Articles about Telecoms

Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

UK comms regulator Ofcom has said today Openreach must become a "legally" separate company from BT – with its own independent board – under plans to reform the former state monopoly's infrastructure division. In February, Ofcom identified serious failings with BT's ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016

Hans off! Ericsson unplugs CEO after gräsliga results

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg has been unceremoniously dumped after another set of disappointing results. The Swedish telecoms' board unanimously decided to ditch their chief exec after he failed to meet analyst expectations, despite having slashed jobs and done his best to cut costs. He has been at the company for 28 years and …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Not-BT-Openreach' biz CityFibre sextuples pipeline

Cable-layer CityFibre has booked a six-fold increase in contracts during its first half of 2016, with £53.8m in the pipeline compared with £8.1m for the same period last year. New contracts signed in the period comprise 3,702 new customers, more than three times the total amount on the books in 2015 (1,110), and more than …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016
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What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Leaders of many British tech firms were less than thrilled to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. “I was shocked and horrified,” says Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting firm Memset, who we spoke before the June 23 vote. Her comments were echoed by others. Mike Laven, chief executive of fintech …
SA Mathieson, 25 Jul 2016
Woman holds up PBX phone in office. Pic by Shutterstock

Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

In 2009, I moved to Jersey to become the network and telecoms manager for a multinational company. It was tremendous fun, as I had a variety of kit to play with. I tended to favour the Mitel 3300 ICP range (still do, actually) that supported about half of our offices, and I did the various engineer courses and exams for the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2016
BT Openreach van

MPs tell BT: Lay more fibre or face split with Openreach

BT has "significantly under-invested" in IT infrastructure subsidiary Openreach and a full split should go ahead if it fails to offer "appropriate reforms and investment assurances", according to a report by MPs. The report (PDF) published by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee concluded the shortfall in investment …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2016
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Facebook and Google show how the world really will be blanketed in 5G

Facebook has outdone even Google recently, in its efforts to shake up the mobile industry and accelerate the delivery of broadband services (and its revenue generators) to the entire planet. This is no longer just about using balloons and new spectrum to push affordable wireless access to underserved communities. It is about …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

One of the seminal developments in modern telecommunications turns 50 years old this month: the paper that bootstrapped the world of optical fibre communications. With this publication in the July 1966 issue of Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET), Charles Kao upended then-current research into …

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016
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5G: Mother of all pipes, or actually useful?

The 5G standardization timeline is set, demos and proofs of concept are proliferating, and claims to 5G world firsts are on the rise. Yet, many mobile operators and vendors don’t really know what future 5G networks will be needed for beyond better mobile broadband services, and they’re calling on potential industry users for …
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
stack of newspapers view from the side

PhonepayPlus to rename

UK telecoms regulator that is definitely not a cut-rate mobile phone biz, PhonepayPlus, is to rename itself as the Phone-paid Services Authority. The name change will come into effect in autumn 2016 along with a new mission statement defining it as “the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.” …
John Leyden, 12 Jul 2016
Lawyer up

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc. Solicitors and barristers from Mishcon de Reya are working with Blackstone, Matrix and Monckton Chambers to argue Article 50 of the European Union – the …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jul 2016
EIB, photo by EIB

EU Investment Bank will honour pre-Brexit deals – but don't gamble on new ones happening

The EU bank that has poured more than £34bn (€42bn) over 10 years into UK projects will honour its existing deals in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote. Projects signed off on in fields such as engineering, education and R&D are not in jeopardy, the European Investment Bank has told The Register. The EIB’s most recent …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jun 2016
A freight train travels through the Bow Valley - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Photo by Brian Lasenby via Shutterstock

The problem with Canada? The price of broadband is too damn high

Opinion Openmedia, a digital rights advocacy group, has quickly become one of Canada's leading civil liberties organizations. Established in 2008 by Steve Anderson, Openmedia has run a series of successful campaigns which have made it the bane of Canada's telecoms oligopoly. Past campaigns have focused on everything from net …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2016
Bad tech buyers

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

An unnamed local council has entered the hall of shame for making the most eye-watering tech purchase of 2015 - coughing up a 1095 per cent margin on an SD memory card. This is according to the annual poll of 200 procurement heads from 24 industries by pricing bench markers KnowledgeBus, which found average margins paid had …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
data

Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection

BREXIT What price the UK's secession from the European Union? “It's far too soon to tell,” has been the sober and much-repeated line of legal and privacy professionals following the United Kingdom's referendum which voiced public opinion to leave the European Union. Speaking to The Register this morning Andrew Joint, commercial …
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Linux's NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be 'cool' like, er, Facebook

OPNFV Summit Network operators have a jealous eye on the likes of Facebook and Google and want to ditch their clunky networks to compete for "cooler" consumer services, the head of the open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) project has said. Heather Kirksey is director of the collaborative Linux foundation's OPNFV project – the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
TSA gloves

Lycamobile offices 'raided over fraud allegations' – report

The offices of telecoms giant Lycamobile have been raided in France amid allegations of fraud and money laundering. Nineteen people were arrested in Paris last week and nine of them were charged on Friday, including Lycamobile’s general manager in France, Alain Jochimek, reported Buzzfeed. The Register has contacted UK- …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016
Nine inch iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard

Apple's 'lappable' iPad Pro concept is far from laughable

Road test “Lapable” is not a word I would ordinarily use, save for the fact that Apple’s applied it to the new iPad Pro nine-incher. The horrid word is an admission that the smaller iPad Pro is not a strong contender as a laptop replacement, but can do the job when required. And in my experience, a very decent job once you take the leap …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Immigration is an issue swaying electorates around the world, including Britons, who will next week decide whether to leave the European Union and Americans, who will soon decide whether to vote for Donald Trump as president in November. While this is generally assumed to affect low-pay, low-skilled jobs, it can affect those in …
SA Mathieson, 17 Jun 2016

Google snubs 'dark money' questions at AGM. Shareholder power? Yeah, right

Alphabet shareholders demanding greater shareholder scrutiny and more transparency over its lobbying network were snubbed by Google executives at its AGM yesterday. To drive the point home, Google amended its incorporation documents so that Alphabet, its sole owner, doesn’t need to convene a vote of Alphabet shareholders for …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jun 2016
Cable ship Ile de Re

AWS Sydney's outage shows the value of a walk in the cloud

To understand the lessons of this week's Amazon Web Services outage in Sydney, which took down the local AWS cloud for a few hours, take a walk down Huntley Street, Alexandria, an unlovely street in a light industrial suburb. Huntley Street is interesting because its footpaths are riddled with an unusual concentration of …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jun 2016
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Net neut: Equal treatment of traffic doesn't mean equal service quality for users

Internet service providers (ISPs) do not need to ensure that the quality of service received by internet users is the same across all of their customers to meet their obligations on treating data equally as it passes over their networks, an EU regulatory body has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jun 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

O2 chief techie: Light up dark fibre and unleash the small cell army

When it comes to improving mobile network coverage and increasing capacity with small cells, the UK needs more access to dark fibre and easier planning permissions. So says O2 CTO Brendan O’Reilly. Speaking to El Reg recently, O’Reilly said dark fibre was a prerequisite for small cells and heterogeneous networks (HetNets) as …
Bill_Halbert_Kcom

It's a Hull of a thing: Kcom takes a break from 8-year sales slide

Telecoms provider Kcom stemmed its declining revenue for the first time in eight years, reporting growth of 0.4 per cent to £349.2m for the full year 2015/16. However, operating profit fell to £6.3m from £50.9m mainly due to increased investments, compared with the previous year. That was mainly due to its fibre roll-out in …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

US Telecom beats up FCC over investment

Analysis Telco lobbying group US Telecom has fired another broadside at their erstwhile friendly regulator, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), saying the billions telcos make each month isn't enough. This time, in a blog post from its vice president of law and policy, Diane Holland, Big Telco is complaining that the FCC – and …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2016
A broken cable box

Cities are investigating, workers are on strike, but it's not all good news for Verizon

US telecoms giant Verizon is once again facing government scrutiny for a rollout of its network services in a major US city. The city of Philadelphia mayor's office has put out an open call to citizens asking if they have the ability to get Verizon FiOS, its fastest home fiber service. The campaign is part of an effort by …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2016

Meet the man who owns his own piece of the internet

In the ultimate sign of online vanity, the billionaire chair of Hong Kong telecoms company PCCW, Richard Li, has bought his own internet address: .richardli. for $250,000 While most are willing to settle for their name under a dot-com (he also owns richardli.com) Mr Li has used the opening up of the internet's namespace to …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 May 2016
Frozen disc, image via Shutterstock

Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

Dotted around the near-Arctic are several data centres, each taking advantage of the cold air in that region. We know that low temperatures are great for cooling, but it isn’t the only reason that operators chose those locations. Facebook opened its data centre in Luleå, northern Sweden in 2011. Google rolled out its Hamina …
Danny Bradbury, 12 May 2016
O2 XDA Argon

French maverick sniffs around O2

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to block Three UK owner CK Hutchison’s takeover of O2 this week, leaving BT as the dominant player in the UK’s mobile market. BT, lest you forgot, is also the monopoly wholesaler of broadband, and the single largest retail provider of broadband too, with a 31 per cent share …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2016

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
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'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
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

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