We are back with the Telecom News Highlights, giving you insights on the latest developments with the 5G technology, IoT security, cybersecurity, telecom startups and companies. This week, we look at Biden’s new initiative to provide “future-proof” broadband to everybody in the US by 2030, MessageBird acquiring two new companies, LG potentially exiting the smartphone market, T-Mobile furthering its cooperation with Google, Ericsson unraveling its new Open Lab for 5G developments, an alarming report on the IoT security, and more.
The Netherland-based cloud messaging startup, MessageBird, announced last week that they will acquire two companies to boost their customer engagement services.
After raising $200 million last year, the company’s value was raised to $3 million and the latest investment has been a huge contribution to the growth and development of Messagebird.
The company will acquire the customer engagement specialist 24sessions, as well as the customer data company Hull. The value of the deals has not been disclosed. However, the two newest additions show MessageBird’s desire to reach a huge number of customers and devices.
24sessions has built the video-first platform that assists banking and insurance institutions to connect with its customers. It has served companies such as Rabobank, ING, and even the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The US-based Hull’s goal is to help brands understand their customer base better.
So far, MessageBird served 20 000 customers globally.
For a while, there have been rumors speculating about the Korean tech giant, LG, considering exiting the smartphone market, after it has been struggling to keep up with its main competitors: Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.
Now, Korea Times, decided to run the story on LG allegedly exiting the smartphone market, even though no official announcements were made yet. The LG board meeting took place yesterday and thus, we can expect something from LG in the upcoming days.
A few weeks ago, we were reporting that the Mobile World Congress had to deal with the decision of several big names announcing they will not physically participate in this year’s event due to Covid. In the past week, we could see further cancellations.
So far, some of the biggest companies that withdrew their physical participation was Google, Intel, and Microsoft.
The organizer of MWC, the GSMA, sent the following statement to Telecoms.com
“We count many leaders among the MWC family and recognize that for everyone, planning in a pandemic is complicated. Google is a valued partner and we respect their decision to shift to on-line participation. Our teams are collaborating to shape their involvement on the MWC virtual platform whilst other exhibitors like Verizon and Orange will join us in Barcelona. The in-person and virtual options are provided so that all friends of MWC Barcelona can attend and participate in a way that works for them.”
Ericsson has announced its new Open Lab, aiming at collaboration on virtualized 5G RAN technologies. Located in Ottawa, but offering a virtual space for CSPs and RAN stakeholders around the globe, the lab will offer a great place to explore Cloud RAN and OpenRAN innovations. This is another piece of news emphasizing the focus on the 5G developments.
“Open technology underpins the modern mobile miracle, which connects more than eight billion devices today with one set of global operating standards,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson’s Head of Business Area Networks. “With Ericsson Open Lab, we invite our customers and partners to co-create and bring new cloud innovations to 5G.
“We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G ready technology. This initiative will help to test the limits of 5G connectivity, working closely with operators and enterprise customers globally, as the industry continues to adopt more open architectures.”
“Working with Ericsson in the Open Lab will enable our design and engineering teams to collaborate in real-time and co-develop new virtualized RAN technologies to accelerate the intelligence and agility of our 5G networks,” said Toshikazu Yokai, Chief Director of Mobile Technology at KDDI
T-Mobile U.S decided to further its cooperation with Google in terms of digital product delivery. Moving away from third-party providers, T-Mobile will now focus on Google One, Youtube TV, and an Android experience.
“We’re building on our decade-long relationship with Google to give customers an even better experience with the world’s very best products and services offered by Android, Pixel, and YouTube,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “The world’s most popular smartphone platform with Android, a broad range of premium Pixel devices, an upgraded, modern messaging experience on Android and a robust entertainment offering with YouTube TV — it’s the best of Google, combined with the nation’s largest and fastest 5G network on T-Mobile.”
“This is a win for Android users and an even greater win for the Android ecosystem,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Platforms and Ecosystems at Google. “T-Mobile and Google have been working together to champion Android since the very beginning with the launch of the T-Mobile G1 in 2008. We’re taking what has already been a long and very successful relationship, and building on it to bring Android customers even more features and services.”
