Displaying items by tag: Europe
Italy’s Competition Authority (ICA) has taken legal action against Facebook, threatening to fine the social media giant for failing to comply with their terms regarding data practices involving user data which were previously set in November 2018.
The ICA issued a statement which read that if a company failed to comply with their terms, it would potentially result in a €5 million fine.
Facebook was fined €5 million back in November 3018 after the ICA found that the social media giant did not inform its users adequately about their personal data collection procedure and how it was being used for commercial purposes. More specifically, they were penalized on the grounds of “the remunerative aims underlying the supply of the service , while at the same time emphasizing that it is provided free of charge.”
The ICA also asked Facebook to put an end to this and publish an amending statement which was to be shown on the homepage of the website as well as the app and the person profiles of all Italian users.
However the regulatory agency found that, upon registering on the social network, users “are still not adequately and immediately informed about the collection and use of their personal data for commercial purposes” and that “Facebook did not publish the amending statement”.
When it comes to regulator probes, Facebook has been under the spotlight over the past few years.
A spokesperson rom Facebook stated, “We are reviewing the authority decision… We made changes last year, including to our terms of service, to further clarify how Facebook makes money. These changes were part of our ongoing commitment to give people more transparency and control over their information.”
Telefonica Germany has said that it is currently in talks with Mercedes-Benz for a 5G mobile network which will be used to produce vehicles at the automaker’s Factory 56 plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.
Vodafone’s network was down across Europe on Thursday with thousands of customers unable to use the internet or make phone calls.
Issues began at around 14:42 BST according to network monitor Down detector. Customers all over the UK reported issues and so did customers in Spain, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Greece and Portugal.
Many customers took to Twitter to express their frustration on the matter.
Vodafone then acknowledged the outage and tweeted, “We are currently investigating a potential outage to our fixed and mobile services. We thank you for your patience as we work to get this resolved.”
The company has around 19.5 million UK customers and around 444 million globally.
Initially, it looked more like an isolated issue with customers in some UK cities thought to have been among those affected; however, Economics Correspondent Paul Cogan at Virgin Media TV noticed that Down Detector showed more maps with even more outages.
He stated, “Vodafone’s problems don’t seem to be restricted to just Europe. Down Detector outage maps show problems in India, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.”
The global disruption was then confirmed when Vodafone Ghana tweeted, “Vodafone Ghana wishes to apologize for the intermittent network challenges experienced by some of our mobile customers. Resolving it remains our topmost priority. We shall keep you updated. Thanks for your patience.”
Vodafone then apologized for the inconvenience and said the services were back to normal. “This issue has now been fully resolved and normal service has been restored to customers. We thank you for your patience and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused.”
The network outage comes a month after Vodafone set its launch date for its new 5G network in seven UK cities.
The company last experienced an outage in October 2018.
Cinia and MegaFon have signed an MoU to partner up to lay telecom cables across the Arctic Sea through an ultra-low latency subsea route between Europe and the northern parts of Asia.
The arctic is one of the most environmentally protected areas in the world, making permits for laying cables to be very difficult to obtain.
Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO of Cinia, said, “The Arctic cable will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arctic areas. The cale is an environmentally sustainable way to boost global, regional and local economy. At the same time, the cable will connect three continents, covering approximately 85 per cent of the world’s population.”
The new route will offer low latency, physical diversity and high network availability which will serve the markets of Europe, some parts of Russia, Japan and North America.
CEO of MegaFon, Gevork Vermishyan said, “MegaFon is proud to join a major international infrastructure project that will not only connect several continents via the Arctic but also will benefit MEgaFon as a leader of digital opportunities by enabling the development of network infrastructure for customers in the Arctic region and the Far East.”
TIM (Telecom Italia), in collaboration with Nokia, has achieved a wavelength speed of 550 Gigabits per second (Gb/s), a new European record for data transmission over a long-distance backbone network.
Vodafone, the British Telecom giant, announced Tuesday its losses for the fiscal year which ended in March 2019 of 7.6 billion Euros ($ 8.5 billion).
Spotify recently made an official complaint against Apple to the European Commission, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior and their complaints have now warranted an investigation.
5G plans in Brussels have been put on hold until radiation levels as a consequence of the new technology are measured accurately.
Brussels has the strictest telecom radiation regulations globally. The Belgian government is concerned that 5G technology is unable to measure radiation from 5G antennas.
The Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) recommended last year that the country should loosen their grip on the limits they have set in order to allow the region to capitalize on 5G technology. As a result, ministers approved of this and increased the indoor limit to 9 volts per meter (v/m) and the outdoor limit to 14.5 v/m.
