Thursday, April 30, 2009

USA: a call for debate on policy for the use of cyber attacks and cyberwarfare

[cio] The U.S. needs to engage in a national dialog about its government's use of cyberattacks against other nations, and the government lacks a comprehensive policy about how and when it will engage in cyberwarfare, a new study said.

The U.S. government also lacks a person or office to coordinate cyberattacks, and agencies making attacks should regularly brief the U.S. Congress about their efforts, said the report, from a panel of military, diplomatic, legal and IT security experts assembled by the National Research Council, a nonprofit organization that provides policy advice to the U.S. government.

The U.S. government's current policy and legal framework on the use of cyberattacks is "ill-informed, undeveloped and highly uncertain," the report said. The U.S. government has no comprehensive policy on how to respond to cyberattacks or how it will use cyberattacks, said the report, released Wednesday.

The U.S. military is developing cyberwarfare capabilities and may have already used them, and U.S. intelligence agencies also have the ability to penetrate computer networks, said Kenneth Dam, a former law professor who has in the past held senior positions in the U.S. Departments of Treasury and State. But those capabilities have been developed largely without public discussion about when cyberattacks are appropriate, he said.

The secrecy surrounding U.S. cyberattack capabilities has impeded debate about the legal and ethical issues associated with cyberattacks and the consequences of such attacks, Dam said.

In many cases, a cyberattack will have a much larger effect than a destroyed computer or network, added William Owens, a retired Navy admiral and former CEO of Nortel Networks. An attack on some computers could cause the electric grid to shut down or a pipeline to stop working, causing widespread problems in the targeted country, he said.

"When you attack a computer, it's not just attacking a computer, it's obviously attacking everything that computer serves," Owens said.

Representatives of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, two organizations involved in cyberattacks and defense, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

The U.S. government doesn't seem to have a policy about when it will use cyberattacks and what response it will take when another country attacks its computer networks, Owens said. That's why public debate is needed, he added.

Panel Calls for National Dialog on Gov't Cyberattacks

South Africa: Telkom's trades union seeks an increase of 16 per cent

[itweb] Telkom and trade union Solidarity will continue wage negotiations today, following the union's demand for a 16% increase.

The negotiations are a continuation of an ongoing discussion around a substantive agreement signed by the utility and the unions in 2006. The initial agreement affords union members an increase of 6.5%.

The wage negotiations have become an on-again, off-again saga. In July last year, Solidarity accepted an increased figure of 10.5% from Telkom. However, several other trade unions continued to negotiate with the utility and drew an 11.5% increase.

At the time, it was unclear whether Solidarity was to be included in the member increases for the other unions.

Solidarity says it has been joined by several other unions in its current battle to increase the wage percentage to 16%.

“Telkom's offer is not only far out of reach of Solidarity's demand, but is even lower than the current CPI figure of 8.6%,” explains Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans.

The union says its demand in this year's negotiations with Telkom is the current CPI figure, medical and food inflation, and inflation on administered prices. “The current CPI figure is already higher than in January this year, and it could rise in the coming months, while food inflation which is currently on 15.8% and medical inflation rose dramatically during the past year. Administered prices also place huge pressure on employees,” explains Kleynhans.

He adds there is a list of 30 other demands which are expected to be thrashed out at the table today.

With the looming unbundling of Vodacom, the union has told Telkom to place a “moratorium on all retrenchments at the company”. Other demands include increases in vehicle allowance for employees on higher job levels, increases in housing and medical aid allowance, and the implementation of long service bonuses and retention bonuses.

“Solidarity's demands are aimed at ensuring employees at Telkom be remunerated to such an extent that they keep up with rising living costs and to eventually ensure a real improvement in salaries,” explains Kleynhans.

Solidarity demands 16% from Telkom

South Africa: regulator announces investigation into texting QoS

[itweb] A flood of concerned mobile phone users has led the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to check up on the quality of service provided by the mobile networks.

Following an interview with ICASA chairman Paris Mashile on Radio 702 this week, hundreds of users forwarded information to the station about troubles they had experienced with their network service providers.

The complaints spanned the trilogy of mobile operators – MTN, Vodacom and Cell C – dealing with dropped calls, lost SMSes and network access troubles. Consumers are also up in arms about paying for services they believe they are not receiving.

Traffic or no traffic?

Of the three, MTN is the only provider who says it has found a problem on its network. According to a company statement, MTN had a surge in call, data and SMS traffic after it launched its 20% free airtime promotion last week.

“As a result of this promotion, the MTN network handled a huge increase in voice calls and data traffic from Friday and into the weekend, similar to the levels experienced during the high-season Christmas period,” explains the company.

Dot Field
Dot Field
MTN says the surge in Gauteng traffic also caused a loop in its national network which could well be the cause of MTN subscribers' troubles. It says, along with its technology provider, Ericsson, MTN is conducting an audit to determine how it can fix the problem.

“The company would like to reassure its customers that it is working around the clock to maintain a quality and reliable service on its network. MTN apologises to its customers for the inconvenience caused during the weekend.”

Vodacom says it has not found anything out of the ordinary with its network. “Vodacom can confirm there are no extraordinary technical issues affecting our network,” says chief communications officer Dot Field.

However, it has invited customers who have experienced trouble to contact its customer care centre on 111, from a Vodacom cellphone, or 082 111 from any other. Customers can also send an e-mail to

Cell C had not responded to ITWeb's questions by the time of publication.


The issue has not escaped the authorities. ICASA spokesman Sekgoela Sekgoela yesterday confirmed it is keeping tabs on the operators. “We are consistently in contact with them, to make sure they are adhering to regulations.”

Paris Mashile
Paris Mashile
While he says the monitoring is not a formal investigation into the service providers, the authority has given them guidelines for minimum service levels. These are prescribed by the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter, which is in the process of being finalised.

The regulations require that operators' networks show an uptime of over 95%. Operators are also expected to have a 48-hour turnaround on consumer problems.

The mobile operators are required to submit a report to the authority every three months that indicates problems and resolutions. According to ICASA, the next reports are expected soon and the authority will check what resolutions the operators have come up with.

The authority suspects the trouble may also stem from network upgrades that the operators are all implementing. Complaints of a similar nature in the past have been attributed to network changes and upgrades.

Changes afoot

All the mobile operators have ploughed significant amounts of money into network upgrades and improvements over the last year. MTN alone put aside R7 billion for network upgrades and new backhaul infrastructure.

The company will begin the construction of a national fibre-backbone this year, which it expects to be completed by 2010.

Late last year, Vodacom announced it was in the process of rolling out its own fibre infrastructure and had completed 11 metro rings by the beginning of December. It also plans to roll out a national network.

Cell C has been steadily building up its own network coverage through the implementation of new base stations across SA.

Global reports have indicated mobile operators moving from one backhaul network to another have experienced similar customer complaints. However, none of SA's operators have indicated this could be part of the problem.

Callers lash out at mobile operators

Lebanon: launch of a fixed line pre-paid service for period of fourth months

[zawya] Telecommunication Minister Jebran Bassil on Tuesday announced the launching of a prepaid card for land lines that have four months duration. Bassil, speaking in a press conference, said that the new services is specially tailored to the needs of tourists and Lebanese expatriates who come to Lebanon for a short visit.

The price of each card is LL75,000 only and can be renewed for LL45,000 only.

The new prepaid card will be in the Lebanese market as of May 1.

Ogero will install the land line in houses or furnished apartments for those who buy the prepaid card.

Basically, the prepaid card can be renewed twice a year and any one with a "Kalam" card used it with this card. The price of Kalam card range between LL15,000 to LL45,000.

Bassil explained that this prepaid card is also suitable for those who do not want to subscribe for a permanent land lines in their homes.

The minister admitted that the state of the cellular networks in Lebanon is in extremely bad shape because the previous governments did not make any investments to modernize the network. - The Daily Star

Lebanon launches 4-month prepaid phone cards

UAE: Etisalat has delivered to the regulator its cost accounting data

[zawya] Etisalat today delivered costing information about the actual value of its networks and property to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). This is an obligation under the current regulatory framework.

Etisalat has completed the entire study according to international best practice and standards within a short period, in collaboration with specialized consultants. Etisalat is a thirty-three year old company, and also the largest company in the UAE with almost 10,000 staff and over 5,000 facilities including masts, payphones, offices and other infrastructure.

Etisalat Delivers Information On Actual Value of Networks and Property

Europe: 6 May: EC is to hold a hearing on Internet governance

[ec] Who should decide on the principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet? How should Governments, the private sector and civil society develop and apply these? The European Commission is hosting a hearing on Internet Governance arrangements to discuss topics such as "Progress since the World Summit on Information Society", "Security and Stability", "The role of public authorities", "Accountability and legitimacy", "Internationalisation of Internet Governance" and "Digital Divide".

Hearing on Internet Governance arrangements

Sierra Leone; the rebranded SierraTel has been launched, providing services with CDMA

[all africa] President Ernest Bai Koroma Friday launched the national telecommunications company, Sierratel as part of his government's commitment to providing essential services to the people of Sierra Leone.

The company has been re-branded with the code division multiple access, CDMA technology installed by a Chinese telecommunications outfit Huawei technologies. A concession loan was obtained from the Chinese import and export bank.

The facility would enable digital encoding, radio frequency and quality voice system more than other wireless technologies.

