Last week has been extremely turbulent for the telecom industry. NYSE finalized the decision to delist three Chinese telecom giants, China seems to have issued a threat to Ericsson after Huawei’s ban in Sweden, and Ethiopia’s state telecom announced mobile payment services will be launched this week. Norwegian state-owned telecom, Telenor, is facing dilemmas as the military coup in Myanmar can force the company out of the country, and India holds up the imports of wireless devices from China. There was also some good news, especially for Nokia that has been chosen as the sole supplier for the Swiss operator Swisscom. Another Nordic telecom, Ericsson, has settled their long-time dispute with Samsung over patent licensing. Take a look at the latest telecom stories.
On Friday, it was announced that three Chinese telecom companies will be delisted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The companies concerned are China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp.
The companies announced their delistings will be effective 10 days after NYSE will file a Form 25 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
NYSE spokesperson declined to issue a comment.
Global Times, a Chinese newspaper heavily controlled by the government, has issued an exclusive article where it links Ericsson’s future in China with the Huawei ban that Sweden has introduced.
The story with a headline “Sweden faces ‘last chance’ on Ericsson’s fate in China over 5G equipment test involvement after Huawei fallout” may be viewed as a direct threat to Sweden and Ericsson’s future deals in China if the Huawei ban will not be lifted.
The story bases the information on an anonymous source and claims:
“The source also stressed that participating in the 5G equipment test organized by Chinese mobile operators does not mean Ericsson will be hired, and Sweden has to carefully reconsider its China policy in the regard.”
“The invitation to Ericsson is just an interview opportunity rather than a final call of hiring, since the Chinese people won’t tolerate any vicious deed against them,” the source told the Global Times. “Sweden has excluded Huawei, while Ericsson is planning to continue to take orders in China, which is tantamount to smashing the bowls of Chinese companies. However, they still want their own companies to continue to eat the cake of the Chinese market. Will the 1.4 billion Chinese people agree?”
Nokia’s streak continues as the Finnish telecom has been selected as the sole supplier to bring the technological advancement to Swisscom’s optical infrastructure.
“Swisscom has set out its network expansion strategy until the end of 2025, which is to equip the network for the new decade,” said Christoph Aeschlimann, CIO, and CTO of Swisscom. “This strategic partnership with Nokia highlights Swisscom’s commitment to delivering a high capacity, fully automated nationwide optical backbone for Switzerland.”
“This next-generation transport network can quickly adapt to changes and provide superior services and connectivity experiences to our customers. Nokia has proven to be a trusted partner and has been the preferred choice to transform our optical network.”
“We are providing a complete, customer-focused, and business-driven solution that will transform Swisscom’s optical transport network into a service engine that’s ready to deliver new services,” said James Watt, Head of the Optical Networks Division at Nokia. “Swisscom will also benefit from a more automated network that streamlines service delivery and optimizes its total cost of ownership, creating value for both its business and customers.”
Ericsson and Samsung have reached a settlement over their patent dispute that has been going on since last year. At the end of 2020, Ericsson sued Samsung based on the accusation that Samsung has violated the licensing of FRAND patents.
The only fun in covering patent disputes comes when there’s a clear winner, but Ericsson and Samsung aren’t even revealing the terms of their settlement.
After almost half a year of the dispute, the companies have settled at a cross-license agreement. The companies have not disclosed any further details.
“We are delighted to sign a mutually beneficial agreement with Samsung,” said Christina Petersson, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Ericsson. “This important deal confirms the value of our patent portfolio and further illustrates Ericsson’s commitment to FRAND principles.”
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Comptek, the provider of smart city infrastructure, announced they will join Qualcomm’s Smart Cities Accelerator Program.
“We are very excited to join the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program. Moreover, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with other members to integrate their technologies with our vertical infrastructure solutions and provide the foundation for connected cities,” said Jim Lockwood, CEO, and founder of Comptek. “Our flexible wireless and IoT technology platforms will enable the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program members to integrate existing and emerging technologies in the future that support their connectivity.”
Comptek transforms vertical structures into smart infrastructure by designing and manufacturing concealment poles, support poles, and street light structures. Their solutions allow for effective deployment of 5G, CBRS, LAA, WiFi, as well as the emerging technologies such as vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and IoT technologies.
“We are pleased to have Comptek Technologies’ join the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program where they will enable wireless smart infrastructure solutions to support the advancement of smart city developments across the Smart Cities ecosystem,” said Ashok Tipirneni, Director, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Head of Platform Product Management for Smart Cities. “Combining Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership and expertise in wireless and 5G with Comptek Technologies’ innovative infrastructure will prioritize scalability for Smart Cities and smart connected spaces deployments, enabling rapid and widespread adoption.”
Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program was launched in 2019. It aims at connecting cities and enterprises with providers to deliver sustainable, efficient and safe solutions and accelerate transformation of city infrastructure.
Last week, L-com announced through a press release they launched a new line of antibacterial Cat6a ethernet cables.
The cables can be a perfect solutions for medical facilities, schools, and other places that are of high pathogenic risk as their cables inhibit bacteria growth by as much as 99.9%. The cable line that features a cable, plug, and a boot resists the majority of bacteria including staphylococcus, E. coli and MRSA.
“In a world still managing the spread of Covid, antibacterial Ethernet cable assemblies can protect your application by keeping it clean and sterile while also providing the quality and performance you typically expect from L-com’s Ethernet products,” said Dustin Guttadauro, Product Line Manager.
The cables are already available for purchase, with the same-day shipping option.
Ethio Telecom, the Ethiopia’s telecommunications company run by the government announced they will launch a mobile money service this week.
Ethio’s Telebirr will allow customers to use a range of services such as cash transfers and mobile payments. Through their electronic mobile phone accounts, the Ethio clients will be able to send, receive, store, transfer, and spend their money. Telebirr also aims at assisting with payments such as utility payments, school fees and others.
In order to register for the service, the customers will have to personally register in one of the TeleBirr agent outlets.
Telenor’s business in Myanmar has been struggling since the military ordered telecoms to shut the networks after the February coup.
The Norwegian Telenor is one of the few Western telecom operators in Myanmar. Now, the company has to decide whether to stay and face the situation or withdraw from the market which accounted for 7% of the company’s earnings.
Telenor Chief Executive, Sigve Brekke, said that for now, the company plans to stay in Myanmar. He has, however, emphasized that they are facing many dilemmas and called the future “uncertain”.
A spokeswoman for Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, which represents the Norwegian government as a shareholder, told Reuters:
“From a corporate governance perspective the investment in Myanmar is a responsibility of the company’s Board and Management. Within this framework, the Ministry as a shareholder keep a good dialogue with Telenor regarding the situation,”
“We make a difference like we have done since we arrived. But with the situation being this unpredictable, it is impossible in many ways to speculate about the future and how this will develop,” the Chief Executive, Brekke, added.
The industry sources claim that India holds up approvals for the import of wireless devices from China, delaying product launches of several companies including Dell, HP, Xiaomi, and Lenovo.
According to the sources The Communications Ministry’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing has withheld approval of Bluetooth speakers, wireless earphones, smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops since as least November of 2020.
“The government’s idea is to push companies to manufacture these products in India,” one of the sources said.
“But tech companies are caught in a difficult situation – making in India would mean big-ticket investments and a long wait for returns, on the other hand, the government-imposed hurdle on imports means a potential loss of revenues.”
The Communication Ministry declined the request for comment.
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