Displaying items by tag: Asia

Malaysia takes a liberal stance to 5G cybersecurity

Written on Monday, 08 July 2019 11:22

As governments around the world struggle to come to terms with the initial banning of Huawei products by US President Donald Trump and the whiplash of his subsequent decision to lift it, Malaysia has taken a firm stance by choosing not to rush blindly into judgment, preferring to approach the subject of 5G cybersecurity in a liberal manner instead of pandering to the West’s seemingly baseless accusations towards the Chinese telecommunications colossus.

According to the Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is currently working on a report known as the 5G Testbed and Trials to ensure a comprehensive plan for high-speed internet deployment in the country. The outcome of these trials, which will be facilitated by the MCMC from April to October of this year, will then establish whether or not a ban on Huawei’s 5G technology is absolutely necessary to protect Malaysia’s cybersecurity interests.

In his keynote speech at the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Digital Innovation Conference in Kuala Lumpur in March, Gobind said, “As the nation is enhancing footprints in digital economy development, and with the advent of the newest technologies, we must take into consideration the cyber threat concern and risks. Cybersecurity will be one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

The MCMC has stated that it would take “a broad look at the security compliance issues surrounding 5G” and, despite the commotion surrounding Huawei, it maintains that it is “not focused on any specific supplier.”

“5G will present new opportunities that at the same time open the door to a new set of risks,” a representative of MCMC said. “However, the MCMC is currently collaborating with the National Cyber Security Agency [NACSA] to engage with all mobile operators and equipment suppliers involved in 5G, aimed at identifying the risks to national security and to manage them accordingly.”

Security threats from the utilization of 5G is also being thoroughly reviewed and established by the Malaysian Armed Forces, which will present its findings to the government for further analysis.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has previously spoken out against Trump’s policy, outwardly criticizing the US President for what he believes are attempts to secure dominance over China in terms of trade and security. During a recent trip to Japan, Mahathir made it clear that Malaysia will not be following Trump’s lead anytime soon, stating that the country tries to “make use of their [Huawei] technology as much as possible” and snubbed any concerns that it poses security issues within Malaysia.

Malaysia is considered one of the top three ASEAN nations which will be contributing 75% of the cybersecurity market share in the next five years. This in itself demonstrates the immense opportunity and potential the country has in advancing its cybersecurity industry.

Published in Infrastructure

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.

Published in Telecom Operators

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.”

Published in Infrastructure

SoftBank loses $16bn following Uber IPO

Written on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:39

The market value of SoftBank Group, Uber’s biggest stakeholder, has decreased by $16 billion following Uber’s disappointing initial public offering.

Published in Finance

Vodafone announces 7.6bn euro annual loss

Written on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:17

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).

Published in Telecom Operators

Xiaomi replaces Samsung as India’s top smartphone supplier

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:16

India’s smartphone market has finally seen a change at the top, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi now leading with shipments close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Despite annual growth of 17%, South Korea’s Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.

The smartphone market in India grew by a modest 6% overall, in line with Canalys forecasts, following the seasonal dip as vendors and channel partners take stock after a busy Q3. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo rounded out the top five, while total smartphone shipments were just shy of 30 million units.

“Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst. “Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations.”

Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50% of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27% and second-place Samsung at 25%.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.”

Despite Samsung’s ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for its devices has been weak, Doshi adds. But it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”

Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors.

“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “As Xiaomi’s market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi could become second largest smartphone vendor by 2018

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 08:06

Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in Q3 almost doubled from a year ago, according to research from Strategy Analytics. It’s forecast that Xiaomi could become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor by 2018, overtaking OPPO, Huawei and Apple, if current momentum continues.

Global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach 393 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 21 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple held steady at 12 percent and Huawei at 10 percent.

Global smartphone adoption growth in Q3 can be attributed to first-time buyers across emerging markets in Asia and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics Director, Linda Sui.

Xiaomi soared 91 percent annually with 27.7 million shipments for a record 7 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 4 percent a year ago. Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, according to Strategy Analytics, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio.

Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q3, rising 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016. This was the company’s fastest growth rate in almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston.

Apple grew a below-average 3 percent annually and shipped 46.7 million smartphones for 12 percent marketshare worldwide in Q3, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in many countries, Mawston said, such as Germany and China.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 9 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market, said Strategy Analytics Director, Woody Oh. Huawei is performing well across Asia, Europe and Africa, Oh said, with popular Android models such as the P10 and Nova 2.

Published in Telecom Industry

PLDT, NTT Communications, PCCW Global, SoftBank, Facebook and Amazon have selected TE SubCom to install a high-capacity transpacific cable system scheduled to launch in 2020. TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. Company, is an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology.

“The demand for bandwidth in the Pacific region continues to grow at a remarkable rate, and is accompanied by the rise of capacity-dependent applications like live video, augmented and virtual reality, and 4k/8k video,” said Koji Ishii of SoftBank, co-chairperson of JUPITER consortium.

