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Cisco Enhances Webex Teams as Unified App Cisco is introducing a series of updates to its collaboration solution Webex Teams. At the Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas, the company announced new products and features that include new desktop and room video conferencing systems, as well as more options to integrate calling and third-party PBXes into the Webex platform. These updates are designed to reinforce Cisco’s single platform approach to delivering consistent experience across all types of enterprise communications workloads running on any type of device. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/y63uhdqm Microsoft and Nokia accelerate Industry 4.0 Microsoft and Nokia have joined hands to accelerate transformation and innovation across industries with cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). “Bringing together Microsoft’s expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia’s strength in building business and mission-critical networks will unlock new connectivity and automation scenarios,” said Jason Zander, Executive Vice President at…

Microsoft has announced the launch of a new phone system for business customers, Microsoft 365 Business Voice, which is now available in Canada and the UK. This phone system combines calling, chats, meetings, calendar and e-mail functions. The solution also deploys Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automatically transcribe voicemail, translate chat messages, and add captions to meetings in real time. According to the announcement, Microsoft 365 Business Voice is a cloud-based system that has been designed as a complete cooperation package for enterprises with up to 300 users. The phone system integrates with Office 365 and uses Microsoft Teams in order to function across computers, desk phones and smartphones, allowing customers to make calls from anywhere. “Today’s businesses need communication and collaboration tools that are easy to use and designed to work together,” Microsoft stated in a blog post. “That’s why we built Microsoft 365 Business Voice, a…

Ofcom announces another 5G spectrum auction for the UK in spring 2020 Britain’s telecommunications regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it plans to hold an auction for low and mid band 5G spectrum in the spring of 2020. In a statement, Ofcom said that the auction will include companies bidding for spectrum in two different frequency bands: 80 MHz in the 700 MHz band and 120 MHz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. However, the UK telecoms watchdog has not yet confirmed when it will auction the high band, mmWave spectrum that will allow mobile operators to offer the truly transformative speeds of 1Gbps and above. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/y6tx6ecz Microsoft furthers $5 billion IoT plan with new Azure features Microsoft launches new functionalities to simplify the customer journey and deliver highly secured IoT products over its Azure platforms. The company said that the expansion of IoT devices is enabling enterprises to bring cloud intelligence to…

Microsoft surprises with new foldable Surface Duo phone running Android Microsoft has unveiled a new dual-screen Android smartphone, the Surface Duo. The folding phone features two 5.6-inch displays that can rotate 360 degrees, which allows it to be fully unfolded as a miniature 8.3-inch tablet. The Surface Duo can run two different apps at the same time, and one of the displays can be used as a game controller or keyboard. Microsoft has incorporated elements of Windows 10X, a new operating system meant for hybrid devices. The company said that the Surface Duo will launch in late 2020, in time for the holiday season. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/y66mjttm Telefonica Deutschland deploys Infinera DRX for 5G network modernisation Telefonica Deutschland has chosen the Infinera DRX Series to upgrade its national mobile transport network. The Infinera DRX Series is a portfolio of disaggregated routers that combines a carrier-class white box portfolio with Infinera…

GSMA creates largest IoT community in APAC The GSMA has announced the expansion of its Asia-Pacific IoT Partnership Programme to 31 mobile operators across 15 countries. According to GSMA Intelligence, the Asia Pacific region (APAC) has the largest IoT market in the world and is expected to reach 11 billion connections by 2025 and be worth $386 billion. The programme brings together operators and partners including developers, manufacturers and system integrators, to share best practice, discuss challenges and review progress on the development of IoT across APAC. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/yyjsllya Nokia brings 5G lab to Europe Nokia has opened a new lab at its global headquarters in Espoo, Finland, that will help demonstrate the full range of its 5G equipment, software and services. The “5G Future X Lab” will enable telecom operators, enterprises and infrastructure providers “to learn and understand the techno-economic power of a 5G end-to-end network to…

One of the largest telecommunications providers in Europe, Deutsche Telekom has announced the initiative to strengthen its cloud partnership with Microsoft and expand its cloud services to Central and Eastern Europe. The company will provide cloud acceleration services for the publicly available Microsoft Azure cloud platform, rendering the new services across nine countries, from Poland to Greece. Ralf Nejedl, Senior Vice President B2B at Deutsche Telekom, Board Area Europe, said, “Microsoft cloud offerings support enterprises to run and grow their business more efficiently. In combination with our new standardized services we will enable our customers to leverage the potential of the Microsoft cloud in a much simpler and faster way.” According to the company, their automated services will facilitate cloud adoption within minutes and enable cost savings for IT operations from 30 to 50 percent, as compared to on-premise solutions. The cloud experts will offer standardized services based on Office 365, Microsoft…

A consortium of nine technology companies – Intel, Cisco, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Google, Alibaba and Huawei – has been formed in order to create and launch a new standard, called Compute Express Link (CXL). This project will accelerate ever-expanding data workloads, such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), rich media services, and cloud applications. Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel, said in a statement: “CXL is an important milestone for data-centric computing and will be a foundational standard for an open, dynamic accelerator ecosystem. Like USB and PCI Express, which Intel also cofounded, we can look forward to a new wave of industry innovation and customer value delivered through the CXL standard.” The new cluster of tech giants, described as “the biggest group of influencers driving a modern interconnect standard”, also affirmed the CXL Specification 1.0, which enables…

Microsoft has announced that the latest version of Skype for desktops and laptops now offers the option of blurring the background during video calls. This feature works to distinguish and isolate the subject from the surrounding background, and places the focus on the person as the most important component of the scene. This will provide a distraction-free space, and help eliminate any embarrassing moments during video conferencing. This option was first introduced in another Microsoft messaging application, Teams. Last September the company announced their support for the background blur in this collaboration app, introducing new features for the workplace chat platform and Office 365. The blur feature has put Artificial Intelligence (AI) to use, as this advanced technology has been trained to recognize the human form. It is not just the speaker’s face that is in focus, but also their hair, hands and arms, thus creating a smooth…

The problems for the social networking giant Facebook continue to mount as yet another data-sharing scandal has exploded. The New York Times (NYT) has published a thorough investigation detailing Facebook’s data sharing practices, and reported that the social network provided some well-known tech companies with access to hundreds of millions of users’ data without their consent. Interviews with former Facebook employees and its corporate partners, as well as hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the NYT, confirmed that Facebook made the questionable arrangements with partners such as Amazon, Spotify, Netflix and Microsoft. These alliances enabled the companies to “read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread”. The records revealed, that “Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent. The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information…

Earlier this week, a leading IT solutions provider Tech Mahindra, announced its partnership with Microsoft to build a blockchain-based robust ecosystem meant to tackle unsolicited commercial communications in India. This blockchain solution will be developed based on Microsoft Azure, and will comply with the regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI has been working with both these companies and other stakeholders to curb the profusion of spam calls and messages so widely spread across the country. While the initial step of introducing a “Do Not Disturb” registry in 2010 seems to be a success with 230 million listed subscribers, the telemarketers still manage to find fraudulent workarounds to obtain consent and continue delivering spam calls. “Blockchain as a technology is a powerful tool to combat the issue of spam calls and fraud risks, to protect user information, as well as the integrity of the telecom sector.…