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National Broadband Network by RubyGoes https://www.flickr.com/photos/rubygoes/sets/72157634039925152

NBN fibre: activations accelerated as footprint expanded

It's a matter of ups and down for the National Broadband Network: the fibre rollout (which will be replaced by hybrid fibre/coax (HFC) and node/basement fibre in future geographies) accelerated and the activation rate improved. At the same time, a host of factors (such as a construction focus on adding lead-ins to homes formerly …
Panic button

SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not

Six days ago Gemalto, the world's largest SIM card manufacturer, was told that back in 2010 it had been ransacked by NSA and GCHQ hackers. Today the company gave itself the all-clear: no encryption keys, used to secure phone calls from eavesdroppers, were stolen, it claims. Yet the IT security industry is not so sure. Documents …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2015

Nokia blasts Ericsson out of water, demos 600Mbps data speeds

In the arms race for faster data speeds, Nokia Networks has pulled out 600Mbps over Ericsson’s 450Mbps by using 4X4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. A demo with South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom started with a mere 300Mbps using 20MHz of contiguous spectrum and then using carrier aggregation with LTE-A …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

Speaking in Tech: 'He's walking around with a rubber horse's head on'

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week the three amigos jump on HP, exploding kittens and magic. This week's special guest is Bryan Beal, VP, Global Alliances at Brocade. Here's our topics today, formatted with beginning times for your listening …
Team Register, 25 Feb 2015
gagged spock

Microsoft cuts Facebook Messenger, Google Talk from Outlook.com

Microsoft is doubling down on Skype by killing integration with Google Talk and Facebook Messenger in Outlook.com. The software giant has begun emailing Outlook.com users, saying it is discontinuing support for Google and Facebook's chat apps in its free email service within the “next couple of weeks”. Microsoft blamed Mountain …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Feb 2015
Flying pig

NBN Co numbers suggest FTTP build could be done for close to Labor's budget

The real cost of completing Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) in its originally-planned fibre-to-the-premises configuration may well have been close to the $AU43 billion first budgeted, according to data presented by NBN Co's CEO and CFO to a Senate Estimates hearing. Yesterday, CEO Bill Morrow and CFO Stephen Rue …
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

BT fixes home hub drop-out glitch ONE YEAR after denying flaw existed

BT has finally fixed a snag in its Home Hub 5 more than 12 months since customers began complaining about mystery disconnections that were hampering the wireless router. When The Register reported on the technical cockup in February 2014, BT was quick to dismiss the gripes by telling us it was "not aware of any issues" with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2015

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

The two Republican commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have formally called for this week's vote on net neutrality to be delayed. The US watchdog's panel of commissioners are due to approve or reject FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's secret proposals to regulate internet access in America as if it is a phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2015
money notes lifted up

Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

In the last few years IP-based voice communication has increasingly come to the attention of business managers. Internet-based voice communication has been around for years in a number of forms, some hideously cranky and others very effective. My personal watershed in the credibility of long-distance IP voice comms was …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Feb 2015
Cherry

NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

NBN Co has settled on its key partner for the HFC part of its network, with Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment. The deal, reported by Comms Day as being worth AU$400m, sees Arris, the company that acquired Motorola's HFC business, pip Cisco for the cable network business. Arris executives today …

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Analysis With commissioners at US watchdog the FCC due to vote on proposed net neutrality rules next week, a poll of Americans has revealed two interesting and important aspects: Most of them don't know what on Earth net neutrality actually is. Most of them want to see the rules before they are approved. This is unlikely to stop the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015

Carphone Warehouse, RootMetrics ink data deal, declare customer love

Carphone Warehouse will use RootMetrics data – essentially network performance information – to help customers choose which networks they should be on. A deal between the high street super-power and the frozen frothy coffee-led research organisation will see staff in the shop look up the places where customers want to use their …
Simon Rockman, 20 Feb 2015
Long exposure shot showing patterns made my moving lightsabers

Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Analysis Veteran US antenna team Ethertronics has brought out what it describes as an active antenna system that can offer beam steering for Wi-Fi. The system sits in either the client end of Wi-Fi to stimulate the return path or in an Access Point and will work with any Wi-Fi chip architecture and boost performance by between 15 per …
Faultline, 20 Feb 2015
Dial before you dig

Telstra CEO David Thodey retires

The CEO of Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, will step down in May. David Thodey's spent six years in the carrier's big chair, but has "announced his retirement" according to Telstra's canned statement on the matter. That statement also points out that Telstra's market cap and share price have just about doubled during …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2015
GCHQ slide

Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

The NSA and Britain's GCHQ hacked the world's biggest SIM card maker to harvest the encryption keys needed to silently and effortlessly eavesdrop on potentially millions of people. That's according to documents obtained by surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden and leaked to the web on Thursday. "Wow. This is huge – it's one …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2015

Global DNS power grab: US senators want a word with ICANN next week

The process to move oversight of the world's DNS system away from the US government is heading to Congress with a hearing scheduled for later this month. On 25 February, the Senate's commerce committee will run a session called "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance". The session will feature the man in …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
John Legere

AT&T, Verizon will nuke rivals in next US mobile auction – and it's the FCC's fault, says Legere

The CEO of T-Mobile US has called the sell-off of Uncle Sam's radio space to mobile networks "a success for the US Treasury [but] a disaster for American wireless consumers." In a scathing blog post, John Legere calls the $42bn raised by the FCC-run auction "insane," and complained that the two biggest wireless companies – AT&T …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
Ericsson's pole dancer

We don't need no steenkin' cabinet: Ericsson hangs base stations off masts

A new design of mobile base station by Ericsson aims to do away with the traditional cabinet on the ground connected by a thick wire to an antenna on a pole. The Ericsson Radio System puts the gubbins behind the antenna into modules, which can be swapped in and out. The aim is to save operators the cost of having to buy or rent …
Simon Rockman, 19 Feb 2015
Ofcom has great power over mobiles

Ofcom: We got it right, but let’s have a licence consultation anyway

Ofcom has announced a consultation, revisiting the revisiting of the revised fees for the most-used mobile radio spectrum. The conclusion of the consultation document is that Ofcom got it right last August and fees should be increased by 247 per cent. This is a smack in the face for the networks which shook hands with the …
Simon Rockman, 19 Feb 2015
Photo of Jonathan Ive

Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

Analysis Apple deity Sir Jony Ive claims that companies which offer mass customisation are "abdicating responsibility" for their design. While he hasn’t named names, Motorola appears to have taken umbrage and asked: “Are you looking at me?” In a long interview in The New Yorker, Ive says of an unnamed rival, “Their value proposition was …
Simon Rockman, 19 Feb 2015
Cellular basestation antenna

ZTE ups 5G investment

Chinese mobe-maker ZTE is ramping up its R&D by ¥400 million RMB*, and wants 800 new engineers in China, Europe and the US – all to help it keep pace with 5G development. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal the company's chief scientist, Dr Xiang Jiying said that the company sees the technology's touted 1,000-times 4G's capacity …
Use google.com button

Google MENACED by Russian probe over 'abuse of dominance' gripe

Russia's answer to Google, Yandex, has filed an official complaint against the American ad giant to the Russian competition authorities. Yandex claims the US ad slinger is abusing its position and forcing mobile phone manufacturers to include Google search on the home screen of all Android devices. The complaint comes as Yandex' …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Feb 2015
Pushmi-Pullyu

BlackBerry's money-making QNX unit touts virty dual-OS devices

QNX Software Systems, the BlackBerry subsidiary that markets operating systems and tools for embedded systems, has released new virtualization software designed to allow device makers to deliver rich graphical UIs without sacrificing reliability or safety. QNX Hypervisor allows embedded devices to operate two OS instances at the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
Grumpy cat

NetMundial consultation produces collective, apathetic 'meh'

Efforts to reboot a controversial new internet governance body have been met with a resounding note of apathy. In all, just 23 people responded to a call to define the NetMundial Initiative's (NMI's) future role - the same number that sit on the body's coordination council - over a two-week public comment period. All those …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015
Implementing SDN - difficult choices

SK Tel, Cisco sign with ON.Labs

SK Telecom reckons software-defined networking (SDN) is going to be the Way of The FutureTM and has signed up as a member of the ON.Lab open source project. ON.Lab is an open source SDN platform that targets the carrier market, integrating a network operating system (Onos), network hypervisor (OVX), virtual network development …
Fiber optics

AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

While the majority of Americans only have one choice of 25Mbps+ broadband provider, citizens of Kansas City – the Midwest's most connected hotspot – now have a fourth option: AT&T. "We've moved quickly to bring more competition to the Kansas City area for blazing-fast Internet speeds and best-in-class television service," said …
Iain Thomson, 17 Feb 2015
LG Prada KE850 - model

Qualcomm, ARM: We thought we had such HOT MODELS...

