant has boosted the performance of its Snapdragon 5G mobile platform with enhanced capabilities that support applications such as gaming; and it has collaborated with Australian operator Telstra and network equipment vendor Ericsson to reach a new downlink 5G speed record of 5 Gbit/s for a single user. Read more.
- The staff, TelecomTV
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