Displaying items by tag: US

US operator forced to cut jobs from its media division

Written on Thursday, 24 January 2019 12:22

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has announced that it has reduced its workforce in its media division in an effort to realign and restructure its overall business strategy.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be lost from the operators’ media unit which includes former internet giants such as Yahoo and AOL. A source close to Verizon said the amount of jobs lost amounts to 7% of the overall staff.

Verizon’s media unit has been a successful extension to its comprehensive ICT portfolio - popular news sites such as the Huffington Post and TechCrunch generate large visitors to their websites on a daily basis.

Whilst the number of jobs being lost remains speculative, the reputable Wall Street Journal has reported that around 800 positions will be lost following the decision by Verizon to overhaul its business strategy.

The unit's chief executive Guru Gowrappan, who took over in October 2018, made the changes after a strategic review which determined the group would prioritize "Yahoo's member-centric ecosystem" along with ad technology and video products.

Responding to AFP, Verizon Media said in a statement: "Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future."

Verizon, which also operates one of the largest US telecom networks, last year wrote down the value of its Yahoo acquisition by some $4.6 billion.

Published in Telecom Operators

The French government has announced that it will be instructing operators to allow them more oversight and control in relation to the rollout of 5G networks due to increased security concerns.

The decision by the French government comes on the back of speculation that a number of Western nations are considering banning Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei from bidding on contracts for 5G deployment, amidst fears that Beijing would be able to gain access to sensitive communications and infrastructure.

Huawei should be the go-to vendor for operators globally, as it is well-ahead of its European rivals Nokia and Ericsson in relation to 5G equipment. However, Washington are lobbying its allies to prevent the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from being involved in their 5G networks as US intelligence agencies have deemed them a serious threat to domestic security.

Guillaume Poupard, head of France's national cybersecurity agency ANSSI, said a new law could be drafted in the forthcoming number of months in an effort to ‘toughen and extend’ authorization requirements in order to be sure we control the entire 5G network.

However, he insisted that approvals would not be refused "because of a company's image, or its country of origin".

Poupard told AFP, "There aren't good equipment makers on the one hand and bad equipment makers on the other -- unfortunately the situation is much more complex. The need for oversight is all the more critical since the base stations and other infrastructure for ultrafast 5G networks are much less centralized than current 4G systems.”

Huawei’s chairman Liang Hua told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it would pull out of partnerships in hostile countries.

Liang said, “We do not pose a threat to a future digital society. The United States has not yet put forward any evidence to justify its claim that Huawei’s equipment could serve as a Trojan horse for Beijing's security apparatus.”

Published in Telecom Operators

US tech giant announces recruitment cutback

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:26

US technology giant Apple has announced that it will impose a recruitment cutback - which has been primarily forced due to weak sales on the company’s iPhone devices in the lucrative Chinese market.

Bloomberg has reported that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced the recruitment cutbacks just a day after he sent a letter to Apple investors that warned the company was bracing itself for a year-on-year decline in revenue for its fiscal Q1, which would shave $5bn from its guidance. 

In a series of meetings that were held following the disclosure, it was reported that Cook informed some staff that a number of divisions would reduce hiring, but stated that he didn’t think a complete freeze in recruitment would be an appropriate solution to take.

In addition to this, it has been further disclosed that the CEO is also yet to determine which divisions will face hiring cutbacks. However, it is believed that divisions such as Apple’s AI team will not be affected due to the leverage of investment made by the US tech company into the emerging technology.

The move will also not affect plans to open a state-of-the-art new office in Austin, Texas or its expansion plans in Los Angeles, where the company is fleshing out its original video content ambitions.

Bloomberg also pointed out that Apple has hired new staff at a significant rate over the past decade. The company recruited 9,000 workers in its most recent fiscal year, taking the total up to 132,000, while adding 7,000 a year earlier.

Published in Devices

UK University declines additional funding from Chinese vendor

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:22

Embattled Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has endured a miserable number of months – and is under intense scrutiny globally.

Huawei has become embroiled in a series of controversies and has been subjected to lurid allegations which claim the telecommunications behemoth is a security threat to nations that deploy its equipment due to its close ties with the Chinese government in Beijing.

The under-fire company suffered another setback when one of the world’s most famous academic institutions Oxford University, declined the opportunity to receive additional funding from the vendor.

A spokesman for the University said that it would not be pursuing new funding opportunities for both research contracts or philanthropic donations from Huawei and related group companies, although it did confirm that existing projects currently in place will continue.

The spokesman said, “We currently have two such ongoing projects, with a combined funding from Huawei of £692,000. However, after careful consideration we have decided to turn away future funding from Huawei and have informed them of our decision.”

Oxford confirmed that the decision to decline future funding from Huawei was due to the public concerns which have been expressed regarding the company’s operations. A Huawei executive was arrested in Poland last week on suspicion of espionage. In December, its CTO, Meng Hanzhou was arrested in Vancouver for alleged fraud in Iran.

The US have banned them for participating in the rollout of its 5G networks and has its allies New Zealand and Australia have followed suit. Washington is also instructed the UK and Japan to ban Huawei, whilst both the German and Canadian governments are considering banning them from their 5G programs over the security concerns raised by US intelligence. 

However, Huawei has contradicted what Oxford University has stated, and is adamant that it has not been informed of any decision by the academic institution in relation to funding.