While commissioning the facility the president said the reactivation of Sierratel was significant and part of his government's agenda to rebuilding state institutions.

He said Sierratel was completely out of operations but given the good relationship between Sierra Leone and China, the Huawei technology company swiftly intervened to address the problem.

"I am pleased to note that the CDMA technology will provide quality services to the people of Sierra Leone. It is essential to have a good national telecommunications system because we want to embark on E-government policy by connecting government ministries and departments to ease their activities."

Minister of information and communications Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said when he was appointed minister of information he discovered that certain departments were actually in serious difficulties and that Sierratel was one of those dying institution.

He said the launch of Sierratel was a blessing because Sierra Leoneans would now have the opportunity to communicate using the latest technology.

Kargbo said the CDMA network was faster, efficient, and more reliable thus calling on Sierra Leoneans to make good use of the opportunity.

"Because of the quality of the network, the government of Sierra Leone through my ministry has contracted the Huawei technology to implement the integrated E-government and optical transmission backbone project that will serve the entire country which will take onboard E-health, education, custom, security and tax optical backbone."

He added that "after the ministry of mineral resources, my ministry came second in providing funds into the consolidated funds.
"This time, however, Sierratel is going to open to business and we will ensure that the institution performs in the interest of the people."

The company's managing director Alpha Sesay assured all that they would provide the best services as they have put strategies in place for the smooth running of the institution.

He said the company covers the entire Western area and some major towns in the provinces, adding that the internet and other facilities make the institution different from other telecommunications service providers.

Sierra Leone: Sierratel Back With New Hopes

Calling cards: a card to allow pre-paid calls from mobile phones, without changing SIMs

[prnewswire] Vectone, the international call specialist has launched the future of calling cards: ZeroZero. The first product of its kind in the UK, ZeroZero is a pre-paid, call routing gadget that gives users the option to make calling card rate, international calls from their mobile.

ZeroZero fits between the user's mobile phone and the existing SIM card and recognises when the user dials an international number. The gadget routes the call through a local access number and uses Vectone's low cost international network to make the call at a fraction of the price of a standard direct dial international call from a mobile.

Vectone believes this will attract contract users with free minutes in their bundle to use them in conjunction with ZeroZero to get low rate international calls. ZeroZero requires a one off installation and can then be topped up through retail outlets such as Epay or Payzone, direct through IVR from the user's handset, or online at

Jon Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer said, "We are delighted to offer our calling card customers the next generation of the international calling card, a product that delivers simplicity of installation and use, ease of top up, coupled with the amazing value Vectone offers for international calls."

For more information see

Vectone Launches the Future of Calling Cards: ZeroZero

California: Verizon says it now services one million households in California

[prnewswire] In just over three years, Verizon has made choice and competition in TV service a possibility for more than 1 million households in California, via the nation's most advanced all-fiber-optic network.

Verizon now offers FiOS TV, as well as FiOS Internet services, in 83 cities throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

"This milestone is a cause for celebration," said Kathy Koelle, Verizon's vice president, marketing. "Through our aggressive expansion of our all-fiber network, FiOS TV is now available to more than 1 million households in California. Verizon is bringing a better network to homes in these communities and more choice for home entertainment.

"FiOS is not just an alternative to traditional cable service, it's a better alternative," Koelle said. "Thanks to the higher bandwidth of our all-fiber network, FiOS delivers superior picture quality, greater content selection and faster Internet speeds than our competitors offer."

Verizon launched FiOS TV in California in Beaumont in February 2006 and has been increasing the availability of the service by an average of 26,000 homes per month since then. In 2007, California enacted a new law that shifted the franchise authority to the state, which streamlined the franchising process and enabled Verizon to expand FiOS TV availability to more communities.

More Than 1 Million Households in California Now Have Access to Verizon's All-Fiber-Optic FiOS TV Service

India: The regulator requires written consent for value-added service subscription such as ring-tones

[Rediff] The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has directed mobile operators to seek written consent from the users who have subscribed to their value-added services, such as call ring-back tone and hello tunes, in order to prevent accidental activation of such services.

Trai said it had given this direction to telcos after examining several consumer complaints in the matter.

In a statement, Trai said all access service providers, including BSNL and MTNL [Get Quote], would ensure that its direction were followed within 45 days.

The authority said that there could be accidental activation of VAS through the method of pressing a key to express consent.

Operators will now have to convey to the customer in writing or through SMS or FAX or e-mail, all the details of a value-added service.

"The accidental activation of such VAS through Out-Bound-Dialer call could happen without understanding the implications of such offer," Trai said in its order .

Trai observed that the system of pressing a button to get a VAS activated was not a sound method as children at home could unintentionally press a particular key. There may also be possibilities that a customer may not have listened to the announcements fully or did not understand the offer and pressed a particular key unintentionally, thereby activating the service, it said.

Trai had received a number of complaints from telecom users, alleging activation of caller ring-back tunes through the facility of "press star to copy hello tunes" without explicit consent.

Most of the service providers induce the customers through recorded announcements to go for VAS. "Such examination of the complaints revealed that there is a likelihood of consumers subscribing to VAS accidentally or unintentionally by pressing the '(star) key' in the mobile handset or the telephone set during the call and that this process for obtaining the explicit consent is not in line with the direction of the authority," Trai said.

Written consent from subscribers must for VAS

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UK: faiure to agree on re-assignment of spectrum but want to keep a cap on total spectrum

[bbc] The government is considering capping the amount of radio spectrum owned by Britain's mobile phone companies as it tries to thrash out a deal that will fulfil Lord Carter's ambition of broadband for all.

The plan, put together by the communications minister's lieutenant Kip Meek, would allow Vodafone and O2 to hold on to the part of the airwaves they were granted in the 1980s, which their rivals had hoped they would be forced to share.

But it would bar them from picking up some of the spectrum that will become free when the analogue TV signal is switched off in 2012 unless they sell some other holdings.

The deal is essentially a stop gap measure designed to meet the government's ambition of getting broadband speeds of about 2Mb per second to the estimated 1.5 million households that are currently beyond reach.

Ministers abandon hope of sharing out broadband spectrum

UK: £12m research project into rural digital research economic benefits from broadband

[BBC] The £12.4m is the largest single grant Aberdeen has ever received, and is expected to create dozens of jobs.

Researchers will work alongside partners including the NHS, transport firm FirstGroup, and rural business and community groups.

Prof John Farrington, of the University of Aberdeen's school of geosciences, and who will be director of the Rural Digital Economy Research Hub, said: "Untapped economic potential in rural areas is of crucial significance.

"Digital technology has a key role to play in realising this potential.

"The Rural Digital Economy Research Hub based at the University of Aberdeen will develop advances in technology which have the potential to transform how people in rural communities live and work in the future."

Prof C Duncan Rice, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said it was "an extremely important" grant.

£12m rural digital research boost

UK: report on the employment effects of UK economic stimulus of IT

[ITIF] In this report, ITIF & LSE Enterprise estimate the impact on employment in the United Kingdom of additional investment in three important technologies: broadband Internet, intelligent transportation systems, and the smart grid.

ITIF: The UK's Digital Road to Recovery

China: China Mobile has acquired 12% of Far EasTone (Taiwan) and entered into a strategic partnership

[light reading] China Mobile Ltd. has agreed to acquire a 12 percent holding in Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. Ltd. , Taiwan's third-largest operator, through a new share issue valued at NT$17.77 billion ($530 million) in total or NT$40.00 ($1.2) per share.

On completion of the deal, the two companies will begin a strategic alliance from which China Mobile hopes to use Far EasTone's experience in rolling out 3G technology, applications, and value-added data services.

Taiwan is one of the world's most mature 3G markets, and 3 million of Far EasTone's 6.2 million subscribers are on the company's 3G network. It was the first in Taiwan to launch 3.6-Mbit/s HSPA in October 2006, and it holds a WiMax license.

The companies also agreed to work together on procurement, roaming, data and value-added services, and network and technology advancement, including research and development on communication standards for future technical developments.

China Mobile Enters Taiwan

UK: economic stimulus for the IT sector could have multiplier for the whole economy

[ZDNET] The London School of Economics argues in a report released on Wednesday that a stimulus package aimed at IT would generate a multiplier effect with benefits for the whole economy. The timing of the report, The UK's digital road to recovery, could scarcely be better.

Barely 10 days after business secretary Peter Mandelson made all the right noises about 'removing barriers' in the hi-tech economy and securing 'more high-value jobs', the LSE has fleshed out those sentiments with hard figures.

An additional investment of £15bn in the UK's IT infrastructure would create about 700,000 jobs, with smaller businesses accounting for more than half those posts, according to the joint LSE-Information Technology & Innovation Foundation report. The authors propose dividing that investment between broadband, intelligent transport and the smart power grid. They say productivity, competitiveness and quality of life would all improve.

Against a bleak economic backdrop, the calls for investment in IT are growing. In the same week that Lord Mandelson's Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform published its New industry, new jobs report on investing for an upturn, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts said the UK could lose out by up to £44bn per year if the government fails to invest in healthcare, green technology and digital media.

In America, part of president Barack Obama's stimulus bill for the country's economic regeneration involves investment in broadband and emerging technologies. On Wednesday, the European Commission adopted a preliminary draft EU budget for 2010 containing a further €2.4bn (£2.2bn) for broadband and energy infrastructure.

