UK opens £1M SONIC Labs to accelerate 5G OpenRAN deployment

The UK government has announced the launch of two new labs to accelerate the development, testing, and deployment of 5G OpenRAN.

One of the new “SONIC Labs” will be based in London while the other will be in Brighton. The sites will enable various manufacturers to supply components for 5G radio equipment and test them prior to real-world deployments.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman launched the SONIC Labs at a virtual event this morning. He...

EE braces for a summer of staycations with coastal coverage boost

BT-owned EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, is preparing for a surge in summer staycations by boosting its coverage in popular coastal destinations.

After being mostly cooped up inside for over a year, a holiday is near the forefront of most people’s minds. Many aren’t yet ready to travel abroad – especially with travel advice for destinations changing at short notice – and so will be looking a little closer to home.

Marc Allera, CEO of the Consumer Division...

FCC hopes its OpenRAN showcase will encourage operators ‘to invest in network security’

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced the US telecoms regulator will host an OpenRAN showcase next month.

OpenRAN is one of the industry’s most exciting new trends. The interoperable equipment provides greater flexibility to carriers and helps them to avoid vendor lock-in.

Governments are increasingly becoming cheerleaders of OpenRAN due to the security benefits of having many vendors in a network. This is especially true in many Western countries...

Nokia expands its AirScale portfolio with several new 5G solutions

Nokia is expanding its AirScale small cells portfolio for indoor and outdoor 5G coverage with several new solutions.

The headline addition is Nokia’s new micro Remote Radio Heads (mRRH) that will help to boost the capacity and coverage of outdoor 5G networks in dense urban environments. 

The small footprints of mRRHs enable operators to densify their 5G networks in areas where macro cells would be unsuitable. Their lower power consumption also reduces operational...

EE eases the pain of returning to London’s rail network with coverage boost

EE has boosted its mobile coverage across London’s rail network in preparation for the return of commuters and travellers.

The UK’s largest mobile operator has built almost 70 new 4G mobile sites – with hundreds more planned – across London’s key rail routes.

Connectivity has been improved on seven sections of the London Euston to Birmingham New Street route, and six between London Victoria and Brighton. Other lines to see upgrades include London Paddington to...

Ericsson and Samsung resolve global patent dispute with multi-year agreement

Ericsson and Samsung have resolved their high-profile global patent disputes with a multi-year agreement.

The two companies have a history of butting heads over patents. The most recent dispute began in December 2020, while the previous was in 2012 and dragged on for two years.

Lawsuits were launched by Ericsson and Samsung in several countries over the most recent dispute. The agreement today ends those complaints.

Christina Petersson, Chief Intellectual...

Openreach: Full-fibre would be ‘game-changing’ for the UK economy

A report commissioned by Openreach highlights the “game-changing” impact that full-fibre will have on various regions of the UK.

The report, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), calls full-fibre a “gamechanger” for London, the South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber, North West, and North East.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:

“Cebr’s previous research...

Vodafone set to Open(RAN) a pioneering new UK R&D centre

Vodafone has set out its plans to launch a pioneering new R&D centre in the UK that will focus on OpenRAN.

OpenRAN is set to bring about a new paradigm for how telecoms networks are deployed. Free of vendor lock-in, operators can use the interoperable equipment which suits their particular needs for cost and performance.

Andrea Donà, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK, said:

“The OpenRAN ecosystem is still in its infancy, and we want to spur its...

Virgin Media hits 2.2Gbps speeds in latest broadband innovation trial

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media has successfully completed a broadband innovation trial in which it achieved multi-gigabit speeds.

In the trial, Virgin Media achieved speeds of 2,200Mbps in Manchester and Southampton—around 40 times faster than average local connections.

Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said:

“We invest more than £1 billion into our network every year to deliver leading connectivity today, but our...

BT proposes a £1,500 bonus for its vital frontline workers

Telecoms workers are the unsung heroes which kept the nation connected when it needed it most, and BT wants to recognise their efforts with a £1,500 bonus.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, commented:

“BT has made a massive contribution to the national cause over the past year: we’ve supported the NHS, families and businesses, and avoided the use of redundancy or furlough in our response to the pandemic.

Our frontline colleagues and key workers have been true heroes,...