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Chinese government-backed hackers have attacked major telecoms businesses throughout the world in a cyber-espionage effort that has lasted at least two years and has successfully compromised at least 13 telecommunications groups.   In a recent advisory, the FBI, NSA and CISA stated that hackers linked to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had targeted and hacked major telecommunications businesses by exploiting simple and well-known network and system vulnerabilities.   According to the report, Chinese espionage is often initiated with hackers surveying target networks and exploring the manufacturers, models, versions, and known vulnerabilities of routers and networking equipment using open-source scanning tools such as RouterSploit and RouterScan. The Chinese government consistently disputes charges of hacking.   The statement from the American security agencies did not name the victims of the hacking, nor did it specify the extent of the damage. However, US authorities did list specific networking equipment, such as routers…

BT to make EE its flagship brand BT Group has announced intentions to make EE its main consumer-facing brand. This move is intended to streamline the mobile operator’s service while also propelling the company into new areas of convergence. The BT brand will be more focused on consumers who utilize standalone broadband and telephone services, while BT Sport will remain unchanged. BT will also continue to be the name for its Enterprise and Global divisions. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/bdk4ef3k NTT and Sky Perfect JSAT forma joint venture NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT have agreed to form a joint venture company to increase humanity’s use of space. The formation of the joint venture is a significant step toward the construction of the space-integrated computer network specified in the two companies’ partnership agreement of 2021. The collaboration will help to advance the global space industry and promote the achievement of a sustainable…

BT putting its digital voice service rollout on halt Last year, BT began rolling out Digital Voice, which  is a VoIP solution that works over the company’s broadband network rather than the old analogue network, as the name implies. This service is an essential improvement, as BT points out, to replace analogue technology, which is rapidly becoming outmoded. The operator is, however, delaying the Digital Voice switchover for consumers who do not wish to switch right away. BT did not specify how long the halt will occur, nonetheless, it is confident that the switchover will take place soon. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/mt23py8u DigitalBridge enters into mobile infrastructure deal with Telenet Telenet has agreed to sell all of its mobile telecommunications towers in Belgium to DigitalBridge, a US-based real estate investment trust and a subsidiary of the DigitalBridge Group. The investment firm has agreed to pay $820 million for Telenet’s 3,322…

Verizon and AT&T delay 5G rollouts After initially refusing to postpone the launch of their new 5G service which had been set for January 5, 2022, AT&T and Verizon have decided to delay the rollout by two weeks. According to airline industry representatives, a last-minute draft agreement was first negotiated with AT&T and subsequently with Verizon. Aviation officials are concerned that the new technology will interfere with flight altitude-measuring equipment. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/2p8sbzc7 Amazon, Cisco and Lockheed Martin collaborate on a space mission Callisto, a tech demonstration payload, will be deployed onboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft during its unmanned Artemis I trip around the Moon, thanks to a collaboration between Cisco, Amazon and Lockheed Martin. The goal is to determine if voice and video communication technology can assist astronauts and increase their mission efficiency and situational awareness. The Callisto payload has bespoke hardware and software created by the three companies…

BT is opening a robotics research facility BT Labs in Suffolk, England, will open a 5,000-square-foot robotics research laboratory to create robotic solutions for telecom and civil engineering. The lab is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. BT anticipates that academics at the new facility will collaborate with colleges and utilities to create and test technologies that will advance the pace of BT’s fiber rollout as well as the upgrading of the power and water providers’ subterranean and overhead networks. The researchers will concentrate on issues such as installing new fiber infrastructure without digging up roadways and sidewalks, providing trenchless infrastructure utilizing robotic locomotion and excavation techniques, and more. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/dm6ujvnz Cisco powers AT&T managed SASE offering AT&T is adding a new product to its worldwide, managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) portfolio. AT&T SASE with Cisco is an unified network and security management solution…

Cisco has released a sneak peek at its next-generation hybrid work collaboration tool. Webex Hologram is the industry’s first real-time meeting solution that combines feature-packed Webex meeting capabilities with immersive 3D holograms using augmented reality headgear.   Webex Hologram is a solution that will add augmented reality to the company’s collaboration platform. Webex Hologram claims to produce lifelike, real-time holograms of actual people when used with AR headsets like Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens.   This innovative technology provides a “1 to many” presenter experience, which allows for remote involvement from several users. In contrast to other services that restrict usage to fixed angle views, all users can now concurrently enjoy a multi-dimensional experience. The presenter may communicate using both physical and digital content using Webex Hologram, allowing participants to co-create and actually interact.   Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration, commented: “Webex Hologram…

Telefónica Tech and Fortinet announce new SD-WAN service As the hybrid and cloud-centric work model has become the new normal, Telefónica Tech and the cybersecurity firm Fortinet have unveiled a new worldwide managed, software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution aimed at the work-from-home market. Fortinet’s latest solution, flexWAN, will debut in Spain before being rolled out internationally across Telefónica’s European and American markets. For corporate personnel connecting from their workplaces or other locations to their jobs, this solution combines networking and security into a single product. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/yrtssb94 Vodafone launches Eco-SIMs Vodafone has announced that it will begin providing customers half-sized Eco-SIM cards manufactured from recycled plastic. The Eco-SIM should reduce the requirement for 320 tonnes of new plastic to be manufactured each year, resulting in a reduction of about 1,280 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Eco-SIMs are expected to be gradually introduced in all twelve of…

Verizon launches Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Verizon has partnered with Microsoft to introduce the aptly named Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge cloud computing platform, fulfilling their stated commitment when they announced their cooperation last October. The platform can provide corporate clients with an on-premises, private edge compute solution that supports the ultra-low latency necessary for real-time enterprise applications. The collaboration with Microsoft provides 5G Edge to companies, lowering latency at the edge and allowing important, performance-sensitive applications to respond more rapidly and effectively. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/8bz3rwdf FCC warns about fake broadband subsidy website The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alerted the public about the discovery of a website that fraudulently promised to enroll customers in the agency’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program and encouraged individuals who visited the site to take precautions against fraud. A website named WiFi Freedom USA mimicked the government’s sign-up page, offering…

Orange considers buying infrastructure assets it sold almost two decades ago Orange is considering a probable purchase of the former telecommunications infrastructure unit TDF. The company sold TDF nearly two decades ago to lessen its debt. Orange is considering combining TDF with the recently established European mast company TOTEM, as infrastructure appraisals have recently increased with interest from investors such as the US private equity firm KKR and Spain’s Cellnex. TDF, previously known as Télédiffusion de France, operates TV and radio towers, mobile sites, as well as fiber infrastructure and related services through around 19,000 sites, of which 7,300 are active. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/2etpjpjn AT&T to modernize U.S. DOT’s network AT&T and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) have signed a 12-year, $175 million deal to assist DOT in upgrading its IP and voice infrastructure. AT&T will supply DOT with virtual private networking and secure cloud technology, together…

European Commission proposes new AI regulations The European Commission is proposing new rules that would allow it to ban any type or deployment of AI that it considers high-risk. The organization also proposes much stricter rules and limitations on the use of biometric data, such as law enforcement using face recognition. Violation of the rules may result in fines of up to 6% of the offending company’s total global turnover. For the biggest tech companies, that sum could reach billions. The commission’s digital chief, Margrethe Vestager, said: “On artificial intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice-to-have.” Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/5e8wcufu Cisco to invest $100 million to combat climate change Cisco has unveiled plans to invest $100 million over the next 10 years to help fight climate change, using the fund in its name for initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and educating communities. Cisco’s efforts will be global, and funding…