In the depths of recession, it is only right that the issue of technology investment has come to the fore. Technology helped drive the shift from post-war austerity to renewed affluence. The LSE report underlines that carefully targeted investment could again hasten a recovery and set up the country in readiness for better times.

But the LSE's report is not only well timed, it also addresses exactly the sort of debate we should be having. The report demonstrates that technology is not just an end in itself, but a conduit to improvements in the economy and the way people live. Investments of the type described by the report's authors could help the country reinvent itself.

Investment in tech could help UK reinvent itself

Oman: Friendi mobile service provider has launched

[zawya] FRiENDi mobile, the Sultanate's first mobile reseller goes live today. Oman is the first country in the region to have gone in for Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) business model. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mohammed Yousuf Alawi al Ibrahim, Chairman, FRiEND Mobile Oman, said: "The launch will see the release of FRiENDi mobile starter packs in hundreds of shops across Oman." FRiENDi mobile has tied up with Oman Mobile as a mobile reseller, offering attractive call rates and a number of added services and features that have not been seen in the market before, said Antti Arponen, CEO, FRiENDi Oman.

FRiENDi mobile goes live in Oman today

MENA: than one-third of industry managers had yet to notice any negative effects on their core business of recession

[Zawya] Middle East and Northern African Markets for Telecommunications Face Lower Capital Expenditures due to Financial Crisis.

While the financial crisis is darkening the mood of business forecasters around the world, the telecommunications industry in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) shows little inclination to be pessimistic, according to the results of a recent study from the consulting company Detecon International. More than one-third of the industry managers surveyed have yet to notice any negative effects on their core business.

Around 60 percent of the respondents in the survey do not expect any large-scale declines in demand among end customers and rule out the possibility of price wars in this segment as well. At the same time, the general economic environment is having fallout in the telecommunications industry when the question of saving money comes up. Exactly half of the respondents in the study, which was conducted in all of Europe and the MENA region, see ways to draw out long-term investments in some areas, an opportunity the companies want to exploit for the improvement of their own financial position.

The most unexpected fact of the study is the result that some 2/3 of the MENA quorum regard the lack of liquidity as a problem in their main operating market, and some 50 percent see capital expenditure (CAPEX) liquidity bottlenecks as a real threat to maintaining a course of growth. "The majority of the respondents, both in MENA and Europe, dismiss a price war threat," says Carsten Schroeder, author of the study and Managing Partner Corporate Finance at Detecon. "So we believe that MENA carriers will evade really harsh negative impacts," notes Schroeder. "The situation in the business customer segment displays stability, although the possibility that companies will reconsider or postpone larger investments cannot be excluded."


The study, "Impact of the Financial Crisis on the European Telecommunications Industry", is available for downloading free of charge at

Additional results of the special MENA survey are available for downloading free of charge at

Detecon Study: Large European and MENA Region Expert Survey on the Effects of the Financial Crisis on the Telecommunications

Rwanda: Rwandatel has 280,000 customers with 600,000 as end of year target

[All Africa] The company purchased 80 percent shares and promised to invest $317 million over 15 years

Rwandatel, the second national telecom operator has currently hit 280,000 subscribers, the company's Public Relations Manager, Cleophas Kabasiita has said.

Kabasiita told Business Times that, "The company has hit 280,000 active subscribers to date and the company will be rolling out more products, which are in transit and they will be on the market very soon in order to attract more clients," Kabasiita said.

Rwandatel which was officially launched last December has a target of 600,000 subscribers by the end of this year.

Kabasiita also said that the company has been beefing up its human resource base and optimising the network.

The company officials also attributed the increasing number of subscribers to better network and service delivery to the unexpected number of subscribers within its infancy of operations.

"This is the reason why our subscribers have been increasing very first, our network is very good and our customers are experiencing less and less dropped calls," She added.

Rwandatel is the Second National Operator (SNO) in the country after MTN-Rwanda.

TIGO which is owned by the Luxemburg based Millicom International has also received an operating licence and is yet to go commercial by the end of this year.

Kabasiita stated that Rwandatel is not worried of the prevailing competition and that is bent on providing its subscribers with the best network and competitive prices.

The company is the only mobile operator in Rwanda offering all range of Information Communication Technology (ICT) services, including GSM, CDMA and 3G mobile services.

Rwandatel is owned by Libyan African Portfolio (LAP) Green, the company purchased 80 per cent shares and promised to invest $317m (Rfw173b) over 15 years period to revamp the telecom sector in the country.

Rwandatel Hits 280,000 Active Subscribers

Botswana: ICT Sector growth is at a slower pace than expected in the view of the BNPC

[All Africa] Driven mainly by a conducive environment and infrastructure set up by government, Botswana's Information, Technology and Communications (ICT) sector continues to develop although at a slower pace than expected, an economist said yesterday.

Dr Phumzile Thobokwe of the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) told an ICT seminar in Gaborone that the private sector is not doing enough to help the country to develop into a knowledge-based society with an industry that thrives on ICT advancement.

Presenting a paper on the Global Information Technology (GIT) report, Thobokwe said that this year, Botswana has moved one place up to position 77 out of 134 countries on Networked Readiness Index.

She said that although Botswana had a slight improvement, there is still a long way to go to fully use ICT as a catalyst to organisational transformation and change.

She said that government has provided an enabling environment for the growth of the ICT sector through various investments in infrastructure as well as legislative and regulatory frameworks.

Recently, government has invested a lot of funds into fibre networks and high capacity telecommunications systems.

The fibre optic network is now complete and operational.

The government has invested in international connectivity through shareholdings in undersea cables, which should increase competition and reduce telecommunications costs.

The GIT report says that Botswana fared badly in components like business readiness in which it is ranked 96 out of 134 and government readines where it is ranked 70th.

Under the ICT usage component, Botswana business usage is 93rd while in individual usage it is ranked 89th.

The ICT sector is one of the four key focus areas of the Botswana Innovative Hub (BIH).

Others are energy, biotechnology and mining technologies.

Botswana: ICT Sector Grows At Snail Pace

India: A contract to implement mobile number portablity has been awarded

[The Hindu] Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has awarded MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India Pvt Ltd, a joint venture company of Telcordia Technologies, the license to implement mobile number portability services.

According to the licence terms which will be for a period of ten years, MNP Interconnection will be responsible for implementing mobile number portability, which allows a subscriber to retain the same mobile number even after changing the cellular operat or, in Zone 2, comprising South and East India.

Announcing this, Managing Director of MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions, Mr Ashok Sapra told reporters that the implementation would be carried out in two phases in 11 circles in the next 12 months.

In phase one, the service would be implemented in the four circles of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata in six months from the date of signing the licence, he said.

"Our target is to have the first phase roll out before the end of September'' Mr Sapra said, adding, ''for this active engagements are on among the stakeholders, DoT and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)'', Mr Sapra said.

The remaining seven circles of Kerala, rest of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, North-East and Assam will be covered in the next six months, he said.

Number Portability licence awarded to MNP Telecom

Europe: Member states have agreed on reforms to the telecommunications legislation

[Reuters] European Union states gave the green light on Wednesday to a sweeping reform of the telecoms sector after accepting a last-minute deal to resolve a spat over Internet access, the Czech EU presidency said.

Ambassadors from EU member states met to endorse a draft deal reached in negotiations on the reform with the European Parliament, which has joint say.

"The Czech presidency has brought the member states to an agreement with parliament and now it's up to parliament to confirm the agreement in plenary next week," a spokesman for the presidency said.

The battle over handling copyright abuse emerged as a final sticking point between EU states and parliament on the reform that aims to increase competition in the sector and bring down tariffs for customers.

EU states give green light to telecoms reform

USA: Verizon Wireless grew faster than AT&T in mobile data despite absence of iPhone

[light reading] VZW outpaces AT&T in data growth despite having no iconic Apple device to drive sales

AT&T may have been able to claim 1.6 million iPhone activations in the first quarter, but Verizon still emerged the winner in the mobile data race, bolstering its data revenues through a diverse blend of devices and data plans despite recessionary pressure and the diluting effects of its Alltel acquisition.

In a first quarter where Verizon added 1.3 million new wireless subscribers and saw substantial gains in its FiOS residential fiber business, the wireless unit also managed to hold out against cost-saving trends in the market, which see customers downgrading their plans and businesses cutting their data services. Verizon emerged as the leading US operator in every key wireless data metric, including overall data revenue, average data spend per customer, and data's percentage of overall service revenue. And Verizon accomplished it without a single iconic device driving sales.

Instead Verizon's data growth was spread among a wide variety of smartphones and PDAs, said Verizon chief operating officer Denny Strigl during Verizon's first-quarter earnings call. The main area of weakness for data services came from enterprises, many of which canceled broadband PC card plans as they cut their staff and costs. In part due to those business customer losses, VZW's churn rate jumped from 1.19% to 1.47% year-over-year, but Strigl said Verizon had more success in holding onto its consumer data subscribers as well as adding new ones. Strigl said smartphones and PDAs now account for 41% of all new direct device sales, and Verizon now has 19.3 million integrated or 'smart' devices on its 3G network. Those devices bring in significant revenue: about $100 a month for a BlackBerry. Furthermore, Verizon hasn't suffered too much from economic pressures forcing subscribers to cancel or downgrade their data services, Strigl said.