The history of mobile device processors is that of two companies, Qualcomm and ARM, both with unique licensing models which many envy but few can successfully copy or compete with. As the growth in the wireless world shifts to embedded and larger-screened devices, and the mobile chip balance of power moves towards China and Wi- …
Wireless Watch, 17 Feb 2015
Three Telstra vans restore one line

Telstra copper at crisis point, endangers NBN, says union

The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) has called out Telstra's copper network, saying that this year's bad weather has left 20,000 lines out of service in NSW alone. The number could be higher, if you believe reports from News Ltd that the number is over 41,000. 2015 hasn't been kind to Telstra, with …

Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Virgin Media temporarily pushed BT's shares down more than 2 per cent on Friday, after it announced a juicy £3bn cash injection into Britain's internet infrastructure. The cable company, which was bought by John Malone's Liberty Global roughly 18 months ago, promised to bring broadband speeds of 152 Mbps to four million more …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: Growing flames of criticism lick FCC chief's secret plans

As the big vote on new net neutrality rules draws close, opposition to the FCC chairman's plan to reclassify broadband under so-called Title II legislation is growing. On Thursday, the Washington Post formally came out against the idea, arguing that such an approach would "expose broadband providers to a new world of federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

Meerkats helped Ofcom unlock White Space spectrum-hopping

A trial at London Zoo has paved the way for Ofcom guidelines on using the unused “White Space” parts of the radio spectrum in the 470 to 790 MHz frequency band. Three webcams were set up: two in the meerkats' home and one in the otters' enclosure. All three were linked to a web server using White Space radio as TVWS – TV White …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit

Ericsson and Qualcomm in BONKERS 450Mbps 4G test lab demo

Combining frequencies to get more bandwidth is part of the LTE (4G) specification. Wireless boffins have now demonstrated the concept, achieving blazingly fast speeds in a test lab. Qualcomm and Ericsson say they aggregated licensed frequencies and unlicensed 5GHz spectrum to achieve very high bandwidths. Use of spectrum across …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
Measurement train NETWORK RAIL

Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years

Future operators of train franchises in the UK will have to include free WiFi in their bids, Rail Minister Claire Perry announced on Wednesday. The bad news is that there are no new franchises up for grabs until 2017. The good news is that the Department of Transport has found £50 million "to ensure WiFi is available on selected …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2015

World's governments emerge enraged from mounds of red tape, screaming at ICANN

The world's governments have told domain name overseer ICANN that its processes are "complex, lengthy and ambiguous" and warned that they may be ineffective at dealing with domain-name abuse or fraud. The extraordinary statement comes in the official communiqué [PDF] of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

No less than 43 small ISPs have written to US watchdog the FCC [PDF] asking that it not introduce Title II legislation later this month. According to the broadband slingers, who hail from 16 states of America and have on average just over 4,000 subscribers each, reclassifying internet providers as common carriers will cause them …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

Cisco hits the disco as unified comms, wireless sales are lookin' frisk, yo

Just watch that elephant dance: Cisco believes it's managed something Silicon Valley startups often die trying to do, “pivoting” the business to reverse a downward trend. CEO John Chambers sounded cat-swallowed-cream pleased during The Borg's Q2 2015 results call, and investors agreed, adding five per cent to the company's share …
Unlocked padlock

Let freedom RING! Americans can now legally liberate phones from axis of network evil

It's phone Independence Day as American mobe owners can now legally unlock their smartphones again from their network carriers – provided you've finished paying for them. Phone unlocking, allowing it to subscribe to a different network, was perfectly legal in the US until 2012, when the practice was banned in a review of the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2015

'Worse than I imagined': FCC commish slams chief's net neutrality bid

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai used a Tuesday press conference to slam net neutrality rules that are expected to be approved by the regulator later this month. "I have studied the 332-page plan in detail, and it is worse than I had imagined," Pai told the room of reporters and tech policy analysts before giving six reasons why he won …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015
Flying pig

VMware creates network function virtualisation team

VMware will create a new team dedicated to what it calls “networks functions virtualisation” (NFV). News of the initiative slipped into a canned statement about a pair of promotions at Virtzilla. The newly-titled ones are Sanjay Mirchandani, now corporate senior veep in addition to his role as leader of VMware's Asia-Pacific and …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2015
Cable laying plow

NZ regulator okays cable to Oz

A second trans-Tasman submarine fibre cable is a small step closer, with New Zealand's Commerce Commission (NZCC)reportedly giving the Tasman Global Access (TGA) project the competition green-light. The cable was first mooted in 2013, as a partnership between then-TNZ (now Spark), Telstra, and Vodafone New Zealand. The project …
A microwave tower

Telstra's rivals eye point-to-point frequencies for country mobile

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is proposing a spectrum reallocation to give mobile carriers access to 1800 MHz spectrum in regional areas, extending the footprint of 4G networks. However, Telstra isn't entirely pleased at the prospect. Currently, it's one of the largest users of the 1800 MHz band, …