Every Tuesday, we look at the latest telecom news to summarize the key developments from the telecommunication industry for you. This time, we look at Nokia launching six new smartphones to compete in the market for mid-to-low tiers. Meanwhile, Huawei unravels the plan supposed to help in their global challenges, a consequence of being blacklisted by the U.S. We will also take a look at Axiata and Telenor slowly reaching a deal that can give them a huge competitive advantage in Malaysia. IEC Telecom says their satellite-based solutions can help bridge the digital divide and Global 4 Communications receives huge funding. Scroll down to find out more details about these and other key stories from the telecommunication industry.
Last week, six new Nokia smartphones have been revealed by HMD Global Manufacturer, targeting mid-to-low tiers.
The phones that were launched are:
- Nokia X20, 6/128GB [RAM and storage] and 8/128GB configurations, global average RRP €349.
- Nokia X10, 6/64GB, 6/128 GB and 4/128GB configurations, global average RRP €309.
- Nokia G20, 4/64GB and 4/128GB configurations, global average RRP €159.
- Nokia G10, 3/32GB and 4/64GB configurations, global average RRP €139.
- Nokia C20, 1/16GB, 2/32GB configurations, global average RRP €89.
- Nokia C10, 1/16GB, 1/32GB and 2/16GB configurations, global Average RRP €75.
“Today is more momentous than a regular product launch,” said CEO Florian Seiche. “The past 12 months have no doubt been challenging, yet they also gave us a moment to pause, think and prepare for the next big step in our start-up journey. As a Finnish company, our approach to technology and business is human-first and that is reflected in this new smartphone range. We want people love their phones”
“The launch of HMD Mobile – a milestone in our journey to a holistic provider of all things mobile – amplifies this, and it is only the beginning. We want you to trust that we put security at the heart of everything we do – Nokia smartphones come with security and software updates for extra peace of mind. And we want people to keep their phones for longer, thanks to our signature durability.”
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Last week, at its annual global analysts’ summit, Huawei revealed its plan to tackle the strategic challenges that were shown in its annual growth report that was released just a couple of weeks ago.
The Rotating Chairman, Eric Xu, presented the five main strategic goals for the Chinese telecom vendor.
“Rebuilding trust and restoring collaboration across the global semiconductor supply chain is crucial to bringing the industry back on track,” said Xu, “Moving forward, we will continue to find ourselves in a complex and volatile global environment. The resurgence of COVID-19 and geopolitical uncertainty will present ongoing challenges for every organisation, business, and country.
“We believe deeply in the power of digital technology to provide fresh solutions to the problems we all face. So we will keep innovating and driving digital transformation forward with our customers and partners to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.”
During the speech, there was no direct mention of the US sanctions that caused a large part of Huawei’s problems.
“In the decade to come, we can expect to see many great improvements in society,” said William Xu, Director of the Board and President of Huawei’s Institute of Strategic Research. “To promote these efforts, we hope to join forces with different industries, academia, research institutes, and application developers to address the universal challenges facing humanity. With a shared vision, we all have a role to play as we explore how to make connections stronger, computing faster, and energy greener. Together, let’s march ahead towards an Intelligent World in 2030.”
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The Malaysian telecom Axiata Group Bhd and Norway’s largest telecom Telenor ASA are close to reaching a deal to combine their Malaysian mobile operations and become the biggest player in the Malaysian competitive market.
On Thursday, both companies admitted they are in an advanced talking stage to merge Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd, in which the parties would each own about 33.1%.
“While the possible combination of Celcom and Digi has been on the cards before, drivers such as 5G rollout and the government’s decision to intervene has shaken up the industry recently,” said Mark Robinson, Asia Pacific head of TMT at Herbert Smith Freehills.
“It is no secret that the telecommunications industry continues to face long-term structural headwinds of slower growth, increased operating costs, and lower profits,” Axiata’s CEO Izzaddin Idris said in a statement.