Verizon: no iPhone, no problem

Angola: operat investing $55 millions in networks

[All Africa] Telecommunication and communication company "Mundo Startel" intends to invest more than USD 55 million to expand the teledensity network, through the installation of 100,000 telecommunication systems for Angolans, ANGOP learnt from the firm's CEO, Manuel João Carneira.

During the launching ceremony of the company's telecommunication service, Startel's top director said that the institution aims at expanding its activity nationwide, by paying attention to the quality and creating 276 jobs, including 243 for Angolans.

Startel director general, Ern est Nitscke, also informed that as an authorised operator, the company is ready to supply with voice, data and Internet services for Luanda's metropolitan area, as well as countrywide in medium and long terms.

Angola: 'Startel' Firm Invests U.S.$55 Million in Telecommunication and Angola Press

UK: digital Britain will bring with it increased risks from cybercrime and cyber terrorism

[ZDnet] Former home secretary David Blunkett has warned of increased security risks around universal UK broadband access.

Speaking to ZDNet UK at the Infosecurity 2009 conference on Tuesday, Blunkett claimed the extension of broadband availability to every home by 2012, as the government has proposed, will by its nature aggravate computer security issues.

"The greater the activity and speed of action, the greater the danger," said Blunkett. "Not because of the broadband extension itself, but because of the exponential rise in activity that facilitates."

The Digital Britain report, currently being prepared by communications minister Lord Carter, proposes that every home in Britain have broadband access by 2012. While Blunkett said that an increase in broadband activity will lead to an increase in hacking and cybercrime, the former home secretary added that this could be mitigated by co-ordinated action.

Blunkett: Digital Britain will increase security risks

China: counterfeit handsets are selling well, representing 20 per cent of the market

[NY Times] The phone’s sleek lines and touch-screen keyboard are unmistakably familiar. So is the logo on the back. But a sales clerk at a sprawling electronic goods market in this Chinese coastal city admits what is clear upon closer inspection: this is not the Apple iPhone; this is the Hi-Phone.

“But it’s just as good,” the clerk says.

Nearby, dozens of other vendors are selling counterfeit Nokia, Motorola and Samsung phones — as well as cheap look-alikes that make no bones about being knockoffs.

“Five years ago, there were no counterfeit phones,” says Xiong Ting, a sales manager at Triquint Semiconductor, a maker of mobile phone parts, while visiting Shenzhen. “You needed a design house. You needed software guys. You needed hardware design. But now, a company with five guys can do it. Within 100 miles of here, you can find all your suppliers.”

Technological advances have allowed hundreds of small Chinese companies, some with as few as 10 employees, to churn out what are known here as shanzhai, or black market, cellphones, often for as little as $20 apiece.

In China, Knockoff Cellphones Are a Hit

France: Bouygues has lost its appeal to the Council o state over relinquishing of 900 MHz spectrumf

The French Council of State has rejected an appeal by mobile network operator Bouygues Telecom against telecommunication regulator Arcep's ruling that the three existing network operators must free up some 900 MHz frequencies to make room for a fourth 3G operator. The council found that there was no discrimination, as the three existing operators will be left with exactly the same amount of spectrum. The body acknowledged that Arcep imposed a different calendar on Bouygues Telecom than its existing rivals, but this was justified because its network carried less traffic. The council added that the regulator had informed the network operators as early as 2000 about the possibility of having to return some of their frequencies and had held comprehensive talks with them in 2006 and 2007. Bouygues did not propose an alternative timeframe. Finally, the council said that Bouygues' alleged risk of service degradation would be a consequence of the operator's technical and commercial choices that led to a slower rollout of its 3G network.

'Council of State rejects Bouygues' appeal over 3G spectrum'

Japan: network speeds are being increased by DoCoMo to 7.2 Mbps maximum

[computer world] NTT DoCoMo, Japan's biggest cellular carrier, will soon launch improvements to its network that promise data transfers up to 15 times faster than are currently possible -- and it plans even greater changes next year.

The network improvements will begin in June and will increase the data upload speed from a user's cell phone or PC to the network to as fast as 5.7Mbps from the current 384kbps. The service, which is based on a technology called HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), will initially be available in Tokyo with coverage spreading from there.

NTT DoCoMo already offers downloads at speeds of up to 7.2Mbps through a complementary technology called HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access). A nationwide roll-out was completed in the financial year just ended.

The download speed has steadily increased since 3G (third generation) mobile service began in October 2001 and will be increased again this year to a planned 14Mbps, the company said Tuesday.
DoCoMo plans 15X boost to data speeds

China: all three 3G operators have now launched their brandnames

[cctv] China Unicom launched its new 3G brand on Tuesday. Dubbed as "Wo", the brand marks the formal start of the operator's 3G business.

Now all three of China's leading carriers have unveiled their own 3G brands. China Telecom has "e-surfing". And China Mobile has "G3". China Unicom's 3G brand features three design options, each targeting a separate demographic including business, home, and vogue.

The unveiling of the "Wo" brand is the first step in China Unicom's planned 3G business development, offering state-of-the-art Wideband Code Division Multiple Access. On May 17, the company will begin trail operations in the initial 55 cities that have 3G networks already established.

China Unicom launched its new 3G brand on Tuesday

China: Mobile micropayments are now possible in Shanghai

[China Tech News] According to China Mobile's Shanghai branch, its regulations related to micropayments made with mobile phones have been completed and consumers in Shanghai will soon be able to pay with mobile phones in McDonald's and Starbucks.

China Mobile Shanghai said with a new SIM card that integrates the payment function, people in Shanghai can pay with their original mobile phones in the stores of China Mobile's cooperative partners, including McDonald's and Starbucks.

The new SIM cards are expected to realize volume production within two months. At the end of April or the beginning of May 2009, China Mobile Shanghai will invite a group of users to experience this new service first.

A representative from China Mobile Shanghai told local media that users can complete the small-scale payments by placing the mobile phones near the card reader. The costs for the change of a SIM card are between CNY50 and CNY100. The accounts of these new SIM cards are bound with the bank card or credit card accounts of users. Once the money in the SIM cards is used up, they can recharge by simply sending a short message.

Mobile Micropayments Arrive In Shanghai

Mobile: the costs of supporting mobile broadband are high, raising subscriber profitability for operators

[WDSGlobal] Mobile broadband services are more expensive to support than any other wireless service and are endangering subscriber profitability for many mobile network operators concludes a new study from WDSGlobal. The study found that the cost to support mobile broadband products and services is up to 200% greater than the cost to support traditional wireless products such as mobile phones. This means that despite revenue uplift from increased data usage, actual subscriber profitability often remains unchanged and sometimes even worsens.

The area of greatest concern came from USB and PC Card modems. These are sold to allow subscribers access to a mobile operator's 3G HSPA or EV-DO mobile broadband services from a laptop or netbook. The average duration of a technical support call for such products is 28 minutes. By comparison, a technical support call for a mobile phone averages just less than 10 minutes.

The findings come from analysis of more than half a million 'technical' support enquiries. More than 600 wireless devices were represented in the study, which spanned a six-month period between September 2008 and February 2009. Of the bottom 20 mobile devices ranked by Average Handle Time (the duration of a support call), 13 were USB or PC Card modems.

The problem, WDSGlobal suggests, is not always with the technology itself but the necessity for these products to be installed alongside third party hardware and software outside of a mobile operator's control.

"Traditional wireless products are largely in the control of the network operator; it's their SIM card, they sold the handset and it's attached to their network. Mobile broadband introduces the need to manage a wireless product on a third-party device such as a laptop. You have to contend with hardware performance and conflicts, driver incompatibility and buggy software. Diagnosis and fault resolution therefore becomes more complex, negatively impacting support times. Add to this the fact that many products have not been adequately tested prior to launch, and the result is an expensive burden on existing support infrastructures," explains David Ffoulkes-Jones, CEO of WDSGlobal.

The study also cites 'aggressive' connection management software (the software bundled with the modem) as a key cause of user frustration. During several test cases, installation software looked to make registry edits deep within the PC's operating system. Most popular anti-virus applications immediately blocked the installation, classifying it as a security threat. In other cases, connection management software looked to hijack control of all network connections, overwriting user's existing configurations and impeding WiFi access.

The cost of handling customer care and support calls has an immediate bearing on subscriber profitability because it forms part of the cost of maintaining a subscriber on a network. Therefore, it's imperative for mobile network operators to better manage the process of testing, launching and supporting mobile broadband services concludes WDSGlobal.

"This problem is not unique; new products and services are introduced to generate greater ARPU (average revenue per user). However, the increased complexity of these services means that the cost to support them often increases, impacting subscriber profitability," adds Ffoulkes-Jones. "There are enormous opportunities for mobile broadband in 2009. However mobile network operators must be able to deliver new products and services to market profitably and in a way that meets their end-users' expectations for service and quality. Many mobile broadband services are marketed as plug and play. However, as a company that provides technical support services to the mobile industry, we know that this isn't always the case."

Mobile Broadband: Not so Plug and Play

Europe: Malcolm harbour indicates a deal has been reached on the telecommunications reform package

[wsj] European decision-making bodies Tuesday reached a last-minute deal on a far-reaching overhaul of European telecoms rules, paving a way for a parliamentary vote to turn the proposal into law, according to a European Union lawmaker.

