Articles about Telephony

DATA RETENTION Guidelines for Service Providers

Australian universities drop tech services to dodge metadata retention obligation

When Australia's federal government finally revealed who had been given money to help pay for metadata retention efforts The Register was surprised to see eight Universities on the list. So we've asked around and figured out why. Universities have a metadata retention obligation thanks to the Section 187B(a) of the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Sep 2016

IP telephony biz VoIPtalk quietly admits to possible data breach

UK-based IP Telephony service VoIPtalk warned customers of a potential data breach over the weekend. The firm has implemented tighter security controls and advised customers to change their passwords in response to the suspected hacker incident, which is still under investigation. In a notice (re-posted on a VoIP user forum …
John Leyden, 13 Sep 2016

Brit spies and chums slurped 750k+ bits of info on you last year

More than 760,000 “items of communication” were obtained by British snoops – and others – in 2015, according to the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office’s (IOCCO) annual report. The report, which was published today and covers the annual year 2015, revealed for the first time an accurate scale of communications …
Android Nougat

Google emits three sets of Android patches to fend off evil texts, files

It's a smaller-than-usual Android patch bundle from Google – just 47 patches for 57 flaws. These software bugs can be exploited by installed apps or malicious code smuggled in multimedia messages and files to gain total control of vulnerable phones, tablets, internet-connected fridges and other Android gadgets – allowing …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016

InIn now in Genesys

Customer service tech specialist Genesys has acquired rival firm Interactive Intelligence for about US$1.4bn. Interactive Intelligence pioneered software-as-a-service for the call centre and customer service capers, adding unified comms and telephony along the way. The company brings in about $400m a year. The two companies …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2016
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The Internet of Things can transform your business … once your networks are ready

Promo The Internet of Things (IoT) creates possibilities to transform every industry, and some of those possibilities will emerge this week at Huawei Connect 2016, the company's flagship conference in Shanghai. But you'll struggle to even pilot IoT ideas if the networks you rely on aren't ready. And the IoT gives your network a big …
David Gordon, 01 Sep 2016

Biz phones 'n' broadband bods Gamma suffer a network TITSUP

Business broadband comms outfit Gamma is experiencing a service outage. According to monitoring site Down Detector, the problem began this morning just after 8am. One customer told us: "I am a reseller and we are having issues with customer phones also... Still ongoing." Another said: "We have customers reporting one way …
Kat Hall, 25 Aug 2016

BlackBerry: Forget phones, Lawsuits In Motion is back – and it's firing off patent claims

Analysis When Blackberry announced earlier this year it was going to give up making mobile phones, most wondered what it would actually do as a company. Part of the answer is rebadged Android gear. Now another part has arrived in a new lawsuit lodged against internet telephony company Avaya: BlackBerry's going to become a patent troll …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Aug 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
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
Gmail icon photo by I AM NIKOM via Shutterstock

Google enlists Microsoft VoIP partner to unseat Office 365+Skype

Google's going after Office 365 and Skype users in a cloud telephony partnership with Microsoft VoIP ally RingCentral. The search giant and RingCentral on Wednesday announced RingCentral Office Google Edition, a package letting you make online calls from within Google's Apps. Apps are integrated using WebRTC, the real-time …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jun 2016

Snoopers' Charter 'goes too far' says retired Met assistant commish

IPBill The Liberal Democrats are planning to meet the Investigatory Powers Bill with strong resistance in the House of Lords, a list of key issues shared with The Register reveals. The bill, which will bolster state surveillance in the United Kingdom, remains especially unpopular amongst IT-literate members of the public, who are …

Slack vs. Skype

Unicorn-grade group messaging tool Slack has turned on a voice calling feature in its titular client. The addition means members of Slack groups can now click a phone icon to initiate an actual conversation with colleagues. The cross-platform features lets conversations start and end on any device for which Slack offers a …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jun 2016
Bike jumper, image Christian Bertrand courtesy Shutterstock

