Opinion: ‘Project Fear’ turns its gaze to UK telecoms consumers

Ludicrous claims have been made from both sides of the Brexit debate, but now the so-called ‘Project Fear’ is aiming to scare UK telecoms consumers.

The latest claim is a return to the dark old days of mobile roaming charges.

Ending roaming charges around Europe is touted as one of the EU’s proudest achievements for citizens. It’s been welcomed by consumers who shudder at the ‘bill shock’ they once had after even a quick trip around the continent.

The thing is, roaming...

By Ryan Daws, 13 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Consumers, Europe, Government, Industry, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Regulation, Roaming.

Vodafone is doubling the size of its European NB-IoT networks

Vodafone has announced it will be doubling the size of its European NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) by the end of 2019.

NB-IoT provides ‘industrial grade’ Low-Power Wide-Area connectivity for applications such as streetlights, connected healthcare monitors, and wearable devices.

Vodafone’s NB-IoT network is currently live in eight countries; the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey.

Cell sites in European...

By Ryan Daws, 12 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Consumers, Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, IoT, Networks, Operators, Smart Cities.

Opinion: China’s huge 5G merger could work in T-Mobile’s favour

China is exploring whether a merger between two of its carriers will secure its lead in 5G over the US, but it could also work in T-Mobile’s favour stateside.

The country’s ongoing trade war between the US and China is said to have spurred discussions over how it can lead in the latest technologies.

A proposed merger between two of China’s three wireless carriers – China United Network Communications Group (China Unicom) and China Telecommunications Corp (China Telecom) – aims to...

Net Neutrality: Carriers have already begun throttling services

As forewarned by critics, the FCC’s repealing of its net neutrality rules has already led to popular services being throttled.

Net neutrality legislation, implemented under Obama’s administration, ensured a fair internet where all services must be provided with the same level of performance as others. This helped to keep the playing field level so new businesses have similar opportunities to incumbents.

The argument for repealing the rules – most advocated by large service providers –...

FCC plans to inject $1.5 billion into rural broadband expansion

US telecoms regulator the FCC is set to provide a substantial cash injection over the next ten years to expand rural broadband availability.

Over the next decade, some 713,176 homes and businesses across 45 states will benefit from the investment.

The FCC is seeking minimum broadband speeds of 100Mbps in 53 percent of the rural locations targeted. Over 99.7 percent of these locations will receive at least 25 Mbps downstream speeds.

Better still, according to the FCC, 19 percent of locations will get access to...

Vodafone launches Ireland’s first dedicated IoT SIM cards

Vodafone has become the first operator in Ireland to offer dedicated IoT (Internet of Things) SIM cards under its ‘V-SIM’ initiative.

Any consumer IoT products sold by Vodafone will now ship as standard with a V-SIM by Vodafone card.

The operator’s counterpart app provides the user with an overview of all Vodafone IoT products registered under their account.

New devices can easily be registered by scanning a QR code with the app, offering a seamless and uncomplicated way for consumers to get...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Consumers, Devices, Innovation, IoT, Networks, Operators.

Indian telcos asked to enable social app blocks following attacks

The Indian government has asked telcos in the country to enable the blocking of social apps following a spate of vigilante attacks.

Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook have been used to spread misinformation about individuals leading to lynchings and beatings.

In a letter seen by Reuters, the government wrote:

“You are ... requested to explore various possible options and confirm how...

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Consumers, Government, India, Mobile, Regulation.

First-gen 5G smartphones will be chunky and guzzle power

Reports of Huawei choosing a supplier for large heat dissipation sheets all but confirms the first wave of 5G smartphones will be chunky and guzzle power.

Huawei wants to be among the first to launch a 5G smartphone and plans to do so in less than a year. Industry rumours put the release around June 2019.

The company is said to have decided on Taiwan-based Auras Technology for its cooling modules. While refraining from commenting directly on the rumours, Auras Chairman YS Lin said that smartphone...

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Consumers, Devices, Mobile, Smartphones.

UK telecoms infrastructure review plots ‘world-class’ connectivity

The UK government has today released its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review in which it plots a course for what it calls ‘world-class’ connectivity.

Starting with broadband progress over the past few years, the report notes the government met its target in December last year to deliver superfast broadband (currently defined as over 24Mbps) to 95 percent of the UK.

In addition, the government has passed legislation to create a new ‘Universal Service Obligation’ giving every household and...

Amazon muscles in on BT and Sky for Premier League rights: What’s next for each company?

Let’s get one thing straight with regards to Amazon buying a package of Premier League rights: it is, for now, simply a foot in the door. Testing the waters, if you will.

When the major rights were announced in February – Sky and BT Sport securing the primary packages for £4.464 billion – there were two smaller rights packages yet to be resolved. Some believed the packages would be filled by Amazon as part of a testing process. Others were less sure. Whichever, where does this leave...

By James Bourne, 11 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadcast, Consumers, Content, OTT Services.

