Tag Archives: Rollout
DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain, headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, plans to roll out a commercial 5G mobile network by June, partly using Huawei technology despite the United States’ concerns the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment could be used for spying.
FILE PHOTO: Logos of Huawei are pictured outside its shop in Beijing, China, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
Washington has warned countries against using Chinese technology, saying Huawei could be used by Beijing to spy on the West. China has rejected the accusations.
VIVA Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian state-controlled telecom STC, last month signed an agreement to use Huawei products in its 5G network, one of several Gulf telecoms firms working with the Chinese company.
“We have no concern at this stage as long as this technology is meeting our standards,” Bahrain’s Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed told Reuters on Tuesday when asked about U.S. concerns over Huawei technology.
The U.S. embassy in Bahrain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet uses its base in Bahrain, a Western-allied island state off the Saudi coast, to patrol several important shipping lanes, including near Iran.
Bahrain expects to be one of the first countries to make 5G available nationwide, Mohammed said, although he cautioned it would depend on handset and equipment availability.
Early movers like the United States, China, Japan and South Korea are just starting to roll out their 5G networks, but other regions, such as Europe, still years away and the first 5G phones are only likely to be released in the second half of this year.
Bahrain’s state controlled operator Batelco is working with Sweden’s Ericsson on its 5G network, while the country’s third telecom Zain Bahrain is yet to announce a technology provider.
No foreign company is restricted by the government from providing equipment for Bahrain’s 5G network, Mohammed said, adding that the mobile operators chose who they worked with.
Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their networks but the European Union is expected to ignore U.S. calls to ban the Chinese company, instead urging countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks.
Mohammed said the rollout of the 5G network was an “important milestone” for Bahrain, which is hoping investments in technology will help spur the economy which was hit hard by the drop in oil prices.
“It is something we are proud to have,” he said.
Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kirsten Donovan
MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Open Fiber has enlisted banks to help fund the 6.5 billion euro ($ 8 billion) rollout of its fast broadband network, it said on Friday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
Rome has long pushed for an all-fiber optic network to help Italian business and boost productivity. Open Fiber said its network would cover 271 Italian cities and around 7,000 municipalities in the country.
Open Fiber said it had signed the 7-year 3.5 billion euro project finance deal with BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Societe Generale SOCG.PA and UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and expects it to be finalised in the next few months.
The firm, which is jointly owned by state-controlled utility Enel (ENEI.MI) and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said in its new 2018-2027 plan it was looking to take its fiber-optic network into about 19 million homes and businesses.
It added it would spend about one billion euros per year over the next three years.
Enel, which will use its existing power grid network to house cable, has said it intends to repeat the project in other countries where it operates.
Open Fiber’s new plan comes just days after investor CDP bought a stake in phone incumbent Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) (TIM) in a move some say could open the way for an eventual merger of Open Fiber with the network of its bigger rival.
The government enlisted the help of Enel two years ago to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network after accusing TIM of acting too slowly to upgrade its ageing copper network.
But with TIM expanding its own network, industry experts say duplication of infrastructure makes little economic sense.
“With the approval of the new plan and the funding a new phase starts for Open Fiber with the aim of speeding up the roll-out of the FTTH network,” its CEO Elisabetta Ripa said.
The company said it had extended an existing deal with Vodafone (VOD.L) to cover all 271 cities covered by its plan.
Sky’s (SKYB.L) Italian unit last month signed a long-term deal with Open Fiber to allow it to offer internet TV in Italy.
($ 1 = 0.8114 euros)
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Francesca Landini and Alexander Smith