A Huawei spokesman said, “We have operated in the UK since 2001, employ 1,500 people here and have long standing research collaborations with 20 other UK universities working to develop the technologies of the future. We will await their decision.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Germany and Canada both considering banning Huawei from 5G

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:07

The Canadian and German government are reportedly both seriously considering excluding Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei from its 5G networks due to security concerns.

Published in Telecom Vendors

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

Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei has moved swiftly to terminate the contract of an employee who has been arrested in Poland amidst claims he was spying for China.

Huawei executive Wang Weijing was detained by Polish authorities on Friday, following a lengthy investigation that was conducted by Poland’s special services. It is believed that Weijing is a director for the Polish branch of Huawei.

It’s the latest setback for Huawei’s brand globally following the high-profile arrest of the vendors’ CTO, Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December. She is fighting extradition to the US, where she stands accused of fraud relating to business activity in Iran.

The Chinese vendor robustly defended its CTO following her arrest and demanded her immediate release from jail. However, Huawei has wasted no timing in trying to distance itself from this latest scandal in Poland by announcing it has fired the employee in question for harming the company’s global reputation.

In a statement given to the Global Times, Huawei said that Wang Weijing was arrested for ‘personal reasons’ and said the incident caused significant damage to the company at a time when it’s under intense scrutiny regarding security.

Huawei cited management rules in company contracts and said it was left with no decision but to terminate its employer relationship with Wang Weijing immediately.  Poland has claimed that they firmly believe the Huawei executive was spying for China.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded quickly to the claims made by Polish authorities and expressed that it was ‘highly concerned’ by the arrest. The latest controversy is something Huawei really could’ve done without.

US President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order which would ban US companies from working with Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei over the alleged risk both pose to national security.

In addition to this, Australia and Japan have blocked Huawei from participating in the construction of their super-fast 5G networks, whilst the UK and New Zealand are also considering banning the vendor from the rollout of its 5G networks.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic refused to "speculate" when asked Friday if there were any concerns about Chinese retaliation.

"We are aware of the reports and we will be indeed in touch with the Polish authorities for further information," she told reporters. 

Published in Telecom Vendors

Chinese telecommunication vendors ZTE and Huawei have both endured a difficult number of years in the US marketplace – and their issues have multiplied during the Trump administration.

ZTE were momentarily crippled and almost went out of business following a decision by the US Department of Commerce to ban US companies from using their equipment and products for 7 years. However, following an intervention from US President Donald Trump, the ban was overturned and the vendor was instead hit with a $1bn fine and has to adhere to a number of strict rules and regulations.

Huawei have also been subjected to sharp criticism and have been deemed by US intelligence as a serious threat to national security due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Observers believe that the aggression from the US towards the Chinese telecommunication vendors is part of Trump’s plan to use them as pawns in his trade war with China.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated when ZTE were initially banned, and it sparked an angry backlash from China. The rest of the world looked on anxiously as the two economic superpowers clashed head-on, it has since deescalated, but the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has once again put diplomatic relations between the two countries under the microscope.

However, the situation in the US for both ZTE and Huawei is set to worsen following reports that US President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment and products.

Reuters has reported that the Trump administration has been mulling over the order for eight months, but it expected to formally enact it later this month.  It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US presidential hopeful blasts ZTE

Written on Sunday, 06 January 2019 10:04

Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE may well have had draconian measures that had crippled the company lifted by the US Department of Commerce following an intervention by President Donald Trump, but the narrative that ZTE is a threat to national security is refusing to subside.

US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren became the latest politician to take aim at the telecoms behemoth and strongly criticized US senator Joseph Lieberman for serving as a lobbyist for the powerful Chinese vendor.

The ability for Republicans and Democrats to work together to form new policies and legislation in the US Senate and House of Representatives has been at an all-time low during the Trump administration.

The decision by the US to ban ZTE and Huawei from being involved in the rollout of 5G networks has drew bipartisan approval with both Republicans and Democrats voicing their concerns that both companies close association to the Chinese government was a huge threat to domestic security.

Warren, who announced she’d be seeking the Democratic nomination for the US Presidential election in 2020, denounced the US senator for acting as a lobbyist for the Chinese telecommunications behemoth on Twitter.

Warren tweeted, “ZTE is a giant foreign telecoms company that’s close with the Chinese government. They’ve violated serious US sanctions in Iran and North Korea. Their lobbyists keep blocking accountability. And today former senator Joseph Lieberman joined them. Should that be legal? No.”

Warren is an outspoken politician and is known for being a firebrand. She has faced the wrath of US President Donald Trump who has repeatedly ridiculed her claims that she was Native American.

She said that there should be a lifetime ban on members of congress working as lobbyists to make sure they only serve the public. Warren added, “We need a ban on foreign lobbying so countries like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia have to conduct their foreign policy out in the open.”

Bloomberg reported that Lieberman, who was a vice presidential nominee in 2000, began working for ZTE in November. According to a lobbying registration form submitted to the US Senate, he is conducting an assessment of the concerns members of the US Congress, the executive branch and US businesses have about national security risks around ZTE products.

The form also states Lieberman will not be advocating for ZTE, and he had been appointed in the interest of transparency and caution.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Chinese media outlets have launched a scathing attack on the United States for its role in the arrest and subsequent detainment of Huawei’s CFO in Vancouver earlier this week.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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