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A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #16

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Verizon buys Zoom rival BlueJeans for less than $500 million

Verizon Business has announced a deal to purchase enterprise-grade video conferencing platform BlueJeans, thereby expanding Verizon’s unified communications portfolio and improving its service for business customers. This acquisition shows that the company is also trying to capitalize on the current trend of remote employees making extensive use of online services such as Zoom, Slack and Microsoft during the pandemic. BlueJeans has more than 15,000 customers, including Facebook, IBM-owned Red Hat, ADP, Zillow and LinkedIn. The deal is worth USD 500 million and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.


Apple’s new iPhone SE is surprisingly powerful for $399

Apple is launching iPhone SE 2020, the second generation of its cheapest smartphone in the iPhone lineup, priced at just USD 399. The iPhone SE runs on Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip that enables great battery life, has 64 GB base storage (going up to 256 GB), and comes with black, white, and Product Red colour options. The new SE features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, an IP67 rating for water and dust-resistance, a classic Touch ID sensor, wireless charging, and a 12 MP (f/1.8) single-lens wide-angle rear camera lens. Apple labels this upgraded camera as “the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone.”


BT to deploy Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, dumping Huawei 

British telecoms giant BT has signed a contract with Ericsson for delivery of a dual-mode 5G Core (Evolved Packet Core and 5G Core), deployed on BT’s Network Cloud. According to the deal, Ericsson will deploy a cloud-native Mobile Packet Core for 4G, 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone services as a single and fully integrated core. This solution will play a key part in BT’s move to a single converged IP network. The Ericsson 5G Core will enable BT to create and deliver new services such as enhanced mobile broadband, mobile edge computing, network slicing, mission-critical vertical industry support, and advanced enterprise services.


Q&A: Apple and Google discuss their coronavirus tracing efforts

Apple and Google are working together to develop a decentralized contact tracing tool that will help determine if a person has come into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus disease. The solution uses Bluetooth to transmit an anonymous identifier to nearby devices and a user can choose to upload their data, which is then broadcasted to other devices. If there is a match based on time spent and distance between nearby devices, a user will be told that they may have been exposed to a virus. Apple and Google said their system is privacy-oriented and doesn’t use location data. The companies will roll out software updates in mid-May to begin support for contact tracing.


Cellnex doubles down on Portugal with €375 million NOS acquisition

Cellnex Telecom has signed an agreement with Portuguese mobile operator NOS to acquire 100 percent of the NOS Towering business for an initial sum of EUR 375 million. This transaction involves around 2,000 standalone telecommunications towers and rooftop antennas. Over the next six years, Cellnex is planning to add a further 400 sites and invest up to EUR 175 million. Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez said, “This transaction exemplifies the sense of being an operator which, precisely due to its neutral and independent nature, can consolidate long-term collaboration projects with the various MNOs and telecom operators who access our infrastructures to roll out their telecommunications networks.”