Light Reading
A breakfast briefing during Mobile World Congress will focus on customer privacy concerns and network/data security.

Coffee, Tea, or Network Security?

Patrick Donegan
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst
1/27/2014
100%
0%

Amongst Europe's carriers, it's noticeable that the UK telcos are taking the lead in speaking out on the right balance between cooperating with government requests to monitor private communications and protecting customer privacy.

Is this because they're more worried than telcos in other countries that privacy concerns are dissuading users from consuming communications services?

Or are they perhaps more irritated than other telcos at the positive media coverage that the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) are getting for their professed indignation at the unjustified violations (or is that allegedly unjustified violations?) of user privacy that appear to be commonplace?

Or maybe UK telcos have more to feel guilty about than telcos in other countries because of the British government's "special relationship" with the US in security-related matters?

Or are they just afraid that governments and users in other countries might think they've got more to feel guilty about because of that "special relationship"?

The reasons are debatable -- and we'll be debating them at a special breakfast briefing during Mobile World Congress -- but the facts speak for themselves.

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has stated it will be requesting from the UK government, and the governments of each of the 25 countries in which it operates, the right to disclose the number of demands it receives for wiretapping and customer data. "We want all of our customers worldwide to feel they are at liberty to communicate with each other as they see fit," the operator's privacy head, Stephen Deadman, told The Guardian newspaper. "We want our networks to be big and busy with people who are confident they can communicate with each other freely; anything that inhibits that is very bad for any commercial operator," he added. (See Euronews: Vodafone Makes a Stand on Privacy.)

Vodafone would like to disclose surveillance requests in its annual sustainability report, due to be published in June.

Now, as reported on Light Reading, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) CEO Gavin Patterson has publicly commented on the issues thrown open by the Snowden revelations, stating: "It's just too murky at the moment. It needs to be transparent and [there] needs to be clear guidelines about what's acceptable and what isn't," adding that the legislation has to "catch up" with the real world. (See Euronews: BT CEO Calls for Clarity on Data Security .)

Whatever is driving these UK telcos to start speaking out, BT and Vodafone are undoubtedly doing the entire telco community a substantial service. In recent months, trying to get carriers to respond as the Internet giants have done around the limits they want to see on government intrusion has been like trying to get blood out of a stone, mainly because the security traditions in which the carriers are so steeped demand -- that's right, demand! -- that they don't communicate publicly around the matter.

As well as other topical issues, such as the actual impact of mobile malware and DDoS attacks on the mobile network, this question of protecting customer information will be discussed at "Creating Trust in the Mobile Network," a breakfast event I am hosting during Mobile World Congress. The briefing, which will be held in Barcelona on Wednesday February 26, will feature guest speakers from Arbor Networks Inc. , Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Nokia Networks , and Cloudmark Inc. .

Those attending the event will also get a free copy of my new 50-page survey of mobile operators that focuses on the security threats causing them real problems -- and those that aren't.

Full marks to BT and Vodafone for being among the first to realize that the veil of silence around this issue is one that needs to be lifted. Telcos of the world should unite and speak up. You have much to lose, not least revenue and brand loyalty, if you don't.

— Patrick Donegan, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

  • Find out more about the "Creating Trust In the Mobile Network" breakfast briefing, including how to register, by clicking on this link.

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    DanJones
    50%
    50%
    DanJones,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/28/2014 | 11:45:41 AM
    Motivation?
    Maybe they have the most motivation, what with GCHQ right on their doorstep? :-)
    More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
    This year is expected to be a year of great market evolution across most telecom sectors, specifically in virtualization and Long Term Evolution (LTE).
    Bring your own device (BYOD) is flourishing, creating the need for better security on shared personal/workplace mobile devices.
    Millimeter wave technology holds tremendous potential for delivering ultra-high-speed wireless broadband, but so far the market has been more smoke than fire.
    Vendors and operators are turning to Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) testing to ensure that their mobile networks are working as efficiently as possible.
    Integrated multicore processors offer a cost-effective solution for hardware systems used in demanding SDN and NFV applications.
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

    1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

    1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


    In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
    LRTV Documentaries
    The Rise of Virtual CPE

    1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


    As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Optical Is Hot in 2015

    1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


    Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Policy Control in the Fast Lane

    1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
    LRTV Documentaries
    Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

    1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


    At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

    1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

    1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Pay-TV's Networked Future

    1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

    1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


    At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
    LRTV Interviews
    Cisco Talks Transformation

    1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
    Upcoming Live Events
    February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
    February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
    Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
    US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
    Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
    Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
    Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.