The JUPITER cable system will connect the following locations: Maruyama, Japan; Shima, Japan; Los Angeles, California; and Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines. The new transpacific route will provide greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers, as well as optimal connectivity to data centers on the West Coast of the United States.

“JUPITER will provide the necessary diversity of connections and the highest capacity available to meet the needs of the evolving marketplace,” Ishii added. “TE SubCom has a proven record of success in the design and implementation of innovative, scalable and robust transoceanic cable systems, making the company the most reliable choice for the JUPITER supply partner.”

Sanjay Chowbey, president of TE SubCom, said submarine cables continue to have a critical impact on the global economy, as well as cultural, educational and medical advancement around the world.

“It is our privilege to help facilitate the growth of global connectivity and provide reliable, high-capacity and low-latency transmission to regions where bandwidth is at a premium,” Chowbey said. “We look forward to the next phases of what will be a high quality and industry leading system implementation.” 

Published in Infrastructure

STC’s Q3 net income up 18.2% to reach SAR 7.5bn

Written on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 08:50

Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saudi Arabia’s largest telecom company, announced the company’s interim financial results for the period ending at 30 September 2017. The group’s net income for the 3rd quarter of 2017 increased 18.2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year, and for the 9 months period of 2017, net income reached SR 7.5 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent compared to the comparable period last year.

The company’s operating profit for the 3rd quarter increased 23 percent compared to comparable quarter last year, while earnings per share for the 9 months period of 2017 grew to reach SR 3.76 compared to SR 3.41 for the comparable period last year.

STC CEO, Dr. Khalid Biyari, said the results reflect growth in enterprise and wholesale sectors which achieved revenue despite a decline in consumer revenue during the period. The results were also achieved, he said, despite various economic and regulatory conditions in the domestic market.

STC adopted a strategy years ago to focus on diversifying sources and introducing innovative programs to achieve operational efficiency. Therefore, net income for the 3rd quarter increased 18.2 percent compared to the comparable period last year, and for the 9 months period of 2017 net income increased 10.4 percent compared to the comparable period last year.

Dr. Biyari said that STC, through its various subsidiaries, works “hard and steadily side by side with public and private sector in the Kingdom to establish a contemporary environment for the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and to establish a modern environment that contributes to the spread of the digital environment.”

STC’s growth strategy adopted recently seeks to achieve the kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the NTP 2020 which means entering into major transformation. The telecom sector, said Dr. Biyari, is seeking new opportunities outside of traditional services. The transformation will provide STC with new opportunities outside its core business, and thus its market capitalization will rapidly increase. 

“As an example of a new era for Sales and Distribution, (STC channels) was re-launched recently with an  innovative digital vision and new spirit as an important selling and distribution arm of the group, which is an important part of the transition to digital channels in the service of our clients and providing innovative new services,” Dr. Biyari said. “This will be followed by successive steps in the near future that will bring us closer to our objectives in meeting the customers’ needs and achieve attractive returns for the investors.”

In accordance with the approved dividend policy for three years starting from the 4th quarter 2015 which was announced on 11 November 2015, and have been ratified during the General Assembly Meeting on April 4th 2016, STC will distribute a total of SR 2,000 million in cash dividend for Q3 2017, representing SR 1 per share.

Published in Infrastructure

Nokia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with St Luke's Eldercare (SLEC) to co-develop and conceptualize innovative solutions for the elderly. As part of the MoU, Nokia and SLEC are trialing Asia's first fall prediction video analytics application.

SLEC is an aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, providing center-based daycare, day rehabilitation and nursing services; and home-based medical, nursing and therapy services.

The solution leverages Nokia Bell Labs' proprietary video analytics technology to create an unobtrusive and continuous monitoring system to determine the likelihood of an elderly person falling. The personalized and predictive solution will analyze information about walking speed, gait width and step width, and predict and send an alert when there is an increased risk of the person falling.

This application will be integrated into Nokia's IMPACT IoT Platform in the next phase, to allow the caregiver to view and collect information from the solution and other sensors that the elder is using.

"Our partnership with Nokia aligns with our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our patients, clients and caregivers, and our long term vision of transforming community care,” said Dr. Kenny Tan, Chief Executive Officer of SLEC. “We hope that by trialing this solution with Nokia, it will enable significant improvements on fall risk prediction, early intervention, and care provision before seniors suffer an injury." 

A joint study on eldercare IoT innovation, developed by Nokia and the Eden Strategy Institute, revealed that one-in-three elderly Singaporeans is likely to experience a fall once a year, with resulting injuries contributing at least S$1 billion to total healthcare costs.  

Being an experienced aged-care service provider with an extensive network of senior care centers around Singapore, SLEC's role is to provide guidance and feedback on the software development process.

"Nokia is committed to transforming digital healthcare and our innovative solutions aim to make a real difference in the lives of people,” said Danial Mausoof, head of Strategic Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan for Nokia. “By empowering the elderly to live independently through personalized and predictive solutions, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience, accelerating a digital future and reimagining healthcare in Asia."

Published in Internet of Things
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