Also in today’s EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone and VMware still going steady; Openreach tests exchange closures; MWC Barcelona 2022 is go!
As the COP26 climate-change summit draws to an uncertain close in Glasgow and thousands of lanyards are consigned to landfill, Nokia has popped up to call for “accelerated digitalization and green energy uptake” as well as committing to 100% renewable electricity in its own operations by 2025. Nokia’s CEO, Pekka Lundmark, who was one of many captains of industry to head to Glasgow, said in a statement: “There is no green without digital. Only 30% of the worlds economy is currently digitalized, and we must now work to connect the remaining 70% to ensure the world can reach net zero. 5G and related technologies play a critical role in making other industries more sustainable. At the same time the ICT industry needs to minimize its footprint and accelerate the use of green electricity.”
Vodafone and VMware have extended their working relationship in Europe, which sees the operator using the software company to help speed up the rollout of new digital services. The first application of the two companies’ common platform will be the provision of 5G standalone (5G SA), allowing Vodafone to automate and orchestrate new applications based on 5G SA in several countries. Working with VMware, Vodafone has already completed the virtualization of its non-5G core network infrastructure across its European operating companies and 21 markets in total.
Vodafone has also been carrying out research into the way screens are dominating family lives, discovering, rather depressingly, that only one in five families are sitting down for their evening meal away from TVs, phones and other devices of distraction. And, not surprisingly, six in ten parents admitted that getting children to switch off their devices is the biggest cause of conflict in their household, leading to an average of two disputes a day. Only two? You need to come round to ours…
Openreach is planning a trial run of its plan to exit 100 UK exchange buildings by December 2030, proposing to pull out of five pilot exchanges to test the waters. The company says its key priority is to ensure that all customers are migrated safely and with minimal disruption; the pilots, it claims, will help it test the processes needed to achieve this. Some of Openreach’s customers expressed alarm when in December last year the company announced plans to close 4,600 exchanges throughout the UK as part of its plan to move away from copper-based services and nearer to fiber-based ones.
Openreach’s parent company, BT, says it has developed an “epidemiology-based” cybersecurity prototype which uses the spread of viruses in human populations as a model to inform its artificial intelligence. Called Inflame, the product is intended to help businesses to automatically detect and respond to cyberattacks before they compromise a network. To develop the technology, researchers at the BT Labs in Suffolk, UK, built models of enterprise networks which were used to test numerous scenarios based on differing “R rates” of cyber-infection.
MWC Barcelona 2022 has opened for registrations, with the organizer, the GSMA, revealing the topic areas that are going to be covered during the mainly in-person event, which will run from February 28 to March 3. The usual suspects are all there: the cloud, 5G, IoT, fintech, AI and more. Corporate bigwigs already lined up to speak include Nokia’s Pekka Lundmark and Orange’s Stephane Richard. If any of those get your juices going, you can register here.
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading