Telecom News

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #12

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Work from home: Can the telecoms industry take the strain?

Many businesses opt for remote working due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and this has led to a dramatic increase in the use of online services. The additional pressure is proving problematic for the telecoms industry in Spain, which has reported a 40 percent increase in data consumption and a 50 percent increase in mobile phone usage. Movistar (Telefonica), Orange, Vodafone, Masmovil, and Euskaltel have issued a joint statement in anticipation of the national lockdown, urging customers to take “intelligent and responsible use of the network and the resources it provides us.” Meanwhile, BT, the UK’s largest telecom provider, said that its network can handle it.


Vodafone unveils five-point plan to combat COVID-19

Vodafone has put forward a five-point plan to maintain network services and assist governments across Europe in controlling the outbreak of coronavirus. The five elements of the plan include maintaining the quality of service of networks, providing network capacity and services for critical government functions, improving dissemination of information to the public, facilitating working from home and helping the small and micro-businesses within Vodafone’s Supply Chain, and also improving governments’ insights into people’s movements in affected areas. The company said these measures will remain in effect until 1 September at least.


Telefonica launches 4G and 5G Open RAN tests

Telefonica, a Spanish multinational telecommunications company, has announced an agreement to collaborate with Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro, and Xilinx to boost the development of Open RAN technologies in 4G and 5G. This collaboration will focus on research into distributed units and remote radio units connected through open interfaces. In a statement to the press, Telefonica noted that edge-computing applications running in the Telco cloud can benefit from the strong capillarity of the access network. The company will launch vendor-neutral 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in the UK, Spain, Germany, and Brazil this year.


Google’s Advanced Protection Program for high-risk users now includes malware protection

The tech giant Google has upgraded its Advanced Protection system that helps safeguard Google Accounts for those at risk of targeted attacks, like politicians, journalists, activists, business leaders, and others. The Google Play Protect feature will be automatically enabled for anyone enrolled in the program, without the possibility of turning it off. According to Google, this built-in malware protection for Android currently scans and verifies 100 billion apps per day using machine learning. Furthermore, the program will also limit the ability of users to install apps from outside the Play Store on any devices registered in the Advanced Protection system, with a few exceptions.


NTT Docomo 5G to go live on March 25

Japan’s leading mobile operator NTT Docomo has announced that it will launch its 5G mobile service on March 25. The company’s 5G service will achieve a maximum data rate of 3.4 Gbps during the deployment and will increase to 4.1 Gbps in June. At the initial stage, NTT Docomo’s 5G network will cover 150 locations across Japan and is expected to reach 500 cities in a year’s time. The company said that customers who purchase a 5G smartphone from Docomo will be able to choose between two types of billing plans following their data needs. Additionally, all models will be compatible with Docomo’s existing LTE network.


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