Displaying items by tag: Government
The decision taken by the Trump administration to effectively ban Huawei from the US market has drastically deteriorated already soured diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing as the rest of the world anxiously looks on.
UK telecommunication operators are pooling together in an effort to try and tackle the coverage issues afflicting rural areas.
Mark Zuckerberg and French President Macron held a meeting at the Elysee Palace in an effort to crack down on the latest issues surrounding social media and the internet.
Dutch telecommunications operator KPN has formally announced that it has penned an agreement with Huawei to build its 5G Radio Network. However, it has also been disclosed that it will only select a Western vendor for its 5G core and Huawei will not be considered for that role.
It is essentially the same terms and conditions that the UK has agreed with Huawei in their approach to 5G. KPN has said that it will modernise its mobile network towards 5G, but countered that it had adopted a tightened security policy in relation to vendor selection.
The company is of the belief that the mobile core network from a security perspective is much more sensitive. The Dutch operator has entered into a preliminary agreement with Huawei to provide the radio access part of the 5G network.
The agreement has been drafted in a way that enables it to be adjustable and reversible in order for it to align with future Dutch government policy.
Jan Kees de Jager, KPN’s CFO, told the media separately that the upgrade will also involve swapping out Huawei equipment from its current core network. In contrast to what his counterparts in Germany and the UK have claimed, de Jager did not believe switching from Huawei for other vendors would lead to addition cost. Equipment from Nokia, Ericsson and other suppliers would be as affordable as Huawei for the 5G infrastructure.
Huawei expressed their delight that the Dutch operator had selected the Chinese ICT vendor to help them on their journey towards 5G modernization.
“We appreciate KPN’s trust and are honoured by their decision to partner with us for the mobile radio access network modernisation,” said a Huawei spokesperson. “We are committed to support KPN in their ambition to maintain and strengthen their lead in the global telecoms industry. In general, Huawei believes that excluding parties based on geographical origin does not provide a higher level of security. Cyber security can be improved by establishing standards that apply to all parties in the sector. Today, the IT supply chain is highly globalised. Cyber security must therefore be addressed jointly at a global level and suppliers must not be treated differently based on the country of origin.”
Facebook has hired a new lawyer, Jennifer Newstead, a high-ranking US State Department Lawyer, who will oversee Facebook’s global legal functions amid pressure from regulators regarding its privacy policies.
US aggression towards Chinese telecommunication entities shows no signs of abating following the latest calls from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to block China Mobile from operating in the United States.
China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator and has nearly 930 million customers. It has been desperately trying to penetrate the US market for the last eight years. It first filed an application for permission to operate in the United States back in 2011, but thus far it has been unsuccessful in its attempts to get a license to trade.
The FCC has five members which are comprised of both Democrats and Republicans and their due to vote on an order that if approved would deny China Mobile’s request to operate. The offensive campaign against China’s ICT firms that has seen Huawei and ZTE subjected to intense scrutiny has actually drawn bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and appears to be one issue that both parties universally agree on.
FCC chairman Ajit Paj released a statement on the China Mobile application and again referenced the importance of domestic security as the main reason to reject the Chinese operators’ efforts to gain access to the US market.
The FCC chairman said, “Safeguarding our communications networks is critical to our national security. Evidence, including that submitted by other federal agencies made it clear that China Mobile's application to provide telecommunications services in our country raises substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks."
China Mobile’s ambitions to penetrate the US market now appear dead and the water. The US has continued its smear campaign against Huawei and ZTE and has pressured allies in banning them from participating in their 5G buildout.
Australia and New Zealand have prohibited Huawei from their 5G networks, but the US has met resistance in Europe, with Germany and Belgium both saying they’ve found no evidence of any threats from Huawei, whilst Vodafone claimed that barring Huawei from 5G in Europe would significantly delay the commercialization of the next-generation networks on the European continent.
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.”
3 UK has expressed their scepticism over Ofcom’s plans to address poor rural coverage in the United Kingdom, highlighting that the costs of the proposal were too excessive and overall the initiative lacked ambition.
3 UK’s Chief Operating Officer, Graham Baxter has called for the regulator to ditch their plans and work collectively with all UK operators in an effort to find a lasting solution to the ongoing problems experienced by users in rural parts of the UK.
Baxter blasted their plans to remove partial hot-spots in the UK’s countryside, areas which are not covered by any of the country’s four major operators.
As a way to incentivise investment, Ofcom in 2018 said it planned to offer mobile operators a discount in a spectrum auction planned for 2020, if they make binding coverage commitments.
Ofcom said two operators could receive discounts of up to £400 million on the cost of spectrum licences by committing to meet three targets within four years; providing good outdoor data coverage to at least 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass; improve mobile coverage for 140,000 buildings; and install 500 new masts in rural areas.
However, Baxter has criticized the plan for lacking ambition, while also hitting out at the expense incurred by the operator to execute the program.
Instead, he said the regulator should push an initiative for a single rural network, which would see the country’s operators jointly invest in a shared infrastructure.
In addition, he urged authorities to relax planning permission rules for taller mobile masts in rural areas of the country.
In addition to this, Baxter also argued that Ofcom’s plan would only benefit two mobile operators, but conceded that a single network would be beneficial for all four of the country’s operators with regards to coverage.
US officials revealed a plan to accelerate their deployment of 5G wireless networks with new funding estimated at $20.4 billion to build high-speed internet in rural areas.
At a White House event, the plans were unveiled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to host new spectrum auctions for 5G technology which aims to “improve Americans’ lives in so many ways” according to FCC chairman Ajit Pai.
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.