"We have come to an agreement," said European Parliamentarian Malcolm Harbour, who is one of the key policy makers on the issue. He added, fingers crossed that this will be accepted in the European Council's meeting tomorrow, but "we are pretty confident."

The deal had been previously endangered by the European Parliament's proposal to add a last-minute amendment to the overall package that would guarantee individuals more sweeping rights to remain connected to the Internet, than what European member states were willing to grant.

European Union practice is that a palatable solution for both the E.U.'s 27 member states and the European Parliament has to be found before the Parliament can have a conclusive vote on the proposal.

Representative's from both the European Council and the parliament, as well as the European Commission participated in Tuesday's negotiated solution.

EU Decision Makers In Draft Deal On Telecoms Package-Lawmaker

Australia: the regulator has rejected the proposal of the incumbent operator on local loop unbundling

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a final decision to reject Telstra's Undertaking application for a $30 monthly charge for the Unconditioned Local Loop Service in metropolitan areas.

The charge relates to the rental price Telstra charges competitors for access to the copper wire from the telephone exchange to a house or office.

The ULLS essentially gives an access seeker (competitor) the use of the copper pair without any dial tone or carriage service. This allows the access seeker to use its own equipment in an exchange to provide a range of services, including traditional voice services and high speed internet access, to the end-user.

There are approximately 10 million services in operation with around seven million in for the densely populated metropolitan areas (Band 2). Telstra's Undertaking only covers the Band 2 exchange service areas of Australia servicing about 70 per cent of the population but only 0.2 per cent of the land.

"Following an extensive assessment of Telstra's Undertaking, including Telstra's own cost model, the ACCC is not satisfied the $30 charge for metropolitan areas is reasonable," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said.

ACCC final decision to again reject Telstra's unreasonable ULLS undertaking

Canada: wireless operators are having problems providing locations for calls to emergency services

Canadian wireless carriers have started testing technology to pinpoint the physical location of 911 callers, but will face challenges in meeting the February 2010 regulatory deadline, according to Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association president, Bernard Lord.

“It’s going to be a significant challenge to deploy this county-wide for next February,” Lord said yesterday, noting that the effort would cost “millions and millions of dollars.” Individual carriers will have to make their own decisions about whether to pass these costs on to consumers in the form of higher 911 access fees.

Canadian Carriers Struggling to Implement E911 Technology

Europe: report on Analysing and federating the European assistive technology ICT industry

[EC] This report represents the final report of the study, “Analysis of the Assistive Technologies Information and Communication Technologies (AT ICT) industry in Europe” for the European Commission. The global objective of the study has been to gain information as to the state of the EU AT ICT industry and to develop conclusions and recommendations to what steps can be taken to improve the competitiveness of the companies which form this industry.

Analysing and federating the European assistive technology ICT industry - final report

Europe: EurActiv is predicting the EC will adopt its Recommendation on Mobile Termination Rates next week

[EurActiv] The European Commission will next week adopt a long-awaited recommendation on mobile termination rates, EurActiv has learned. The text will set July 2012 as a compromise deadline to slash these wholesale charges, with an expected indirect benefit for consumers.

The recommendation is scheduled to be adopted on 7 May, EU sources close to the dossier told EurActiv. The text is not legally binding, but will de facto oblige telecoms companies to adapt to the new legal landscape.

New EU deal to cut mobile rates by July 2012

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Albania: Parliament has approved the fourth mobile licence to a Kosovan operator, but with opponents claiming the tender rules had been violated

The Albanian parliament approved award of the country’s fourth mobile phone license to Kosovo Post Telecom (PTK).

Parliament, dominated by the rightist coalition of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, approved the permit for PTK in a consortium with several Albanian companies for 7.2 million euros.

Albanian leftist opposition deputies boycotted the vote, claiming the rules for an international tender had been violated and insisting that the winning company had no experience in telecommunications.

Albania so far has three mobile phone operators - AMC (, Vodafone Albania (, and Eagle Mobile ( - with about 2.5 million clients in a country of 3.3 million.

Parliament ratifies mobile license to Kosovo Telecom in stormy session

UK: A large part of the population is still baffled by "jargon" such as broadband, dongle, ADSL and blu-ray

[Virgin] 44 per cent of all internet users left in the dark by the word ‘mega-bit’,
One in three will not download due to security worries, 17 per cent don’t know what broadband is and one in ten think ‘Blu-ray’ is a type of broadband.

Virgin Media today unveiled research into the nation’s understanding of the internet, revealing that Britain is still baffled when it comes to broadband. The UK’s fastest broadband provider has also released plans to trial free ‘Broadband Schools’ to help tackle the issue.

The study of over 3,000 internet users, commissioned by Virgin Media, found that many people are still puzzled by broadband jargon and there is confusion around topics such as security and speed. Even when it comes to getting started, some people are confused by the basic language associated with broadband.

To help tackle the confusion and ensure Brits get a better understanding of broadband, Sir Richard Branson has today announced plans to trial Virgin Media ‘Broadband Schools’, starting with the cities with the least broadband knowledge.

Richard commented: “As many of you may know I’ve never been terribly technical and I’m not at all ashamed to say that I’m probably a prime candidate for a Broadband School.

“I’m not alone, there are thousands of people in the same boat, and the only way they will ever learn is if things are kept simple. At Virgin Media we want everyone to feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how silly they think they are, so that they can get the most out of their internet service and enjoy everything the internet has to offer.”

Surprisingly, around one fifth (18 per cent) of internet users surveyed were not aware what broadband actually is, whilst seven per cent believed ‘Blu-ray’ to be a type of broadband. Perhaps understandably then, 40 per cent were not aware what ADSL broadband is, and just under half (45 per cent) were left scratching their head by the term ‘dongle’.

The research found that one of the most common myths about broadband is that it relies on having a phone line. A whopping 53 per cent, over half of all internet users, are unaware that this is not the case. Fibre optic cable or mobile broadband actually provide phone line-free alternatives to those who don’t want to be tied to a landline.

Perhaps more surprisingly, 40 per cent of web users are not sure what an ‘internet browser’ is and almost half are puzzled by the term ‘meg’ (Mb) used to measure broadband speeds. There is further confusion when it comes to watching TV via the internet. Despite the success of BBC iPlayer, less than one fifth (18 per cent) of internet users understand the term ‘IPTV’.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said, “It’s great to see that Brits have a thirst for getting online but there is still scope to improve their broadband experience. We want to help people understand the language of the internet, by cutting through the jargon, using simple and honest terms that everyone can understand and bringing broadband back to basics.

“At Virgin Media, we are very passionate about ensuring that our customers get more from their broadband and get the ultrafast internet experience they deserve as well as valuable extras. Through our current marketing campaign we are bringing ‘Broadband Power to the People’ – inspiring internet users across the country to see the potential of ultrafast broadband and how it can transform their lives.”

Dongle dilemmas, broadband bamboozles and mega-bit mayhem

China: 3 mobile operators will spend RMB 17 Bn in Shanghai on 3G networks

[Shanghai Daily] Shanghai is expected to receive a total investment of 17 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion) this year from the three domestic telecommunications operators, a jump of 30 percent from last year's level.

The three firms said in a statement yesterday that most of the funds will be poured into the next-generation mobile communications network and also to prepare for the World Expo 2010, which the city will host.

The local branches of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have signed agreements with the Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Development Commission to invest in the city to stimulate the local economy and prepare for Expo events.

Out of the total budget, the three telcos will invest 2 billion yuan in the Expo by setting up 3G and 4G networks in the area around the event, construction of the broadband network and security systems.

In 2008, they invested 13 billion yuan in Shanghai. The telcos generated a combined revenue of 40.5 billion yuan, a 13-percent growth year on year.

The telcos will also help small and medium-size enterprises to set up their Web pages and improve information technology infrastructure, which will create 10,000 new jobs directly or indirectly, they said.

Nationally, the three telcos invested a total amount of 120 billion yuan on 3G in the first quarter, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said. The three telcos will directly invest 400 billion yuan in the construction of 3G projects in the next three years under the ministry's plan.

China issued 3G licenses in January to the three carriers.

Shanghai to get US$2.5b from 3 telcos

Zimbabwe: To raise money, the Govt is planning privatisation, including NetOne a mobile phone operator, this should also improve competition

[AFP] The sale of Zimbabwe's state-owned mobile phone operator NetOne -- a first key test for the new government's massive privatisation plan -- is generating huge interest, the company's CEO told AFP.

"Since September 15, when the power sharing agreement was signed, there has been an increase in inquiries from the UK, Canada, Italy, looking for opportunities," NetOne chief executive Reward Kangai said in an interview.

NetOne is the second biggest operator in the country and competes with two privately owned companies for the Zimbabwe market, which has only 1.4 million mobile phone users but is seen as having strong potential for growth.

The sale is part of a broader effort to bring in much-needed funds for an economy riven by hyperinflation, political strife and disease. State assets in the oil sector, air transport and railways are also planned for privatisation.

The unity government, which only took office this February following disputed elections in March 2008, says it needs more than 8.5 billion dollars (6.4 billion euros) over three years to haul the country out of economic ruin.

