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Two dollars

Altice to buy controlling stake in Suddenlink for NINE BEEELION dollars

Patrick Drahi's telecommunications firm Altice is set to make its first foray into the American telecommunications market after acquiring a controlling stake in Suddenlink for over $9bn. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Drahi was in "advanced talks" to capture Suddenlink Communications, one of the United States' ten …
Glorious future of China

China megacorp Tencent parrots Communists' 'Internet Plus' edict

Chinese megacorp Tencent is pushing ahead with an edict from China's Communist Party to improve the country's internet connections by upping its investment in software-defined networking. Tencent is most well known for its WeChat messaging and payments app, which the company says has 500 million active users. In March, China's …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2015
BT Openreach van

BT's taxpayer-funded broadband monopoly may lock out rivals, says independent report

BT’s monopoly in supplying Blighty’s national broadband scheme may have permanently locked out future competition – according to an independent report card on the £780m public purse project. The evaluation, by economics consultancy Oxera, was required by the European Commission, following its decision to grant the scheme state …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2015

100s of Virgin Media customers hit by handset repair glitch, telco admits

Virgin Media has admitted to The Register that hundreds of its mobile customers were left without their handsets for weeks due to a "glitch" with its repair service. The company has also confessed to us that it was yet to process roughly 100 outstanding repairs for its frustrated subscribers, some of whom have been complaining …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Brexit-fearing Vodafone: Of course we’ll make money from 4G

Vodafone has announced steady-as-she-goes results for the year to 31 March 2015, with group revenue up 10.1 per cent to £42.2bn, and the first increase in service revenue for ten quarters (albeit only 0.1 per cent) — all pretty much in line with what the company had forecast. Emerging markets saw a six per cent increase, …
Simon Rockman, 20 May 2015
flag.Spain

Orange squeezed over Jazztel buy: Sell your Spanish FTTH network or else

Europe’s competition chief has OKed Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain, but only subject to a shitload large number of conditions. Orange has promised to sell off its independent Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network in 13 urban districts in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Málaga — representing 800,000 buildings. …
Jennifer Baker, 20 May 2015
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

I say Zuck off, YOU say Zuck off, we ALL say Zuck off

Mark Zuckerberg's Internet-for-all-via-Facebook, Internet.org, has attracted yet more unwanted attention, with 67 digital rights groups signing an open letter accusing the outfit of violating 'net neutrality. One signatory, activist collective Access Now, has published the letter – perhaps ironically on Facebook. The letter …
Three Telstra vans restore one line

Verizon: fibre is MUCH cheaper than copper, we're going all-FTTP

Verizon has put the latest numbers on its fibre-versus-copper experience, and found that glass beats metal on all counts. Without giving a timeframe, the company has told a conference in Orlando that its experience across seven central offices (CO, or for Australians, telephone exchanges) areas is so compelling it's going to …
monsters_vs_aliens_648_v2

BT boss in shock 'bigger is better' claim as £12.5bn EE bid heats up

BT claimed on Monday that its planned gobble of EE was a good thing for competition in the UK – despite the fact that such market consolidation would make the former state monopoly more powerful. It called on the UK's competition watchdog to fast track the first stage of its merger probe into its proposed £12.5bn buyout of EE. …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 May 2015
shutterstock_222258445-roadblock

Blocking mobile adverts just became that little bit easier

For those mobile operators wanting to block adverts and prevent them reaching subscribers' screens (all in the name of reducing bandwidth usage and saving customers’ money of course) Israeli tech company Shine can make that happen. “There is a lot of grey in there between advertisers and publishers,” said Roi Carthy, the company …
Simon Rockman, 19 May 2015
NBN Logo

Arianespace: NBN sats will orbit this year – PROMISE*

The delayed national broadband network (NBN) satellite launch will happen in 2015, Arianespace reckons. The launch outfit has told multiple outlets there's little prospect of further delays to the launch, which will fill in the rural and remote black-spots on the NBN's coverage map, and will alleviate the capacity constraints …

Google sells .car, walks away from generic domain names

Google has sold its rights to all internet addresses ending in ".car" to a joint partnership of two other registry operators. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, confirms what many in the industry have suspected for some time: that the search giant is concentrating on its brand names and is offloading generic names, despite having …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2015
Hungry goat licks lips. Pic: David Goehring

Ofcom: Oi, BT! Don't be greedy – feed dark fibre to your rivals

Britain's communications watchdog wants BT to open up its fibre broadband network to rival telcos. The one-time national telecoms giant responded negatively to Ofcom's proposals, which were floated on Friday. BT claimed that "mandating dark fibre" could "disadvantage" ISPs that do not have the "capability to deploy" the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 May 2015
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Pic: openDemocracy

