In today’s roundup of industry news: Even more jobs are being cut at Cisco; The future of Huawei’s 5G in Portugal looks disastrous; India’s Vodafone Idea refutes US-linked M&A speculation; and more!
Cisco Systems further cuts its workforce by announcing it will cut 350 jobs in Silicon Valley in October, according to MarketWatch. The networking giant reportedly laid off 227 employees at its San Jose headquarters and another 123 in the neighboring California city of Milpitas, effective October 16. The intentions were filed with the California Employment Development Department last week. In November 2022, Cisco announced plans to cut around 5% of its workforce, affecting more than 4,000 jobs in total. Another 700 jobs were also lost in March, according to MarketWatch.
Portugal is about to guarantee the equipment in Huawei is not used in the construction of 5G networks in the country. The Portuguese telecommunications regulator, AnacomEast would have work with telecommunications operators to pass a resolution that would ban Huawei equipment from the country’s 5G networks. The high-level resolution was taken by the CSSC, the Portuguese Cybersecurity Council, and is to be implemented by Anacom despite legal action taken by the Chinese supplier. The president of Anacom, João Cadete de Matos, reportedly declared that the authority would execute decisions that guarantee security not only in the national but also the European framework. According to the report, the main telecommunications companies in Portugal – Altice, SAI And Vodafone – have already stated that they will not use Huawei kit in their 5G core networks. In May, Portugal’s Security Assessment Commission published a report recommending that companies based in countries outside the European Union, which are not members of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) or of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), not to be allowed to supply network equipment to Portuguese mobile operators because these companies pose a high risk to national security – see What’s up with… AI issues, Ethiopia, 5G in Portugal.
Things are going from bad to worse Vodafone Idea in India. Last month, the operator, which attempted (unsuccessfully) to rebrand itself as “Vi,” posted another quarterly loss – this time the $942.8 million deficit was attributed to “lower than expected growth in the number of 4G subscribers”. Vodafone Idea is running out of ideas – and excuses. The company is the result of the merger in summer 2018 of the Indian business interests of the Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular, which was owned by the Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group (between them, the Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla still hold 50 .1% of Vodafone Idea shares). It turned out to be a marriage made in hell. The operator has posted a loss for every quarter since it began operations and is losing more and more disgruntled subscribers as they defect in droves to Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. In the first quarter of this year, Idea’s 4G subscriber base grew a paltry 0.2% to 122.9 million, even as its overall subscriber base fell to 221.4 million from 225.9 million during the quarter. Plans to deploy 5G services are at a standstill. Vodafone Idea is mired in unpaid spectrum fees and saddled with huge debts to the Indian government and is struggling to raise funds and refinance itself. Something has to give, and it will give, perhaps with the help of the Indian government. Earlier this week, the Indian financial press reported that the government, which is now (unfortunately) Vodafone Idea’s largest individual shareholder with a 33.1% stake, wanted to exit and was negotiating the sale of its shares to Amazon , to Elon Musk’s Starlink or to Verizon. . As word spread, Idea’s stock price rose 20%, with shareholders seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But it didn’t last. Idea quickly I dismissed the rumor and denied that any such acquisition negotiations had taken place and the stock price fell again. A statement from Vodafone Idea said “the company is not engaged in any such discussions with any of the named parties.” You’ll notice it doesn’t say he’s not in talks with other potential buyers. Something is happening. Exactly what, we will know sooner or later. Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea will just have to continue with its much-vaunted, but unclear, turnaround plan.
AST SpaceMobile, one of the companies racing to enable cellular services to standard smartphones from satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), claims to have successfully established the first 5G connection between an unmodified mobile handset, in l ‘occurrence a Samsung Galaxy S22, and a satellite. The company’s engineers “demonstrated spatial 5G connectivity by placing a call from Maui, Hawaii,” from a location without land mobile connectivity, “to a Vodafone engineer in Madrid, Spain, using AT&T spectrum and AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite,” he noted in the announcement. In a separate test, the company “broke its previous record for spatial broadband cellular data sessions by achieving a download rate of approximately 14 Mbps,” it boasted. This announcement comes just a day after Juniper Research predicted that 5G satellite services would be available. generate billions of dollars in revenue for mobile operators for the rest of this decade.