Ireland's tech sector fears fallout of Brexit 'Yes' vote

The Republic of Ireland’s IT industry would be damaged if its second-biggest trading partner Britain left the European Union. Firms are concerned about the impact on exports - particularly if the British economy and sterling hit the skids. Some think Ireland could benefit from international firms wanting an English-speaking …
SA Mathieson, 29 Apr 2016
NBN Logo

NBN launches satellite broadband services

Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has turned on its 25Mbps satellite service. Communications minister Mitch Fifeld and regional communications minister Fiona Nash today pressed the go button for satellite services. The service isn't complete, because only one of two planned Sky Muster satellites is in orbit. That …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
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Troubled Azzurri Comms offloaded to AIM-listed Maintel

AIM-listed comms and networking integrator Maintel has conditionally agreed to slurp struggling rival Azzurri Comms for £48.5m - a company that is twice its size. At the same time, the London-based Maintel confirmed it is also to place Ordinary Shares on the market at 700 pence each with the aim of generating roughly £24m to …
Paul Kunert, 08 Apr 2016
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Telstra hauls in Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper to explain TITSUPs

Australia's dominant carrier Telstra has hauled three of its key vendors into the principal's office for a dressing down, following network outages that had the Australian incumbent giving mobile users “free data days” to stem the outrage. Major outages in the mobile network happened in February and March, and the carrier's …
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Android gets larger-than-usual patch bundle as researchers get to work

As a further sign that researchers are getting serious about finding holes in Android operating systems, Google has released one of its biggest ever monthly patch bundles, with 39 flaws fixed. "The most severe of these issues is a Critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device …
Iain Thomson, 05 Apr 2016
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Australia needs a technology industry policy debate

Comment Neither of Australia's parties of government has a useful policy or plan for the technology portfolios beyond an attachment to buzzwords and a wish to emulate Silicon Valley. Here's how to identify policy cluelessness: anyone naming Uber as a significant employer. It's not now, it will not be in the future, and yet both of …
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Google splats more bad Android security bugs with patches your mobe will probably never see

Another month, another patching cycle for Android. Google's mobile OS has picked up seven critical patches, ten classed as high priority, and a pair of moderately important fixes. In short, playing back a booby-trapped video or receiving a message with malware hidden in it could lead to malicious code running on a vulnerable …
Iain Thomson, 07 Mar 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
William Binney

GCHQ mass spying will 'cost lives in Britain,' warns ex-NSA tech chief

Plans by the UK's Conservative government to legitimize the mass surveillance of Brits won't work, and will cause lives to be lost to terrorism. That's the view of a former senior US National Security Agency (NSA) staffer, who will sound off on blanket snooping at a parliamentary hearing this afternoon (Wednesday). William …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jan 2016
Panic button

Cisco bitten by Java deserialisation bug, working on patch

November's high-profile Java deserialisation bug has bitten Cisco, with the company announcing vulnerabilities across the board in its huge product line. The problem is so pervasive that it reaches into the most trivial activities of the sysadmin, such as serial number assessment services. The original advisory made by …
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Channel on red alert as Alternative Networks scours market for buys

Alternative Networks is shuffling back onto the acquisition trail following some eye-wateringly expensive buys that are now fully integrated and proved to be grist to the mill for its cloud aspirations. The comms-cum-tech integrator, which is wrapping its much of the portfolio in the fluffy white, today reported a nine per …
Paul Kunert, 09 Dec 2015
Skype for business screenshot

Microsoft wants to be your phone company, at least for voice

Microsoft wants to become your phone company, at least for for voice. Redmond's new ambitions emerged on Monday with the announcement of just how its bringing together the telephony bits it used to call Lync and Skype. Microsoft will soon offer a cloudy PBX, allowing connection of calls between the public switched telephone …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Dec 2015

DC judge rips into the NSA over mass surveillance

In an extraordinary opinion, DC judge Richard Leon has laid into the NSA and US government for its bulk collection of phone records, and issued an injunction banning the collection of metadata on several individuals. Railing against arguments made by the government to dismiss the case, claims it needed more time to make …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Nov 2015

