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Swedish vendor Ericsson has signed an agreement to provide a 5G “core” to Virgin Media O2, a new company established by a merger between Virgin Media and the mobile operator O2. Ericsson will build a VMO2 standalone 5G core, that will incorporate 4G and non-standalone 5G cores, to create dual-mode 5G core, as referred to by Ericsson.   The vendor has been a supplier to mobile operator O2 UK for quite some time now. The previous deal between the two companies focused on an ongoing “network modernization program” that was introduced in June 2020. Since the older core used by O2 was also that of Ericsson, it was appropriate to continue with the same technology vendor.   Moreover, the new agreement also allows Virgin Media O2 to provide a standalone 5G service. UK operators have based their 5G launches on a “non-standalone” architecture that allows the 5G RAN to revert…

GCI to expand capacity for rural areas GCI, an Alaskan service provider, has signed a $150 million contract with Intelsat to increase the telecommunications service capacity in rural areas. GCI has been providing geosynchronous (GEO) satellite communications for 35 years to supply the state with data, video and voice services. The latest transaction gives GCI continued access to C-band and Ku-band capacities, which are already a part of GCI’s satellite services portfolio, and also provides new access to state-wide Ka-band capacity. Furthermore, Intelsat will provide the multi-satellite solution through a new and improved managed station platform and C- Ku- and Ka-bands networks. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/w52yht6u South Sudan launches Digitel Network South Sudan has announced the launch of Digitel Network, the country’s first telecommunications company, which was introduced to celebrate 10 years of independence of the country. South Sudan has so far had the services of only two international mobile…

The GSMA has announced that the mobile industry will need an average of 2 GHz mid-band spectrum to meet the data speed requirements of the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU).   The study evaluated 36 cities around the world and concluded that policymakers should license the spectrum of mobile operators in harmonized bands such as 3.5 GHz, 4.8 GHz and 6 GHz to meet ITU requirements by 2030. According to their claims, the additional spectrum will make it possible to use 5G to its full potential.   As claimed by the global study, achieving this will reduce the environmental impact and costs for 5G users, as additional spectrum will lessen the carbon footprint of networks by two to three times, strengthening the sustainable development of mobile communications at the same time.   In addition, the availability of mid-band frequency spectrum will also improve Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). The research shows that…

Nokia launches iSIM Secure Connect Nokia has released new software to help operators cope with the provisioning of cellular IoT devices and subscription management. The software, called iSIM Secure Connect, relies on embedded SIM (eSIM) and integrated SIM (iSIM) technologies combined with reliable digital identification, allowing telecom service providers to quickly and securely authenticate and manage cellular IoT devices. The software is vendor agnostic and can be installed in a variety of network and cloud environments, providing a myriad of IoT use cases and business models. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/42kf2tu8 Lumen strikes a deal with Microsoft Lumen Technologies has announced that it has entered a long-term partnership with Microsoft to take advantage of the Azure cloud platform. The duo plans to integrate Microsoft’s Azure stack with Lumen’s bare metal edge computing service, allowing customers to run Azure-based applications wherever the edge network can reach. Lumen will also use the cloud…

Orange, a French multinational telecommunications corporation, has extended its 5G test program in the 26 GHz band. This initiative was launched in 2019 to focus on testing the capabilities of frequencies for industrial use cases in France.   A consortium consisting of Orange, Nokia, the railway company SNCF and the academic facility Institut Mines – Telecom (MIT), has been given a grant from the French government to trial 4.0 industrial applications over 5G using the 26 GHz spectrum. The grant will allow the consortium to develop an existing pilot that Orange performed for eighteen months at the Rennes train station in France, while working with the French state-owned railway company SNCF and Nokia.   As part of the project, Orange will provide network services and Nokia will provide technological connectivity offerings, including private networks, while MIT will focus on data hosting using edge computing.   This project puts emphasis on…

Google Cloud and Ericsson team up to deliver 5G and Edge cloud solutions for telcos The two tech giants – Google Cloud and Ericsson – have come together to jointly develop 5G and edge cloud solutions to help communications service providers (CSPs) digitally transform and unlock new enterprise and consumer use cases. Google Cloud and Ericsson are developing new solutions at Ericsson’s Silicon Valley D15 Labs, a state-of-the-art innovation center where advanced solutions and technologies can be developed and tested on a live, multi-layer 5G platform. Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud, said that organizations have a tremendous opportunity to digitally transform their businesses with 5G, using cloud capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning at the edge. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/2c5sez86 DIDWW implements the STIR/SHAKEN technology The global telecommunication services provider, DIDWW, has implemented caller ID authentication through the STIR/SHAKEN set of standards. These standards act as the framework…

Telefonica Deutschland has comprehensive plans for a sweeping shut down of its 3G network starting in July, making it the last operator in Germany to phase out legacy technologies in favor of 4G and 5G. Approximately 16,000 3G sites are scheduled to be shut down by the company.   The resources that were needed for 3G will now be repurposed for the 4G network by the end of the year. According to the operator, 4G will use the frequencies of current 3G transmitters at 2,100 MHz. This upgrade from 3G to 4G will benefit Telefónica Deutschland’s customers, as well as customers of its other brands, providing a better and faster network.   A full upgrade of the first 500 3G sites will begin on July 1st. An additional 1000 sites will be repurposed two weeks later. The regions where the upgrade will begin are Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western…

Call center software firm Aircall receives $120 million funding Aircall, a provider of cloud-based phone and contact center systems, has completed a $120 million Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The startup develops a cloud-based phone system for call centers, support lines and sales teams, and offers integration with Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, Slack, Intercom and other popular CRM, support and communication systems. This funding will help the company to develop new products for integration with third-party tools, and in particular, industry-specific integrations. Aircall plans new offices in London and Berlin, as well as new hires in the company’s existing offices based in New York, Paris, Sydney and Madrid. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/ruc4n8u5 Telenor and Axiata seal $15 Billion deal to merge Malaysian telecoms units Malaysian telecoms company Axiata Group Bhd. and Norway’s Telenor ASA have signed a definitive agreement to combine their mobile operations in Malaysia,…

Ericsson has announced the launch of its Private 5G, which will reshape on-site connectivity by providing secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone Connectivity (SA), targeting the manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power companies, as well as ports and airports.   Ericsson Private 5G enhances and makes business operations using cloud network management easier, keeping sensitive data on-site without downtime, and guarantees high performance under Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).   The Ericsson 5G Private network is based on a 4G/5G radio and dual-mode core technology for extensive indoor and outdoor environment use cases, that include tracking assets and real-time automation, a digital twin to help optimize production operations, effective quality checks using augmented reality, and smart surveillance drones. This technology seamlessly merges with a variety of business projects, devices, and applications to increase productivity, deliver new offerings, boost customer engagement, and improve the overall work environment.   The…

New security features for Google Workspace and Google Drive Google has unveiled new security tools that include client-side encryption for Workspace and several enhanced data protection features in the platform’s Drive service. The tech giant said there will be new trust rules and labels for Drive to classify files and apply controls based on their sensitivity levels. These added security features are the result of several factors, including Google’s “security first” philosophy, the rapid increase in remote work environments due to the pandemic, and the company’s experience with its BeyondCorp zero trust security model. In addition, Google is also increasing phishing and malware protection in Workspace. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/ygc7yhw7 Facebook partners with Internet service providers D-VoiS and Netplus Facebook has announced new partnerships in India with Internet service providers (ISPs) D-VoiS and Netplus. These ISPs will use Facebook Connectivity’s Express Wi-Fi platform to provide public Wi-Fi hotspots in various…