Telecom News

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #51

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Google Cloud partners with Fortinet, McAfee, Palo Alto and other vendors to bolster its security

Google has announced new strategic partnerships with security vendors Fortinet, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks. Together with Fortinet, Google Cloud will provide a new reference architecture to connect facilities to Google Cloud with secure SD-WAN solutions, which makes Fortinet’s FortiWeb Cloud WAF available as-a-service on the platform. MacAfee will integrate its MVISION container security software on Google Cloud. The jointly developed Palo Alto Networks and Google solutions will help secure customers’ multi-cloud environments and will enhance threat detection capabilities.

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UK plans to ban sales of locked mobile phones

Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms regulator, has announced plans to ban the sale of locked mobile handsets to make it easier for consumers to switch networks. Virgin Mobile, O2, Sky, Three and some smaller carriers already offer unlocked phones, but the regulator wants other companies, including BT Mobile/EE, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile, to follow the lead. According to a research by Ofcom, more than 50 percent of people in the UK find it uncomfortably difficult to switch handset providers, and more than a third of people who decide not to switch, are discouraged by the hassle and fees required to unlock their phones.

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Government grant SSE Enterprise Telecoms ‘Gigabit Capable’ status

The UK government has confirmed fibre optic connectivity provider SSE Enterprise Telecoms as a supplier under the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) RM6095 agreement, which means that the company is now eligible to provide central government, local government and wider public sector buyers with Gigabit-capable connectivity services. This agreement will be valid for the next four years, after which it is likely to be revised. Due to this development, UK public sector organisations will have access to a broader range of fibre optic infrastructure services for both dark and lit fibre.

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Huawei announces €6 million in research funding for Lero

Chinese telecoms equipment provider Huawei is making a EUR 6 million investment in Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software at the University of Limerick. The investment will finance a new 4-year research programme aimed at improving the reliability of software applications. Launching in early 2020, the Lero programme also involves researchers from the University of Limerick, Dublin City Galway, NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. This investment is part of Huawei’s previously announced EUR 70 million research and development (R&D) funding for the Republic of Ireland.

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Intel buys AI chipmaker Habana for $2 billion

US tech giant Intel Corporation has acquired Israel-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Habana Labs for about USD 2 billion. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Habana Labs works on large-node training systems that are expected to deliver up to 4 times higher throughput compared to systems built with the equivalent number of GPUs. The startup was founded in 2016 and has raised USD 120 million to date, including USD 75 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital last year. Intel said that after the acquisition, Habana will remain an independent business unit and will continue to be led by its current management team.

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