US Air Force hands SpaceX $1.9M for battle-tested Starlink services

The US Air Force has awarded SpaceX with a $1.9 million contract for its now battle-tested Starlink satellite broadband services.

As part of the contract, the US Air Force will use Starlink to support operations at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. SpaceX will provide Starlink terminals and service access for both fixed sites and mobile users.

Starlink is currently designed for use at fixed sites. A new ‘Portability’ feature was launched earlier this year – for an...

BT staff pencil in further strikes over ‘insulting’ pay deal

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is organising further BT and Openreach strikes over the coming months.

Around 40,000 Openreach engineers and BT call centre staff undertook strike action last month over “weak, insulting” below-inflation pay rises.

“Workers will not accept a massive deterioration in their living standards,” said Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU, last month.

“The serious disruption this strike may cause is entirely down to...

FCC rejects Starlink’s bid for RDOF cash

The FCC has rejected Starlink’s bid for a share of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications.  Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.

“We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks.  We cannot afford to...

CMA launches probe into Viasat-Inmarsat merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a probe into the merger of Viasat and Inmarsat.

Viasat first announced its intention to acquire Inmarsat for $7.3 billion in November 2021. To no surprise, the proposal attracted plenty of attention.

The combined entities would operate a fleet of 19 satellites that are currently in service. An additional 10 spacecraft are under construction and planned for launch within the next three years.

The...

UK announces plans to ‘unleash’ 5G and 6G innovation

The UK Government has announced plans to “unleash” 5G and 6G innovation, including through a partnership with South Korea.

Up to £25 million has been set aside for the ‘Future Open Networks Research Challenge’. Academics and industry players can apply for funding to support their early-stage research into open and interoperable telecom solutions, such as Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN).

The Future Open Networks Research Challenge is part of the UK...

Eutelsat confirms OneWeb merge plan

French satellite firm Eutelsat has confirmed plans to merge with British low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite innovator OneWeb.

Eutelsat operates 36 geostationary (GEO) satellites, of which the first launched in 2000. The high altitudes of GEO satellites cover large geographic areas but have slow speeds and high latency.

LEO satellites – like those operated by OneWeb, SpaceX, and Telesat – require larger constellations to provide adequate coverage but support more...

Ericsson completes $6.2B acquisition of Vonage after clearing hurdles

Ericsson has finally completed its $6.2 billion acquisition of cloud communications provider Vonage after clearing some major hurdles.

The Swedish vendor first announced its biggest-ever acquisition in November last year.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, said: “The core of our strategy is to build leading mobile networks through technology leadership. This provides the foundation to build an enterprise business. The acquisition of Vonage is the next step...

BT staff to strike after ‘weak, insulting’ pay deal

BT employees will go on strike following a “weak, insulting” pay deal that fails to counter the impact of high inflation.

Earlier this year, BT offered a £1,500 pay increase for employees. With RPI inflation levels hitting 11.7 percent, it’s been labelled a “dramatic real-terms pay cut”.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) – a union for all BT Group employees – voted by 95.8 percent to take strike action. Call centre workers will join 30,000 Openreach...

Survey highlights growing O-RAN appetite

A new survey highlights the growing appetite for O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) technologies.

Jabil commissioned SIS International Research to conduct this year’s 5G Technology Trends Survey. 193 stakeholders that are directly involved “in the development, implementation, or adoption of 5G technologies” at leading telecom companies took part.

O-RAN aims to break up the monopoly held by a handful of telecom vendors with open, interoperable equipment. The ability...

Customer engagement and billing are vital to a CSP’s success

Research shows that 89% of purchasers want two-way discussions with organizations by means of various channels. However, more than half (53%) said they were disappointed at how they frequently can't answer to a message sent from a business, whether to pose an inquiry, get an update, or complete an activity like a booking.

Altogether, 3,000 shoppers across 15 nations were surveyed for the study appointed by cloud communications platform Sinch.

This comes after a study...