COVID-19: Telcos increase the pay of engineers helping to keep people connected

Various telecoms operators around the world are increasing the salaries of engineers on the frontline helping to keep people connected.

One of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increased appreciation of the people that really keep the world going. The likes of shopworkers and postal workers are often among the lowest paid, but our societies would collapse without them.

Engineers aren’t exactly the lowest paid, but they’re still essential. More than ever, people are relying on...

By Ryan Daws, 07 April 2020, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, N America, Networks, Operators.

Speedtest: Networks in North America and Europe are handling remote working demand

Speedtest by Ookla has updated its report analysing the impact remote working is having on global networks.

Telecoms covered the initial release of Speedtest’s report towards the end of last month. At the time, a slight decrease in mean fixed and mobile broadband performance was observed across North American and European countries between March 16th-22nd.

Speedtest has now updated its statistics to account...

Speedtest: Coronavirus is slowing internet speeds across the US and Europe

Ookla Speedtest is reporting a noticeable degradation of internet speeds in the US and Europe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The drop in speeds has been most noticeable over the past week as more countries increase their lockdown measures, including the UK’s announcement yesterday.

Broadband speeds

In the US, the mean broadband speed dropped from around 140Mbps starting the week of March 9th, to around 133Mbps in the...

FCC: Hospitals and schools can now get direct help from carriers

The FCC has waived rules preventing hospitals and schools from getting direct help from carriers for connectivity issues.

Specifically, the FCC has temporarily waived rules relating to its E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs. The initiatives provide subsidies to participating hospitals, schools, and libraries, but prohibits seeking assistance from service providers to prevent fraud and abuse.

During the global coronavirus pandemic, ensuring hospitals have adequate connectivity is paramount. Staff will need...

By Ryan Daws, 19 March 2020, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, Industry, Mobile, N America, Networks, Operators, Regulation, Wireless.

Global 5G network connections will reach 1.5bn by 2025: How Juniper Research sees the market

While 2019 was the year that fifth-generation (5G) wireless services were deployed across the globe, this is just the beginning of the new trend. So far, launches in North America, West Europe and the Middle East created a small base of 5G customers, however, the technology gained significant traction within the Far East and China markets.

As a result of strategic foresight by the government, the early launch and fast customer adoption in South Korea clearly drove their 5G deployment leadership. By the end of...

By David H. Deans, 19 March 2020, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Infrastructure, IoT, N America, Research.

T-Mobile is granted extra spectrum to cope with coronavirus demand

The FCC has granted T-Mobile additional spectrum to help cope with the extra demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Reliable connectivity is more important than ever as people around the world are told to work from home where possible and self-isolate if they show any symptoms of the coronavirus.

T-Mobile will have access to more 600MHz spectrum for at least the next 60 days to meet internet access demand and help its network support things like remote working, healthcare, and education.

Neville Ray,...

British PM Johnson faces off a major revolt over Huawei 5G decision

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced off a major revolt over his decision to allow Huawei in national 5G networks.

The PM faced his first major rebellion on Tuesday as fellow lawmakers expressed concerns about what the decision could mean for both the UK's national security and the country's relationship with Washington.

Johnson’s majority was slashed to 24 as rebels from the Conservative party backed an amendment tabled by Iain Duncan Smith to the Telecommunications Infrastructure...

How 5G technologies could liberate fixed wireless broadband in the US

Fixed wireless broadband communication services based on long term evolution (LTE) technology have been deployed globally, focused on areas with a poor wireline network infrastructure. Now, 5G wireless technology could open more opportunities for the fixed wireless broadband segment.

As mobile network operators continue to deploy 5G network infrastructure, the commercial launch of 5G fixed wireless broadband services will accelerate in the next few years. This will ultimately drive the 5G fixed wireless...

By David H. Deans, 09 March 2020, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, N America, Research, Wireless.

US senators urge the UK to reconsider its Huawei position

US senators have urged America's closest ally to reconsider its position on the use of Huawei's telecoms equipment.

In January, the UK announced that it will allow the use of Huawei's gear in a "limited capacity" following a multi-year security review.

A bipartisan group of 20 US senators wrote in a letter to the House of Commons:

“Given the significant security, privacy,...

By Ryan Daws, 04 March 2020, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, China, Connectivity, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, N America, Networks, Security, Wireless.

Huawei lawsuit against ‘unconstitutional’ ban in the US is thrown out

A judge has ruled against a lawsuit filed by Huawei in the US relating to a ban on government personnel using the company’s devices.

