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Canada’s 5G stalls in face of pandemic

Bell Canada said it was ready to launch, but that it was not the ‘right time’ to do so

2020 was supposed to be the year of 5G for Canada, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a significant spanner in the works.

Bell Canada has announced that its initial 5G network is ready to be switched on, but have deemed the ongoing pandemic as the wrong time to do so.

“Frankly we don’t think that it’s the right time right now to officially launch it for marketing purposes,” explained BCE CEO Mirko Bibic in the company’s quarterly conference call. “I just don’t think that customers are paying attention to this right now and that’s not what is top of mind for our customer base. They have other priorities understandably.” read more

Korea’s KT adds 360,000 5G subscribers in Q1

Korea 5G

South Korean operator KT added 360,000 5G subscribers in the first quarter of the year, the telco said in its earnings statement.

The carrier, which launched commercial 5G services in April 2019, ended Q1 with a total of 1.78 million 5G customers.

“Since the launch of KT’s 5G services, we are currently maintaining a much higher market share in 5G compared to the market share we have for the LTE handsets,” Kyung-Keun Yoon, KT’s CFO, said during a conference call with investors.

The executive also said that the company continues to maintain a very high ARPU for the new 5G subscribers. read more

Rakuten delays 5G launch by three months

Rakuten Mobile has pushed back its timeline to launch 5G service in Japan by three months until the fall, citing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Rakuten just commercially launched its greenfield 4G network in early April and had planned to introduce 5G service in June. With COVID-19 impacting part of the company’s global supply chain, that is now delayed until at least September. Details on timing of the launch will be disclosed later as Rakuten continues to monitor the situation.

The impact of the public health crisis was mainly on 5G network software testing and validation in areas where there are restrictions on movement, a Rakuten spokesperson said in an emailed response to FierceWireless.

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The US Restricts Huawei In 5G, But Wi-Fi Is Up For Grabs

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS

The US and other countries restrict Huawei in 5G (even providing funding to “rip and replace” the equipment), but this does not stop the company from deploying in Wi-Fi networks. Once a device is deployed in Wi-Fi, it can’t be forcibly recalled for security reasons. Huawei touts its role in Wi-Fi 6considered the future-proofing strategy for the Wi-Fi industry.  The Austin-based Wi-Fi Alliance recently honored top tier member Huawei for its leadership in the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program, allowing its products to be embossed with the Wi-Fi read more

Huawei, China Unicom tout 5G indoor distributed Massive MIMO

China

China Unicom and Huawei announced the development of their joint 5G indoor distributed Massive MIMO solution, which applies 5G Massive MIMO technology indoors to significantly grow capacity.

In the first year of 5G commercial deployment, China Unicom has successfully deployed 5G digital indoor systems in key scenarios across China’s major cities.

According to Huawei, new infrastructure requirements released by the Chinese government in March require 5G networks provide wider indoor coverage and stronger capabilities to accelerate applications in vertical industries and support the exploration of new business models. The verticals include telemedicine, distance education and online offices. read more

France to defy US in using Huawei equipment in 5G network, say sources

The British flag and a smartphone with a Huawei and 5G network logo. Picture: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

Paris — France will authorise the use of some of Huawei’s equipment in the rollout of its 5G network, two sources close to the matter told Reuters, despite US calls to exclude the Chinese telecom giant from the West’s next-generation communications.

The French cybersecurity agency, ANSSI, is due to tell telecom operators which equipment they are allowed to use for the deployment of their 5G network in France, but has not made public any decision.

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