Google roasts critical twin Android bugs in new Marshmallow OS

Google has patched two critical remote code execution vulnerabilities as part of a suite of seven fixes in its fourth round of Android patching since August. The over-the-air updates set to hit Nexus, Samsung, and Android Open Source Project (AOSP) devices first for Google's latest Marshmallow Android operating system. Google …
Darren Pauli, 03 Nov 2015
Syrian refugees, photo by Thomas Koch for Shutterstock.com

Voice, data, help desk: Meet the Syrian refugees' IT infrastructure chief

Special report Humanitarian organisations depend on internet and telecoms connectivity to conduct their life-saving work, and providing that critical service when there is none available is the job of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). This is a global network of organisations who are on call to rapidly deploy when disaster …
Andy Favell, 28 Oct 2015
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Cisco shipped UCS servers with rotten RAID settings

If you've been wondering about the server performance in your Cisco Business Edition 6000/7000 telephony system, wonder no more: The Borg has issued a field notice that the system shipped with misconfigured RAID. The Cisco field notice advises sysadmins that the correct settings for the kit are as follows: Read Ahead Policy …
NSA parody T-shirt

PGP Zimmermann: 'You want privacy? Well privacy costs MONEY'

IP EXPO 2015 Delivering a keynote in London today, the famous inventor of PGP complained that consumers want privacy for free, forcing his company Silent Circle to focus on selling secure telephony to enterprises - while he would like to see it more widely employed. Silent Circle, the cryptographic communications firm at which Zimmermann …
Paul Winchell and dummy

NEW BAN sees Australia HIDE value of networking kit imports

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has quietly stopped revealing the value of communications and networking products imported to Australia. The nation's new such requests appear in August's Confidential Commodities List, released last week, adds an entry for “Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Sep 2015
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Jolla chief quits: Fawning Putin lickspittles to take over?

Jolla co-founder, COO and figurehead Marc Dillon has quit the Finnish phone outfit. Jolla was created as Sailfish and escaped from the burning platforms of Nokia to develop the MeeGo (formerly Maemo) Linux OS for phones. Nokia abandoned that, taking key developers to the startup. This year, it sidelined hardware design to …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2015
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Broadband powered by home gateways? Whose bright idea was THIS?

Fibre-to-the-node can help squeeze the last drop of sweat out of copper telephony networks, but it has a problem: nodes need electrons, and there might not be a copper path upstream to the exchange for 48V power. So the standards body The Broadband Forum thinks powering nodes using household electricity is a good idea. The …
Mats Granryd is the new GSMA Director General

GSMA appoints Mats Granryd as new director general

The new director general of the mobile phone operators organisation is Mats Granryd, who will take up his new role on January 1 2016. Granryd’s appointment follows the departure of Anne Bouverot last month. Bouverot has gone to head up French security and identity solution vendor Morpho. Granryd will be joing the GSMA from …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
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Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

Chris Bryant MP has added his support to the lobby which wants to see Openreach split from BT. This is just one area under investigation as part of Ofcom's 2015 strategic review. The previous review a decade earlier saw Openreach ring-fenced as a separate BT organisation. However, the view of most of its customers – who are …
Simon Rockman, 24 Aug 2015
Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

Fancy a mile-high EARJOB? We've had five!

Review Yes, noise-cancelling headphones are useful in all manner of times and places, but they really shine during air travel by blocking some of the endless bass rumble that jet engines emit. Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones Make your flights less hum-drum with some noise cancelling headphones …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2015

Telstra's bush broadband boxes bugged, bashed, botted

Update Telstra has patched a vulnerability that could have seen regional Australians suffer interception of their internet connections through a remotely-exploitable vulnerability in a series of wireless terminals the nation's dominant telco deploys under its universal service obligation. Melbourne security researcher Tim Noise (@ …
Darren Pauli, 03 Aug 2015
America

NSA: We'll move your metadata into /dev/null when you stop suing us

The NSA has said it will delete its mountain of private telephone records belonging to millions of Americans – just as soon as people stop suing it for having done so. The agency's slurping of phone numbers, the times and dates of calls, and (in some case) the locations of cellphone calls, was exposed in the first-ever leak of …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2015
Ideal for a summer blast

