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European telcos: We’re ready to “lift the continent out of this recession” The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) has released a joint statement calling on EU institutions and national governments to support 5G and fiber rollout, stimulate the uptake of technology, fight misinformation, and focus on digital skills and education. According to ETNO, a new approach is needed to ensure that spectrum auctions are timely and conditions for spectrum assignment support network deployment. Sharing agreements for Radio Access Network (RAN) should be supported and incentivized, as well as all fiber investment models should be adequately encouraged. Moreover, future EU initiatives should dramatically reduce roll-out costs for both mobile and fixed networks. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yadrfxfg Microsoft’s new Teams features fight video conferencing fatigue Microsoft Team’s brand seeks to fight “Zoom fatigue” and exhaustion of physical isolation with its new updates and features. The news includes a shared background to make participants…

Ujet raises $55 million to expand cloud-based customer support platform Ujet, a leading provider of cloud contact center software, has secured USD 55 million in Series C funding to expand its sales and marketing teams at home and internationally, as well as launch new products and features. The San Francisco-based company already claims to have several high-profile clients, including Google, Instacart, and PayPal’s iZettle. Ujet enables customers to contact support teams through voice, email and messaging, and integrates smartphone cameras so they can easily submit photos and videos documenting problems. With this funding, the company is now well-positioned to capitalize on the increased demand for cloud-based contact center technology. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y8ayek29 UK security officials tell telcos to stock up on Huawei gear – report The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has suggested that UK telecoms operators stockpile critical equipment to ensure the sustainability of telecoms infrastructure, as political…

Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG, the leading mobile operator in the German market, has announced an agreement to sell about 10,100 telecom sites to the group’s majority-owned tower infrastructure arm Telxius Telecom for EUR 1.5 billion. The acquisition deal includes 10,000 rooftop sites and up to 80 tower sites, as well as an obligation to build 2,400 new sites (BTS). This move will ensure the company’s exceptional future growth in Germany, Europe’s largest telecom market, where a robust deployment by operators is expected to improve mobile broadband coverage and secure the future deployment of 5G. Markus Haas, CEO of Telefonica Deutschland, said, “This is one of the largest and most important transactions in the history of Telefonica Deutschland. It represents an important milestone in focusing our business activities. We are pursuing a clear course based on our growth strategy. Within this strategy, we are focusing on further improving the quality of the O2 network for our…

Contributed by Maor Efrati, CTO at monogoto Working from home: A lot has been said about increased productivity and family time as positively impacted during the COVID-19 quarantine. I am discovering that it’s also good for writing and for analyzing the many conversations that I and my monogoto.io partner Itamar Kunik have regarding cellular, WiFi, and the future of connectivity. @monogoto we are building an OTT cellular network. We are providing a connectivity service to any company that desires to have cellular connectivity as part of the offering or product. Simplifying the backend and network with strong API’s while keeping all the bells and whistles that a cellular network can support over a  traditional last mile (RJ45 and WiFi). It will be interesting to see what plays out regarding WiFi vs Cellular as the last-mile provider. Some think cellular technology is the perfect solution for all wireless networks, while others hope…

Spanish telecom operator MasMovil agrees $3.3 billion private equity bid KKR, Cinven and Providence have made their Public Acquisition Offer for Spanish telecoms operator MasMovil. The three venture capital funds have proposed to pay EUR 22.5 per share of the telco, which is valued at almost EUR 3 billion. According to the statement, KKR, Cinven and Providence will pay a 20 percent premium on the current MasMovil share price. Meinrad Spenger, MasMovil Chief Executive, said that they have signed an agreement with the bidders on a deal which would be “beneficial for the shareholders and other stakeholders in the company.” Furthermore, the bidders noted that they would maintain continuity in MasMovil’s strategy, staff and executive team. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y754vsc9 Google Cloud signs major UK government deal The technology giant Google Cloud has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to make its cloud solutions…

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), a non-profit industry organization representing mobile industry suppliers worldwide, has expanded its membership by welcoming nine new companies from the global 4G and 5G mobile ecosystem. The GSA said that it has so far accepted Approve-IT as a new ordinary member together with eight new associate members, including the French telecom regulator ARCEP and the Singaporean regulator IMDA. In March 2020, the association also extended its Executive Committee by adding ZTE as an executive member along with Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. Joe Barrett, the President of the GSA, said, “The global mobile industry is not only highly competitive, it’s also highly collaborative. 5G doesn’t belong to one company or country; there is a whole ecosystem of regulators, vendors and operators who are working together to drive global harmonization of spectrum, innovation in networks and devices, and new use cases for 5G…

BEREC says COVID-19 won’t break the internet The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has announced that the increase in Internet usage across the continent is more or less stabilizing and that networks have been able to withstand the pressure. BEREC said that national regulatory authorities (NRAs) have reported “a stabilization in the overall traffic, but some NRAs still observe an increase of the overall traffic.” Some operators have expanded their network’s capacity to cope with the steady growth of traffic. According to the organization, “operators, which did not take any such measure, are still closely monitoring their network’s capacity to check if an upgrade is necessary.” Read more at https://tinyurl.com/rxmg53l Vodafone slashes costs of core network functions across Europe using VMware’s telco cloud The UK-based telecoms operator Vodafone has completed the deployment of a single digital network architecture across all of its 21 European business markets, using…

Work from home: Can the telecoms industry take the strain? Many businesses opt for remote working due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and this has led to a dramatic increase in the use of online services. The additional pressure is proving problematic for the telecoms industry in Spain, which has reported a 40 percent increase in data consumption and a 50 percent increase in mobile phone usage. Movistar (Telefonica), Orange, Vodafone, Masmovil, and Euskaltel have issued a joint statement in anticipation of the national lockdown, urging customers to take “intelligent and responsible use of the network and the resources it provides us.” Meanwhile, BT, the UK’s largest telecom provider, said that its network can handle it. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/sm8bms7 Vodafone unveils five-point plan to combat COVID-19 Vodafone has put forward a five-point plan to maintain network services and assist governments across Europe in controlling the outbreak of coronavirus. The five…

The next-generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks is steadily gaining traction, with significant implementations under way. All of the major carriers are rolling out their 5G networks, targeting large cities that crave super speeds, virtually lag-free connections, extended coverage and other great benefits that are made available by this advanced technology. 5G has already been launched in many different locations around the world, but it is still considered to be in its initial stages. All of the US carriers have now launched some form of 5G cellular network. But what exactly is 5G, how fast is it compared with 4G, what will it bring to VoIP applications, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of this innovative technology? Let’s take a look at 5G in more detail. What is 5G?   5G stands for fifth-generation cellular wireless and is the next generation of telecom networks that entered the…