News Roundup

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #24

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EU Contemplates 5G Vendor Ban Amid Huawei Funding Debate

The European Union is debating whether to ban certain companies from their 5G networks due to security concerns. Huawei, the company most affected by the potential ban, is receiving funding of around €3.89 million from the EU for research in areas like 6G, AI, and cloud computing under the Horizon Europe research program. Horizon Europe is the EU’s main research and innovation initiative, with a proposed budget of €12.8 billion in 2024. The EU is worried about member countries, especially Germany, being slow to restrict the use of “high-risk” vendors. Analysts suggest that stricter measures from Germany would greatly impact Huawei’s presence in Europe.

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European Commission Targets Google’s Adtech Dominance with Statement of Objections

The European Commission has raised concerns about Google’s control of the digital advertising ecosystem and issued a Statement of Objections against the tech giant. The focus of the investigation is on Google’s involvement in intermediary adtech services, where it acts as a middleman between advertisers and media. The Commission alleges that Google’s dominance in both the ad server and ad buying spaces has distorted the market, favoring its own ad exchange business. Margrethe Vestager, European Commission EVP, expressed concerns about Google potentially leveraging its market position to harm competitors, publishers, and increase costs for advertisers. Google has defended itself, stating that its actions benefit the ad tech industry, and the investigation has significant implications, with the possibility of mandatory divestment being considered.

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UK Defence Lab Partners with Google for AI Implementation, Raising Concerns

UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has partnered with Google Cloud to implement artificial intelligence (AI) in the country’s defense sector, raising concerns about the use of AI in military applications. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Dstl and Google aims to accelerate AI adoption and covers various areas, including access to Google’s AI technologies and training opportunities for Dstl staff. The collaboration also allows Dstl to explore Google Cloud’s applications from other industries that could address defense challenges. Meanwhile, the European Union is pushing for regulations on AI use, particularly in areas like biometric surveillance and predictive policing. The future implications of AI in the military and ongoing discussions around AI regulations are subjects of interest and concern.

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Dish Wireless Achieves 70% 5G Coverage in US, Faces Customer Base Challenges

Dish Wireless has achieved its goal of covering over 70% of the US population with its 5G network, meeting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) requirements for its spectrum licenses. The company has set up over 15,000 base stations to reach this milestone, positioning itself as a leader in the Open RAN sector. However, Dish is facing challenges in terms of its customer base, with a decrease in subscribers and many customers still relying on AT&T and T-Mobile networks through MVNO deals. Dish plans to introduce more devices, including the iPhone, to expand its handset compatibility and focus on retail and enterprise growth to monetize its network. Speculation has arisen about a potential partnership with Amazon for selling phone plans, which could further enhance Dish’s device availability and market position. The company aims to leverage its network coverage to drive long-term growth and competitiveness in the 5G market.

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T-Mobile Partners with Google for 5G Edge Computing Services

T-Mobile US has partnered with Google to offer Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) Edge, an on-premises edge computing solution, in conjunction with its private 5G networking services. The combination of T-Mobile’s 5G network and Google’s edge computing capabilities aims to support advanced and low-latency services such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The collaboration raises questions about T-Mobile’s motivation, whether it is seeking to enhance its offerings or tap into Google’s expertise in the edge compute market. Telcos have historically relied on strategic partnerships to expand into adjacent markets, and this convergence of telecoms and cloud services aims to provide customers with a more comprehensive experience.

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