Displaying items by tag: services

US operator achieves 5G milestone in San Diego

Written on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 07:00

US telecommunications operator Sprint has achieved a 5G milestone following a pilot trial in the sun-kissed city of San Diego.

Sprint, which is owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced that it had completed a successful 5G OTA data transmission on its live network. Sprint CTO John Saw has expressed his delight at the success of the 5G project, and claims that it will provide a huge step forward in relation to the operators’ overall plans to launch next-generation services in the forthcoming months.

Sprint disclosed the details of the field test and revealed that it was conducted using 2.5GHz spectrum on the operators’ commercial network with radio equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia and a mobile test device from Qualcomm.

In addition to this, Sprint also disclosed that the trial demonstrated a successful handoff between 4G and 5G connectivity while streaming video, conducting Skype audio and video calls, and sending instant messages. Its test follows the completion of a 5G data transmission in a lab during December 2018. The operator earlier this week announced plans to release a Samsung 5G handset in 2019.

“Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” Saw said in a statement.

Nokia North America CTO Mike Murphy noted Sprint’s use of 2.5GHz spectrum for 5G will allow it to reuse existing 4G sites to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage: “This first standards-based call is thus a critical step towards Sprint’s offering of a 5G service to its customers.”

T-Mobile US recently claimed a similar milestone with what it said was the world’s first 5G data call and video call using 600MHz spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

US tech giant signs content agreement with Samsung

Written on Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:22

US technology behemoth Apple has signed a new agreement with Samsung in relation to its streaming and content services in an effort to offset a decline in iPhone sales. The deal brokered between Apple and the South Korean conglomerate will enable the use of iTunes streaming services on Samsung smart TVs.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Irish telecommunications incumbent Eir has announced that it will ‘retire’ its mobile phone brand Meteor in September. Meteor has been a huge success since its inception in 2001, and has been particularly popular with the young generation of mobile phone users.

However, the mobile phone network will now be rebranded as ‘Eir’, which will see it join an existing mobile phone service provided by the company under the Eir name. Meteor has over 750,000 customers but the new merger will see Eir now have around 1.1 million mobile customers.

A spokesman for the Dublin-based telecommunications firm said that customers would benefit significantly from the rebranding, and assured customers that the transition from Meteor to Eir will be ‘seamless’. Eir, CEO, Richard Moat declared that the new merger decision would enable customers to explore a ‘world of possibilities’.

In a statement, the CEO said, "Meteor customers will continue using their mobiles exactly as before - with the added benefit of a world of possibilities. By focusing on a single mobile brand and reducing the duplication of supporting two brands, we can offer better value and increased innovation."

In addition to this, Meteor customers have received assurances that there will be no change to their current contract and data plans during the transition and rebranding process, whilst the current customer care lines will also remain intact.

Eir formerly known as Eircom acquired Meteor in 2005. It adopted an aggressive approach to marketing and advertising and a significant investment into both areas was subsequently made. Meteor sponsored a number of commercial events, including the Meteor Choice Awards.

The company is reported to be spending around €3m and €4m on its 'Let's make it possible' campaign and believes that the mobile phone business would be better served by benefiting from the lift provided by this campaign than separate marketing investment in Meteor.

It has also been claimed that Eir will begin to communicate the change to customers from this week onwards. The group has 84 retail units nationwide which is comprised of Eir, Meteor and dual branded stores that will all become part of the Eir franchise in the forthcoming months ahead.

Spokesman for Eir, Paul Bradley, said the decision to merge services clearly highlights and indicates the organization’s confidence in Eir. He said, "We have adopted a single brand strategy. You can get your bundle from Eir, your broadband from Eir, your TV from Eir and mobile from Eir. What it reflects is our growing confidence in the Eir brand. We are almost two years in from when the company launched the brand and there has been work to evolve the Meteor brand over the last couple of years because initially it was a youth brand and a pre-pay focused brand. But now it is a much healthier mix of prepay and bill pay."

Published in Telecom Operators

Italian operator Telecom Italia has announced that the Republic of San Marino will become the first country in Europe to have a 5G mobile network. Telecom Italia made the prediction following the disclosure of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with government officials from San Marino.