Telecom sale tests Zimbabwe's privatisation plans

Monday, April 27, 2009

Merger: unsurprisingly given financial conditions M&A activity declined in 2008

[MocoNews] Global deal-making in the telecom sector fell sharply in the final quarter of 2008, with the total M&A count coming in at 129, compared to 192 a year earlier. Only four deals worth more than $1 billion occurred compared to 10 a year earlier, and public stock offerings fell from 14 in the final quarter of 2007 to just two in the final quarter of 2008—both carriers in the Middle East & Africa region, according to a report from Ovum.

“Private placements also fell, from 25 deals in 4Q07 to just six announced in 4Q08: five small ones, and a large one in Asia Pacific: Telenor’s $1.2B for a 60 percent stake in India’s Unitech Wireless. Venture financing was flat year-over-year in 4Q08 (deal count and value), with most funds targeting US-based vendor start-ups,” reports Cellular News.

Matt Walker, Ovum principal analyst and author of the report, said that the uncertainty in the global economy was an incentive to wait until expectations and valuations stabilize, and that M&A activity is likely to pick up again in late 2009, with deals concentrated in emerging markets after a couple of large ones in the US in 2008 (Verizon-Alltel and CenturyTel-Embarq).

Global Telecom M&A Fell In Fourth Quarter 08

Satellite telephony: an attempt to revive satellite to reach unserviced areas

[WSJ] Harbinger Capital Partners founder Philip Falcone is pressing forward with a multibillion-dollar plan to build an international satellite-cellphone business, even as he tries to battle back from steep losses in his hedge funds.

It is an unusually bold project given the conservative mood on Wall Street, where investors are shying away from big, risky bets. But Mr. Falcone is a strong believer in the technology, which would add satellite capabilities into cellphones, providing coverage in dead spots and eventually allowing business travelers to use their devices globally.

Mr. Falcone has been pushing the idea since before his once-booming funds ran into trouble. In recent months, he has been trying to raise as much as $1.6 billion in strategic financing for the project, people familiar with the situation say, but it has been challenging to attract capital for an idea that would have been tough to pull off even in good times.

Google Inc. and News Corp. are among the companies that have been approached, but so far they haven't committed funding, the people familiar with the matter say. Mr. Falcone is in discussions now with a range of other potential strategic investors, including wireless carriers, the people say. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.

He is also prepared to put up as much as $1 billion through Harbinger, possibly through a new private-equity-style fund he is in the process of raising, the people say. Korean conglomerate SK Holdings Co. is a major investor in that fund, which has a five-year lock-up for investors, one of the people said. SK Holdings may also take a role as strategic partner in the venture. SK Holdings didn't respond to a request for comment.

Satellite Phone Plan Aims High

Facebook: faced with Twitter, it has opened the API to allow streaming to other applications and sites

[Newsfactor] Facebook may be strong, but smaller Twitter has it worried. So Facebook has launched the Open Stream API, tools to read users' newsfeeds and publish them to other locations. Facebook plans to release its own desktop reader. Facebook's Justin Bishop said published feeds will retain the same privacy settings as on Facebook.

The social-networking site Facebook has a lot going for it: A staggering 200 million users, an enormous media profile, and a steadily increasing advertising base. But the company is clearly worried about the new social-networking sites on the block -- most notably Twitter, which lags far behind in subscribers but has been basking in a sudden wave of celebrity buzz, thanks to high-profile tweeters like Oprah Winfrey and Ashton Kutcher.

It's not terribly surprising, then, that Facebook announced Monday the launch of the Open Stream API, a set of tools to allow third-party developers to create applications that read the content of a user's Facebook newsfeed and publish to it. The company hopes to spark a wave of software innovation that will keep the service fresh and dynamic.

One Fountain, Many Streams

According to Facebook engineer Justin Bishop, the goal of the new API is to give users the ability to see their Facebook stream -- including updates, photos, comments, etc. -- in a wide variety of new locations.

"Now, you'll be able to view your stream and publish information into it from places you never could before -- like your desktop computer or your mobile phone," Bishop said. "We believe that the ability to see more and more of what is happening around you will lead to greater openness and transparency."

Facebook Opens User Newsfeeds To Other Locations

Nortel Networks: With protection ending on 1st May, it is now seeking an extention of protection until 30th July

[Light Reading] Nortel Networks Ltd. is seeking to extend its period of protection from creditors to the end of July, according to a document filed by the vendor's bankruptcy "Monitor," Ernst & Young, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 24.

Nortel announced in January it was initiating bankruptcy protection proceedings so that it could restructure its operations; since then it has reported deteriorating trading conditions and sold a small part of its business.

According to the latest filing, which provides an update of Nortel's attempts to achieve solvency, Nortel is seeking an extension to its protection until July 30. Its current period of protection expires on May 1.

Ernst & Young notes that "the restructuring of Nortel will require significant additional time to formulate an agreed upon restructuring strategy... [the extension] is necessary for the restructuring strategy and plan to be fully developed."

Nortel Seeks Protection Extension

Europe: DG Competition opened market abuse cases against Polish and Slovak incumbent operators

[WSJ] The European Commission Monday opened antitrust cases against the Polish and Slovak telecommunications incumbents, suspecting the two operators of market abuse.

The commission antitrust authorities raided Telekomunikacja Polska SA's (TPS.WA) offices in September 2008, searching for evidence. The commission, said it is investigating company practices which "inhibit third parties from successfully providing broadband services on the downstream market on the basis of either bitstream or unbundled local loops."

The commission also is examining whether the Polish operator bought wholesale broadband access services in order to hinder competitors.

In the Slovak case, the commission raided Slovak Telecom AS's offices in January. It suspects the operator has refused to give access to infrastructure and might have used a margin squeeze to make it difficult for alternative operators to compete.

The commission will also examine a possible margin squeeze and other potentially abusive behavior related to wholesale and retail broadband access services in Slovakia.

EU Opens Antitrust Cases Against Polish, Slovak Telecom Cos

USA: Verizon profits are up, based on growth of nearly 30% in mobile

[Newsfactor] Verizon Communications has reported a 5.3 percent increase in its first-quarter profits, along with a nine percent gain in sales adjusted for the Alltel acquisition. Verizon also reported adding 1.3 million wireless customers, outpacing AT&T's 1.2 million. Verizon was reported in talks with Apple, Inc. about ending AT&T's exclusive rights to the iPhone.

In another positive earnings report for the wireless industry, Verizon Communications on Monday said its first-quarter profit rose 5.3 percent. Verizon's wireless sales were up 29.6 percent, including gains from the Alltel acquisition. Adjusted for the acquisition, Verizon's sales rose nine percent.

The leading U.S. mobile-phone carrier added a healthy 1.3 million wireless customers in the quarter, not counting the subscribers it added when it acquired Alltel. Verizon's subscriber wins in the first quarter outpaced AT&T's 1.2 million, which surprised analysts given AT&T's Apple iPhone advantage. Verizon ended the quarter with 86.6 million wireless subscribers.

In a possible further challenge to AT&T, USA Today reported Verizon and Apple were reported in talks about Apple's iPhone. AT&T is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone, but only through next year.

An Apple-Verizon deal would give Apple access to a larger market and might help stem Verizon subscriber losses to AT&T. However, the iPhone has been a significant revenue source for AT&T, and it likely would fight hard to retain exclusive rights to the iPhone.

"Our business groups executed with excellence in the first quarter," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "Our operational and financial discipline produced continued revenue and earnings growth, as well as an expansion of our already strong operating cash flows. A highlight of the quarter was our successful completion of the Alltel acquisition. We quickly began integration efforts, and we are aggressively pursuing synergies."

Verizon Profit Rises as Subscriber Gain Outpaces AT&T

Internet: substantial demand for content in developing countries is not being matched by revenues to pay for the service

[NY Times] Facebook is booming in Turkey and Indonesia. YouTube’s audience has nearly doubled in India and Brazil.

That may seem like good news. But it is also a major reason these and other Web companies with big global audiences and renowned brands struggle to turn even a tiny profit.

Call it the International Paradox.

Web companies that rely on advertising are enjoying some of their most vibrant growth in developing countries. But those are also the same places where it can be the most expensive to operate, since Web companies often need more servers to make content available to parts of the world with limited bandwidth. And in those countries, online display advertising is least likely to translate into results.

This intractable contradiction has become a serious drag on the bottom lines of photo-sharing sites, social networks and video distributors like YouTube. It is also threatening the fervent idealism of Internet entrepreneurs, who hoped to unite the world in a single online village but are increasingly finding that the economics of that vision just do not work.

Last year, Veoh, a video-sharing site operated from San Diego, decided to block its service from users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, citing the dim prospects of making money and the high cost of delivering video there.

“I believe in free, open communications,” Dmitry Shapiro, the company’s chief executive, said. “But these people are so hungry for this content. They sit and they watch and watch and watch. The problem is they are eating up bandwidth, and it’s very difficult to derive revenue from it.”

In Developing Countries, Web Grows Without Profit

Nigeria: World Bank has committed US% 50 Millions to support the outsourcing industry

[This Day] The World Bank said it had agreed to set aside the sum of $50 million in furtherance of an initiative aimed at promoting Information Communication Technology (ICT) enabled services and the business process outsourcing industry in Nigeria.

Key areas of intervention, according to the bank, include infrastructure, connectivity, capacity building and skills development.

