Articles about Telecoms

Steelie Neelie Kroes joins Uber as competition advisor

Controversial taxi app biz Uber has appointed former EU competition and telecoms regulator "Steelie" Neelie Kroes to advise it on, er, competition and regulation. No doubt Kroes' wealth of knowledge of the EU's reams of red tape will help the biz navigate the very regulators Uber has repeatedly butted heads with in the …
Kat Hall, 05 May 2016
Smartphone user on Tube

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU

EU telecoms providers must cut surcharges for 'roaming' phone calls and data use in EU countries from 30 April, in preparation for the complete abolition of roaming charges in June 2017. Until June 2017, telecoms providers will be allowed to charge up to five cents per minute on top of domestic prices, and up to two cents per …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 May 2016
Aligator eating a crab

FCC gives the nod to $17.7bn US cable mega-merger (no, not that one)

America's internet mall cop the FCC has approved the proposed $17.7bn merger between Altice and US cable provider Cablevision. The deal, which is now only awaiting approval by state regulators, will give the Dutch-based telecoms biz Altice the fourth largest cable network in the US. If the gobble is successful, Cablevision …
Shaun Nichols, 04 May 2016

Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

A new project to uncover the symbiotic relationship between Google and the US government has uncovered some mind-boggling details. The Campaign for Accountability (CFA) this week launched the first two of its Google Transparency Projects. One of the projects – a visualisation of the revolving door between Google, the White …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016
HP and Shrek 2

Comcast eats Dreamworks

Comcast says it will acquire Kung Fu Panda and Shrek maker Dreamworks Animation for $3.8bn. The US telecoms giant will pay $41 per share to bring in the digital cartoon film studio that isn't Pixar. Comcast did not say exactly what its plans are for Dreamworks Animation, though it did say the biz will become part of its …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2016
Man rools out fibre cable from a large wooden cable reel on a suburban street. Pic via Pixabay

UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London

The government may claim that 90 per cent of the UK have access to superfast broadband, but in reality an analysis of customers' speeds in 20 major cities, including London, found most folk aren't even getting 24Mbps speeds. Data from comparison site USwitch analysed actual speeds rather than available top speeds, indicating a …
Kat Hall, 28 Apr 2016
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

'Technology enablers' will help Ofcom determine if spectrum can be shared

Ofcom will decide whether spectrum should be shared based in part on whether the technology is available to enable it to happen, it has said. The UK's telecoms regulator said that new technologies can help facilitate spectrum sharing. It said "technology enablers" will be one factor it will consider when deciding whether "the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Apr 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

Intel will axe 12,000 employees globally – more than one in ten of its workforce – as it moves further away from being a PC chip company. The layoffs are among the biggest into the company's history, and come as PC industry continues to tank harder than Intel expected. The Santa Clara-based biz sees a lot of growth in the …
Chris Williams, 19 Apr 2016
Aries

Facebook open-sources city-wide WiGig internet comms, phone masts

Facebook's quest to connect the remaining four billion people on the planet without internet access up to Facebook the web is a huge task. On Thursday, Facebook showed off its open-source telecommunications tech that it hopes will get unconnected folks connected, and give those of us already on the internet a smoother ride. …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2016

Ruckus: A strong buy for Brocade, but leaves Juniper isolated again

Comment Pity poor Juniper. The networking company’s alliance with Ruckus Wireless last summer raised hopes that it would strike it third time lucky in the Wi-Fi market, filling the gaping wireless gap in its platform. Now Brocade has snatched carrier Wi-Fi leader Ruckus from under its rival’s nose with a $1.2bn acquisition. It's the …
Wireless Watch, 13 Apr 2016

UK competition watchdog gripes to Brussels about Three-O2 merger

Britain's competition regulator has written to Brussels to put the brakes on the proposed £10.25bn merger between Three and O2 unless a fourth mobile operator is proposed. In a letter to Europe's competition chief Margarethe Vestager, chief executive of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Alex Chisholm, reiterated the …
Kat Hall, 11 Apr 2016

Rackspace invites itself into your data centre

Rackspace will bring its cloud to you: the company has revealed a new offering whereby it will pour OpenStack into a box and run it from its own data centres, a third party's bit barn or your own premises. On-premises clouds are all the rage at present: Microsoft's AzureStack is in preview and is winning support from the likes …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2016
Lady looking at phone with the world map in the background connecting with the phone