How to keep track of your flexible workers

It has been two years since Yahoo! chief Marissa Meyer hauled her remote working employees back into the office, intent on eliminating flexible working. The concept is becoming more popular, though, whether people like Ms Meyer like it or not. In June 2014, an amendment to the UK’s Children and Families Act came into effect. …
Robin Birtstone, 23 Jul 2015
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It's ALIVE! Network Services contract finally staggers upright

The government's much-delayed £2bn Network Services contract has finally gone live after 12 months of blood, sweat, tears and therapy on the part of suppliers. The framework is comprised of 61 suppliers, according to Innopsis, the representative body for public services network companies. Of those, 30 per cent are SMEs, the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015
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The modest father of SMS, who had much to be modest about

Matti Makkonen died last week and was celebrated as the father of SMS. He’s been described as being too modest to acknowledge his involvement. It seems, however, that the story of how Short Messaging came to be is far more complicated than we originally thought, and the system has many fathers. In fact, not only did Makkonen …
Simon Rockman, 08 Jul 2015
America

Security gurus deliver coup de grace to US govt's encryption backdoor demands

With congressional hearings due on Wednesday to discuss US government plans to force tech companies to install backdoors in their encryption systems, some of the leading minds in the security world have published a paper on how, and if, such a system would work. The authors of the 34-page paper [PDF] read like a who's who of …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2015
America

NSA continues mass slurping of Americans' phone metadata

The NSA can continue to monitor when and where millions and millions of Americans use their cellphones, and who they're calling and texting. The USA Freedom Act is supposed to slightly rein in that level of surveillance, by forcing telcos to collect the records and make the Feds apply for the information. That doesn't kick in …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2015
SMS inventor Matti Makkonen

Vale Matti Makkonen, SMS dreamer

Matti Makkonen, a figure widely held to have influenced the development of SMS, has died at the relatively young age of 63. According to BT, it took some years for Makkonen's pitch to Finland's Telecoms and Postal agency in 1984 to become a reality in 1992. It took even longer for SMS to really hit its straps, because carriers …
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Turnbullnomics trashed as Oz regulator cuts telecoms prices

A bunch of Australian fixed telephony and broadband users are about to suffer under a regime of lower prices. In spite of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2014 assertion that lower prices are against consumer's interests, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told Telstra to cut its wholesale fixed …
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Where's the Network Services framework at? Uh, dunno, says UK.gov

Clown Crown Commercial Services has told prospective candidates for the mega Network Services framework that it will confirm the line-up of suppliers at some point. Maybe soon. It is now more than 41 weeks since the government’s supposed professional procurement arm launched the tender for the Network Services, a four year …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2015

A brief introduction to converged infrastructure

Sometimes, it’s better to think inside the box. Bundling different IT components together into a single unit may just solve some of your computing problems, if you plan it right. Welcome to the world of IT convergence. Depending on which vendor or analyst you talk to, it’s known as an integrated system, a unified computing …
Robin Birtstone, 23 Jun 2015
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Post Office launches mobe service for aged greybeards

The Post Office has launched its own mobile phone service. The organisation plays hard on the value for money that its new pre-pay tariffs offer, but in practice the market is so competitive it’s hard to make that stand up. While the headline prices are cheaper, many rivals – notably Tesco Mobile – offer top-up bonuses, which …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
Michael Hayden

'No evidence' Snowden was working for foreign power says ex-NSA boss

Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden this week told a conference about how little fallout the NSA has suffered after the Snowden leaks, and detailed how his former agency would hack other governments. He said to his audience at the Wall Street Journal's chief financial officer conference: If somebody would …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2015
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Network Services delayed AGAIN. Suppliers: Oh FFS

It is week 40 of the Network Services framework tender and suppliers are still in the dark about the cause of the latest delay - which means nobody knows who's made the cut and who hasn't. A prior information notice for the framework, estimated to be worth between £100m and £2bn over four years, was published in July and a …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jun 2015