UK telecoms sector agrees to help customers in need
The UK government and operators have approved a new deal to help customers who are struggling to pay their broadband and mobile bills. Andrew Glover, chair of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), stated, “The telecoms sector knows that people are facing real challenges with the cost-of-living crisis. Our members are determined to do what they can to help their customers through this period and, together with the government, we will work to raise greater awareness of the support available.” Among other measures, telcos have agreed to allow vulnerable customers to switch to cheaper tariffs without charge or penalty, or adjust their plans to make payments more manageable.
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Sinch achieves HIPAA compliance for its voice, fax and UCaaS services
Sinch has announced that it has successfully achieved third-party validation of its compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for its security over voice, fax and UCaaS services. HIPAA accreditation was gained through an in-depth security assessment completed by BDO USA, the fifth largest global public accounting, tax and audit firm. “We have a solid track record of protecting client data and security to safeguard against potential data breaches,” said Maher Rahman, vice president of information security, Voice Business Unit, Sinch. “Completing the security assessment with BDO allows us to continue to maintain the highest standards of cybersecurity and data integrity.”
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Google to bring remaining Hangouts users to Chat
This week, Google announced that it will ask people who are still using Hangouts on mobile to move to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app. The tech giant says its in-app prompt will help remaining users move to Chat as Google works towards officially shutting down Hangouts in November of 2022. Google also notes that Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until later this year, and users will see an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts starts redirecting to the web-based Chat. The company is encouraging users who want to keep a copy of their data to use Google Takeout to download their data before Hangouts is no longer available.
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China Broadnet launches 5G mobile services
The China Broadcasting Network, rebranded as China Broadnet, has announced the launch of 5G commercial services, thus becoming the nation’s fourth fully-fledged mobile operator. The state-backed company was issued with a 5G license in 2019 and was awarded 80 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum and 100 MHz of 4.9 GHz spectrum, both of which can be used to provide 5G services. China Broadnet will challenge the three government-owned incumbents that already dominate the market – China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile. China’s 4th carrier will provide immersive and interactive broadcast and TV media services, including the use of augmented and virtual reality, which will be enabled by their 5G network.
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FCC asks Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
The US FCC commissioner has requested that Apple and Google remove TikTok from their app stores, declaring this software to be a national security risk. The agency that regulates nearly all communications companies in the US said TikTok has a “pattern of surreptitious data practices.” According to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, TikTok collects sensitive data about users in the US. “It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data,” he said in a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
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