Turkey president: Nuts to 4G networks, we're cutting straight to 5G

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that as Turkey doesn’t have 4G yet, the country might as well wait a couple of years and go straight to 5G. This is a pretty bold move given that we don’t even know what 5G is yet – although there are expected to be some announcements from the ITU in June. Most countries are …
Simon Rockman, 15 May 2015
Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk

TalkTalk unveils best results ever – and its share price dips

TalkTalk's share price dropped two per cent after it delivered its best ever quarterly financial results, for the end of 2014. The company posted revenue in the 12 months to 31 March 2015 of £1.8bn, up 4.2 per cent on the previous year, and profit of £76m, up 24.6 per cent, helped by improved efficiency. Unusually for TalkTalk …
Simon Rockman, 14 May 2015
Glorious future of China

China decrees local internet must go faster to stimulate growth

China's premier Li Keqiang has decided the nation's internet connections need to get faster and cheaper. “China has more cell phone users than any other country, but its Internet service speed ranks below 80th in the world due to underdeveloped information infrastructure,” the premier reportedly said. Li Keqiang sits atop China …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/blachswan/

Telstra offers six explanations for its dud Netflix rating

Telstra has come up with six reasons for Netflix's rating of it as the worst-performing broadband network in Australia. In a rambling post Telstra's networks group managing director Mike Wright offers a bunch of mitigating factors that Vulture South thinks constitute six arguments: Netflix doesn't compare like for like, so its …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2015
DirecTV

FCC leaning towards approving AT&T/DirecTV gobble – report

The Federal Communications Commission is reportedly ready to approve US telecom giant AT&T's proposed $49bn acquisition of DirecTV, despite concerns voiced by Netflix and other online media outfits. The FCC is nearly finished with its review and will likely sign off on the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the fabled …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2015

Mobe network Three is the magic number for FreedomPop

The MVNO beloved by Californians, FreedomPop, is courting beta testers in the UK. The service will offer 200MBs of data, 200 voice minutes, and 200 texts completely free each month via the FreedomPop app, or new international SIM. FreedomPop is now accepting orders on a first-come, first-serve basis. Numbers are allocated by …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Foxconn joins the Cyanogen investment party

Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has joined Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefónica and others to swell Cyanogen’s round C funding to $110m. Neither company is saying how much Foxconn is investing, but before the announcement the round C stood at $80m. The money will go to build on the Cyanogen platform – which riffs on Android – “to …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Maybe it won't look like this

Tesco tries to talk Tesco Mobile up from 'Value' to 'Finest' ahead of sale

Analysis Tesco is rumoured to be selling off Tesco Mobile, its mobile phone network. The move comes as no surprise, with the company hauling back to its core businesses after dismal results, recently writing down assets to post a loss of £6.4bn. Figures given for the value of the business sit at about £700m. This is on the basis of Tesco …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
NBN logo

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off. In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in …

Sprint and Verizon to pay $158 MILLION over bogus 'cramming' fees

US mobile operators Sprint and Verizon will pay out a combined $158m after the Feds ruled that they allowed advertisers to tack unwanted premium charges onto customers' bills. According to the FCC, the carriers looked the other way when dodgy companies signed customers up for services without warning them that would be billed …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

Rural English villages that almost nobody has heard of are set to receive broadband connections that are nearly fifty times faster than the national average. Baywood, Wooton, Dry, Sunningwell, Boars Hill and others will benefit from infrastructure being rolled out by small telco Gigaclear, which is laying fibre to the premises …
Simon Rockman, 12 May 2015
Dog's backside and tail

EEeeeeek, complaints! Ofcom roasts BT-wannabe-spouse

EE was the most moaned-about ISP for the final nine months of 2014, Blighty's communications watchdog Ofcom said this morning. The operator, which awaits regulatory approval for its planned nuptials with telecoms giant BT later this year, was lobbed more customer complaints about its broadband and landline services than any of …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 May 2015
BT Openreach van

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

BT's plans to develop improved broadband infrastructure would be put at risk if Ofcom decided to force it to sell off its Openreach division, the company's chief executive has said. Gavin Patterson said that it "would be difficult to convince the board of BT to invest" in broadband infrastructure improvements if the regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2015
Netflix

According to Netflix, Australia's slowest ISP owns half of Foxtel

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, offers Netflix customers the slowest download speeds, the video-streamer says. Here's Netflix's data for Australia. Netflix Australia speed data Netflix's view of Australian internet service provider download speeds Netflix says its index “lists the average prime time bitrate for Netflix …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2015

FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it will implement its net neutrality provisions despite objections from telcos. The FCC issued a ruling on Friday denying a motion from trade groups USTelecom and CTIA, among others, to stay the FCC's Open Internet proceedings pending legal challenges to the FCC order. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