Huawei filed the lawsuit on the basis that the ban was “unconstitutional” back in 2018. Since then, Huawei has faced increased US-led scrutiny globally over claims the company is controlled by Beijing – an allegation the company denies.

US District Court Judge Amos Mazzant ruled that Congress has the right to ban federal agencies from using...

By Ryan Daws, 19 February 2020, 0 comments. Categories: China, Government, Industry, Mobile, N America, Security.

Bipartisan US delegation express Huawei concerns during Munich Security Conference

A bipartisan US delegation voiced their concerns about Chinese telecoms vendor Huawei during this year's Munich Security Conference.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Huawei, and other firms backed by Beijing, are "trojan horses for Chinese intelligence". Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said China is conducting a “nefarious strategy” through companies like Huawei.

But it’s not just Republicans voicing their concerns about Huawei. From the other side of the...

T-Mobile and Sprint merger nears completion after federal judge approval

After at least half a decade of rumour, conjecture and court appearances, T-Mobile and Sprint’s on-again, off-again, on-again merger has cleared a considerable hurdle following a ruling by a New York federal judge.

The announcement was made as Southern District of New York judge Victor Marrero dismissed a legal challenge by several state attorneys general regarding anti-competition fears.

In...

By James Bourne, 11 February 2020, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Consumers, N America, Operators, Regulation.

US Cellular announces LTE-M network to optimise IoT connectivity

US Cellular has announced the launch of its LTE-M network on more than 90% of its cell sites across the country – with the intention to have them 100% covered by the end of the second quarter.

The LTE-M network, which is the international cellular standard designed and optimised for IoT connectivity, is a steadfast, secure and an economical solution that helps them connect large amounts of IoT devices in urban as well as rural...

By Telecoms, 11 February 2020, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, IoT, LTE, N America.

Attorney General calls on the US and its allies to invest in Huawei rivals

During a conference in Washington, the US Attorney General called on America and its allies to invest in Huawei rivals.

Huawei has the largest marketshare in the world of any telecoms vendor. The reason operators are so attracted to Huawei is that the gear is often seen to beat rivals in both capabilities and cost.

"The Chinese are using every lever of power to expand their 5G market share around the globe," Barr said.

However, the US believes Huawei is controlled by Beijing and poses a national...

By Ryan Daws, 07 February 2020, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, China, Connectivity, Government, Industry, Mobile, N America, Networks, Operators, Security, Wireless.

Huawei: Hey FCC, can you stop calling us a national security risk?

Huawei has urged the FCC not to go ahead with officially designating the company as a national security risk.

The US has not shied away from expressing its concerns about Huawei over the years and claims the Chinese telecoms giant has ties with Beijing. Huawei has always denied the allegations.

While few American operators use Huawei's equipment because of the US government's position, there was never really a penalty for doing so.

In November, the FCC voted 5-0 to initially...

FCC concludes some carriers broke the law by collecting users' real-time location

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote a letter (PDF) to Congress on Friday in which he confirmed that some carriers broke federal law by collecting users’ real-time location data.

Pai did not name specifically which carriers allegedly broke the law but only wrote that the FCC’s enforcement bureau “concluded that one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal law.”

The FCC was asked to launch an investigation after a Motherboard

Democrat FCC commissioner wants to impeach the president’s power to shut down US comms

Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants to impeach the president’s power to shut down US communications.

Many US citizens will be unaware the president has the power to shut down their communications. Governments around the world have a history of abusing such powers.

In November last year, the Iranian government cut off its citizens’ internet access as it brutally cracked down on protestors. A

By Ryan Daws, 29 January 2020, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, N America, Networks.

Huawei gets a reprieve in the UK as government permits 5G gear

The UK government has decided to allow Huawei’s equipment in national 5G networks in a limited role following a security review.

In an expected but notable move, the UK’s National Security Council (NSC) made the decision today following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Digital Secretary Baroness Morgan said: “We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must...

The UK is set to permit Huawei equipment in 5G networks in ‘limited role’

British officials will reportedly greenlight the use of Huawei equipment in national 5G networks despite US-led concerns.

Reuters reports officials from senior government departments held a meeting on Wednesday and made the recommendation to allow the Chinese network vendor in a “limited role” in national 5G networks.

A complete ban on Huawei’s equipment would be a costly endeavour. Telecoms reported...

Huawei founder says the company is ready 'to withstand' further US actions

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has said the company has invested heavily in ensuring it can withstand further US actions taken against it.

The Chinese giant is the world's most popular telecoms equipment manufacturer and the second-largest smartphone maker. Despite various US actions taken against Huawei, the company is yet to be shaken from its leading positions.

The US has long...