Featured: Telecoms’ list of innovative companies to watch in 2021

Wherever you are reading this, every country has rightly cheered its frontline healthcare workers over the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic. But just as vital have been another frontline group; those people and companies keeping us connected when we’ve needed it most.

In this feature, Telecoms will be looking at some of the vendors delivering the innovations that are enabling people to work, learn, and live, even in the midst of a global pandemic. In alphabetical...

EE announces major rural 4G coverage expansion plan

BT-owned EE has announced plans to expand its 4G coverage in more than 500 areas this year to boost rural connectivity.

The expansion is part of the government’s Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative signed by the UK’s four major operators: EE, Vodafone, O2, and Three.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said:

"I'm delighted to see the great strides EE is making to boost 4G services in countryside communities as part of the Shared Rural...

Vodafone, Three, and O2 commit to building 222 masts together

Three of the UK’s four major telcos have committed to building 222 new masts as part of an endeavour to address rural coverage issues.

Vodafone, O2, and Three UK will build and share the new masts to improve rural 4G coverage across all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said:

“We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together.

Our unique collaboration...

Connected Nations 2020: How networks handled an extra demanding year

Ofcom has released the 2020 edition of its Connected Nations report, providing insight into how networks handled an extra demanding year.

Whether it’s getting work done from home, or binging on Netflix. Checking in with phone calls to elderly relatives, or posting the latest TikTok trend video. Never has the connectivity we’re blessed with today been so appreciated.

Demands on fixed and mobile networks soared this year as a result of the pandemic. Ofcom notes that...

Huawei appears to get a slight reprieve from US trade ban

Huawei’s business appears to be getting a slight reprieve from a US trade ban which has pressured the firm over the past year.

Huawei was added to the US Chamber of Commerce’s so-called Entity List earlier this year; meaning American companies are banned from doing business with Huawei without explicit permission. The decision was reinforced in July when the FCC officially designated Huawei a national security threat.

Although Huawei has increased the production of...

Vodafone will help break 5G vendor stranglehold with OpenRAN pledge

Vodafone has pledged to use 5G equipment from smaller OpenRAN vendors at one-fifth of its UK sites from 2027.

OpenRAN is an initiative to define and build RAN solutions that are interoperable, easy for operators to integrate, and, most importantly, are vendor-neutral. The end result should be a more competitive market with many new vendors emerging with capable solutions to disrupt the current stranglehold held by the major players.

Vodafone UK is a long-term supporter...

5G growth remains ‘healthy’ despite pandemic and economic downturn

Research suggests that a pandemic and resulting economic downturn hasn’t severely impacted 5G rollouts.

While 5G rollouts have slowed, they are continuing at a relatively decent pace.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, said:

“The pace of new commercial 5G network launches has remained healthy through the challenging quarter, as mobile network operators continue to build 5G networks for the long-term.”

In Q2 2020, which covers the first...

RootMetrics: EE continues its lead in the UK, but Three’s 5G is fastest

RootMetrics by IHS Markit's latest UK report shows no sign of EE losing its overall lead, but Three's 5G potential is beginning to emerge.

EE either took first place, or tied, in all seven of RootMetrics' categories: Overall, reliability, speed, data, accessibility, calls, and text.

The UK's largest mobile operator by subscribers managed to achieve a median download speed of 42.6Mbps across 16 major cities tested. In half of the cities, EE achieved 50Mbps. In Manchester,...

Ookla: AT&T beats Verizon in 4G speeds, T-Mobile is the 5G leader

The latest report from Ookla finds AT&T beating Verizon in average 4G speeds and T-Mobile blazing ahead in 5G.

Ookla’s 4G “speed score” for AT&T is 41.23 with T-Mobile quite far behind in second place with a score of 33.69. The other two major operators, Sprint and Verizon, are clumped close to T-Mobile with scores of 31.53 and 30.77 respectively.

All the providers now have high 4G availability scores. Sprint and Verizon lead with a joint 99% 4G...

BT replaces Huawei with Ericsson for its 4G and 5G core network

BT is replacing Huawei’s equipment with gear from Ericsson for the company’s 4G and 5G core network.

Following a multi-year security review, the British government ruled in January that it will allow the use of Huawei's equipment. However, the ruling came with strict caveats.

The most notable stipulation is that Huawei's equipment is not allowed in any core network and in no more than 35 percent of their Radio Access Networks. Furthermore, the Chinese vendor's gear...