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Work from home: Can the telecoms industry take the strain? Many businesses opt for remote working due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and this has led to a dramatic increase in the use of online services. The additional pressure is proving problematic for the telecoms industry in Spain, which has reported a 40 percent increase in data consumption and a 50 percent increase in mobile phone usage. Movistar (Telefonica), Orange, Vodafone, Masmovil, and Euskaltel have issued a joint statement in anticipation of the national lockdown, urging customers to take “intelligent and responsible use of the network and the resources it provides us.” Meanwhile, BT, the UK’s largest telecom provider, said that its network can handle it. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/sm8bms7 Vodafone unveils five-point plan to combat COVID-19 Vodafone has put forward a five-point plan to maintain network services and assist governments across Europe in controlling the outbreak of coronavirus. The five…

EU’s new digital strategy targets data-hoarding tech firms The European Commission has proposed its new European digital strategy “Europe Fit for the Digital Age” that puts a target on all the biggest US tech players. It states that a large part of the world’s data is currently owned by a small number of Big Tech firms, which “could reduce the incentives for data-driven businesses to emerge, grow and innovate in the EU today, but numerous opportunities lie ahead.” The new proposals indicate the need to provide “an attractive policy environment”, which means that data can flow throughout the EU while applying data protection values established under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Read more at https://tinyurl.com/wdb9hee Dell targets telco edge deployments with new server, micro data centre Dell Technologies has introduced new products for telecom operators that are building out edge network deployments. A compact high-performance server, a modular micro…

Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange test blockchain technology Deutsche Telecom is testing a blockchain solution that can be used to generate and sign secure inter-operator roaming discount agreements. T-Mobile US, Telefonica, Orange and the GSMA are collaborating to test the software that will reduce the complexity of the current process, which usually involves drafting, signing and manually implementing the contracts. Deutsche Telecom said that this is the first time operators are able to jointly test blockchain as a solution that also incorporates a corresponding legal framework, governance model, and integration into corporate IT infrastructures. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/rpwsegx The world’s biggest phone show has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns The GSM Association (GSMA) has canceled the world’s largest mobile phone show, Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona due to concerns related to the growing coronavirus pandemic. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide uniting more than 1,200…

Telefonica piloting blockchain across 8,000 companies Telecoms multinational Telefonica has teamed up with the Association of Science and Technology Parks (APTE) to provide approximately 8,000 companies in Spain with access to a secure, decentralised blockchain network. Telefonica plans to launch a three-month pilot project that will encourage companies to develop their own decentralised applications on the blockchain at no extra cost, and will also allow them to experiment with their own digital tokens. Blockchain is being widely adopted in a variety of industries, especially in the field of IoT, where 75 percent of IoT technology users in the US already use blockchain or plan to do so by the end of 2020. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/t8z8p9d Samsung Galaxy Fold sales figures revealed, and they’re worse than earlier reports Samsung Electronics sold close to half a million of its Galaxy Fold smartphones last year. Speaking to the Yonhap News Agency at CES 2020,…

Telefonica launches Tech and Infra units amid Latam spin-off Spain’s telecom giant Telefonica has announced a major organisational restructuring after a meeting of its board of directors. The company’s chairman and CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete has introduced a new bold strategy to spin off company assets and prepare for industry 4.0. With its 5-point plan, Telefonica aims to generate more than EUR 2 billion a year in additional revenues from 2022, by prioritising its four key markets of Spain, Brazil, the UK and Germany and carrying out an “operational spin-off” of its Latin American business. The company will also set up a subsidiary for its cloud, cybersecurity and IoT businesses called Telefonica Tech and another for its infrastructure assets, Telefonica Infra. Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/wjkobwc AT&T and Microsoft launch edge computing network Microsoft and AT&T have integrated 5G with Azure to launch their new Network Edge Compute (NEC) service for…

The three largest telecommunications providers in Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Vodafone, have announced a partnership to build 6,000 new mobile sites in order to improve broadband coverage in the country. The companies are planning to work closely together and share the use of the network, aiming to provide the best possible mobile broadband coverage for customers in rural areas, as well as along road, rail and inland waterway transportation routes. This is a condition that the operators are required to fulfill as specified in the 5G spectrum auction held by German federal regulators earlier this year. Dirk Wossner, Telekom Deutschland’s Managing Director, said, “The planned collaboration is a milestone for network expansion in Germany. Our common goal is to eliminate coverage gaps in the mobile network as soon as possible. Sharing infrastructure is nothing new for us. Sharing it at this scale, however, is a major step in the right…

The accomplished blockchain technologies company PeerStream, Inc. has joined the partnership of Telefonica’s cybersecurity unit ElevenPaths and decentralized hardware-based cybersecurity leader Rivetz, to work cooperatively on next-generation zero trust architectures, and offer privacy and security protection for business communications. Alex Harrington, CEO of PeerStream, said: “We are excited to collaborate with such esteemed partners to build groundbreaking software that has the potential to deliver real value for a large worldwide client base. We are honored to join ElevenPaths and Rivetz in this common vision.” PeerStream is focusing on privacy and security improvements and the development of enterprise-grade communications software that is being readied to enter the market under the Backchannel brand. Backchannel incorporates a growing suite of software tools created to control secure, real-time data and messaging channels, including support for video streaming. The company’s decentralized network routing technology may operate on either blockchain or traditional distributed architectures. …

Telefonica and Facebook have joined forces to launch an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure operator, Internet para Todos (IpT) Peru, together with IDB Invest (Inter-American Investment Corporation) and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America). The project aims to bring faster mobile Internet to rural markets and consequently bridge the digital divide in Latin America. An estimated 20 percent of the Latin American population, which is around 100 million people, lack sufficient access to mobile broadband and therefore are deprived of enjoying the benefits offered by the digital economy. “Our new approach will leverage our network as a service to bridge the digital divide as fast as possible while providing any mobile network operator access to rural markets,” said Teresa Gomes, Managing director of Internet para Todos. “Our goal now is to launch and scale the project in Peru and prove what’s possible to the rest of Latin…

The global telecom giants are increasingly acknowledging the benefits of blockchain technology.  Telefonica, a Spanish multinational telecommunications company, has signed a partnership with IBM, a leader in open-source blockchain solutions, to employ IBM blockchain technology for superior administration of international call traffic. Telefonica expects that the usage of the cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform will help to improve the traceability of international call data, such as the origin of the call, its destination and duration. They will be able to detect fraud and address other challenges caused by the use of different networks and operators when routing international calls. Operators will have permissioned access to a decentralized platform, and perform real-time tracing of calls to achieve accurate billing processes. “This project is one of our first initiatives to secure real benefits from the adoption of blockchain in our core business. We believe that the new paradigm of process decentralization…