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Kamile Bigenyte

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In a bold move to reshape the UK’s broadband landscape, VMO2, backed by shareholders Liberty Global and Telefónica, has announced the launch of a new fixed network company, ambitiously positioned as a direct competitor to BT’s Openreach. Dubbed NetCo for now, this venture aims to accelerate the adoption of full fibre broadband, offering a fresh financing framework and a potential platform for the consolidation of alternative network providers (altnets).

In an ambitious move to enhance mobile connectivity across Japan, Rakuten Mobile has announced its plan to offer satellite-to-mobile services by 2026, partnering with AST SpaceMobile. This initiative aims to leverage AST SpaceMobile’s space-based cellular broadband network, enabling direct access to smartphones for text messaging, voice, and data services.

VMO2 faced a substantial loss of £3.3 billion in 2023, worsened by a £3.1 billion goodwill impairment rooted in increased capital costs. While their debt soured under challenging economic conditions, they still managed to attract 64,000 new broadband and 47,000 mobile customers. Nevertheless, revenues witnessed a slight tumble as consumer fixed income dipped and the B2B sector lagged.

MATRIXX Software, Celfocus, and Qeema have launched Jawwy 2.0 to improve customer experience and reduce costs. NTT Ltd. plans to open its first data center campus in the Paris region as part of a $10 billion global expansion. Crexendo and TELCLOUD launched a POTS Replacement platform to offer cost-effective, reliable alternatives for critical services. Hero Digital revamped Calix.com, enhancing user experience and performance. Consumer advocacy groups urge the FCC for stricter regulations to protect against SIM swap and port-out scams.

In an ambitious move to enhance the United States’ emergency services network, AT&T, in partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), has announced plans for a significant upgrade and expansion of FirstNet. This initiative, which could see an investment exceeding $8 billion over the coming decade, aims to build upon the network’s already extensive coverage and capabilities.

A significant increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks has been reported by Zayo, with the telecommunications sector suffering the most. According to the company’s annual DDoS Insights Report, the past year saw a dramatic rise in both the frequency and severity of these cyber assaults. Businesses found themselves paying an average of £4,700 for every minute under attack, culminating in an average total cost of £325,000.

In a significant boost to rural connectivity, Virgin Media O2 has recently achieved a landmark in the Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative by completing upgrades or constructing 100 sites under its management. This development is set to offer unprecedented mobile coverage quality to rural communities, benefiting not just its own customers but also those of Three and Vodafone, thanks to a collaborative effort to enhance infrastructure.

In a comprehensive analysis conducted by MedUX, a connectivity testing firm, Berlin emerged as the front-runner in providing the best 5G experience across major European cities. The study, which encompassed extensive testing in cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Milan, Porto, Rome, Madrid, Munich, and London, highlighted Berlin’s superior performance in data and over-the-top (OTT) experiences, alongside its impressive overall score of 4.69 out of 5.

The Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) champions a new initiative for alternative network providers, aiming to streamline infrastructure sharing, and promote cost-effective fibre rollout. This solution addresses challenges faced where Openreach’s Physical Infrastructure Access option is unavailable, minimizing local disruption from additional duct installations.

Ofcom’s Cristina Luna-Esteban has recently criticized renowned UK ISPs including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and VMO2, regarding delays in finalizing a launch date for the One Touch Switching (OTS) system. This creates a dilemma, as extended delays restrict consumers from accessing easy and simplified ISP switching. OTS, initiated by Ofcom to streamline provider switches, experiences technical complexities pushing its initial deadline, causing a concern echoed by Ofcom’s Lindsey Fussell.