In a statement issued to the press, Telecom Italia indicated that it plans to update mobile sites of its network with 4.5G in order to enable it to conduct trials on some features of 5G technology, such as evolved mast towers and carrier integration. The interim 3GPP standards for the revolutionary next-generation technology will be released in March 2018.

The Italian operator which is headquartered in Rome also disclosed its intentions to double the amount of existing mobile sites in San Marino, it also plans to install several dozen small cells in the innovative project which would make the microstate the first in Europe to have a 5G mobile network.

In a joint-statement in relation to the MOU between Telecom Italia and government representatives of San Marino, it said, “The particular geographical shape of this territory - and the distribution of its industries favor the use and development of innovative technologies. Thanks to this work, it will be possible to start the first testing of 5G technology on a national scale within the next year.”

San Marino is one of smallest countries in the world with a population of around 30,000 people. Some of the objectives of the project include a new mobile infrastructure with considerable transmission capacity that would be ten times that of 4G. The infrastructure would also be able to connect to large objects ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the EU.

According to Telecom Italia Mobile’s head of technology the scale of the project would see San Marino being established as the first 5G state in the world, which would place it ahead of technological superpowers such as South Korea and Japan. The race to deploy 5G continues to intensify between government bodies and operators.

Reports emerging from Italy suggest that the leading Italian operator has already begun installing 100 small cells in Turin as part of 5G network trials being led by the Italian government. However, it’s being suggested that it has more freedom to experiment in San Marino because there are fewer restrictions on the use of airwaves.

Earlier this month, a consortium of European operators including Telecom Italia expressed its desire to launch 5G services quickly. Industry analysts have predicted that the work currently underway in San Marino will be crucial to 5G in Europe.

Published in Telecom Operators

The Austrian government is set to introduce controversial legislation which would grant police authorities in the country the ability to access encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype. The government has claimed that the legislation has been drafted in an effort to ‘crackdown’ on criminals who are increasingly avoiding the use of communication via telephone.

Austria’s Justice Ministry said that government officials has consulted with political, technology, civil rights and legal experts to review its draft legislation - that would ultimately enable authorities to access and monitor real-time conversations on messaging service application.

However, it has transpired that such surveillance would only be permitted with a court order into investigations in relation to potential terrorist activities, or other crimes punishable by at least five years imprisonment. Other EU countries such as France, Italy, Poland and Spain has adopted similar policy changes and introduced new laws.

It remains unclear how Austria would conduct such a surveillance program, although it has been suggested that one approach would involve the installation of software on the computers and mobile devices of suspects using messaging tools with end-to-end encryption. That would prevent the government from accessing information by means of traditional, remote eavesdropping techniques.

It’s been further disclosed that such tools are sold by a handful of Austrian firms who specialize in selling off the shelf surveillance to governments. "Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are gravitating toward this type of spyware to overcome the challenge of end-to-end encryption," said Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto.

Deibert’s institute investigates the abuse of such surveillance tools, and he stressed the importance for governments to make sure they have proper oversight and public accountability when granting police authorities the right to use these particular surveillance technologies. It has been reported that the Austrian Judicial system has already sentenced several individuals to prison for their links to terrorist organizations. Prosecutions were made in a number of cases due to the influence of data from devices that had been seized by law enforcement officials. The government plans to submit the bill to parliament after an Aug. 21 deadline for submission of opinions.

Published in Government

The CEO of Australia’s leading telecommunications firm Telstra has warned operators that consumer data prices will soon be a thing of the past. Andrew Penn issued the stark statement when delivering his keynote address at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)

According to Penn operators need to prepare for already declining consumer data prices to reach zero within the next 5-10 years. Telstra’s CEO insisted that it was critical that operators diversified away from being just ‘connectivity providers’ - and that they must focus on providing other services for consumers on top of connectivity.

Penn said: “There is a real possibility that the price for data to the consumer will go to zero in the next 5-10 years. Operators must ensure that they can offer customers wider, consumer-friendly services in order to ensure relevance, sustainability and new revenue streams which will help them avoid falling further down the value chain.”

