Friday Five: BT ditches Huawei in new 5G deal
Zone’s Martha Green handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. BT drops Huawei in new deal
Following the government’s ban on Huawei 5G kit earlier this year, BT has signed a deal to use Ericsson’s radio antennas, base stations and other equipment to upgrade the EE mobile network.
The move will help BT part ways with Huawei, which was deemed a national security threat in the US, without becoming totally dependent on its other partner, Nokia. The China-based firm estimates that the ban will result in billions of pounds in economic loss and threaten thousands of jobs by the time its infrastructure has been completely removed from the UK in 2027.
2. TikTok tunes out Trump with expansion
From one Chinese company the US deems a threat to, well, another Chinese company the US deems a threat, TikTok has committed to its expansion plans with a huge recruitment drive and a partnership with online retailer Shopify.
The immensely popular app fell out of favour with President Trump, who signed an executive order against its parent company in August. The order, which is being challenged in court, states TikTok must sell its US operations to an American company or face a ban. Despite this, the app has said it wants to take on 3,000 new engineers over the next three years. Talk about optimism in the face of adversity!
3. Apple searches for a way to upstage Google
In this week’s Unconfirmed But Interesting Rumours section, there is mounting evidence that Apple is developing a search engine to rival Google. Not only does the iPhone’s latest operating system, iOS 14, link to its own search results, but Apple’s acquisition of John Giannandrea, Google’s former head of search, suddenly makes a lot more sense.
Google pays a princely annual sum (think in the billions) to keep its spot as the default search engine on Apple devices, but has faced accusations that it unlawfully maintains a monopoly on the search and search advertising markets. So maybe a little competition in that area from a fellow tech heavyweight is a good thing?
4. Google to axe post-election political ads
With the US presidential election now mere days away, Google has announced it plans to ban all political ads for a week from 3 November. The temporary pause will apply to any adverts that reference the election, the candidates or the result, which will most likely be delayed due to a large percentage of votes arriving via post.
Facebook announced a similar ban earlier this month after the social media giant faced criticism for allowing President Trump and other politicians to post false or misleading adverts, frequently questioning the legitimacy of this year’s election or propagating other conspiracy theories.
5. Hampshire hula hooper goes global
We all picked up some extra hobbies back in lockdown 1.0, some of questionable usefulness. But Hannah ‘The Hula Hooping Hero of Hampshire’ Murphy gave fellow enthusiasts from around the globe the chance to show off their skills by hosting the world’s very first Hula Hoop Championships online.
Hannah spread the word through various Facebook groups all over the world, attracting a pool of contestants with an age range from three to sixty three. The aim of the competition was to help keep people motivated and improve their mental health during these taxing times — and it just goes to show that Zoom can be used for so much more than tired old quizzes.