Why did SK Telecom split into two companies and how will it distribute its operations? Where will Sparkle expand its Nibble network after a huge success in Southern Europe and the Middle East? What are the key opportunities for the telecom retail sector? How is the sixth private subsea cable by Google increase their competitive advantage? What can Samsung celebrate this week? And what new upgrades and major news can we see from Nokia and Deutsche Telekom? For those and more latest news about the most interesting telecom developments, take a look at our newest telecom weekly summary.
It was announced that the SK Telecom would be splitting into two companies, with telecom activities remaining in SK Telecom and the semiconductors and communication technologies becoming a part of the newly created entity – SKT Technologies.
“The horizontal spin-off will mark the beginning of a new era for SK Telecom,” said Park Jung-ho (pictured), CEO of SK Telecom, which will keep its name. “We will make best efforts to contribute to the advancement of the ICT ecosystem by achieving new and sustainable growth.”
Before the split can become official, the shareholders need to approve it at their October meeting. If everything goes according to the plan, the division will start on November 1st, with the split being 60% SK Telecom, 40% SKT Technologies and both companies being listed.
The company said: “The new entity will actively pursue mergers and acquisitions in the global semiconductor market. It plans to build a semiconductor ecosystem with SK Hynix by investing in innovative technologies including future semiconductor technologies.”
As the surviving entity, SK Telecom “plans to establish itself as an AI and digital infrastructure company by maintaining its growth in fixed and wireless telecommunication and home media based on its leadership in the 5G market”, it said.
“Building on its AI and digital infrastructure technology assets, the surviving entity will increase its investment in data centre and mobile edge computing cloud business to secure new sources of revenue,” the statement continued.
Sparkle, which became widely known for being among the top ten global international service providers and the first one of its kind in Italy just announced that its Nibble network will be expanding to Northern Europe. It was announced at the Sicily Hub meeting between the CEO of Sparkle, Elisabetta Romano, and the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Manlio Di Stefano.
Nibble is based on software-defined technology and built on a 6500 km long photonic backbone, connecting the main submarine landing stations of Sparkle (both in Sicily) with different cities around Europe, as well as the Middle East. As the connectivity is built on different fiber optic backbones, it provides reliability and high performance.
Already by July 2021, Nibble plans to extend by 6300 more km to Northern Europe, interconnecting cities such as London, Amsterdam, and Brussels and stretching out its total length to almost 13000 kilometers.
“Sparkle demonstrates once again its pioneering role in the global telecom industry, reaffirming Italy’s leadership in Europe and in the Mediterranean” declares Elisabetta Romano, Chief Executive Officer of Sparkle. “Today, we can offer our customers instant activation of seamless, secure and ultra-reliable capacity services.”
“I am pleased to be the guest of an Italian excellence like Sparkle” comments Manlio Di Stefano, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for business and digital. “We will continue to work with them and with the entire Italian ICT sector so that our country remains at the European and international forefront in this increasingly strategic area.”
The newest research by the telecom retail software provider, IQmetrix, provided insights on what they believe is a very bright future for the retail sector with “transformational” strategies and solutions. In their survey, iQmetrix was surveying professionals across the US and Canada to get insights on the latest trends and future opportunities. All the respondents were professionals working in the top-tier telecoms.
The report named: The Future is Anywhere: 2021 Trends in Telecom Retail Report mentions some of the key findings that are:
“• Nearly 70% of telecom retailers predict sales of wireless devices will be higher in three years compared with today
- 83.7% predict sales of smart home and IoT-connected devices will be higher in three years
- Almost 80% have invested in buy/reserve online, pick up in-store, or plan to do so within three years
- Nearly one-third have seen e-commerce retail revenues increase by at least double over the past year
- 87% have invested or plan to invest in engaging with customers via social platforms
- 89% predict more growth in buy/reserve online, pick up in-store solutions over the next five years
- More than 88% predict a much greater focus on customer subscription and loyalty programs over the next five years”
Stacy Hamer, Vice President of Client Experiences at iQmetrix, said, “Overall, these responses make up a very optimistic report—and one that predicts huge change, not the status quo. It shows that authorized retailers and carriers will have to align with each other, invest in new product sales, and adopt new retail channels. It paints a transformational picture.”