In addition to this, Penn warned of the dangers of spending too much time focusing on ‘cool technology’ being displayed at MWC Shanghai – and not enough on how innovations would be delivered for the good of the customer. Penn added: “We need to ensure that new products that are designed are intuitive and customer friendly.” Telstra’s CEO highlighted Netflix as a successful example of this.

Telstra have introduced a series of new initiatives specifically designed to improve the user interface of new services after conducting an investigation of its customer service calls. Penn revealed that a staggering 90% of queries which were made to Telstra’s customer help center could’ve been avoided if improvements in technology or customer care had been implemented with new technologies.

Telstra have come under scathing criticism in recent weeks in Australia, following the organization’s decision to axe over 1,500 members of its workforce, citing increased competition as the main factor in its decision to reduce staff.

Published in Telecom Operators

Zain, Kuwait’s leading telecommunications company, today announced their collaboration to launch a new cloud disaster recovery service that will provide IBM and Zain’s enterprise customers with cloud-based business continuity capabilities and faster disaster recovery of their critical IT systems, without incurring the infrastructure expense of a second physical site. Through the new service, customers will benefit from the added flexibility of keeping their data in-country on IBM Cloud.

The disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) market size in the Middle East is $100.64 million and is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 44.8 percent through 2021. The Middle East region is experiencing a significant increase in DRaaS adoption due to the increasing number of cyberattacks and other data threats like security breaches, software and hardware failures, and power outages, according to MarketsandMarkets.

The new cloud disaster recovery service will help protect IBM and Zain customers against data loss from their own servers or from other cloud services, and can maintain readiness without the need to invest in additional physical space or stand-by hardware. The service will provide replication of critical applications, infrastructure, data and systems to IBM Cloud so customers can recover from an IT outage within minutes.

Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, commented: “Unplanned downtime or data loss is a risk any business can face. Not only can this lead to business loss but present a threat to a company’s reputation amongst its customers, stakeholders, and the wider public. Having a resiliency plan in place should play an integral part in every business. Through the new cloud disaster recovery service, IBM and Zain customers can run their operations at ease, while we provide around-the-clock monitoring of the recovery environments.”

“Today’s announcement comes as part of our vision to transform Zain into a digital lifestyle provider," said Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer Eaman Al Roudhan. “The business needs of our corporate customers are continuously changing, and offering them innovative solutions to help maintain resiliency is a top priority for us.”

The cloud disaster recovery team will monitor developing disaster events 24/7 and help ensure that the infrastructure of IBM and Zain customers is equipped to handle the latest threats to keep data, applications and transactions secure. The new service will also enable customers to adjust and customize their resiliency strategies to their own requirements to optimize recovery time.

The new service underscores IBM’s expanding business continuity and resiliency services portfolio. In today’s “always-on” world, IBM offerings like DRaaS and Cloud Resiliency Orchestration are built to simplify and automate the disaster recovery process, increase workflow efficiency, and reduce risk, cost, and system testing time for clients around the world. With more than 50 years of business continuity and disaster recovery experience, today IBM has over 300 resiliency centers across 68 countries.

Zain’s strategy of being a sustainable digital communications company has long focused on the customer experience and using technology to create more value for the customer. The launch of this service is one of the major steps in the company’s strategic plan to introduce more distinctive digital services dedicated to corporate and enterprise customers.

One of Australia’s leading telecommunication companies has announced that it will launch a new IoT lab which has been described as a ‘game changer’ for the country’s IoT ecosystem. Telstra Corporation Limited - is one of Australia’s largest and most successful telecommunications and media organizations.

It formally disclosed details regarding the launch of its IoT lab in Melbourne, after months of speculation surrounding the project. Telstra CTO, Hakan Eriksson outlined his vision for the project, and said that he hopes university students, start-ups and multinational companies can work with some of the best equipment and minds in this industry in order to bring their IoT solution to life.

According to Eriksson the IoT lab in Melbourne will be a public space which will allow anyone with the opportunity to create, test and prototype IoT solutions which shared the goal to improve the overall IoT ecosystem in Australia.

The lab seeks to enable those in the IoT sector to assess how their IoT applications and services will work on Telstra’s network through stringent testing in a controlled environment. In addition to this, the Australian telecommunications company stressed that the new facility was the latest phase in its overall ‘Innovation Lab initiative’ which included both software and hardware for testing.

