Articles about Telecoms

Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

Customers are losing £5.8bn per year by sticking with the same mobile supplier, according to research from comparison site uSwitch. One-quarter of mobile users have never switched mobile network, according to the survey of 2,000. For those over the age of 55, the proportion rose to one-third. If extrapolated across the …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2017

How's your online bank security looking? The Dutch studied theirs and... yeah, not great

The Dutch banking industry is doing a terrible job of online security, according to the company that runs the country's .nl internet domains. In a new report published Tuesday, the internet registry SIDN was surprised to find that just six per cent of banks using .nl internet addresses have the security protocol DNSSEC in …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Feb 2017
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BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Rivals BT and Virgin Media have joined hands to collective moan that a forthcoming hike to business rates will result in tripling of their collective tax bill to £1.3bn over the next five years. The Valuation Office Agency‘s revaluation of business rates will come into force on 1 April 2017. But Virgin and BT complained the …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2017
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Hold the phone! Crap customer service cost telcos £2.9 BEEEELLION in 2016

Shoddy customer service is costing telcos £2.9bn per year, making the sector the second most moaned about, according to the Ombudsman Services. Annual research by the complaints mediation service found that the total number of grievances registered by consumers in 2016 was 55 million, up 3 million from 2015. Of those, 13 per …
Kat Hall, 15 Feb 2017
James Franco clutches puppy alongside Seth Rogen in a still from The Interview

Worldwide bank attack blitz linked to Sony Pictures hacking crew

Evidence has surfaced that hackers blamed for the infamous Sony Pictures hack and the notorious Bangladesh Central Bank account heist have launched a fresh wave of assaults. The so-called Lazarus hackers are currently targeting scores of banks and other organisations across 31 countries, Symantec warns. The attacks appeared …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2017

Nokia wheels out a complete MVNO package. Makes a change from WinPho

Nokia has wheeled out a worldwide IoT network grid (WING) that sounds remarkably like an all-in-one mobile virtual network operators offering. The WING will, according to a Nokia announcement, “manage the IoT connectivity and services needs of a client's assets – such as connected cars or connected freight containers – as they …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Feb 2017
A crying child

Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

Telcos have been identified as a "low-priority" sector in Theresa May's brave new post-Brexit Britain, according to a list of industries compiled by the government which ranks them in order of importance. The high-priority industries include pharmaceuticals, car manufacture, textiles and clothing, and aerospace and air …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017
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Trump's new telecoms chief bins broadband subsidies for the poor

The Trump administration's propensity for bold and sudden action reached the United States Federal Communications Commission on Friday, as commissioner Mignon Clyburn and the Commission's chair Ajit Pai clashed over an end-of-week “news dump” that has profound policy implications. The FCC dropped a dozen announcements on …

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

The UK government has published its long-awaited white paper on negotiating a withdrawal from the European Union. Number 10's 77-page paper [PDF] mixes a list of desired outcomes in business and technology with the government's existing statements on national plans. The paper is light on detail but big on statements and broad …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Feb 2017

Vodafone sales slip after damp outing in Blighty

Vodafone posted a sales fall of 20 per cent to €1.7bn (£1.4bn) in the UK for its third-quarter results, dragging overall sales down 3.9 per cent to €13.7bn (£11.6bn) compared with the previous year. Chief exec Vittorio Colao said growth in Europe was centred around Italy, Germany and Spain. "In the UK we have made good …
Kat Hall, 02 Feb 2017
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MNOs will lose 5G rewards to new entrants if they will not share networks

Analysis The advantages of network sharing seem glaringly obvious in a world where the mismatch between mobile data demand and mobile data ARPU is rushing MNOs’ profits. The need to reduce the cost of delivering those rising tides of data is urgent, but many operators are ready to discuss almost any tactic – Wi-Fi offload, automation, …
Wireless Watch, 02 Feb 2017
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'Mafia' of ageing scientists, academics and politicos suck at picking tech 'winners'

Rarely has a report on industrial strategy, unveiled by the Prime Minister Theresa May at the Sci-Tech Daresbury centre in the North West on January 23 contained so little about industry. The strategy is built on what the Government is calling 10 "pillars": including investment in science, research and innovation, developing …
Marcus Gibson, 01 Feb 2017
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If USA wants a say in 5G, Cisco HAS to buy Ericsson

