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5G Focus: Nokia's launches; Google's smartphone; BT's rollout

5G Focus is a weekly global feature including notable 5G trials, launches, use cases and major equipment supply contracts. It will also feature in-depth analysis of strategies, expansion plans, business models and other related initiatives.

Last week saw Nokia Corp. working on a range of 5G initiatives, including product launches, a live trial in Indonesia and potential tie-ups with Indian telcos. Other recent 5G highlights include Google LLC's upcoming 5G smartphone and the rollout of British Telecom's 5G service.

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The U.K. must consider trade priorities as it decides whether to ban Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., trade experts told S&P Global Market Intelligence. The telecom-equipment maker offers superior products and played a big role in the nation's 4G buildout, but the government's decision goes beyond practicalities.

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Competing 5G spectrum plans take center stage as FCC moves toward decision: As the clock ticks down on an informal timeline for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to decide on how to open up crucial 5G spectrum, competing industry interests continue to clash over how to free it up.

US AND CANADA

* Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood will back out of a suit by several U.S. states against the proposed merger between T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., after securing a settlement with the wireless carriers. As part of the settlement, the combined entity will roll out a 5G network in Mississippi within three years from the deal's closing.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google began the test production of a 5G smartphone, which could be unveiled as soon as the week of Oct. 14, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing sources. The handset is reportedly part of the company's push into branded hardware.

* The U.S. is considering ways to obstruct Huawei's lead in the telecom equipment space and to offer funds to its European rivals Nokia and Ericsson, London's Financial Times reported, citing two sources. The U.S. government is also reportedly considering offering incentives to motivate companies to invest in new 5G technologies, such as software that would allow equipment from different suppliers to communicate with each other.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Nokia said Oct. 14 that it completed a 5G end-to-end live network trial in Indonesia through a tie-up with PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia. The trial was able to display the 3ID network's ability to support end-to-end 5G deployment after multiple tests were conducted on the 28 GHz spectrum.

* In more Nokia news, the company is in discussions with Indian telecom operators for supply deals related to their respective 4G network expansion plans in rural areas, India's The Economic Times reported Oct. 11, citing Sanjay Malik, head of Nokia India. The Finnish tech giant is also in talks with telcos such as Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. to prepare for 5G technology by modernizing their backhaul and fronthaul networks.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. said Oct. 11 that it formally launched its global esports joint venture with Comcast Corp. Dubbed SK Telecom CS T1, it will use the companies' global networks, over-the-top services, 5G and media technologies.

* Laotian state-owned mobile carrier Lao Telecommunications Co. Ltd. began testing 5G technology at its headquarters in Vientiane, Ejan reported.

* Huawei signed an agreement with Shenzhen, China-based Fude Insurance Holdings for the telecom equipment maker to provide the insurer with cloud computing, big data, and image and voice recognition technologies, Shanghai Securities News reported Oct. 10. The companies will also jointly expand opportunities in the area of 5G-backed internet of things.

* The Indian government is allowing Huawei to participate in 5G use case demos during the India Mobile Congress event beginning Oct. 14, The Times of India reported. However, the government has not decided if it will allow Huawei to take part in wider and broad-based 5G trials. India's telecommunications department also allocated spectrum to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. It allows the mobile carriers to demonstrate 5G use cases during the India Mobile Congress, The Economic Times reported.

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* British Telecom on Oct. 11 rolled out its 5G next-generation wireless network coverage in 20 U.K. cities, London's The Sun reported, citing BT's announcement. The company also introduced 5G plans for both residential and business customers in areas initially covered by 5G.

* Nokia on Oct. 10 unveiled additions to its portfolio of fixed wireless access devices. The new FastMile 5G Gateway adds 5G frequency bands, while the FastMile 4G Gateway will simplify the process of FWA services rollouts in areas with 4G networks.

* United Arab Emirates-based operator du is forming a consortium with Nokia and the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park to develop smart city initiatives for the Sharjah emirate, according to an Oct. 10 statement. The consortium will develop 5G use cases related to autonomous driving, among other projects.