Combining what is currently Malaysia’s second and third largest mobile services providers would results in a company with a annual revenue of almost $3 billion and almost 20 million customers.
Norwegian Telenor is currently the largest shareholder in DiGi.com with a 49% stake.
The deal between Telenor and Axiata is not a surprise, the company was already planning to create an Asian telecom joint venture in 2019, targeting 300 million customers. However, in September 2019, the deal was called off due to “complexities”.
“I personally can’t foresee any hurdles that we need to cross, any challenges that we need to face, in terms of deal breakers. The 2019 exercise has given us a better understanding of each other,” Izzaddin said.
Telenor Looks At More Opportunities In Asian Markets
After the news that Telenor and Axiata are close to reaching a deal in the Malaysian market, the CEO of the Norwegian biggest telecom, Sigve Brekke, said that they are looking at different opportunities in other Asian countries.
“In the last couple of years we’ve spoken of the need to affirm our positions in the five Asian markets in which we operate. This time we’re doing it in Malaysia, and we’re also saying we will look at opportunities in other countries,” Brekke said.
Apart from mergers and acquisitions in the Asian market, Telenor is also considering different possibilities in its neighboring Denmark.
Global 4 Communications Limited got funding from the leading investor for mid-sized SMEs, Thin Cats.
UK-based Global 4 Communications provides innovative B2B and B2C telecoms solutions. Its customers vary from SMEs to large UK companies in all the sectors including education, real estate, and medicine. The company provides solutions that reduce costs, improve workflow and drive sales.
The company began seeking funding for their planned acquisition of the residential telecom provider Eclipse Broadband.
“The opportunity to acquire the client base from Eclipse supports our strategy to grow our retail client base and is our third acquisition in 18 months, which puts us in a great position to offer an even more comprehensive service to more clients,” Nigel Barnett, the CEO of Global 4 Communications said. “We appreciate the efforts of both the teams at ThinCats and Knight CF, enabling us to complete the acquisition in a timely manner.”
“For businesses and individuals alike to communicate effectively has proven to be even more important than ever under the current circumstances, so the opportunity to support Nigel and the team has been particularly rewarding. We wish them the all the very best with this acquisition,” Stuart Thompson, the Director of Regional Business Development at ThinCats said.
SK Launches Its AR App In The United States
The largest mobile carrier in South Korea, SK Telecom, announced yesterday it would launch its augmented reality app in the United States.
The Jump AR app has shown to be a huge success in Korea and now, SK Telecom, wants to widespread the adoption of the new technology and allow users from the United States to experience the mixed reality content that was previously available only for users in South Korea and Hong Kong.
The app will be available exclusively for Android smartphones.
IEC Telecom just launched its connectivity solution that aims at bridging the digital divide and bringing connectivity to locations that are hard to reach. Voyager Edge has the ability to transform any car, van or bus into the remote office and provide high-quality connectivity.
“With today’s digital technology it is possible to conduct business in areas which were previously not linked to communications networks or where connectivity levels were poor. Imagine being able to transport your office, bank, or service directly to the communities that need you and carry out day-to-day operations without the need to install communications towers or expensive infrastructure,” outlines Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO Asia, Middle East & CIS at IEC Telecom Group. “The same concept can be applied to other areas of operation, thereby enabling telemedicine for healthcare, connecting supply chains for logistic companies, facilitating remote maintenance for public utility services, and so on – it’s an exciting development.”
In their press release, IEC writes, “Voyager Edge V combines Thuraya’s IP Voyager reliable vehicular satellite terminal with IEC Telecom’s lightweight and easy-to-install OneGate Compact to provide a dual GSM/Satcom service with least-cost routing, secure channel for confidential communications and data transfers, virtual dashboard, advanced cyber security, robust back-up facilities and GPS tracking in real-time to ensure continuity of operations and the safety of remote workers. An advanced filtration toolkit can prioritise communications and restrict usage, while the dedicated digital portal offers 24/7 access to consumption reports.”