Nokia axes jobs

Nokia is waving goodbye to 1,300 staff in Finland in the wake of the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, a rival telecoms equipment maker, the company announced today. Worldwide, Nokia plans to cut up 10-15,000 jobs, according to reports. Headcount for the combined workforce currently stands at 104,000. Lady looking at phone …
Drew Cullen, 06 Apr 2016
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Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

Vodafone has once again come under fire for poor customer service, this time for its handling of a computer glitch that led to customers being overcharged. A spokeswoman admitted the company experienced problems last year when it migrated records onto a new billing system. "Unfortunately, there were some problems during the …
Kat Hall, 06 Apr 2016
Plastic_Pipes

Automic lets big firms play with DevOps in private sandbox

Automation vendor Automic has sought to counter the DevOps “whatevs” folk by offering a try-as-you-buy taste of its technology, as part of a slew of initiatives to entice companies to tuck into its full fat product line. The vendor is offering a try before you buy sandbox service for customers, operated on its own cloud, so …
Joe Fay, 04 Apr 2016
China

Sanctions-slapped Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE swaps execs

Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE is overhauling its management board just one month after the biz was slapped with sanctions by the US government over accusations it had violated trade rules in Iran. The company today confirmed it will meet this week to install a new team, following revelations in the Wall Street Journal over the …
Kat Hall, 04 Apr 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

EE most 'reliable' mobile provider for cities – Ofcom

Communications regulator Ofcom has named EE the mobile provider with the fastest speeds in four major cities, according to research published today. EE came out on top in all five categories: download speeds, web-browsing speeds, upload speeds, video streaming and even - gasp - telephone calls in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2016
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

Ofcom is keeping schtum over BT Openreach plans until end of year

Telecoms regulator Ofcom will not release details of its proposals for greater structural separation of Openreach and BT until the end of the year. In February the regulator stopped short of recommending a full separation of BT and Openreach in its Digital Communications Review. Ofcom will now draft its "proposals for …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2016
A grandmother gives cash to grandson. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom puts aside a little bit of spectrum for Internet of Things things

A proportion of very high frequency (VHF) wireless spectrum will be reserved for future use by Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, the UK telecoms regulator has announced. Ofcom will also create a new category of licence specifically for IoT/machine-to-machine (M2M) communications applications, along with a “dedicated …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2016
Bill_Halbert_Kcom

Legal right to 10Mbps broadband is 'not enough', thunders KCOM chief

The government's plans to make 10Mbps a 'legal right' by 2020 do not nearly go far enough, Bill Halbert, chief exec of telecoms sector firm Kcom has said. Achieving an ultrafast broadband infrastructure is "one of the most important things we can achieve as a country," Halbert told The Register. "The Universal Service …
Kat Hall, 30 Mar 2016

DARPA issues collaborative spectrum sharing challenge

Static spectrum allocation is going to pass its use-by date soon, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has kicked off a US$2 million challenge to find co-operative ways to share radio frequencies. DARPA's project page, here, describes its aim simply: it wants to replace static spectrum …
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

So where has the legal 'right' to 10Mbps broadband gone?

Analysis UK Chancellor George Osborne's budget may have provided a sprinkling of sweeteners for businesses and middle class savers alongside the headline-grabbing sugar tax last week, but details on digital infrastructure plans were distinctly lacking. No mention was made of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in the 148-page …
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2016
Prey for the Gods - game by No Matter studios (sequel to In the Shadow of the Colossus)

CK Hutchison/O2: 'Four networks' dogma risks one giant and three hopeless dwarves

Analysis Three parent CK Hutchison is so keen to get its merger of O2 approved by Brussels, it’s willing to give up infrastructure and spectrum that a new entrant could use to create a fourth network. Brussels (and Ofcom) remain dead set on the UK having four major networks, rather than regulations that beef up competition from Virgin …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2016

EU needs a single telco regulator, says Google's top policy wonk

Europe needs a single telco regulator if over-the-top providers are to flourish across the continent, Google's public policy manager of EMEA, Theo Bertram, has said. Speaking at a Westminster Forum event Bertram said the long awaited update to European Telecommunications Framework must take into account OTTs, of which Google …
Kat Hall, 03 Mar 2016
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years

