Telecoms news roundup April 23: Citigroup names head of tech & comms, Circular principles to unlock $45-80bn, and Virgin Media achieves 2.2Gbps speeds

Telecoms news roundup April 23: Citigroup names head of tech & comms, Circular principles to unlock $45-80bn, and Virgin Media achieves 2.2Gbps speeds

News roundup generic 16.9.jpg

Your news roundup from around the world making headlines today!

Nokia and NewCore Wireless deliver broadband to remote tribal nations in US

Nokia has partnered NewCore Wireless to deliver next-gen private wireless connectivity to rural, unserved and underserved Native American communities across the US.

Together Nokia and NewCore will use the Tribal Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum to deliver this new network connectivity, with the set of deployments to cover 12,000 square miles and over 15,000 tribal members.

 “Millions of Americans lack basic broadband connectivity – particularly rural and tribal communities. Making spectrum available to tribal nations brings these communities into the next generation of connectivity and allows them to take advantage of the benefits of broadband,” said Raghav Sahgal, president of cloud and network services at Nokia.

“By enabling access to 4G and 5G through Nokia’s technology and partnership with NewCore, each tribe can improve their quality of life with new economic opportunities, and educational and health care access.”

The program leverages up to 117MHz of the Tribal EBS band, made available by the Federal Communications Commission, to serve tribal lands with a license for broadband and wireless networking buildouts

The initial buildouts with NewCore and Nokia will focus on North and South Dakota, Oklahoma and California. The Native American communities involved include the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.


Talk Straight selects ADTRAN fixed wireless access technology

ADTRAN announced that UK-based ISP, Talk Straight is using the ADTRAN MetNet 60G solution to deliver gigabit broadband connectivity in rural regions of the UK.

Talk Straight tested ADTRAN’s mmWave fixed wireless access (FWA) solution as part of a proof of concept that could quickly and cost-effectively extend gigabit symmetric broadband services beyond the reach of existing fibre networks.

Built on the industry’s first self-organising, 60GHz mmWave fixed wireless technology, Talk Straight delivered a fixed wireless multi-gigabit network able to support residential, campus, smart city and business customers.

“Students are going back to the classroom and offices are reopening, but at-home connectivity demands continue to increase. We still need to get rural residents and students on a level broadband playing field,” said David Tindall, CEO at Talk Straight.

“The ADTRAN MetNet 60G solution is very easy to install and offered speed and ease of deployment. Additionally, ADTRAN is extremely helpful and committed to our success. As a result, we have the confidence we need to build a business case for expanding this deployment to more residents and businesses that need a better option for high-speed broadband.”


Circular principles to unlock $45-80bn in value for telco industry

The global telco industry can unlock up to $45-80 billion annually by applying circular principles, according to a new study by Telia Company in collaboration with Accenture.

The report, titled The Shift: The Role of Telcos in the Circular Economy, showcases the significance of circular economy and why it is the key to solve both the climate and the broader ecological crisis.

“When looking at the ICT industry through a circular economy lens, it is clear that we are both part of the problem and the solution,” said Sara Nordbrand, head of group sustainability at Telia Company.

“Digitalisation will speed up the transformation from a linear to a circular economy by fully using the power of Internet of Things and data-driven solutions to use natural resources in a smarter way. The time has come to seize these opportunities, while simultaneously addressing our own negative environmental impacts.”

At the same time Telia Company presented its new circularity goals to accelerate its work to prevent/reduce, re-use and recycle materials to reach zero waste within its own network operations within a decade.

These include to re-use or recycle 84% of waste materials from Telia’s own operations as well as from network construction and maintenance, by 2025 and to further contribute to the circular economy, the company will significantly increase sales of pre-owned/re-used mobile phones as well as phones sold “as a service”.


Blu Wireless launches Blu Wireless Technology in the US

Blu Wireless, a provider of 5G mmWave networking equipment, has expanded into the US with the launch of Blu Wireless Technology Inc.

 The new business entity will enhance the company’s relationships with existing partners in key sectors across defence, public safety, transport, and smart cities, further strengthening its position for growth in the US market.

The new unit will be by Macy Summers, an experienced executive from the technology, defence IT, cybersecurity, and communications sector – as president.

“The expansion into the US market is a key part of our business growth strategy. In the last three years, the company has strategically moved towards a business that offers turnkey system products, providing an innovative and vertically integrated solution,” said Alan Jones, CEO of Blu Wireless.

“This platform has been deployed and commercially proven for rail applications; however, we see strong synergies with adjacent markets where we can leverage our capabilities as a business. With our unique differentiators, the Blu Wireless solution is ideally matched with the demanding needs of defence and public safety applications. The US in particular provides significant opportunities for Blu Wireless in these high value markets.”


Virgin Media achieves 2.2Gbps speeds in innovation trials

Virgin Media has successfully reached 2.2Gbps broadband speeds to homes in Southampton and Manchester in real-world trials.

The multi-gigabit speeds were delivered on Virgin Media’s existing cable network using DOCSIS 3.1 broadband technology.

Virgin Media carried out the proof-of-concept trial to demostrate the future speeds that can be delivered via the same network, without the need for additional infrastructure or civil engineering works.

Virgin Media’s engineers were able to deliver the multi-gigabit speeds to homes in Southampton and Manchester using the operator’s latest router, the Hub 4. The router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and comes as standard with its gigabit broadband service, Gig1.

“We invest more than £1 billion into our network every year to deliver leading connectivity today, but our talented teams never stop pushing forward to ensure we’re ready to power our customers’ connectivity needs for whatever comes next,” said Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s chief technology and information officer.

“Our services are being relied on and used more than ever before, and these innovative trials in Manchester and Southampton demonstrate how Virgin Media’s existing network is fit for the future with hyperfast, multi-gigabit broadband speeds delivered straight to customer homes.”