Opinion Results from Ericsson this week will have all of us pundits reaching for just how the Swedish telecoms giant is going to survive the continual onslaught from China’s Huawei. How long will it be before it needs to be acquired and why Cisco needs to be the acquirer. Since Ericsson’s revenues began sliding, we have done this …
Faultline, 30 Jan 2017

To Hull with the crap town naysayers: UK Culture City's got some amazing... telecoms

Feature Most people are aware of Hull's status as the UK City of Culture this year - along with it being serial holder of the Crappiest Town in Britain. But few also know about the city's unique telecoms history. Although the award was met much bafflement and a good deal of snobbery, there are a number of things that makes the city …
Kat Hall, 30 Jan 2017
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UK ISPs may be handed cock-blocking powers

Internet providers in the UK could be given powers to block user access at their own discretion in an amendment to the controversial Digital Economy Bill. The Bill, currently being scrutinised by the House of Lords*, will introduce age verification checks for online porn. Under the proposed legislation, pornographic websites …
Kat Hall, 25 Jan 2017
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Shocked, I tell you. BT to write off £530m over 'improper' Italian accounts practices

BT is to write off £530m following an accounting scandal in its Italian business, saying it was "deeply disappointed" with the improper practices uncovered. The firm had previously expected the sum to be £145m, but has today revised that figure upwards after the investigation began last October. BT said the behaviour in its …
Kat Hall, 24 Jan 2017
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All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

BT is to hike its broadband and TV prices in an inflation-busting increase that will come into force this April. All basic broadband packages will increase by £2 per month, while BT Infinity fibre customers will be stung by a rise of £2.50 per month. The basic broadband package starts at £9.95 per month, while Infinity starts …
Kat Hall, 20 Jan 2017
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Big tech's grip loosens on UK.gov IT spend

UK government IT spending is still dominated by a few big suppliers – but they are losing some of their grip, according to publicly released data and Freedom of Information responses covering five of the biggest-spending organisations. Last year, the Cabinet Office said the three biggest IT suppliers across central government …
SA Mathieson, 13 Jan 2017

Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Having access to the world's information at your fingertips is a handy feature of smartphones, but it's the alarm clock function that folk really appreciate, according to a survey by uSwitch. The comparison site asked Joe Public to name their favourite smartphone features. But in the survey of 2,002 British adults, it was the …
Kat Hall, 12 Jan 2017
Handshake

Virgin surprises market by hopping into bed with BT for MVNO love-in

Virgin Media has surprised the market by signing a five-year deal with rival BT to use EE's network. The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deal means BT's EE will provide wholesale mobile network services to Virgin Media, a subsidiary of Liberty Global. Virgin Media has been relatively late to the 4G market, having only …
Kat Hall, 10 Jan 2017

How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism

iPhone at 10 Apple's iPhone wasn't just a shiny new thing that was irritatingly and madly overhyped. Before long, it shattered a benevolent kind of crony capitalism in which Europeans took great pride, but that was short-serving the public. And it needed an outsider to do this. Ten years ago, Europe could be excused for feeling a little …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017

Australia telcos warn: Opening metadata access will create a 'honeypot' for lawyers

Australia's telecoms industry advocacy body the Communications Alliance is renewing its push for the federal government to revise its data retention regime, amid fears that a review will see stored data sucked into civil lawsuits. The take-out-the-trash timing of the review, announced in the afternoon of Friday December 23, …

Don't believe the 5G hype! £700m could make UK's 4G better than Albania's

The government should ignore the 5G hype and invest its £700m funding earmarked for the technology on ubiquitous 4G technology instead, a top telecoms expert has urged. Professor William Webb, former director of the regulator Ofcom, has warned that there is no clear rationale for 5G's one-hundred-times-faster speeds, and one- …
Kat Hall, 05 Jan 2017

Networks in 2016: A full fibre diet for UK.gov

Blighty’s post Brexit diet must include a "full-fibre" eating plan, or so says the UK’s new digital minister Matt Hancock. Amid all the political noise over the last 12 months, the volume for infrastructure investment was dialled up to 11. In the Autumn statement, chancellor Phillip Hammond announced a £400m "full fibre" …
Kat Hall, 03 Jan 2017
Merry Christmas Australia