Tech billionaires dominate the upper reaches of the Forbes Rich list this year, which proves that while he’s good at many things, Bill Gates just ain’t cutting it at throwing away cash. Gates came in top again, with a whopping $75bn fortune. The second spot is taken by Zara boss Amancio Ortega, with $67bn, while Warren Buffett …
Joe Fay, 02 Mar 2016
Nissan self-driving car

Car-makers, telecoms bodies push standards for self-driving vehicles

New areas for standardisation that could aid with the development of new connected and autonomous vehicles will be identified by car manufacturers and telecoms companies in collaboration, industry bodies have said. According to a joint statement issued by groups representing companies in both the automotive and telecoms …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Feb 2016

Competition? No way! AT&T says it will sue to keep Google Fiber out of Louisville, Kentucky

Updated AT&T is suing to block the city of Louisville from moving forward with its plan to bring in the Google Fiber service. The telecoms giant filed a complaint [PDF] in federal court on Thursday seeking to prevent the Kentucky's largest city, and Jefferson County, from allowing Google's contractors to access utility poles in order …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Feb 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Opinion The publication of Ofcom’s 2005 Strategic Review of Telecoms was preceded by many long evenings of intense debates within Ofcom and with BT and other stakeholders. The review took 18 months and resulted in the UK having the most competitive broadband market in the world. It’s worth remembering why that happened – because Ofcom …
Chi Onwurah, 26 Feb 2016
Simon Cowell, photo: s_bukley via Shutterstock

Oh TechNation. Britain's got tech talent. Just not like this

Opinion It was ironic that this month’s crowing Tech Nation report, which wrongly claimed the UK digital sector “was growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the economy,” almost coincided with the total collapse of one of the sector’s biggest – and loudest – stars, Powa Technologies. Compiled by Tech City and NESTA, an innovation …
Marcus Gibson, 25 Feb 2016
Doctor_Who_Tardis

EMC: Make like the Doctor's Tardis and virtualise telecoms

MWC16 EMC wants traditional and new communications service providers to use a single network function virtualisation scheme to introduce new services layered on the existing telecoms infrastructure. The Provider Cloud System (PCS) is a reference architecture for Network Functions Virtualisation Infrastructure (NFVI). By using it, …
Chris Mellor, 25 Feb 2016

Euro regulator taps slackademics for neutrality advice

Berec, the EU’s uber telecom regulator, is asking academics sympathetic to pre-emptive regulatory intervention for their expert advice on how member states should write their net neutrality rules. Ofcom has been influential in Europe in exporting its competition-based, empirical policy approach to regulation, and this is …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2016
BT Openreach van

Gosh, what a huge shock. Ofcom shies away from BT Openreach split, calls for reform

Communications regulator Ofcom has shied away from recommending spinning off BT's Openreach, instead saying BT must open up its network to competitors and reform Openreach. The initial conclusions of Ofcom’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications said BT must open up its network of telegraph poles and underground tunnels …
Kat Hall, 25 Feb 2016

India's ‘Facebook ruling’ is another nail in the coffin of the MNO model

Nobody could accuse India’s telecoms regulator, TRAI, of being in the operators’ pockets. This month it has, once again, set eye-watering reserve prices for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction (see separate item), and now it has taken one of the toughest stances in the world on net neutrality, in effect banning zero rated or …
Wireless Watch, 15 Feb 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

Ofcom must tackle 'monopolistic' provider BT, says shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah

Shadow digital economy minister and former Ofcom head Chi Onwurah has called on the communications regulator to tackle BT’s hold on the broadband market, ahead of its major sector review next week. Speaking to The Register, Onwurah said it is imperative that the once-in-a-decade review addresses the nationwide lack of …
Kat Hall, 15 Feb 2016

Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Comment Spurred on by wealthy white activists, the Indian telecoms regulator TRAI has stepped in to save poor Indians from themselves. Western elites think they shouldn’t get free internet. Earlier today, India banned differential pricing for data, a move which outlaws any kind of any out-of-bundle data package. That happens to …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Feb 2016

It's official: India bans Facebook's Free Basics

The Indian Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has permanently banned Facebook's Free Basics project on "net neutrality" grounds. TRAI today ruled (PDF) that: "No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content." The ruling, a regulation, essentially prohibited all zero …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

