Light Reading

Eurobites: Vodafone Opens Window on Wire-tapping

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BBC screens World Cup in 4K; STC joins Bridge Alliance; BA in Internet talks with Inmarsat… and donkey news!

  • Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has put the cat among the pigeons with the release of its first Law Enforcement Disclosure report, which provides juicy details of how it responds to "demands for assistance" from the authorities in the 29 countries in which it operates. It turns out that six of the 29 countries' governments enjoy direct wire-tap access to Vodafone's networks, though they aren't named. In nine of the countries covered, however, it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wire-tapping -- so who know's what's going on in Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, and Turkey. The revelations are bound to raise human rights concerns, such as those voiced by the director of lobby group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, in a Guardian report: "For governments to access phone calls at the flick of a switch is unprecedented and terrifying… [Edward] Snowden revealed the Internet was already treated as fair game. Bluster that all is well is wearing pretty thin -- our analogue laws need a digital overhaul." (See Vodafone Unveils Law Enforcement Disclosure Report and Mobile Security: The Snowden Fallout.)

  • In case you hadn't heard, the soccer World Cup kicks off in a week's time, assuming the stadiums have been built by then. The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) is using the tournament as a vehicle to test-transmit so-called 4K TV, relaying three of the games, including the quarter-final and the final, in this fancy-dan 1080-pixel high-definition format. The games will only be made available to a limited number of TV sets at specific BBC sites, however.

  • Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has become the newest member of the Bridge Alliance, a partnership of 36 mobile operators across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific that aims to foster collaboration around mobile enterprise services and M2M. STC has 23 million subscribers; the Bridge Alliance has a combined customer base of more than 660 million subscribers. (See Saudi Telecom Joins Bridge Alliance.)

  • UK airline British Airways is in talks with satellite operator Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) with a view to becoming the launch customer of Inmarsat's high-speed Internet service on short-haul routes, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). Inmarsat is hoping to launch the European Union-wide service in 2016.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s data center in Bern-Wankdorf (no sniggering at the back!) has been awarded Tier IV Design Certification by the Uptime Institute, the first in Switzerland to be so feted. The Uptime Institute defines and certifies four operator classes (Tier Levels I to IV), covering elements such as power supply, air-conditioning systems, and the corresponding control technology.

  • And finally: UK mobile operator EE is celebrating the rollout of 4G services to 15 more towns by offering "4G-powered" donkey rides on the beach in one of the towns, West Kirby. Bolt, Zip, Lightning, and Flash will be kitted out with high-speed WiFi in their saddles, thus turning the lovable if stubborn beasts into WiFi hotspots for the day. Surely one of them should be called EEyore?

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    6/6/2014 | 10:27:29 AM
    Shocking Wire-Tapping?
    Vodaphone's report on the 29 countries with direct wires into it's system should be shocking news. But, because the public is becoming accustomed to these types of revelations, it's being just another back page story. There would seem to be a need for some universal data collection agreements among the world's nations. A bit utopian, I'm sure, but the alternattive of no restrictions might be something we'll all regret.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    From The Founder
    Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    Wagner’s Ring
    How Might Open Source Fail?

    11|24|15   |     |   (2) comments

    Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

    11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

    Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
    Between the CEOs
    Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

    11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (1) comment

    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

    11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

    Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

    11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

    11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

    11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

    Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

    11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

    Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

    11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

    Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

    11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

    The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    11|16|15   |   1:28   |   (0) comments

    Huawei, together with Ethiopia's Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, hosted the Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event gathered industry experts and senior executives of global electric power companies to discuss emerging industry trends including: improvements in new energy conversion efficiency, reduction of line losses ...
    Between the CEOs
    Mobily on Bringing Innovation to Saudi Arabia

    11|13|15   |     |   (2) comments

    Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
    Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
    Hot Topics
    Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
    Sprint Undercuts Rivals With Half-Price Offers
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/18/2015
    Routers Are Facing Extinction: Let’s Not Save Them
    Scott Sumner, VP solutions marketing, Accedian Networks, 11/18/2015
    Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/20/2015
    Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    December 15, 2015
    Virtualizing Cable Services
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
    Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
    Cats with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.