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, the column on which we conduct a Friday forage through the inbox full of readers' stories of jobs gone wrong. Today, we wrap our special week of Festive On-Call and so our topic is ... drumroll please ... Christmas. Let's start with “Mike” who told us that “Back in the Christmas of 1995 I was working …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australian Internet policy remains years behind reality

That Australian policy-makers cannot muster a coherent and consistent approach to the changes wrought by the internet has again been made apparent in recent weeks, by a number of events. The national response to the internet remains, most often, to attempt to control it long after accepted practice makes the attempt to do so …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
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Around 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds - Ofcom

Around 1.4 million people in Blighty are unable to get speeds of 10Mbps, according to Ofcom's annual Connected Nations report. However, that is an improvement on last year, where 2.4 million, or 8 per cent of the population were unable to get 10Mbps. Unsurprisingly, rural areas still lag behind on broadband, with a quarter of …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2016

Data use rules set to be loosened under new EU e-Privacy laws - report

New EU laws set to be proposed in January will give telecoms companies more options over how they might use data they gather that relates to customers' communications, according to a media report. Telecoms companies can currently process "traffic" or location data if it has been anonymised or if they have consent to do so from …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2016
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UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

The UK government has effectively outsourced its policy-making to Blighty's comms watchdog Ofcom because MPs are clueless about telecoms and technology. That's according to Calum Kerr, the Scottish National Party's spokesperson for digital stuff. Speaking to The Register, Kerr also accused the government, BT and Ofcom of …
Kat Hall, 12 Dec 2016
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Hackers actively stealing Wi-Fi keys from vulnerable routers

Hackers have graduated from planting malware on the vulnerable routers supplied to consumers by various ISPs towards stealing Wi-Fi keys. Andrew Tierney, a security researcher at UK consultancy Pen Test Partners, noticed the switch-up in tactics in attacks against its honeypot network over the weekend. Customers of UK ISP …
John Leyden, 06 Dec 2016
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Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles

UK comms watchdog Ofcom has fleshed out its proposals to open up BT's ducts and poles - intended to encourage rivals to access Openreach's infrastructure and lay their own "full fibre" networks. Part of its plans, outlined in the once-in-a-decade Digital Communications Review earlier this year, include the promotion of large- …
Kat Hall, 06 Dec 2016
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What's in Hammond's box? Autumn fallout for Britain's tech SMBs

The Government in its Autumn statement promised to invest £1bn on "digital infrastructure", an extra £2bn annually on UK R&D, and at least £400m on new venture capital funds through the British Business Bank, which it hopes will unlock a further £1bn in private finance for growing firms. The National Productivity Investment …
Marcus Gibson, 05 Dec 2016
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Exclusive: Team Trump's net neutrality guru talks to El Reg

Interview The newest member of the Trump's Transition Team sounded bemused by the tech blog headlines when we caught up with her today. As the academic who has conducted more empirical work into net neutrality than anyone else, Dr Roslyn Layton finds herself in demand from telecoms regulators all over the world. This week she faced the …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2016
letters stuffed in a mailbox. Photo by SHutterstock

Sky: Stuff your quad play – customers want separate bills

Sky had a few surprises when it unveiled its new mobile network this week. Rather than half-heartedly selling its network as a second-class bolt-on to Sky's 11 million existing TV and broadband customers, Sky Mobile is going to be a feisty, consumer-friendly MVNO in its own right. Features of Sky Mobile will include rolling …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Dec 2016
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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

The regulator Ofcom has decided to force a legal separation of Openreach from BT, after the former broadband monopoly failed to offer voluntary proposals that addressed its competition concerns. Ofcom fell short of recommending a full structural separation earlier this year, citing pensions and properties costs as the main …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016

Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Analysis When the first fixed-line phone systems were installed, you paid for everything, but particularly for each minute of each call. Later they had broadband added to the copper and a flat rate began to become the order of the day. As phone calls went to IP, the same applied to calls for the most part. While there are upper limits …
Faultline, 25 Nov 2016
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Demo may have frozen, but narrowband IoT stew is still piping hot

MBBF2016 Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is the IoT networking technology most favoured by big telcos. Softbank tried demonstrating it today at Huawei's Global Mobile Broadband Forum – and it didn't go to plan. Today has seen the first November snow in Tokyo for 54 years. Although the BBC was able to predict this last week with …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Nov 2016
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Alternative Networks joins Daisy chain gang: Hungry rival snaps it up for £165m