New legislation could force EU countries to make sure the 700 MHz band of spectrum is made exclusively available for mobile services by the middle of 2020. The European Commission has published proposals to introduce new laws that would require EU countries to “allow the use of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Feb 2016

Three: We won't hike prices if you say yes to £10.5bn O2 merger

Three has promised it will not raise prices for customers if it is allowed to hop into bed with O2 in its proposed £10.5bn in an open letter hitting back at regulators' fears over the deal. In the letter, Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, which owns Three UK, promises it will not raise the price for consumers of a voice minute, a …
Kat Hall, 04 Feb 2016
TechDemoSat-1 shot of planet Earth

Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

An error in the Global Positioning System (GPS) network apparently triggered by the decommissioning of a US satellite last week has had knock-on effect across a number of UK industries, it has emerged. Many industries are reliant on on GPS software for a swathe of critical applications such as financial trading and precision …
Kat Hall, 03 Feb 2016
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

BT has blamed a faulty router for knocking its network offline yesterday, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without the internet. The telecoms giant apologised for the failure, which began at around 2pm yesterday afternoon. Customers across the country were unable to get online, with reports of the outage affecting …
Kat Hall, 03 Feb 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Network builders: LTE costs will transform the cell tower biz in 2016

Analysis The vast cost of keeping up with demand for mobile data is intensifying the pressure on mobile operators’ capex budgets and accelerating their moves to improve their infrastructure cost base. Major agreements to share passive and active cell site equipment are becoming commonplace as regulators ease up on previous restrictions, …
Wireless Watch, 01 Feb 2016

T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

Analysis T-Mobile USA's BingeOn gamble of removing video consumption from its subscribers' data bundles appears to be defying its critics, with large increases in mobile video viewing. The mobile network, a minnow in the US market that sees itself as the challenger brand, claims some users have doubled their usage, while one partner …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
Old Sun computers in the PSA

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

When Simon Sharwood revealed that an Aussie operator has just retired a server that been running flawlesssly since 1997, we figured it would prompt a slew of one-upmanship comments, and we were right. What we weren’t quite prepared for were the diversions that one aging server prompted into the nature of time, space travel, …
Joe Fay, 29 Jan 2016
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Years ago, we were told that mass democratic participation was was going to be revolutionised by the web. One click was all it would take to effect change - if only enough people clicked. We would tweet truth to power. Instead of arranging to see an elected representative, we could fill in a handy web form. The future belonged …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock

Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016

Techie on the ground disputes BlackEnergy Ukraine power outage story

Updated A Ukrainian telecoms engineer has raised doubts about the widely reported link between BlackEnergy attacks and power outages in his country. Illia Ilin said that reports suggesting Russian state sponsored hackers used the BlackEnergy malware to infect the control systems of energy distribution utilities and cause blackouts …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2016
Man on old phone, image via Shutterstock

OpenStack abandons AWS challenge dreams, makes eyes at telcos

OpenStack, once seen as the open alternative to Amazon’s AWS, is positioning itself as virtualized telecoms middleware. The open-source project has rolled out a white paper championing Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) with backing from the big dogs of telecoms. The report calls on developers to get involved with and help …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2016

Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Around 250,000 broadband customers left TalkTalk following its major hack in October, according to research. Overall seven per cent of its broadband customers left for another provider during the quarter in which the hack occurred, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. However, the operator gained 100,000 more customers …
Kat Hall, 21 Jan 2016
The Taj Mahal

India just about accuses Facebook of faking Free Basics fandom

India's argument with Facebook rages on, with the nation's Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRAI) sending The Social NetworkTM a stinging letter in which it accuses the company of astro-turfing* a campaign in support of its Free Basics service. A quick recap: Free Basics is Facebook's curated collection of web sites it deems …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2016
Pakistani ISP PCTL welcomes YouTube back to the country

Cat vids return to Pakistan as YouTube turns on censor-matic

Pakistan has allowed YouTube to traverse its digital borders again, after Google agreed to oversight by the nation's telecoms regulators. Pakistan barred YouTube in 2012, after the film Innocence of Muslims hit the service and sparked often-violent reactions to its supposedly blasphemous content. The nation decided it could …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2016