Ooredoo aims to launch world's first 5G home broadband

Following its launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network last month, Ooredoo is debuting a home broadband device.

Qatar-based Ooredoo claims its home broadband device will offer speeds up to 2 Gbps. That represents over 20 times the speed of the company’s fibre broadband.

Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said:

“Ooredoo is ecstatic to announce that last night, we became the first in the world to have a live commercial 5G home broadband device.

By Ryan Daws, 11 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Industry, Innovation, Networks, Operators.

Policy group ETNO calls EU’s telecoms overhaul a ‘missed opportunity’

An overhaul of telecoms laws by the EU has been called a ‘missed opportunity’ by the association which represents Europe's operators.

ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators) said the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) “represented a once in a decade chance to simplify and improve the EU rules for the sector in the interest of European citizens and businesses.”

However, “this opportunity has been missed.”

The association believes the ECC...

ACSI: Streaming TV dominates telecoms industry satisfaction

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), consumers are far more satisfied with streaming TV over their other telecoms services.

ACSI argues video streaming often avoids the downsides of alternative telecoms services, including subscription TV.

Video Streaming

David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI, said:

“Streaming services don't have the hidden fees and six-month rates that subscription TV does, not to mention they're cheaper and simpler.

By Ryan Daws, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, Entertainment, Industry, IPTV, N America, Operators, OTT Services, Research.

Senate reinstates net neutrality (for now)

In a vote today, Senators managed to narrowly overturn the FCC’s so-called ‘Restoring Internet Freedom Order’ which repealed Obama-era laws ensuring net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the idea that all internet users should be treated equally. Critics argue that heavier users, or services which use greater bandwidth, should pay more to cover infrastructure costs.

If you trust your cable company, you’re not going to like my vote today

Advocates for maintaining net neutrality rules are...

#HAS2018: Huawei CEO tempers 5G expectations

One of Huawei’s rotating CEOs has gone on record to downplay consumer expectations of 5G compared to previous generations

Eric Xu was speaking during the Huawei Analyst Summit (#HAS2018) in Shenzhen when he warned that consumers are unlikely to see a ‘fundamental difference’ between 5G and 4G. For operators planning to charge extra for 5G services, it could be a tough sell to potential customers without many tangible improvements.

Speed is one area where specific...

By Ryan Daws, 17 April 2018, 1 comment. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Consumers, Industry, Infrastructure, Innovation, Mobile, Networks.

Mozilla’s first Internet Health Report is a timely read

Privacy advocates Mozilla have released their first ‘Internet Health Report’ during a year when net neutrality rules are being repealed, and Facebook’s CEO is testifying in front of the Senate over the company’s failure to protect users’ data.

Mozilla expresses concern for a handful of companies with an unhealthy amount of power and influence over the internet. Many of our readers will be able to list at least the Western companies — Google, Facebook, and Amazon. In China,...

By Ryan Daws, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Regulation.

The future of fintech platforms: Innovation and disruption to come

The latest global fintech market study shows that the insurance segment will drive revenues for platform providers, which is the largest proportion of revenues in 2018. This is based on the vast potential for digital distribution within the traditional insurer industry.

That said, wealth management will also grow rapidly, based on the increasing popularity of intelligent software agents called 'robo-advisors'. As the underlying technology improves, roboadvisors will become increasingly autonomous.

Roboadvisor...

By David H. Deans, 17 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Content, Customer Service, Machine Learning.

Lord Adonis: Dear Ofcom, fix ‘deplorable’ mobile coverage

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis, has written a letter to the head of Ofcom calling for the telecoms regulator to fix ‘deplorable’ mobile phone coverage.

In the letter, Lord Adonis says the regulator should “put all options on the table” to improve mobile phone coverage between now and the next mobile spectrum being auctioned.

Large parts of the country remain without reliable coverage

By Ryan Daws, 18 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Consumers, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Regulation.

Net neutrality is at threat again – and the FCC hopes your Thanksgiving turkey will distract you

Updated US regulators are expected to reverse fairness rules, implemented during Obama’s era to protect net neutrality, while many journalists are out the office.

Net neutrality is the idea that all businesses and consumers should be treated by internet providers the same — to most people, that seems fair.

Some ISPs argue that some companies put greater demand on their networks than others; such as Netflix. Without net neutrality rules, ISPs could ask for more cash from a company like Netflix so their...

By Ryan Daws, 21 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Government, Industry, N America, Net Neutrality, Operators, Regulation.

FCC clears over-the-air 4K TV broadcasts

The FCC is paving the way for over-the-air TV to catch up with cable and on-demand services by permitting 4K broadcasts.

While 4K content available to viewers of cable and on-demand services remains limited, those who still watch over-the-air broadcasts have been unable to watch any live content in the higher resolution due to FCC rules.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to give TV stations permission to start broadcasting in the...

By Ryan Daws, 17 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadcast, Consumers, Regulation.