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A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #32

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Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok from ByteDance

Microsoft has announced that it is prepared to continue discussions for the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok from Chinese internet giant ByteDance. In a statement, the company said that it is committed to acquiring TikTok “subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.” Microsoft made the statement following a conversation between its CEO Satya Nadella and US President Donald Trump. The company said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.


Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 is official, comes with a ton of improvements

Samsung has officially introduced a range of new premium mobile devices at its Unpacked 2020 event live streamed from Korea. Among others, the company is launching the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 that features a reinforced screen, upgraded hinge, larger front screen, and more. In a statement, Samsung noted that after releasing two foldable devices and listening to user feedback on the most requested upgrades and new features, the company is unveiling the Galaxy Z Fold 2 with “meaningful innovations that offer users enhanced refinements and unique foldable user experiences.” In terms of colours, the new smartphone will be available in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze.


Ribbon Connect for Microsoft Teams delivers carrier-grade voice calling

On Wednesday, Ribbon Communications launched Ribbon Connect, a portfolio of subscription-based “as-a-service” offerings. The US technology company said that Ribbon Connect for Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based service that securely connects new or existing phone lines, numbers and calling plans to Microsoft Teams. Running in the Microsoft Azure cloud, this service includes a fully automated deployment process that turns multiple days of planning, configuration and deployment into a single button click. Furthermore, the service provides seamless integration with existing PBX/phone systems and contact centers to protect existing investments and business processes.

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Amazon inks cloud deal with Airtel in India

Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon to offer small, medium, and large-sized businesses in the country a set of cloud solutions. According to the deal, Airtel, which has more than 300 million subscribers, will provide its customers with a wide range of AWS offerings under the Airtel Cloud brand. Moreover, this partnership will allow Airtel to take on Reliance Jio, which already has a 10-year deal with Microsoft for the latter’s Azure cloud platform. Airtel Cloud already provides data center services, managed services and cloud services to top India and global enterprises, start-ups, SMEs, and governments through multiple strategic alliances.


Vodafone switches on UK’s first OpenRAN site

Vodafone UK has announced the launch of the first live Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) 4G site, which will enable the introduction of more suppliers for mobile networks and faster rollout of remote rural coverage. Scott Petty, CTO of Vodafone UK, said, “This new approach has the ability to make us less dependent on current larger technology suppliers and find ways to reduce the cost of rolling out mobile coverage. OpenRAN can also help close the digital divide between urban and rural Britain.” This is the first time a live OpenRAN 4G site is up and running in the UK, at the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys in rural Wales.



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