A statement issued by a leading partners in the project, the Senior Economist with the Africa Finance and Private Sector Development, Mr. Ismail Radwan, said key areas of intervention include infrastructure, connectivity, capacity building and skills development.

He said the World Bank is committing about $50m to fund sensitisation campaign and capacity-building workshops for the development and growth of the Nigerian ICT and the outsourcing sector.

"World Bank is planning to allocate approximately $50m towards setting the stage and formalising its plans for the development and growth of the Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and outsourcing sector, " he said.

As part of its contribution towards socio-economic revitalisation of Nigeria, the apex bank said it is confident that a wider application of ICT as well as the popularisation of business process outsourcing could lead to a significant transformation of the society.

The statement said that in order to concretise the plan, a meeting of a select group of industry leaders is to be held under the theme: Developing the ICT/ITES and Outsourcing industry in Nigeria - the role of Public and Private Sector.

Issues to be discussed at the breakfast meeting scheduled for Abuja include the need for the public and private sector to forge a partnership with multilateral agencies such as the World Bank to create the right environment that will help the country to actualise some of the key aspects of its national development.

Outsourcing Industry - World Bank Votes U.S. $50 Million

Italy: Telecom Italia Mobile has lost 1.5 million customers in 2008 as Vodafone and Wind catch up

[Global Insight] Telecom Italia's mobile market share has dropped below 40% for the first time during 2008, as the former incumbent saw its subscriber numbers drop by 1.53 million to 34.77 million, a drop of 4% from 36.3 million at the end of 2007. Telecom Italia remains the market leader, but closest rival Vodafone Italia has increased its subscriber base to 29.96 million during 2008, up from 29.64 million at the end of 2007, and raising its market share to 33.8%. Third-placed operator WIND enjoyed the best growth of any operator, with a 1.445-million increase in subscribers to 18.08 million, representing a 20.4% market share—the first time the company has held over one-fifth of Italy's mobile customers. Hutchison's 3 Italia's subscriber base stayed virtually flat, ending 2008 at 8.88 million, but the company has maintained solid profitability, and now holds a 6.5% share of the mobile market. The Italian market lost a total of 135,000 customers over the year, closing with a total base of 88.58 million at the end of 2008, compared to 88.72 million at the end of the previous year, while penetration dropped from 152.6% to 152.4%.

Telecom Italia Loses 1.5 mil Mobile Subscribers as Vodafone and Wind Catch Up

Android: Samsung joins HTC in offering a smartphone with the Google Android operating system

[CIO] Samsung Electronics became the first major mobile phone maker to launch a smartphone based on Google's Android software.

The South Korean company on Monday unveiled the I7500, which sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal memory. It's 11.9 millimeters thick.

The I7500 will be available in major European countries starting from June, the company said.

The mobile phone joins two Android handsets already on the market from High Tech Computer (HTC) of Taiwan, the T-Mobile G1 and the HTC Magic. Android handsets from other makers have also been announced.

The smartphone can connect to mobile phone broadband services through HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) as well as Wi-Fi, Samsung said.

Samsung Unveils Its First Google Phone

Deutsche Telekom: issued a profit warning only a few weeks after a positive forecast

[FT] Last week, DT became the first big European telecoms operator to issue a profit warning this year, just eight weeks after saying it could repeat its 2008 earnings performance in 2009.

As well as denting Mr Obermann’s credibility, the warning scared investors. Some feared DT’s profit warning indicated telecoms operators were no longer a safe haven in the global recession.

In the telecoms industry, it is the mobile phone makers and network equipment manufacturers that have felt the pain in the downturn, partly because consumers are buying fewer handsets. By contrast, most of the large fixed-line phone and mobile operators have fared relatively well.

Several analysts said they thought that DT’s profit warning highlighted company-specific problems, notably at its T-Mobile unit, and did not point to the prospect of further earnings disappointments by other telecoms operators.

D Telekom retreats from earnings claim

UK: Govt has ruled out a single national database, but launched a consultation on traffic data retention

[Home Office] We want your opinion on how communications information should be collected and stored in order to prevent crime, and catch and prosecute criminals.

We’ve launched a consultation that suggests new ways for phone companies and internet service providers to collect and store data. The information they collect helps us catch criminals, find missing people and protect children from paedophiles.

The consultation, called ‘Protecting the public in a changing communications environment’ aims to find the right balance between privacy and security by suggesting ways to maintain our ability to collect and store communications data. It explicitly rules out setting up a single storage place for all communications data.

Instead, it suggests that we legislate to allow communications service providers (CSPs) to collect and keep information, including communications data from third parties, which might be needed by police and other public authorities. It also suggests that CSPs organise this data, so that police, security services and other law enforcement agencies can access the information they need more quickly and easily.

What do you think about communications data collection and storage?

Georgia: Russian operator Megafon has purchased two operators in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

[Telegeography] MegaFon has completed the purchases of Aquafon and Ostelecom, two mobile network operators in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, respectively, both breakaway regions from Georgia. According to, the Russian cellco paid RUB935 million (USD28.5 million) for a 100% stake in Debton Investment Ltd, which owns 51% stakes in both Aquafon and Ostelecom. Aquafon has offered GSM services in Abkhazia since 2003, and in 2007 it reportedly launched a 3G network. In December 2008 CommsUpdate reported that Tbilisi City Court turned down a secondary appeal by MegaFon seeking the dismissal of a USD360,000 fine imposed by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) for operating without a licence in South Ossetia. In October the Administrative Panel of the same court rejected MegaFon’s appeal against the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) for unlicensed use of radio frequency spectrum within Georgia's sovereign territory. The GNCC won a claim that before the recent war between Russia and Georgia, operations controlled by MegaFon covered only part of the former Autonomous Republic of South Ossetia, but that in August the operator unlawfully expanded its coverage area and exceeded the conflict zone to include the regions of Gori and Kareli.

MegaFon completes purchases of South Ossetia, Abkhazia operators

Palestine: Aid from the USA for SMEs has been used to guarantee loans for Wataniya Palestine

[Reuters Blog] In the latest in our investigative series on transparency and fiscal governance in the Palestinian Territories, we examine a US programme that was supposed to support small and medium-sized businesses in the region but actually used US taxpayer money to give loan guarantees to a mobile phone company which already had wealthy backers.

U.S. aid in the form of loan guarantees meant for Palestinian farmers and other small to mid-sized businesses has been given to a mobile phone firm backed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Gulf investors.

The shift in U.S. taxpayer support to Wataniya Palestine, a joint venture between a Kuwaiti and Qatari telecoms group and a holding company for public assets, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), has dismayed sponsors of small private enterprise

Phone a friend
see also US aid goes to Abbas-backed Palestinian phone venture

Europe: Reding called govts to ensure the security of networks from constant threat of technical breakdowns and cyber attacks

[EC] In a video posted on her website this morning, Viviane Reding, the European Union's Commissioner for Information Society and Media, called on Member States to act to ensure that Europe's electronic communication networks are well protected. While being the backbone of most other crucial services, such as energy and water distribution, air and road traffic control or banking, European critical information infrastructures are themselves under constant threat of technical breakdowns and cyber attacks.

EU Commissioner Reding calls for preventive action to make the EU resilient against cyber attacks

Thailand: TT&T, a provincial operator and ISP, facing financial difficulties is dismissing 10% of its workforce

[Bangkok Post] T&T Plc, the provincial telephone and internet provider, is laying off 10% of its total employees and relocating 700 staff to its broadband arm Triple T Broadband.

The moves were necessary to deal with the worsening economic situation, employees were told, according to a staff member who asked not to be named.

A dozen laid-off employees, meanwhile, claim that some of the 400 staff who were laid off had been targeted because they disagreed with the company's debt rehabilitation process.

One employee who was told of the relocation said that he had been forced to join Triple T Broadband for fear of becoming jobless.

Creditors of TT&T, meanwhile, see the staff relocations as a strategic defensive move, saying it would help reduce future risks of losing control of operations if the company fails to be approved as the planner of its own debt rehabilitation.

"Relocating key manpower in the position of area directors to Triple T Broadband is simply transferring valuable know-how to a high-growth, income-earning company," said a creditor who asked not to be named.

Executives of TT&T and its parent, Jasmine International Plc, were not available for comment.

The Central Bankruptcy Court earlier this month rejected TT&T as the proposed planner, and ordered the company to hold a creditors' meeting again to vote for a rehabilitation planner.

The order came after the Legal Execution Department approved TT&T as the planner to prepare the 19.87-billion-baht debt rehabilitation plan. The department's decision was supported by TOT Plc, the state telecom enterprise that holds TT&T's concession.

One creditor said the staff relocation would not be good for TT&T as it was in a transition period. Creditors would also be at disadvantage because they lacked background in telecoms and specialists to operate the business if they ended up overseeing the rehabilitation.

TT&T holds only a 9% stake in Triple T Broadband, with the other 91% held by Jasmine International Plc.

Triple T, with 10 million baht in registered capital, previously was wholly owned by TT&T. But TT&T failed to inject money into the company when it needed to raise its capital to 110 million baht, resulting in Jasmine becoming the major shareholder.

The source said TT&T was on the verge of radically overhauling the broadband business structure in an effort to allow Jasmine International to fully control the unit.

