US telecoms will not charge late fees during COVID-19 pandemic
Major US telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Cox, and Verizon have expanded their policies to not charge late payments and cancel service for customers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30. Furthermore, Comcast said that apart from extending the commitment through June 30 and providing its Wi-Fi hotspots to everyone, it would also extend the pause in its data plans to give all customers unlimited data at no extra charge. With tens of millions of Americans working from home, internet providers and the FCC say the internet is performing well.
Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yd8wbxuv
Google is making Meet free for everyone
The tech giant has announced that Google Meet, its premium video conferencing product, will be free for everyone and will be fully accessible over the coming weeks. Previously, the Meet service was available only to businesses, organizations and schools via G Suite subscriptions. Google said that meetings will be limited to 100 participants, but users will still get screen sharing, real-time captions and the new tiled layout. Smita Hashim, the Director of Product Management at Google Cloud, said, “We still have the Google Hangouts product but Google Meet availability we are accelerating. This is a newer product designed to scale to many more participants and that has features like closed captioning.”
Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yaneyufw
Microsoft signs Coca-Cola to 5-year cloud technology and business software deal
The Coca-Cola Company has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft for cloud services. The companies have entered a five-year agreement to standardize Coca-Cola’s business operations on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, Dynamics 365 customer service software and Microsoft 365 apps such as Microsoft Teams. Microsoft said that Coca-Cola’s call center managers will be able to use the new Dynamics 365 AI-driven insights and real-time dashboards to determine which issues are most important for customers, including retailers and vendors in the company’s supply chain.
Read more at https://tinyurl.com/ya6r6vxd
VodafoneZiggo launches 5G with Ericsson Spectrum Sharing
VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture of Vodafone and US-based cable firm Liberty Global, becomes the first Dutch telecom provider to switch on its 5G network in large parts of the Netherlands. Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of VodafoneZiggo, said, “We are introducing 5G via ‘Ericsson Spectrum Sharing’ in our GigaNet. We are making use of the latest innovative technology to apply 5G in existing frequency bands, using our existing antennas.” In a statement, Ericsson said that the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software, which is commercially available, can run on any of the five million 5G-ready radios that the company has delivered since 2015.
Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yaml3qqh
FCC starts process to ban Chinese telcos in the US
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US communications regulatory agency, has launched a process to ban Chinese telecom operators in America over national security concerns. The regulator has issued ‘Show Cause Order’ to China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks Corp, and its subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC demanding proof they are not influenced by the Chinese Government. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said, “This is a prudent step to ensure the security of America’s telecom networks. In the Show Cause Orders issued today, we give carriers 30 days to explain why the FCC should not initiate proceedings to revoke their authority.”
Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yd4phfuo