Displaying items by tag: Criticism

US telecommunications behemoth AT&T has been roundly criticized by its rival operators in the United States who have described its 5G marketing as ‘overhyped’ and ‘misleading’.

US operator Verizon has urged those within the industry to resist the temptation to overhype and subsequently under-deliver on the promise of next-generation technology. In a statement released by Verizon, it’s CTO, Kyle Malady pointed out that whilst new technologies including AI, virtual reality and Internet of Things would all be underpinned by 5G, he stressed the importance of being realistic in terms of what operators can actually deliver in relation to the revolutionary technology.

AT&T launched a mobile 5G service towards the end of 2018, and claimed that it was offering the service to select businesses and consumers in 12 US cities via a mobile hotspot device provided by Netgear. The network operator has adopted an ambitious approach to 5G and was also pushing its 5G Evolution program which promised users speeds faster than your standard LTE.

In addition to this, it was also disclosed in a previous statement by AT&T that Android devices from the operator will display a 5G E logo pop-up on the home screen which would indicate they have connected to AT&T’s 5G evolution experience.

However, critics have claimed that the service provided by AT&T should not be considered as a 5G network offering. Verizon’s CTO said, “If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behaviour designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology.”

Although not mentioned by name, Verizon’s comments appear to be directed at its main rival AT&T.

Verizon is still preparing for its mobile 5G launch after deploying a fixed wireless access service in October 2018.

In another apparent swipe at AT&T’s Android device move, Malady also cautioned on the industry to only commit to labelling something 5G if new device hardware is connecting the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities.

The CTO added, “Verizon is making this commitment today: we won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5.”

T-Mobile
Also turning up the heat was T-Mobile US, which didn’t pass up the opportunity to seemingly mock AT&T on Twitter, while making the same point as Verizon. “Didn’t realise it was this easy, brb updating,” the operator said on its official Twitter account, with the message accompanied by a video of someone taping a 9G sticker on a smartphone.

Published in Telecom Operators

US presidential hopeful blasts ZTE

Written on Sunday, 06 January 2019 10:04

Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE may well have had draconian measures that had crippled the company lifted by the US Department of Commerce following an intervention by President Donald Trump, but the narrative that ZTE is a threat to national security is refusing to subside.

US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren became the latest politician to take aim at the telecoms behemoth and strongly criticized US senator Joseph Lieberman for serving as a lobbyist for the powerful Chinese vendor.

The ability for Republicans and Democrats to work together to form new policies and legislation in the US Senate and House of Representatives has been at an all-time low during the Trump administration.

The decision by the US to ban ZTE and Huawei from being involved in the rollout of 5G networks has drew bipartisan approval with both Republicans and Democrats voicing their concerns that both companies close association to the Chinese government was a huge threat to domestic security.

Warren, who announced she’d be seeking the Democratic nomination for the US Presidential election in 2020, denounced the US senator for acting as a lobbyist for the Chinese telecommunications behemoth on Twitter.

Warren tweeted, “ZTE is a giant foreign telecoms company that’s close with the Chinese government. They’ve violated serious US sanctions in Iran and North Korea. Their lobbyists keep blocking accountability. And today former senator Joseph Lieberman joined them. Should that be legal? No.”

Warren is an outspoken politician and is known for being a firebrand. She has faced the wrath of US President Donald Trump who has repeatedly ridiculed her claims that she was Native American.

She said that there should be a lifetime ban on members of congress working as lobbyists to make sure they only serve the public. Warren added, “We need a ban on foreign lobbying so countries like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia have to conduct their foreign policy out in the open.”

Bloomberg reported that Lieberman, who was a vice presidential nominee in 2000, began working for ZTE in November. According to a lobbying registration form submitted to the US Senate, he is conducting an assessment of the concerns members of the US Congress, the executive branch and US businesses have about national security risks around ZTE products.

The form also states Lieberman will not be advocating for ZTE, and he had been appointed in the interest of transparency and caution.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Facebook embroiled in new data sharing claims

Written on Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:10

Beleaguered social media behemoth Facebook has been subjected to further scrutiny over its data sharing policies following a report by the Wall Street Journal.  The WSJ has claimed that Facebook offered deeper access to user records in a series of customized data sharing deals.

According to the report in the New York-based publication the Silicon Valley based social networking firm struck agreements, known internally as whitelists with a small group of companies which allowed access to users’ data which included connections, phone numbers and a metric that measures the closeness of a user with other users in its network.

When quizzed about these agreements and whitelists by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook acknowledged the deals which included agreements with enterprises such as the Royal Bank of Canada and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan, among others.

It was further alleged that the access was offered to companies which advertise on the social network or were valuable for other reasons, the newspaper said. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that Facebook continued to offer such access for periods lasting weeks and months after declaring it had cut off access to third party developers in 2015.

Company officials told WSJ Facebook struck the deals to improve user experience, test new features and allow certain partners to wind down existing data sharing projects. The latest revelation is the latest in a string of publicly damaging setbacks for the company, which faced fierce criticism in recent months over its data sharing activities.

Last week, Facebook’s data sharing practices with 60 device makers, including China-headquartered vendors, was flagged by a US politician. The company is also attempting to deal with the fallout of revelations in March that it shared data of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. It was also announced last week that Instagram had overtaken Facebook amongst teenagers and young adults.

Published in Apps

Facebook have announced that they’ve created a new tool which enables users to report fake news stories that appear on their newsfeeds. Facebook is the market leader in social networking with over 1.7 billion registered accounts. However, it has been heavily criticized in many quarters for its failure to prevent the volume of fake stories going viral on its platform.

The new tool will give users the opportunity to report stories they believe may be fabricated. Articles suspected of being fabricated will be flagged and disputed - then Facebook will work with global fact-checking organizations in order to establish the authenticity of the article.

Facebook VP Adam Mosseri , said the social networking giant had a clear focus to eradicate the issue of fake news stories, and acknowledged the negative impact they can have, although, he refuted the claim the spread of fabricated stories about Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton that appeared on Facebook swung the vote in Donald Trump’s favor.

Mosseri wrote the following in a blog post, “We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we're approaching this problem carefully. We've focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third-party organizations."

Facebook said it would begin testing a system enabling users to click on news items if they suspect they are fabricated. The social network said it would work with global fact-checking organizations subscribing to the Poynter Institute's International Fact Checking Code of Principles. Mosseri added, “If the fact-checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why.” 

Facebook and Google both released statements last month in which they reiterated their desire to shut down websites which profited from promoting fake news articles through their lucrative advertising networks. These publications known as ‘click-bait’ websites make their money by baiting readers into clicking on sensational headlines.

But an analysis by the watchdog group Media Matters found Google AdSense advertisements on more than half of sites studied with track records for pushing fake news stories. "The recent incarnation of 'fake news' is destructive and dangerous," Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said. Its proliferation and the perverse incentive that rewards it with money must be stopped. Information consumers must be discerning when reading and sharing news so as not to become part of the problem. And fake news creators should not be able to profit from their scams."

Published in Apps