* European Union member states released a report assessing cybersecurity risks associated with 5G networks across the regional bloc, according to an Oct. 9 statement. The report did not mention Huawei. The Chinese company said it welcomed the EU's strategy statement on 5G networks, Reuters reported.

* Telia Co. AB said Oct. 9 that it introduced the first 5G devices and subscriptions in the Finnish market. Telia Finland will sell the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, as well as the Nokia 5G FastMile gateway and Huawei 5G CPE Pro router for mobile broadband customers. The subscriptions will offer maximum speeds of 1,000 Mbps and 450 Mbps.

* Nokia said Oct. 9 that it has declared more than 2,000 5G patent families to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute since its first declaration in September 2018. The patent families are considered essential for the 5G standard.

* Altice Portugal unit MEO must begin migrating digital TV frequencies for multiplex A on the third week of January 2020, under a new plan approved by Portugal's National Communications Authority, Advanced Television reported Oct. 9. The migration will clear up the 700 MHz band for 5G services.

* Safaricom PLC is not phasing out its 4G network with 5G in the near term, Business Daily reported Oct. 9. However, the Kenyan mobile operator said it is conducting 5G trials while also working to acquire the needed spectrum.

* Orange SA CEO Stéphane Richard said the operator expects its 5G network to cover about 15% to 20% of the population in France by end-2020, Franceinfo reported Oct. 8. The coverage initially will involve mostly large cities.

* Telia Norge AS struck a network modernization agreement with Ericsson to include the Telia unit's introduction of 5G coverage, according to an Oct. 8 statement. The upgrade will start in 2020, with 5G services to be introduced gradually over four years. Telia Norway's 5G partnership with Ericsson means that the company must replace at least 6,000 base stations delivered by Huawei, Dagens Næringsliv reported.

* Nokia said Oct. 8 that it launched a new family of chipsets for next-generation massive scale access networks. The Quillion chipsets are optimized to support time-critical, low-latency 5G transport.

* Telenor Bulgaria EAD conducted a practical 5G trial in partnership with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. SA in Bulgaria, Telecompaper reported Oct. 8. The test involved the remote overseeing of the bottling process of Coca-Cola products using 5G connectivity.

* French telecom regulator ARCEP said Oct. 7 that it allocated frequencies to the first 11 5G projects in the country. The selected candidates must have a network operational by Jan. 1, 2021, and make it available to third parties.

* Orange said Oct. 7 that it is launching 5G experiments in the French cities of Châtillon and Rennes. The first phase, in partnership with railway operator SNCF and Nokia, will involve an almost instant download of high-definition video content and a co-innovation lab open to potential partners and companies.

* KPN NV said Oct. 7 that it successfully tested its new 5G network between multiple locations across the Netherlands. The Dutch operator conducted phone calls, video calls and data sessions from the latest smartphones between the 5G indoor network in the Johan Cruijff Arena, the 5G FieldLab in Rotterdam and KPN's technology lab in The Hague.

* Vodafone España SAU is extending its 5G coverage to an additional 34 cities across Spain, Advanced Television reported Oct. 7. The Vodafone Group PLC unit plans to roll out commercial 5G services in the first half of 2020.

* Orange Polska SA is forming a national consortium with Systemics-PAB Sp. z o.o. and the Institute of Communications to participate in 5G Perfecta, a global project to develop standards for testing 5G services and applications, Telecompaper reported Oct. 7, citing Telepolis.pl.

Featured Research

Fighting fiber with hybrid-fiber: Cable industry weaponizes 10G, DOCSIS 4.0: With telco rivals ramping up fiber-to-the-home deployments and initiating 5G rollouts, cable operators have been compelled to respond accordingly with the accelerated development of the DOCSIS 4.0 standard and a stepped-up 10G initiative.

Spain: Operators look to 5G to boost revenue in highly competitive market: Kagan estimates show that the standardization and rollout of 5G services could lift service revenue for Spanish operators, as enhanced coverage offers room for consumer price increases and upselling.

5G, cloud, sustainability: 3 takeaways from DCAC: Keynote speakers at the Data Center Austin Conference highlighted autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, as well as the implementation of 5G as key sectors that will create and consume data at a scale never seen before.

Kagan is a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering, providing exclusive research and commentary.

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