Category: Tech News

Networking infrastructure issues peg back firms adapting to Covid-19 new normal

As remote and hybrid working becomes an accepted way for firms to operate, a survey from Virgin Media Business Wholesale has revealed the infrastructure battle companies have faced in making sure their massed ranks of displaced workers could remain productive over the months since March.

The study, How wholesale partners can help UK plc meet demand, was conducted over one week in October 2020 by Censuswide and consulted 252 senior IT managers from UK organisations with at least 500 employees. It revealed a clear perception that existing connectivity infrastructure had limited organisations rather than being the empowering force it should be.

Just over three-quarters of businesses (77%) have struggled to adapt to Covid-19 due to legacy IT networks. Moreover, it also found that businesses were reluctant to make upgrades to their networks, with less than a quarter (23%) seeing this as a top priority. The perceived cost of making improvements was cited by 36% as the main reason companies had failed to take action. 

The reasons given for poor performance were diverse. Nearly two-fifths (38%) said their networks hadn’t provided their organisations with the flexibility to support remote working needs and meet online customer demand, while 34% did not

Ericsson sets sail with enhanced maritime connectivity

Aiming to transcend the limitations of satellite-based communication at sea, Ericsson has launched Mesh Networks, which it claims makes next-generation mobile connectivity the go-to choice for enterprise connectivity across the waves.

The Swedish comms tech provider estimates that by 2030, the digitisation of industries such as manufacturing and transport could generate $3.8tn of revenue opportunities across the ICT sector, an estimate that includes the maritime and ports industry.

It says that, like other industries, the maritime industry is interested in systems for improving safety, autonomous navigation, IoT (internet of things) monitoring and automation. However, the maritime industry has been dependent on satellite-based communication, which has relatively higher latencies, higher costs and lower bit rates than terrestrial-based 4G LTE and 5G mobile networks.

This, argues Ericsson, has held back the maritime industry’s digitisation progress compared with other Industry 4.0 verticals.

The Ericsson Maritime Mesh Network works through the use of 5G and other technologies, and builds a dynamic network architecture between maritime vessels across common international shipping lanes. Its operating principle is based on assuming that across major well-trafficked shipping lanes, such as the 2,500km Oman-India route, there would be about 200 vessels present en route, and with a random

Standards alliance adds to membership as NEC opens new Open RAN lab

Open radio access network (RAN) technology has come to the fore in 2020, and the standard will end the year with NEC accelerating development of a 5G open ecosystem and AccelerComm joining the O-RAN Alliance.

In opening a new Open RAN facility in India, Japan’s NEC said it was committed to developing highly reliable, high-quality, end-to-end systems using its expertise in the telecoms industry to develop, deliver and operate carrier-grade commercial products and networks.

The new facility will aim to ramp up development of the company’s 5G open ecosystem by pre-integrating partner Open RAN components to form end-to-end, commercial-ready technology according to customer-specific needs.

The systems will undergo end-to-end practical validations on functional/operational performance and quality assurance throughout all layers of the RAN, from network and cloud to service layers. The lab will also be responsible for post-deployment troubleshooting and lifecycle management, as well as continuous integration and continuous delivery of solutions.

NEC also intends to maximise the value of its open ecosystem by combining its competencies with products from various partners that it sees as being at the forefront of innovation. Initial partners include Altiostar, GigaTera and MTI, as NEC plans to expand its ecosystem with a

After critical year, Vodafone trains security sights on CNI market

A little-known unit within Vodafone, Vodafone Business Security Enhanced (VBSE), is coming out of the classified closet and shining a bright light on new verticals, with a new portfolio of military-grade cyber security services on offer to public sector bodies, critical national infrastructure (CNI) providers, and other key organisations, spurred on by the lessons of a tumultuous period in the security industry.

Having traditionally specialised in providing top-tier cyber security services to government and the defence sector – something it has been doing in some capacity since the late 1980s – the pivot towards new verticals has been in the works for some time, Steve Knibbs, head of secure at Vodafone, told Computer Weekly. The mobile services giant is betting that its core business as a supplier of CNI itself will stand it in good stead with potential clients.

“A couple of years ago, we realised that some of the services we provide and some of the skills, techniques and the way we do things is probably applicable to a wider market. So, we spoke to the business and gotten to invest in what we call the enhanced portfolio,” he said.

“It provides effectively three portfolios of products that

Aryaka offers hybrid workplaces “risk-free on-ramp” to SASE

With its core market much changed over the course of 2020 and the secure hybrid remote working model now established as the paradigm for business networks in 2021, cloud-first WAN solutions provider Aryaka Networks has unveiled a technological solution that it claims will offer remote workers the industry’s most flexible managed virtual private network (VPN).

Built on secure access service edge (SASE) architectural principles and delivered as a fully managed service, Aryaka described the new product as tailor-made for today’s enterprise, which wants to make its distributed workforces “first-class citizens” with predictable and high-performance access to corporate applications.

It adds that for the first time, regardless of location or type of application being accessed, employees can easily and securely move between on-premise and remote office locations while experiencing the same highly predictable application performance.

Noting why such capability is so important in the context of the new hybrid workplace, the firm said the Covid-19 pandemic caused disruption to the global workforce. While many employees were able to work from home, they were challenged to get predictable access to corporate applications impacting productivity and collaboration.

As a result, the company said many CIOs engaged in post-pandemic planning exercises are looking

Three UK gears up for 2021 business expansion

Having spent 2020 laying the groundwork for a 5G network that, to date, has focused on consumer-centric services, Three UK is to pivot towards better addressing the business sector – an area that, according to Three CEO Robert Finnegan, offers a great opportunity for growth.

At a media conference summing up 2020 and outlining its strategy for 2021, Finnegan said that since he took the reins in March 2020, Three UK had embarked on a mission to provide better connectivity every day for every customer. He added that everything the company did had to revolve around those aims in terms of how it operated and how it interacted with customers.

“Better connectivity every day for every customer really depends on having a trusted and reliable network that matches best-in-class, richer experiences and that makes life better for everyone, and better propositions and experiences for customers as well,” he said.

Noting highlights for 2020, elements that would be the stakes in the ground for the forthcoming 12 months, Finnegan said the year had seen not only the acceleration of 5G, but had also seen a “massive” programme to improve the existing 4G network and all 4G traffic now on the company’s