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...

Study: UK consumers face 82% price rise from their ISP post-contract

A study has found that UK telecoms customers face a steep cost increase of up to 82 percent at the end of their contracts.

Recent changes to advertising rules in the UK requires ISPs to provide estimated speeds to potential customers instead of the misleading ‘up to’ claims.

The change has made the industry more honest, but one area which is still not clear enough is how much consumers will pay after their contract ends.

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch, comments:

By Ryan Daws, 29 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Operators, Regulation, Research.

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.

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...

Huawei oversight board warns of ‘new risks’ to UK infrastructure

An oversight board set up in the UK to monitor the use of Huawei’s equipment in critical telecoms infrastructure has identified ‘new risks’ to security.

While countries like the US and Australia have taken hardline stances against the use of Chinese telecoms equipment from the likes of Huawei in critical infrastructure, the UK has been more accommodating.

Chinese telecoms equipment...

UK makes bold promises to advance digital infrastructure

An assessment by the UK National Infrastructure Commission highlights areas where investment should be prioritised to prevent shortcomings.

“The whole purpose of the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment is to think beyond the technologies of today and to ensure we can make the most of future innovations,” explains Sir John Armitt CBE.

“It’s why it’s not just a one-off but something we will be repeating every five years to ensure we remain on the front...

Sprint’s ties with Huawei may complicate T-Mobile merger

Congressional lawmakers want the pending Sprint–T-Mobile merger examined over the former's possible Chinese government links.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the lawmakers are concerned that Sprint is majority-owned by Japan’s SoftBank… and SoftBank has worked with Huawei, which the US government has deemed a national security threat.

It’s a rather tenuous link, but it seems the...

Trump’s administration calls on the FCC to block China Mobile

Trump’s administration continues to be wary of Chinese telecoms firms as it asks the FCC not to grant a license to China Mobile.

Citing national security concerns, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended the FCC deny China Mobile Ltd’s application to offer telecommunications services from within the United States.

State-owned China Mobile is the world’s largest phone carrier by subscribers, with over 902 million users as of June 2018. The...

By Ryan Daws, 03 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: China, Government, Industry, Mobile, N America, Operators, Regulation, Security, Surveillance.

Huawei appears to cut research funding in Australia

Huawei appears to be cutting research funding in Australia as it continues to face problems in the country over national security fears.

The company’s Australian financial reports show a drop in research spending from $81,000 in 2016 to zero last year. For comparison, back in 2015, the company spent $8.3 million – and $10.1 million the year before that.

The company denies any reduction in research spending.

A spokesman for Huawei said it’s provided more than $1 million of IoT equipment...

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Regulation, Research, Security.

Trade body calls on Ofcom to modernise spectrum auctions

Fixed wireless trade body WISPA (Wireless Internet Service Providers Association) has called on Ofcom to modernise spectrum auctions.

WISPA believes Ofcom needs to ‘modernise the way it allocates spectrum resources’ because the current approach is outdated and ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

Spectrum allocation has become an even more contentious issue in recent years ahead of the rollout of 5G and IoT services.

David Burns, Chairman of...

By Ryan Daws, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, IoT, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Regulation, Spectrum.

Ofcom is concerned about BT’s continued Openreach influence

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has raised its concerns that BT still has too much influence over decisions made by the Openreach national broadband network.

Following years of complaints from rivals that previous Openreach owner BT was prioritising their business in strategic decisions, Ofcom decided to step in last year.

Ofcom and BT reached the decision to keep Openreach under BT’s parent company, but have it run as an independent company in a bid to make its operations fairer to competitors.

In a...

By Ryan Daws, 15 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Networks, Operators, Regulation.

Editorial: A look at Gavin Patterson’s five-year tenure as BT CEO

The CEO of BT, Gavin Patterson, is stepping down after a five-year tenure in the post which has seen the business go through substantial changes.

During his time, Patterson handled the mobile industry-shaking £12.5bn acquisition of the UK’s biggest mobile operator, EE.

Patterson also oversaw the split of the Openreach fibre broadband network from BT into its own company and worked to modernise the company’s IPTV offerings as OTT players like Amazon Prime aim to replace traditional...

Australian MP is next to call for a ban on Chinese 5G equipment

Australian Labor MP Michael Danby has become the latest politician to call for a ban on buying 5G network equipment from Chinese firms claiming they are ‘controlled’ by the government.

Speaking to parliament last night, Danby requested Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull take a similar stance as in his tenure as communications minister when he barred Huawei from bidding for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Mr Danby said:

“Now he [Malcolm Turnbull] and his government must...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, China, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Regulation, Security, Surveillance.

Brits overpay for broadband while receiving half the advertised speed

According to research, many British households are both overpaying for their services and receiving broadband speeds half as fast as they were advertised.

Communications regulator Ofcom recently conducted research which found around four million UK households could be saving money on broadband.

Broadband customers often sign up to good welcome offers for a set term, but then forget to shop around or negotiate with their existing provider once their contract is up.

Once an offer is up, plans can jump...

By Ryan Daws, 18 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Marketing, Operators, Regulation.

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...

T-Mobile and Sprint are set to merge in £18.9bn deal

US telecommunications giants T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to merge in a deal worth almost £19 billion.

The operators attempted to merge under former president Obama’s administration, but regulators blocked the deal. President Trump’s administration has taken a more relaxed approach to deals which have been criticised as being potentially anti-competitive.

Once merged, the companies will have around 130 million subscribers. Around 72.6 million will come from T-Mobile and 54.6 million from...

By Ryan Daws, 30 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Mobile, N America, Operators, Regulation.

Taiwan’s regulator warns a 4G price war could impair 5G investment

A telecoms regulator in Taiwan has warned sparking a price war could impair how much operators are willing to invest in new services and networks, including 5G.

The warning from the NCC (National Communications Commission) followed Chunghwa Telecom’s decision to introduce low-cost, unlimited 4G data and voice plans. Chunghwa is Taiwan’s largest service provider — accounting for over a third of wireless connections and around 80 percent of the broadband market.

A race to the bottom in...

By Ryan Daws, 24 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Regulation.

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.