Displaying items by tag: Misleading

US telecommunications behemoth AT&T has been roundly criticized by its rival operators in the United States who have described its 5G marketing as ‘overhyped’ and ‘misleading’.

US operator Verizon has urged those within the industry to resist the temptation to overhype and subsequently under-deliver on the promise of next-generation technology. In a statement released by Verizon, it’s CTO, Kyle Malady pointed out that whilst new technologies including AI, virtual reality and Internet of Things would all be underpinned by 5G, he stressed the importance of being realistic in terms of what operators can actually deliver in relation to the revolutionary technology.

AT&T launched a mobile 5G service towards the end of 2018, and claimed that it was offering the service to select businesses and consumers in 12 US cities via a mobile hotspot device provided by Netgear. The network operator has adopted an ambitious approach to 5G and was also pushing its 5G Evolution program which promised users speeds faster than your standard LTE.

In addition to this, it was also disclosed in a previous statement by AT&T that Android devices from the operator will display a 5G E logo pop-up on the home screen which would indicate they have connected to AT&T’s 5G evolution experience.

However, critics have claimed that the service provided by AT&T should not be considered as a 5G network offering. Verizon’s CTO said, “If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behaviour designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology.”

Although not mentioned by name, Verizon’s comments appear to be directed at its main rival AT&T.

Verizon is still preparing for its mobile 5G launch after deploying a fixed wireless access service in October 2018.

In another apparent swipe at AT&T’s Android device move, Malady also cautioned on the industry to only commit to labelling something 5G if new device hardware is connecting the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities.

The CTO added, “Verizon is making this commitment today: we won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5.”

Also turning up the heat was T-Mobile US, which didn’t pass up the opportunity to seemingly mock AT&T on Twitter, while making the same point as Verizon. “Didn’t realise it was this easy, brb updating,” the operator said on its official Twitter account, with the message accompanied by a video of someone taping a 9G sticker on a smartphone.

Published in Telecom Operators

The European Commission has accused Facebook of providing them with false and misleading information in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp in 2014. At the time of the proposed takeover, the European Commission queried the social media giants on the topic of data sharing. Facebook insisted at the time of the takeover that it would be unable to establish automated matching between users ID’s on its social media platform with those on WhatsApp.

However, the European Commission has highlighted the latest update available to users on WhatsApp, which opens up the possibility of linking WhatsApp phone numbers with Facebook user ID’s. The European Commission believes this illustrates that the technology was available to do this when they bought WhatsApp two years ago.

The European Commission has stated on record that it has taken the ‘preliminary view’ that Facebook knew this technology was available to do this in 2014, but withheld the information from the EC in order to complete the takeover and avoid the thorny issue of data sharing and data protection.

The European Commission released the following statement, “Contrary to Facebook’s statements and reply during the merger review, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook users’ IDs with WhatsApp users’ IDs already existed in 2014. At this stage, the Commission therefore has concerns that Facebook intentionally, or negligently, submitted incorrect or misleading information to the Commission, in breach of its obligations under the EU Merger Regulation.”

The European Commission has given Facebook until January 31st to respond to the accusations aimed at them.

The EC’s accusations come days after EU advisory group. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) raised further doubts on WhatsApp’s claim to have paused data sharing within the EU. In a letter to the company last week, the WP29 demanded “precise clarification” on how WhatsApp shares customer data within the region, adding it remains concerned “data exchange does still take place between WhatsApp and Facebook for purposes other than improving Facebook products and advertising experiences.”

The company in November said it paused data sharing on EU customers. In response, the working group requested further confirmation on this point and requested “comprehensive information” on how the company proposes using customer data going forward.

The WP29 launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies in October, following a change to the IM platform’s policies in August, which the advisory group believed could lead to the sharing of WhatsApp data including phone numbers to other companies within the Facebook group.

Published in Apps