Chunghwa Telecom selects Nokia for 5G expansion in Taiwan

Nokia has been chosen by Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) to expand the operator’s 5G network in Taiwan.

The expansion will use products from Nokia’s AirScale portfolio to deliver enhanced connectivity for people and businesses in the southern and central areas of the country.

The expansion will focus on high traffic areas, as well as locations with a high business demand, including metropolitan cities, universities, subway and highspeed rail stations, industrial parks and exhibition halls, and over 120 highly populated tourist hotspots.

In the future, CHT is also looking to further expand its enterprise footprint by enhancing their 4G/5G coverage as well as deploying private network solutions.

The network will also be designed specifically to leverage Nokia’s competitive 5G radio solutions to support enterprise use cases. CHT will strengthen its cooperation with leading local manufacturers for industrial 4.0 applications using solutions in 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum to meet the high throughput requirements.


US mobile operators lag behind in eSIM adoption

The Covid-19 pandemic saw the use of the embedded SIM in mobile phones surged globally, but US mobile carriers have been slower to adopt and market the technology.

According to data and analytics company GlobalData, the GSMA reports that, by the end of 2020, approximately 175 mobile operators had launched eSIM service for smartphones across 69 countries.

In 2020, Vodafone Group rapidly introduced eSIM service among its group operators. Dutch operator KPN, Tele2 Sweden's budget mobile operation, Comviq, Bouygues Telecom, O2 Slovakia, Zain KSA, Danish operator YouSee, and Mobily in Saudi Arabia are among the operators that introduced eSIM capability for subscriber onboarding in 2020.

“European operators significantly ramped up support for eSIM amid the pandemic as consumers stayed out of retail stores and appreciated the convenience of signing up for service directly on a smartphone,” said Lynnette Luna, PRINCIPAL ANALYST at GlobalData.

“In contrast, while major US carriers have enabled customers to add new service on by using eSIM on Apple phones and some Android smartphones using eSIM, they have yet to market the capability. Apple added eSIM capability to iPhones in 2018, and Samsung followed suit in its higher end 5G smartphones.


MTN Rwandacell to list on the Rwanda Stock Exchange

MTN Rwandacell Plc (MTN Rwanda) will list on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) on 4 May 2021.

The news follows approval by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) as well as the approval of Crystal Telecom’s (CTL) shareholders to distribute the 20% of MTN Rwanda’s shareholding held by CTL to CTL shareholders effective from the listing date.

“The official listing of MTN Rwanda’s shares on the RSE will take place on 4 May 2021,” said Mitwa Ng’ambi, CEO of MTN Rwanda,

“We look forward to participating in the capital markets of Rwanda and see this as an exciting opportunity for the investor community at large to participate directly in the ownership of MTN Rwanda. We are also excited to welcome former CTL shareholders as MTN Rwanda shareholders.”

The listing of MTN Rwanda will see 1,350,886,600 ordinary shares at a price of Rwf 1 each being registered with the RSE at an initial listing price of Rwf269 per ordinary share. CTL shareholders will become direct shareholders in MTN Rwanda and be able to trade their MTN Rwanda shares on the RSE.

“Enabling Rwandans the opportunity to participate in the company’s success is part of our work to promote local ownership and participation in MTN businesses across our markets, and to create shared value,” added Ralph Mupita, president and CEO of MTN Group.


by 2030 IoT will save more than eight times the energy it consumes

A new report by Transforma Insights and 6GWorld and sponsored by InterDigital, finds that by 2030 the deployment of IoT is expected to save more than eight times the energy it consumes.

As a result, the findings will result in net savings of 230 billion cubic meters of water and eliminate one gigaton of CO2 emissions.

The report, Sustainability in New and Emerging Technologies, explores the impact that new and emerging technologies will have on electricity, fuel and water usage, CO2 emissions, and eWaste.

Other key findings from the report reveal that by 2030, IoT solutions will reduce electricity consumption by more than 1.6 petawatt-hours (PWh), equal to 136.5 million homes' energy use for one year.

As well as the IoT net effect on fuel consumption will reach a yearly 3.5 PWh reduction of (hydrocarbon) fuel and IoT devices and emerging technologies will conserve nearly 230 billion cubic meters of water.

“In every area of technology, researchers, governing bodies, regulators and standards-setting organizations are expanding their field of vision to include the social, economic and environmental components that impact, and are impacted by, new solutions,” said Henry Tirri, chief technology officer, InterDigital.

“IoT is a technology that we believe can and will transform our world, and its place at the centre of 5G and eventual 6G development highlights the tremendously positive impact that the work of InterDigital and others is having in providing solutions for an improved world.”


Citigroup appoints Philip Drury head of tech & comms

Citigroup has appointed one of its senior London-based bankers with leading its new technology and communications franchise.

Philip Drury, who has been leading Citi's banking, capital markets and advisory business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2018, will leave London to take on a new global role as head of tech & comms in San Francisco.

"Tech & Comms is one of the fastest growing franchises in global banking, capital markets and advisory and represents one of the greatest opportunities to close our competitive gap," said Tyler Dickson and Manuel Falco, co-heads of Citi's banking, capital markets and advisory business globally in a memo.

Drury joined Citi in 2000 as an equity capital markets banker based in New York before progressing to lead the ECM coverage in the Americas in 2011.

The Tech & Comms team, which includes three global heads of communications, Gordon Kroft, Dan Richards and Wilhelm Schulz, will support Citi's financial institutions group to make a joint push on fintech advisory.

Drury will remain in charge of the banking, capital markets and advisory (BCMA) business until a successor is found.

Citi also announced that BCMA's vice chairman Mark Hantho will become chairman of the tech & comms unit.