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FCC establishes Emergency Broadband Benefit program The FCC has recently held an open meeting in order to discuss its next priorities. One of the most important matters discussed was the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which Congress has instructed the FCC to initiate. As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress has allocated $3.2 billion for the program. Broadband providers participating in the program will be able to offer discounts of up to $50 per month for Internet services and up to $75 per month for those services on tribal lands. Currently, it is unclear how long these broadband benefits will last. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/jj52hlfl Sinch acquires Inteliquent Sinch AB, a Sweden-based company primarily engaged in the provision of cloud computing services, has signed a final agreement to acquire Inteliquent, the largest independent voice communications provider in the US, for an all-cash offer of $1.140 billion. The deal expands…

Telia takes a big step toward IoT The Swedish operator Telia has launched a global IoT connectivity offering for enterprises, pledging that it can cut almost a third off the average cost of IoT communications. The new portfolio is called Telia Global IoT Connectivity. In a statement, the operator said that the portfolio consists of a Telia eSIM, that is powered by eUICC, a global ecosystem of pre-integrated operators, a one-of-a-kind programmable network and a cloud-based platform for system management. Björn Hansen, Head of IoT at Telia, said: “This is a true game changer for IoT connectivity.” Read more: https://tinyurl.com/wtk6d7pi Ekinops with Orange gives 5G a trial run  Ekinops has successfully completed 5G business connectivity testing with Orange Business Services at its Orange Labs. To test the connectivity, Ekinops used its 5G-capable OneAccess router that is based on its OneOS6 software. According to Ekinops, the software enables a variety of…

Vodafone and Nokia test 100G PON tech Nokia’s new technology has been tested for the first time by Vodafone in Germany. The prototype used a single 25G laser and DSP technology developed at Nokia Bell Labs to create the single wavelength 100G PON transmission. Gavin Young, Head of Vodafone’s Fixed Access Center of Excellence, said the 100G PON is 40 times the capacity of today’s GPON networks and 10 times the capacity of the XGS-GPON. The 100G PON enables flexible tariffs and operates by grouping modems using a methodology similar to that already used in cable networks, suggesting that this cable network experience can help to better evaluate and take advantage of the new PON technology. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/xpai96uz Spectrum Enterprise leverages Cisco Meraki’s cloud platform Spectrum Enterprise is leveraging a new managed network solution based on Cisco’s Meraki cloud platform. Spectrum Enterprise’s Managed Network Edge (MNE) was designed to…

The European Commission (EC) has appointed Nokia, a Finnish international telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company, to supervise Hexa-X, a primary 6G research project aimed at boosting the continent’s progress in developing the technology. The two-and-a-half-year Hexa-X initiative was funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research, and innovation program, and will start on January 1, 2021. The project is aimed at connecting the physical, digital and human worlds, firmly embedded in future wireless technologies. The project is led by Nokia, which coordinates the efforts, with Ericsson being assigned as the technical manager. The partners in the consortium are from academia and industry, including service providers, network providers and European research institutes. The partners include Orange, TIM, Telefonica, Intel and Siemens. The Finnish service provider said in a statement that it expects 6G to become commercially operational by 2030, following a normal ten-year intergenerational cycle and taking…

The two companies, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Orange International Carriers, have announced the successful completion of a Proof of Concept (PoC) project to improve IPX services using blockchain technology. According to the statement, they were able to validate that blockchain can be used by operators to expedite the automatic transaction of end-to-end network KPIs between providers. This provides operators with an opportunity to offer improved quality of service (QoS) and enhance network performance forecasting and incident management. The cooperation between the carriers for this initiative was announced back in June. IPX systems are fundamental components for enabling international and domestic roaming services. Also, full-service level agreements (SLAs) on critical IPX networks are essential for ensuring that mobile operators can provide the best network quality. The companies said the results of the study will be presented to the GSMA. Emmanuel Rochas, CEO of Orange International Carriers, said:…

Orange Romania, the largest provider of broadband Internet and mobile services in Romania, has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the fixed operator Telekom Romania Communications (TKR) in order to strengthen its position in the country and increase its market share in the sector. The reason given for Orange paying over $268 million for TKR, is that it is aiming to become the popular choice among customers for combined services in the Romanian market. Orange will gain a controlling 54% stake from the Greek company OTE, most of which is owned by Deutsche Telekom. According to Orange, the deal gives TKR a value exceeding $590.5 million. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory scrutiny and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021. TKR, being the second largest fixed line provider in the country, achieved revenues of over $739 million in…

Deutsche Telekom hits 50% 5G population coverage Deutsche Telekom, the largest German telecommunications company, has expanded its 5G connectivity to 3,000 towns across all German states. A total of 18,000 antennas, out of the 30,000 already installed, have been upgraded to support 5G services in the last 5 weeks, and as a result, 50% of Germany‘s population now has 5G coverage. Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology, commented: “The 50 percent is no reason for us to rest on our laurels. The 5G rollout continues with the same intensity. Two thirds of the population are our next target. And we want to achieve this too this year.” Read more at https://tinyurl.com/y4z6fd2m Google Cloud and Orange announce their collaboration Google Cloud and Orange announced that they are partnering up for data, AI and edge computing development. The two companies plan on transforming Orange’s IT infrastructure, developing future cloud services, improving operational efficiency…

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…

Twilio rival MessageBird launches Inbox, an AI-powered contact center MessageBird, a telecommunications service provider in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has unveiled a new all-in-one, AI-powered contact center as it enters the competitive billion-dollar customer service software market. The new solution, dubbed Inbox and pitched as the “Slack for external communications,” enables customers to communicate with businesses and accept inbound messages from WhatsApp, Twitter, Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, Apple Business Chat, RCS, Line, Telegram, email, SMS, voice, and more. Additionally, companies can connect MessageBird’s Inbox to other internal tools as part of their preferred workflows, including Salesforce, Google Calendar, Shopify, HubSpot, Jira, and Slack. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/qvsqh9l CenturyLink adds IBM Cloud to its Cloud Connect portfolio US-based CenturyLink has added IBM Cloud to its growing Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections portfolio, which also includes Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle. The company said that through IBM Cloud Direct Link services, businesses can now access…

EU’s new digital strategy targets data-hoarding tech firms The European Commission has proposed its new European digital strategy “Europe Fit for the Digital Age” that puts a target on all the biggest US tech players. It states that a large part of the world’s data is currently owned by a small number of Big Tech firms, which “could reduce the incentives for data-driven businesses to emerge, grow and innovate in the EU today, but numerous opportunities lie ahead.” The new proposals indicate the need to provide “an attractive policy environment”, which means that data can flow throughout the EU while applying data protection values established under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Read more at https://tinyurl.com/wdb9hee Dell targets telco edge deployments with new server, micro data centre Dell Technologies has introduced new products for telecom operators that are building out edge network deployments. A compact high-performance server, a modular micro…