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26 January 2021

Round-up of highlights from the week’s news

By Wireless Watch Staff

Honor launches first post-Huawei device, with new chip deals

Following Huawei’s sale of its Honor smartphone brand last year, the now-independent company has announced a new flagship device, based on new semiconductor supply agreements.

The sale, to a Chinese consortium, apparently was sufficient to get around US sanctions, as Honor now claims deals with many suppliers, including US chip vendors Intel, Qualcomm and AMD (as well as MediaTek and SK Hynix). Its new handset is called the View40 and the company also plans to expand further into the IoT market.

There are also reports that Honor will be free to use Google mobile applications, which were denied to Huawei when the Chinese firm was placed on the USA’s Entity List in May 2019 – a model with full Google Android services is said to be coming to market in the spring.

 

Hyundai confirms involvement in project to make Apple car

South Korean automotive giant Hyundai has confirmed long standing speculation over its involvement in Apple’s electric car project and likely role as manufacturer of the vehicle. Apple has yet to announce its car officially and it is unlikely to enter commercial production for at least five years, as the company waits for battery technology to advance sufficiently. Currently, lack of range at an affordable price without sapping performance through carrying massive batteries remains an impediment for electric cars. Apple believes it can start making affordable and yet high performing vehicles that meet expectations for brand quality around 2025.

Aerospace parts maker claims to be first SME in UK to deploy private 5G

AE Aerospace, a UK maker of prototype components for aerospace, marine and defense, has become one of the few small-medium enterprises so far to deploy a private 5G network. The company supplies Rolls-Royce, Raytheon and Moog, among others, and has just secured a £3.6m supply contract with Airbus. BT’s mobile division EE has been engaged to run the private 5G set-up for three trials with the company, having already fulfilled this role for larger manufacturers in the region.

The project is part of the UK West Midlands 5G (WM5G) initiative, a public-private partnership ‘innovation’ company formed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Swedish midband auctions underway

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) started auctions for licenses in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands last week. The auction in the 3.5 GHz band will come first, comprising 320 MHz, divided into a maximum of 15 national licences. The 2.3 GHz auction will offer of 80 MHz and a maximum of eight national licences.

The country’s Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden had just dismissed an appeal filed by Huawei against its exclusion from the country’s 5G network roll-out, clearing the way for the spectrum sale.

German operators agree RAN sharing to address grey spots

Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica O2 Germany are to engage in network sharing in the 800 MHz band to improve 4G coverage in ‘grey spots’.

“Joint projects like this are becoming increasingly important to network build-out – in both broadband and mobile communication. Together with Telefónica  O2 we can make an important contribution to providing better, uninterrupted LTE coverage in Germany,” said Srini Gopalan, managing director of Telekom Deutschland. “We’re teaming up with our competition to ensure that even more people in Germany can use a better network. This agreement further attests to our conviction that digitalizing Germany works best through cooperation.”

In some markets, RAN sharing or roaming has been mandated by regulators to improve rural coverage but this is usually fiercely opposed by operators, as seen in the UK and Australia, among others.