Displaying items by tag: Austria

GAFA tax lands in second EU country after France

Written on Thursday, 03 January 2019 10:08

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz vowed to press ahead with a tax on large internet and technology companies, following France's example, as the European Union struggles to finalize a new EU-wide levy.

France, which is pushing for a new so-called “GAFA tax” is advancing with its own tax to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on massive business operations in Europe.

“It is only fair that internet giants in Europe pay a proper amount of tax,” Kurz said, according to a statement. ‘In addition to an EU-wide move, we'll also act on a national level. We will introduce a digital tax in Austria.”

Kurz said that EU member states “agree in principle that there is a need for such a tax.” He said Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger was in the process “of working out the details and their implementation and will unveil the basic framework at the beginning of January.” The tax would then come into force as part of the government's planned tax reforms in 2020.

“The aim is clear - to tax companies that generate huge profits online, but pay hardly any tax on them, such as Facebook or Amazon,” Kurz said.

In addition to taxing direct sales, France will also require the companies to pay a levy on advertising revenues, websites and the resale of private data, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced earlier.

Under EU law, US technology titans such as Google and Facebook can choose to report their income in any member state, prompting them to pick low-tax nations like Ireland, the Netherlands or Luxembourg. Such firms, on average, pay a nine-percent levy, compared to 23% for other businesses, according to Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner.

The low tax rates have caused anger among voters in many European countries, but the 28-member bloc is divided on how to tackle the issue.

Published in Government

T-Mobile Austria, a Deutsche Telekom company, has selected Huawei’s OTN solution for its planned metro WDM and backbone WDM. The projects are intended to build a next-generation large-capacity WDM transport network with leading performance to support the growth of network traffic and services of T-Mobile Austria over the next five years.

As a well-known mobile telecommunications service provider in Austria, T-Mobile Austria has about 1300 employees and serves 4.6 million users. T-Mobile Austria also provides top-level IT services around the world in cooperation with T-Systems.

The fast-growing traffic driven by new services such as LTE/LTE-A, IoT, Big Data, cloud computing, and 4K video, requires T-Mobile Austria’s metro networks to provide higher bandwidth and lower latency.

To cope with the challenge, T-Mobile Austria chose Huawei's simplified OTN solution to increase bandwidth to 200G per wavelength with minimum optical fiber resources using the latest WDM technologies. T-Mobile Austria also deploys OTN devices at CO sites to simplify network layers and eliminate intermediate aggregation and forwarding to achieve direct optical connections between sites, minimizing network latency for emerging services and future seamless evolution.

T-Mobile Austria’s existing backbone network provides a maximum of 40 100G wavelengths, which is insufficient to handle current and future traffic loads. At the same time, 10G/100G hybrid transmission exists in many places, which affects the transmission performance of the network. Moreover, the complex dispersion compensation configuration leads to difficulties in network planning and O&M and is unable to support the future DC-centric network architecture.

To address these pain points, Huawei provides a comprehensive all-optical backbone network solution, which increases bandwidth, allows flexible traffic grooming, and supports seamless evolution of the CloudDCI network architecture to embrace the challenges brought by future service cloudification.

The network-wide CDCG-ROADM configuration supports on-demand service grooming, 80 100G/200G/400G channels per fiber, and seamless evolution to the future 1T ultra-high-speed transmission.

The new-generation high-speed coherent communications technology feeds the demand for bandwidth and eliminates hybrid transmission and complex dispersion compensation configuration. The technology, coupled with Huawei's intelligent optical-layer OSNR monitoring, fiber self-test system and simplified OTN architecture, will significantly simplify network planning and O&M to meet the fast growth of inter-DC traffic in the coming five to 10 years.

Andreas Bierwirth, CEO of T-Mobile Austria, said, “Huawei has always been a reliable partner of T-Mobile Austria, and I look forward to the future strategic cooperation, which will help T-Mobile Austria build an image of technology leadership in Austria.”

"As a long-term strategic partner, Huawei will continue to help T-Mobile Austria in the transformation to a digital service provider,” said Duan Aiguo, general manager of WDM Domain for Huawei’s transport network product line.

“Huawei's simplified OTN solution will help T-Mobile Austria build a highly secure, large-capacity, low-latency, and easy-to-operate-and-maintain networks. The new network capabilities will enable T-Mobile Austria to enter more vertical industries. We are looking forward to the strategic cooperation between Huawei and T-Mobile Austria and will help T-Mobile Austria achieve greater business success and win-win development."

Published in Telecom Vendors

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