Light Reading

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
    Join our fireside chat at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as we discuss the operational implications of NFV with Justin Paul, head of OSS marketing at Amdocs.
    The race to deliver gigabit broadband services is accelerating, and G.fast is a key technology that telecom service providers can deploy to compete successfully.
    If NFV is to progress, proofs of concept and trials need to come out of the lab and into live networks in 2015.
    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.
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
    LRTV Interviews
    In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

    3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    New Ways of Working

    3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


    At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Bridging the Digital Gap

    3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


    At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Making the Internet of Things Affordable

    3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


    At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Evolution, Not Revolution

    3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


    At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

    3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


    NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

    3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


    OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

    3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


    4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
    LRTV Interviews
    DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

    3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

    3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE at MWC 2015

    3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

    3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (1) comment


    At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
    Upcoming Live Events
    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
    June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    Hot Topics
    Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
    Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
    New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
    Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
    Check out 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 had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.