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24 August 2021

Round-up of highlights from the week’s Telecoms news

By Wireless Watch Staff

AT&T and GM commit to 5G connectivity in select vehicles by 2024

AT&T and General Motors have pledged to start rolling out 5G connectivity in select Chevy, Cadillac and GMC vehicles from 2024, claiming this will bring more reliable software updates, faster navigation and downloads, as well as better coverage on roads.

This reflects AT&T’s confidence its 5G network in the USA will be mature and extensive enough to handle millions of connected vehicles by 2024, at far higher data rates than at present.

“There’s going to be a performance boost and improvements as AT&T improves their infrastructure, so that the vehicles connected with 4G capabilities, model year 19 and beyond, they will also start to perceive an improvement in their performance,” said GM’s VP of global connected services, Santiago Chamorro.

Nvidia may face in-depth UK probe of ARM takeover plan

The UK’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has ruled that an in-depth probe of the proposed acquisition of ARM by processor giant Nvidia would be required, as the deal “raises serious competition concerns”.

The CMA’s recommendation will need to be accepted by the relevant government minister, Oliver Dowden, who will decide whether to trigger the detailed investigation. In April, Dowden issued a public interest intervention notice, invoking legal powers that let ministers intervene in overseas takeovers on national security grounds.

In fact, ARM has been owned by Japan’s Softbank since 2016, but most of its activities remain UK-based. Nvidia made its $40bn offer last September but many Nvidia competitors, which also use ARM’s processor designs, have complained about the plan and China launched an investigation in June that could take 18 months.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “We’re concerned that Nvidia controlling ARM could create real problems for Nvidia’s rivals by limiting their access to key technologies, and ultimately stifling innovation across a number of important and growing markets.”

HID Global acquires Omni-ID adding RFID devices to secure identity portfolio

HID Global, a major provider of trusted identity systems, has acquired Omni-ID to bring in a range of ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) devices.

These including passive hard tags, labels and a growing range of active devices for tracking and monitoring manufacturing components, energy infrastructure, logistics containers, IT assets, and also equipment on the International Space Station.

Part of the Swedish door and access control conglomerate Assa Abloy, HID Global provides various products for secure access to physical and digital places, with verification and online tracking.

Corning launches indoor small cell 5G package

Corning has released a package to help network operators bring reliable 5G connections indoors with small-cell radio nodes. The company noted that 80% of mobile traffic originates or terminates indoors, while some 5G frequencies are especially bad at penetrating physical barriers, such as walls.

Corning’s Everon millimeter wave indoor small cell systems are designed for 5G-ready coverage in high density indoor environments, including office buildings, factories, hotels, hospitals, and classrooms.

They are designed to operate at commonly used mmWave frequencies, including 28 GHz and 39 GHz. This follows a December 2020 announcement by Corning that it had begun commercial installations of in-building 5G mmWave cell sites for enterprise customers in the US in collaboration with Verizon Business.

Vodafone unveils IoT platform for water utilities

Vodafone has launched an IoT platform for UK water companies to consolidate data from distributed and diverse industrial sensors into a single management plane. This includes design and supply of new IoT devices, allowing water utilities to prolong life of legacy industrial equipment.

Working with the cellular NB-IoT LPWAN protocol for new sensors, the platform supports other wireless protocols for legacy systems.

Vodafone notes that water utilities, like many industrial companies, tend to operate on long equipment upgrade cycles, with some systems up to 30 years old. The ability to plug these into a new analytics platform will “improve monitoring, increase efficiency, reduce wastage, and meet regulatory requirements”, said Vodafone.

APT deploys Ericsson MOCN technology in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT) has implemented a multi-operator core network (MOCN) to enable it to share its 4G and 5G network dynamically with fellow MNO Far EasTone, using the latter’s 3.5 GHz spectrum.

Ericsson supplied the MOCN upgrade in a 5G Non-standalone environment and said last week that the system was ready for commercial service.

“In partnership with APT, we are reaching today a significant milestone in Taiwan’s 5G development by delivering the first 5G MOCN in an NSA structure. With the launch of the 5G MOCN, we are able to maximize the effectiveness of the existing network infrastructure and significantly increase 5G availability across the island,” said Chafic Nassif, president of Ericsson Taiwan.