Australia to invest a record A$1.35bn in cybersecurity
The Australian government has announced an AUS USD 1.35 billion program to combat the rise in cybersecurity threats that have intensified in recent months. This initiative, named the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, will seek to identify more threats, fight foreign cybercriminals and build stronger partnerships within the industry. The nation’s largest ever investment in cybersecurity will supercharge the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “My government’s record investment in our nation’s cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe.”
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India has banned TikTok, WeChat, and other China-based apps
The Indian government has banned 59 Chinese-made apps, including TikTok and WeChat, over concerns that “they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.” China’s ByteDance-owned video-sharing social networking platform TikTok is very popular in India, accounting for 30 percent of TikTok’s 2 billion downloads. In addition to TikTok, the list of banned apps also contains WeChat, UC Browser, Shareit and Baidu Map. Chinese smartphone manufacturers control more than 80 percent of the smartphone market in India, which is the second largest in the world.
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Europe finalizes rules for small antennas for 5G network
To accelerate the rollout of high-speed 5G across the European Union, the European Commission has adopted rules for small antennas, which are key to expanding data capacity and coverage. EU industry chief Thierry Breton said, “5G wireless networks represent a pillar of socio-economic development for Europe as they will enable new services in health and care, energy, transport, education and many other areas.” Small antennas are considered as the last mile of 5G networks and are crucial for urban areas, transport systems and manufacturing plants, as they can carry large amounts of data and be closer to customers. Besides, they are also more cost-effective than big towers.
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FCC formally declares Huawei, ZTE ‘national security threats’
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally designated Chinese telcos Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp as posing threats to US national security. This declaration will ban US telecom operators from using an USD 8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from these companies. In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “With today’s Orders, and based on the overwhelming weight of evidence, the Bureau has designated Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to America’s communications networks — and to our 5G future.” Huawei and ZTE have repeatedly rejected these claims.
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US eyes on Ericsson and Nokia – but could Japan offer a 5G solution?
Having designated Huawei and ZTE as national security risks to America’s communications networks, the US is showing greater interest in Nokia and Ericsson when it comes to further development of 5G technology. However, the focus may shift to Japanese tech companies such as Rakuten Mobile, NEC Corporation, and NTT, which are also making considerable progress in 5G. Hitachi is working with Nokia on private 5G networks, and Mitsubishi is not lagging behind either. Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis has commented on the recent move by NTT to acquire a USD 600 million stake in NEC, noting a “quiet resurgence of Japanese tech firms, especially for 5G and O-RAN.”
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