Telecom News

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #4

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British officials recommend role for China’s Huawei in 5G network

UK officials have proposed allowing Chinese tech giant Huawei to play a limited role in the UK’s future 5G network, resisting calls from the US for a complete ban over fears of Chinese spying. Huawei will be kept out of the sensitive, data-heavy “core” parts of 5G infrastructure, but will be allowed to deploy its equipment in other parts of the network, according to sources speaking to Reuters. This recommendation comes ahead of a meeting of Britain’s National Security Council next week to decide how to deploy Huawei equipment. In addition, this proposal would satisfy Britain’s two largest telecoms operators, BT and Vodafone, which already use Huawei equipment and are against a total ban.

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CityFibre buys FibreNation from debt-laden TalkTalk for £200 million

Britain’s TalkTalk Telecom Group has agreed to sell its FibreNation full-fibre network business to UK wholesale infrastructure provider CityFibre for GBP 200 million. Under the agreement, TalkTalk will become a wholesale customer across both consumer and business markets. CityFibre, which is owned by Antin Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs’ West Street Infrastructure Partners, has upped its target to 8 million FTTH homes-passed by 2025, up from 5 million. CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said that this deal “establishes CityFibre as the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform allowing millions more consumers and businesses to benefit from access to faster, more reliable services.”

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Ericsson plots France 5G R&D site

Ericsson has announced plans to set up a new research and development (R&D) site in France with up to 300 employees in a bid to enhance 5G business in Europe. The Sweden-based telecom equipment company said that the initial focus will be on 5G software development and security, benefitting the global 5G ecosystem and leveraging on the company’s collaboration with French customers. An initial unit will be established at Ericsson’s offices in Massy, France, part of Paris-Saclay, one of Europe’s largest innovation zones. At the moment, the company has 18 R&D centers in Europe, including Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

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Google Cloud gets a Secret Manager

Google Cloud has introduced Secret Manager, a new service that provides a secure and convenient method for storing API keys, passwords, certificates, and other sensitive data. Secret Manager includes features such as global names and replication, first-class versioning, principles of least privilege, audit logging, strong encryption guarantees, VPC Service Controls. According to the announcement, Google’s new tool provides a central place and a single source of truth to manage, access, and audit secrets across Google Cloud. The Secret Manager beta is already available to all Google Cloud customers.

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SK Telecom plans world’s first 5G SA service in first half

South Korea’s largest cellphone service provider SK Telecom plans to roll out what it calls “the world’s first 5G SA service” in the first half of this year. According to the company, the standalone 5G data call took place on January 16th in Busan, Korea’s second-largest city, using SK Telecom’s commercial 5G network deployed in that region. SK Telecom’s engineers have also completed multi-vendor interoperability between the network equipment of Ericsson and Samsung. Moreover, the company has applied key 5G technologies such as network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC) to its standalone 5G network.

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