Orange has unveiled its plan to rollout 5G in Brussels this year and to make it commercial by next year.
The Minister for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment and Energy in the Government of the Brussels Capital Region, Celine Fremault, has decided to halt any further activity with regards to 5G deployment. Fremault is worried that the MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas needed for 5G technology are unable to accurately measure the level of radiation emitted which would mean that there is a risk of the technology not being within legal limits.
She said that while she recognizes the benefits that come with 5G technology, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”
She added, “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not.”
Additionally, Belgian operators are currently facing more challenges pertaining to the 5G rollout as the government has decided to delay the spectrum auction. It has been speculated that while it has been postponed to 2020, it may be postponed even further as ministers have not been able to reach an agreement on 5G licenses and how they should proceed with the auction.
Switzerland on the other hand, has begun its 5G rollout. Swisscom recently published a ‘fact check’ on 5G technology in order to avoid “misinformation”.
Christian Neuhaus, a Swisscom spokesman commented on the issue by stating that, “The frequencies are the same as what we’ve been using for years. They’ve been analyzed in thousands of studies and not one has managed to prove scientifically that there’s a serious risk to health.”
The 28 EU members have been asked to share some data to assess any risks involved with the rollout of 5G technology in Europe, according to Reuters.
The Reuters report stated that Andrus Ansip, head of the European Commission, is set to make the recommendations on Tuesday.
Ansip plans to use the processes which are outlined in the directive on network and information systems from 2016 and has also very recently passed the Cyber Security Act.
For the past couple of years, the US has been trying to dissuade its allies from benefitting Chinese businesses, namely Huawei. The US and Huawei have been at odds recently with regards to 5G deployment. Washington has claimed that Huawei’s products could be used to spy on other countries by the Chinese government which they have no solid proof of. Huawei sued the US on 7 March.
Many countries have not reacted to the claim. However, Australia and New Zealand have barred the use of Huawei gear.
With the UK leaving the EU soon, it is still uncertain whether they will follow the European Commission’s suggestion. Last month at a conference in Brussels, the head of the UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre, Ciaran Martin, said that any threat posed by Huawei was manageable.
“Because of our 15 years of dealing with the company and 10 years f a formally agreed mitigation strategy which involves detailed provision of information, we have a wealth of understanding of the company,” said Martin.
He continued, “We also have strict controls for how Huawei is deployed. It is not in any sensitive networks, including those of the government. Its kit is part of a balanced supply chain with other suppliers. Our regime is arguably the toughest and most rigorous oversight regime in the world for Huawei.”
On 9 April, an EU-China summit will take place where discussions surrounding this topic will be held alongside other relevant topics pertaining to the Chinese economy.
Germany’s attempt to catch up with the digital era starts this week when the auction for airwaves to build ultra fast 5G wireless networks will begin.
This technology is crucial at the moment since Europe’s biggest economy seeks to transition from old-school engineering to catch up with the new digital age.
The country seems to be behind in the race of mobile network speeds compared to Qatar, Albania and Moldova.
Rubin Ritter, co-chief executive officer of Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer Zalando said, “Updating Germany’s digital infrastructure is very important. There are moments when customers have difficulties accessing our app.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have promised to create new and advanced digital infrastructure. It expects an income worth around 5 billion Euros however the actual amount of the bill is difficult to predict at this moment in time.
They aim to allow family-owned manufacturers and corporate behemoths to digitize production processes and create data services.
The bidders comprise of current network operators such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica.
The auction starts on Tuesday and it comes with legal issues over the terms and conditions as well as pressure on the country’s government to Huawei equipment due to growing global security concerns.
On Friday, Huawei’s Western European chief told Business Daily Handelsblatt that they “would never build back doors into our devices or pass on data illegally.” He continued, “We would also be ready to sign a no-spy-agreement with the German government.”
5G technology guarantees super fast internet speed which is said to be able to download a full-length film in a matter of seconds.
The telecommunications industry, after experiencing a steady decline in share prices over the past few years, is hoping that this new technology will bring up new opportunities of communication such as holographic chats and potentially some fresh revenue streams into the industry.
Deutsche Telekom plans to invest 20 billion Euros in Germany over the next few years aiming to introduce high speed internet and 5G services. This investment levels caused many bidders to file lawsuits against the government’s conditions for the auction some of which included providing download speeds of 100 megabits per second to 98% of German homes, all highways and federal roads by the end of 2022.
A court eliminated the lawsuits so the auction can now carry on as planned.
“Driving with a car through Germany you lose your cellular connection every 5km. The network infrastructure we have right now in Germany is a big weakness,” said Stefan Brandl, chief executive officer of EBM-Papst.