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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. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/msjxsp2f 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…

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given AST SpaceMobile, a five-year-old company located in Midland, Texas, permission to test a satellite that has the potential to deliver cellular broadband access for smartphone users in the US and throughout the world.   According to the business, it is developing the first and only space-based cellular broadband network that will be immediately accessible by regular mobile phones. SpaceMobile, the company’s proposed network, intends to provide 4G/5G access to everyone on the world, on land, at sea, and in the air. No matter where they are, mobile customers will be able to seamlessly roam from terrestrial networks to the space-based network.   AST SpaceMobile is launching BlueWalker 3, a test satellite meant to interact directly with mobile phones using 3GPP standard frequencies. The FCC has granted the business an experimental license for BlueWalker 3 space-to-ground testing in the United States. At least…

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has named Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based cybersecurity business and developer of popular antivirus software, as one of the organizations posing an unacceptable danger to US national security.   Kaspersky is the first Russian company to be added to the list, which is currently dominated by Chinese telecoms companies. The FCC has now released its most recent list of untrustworthy vendors, which includes, for the first time, a non-Chinese company: Kaspersky. Kaspersky joins Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, Dahua Technology Company, China Telecom (Americas) and China Mobile International USA on the list.   Once a company has been included on the list, it is illegal for that organization to use federal subsidies, which are distributed through the FCC’s $8 billion yearly Universal Service Fund, or to buy any of its products or services. Domestic consumers, with the exception of government employees,…

Samsung introduces S22 flagship smartphones At its most recent Galaxy Unpacked presentation, Samsung Electronics announced a new lineup of premium smartphones. The S22 series has three 5G models, including the top-of-the-range Ultra edition, which includes features from Samsung’s previous Note handsets. With an Armor Aluminum frame used in all three versions, Samsung promises a highly durable phone. In addition, to lessen the environmental impact of the smartphones, the business has used recovered fishing nets and post-consumer trash in numerous components such as the speaker and keys. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/yc7efuay FCC to tackle broadband discrimination The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the creation of a new task force charged with establishing regulations that encourage equitable access to broadband as the organization prepares to crack down on digital discrimination. The task group will focus on developing regulations that prevent discrimination in broadband deployment based on a community’s income, racial or…

AWS announces 3 new Local Zones AWS has announced that AWS Local Zones in Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle are now generally available. Customers in these three metro regions can utilize these new Local Zones to deliver apps that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users or for on-premises deployments. The company presently has 17 Local Zones spread over 16 metropolises. Each zone provides select services inside Local Zones near population centers, typically where Amazon does not already have a data center footprint. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/4ahzesr3 The Club collaborates with Google Cloud The Club, HKT’s loyalty program and digital enterprises arm, has inked a collaboration agreement with Google Cloud to build a hyper-personalization platform named ‘Copernicus.’ This platform will be integrated throughout The Club’s business pillars into its digital environment.  The Club hopes to give clients a personalized online digital experience by combining the network and database with Google Cloud…

Xiaomi unveils new flagship smartphones The Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has introduced its new flagship smartphones, the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro, which will go on sale in China from December 31st. The global launch of the Xiaomi 12 is expected to follow in early 2022. According to the company’s press release, the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro are powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and feature industry-leading DisplayMate A+ OLED displays and powerful imaging capabilities. During the presentation, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun indicated that the new smartphone would be a direct competitor to the iPhone 13. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/58byr3fu Telefónica acquires Ericsson 5G equipment to replace Huawei Telefónica, Spain’s leading telecommunications group, has bought 5G network equipment from the Swedish manufacturer Ericsson to replace some Huawei gear that it has deployed in Spain. According to the local newspaper Expansion, Telefónica had initially rolled out…

The Federal Communications Commission got a settlement from four firms in relation to emergency calling standards that were not delivered in 2020. The federal prosecution focused on the four corporations involved in the 911 calls, namely Verizon, AT&T, Intrado, and Lumen Technologies, and their inability to fulfill 911 call delivery commitments.   Verizon has agreed to pay $274,000 to settle an inquiry into an outage that occurred on May 7, 2020. The other inquiries were all centered around outages on September 28, 2020. With its $460,000 payment, AT&T will resolve two investigations, while Lumen and Intrado will pay $3.8 million and $1.75 million, respectively. The massive payout demonstrates the corporations’ willingness to accept responsibility for their failure to effectively accommodate emergency calls.   Each firm has also promised to put in place a compliance strategy. Within 90 days of the consent decree’s effective date, each carrier must examine and adjust…

Verizon gets approval for TracFone purchase Verizon stated in September 2020 that it will attempt to acquire TracFone Wireless, a pre-paid mobile phone operator, for $6.25 billion. The FCC approved the transaction last week, attaching restrictions that would safeguard TracFone customers in a variety of ways, including ensuring inexpensive 5G handsets and avoiding price rises, all of which will be evaluated on a regular basis by an independent agency. Verizon is also required to participate in the Lifeline program, which provides subsidies to low-income subscribers. TracFone is now one of the major carriers supporting  the Lifeline program, with 1.7 million low-income subscribers participating across the country. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/jxrh6p5v Tata Communications launches GlobalRapide Tata Communications, a worldwide digital ecosystem facilitator, has announced Tata Communications GlobalRapide, an end-to-end managed UCaaS that enables organizations to provide workers with technologically enhanced, sophisticated and intelligent collaboration experiences. With this new solution, Tata Communications…

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…

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will fund new broadband rollouts across the country through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The FCC has announced its readiness to give the green light to more than $311 million in funding for the provision of broadband in 36 states.   A total of 48 providers have been authorized for funding, and the FCC has noted that this financing will help nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in 36 states get access to gigabit speeds over the next ten years. Companies on that list include 3E8 Broadband Solutions, 4-County Fiber LLC, Aeneas Communications, Allen’s TV Cable Service Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications and more.   Additionally, the FCC has issued a statement about its steps to increase oversight in the RDOF program. The Commission has stated that it will not approve of any service provider participating in…