TT&T's net loss widened last year to 2.93 billion baht, from 2.03 billion in 2007. It expects to more losses this year, because of its high interest burden and depreciation costs. But Triple T Broadband posted a net profit of 500 million baht in the first quarter of this year.

TT&T laying off and shifting staff

India: following a failure of ministers to agree, the incoming government will decide on 3G spectrum auction process

[Business Standard] The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has identified auctioning of 3G spectrum, stuck due to differences in the government, and finalisation of an agreement with the defence ministry for vacation of spectrum as issues which will need immediate action by the next government.

The 3G auction process has already been delayed thrice from its initial schedule (which was to end in February) due to inter-ministry disagreement on issues like the reserve price and the quantum to be auctioned. The matter was referred to the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA), which put the decision in the hand of a Group of Ministers (GoM) in January.

A few days later, the clamps on decision making in the election code of conduct came into force. The GoM has not met on the issue.

3G auction left to next govt

New Zealand: Telecom NZ has brought forward the launch of its 3G network to 13 May with national coverage

[NZ Herald] Telecom's new 3G mobile network will be open for business earlier than expected, with the company saying services on the XT Network would be available to customers from 6.30pm on May 13.

Previously Telecom had flagged a June date for kick-off of the new network, which will carry the company's hopes into the next stage of its mobile competition with Vodafone.

Reynolds said the XT network would provide the best genuine coverage across New Zealand, offering superior network performance with faster mobile internet.

Telecom reveals May 13 launch for new 3G network

Apple iPhone: an analysis of what lies behind its success and how it is beating the recession, capturing "mindshare" and making money

[Internet News] How is it possible for Apple to sell 3.8 million iPhones over the past three months -- generating $1.5 billion in revenue -- during a recession?

The impressive numbers can be attributed to Apple's streamlined product family, marketing prowess and the sheer sexiness of the iPhone, all of which may be nibbling away at the netbook market, according to analysts.

"Let's face it, the iPhone is iconic, it's cool, it's sexy, it's now, but last week it was all about the 1 billionth app. They're marketing geniuses, they dominate mindshare for their space in the market," Ramon Llamas, analyst at IDC, told

Another factor boosting Apple's continued growth is the company's streamlined family of tech devices, said Llamas. "If you have a Mac, and you want to get a new phone, the question to consumers is 'where do I keep my data now?' If you get an iPhone, you can sync up everything easily, you can move data back and forth," he said.

Netbooks continue to sell well compared to laptops and desktops, but when faced with a limited budget and the choice between a new smartphone or a netbook, consumers are more likely to opt for the mobile phone due to its portability, said Llamas.

"The mindset is you use the phone as a communications and entertainment device. The other extreme is the laptop that more or less stays on the kitchen table. In between is the netbook, but there's not a clear consensus on whether netbooks would replace laptops or replace phones, because the beauty of the phone is it fits in your pocket and you take it everywhere," he said.

Greg Sterling, a senior mobile analyst with Local Mobile Search, agrees. "I don't think it's necessarily a substitute for a netbook, maybe for some, but it's more that people view the mobile phone as the most important piece of technology they can own. It's a crude generalization, but it's true, there's lots of research that backs that up, and that's why people will give up their landline or even Internet access before they give up their mobile phone," Sterling said.

Pricing, namely AT&T subsidizing the iPhone, also bolstered sales well into the recession, he said. "When the price goes down from $500 to $200 and you get the 3G improvements too, that's a huge driver, a crucial factor," said Sterling.

But he adds that you have to create something truly eye-catching that's also easy to use to continue sales growth beyond the early adopters.

"As more of the population sees what the iPhone can do, give you Internet on the go, it becomes a transformative device, in the same way the iPod finally brought all the existing pieces of the MP3 universe together in an elegant and very chic fashion, that's what the iPhone is doing. Smartphones have been around for years, but it took Apple to make one that, when a person sees someone else with it on a train say to themselves 'I want one.'"

Still, there are signs that the Apple iPhone may have peaked, though with new versions rumored to be out this summer, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Llamas points out that iPhone sales numbers are dropping down, with 6.9 million sold in 3Q of 2008, 4.4 million in the fourth quarter of last year and now 3.79 million for the first quarter of this year. "These numbers are great, nothing to shrug at, but it's important to keep Apple's numbers in context. RIM by the end of the quarter ending February 28 moved more than seven million units, but no one is talking about that because Apple has mindshare."

Indeed, in the fourth quarter, RIM shipped roughly 7.8 million devices and for the fiscal year shipped about 26 million handhelds. In addition, RIM added 3.9 million net new BlackBerry subscriber accounts, pushing its full subscriber base to more than 25 million worldwide.

Still, Sterling believes Apple will continue to dominate the headlines with success stories. "It is quite remarkable how well they've done during the recession. Apple is exceptional, they create enormous hype that's impossible to live up to, and yet, they do. It's like standing at the other end of a basketball court and saying, 'I'm going to throw the ball through the hoop' and then doing just that."

What's Behind the iPhone Success Story? How the recession-proof iPhone captures mindshare and money

Wired: a review of the explosive growth of Twitter and the associated software and services all done in telegraphese

[Wired] You had to see this coming, what with @Oprah (Winfrey) discovering it and Ashton “@aplusk” Kutcher challenging CNN to a duel over who’d reach a million followers first, but Twitter had explosive growth in March. It more than doubled U.S. visitors alone to 9.3 million (19 million worldwide, Techcrunch says), making Twitter the fastest-growing site last month, according to Comscore.

Numbers that impressive mean the site is more than just the net’s latest craze — it means the service has become an inescapable cultural phenomenon, for better or worse.

But what’s even more compelling about those March statistics? They don’t include all sorts of interaction with the micro-blogging site, like the number of people who use Twitter on mobile phones or via third-party applications that send and receive Tweets.

Put another way, even if there was no, there could be a Twitter. After getting an account there is no really reason to go back to the site unless you want to change something in your profile. Even Twitter search is at a different domain — — a situation the company is working quickly to rectify, the better to make pages relevant to users and thus advertiser-friendly.

Still, according to,, which launched in March 2006, is ranked 65th in net traffic overall.

Of course Twitter’s real impact is almost impossible to gauge other than anecdotally as it quickly permeates the mainstream, and people come up with inventive ways to use it as something more than a status update soapbox, suggestion box and complaint center.

Numbers Can’t Begin To Describe Twitter’s Impact

UAE: Etisalat claims that the cost of upgrading its network for CPS is unjustified when it plans to convert to fibre in the near future

[The National] Etisalat is reluctant to implement the change, which would allow customers to switch their phone lines from Etisalat to du, its main rival.

Etisalat has said the cost of upgrading its network to allow competition in the landline telephone market is “unjustified”, and represents an unfair burden on the company’s finances.

Last month, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) fined the company Dh200,000 for failing to complete the upgrade of its network to allow carrier pre-selection, a service that lets customers switch their phone line from Etisalat to du, its main rival.

“The upgrades requested by the TRA represent an additional cost for the company at a time when all organisations are working carefully to restrict operational spending to avoid the indirect effects of the global economic crisis on revenues,” the company said in a statement.

The company said some of the older equipment in its network – due to be replaced as part of the transition to the national fibre-optic network currently being deployed – cannot be upgraded to enable the new system, and would need to be replaced entirely.

“This replacement requires a large and unjustified budget, especially with the availability of other alternatives such as the special free dialling code and device,” Etisalat said.

Etisalat customers can currently choose to redirect their calls through the du network by dialling a special code before making each call, or by using a special attachment that connects to the phone line and re-routes calls.

Etisalat fined over failure to upgrade network

The Cloud: A white paper with guidance on security of cloud computing applications

[Cloud Security Alliance] The information security industry is taking on the task of providing guidance to enable secure Cloud Computing with today's formal launch of the Cloud Security Alliance. The Cloud Security Alliance's inaugural whitepaper, "Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing", is now available on the Cloud Security Alliance website, and a presentation of the findings will be made at the RSA conference today at 2:45pm at Orange Room 312 in the Moscone Center.

The Cloud Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The founding thought leaders behind the formation of the Cloud Security Alliance are leading security practitioners from a range of private and public organizations and leading security companies PGP Corporation, Qualys, Inc. and Zscaler, Inc.

"Aggressive adoption of cloud computing is clearly underway. The convergence of inexpensive computing, pervasive mobility and virtualization technologies has created a platform for more agile and cost effective business applications and IT infrastructure," said Jerry Archer, Chief Information Security Officer at Intuit, Inc. and part of the CISO leadership at the Cloud Security Alliance, "The cloud is forcing thoughtful adaptation of certain security controls, while creating an even greater demand for best practices in security program governance."

The whitepaper being presented at RSA, "Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing", outlines key issues and provides advice for both Cloud Computing customers and providers within 15 strategic domains. According to Alliance co-founders Nils Puhlmann and Jim Reavis, the several months of collaboration was worth the effort, "We would like to thank the many contributors to this initial effort. The great diversity of services offered via cloud computing requires careful analysis to understand the risks and mitigation appropriate in each case. At the same time, we see enormous potential for the cloud model to eventually simplify many difficult security problems. This initial deliverable is just the beginning of our efforts, and we would like to extend an open invitation to industry experts to help us create additional best practices for practitioners and the industry."

Cloud Security Alliance identifies key practices for secure adoption of Cloud Computing