Telstra’s CTO conceded that from their standpoint, they’re experts from a network perspective, but not in relation to applications in areas such as agriculture, power distribution and logistics. He told The Financial Review, “We’re experts in the network part of it, but not in all the applications that run on top such as agricultural applications, power distribution applications or logistics applications… and they are not experts in networks, so we needed a meeting place.”

Eriksson suggested that innovators will also want to gain access to the lab in order to utilize Telstra’s infrastructure, experts, community engagement, facilitators, and extensive 4G network. He also disclosed that Telstra plan to bring in a 5G test network in 2018, as the organization ramps up its effort to implement the revolutionary technology by 2020. He said: "We will start doing trials in 2018 with 5G, so it will be very natural to bring some of that into the lab.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Indian operator agrees deal with Uber over its new app

Written on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 12:09

Reliance Jio, India’s newest telecommunications operator has reached an agreement with US global ride-sharing platform Uber - which will enable passengers to pay for services by utilizing the operator’s new application. The Indian 4G newcomer have recently launched an application called JioMoney which is a digital wallet.

The partnership between the firm and Uber will allow those who have the JioMoney app to be able to request to pay for Uber rides by using the application - this will subsequently provide a major boost to cashless payments in India – and also provides mobility options to millions of Reliance Jio customers.

Uber have started to rollout the JioMoney payment options right across the Indian nation – Uber’s chief business officer in India, Madhu Kannan, expressed their delight at the agreement brokered between the two organizations.

In a statement he said, “We are delighted to partner with Reliance Jio to unlock synergies across two of the largest user bases in India. Digital payments have become part of our everyday lives and by integrating JioMoney as a payment options, our riders will have the ability to use a familiar and consistent payment experience.”

In addition to this, Uber’s chief business officer believes the strategic partnership between the two companies will fast forward digital solutions at a large scale for Indian users. Those sentiments were echoed by Head of Business at JioMoney, Anirban Mukherjee - who declared the integration with Uber will power the rapid migration of many more Uber transactions to the digital platform.

Both organizations disclosed that they will celebrate the collaboration by offering special incentives in the form of coupons, which will be made available through the application to users paying for Uber rides through the JioMoney app.

Uber has entered into similar arrangements in the past in India. In 2014, they integrated Paytm into its platform which gave users an alternative payment option to credit cards. However, users couldn’t book or pay for rides by using the Paytm application. Analysts have predicted that this deal with Jio will directly challenge Paytm’s dominance in the digital payments market in India.

Jio has announced that it has reached its launch target ahead of schedule – it claims to have signed up to 100 million subscribers in just the first five months of its operation – which they say is ahead of schedule.

The operator officially launched its service in September, offering a range of free data, voice and messaging services to quickly build its subscriber base. Although the free offers were initially due to expire in December, Jio extended the period to end of March.

Published in Apps

Accenture plan to boost US workforce by creating 15,000 jobs

Written on Monday, 20 February 2017 10:04

Accenture have disclosed its plans to create an additional 15,000 jobs over the next three years in the US. The technology consulting and services company announced that it will increase its American workforce by 30%. In a statement issued by Accenture they outlined plans to create 15,000 ‘highly skilled new jobs’ which would subsequently increase its overall workforce in the US to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020.

Accenture further disclosed its plans to create 10 new ‘innovation hubs’ and confirmed it will invest $1.4 billion in training employees in order to have ‘leading-edge capabilities’ for doing their jobs. Accenture chief executive, Julie Sweet said the announcement represented a key moment for the company. She said: “Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation's growth and innovation agenda.”

Accenture has been a leader in the outsourcing business, and the Accenture boss says the new innovation hubs will be designed to help create the next wave of competitiveness. Sweet added: “That will involve helping companies figure out how to use new technologies in a process of “continuous innovation.” That kind of work "requires proximity to clients,” which is why Accenture is creating the regional centers.

Accenture are the latest in a series of major companies to announce investments or job creation in the United States. It is a trend that has followed the election of US president Donald Trump whose presidential campaign was centered on the theme of job creation. Trump vowed to bring back domestic manufacturing and jobs if he was elected president.

Published in Finance
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