A conference at Bristol university is set to reveal the current state of the art on Full Duplex technology, which allows for transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency at the same time. The idea that a radio can simultaneously shout and listen has been regarded as both old, established technology and a bonkers …
Simon Rockman, 11 May 2015
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

Turnbull moves on NBN subsidy arrangements

Australia's government has slapped the defibrillator on the Vertigan review of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and is asking for submissions about how subsidies for unprofitable services in remote areas should operate. Have your say on funding options for #nbn non-commercial services visit http://t.co/T3UkVduXvP # …
hand holdin retro telephone

1998 asks to speak to Turnbull about local calls

In its relentless search for regulations that impose unnecessary compliance costs on industry, the federal government is considering scrapping untimed local telephone calls in Australia, again. “Again”, because the last time retail price controls were raised was in 2014, when the Australian Communications and Media Authority ( …

US government asks internet community how long it should extend IANA contract

The US government has asked the internet community how long they think it will take to decide on and implement changes to the top level of the internet, and so how long it will need to extend the current IANA contract. In letters sent to the chairs of the two different groups working on transitioning the critical internet …
management regulation2

Ericsson to Apple: Cough up for licences or stop selling iPhones, iPads and Watches

The expiry of patent licences from Ericsson means that Apple has been selling phones it should not have been, according to Ericsson, and the Swedish commtech firm has now asked Apple to pay up or stop doing it. Ericsson has filed suits in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands against Apple's products. The whole area of …
Simon Rockman, 8 May 2015
Throttling

With FTC suit looming, AT&T backs off on throttling 'unlimited' data plans

AT&T has apparently had a rethink regarding its policy of limiting data transfer speeds for heavy users who subscribe to its so-called unlimited data plans. The US telco giant now says it will only throttle mobile data gluttons when they are in areas with heavy traffic. The reworded policy, which AT&T customers first began …
Shaun Nichols, 7 May 2015
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC wants to know if carriers can grab some of YOUR WiFi signal

The United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking over a key item on the telco industry's wish-list: spectrum sharing to try and cope with a capacity crunch. While its consultation paper, here, focuses on “LTE-U” (LTE-Unlicensed), current developments will probably also be relevant to the looming 5G business …
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Australian Labor Party toys with a return to fibre, sometime, somewhere

The Australian Labor Party is considering whether it might be able to revive some kind of fibre-to-the-premises policy to take to the 2016 election. It's put forward a proposed policy platform, which will have to get past its backroom policy-making sausage factory, that includes a “two-stage” national broadband network (NBN). …
America

Snowden scandal latest: NSA, GCHQ lingo-spies replaced by unstoppable RHINEHART robots

The NSA has been using software to convert intercepted phone calls into transcripts stored in searchable databases, it is claimed. It is also entirely believable: Dragon Dictate isn't exactly top secret, is it? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept on Tuesday show that Uncle Sam's spies, and their …
Iain Thomson, 6 May 2015
Looks like DNA

Great, we all want 5G mobile broadband. Now just how are we gonna wire it all up?

The UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new focus group to look at how today’s landline networks can be adapted to provide the backhaul for 5G. In other words, how to use today's cabling to link high-speed 5G phone masts to carrier networks and the wider internet. Some of the language the ITU uses has …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2015
Three store maidenhead

Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

Updated UK telco Three appears to be having problems with its Home Signal femtocells. The Home Signal is promoted as “a great way to make calls and send texts if you have trouble getting signal indoors” because it hooks a small mobile phone cell - a femtocell – into a DSL connection. For punters whose homes are in mobile blackspots, the …

Fat cable bods Comcast belch contentedly, stroke bulging broadband belly

Broadband sales boosted profits at US cable goliath Comcast by nine per cent to $3.9bn (£2.6bn) for the company's first quarter, compared with the same period last year. Overall sales rose 2.6 per cent to $17.9bn (£11.7bn), with revenue at the company's Cable Communications biz rising 6.3 per cent to $11.4bn (£7.5bn). Comcast …
Kat Hall, 5 May 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Firm with 80 per cent of UK mobile numbers fails to monetise them, sold to O2

Weve, the mobile marketing consortium of EE, O2 and Vodafone, is being sold to O2. The organisation, which was formed with £38m from its wealthy parents under the codename “Project Oscar” fought significant regulatory hurdles with the aim of building a common technology for mobile NFC payments. Weve was launched at the end of …
Simon Rockman, 5 May 2015
Woman on phone. Pic: Carolyn Coles

AT&T fined for gouging Uncle Sam on phone plans for poor folk

AT&T has been fined $10.9m by US regulator the FCC for overcharging the government on phone plans for poor people. The watchdog said the telco over-billed the US government between 2012 and 2013 while providing the Lifeline service to hard-up citizens. Lifeline works like this: the cell networks offer discounted or free phone …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2015