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Latest Connectivity News


UK announces £65m investment in rural 5G trials

Rural areas will be the focus of a series of Government trials of 5G technology, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced.

Named as the winners of the Rural Connected Communities competition, nine projects across the UK will receive a share of £35 million from the Government as part of plans to find new ways to spread technology like 5G to all areas of the country.


Huawei and LSE in talks over 5G research funding’

The London School of Economics (LSE) is reportedly in talks with Huawei over the Chinese company funding a three-year study on its “leadership” in the development of 5G technology. The university confirmed to the Financial Times (FT) that “commercial negotiations” were ongoing, but no final agreement or payment had been made.


O2 launches first UK LTE-M network to boost business IoT

O2 claimed it will become the first carrier to bring LTE-M to the UK when its new network is rolled out in 2020. 50 sites are already live and national rollout is scheduled to complete this year.

The 4G-based LTE-M (Long Term Evolution M1) network is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) service designed to facilitate uptake of IoT business applications like asset tracking, connected traffic lights, parking sensors, soil monitoring and assisted living.


Intel becomes latest tech giant to pull out of Mobile World Congress over coronavirus

Intel has become the latest high-profile technology company to withdraw from forthcoming trade show Mobile World Congress (MWC) over concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The firm follows the likes of LG, Amazon, Sony, Ericsson and Nvidia in withdrawing from the Barcelona trade show, due to take place at the end of the month.


Mobile World Congress bans visitors from China’s Hubei province amid coronavirus fears

Major technology trade show Mobile World Congress (MWC) has banned visitors from China’s Hubei province as part of new measures introduced in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The technology convention in Barcelona has announced safety precautions – including a ‘no-handshake’ policy. The annual event, one of the biggest in the industry’s calendar, is due to take place in Barcelona between February 24 and 27.


Google and Facebook shelve US-China subsea cable plan

Plans for a subsea cable system linking Los Angeles directly to China and Hong Kong have been abandoned over concerns about a third-party backer’s ties to Beijing.

Google and Facebook applied to the US regulator, the FCC, for more modest plans for the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), that stop in the Philippines and Taiwan, three years after the tech giants announced what would have been the first submarine cable to directly connect Hong Kong and the US.


Head of BT hails ‘clarity’ over Huawei 5G involvement

The boss of BT has welcomed the Government’s “clarity” over its decision to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei access to the UK’s 5G phone network infrastructure.

Philip Jansen said the decision will have “an impact of around £500 million over the next five years”, and admitted that current trading has been weaker than expected.


Boris Johnson to allow Huawei limited involvement to 5G network

Boris Johnson has paved the way for Chinese firm Huawei to have a limited role in the UK’s 5G network, in a move that will set up a diplomatic clash with the US. The National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister on Tuesday decided that “high-risk vendors” should be permitted to play a peripheral role in the network. But advice issued to telecoms operators by the National Cyber Security Centre said such vendors should be barred from all safety-related and critical networks.


Cityfibre completes £200m deal for TalkTalk’s fibre networks business 

TalkTalk has sold its fibre networks rollout business to Cityfibre for £200 million. The deal for Fibrenation was supposed to be completed last year, but was delayed following Labour’s announcement that it planned to nationalise parts of BT if it won the general election.


PM vows not to jeopardise UK security over Huawei 5G involvement

Boris Johnson said he would not risk Britain’s security when upgrading the nation’s 5G communications network – but said critics of Chinese technology firm Huawei must come up with an “alternative” provider. In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said he did not want to “prejudice” the country’s ability to share intelligence with allies in the so-called Five Eyes arrangement – a collaboration between the UK, Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand – as a result of the improvements he had promised voters in his election manifesto.


Intelligence relationship with the US not under threat, claims MI5 chief

The head of MI5 has said he has no reason to think Britain’s intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States will be damaged if the Chinese tech giant Huawei is given access to the UK’s 5G network. The Government has come under intense pressure from the US administration not to allow Huawei a role in building 5G network amid fears that granting a Chinese firm access to the communications network could be a security risk.


Telecoms giant BT agree deal to buy firm behind 21st-century phone boxes

The company behind 21st-century phone boxes that offer free calls, wi-fi and phone charging has been bought out of administration. Telecoms giant BT agreed to buy InLink from administrators for an undisclosed fee and will run the nearly-500 units across 23 cities in the UK. InLink went bust in November after attempts by the company to build thousands of the kiosks were thwarted by planning laws and opposition from the police, describing them as “antisocial” hubs.



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