The President of the U.S, Joe Biden, announced his $100 billion plan to achieve 100% broadband coverage by 2030. It is a part of the new $2 trillion infrastructure package.
Biden pointed out that creating high-quality broadband infrastructure and networks owned by “providers with less pressure to turn profits,” such as local governments and non-profit organizations is a priority.
The White House press release states that more than 35% of rural citizens in the United States do not have access to broadband service offering acceptable speed.
Before the bill becomes official, it must be approved by Congress and signed by the President.
On Friday, the software developer company iMobie Inc. announced in a press release the launch of its new program – AppTrans. AppTrans is the first free solution for app data transfer.
The program will allow for transferring app data and apps between iPhones and Android phones of all brands.
“We know apps are essential for everyone in everyday life. And we noticed there’s no software to especially help users move often-used apps and app data to new phones. So we want to offer one effortless solution,” said Frank Kong, CEO of iMobie. “When designing the program, we think why not take one step further to meet more needs of users, like merge WhatsApp chats of old and new accounts, or selectively back up or restore apps that users want. Then here comes AppTrans.”
The AppTrans will also allow users to merge WhatsApp chats, back up apps or just the app data.
Last week, the cybersecurity company Dark Cubed, released a big update to their “State of IoT Security Report”, highlighting some serious threats in the IoT security.
“Every day, millions of Americans use myriad Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to their home networks, purchased from major retailers. Little do they know these devices have little or no security controls resulting in significant privacy and security concerns,” noted Vince Crisler, Dark Cubed CEO and principal author of the report. “The largely unfettered exposure these ubiquitous devices have to bad actors and potentially hostile nation states should be alarming to their manufacturers, policy makers, and device users.”
The report highlighted several security flaws and “disturbing connections to Chinese companies and infrastructure.” In their study, Dark Cuber team purchased 10 automation devices in the $20 to $100 price range to analyze them using “using open source tools and the cyber security experience of the Dark Cubed tea”
Some of the conclusions of the IoT security report, according to the press release included,
– Every device evaluated had strong supply chain and business connections to China.
– Most devices had at least one network connection to a server based in China.
– Many devices failed basic security checks and had significant, basic vulnerabilities
– Most devices lack even the security required to prevent complete visibility into consumer’s private images to anyone in the network path between your house and the IoT provider.
– Most of the Android applications are woefully insecure and were observed sending data to servers in China; Android applications that are installed on our phones with access to every detail of our private lives.
According to Crisler, “US companies and government agencies spend countless millions protecting against Chinese attacks, but the threat of compromise to the millions of devices in our own homes and the personal and intimate data collected by those devices has been largely ignored. We hope this report will help shine a light on what is the trojan horse many of us have unwillingly welcomed into our homes.”
On Thursday, the leading U.S telecom Verizon Communications signed the first private 5G contract with Associated British Ports (ABP). The contract concerns deploying a mobile network at the Port of Southampton. It will become the first mainland port in the UK to have private 5G and is another in the series of news on 5G developments in ports.
Port of Southampton is among the largest ports for cars and cruises. Annually, it transports approximately 900, 000 cars and millions of cruise passengers.
Deployment of 5G will assist in enabling the real-time analytics, asset tracking, autonomous guided vehicles, and safety monitoring.
“We have been able to equip ABP to take advantage of the immediate benefits private 5G offers, and … take full advantage of new technology applications and real-time analytics which will digitally transform its services in the future,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business.
Other 5G Developments:
On Thursday, the Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson announced that a patent infringement complaint was filed against it by the largest Dutch telecom company, KPN NV.
The complaint was filed over the alleged infringement of five KPN patents that cover different wireless network functions.
“We refrain from making any further comments since this is an ongoing legal matter,” an Ericsson spokeswoman said.
KPN is seeking monetary compensation for the infringed patents. However, the spokesman for the company refused to give more details at this point.