Xthe social media giant formerly known as Twitter, may soon be the preserve of paying customers. According to a BBC News report Following a conversation between X owner Elon Musk and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk believes the only way to repel bots on the platform is to implement a payment system. “We’re moving toward a small monthly payment for using the system,” Musk reportedly said, but provided no further details or pricing. Currently, X can be used for free by anyone, while a more advanced version, available in the US and dubbed for a monthly rate of $7.99. Musk also reportedly revealed plans to introduce lower prices.
The venerable International Telecommunications Union (ITU), founded in 1865 when Alexander Graham Bell was a tramp living in London, has released a new report showing that even as the global population of those without broadband services continues to decline, 2.6 billion People still cannot access the Internet and are therefore disenfranchised from the digital economy and community. This equates to approximately 33% of all humanity. Some 5.4 billion people (or 67%) actually have access to the Internet but, as the ITU points out, “the race towards universal and meaningful connectivity” will require “sustained efforts” if the Target date 2030 for “universal and meaningful” connectivity must be respected. ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin said: “This improvement in connectivity is another step in the right direction, and one step closer to leaving no one behind in support of the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations. We will not rest until we live in a world where meaningful connectivity is an experienced reality for everyone, everywhere. Currently, growth in internet connectivity is strongest in low-income countries, where access has increased by 17% over the past 12 months. This is a positive trend, but the reality is that despite the increasing availability of broadband in low-income areas, around 70% of people living there still cannot connect to the Internet. Interestingly, ITU figures show that the double-digit growth in internet availability, which peaked in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its most virulent, has not maintained once vaccines became available and relative normality was restored. The ITU report provides valuable data on the pace and scale of the ongoing deployment of Internet connectivity technologies in unserved and underserved areas of the world, but we will have to wait a few more months for complete and detailed global, regional, and country-level analysis for key connectivity indicators, as tracked by the UN agency, which will be part of ITU’s annual Facts and Figures report.
Mobile connectivity appears to have expanded its reach globally, with latest figures from industry association GSMA showing that the total number of people living in areas without mobile coverage has increased from 1.8 billion in 2015 to 400 million by the end of 2022. In a report focused on assessing the role of mobile in contributing to the goals of Sustainable Development (SDG), the GSMA noted that 4.5 billion people (representing 57% of the global population) had access to mobile internet at the end of last year, representing an increase of nearly 2 billion people since 2015. The GSMA also found that mobile connectivity impacted various SDGs, with the highest contribution seen in industry, innovation and infrastructure. “Countries that have made the greatest improvements in mobile connectivity have also generally made greater progress towards the UN 2030 Agenda,” the GSMA report states. Asia Pacific was highlighted as a region that saw a “significant expansion” in mobile between 2015 and 2022, as well as a “sharp increase in unique subscribers and mobile connections”. Faster speeds resulting from the rollout of 4G and 5G, falling prices and increased smartphone adoption brought “a wave of new digital services that supported the adoption of the region’s contribution to SDGs”. North America and Europe were also cited as performing well in terms of SDG impact, as users in these regions generally outnumber others and use a plethora of digital services. Despite the sector’s “promising performance” since 2015, factors such as the global cost of living crisis, conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing climate-related emergencies have negatively impacted efforts aimed at achieving the SDG goals. As a result, the report warns that the industry will only achieve “76% of its total potential impact on the 17 SDGs by 2030, based on its current trajectory,” the report notes. The mobile industry’s average impact score on achieving the SDGs is currently 53%. The GSMA called for reformed policy to support sustainable levels of investment in mobile broadband infrastructure; actions to leverage the role of the international community, UN agencies and multilateral development banks to prioritize investments in digital development; efforts to encourage the use of mobile solutions by all segments of the population and businesses; and “consistently harnessing mobile-based innovation to address societal challenges.” Learn more.
– The TelecomTV team