Google just announced it will deploy its sixth private subsea cable that will connect the U.S. to several points across South America. The deployment will strengthen low-latency access to Google’s products and services. The capable will be built with 12 fiber pairs and a key resiliency feature.
Google Cloud VP of Global Networking Bikash Koley pointed out the cable will become the strongest in the world in terms of sustaining operations with a power source at just one end in the event that one or more go offline.
“While shorter cable systems can enjoy the higher availability of power feeding from a single end, longer cables with large fiber-pair counts make this harder to do,” he wrote. “Achieving this record-breaking, highly-resilient design is accomplished by supplying the cable with a voltage 20% higher than with previous systems.”
Routhe will go from U.S. to Las Toninas, Argentina, with branches extending to Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. Two of the cable’s landing points appear to correspond to existing Google Cloud regions located in Northern Virginia in the U.S. and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A Google representative told Fierce the company chooses “subsea cable routes based on a variety of factors, including proximity to users, diversity from existing subsea cable paths and routes that provide the lowest latency between various locations.” The representative added deploying its own subsea cables allows it “to plan effectively for the future capacity needs of our customers and users around the world, and add a layer of security beyond what’s available over the public internet.”
Yesterday, Vodafone announced the vendors that will support the deployment of the OpenRAN in Europe. So far, Samsung and NEC are the clear leaders in the European RAN market, with no Ericsson or Nokia being mentioned by Vodafone. According to the plan, Samsung will be responsible both for providing the software and supplying the radio units.
“This is another major step forward in making OpenRAN a reality, and demonstrates our commitment to this ecosystem,” said Vodafone UK’s Chief Network Officer, Andrea Dona, in a statement emailed to Telecoms.com.
The rollout is expected to begin with roughly 2500 sites across the UK, with Vodafone focusing primarily on Wales and South West England ruler areas in the first stage of the deployment.
“With these new partners, 2,500 sites marked for deployment, and the Test and Integration Lab on our Newbury Technology campus, we’re making massive progress in establishing OpenRAN as a key part of the telecommunications industry,” said Dona.
“Open RAN provides huge advantages for customers. Our network will become highly programmable and automated meaning we can release new features simultaneously across multiple sites, add or direct capacity more quickly, resolve outages instantly and provide businesses with on-demand connectivity,” said Vodafone CTO Johan Wibergh, in a statement. “Open RAN is also reinvigorating our industry. It will boost the digital economy by stimulating greater tech innovation from a wider pool of vendors, bringing much needed diversity to the supply chain.”
One of the leading kit vendors in the world, Nokia, has cooperated with Ooredoo Oman to offer 5G fixed wireless access to the customers in Oman. The work on the FWA started at the beginning of this year and at the end of last week, the availability of FWA across Oman has been announced.
“We are excited to have partnered with Ooredoo Oman to enable world-class FWA connectivity for its customers, and looking forward to further strengthen our collaboration,” said Rima Manna, Head of the Middle East Market Unit, Nokia MEA. “Our receivers and gateways are field proven to provide connectivity and best-in-class speed in the toughest of radio conditions which will help Ooredoo serve a larger area. The high gain antennas guarantee the most efficient use of radio airtime of any customer premise equipment, saving radio costs.”
“Fixed wireless access is a critical part of our strategy to provide high-speed internet across Oman,” said Noor Al Sulaiti, CEO of Ooredoo Oman. “Nokia’s solution offers a great 4G and 5G experience so that more of our customers can enjoy the internet with us. The service will take connectivity to the next level, supporting the demands of our residential and business customers for super fast and reliable connectivity.”
As German telecoms focus their efforts on the public cloud, Deutsche Telekom has just opened up two new data centers in Amsterdam. The facilities are already operating in beta mode and mimic the operations of the existing facilities in Germany.
Now, Deutsche Telekom plans to sign up research institutions that are looking for supercomputing resources.
“To mark the launch of the Amsterdam data centre, research institutions are now being offered attractive terms for new customer contracts. These also include a free initial consultation and special support,” Deutsche Telekom explained. “With the opening offers, scientists now have the chance to obtain particularly favourable high-performance resources that are specifically tailored to the needs of science and research.”
“Everything is becoming cloud,” said Adel Al-Saleh, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and CEO of T-Systems, back in February. “The trick is no longer to operate data centres, but to map work processes intelligently in highly automated infrastructures, which we call cloud computing. We are consistently aligning our company to this.”