FCC: Verizon can acquire TracFone subject to ‘demanding conditions’

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Verizon approval to acquire TracFone, but it will be subject to “demanding conditions”.

Verizon announced its intention to acquire TracFone Wireless for $6.25B back in September 2020.

TracFone is the largest reseller of wireless services in the US and has around 21 million subscribers. The proposed deal naturally caught the eye of regulators.

One of the major concerns is that Verizon could hike prices...

EU to slap large tariffs on Chinese optical fibre cables

The EU is slapping large tariffs on Chinese optical fibre cables after finding they’re being sold at artificially low prices.

On Thursday, the EU announced that it will be introducing the anti-dumping duties following a European Commission investigation. The duties are intended to remedy damage to European producers such as Prysmian, Corning, and Acome.

Major Chinese optical fibre cable manufacturers include Yangtze Optical FC, Hengtong Group, Fiberhome, and...

Cisco and DISH establish ‘multi-layered’ agreement to accelerate 5G services deployment

Cisco and DISH Wireless have established a “multi-layered” agreement to accelerate the deployment of 5G services across the US.

The partners will build what they’re calling the first “smart” 5G network in the US.

In practice, DISH will be able to provide slices of its open network to meet the specific needs of various industry verticals. Cisco will help DISH with delivering a network that will predict, self-heal, and self-optimise with closed-loop automation...

Virgin Media O2 expands National Databank to tackle data poverty over Christmas

Following a successful three-month trial, Virgin Media O2 is expanding its National Databank across the UK to tackle data poverty over Christmas.

A shocking 1.5 million homes in the UK are currently without internet access. This “digital divide” limits opportunities all year round, but it’s especially bleak around Christmas.

Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Media O2, said:

“With many millions of people still facing digital exclusion, now...

Over 90% of Virgin Media O2’s network is now gigabit-ready

Virgin Media O2’s network is now over 90 percent gigabit-ready, putting the ISP on track to upgrade its entire footprint by year-end.

The provider’s latest switch-on connected a further 1.6 million homes in towns and cities including Lincoln, Bath, Lancaster, Fife, Huddersfield, Ipswich, Slough, and Salisbury.

14.3 million premises are now able to access the gigabit network’s average download speeds of 1,130Mbps.

Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer at...

Digital Connectivity Index: The UK needs to build momentum to “level up”

The first Digital Connectivity Index shows the UK needs to build momentum to climb the rankings and reap the substantial benefits.

Economic modelling experts Oxford Analytica and Virgin Media O2 partnered up to create the index which is based on “thousands” of OECD datapoints.

Of the 24 OECD countries, the UK is currently ranked joint eighth alongside Spain, Norway, and Lithuania:

CountryIndex...

OneWeb to provide LEO satellite connectivity services across BT Group

BT has signed a Distribution Partner Agreement with OneWeb that will see the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite firm provide connectivity services across BT Group.

The agreement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies in July. As part of the previous agreement, OneWeb promised to help BT to bridge “the last digital divides” across the UK.

BT says that satellite services form a key component of its vision to enable digital solutions anywhere...

AT&T, Ericsson, and Wevr create groundbreaking 5G VR experience

AT&T, Ericsson, and Wevr have partnered up to create the first multi-user, location-based, virtual reality experience using 5G.

Today’s high-end VR experiences require physically tethering a headset to a powerful computer. This means the upfront entry cost is high while tethering limits the user’s freedom and enjoyment.

The partners demonstrated how to overcome these issues using the high speeds and low latency of 5G.

“5G offers the high peak rates...

FCC bans China Telecom from operating US services

The FCC has actioned a Trump-era recommendation to ban China Telecom from operating services in the United States.

China Telecom Americas is based in Virginia and sells mobile services which target Chinese Americans, tourists, and businesses.

In April last year, the Trump administration’s Justice Department recommended that the FCC revoked China Telecom Americas authorisations to provide international telecoms services to and from the US. The department went on to note...

Netflix pushes back against SK Broadband’s demand to pay for bandwidth usage

Netflix has pushed back against SK Broadband’s demand for the streaming giant to pay for bandwidth.

SK Broadband sued Netflix earlier this month after data traffic surged following the release of Hwang Dong-hyuk's popular drama series, Squid Game.

“We have come to a crossroads — Red Light, Green Light — where Internet gatekeepers could get to decide if the next great Korean story can be watched, and loved, by the world,” wrote Dean Garfield, VP of Global Public...