News Roundup

A quick roundup of the news in Telecoms | Week #21

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As sanctions bite, Russia’s MTS begins to discount cell phones

MTS, Russia’s largest operator, reported a 76.2 % year-on-year drop in Q1 net profit, blaming the results largely on rising interest rates caused by Western sanctions. Russia boosted local interest rates to 20% in the early days of the conflict before lowering them twice, leaving rates around 14% today. MTS has resorted to selling used and discounted smartphones, and is planning to sell its tower assets, in keeping with the current trend of monetizing passive assets located throughout Europe and beyond.

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Verizon warns of record rise in ransomware

According to Verizon Business, the number of ransomware attacks on enterprises has increased by 13% year-on-year, resulting in a rise exceeding that of the previous five years combined. Ransomware was involved in some manner in one-quarter of the cases investigated, with desktop-sharing software and email being the two most popular ransomware attack channels. There is no secret to successfully defending against assaults; deterrence just boils down to keeping watchful at all times, says Verizon.

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Lithuania enters 5G spectrum auction

Lithuania is the latest Baltic country to hold its first 5G spectrum auction. The Lithuanian Communications Regulatory Authority (RTT) has announced that all three of Lithuania’s mobile providers have registered to participate: Bite Lithuania, Tele2 Lithuania and Telia Lietuva. The auction will feature two 10MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum with a reserve price of €5 million, as well as two smaller 5MHz blocks for €3 million each.

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Dstny acquires Tactful AI

Tactful AI, a UK-based start-up, has been acquired by Dstny, a European corporate communications provider. The purchase broadens Dstny’s product offering and assists businesses in improving customer interaction operations across digital and conventional voice channels. Tactful’s Unified Customer Experience Platform (UCX) is an artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven system that enables business users to manage, interact and understand the customer experience across numerous touchpoints. A full omnichannel digital contact center, multilingual conversational chatbots, and conversational analytics are all components of the UCX platform.

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Ofcom to allow Vodafone and O2 to reuse 4G spectrum for 5G

Ofcom wants to change some aspects of the O2 and Vodafone spectrum licenses to allow these providers to utilize 4G frequencies for 5G. Additional spectrum would allow Vodafone and O2 to narrow the gap on EE and Three, which have claimed to have the country’s largest and fastest 5G networks. Ofcom said it intends to grant Telefónica, the parent company of O2, and Vodafone its permission to repurpose current frequencies, but it wants industry comment first. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, EE and Three will be afforded similar opportunities.

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