Telecoms business Daisy is poised to gobble Alternative Networks for £165m - the latest deal in its seemingly insatiable appetite for acquisitions. IT and telecoms biz Alternative employs 600 people and reported a turnover increase of 9 per cent to £146.8m for the full-year 2015. However, Philip Carse, analyst at Megabuyte, …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2016
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US telecoms industry weighs up the Trump effect

Comment As in every sector of US life, the telecoms industry is trying to work out what the shock election of maverick candidate Donald Trump to the presidency will mean for its operators and suppliers. There are few clues, of course – telecoms, even broadband, were not major campaign issues; Trump obviously has no track record of …
Wireless Watch, 21 Nov 2016

LinkedIn officially KickedOut of Russia

UPDATE Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor has made it official: LinkedIn is no longer welcome in Putin's formerly-socialist paradise. The regulator's brief statement confirms what we knew last week , namely that LinkedIn hasn't been able to satisfy Russia that it complies with laws requiring personal data to be stored on Russian …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
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Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Analysis Nine months after announcing its Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Facebook has held its first summit and unveiled new partners and a first concrete project, a white box transponder/router for fibre backhaul, called Voyager. This is an indication, if any were needed, that the social media giant was not just tub-thumping …
Wireless Watch, 17 Nov 2016
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Telecoms Ombudsman praises nbn™ for growing connections faster than complaints

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has praised nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), for an increasing number of complaints about the network. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the Ombudsman says “It is positive that the rate of growth in the number of active …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2016

Outage-prone Plusnet goes mobile in a bid to become 'quad-play' biz

Outage-prone Plusnet is bringing its service to mobile phones, making use of parent company BT's EE network gobble earlier this year. As of 29 November, Plusnet Mobile will become the newest mobile provider in Blighty, the company said in a statement. The biz is joining forces with mobile network LIFE Mobile, part of the EE …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2016

FCC wants a word with AT&T about that zero-rated DirecTV streaming

The FCC is taking issue with AT&T over its plans to launch DirecTV as a zero-rated streaming video service. The US watchdog's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has sent a letter [PDF] to AT&T's senior executive veep of external and legislative affairs asking the telecoms giant to address concerns that by omitting DirecTV from …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2016
Q in James Bond

Join the Q: British intel agencies seek tech-savvy apprentices

GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 are searching for would-be Qs, technically minded apprentices keen to cut their teeth working for British intelligence. Would-be tech quartermasters have until 14 November to get in their security service apprenticeship applications for this year's scheme. An apprenticeship "could be a tempting alternative to …
John Leyden, 11 Nov 2016

Russia to block LinkedIn over data domiciling issues

Russia looks to be on the verge of blocking access to LinkedIn because it claims the site isn't complying with its law requiring Russians' personal data to be stored on Russian soil. Local newswires Interfax and Tass both report that the Tagansky District Court has upheld a complaint by Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Nov 2016
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Even if IoT hits 20bn devices by 2020 mobile operators still won't care

LPWAN Forum Cloudy data-crunchers and mobile operators will take over the Internet of Things by 2020 even though there's comparatively little money in it. So said Nick Hunn of independent consultancy Wifore at LPWan Forum London on Thursday. By following the money and taking a broad view of the terms "IoT" and "value", Hunn painted a …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Nov 2016

Australia again ponders making attorney-general netadmin-in-chief

Australia's attempt to make its attorney-general Netadmin-in-chief is back on the legislative agenda. An exposure draft for the proposed law, available here, would give the A-G sweeping powers over the operation of telecommunications networks. The provisions in the year-old exposure draft include the Attorney General's …

Virgin goes 4G with zero-rated Facebook and WhatsApp

Virgin Mobile has finally upgraded its network to 4G – with an eye-catching deal: Facebook and WhatsApp data usage won't count against your monthly data bundle, a practice known as zero rating. With zero rating, no money changes hands between the network and the service, and in the USA, the practice has proved hugely popular. …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Nov 2016

Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Toy bears and model aeroplanes. Mini tubs of Pringles. Super-expensive watches that look like rusty bicycle parts adorned with a mashed insects. [sings] These are a few of my faaaavourite thiiiiings. Yes indeed, every modern luxury that Western capitalism can conjure are to be found on board this no-frills flight across the …
Alistair Dabbs, 04 Nov 2016