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Huawei has unveiled what it hails as an industry-first fully containerized 5G

Inside Telecom Staff

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Huawei News

Huawei has unveiled what it hails as an industry-first fully containerized 5G core network at the 5G Core Summit in Madrid.

The network aims to apply container technology to all network functions (NFs) to make network deployment more agile and provide more rapid service rollout, which helps carriers empower new businesses and operations across industries and digitally transform them.

The Chinese telecom manufacturer also revealed the world’s first 5G core network based on microservice-centric architecture (MCA), which supports 2G/3G/4G/5G NSA/5G SA network access.

The company has signed more than 50 5G-based commercial contracts across the world and it assists telecom carriers to achieve a head start for 5G deployment and deliver ultimate user experience. 

In mid-September, Ericsson and Qualcomm successfully completed a new 5G milestone that was conducted in the Swedish telecom firm’s lab. During this testing period, commercial Ericsson Radio System base stations were used, along with Ericsson standalone New Radio (NR) software and Ericsson’s 5G Cloud Core solution with a mobile smartphone form-factor test device that was powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System.

Last week the US pledged $1 billion for rural mobile networks to replace Chinese telecoms equipment in the country. European nations are still debating whether to follow the US’ lead, but concerns about cost are a factor. In early 2019, Huawei funded an analysis that calculated the cost of removing Chinese telecoms equipment from Europe would be as high as $62bn.

We’re a diverse group of industry professionals from all corners of the world. Our desire is to provide a high-quality telecoms publication that caters to an international market, offering the latest and most relevant telecoms information to businesses, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.

Impact

Solar Energy Saving lives in Yemen

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Solar Energy Saving lives

As a result of years of conflict within Yemen, public health services have dramatically worsened. UN reports suggest that around half of the health facilities in the country are non-functional or partly functioning. One of the main reasons for this is that long lasting power cuts have become increasingly regular since the outbreak of war. Over the last 5 years and even more so due to power outages in remote and rural areas, Yemenis are unable to access critical health care services to acceptable standards. Some healthcare professionals reported that they occasionally have to work by candlelight. Also a lack of transport caused by fuel shortages has prevented people from reaching the remaining functional clinics in order to seek better health services. 

Even before the conflict only two thirds of Yemenis had access to public electricity – one of the lowest in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Inn2017 after two years of war, this number dropped to below 10%.

One solution has presented itself to resolve the solar energy crisis in the country. This is making the most of the country’s almost constant sunlight. The World Bank Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project started to install solar systems in remote and hard-to-reach areas – specifically schools and health facilities. The World Bank’s International Development Agency is partnered with the United Nations Office for Project Services and are working with local providers to support hundreds of health facilities across Yemen.

Because of this, millions of Yemenis will now have access to dependable healthcare facilities that are powered by solar energy, particularly in rural areas. Clinics will be able to maintain the cold-chain required for immunization to help with access to essential vaccines as well as other medicine and fundamental services.

Poor and vulnerable women in remote areas are generally the least likely to receive adequate health care in Yemen, in particular for pregnancies. But the Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project also helps ensure that health care workers can reach them.

Facilities had to close as a result of the war, such as the Al-Salam Hospital in Lahi governorate. However, the facility has recently received new solar installations and is now able to take patients once again. Before this intervention, the lack of electricity meant that the hospital staff could not provide imperative health services – especially at night.

The hospital was unable to admit patients for emergency and critical cases, child delivery or obstructed labor cases. After receiving modern and efficient solar power systems the hospital now operates 24 hours per day and seven days a week. They have also just opened a special wing for child delivery and newborn care services.

Health workers in the Al-Salam hospital reported that they no longer see electricity as an issue. They are enthusiastic to see the women in their community being able to deliver their babies in much safer conditions.

The World Bank and the Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project is also installing solar energy systems in schools and other public facilities to provide reliable and affordable access to clean water, lighting, and other primary services in the communities affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This solar power project aims at increasing resilience in rural areas, where around 70% of Yemen’s population lives and where electricity remains a major part of the current development crisis.

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Feature Articles

02 – Supporting the need for a more positive experience on social media

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Positive social media experience

A study recently conducted by telecom operator O2, has shown that 14-24 year-olds are one of the heaviest phone user groups, and they are also aware of the impact that social media can have on their mental health – with 77% recognising the need for a better relationship with technology and the online world.

With the help and input of young people #OwnYourOwnFeed runs for four weeks at the start of January and will focus mainly on Instagram, incorporating a different weekly theme. There will be a #OwnYourFeed online hub, which will feature stories and advice from 12 specially selected youth ambassadors and also tips from O2 Gurus.

During the first week, young people are encouraged to ‘know’ their feed by becoming more aware of the content they see on their social media pages, and subsequently how that affects them. ‘Know your feed’ is centered around an interactive quiz that young people can take to discover what kind of social media feed they currently have and how this can be made a safer and more positive place for themselves and people they know. In the following weeks, the campaign supports and encourages young people to ‘clean’ their feed by unfollowing accounts that make them feel negatively about themselves, and also to build positive relationships with like-minded people.

Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds, said:

“Social media is an everyday part of life for most young people which can offer huge social and emotional benefits. But it can also put a lot of pressure on young people and make them feel worse about themselves, especially if they compare their own lives to the apparently perfect lives that others are leading. If you feel like your life doesn’t match up, it can have a negative impact on your mental health.

Young people tell us that they love being connected with social media and couldn’t be without it, they just want to be able to be online in a positive way. They tell us that sometimes their behaviour on social media and the content they see there can bring them down, but they’re not sure how to work out what’s going wrong, and what they can do to make their online world a better place to be.

We hope that #OwnYourFeed will help young people to make their social media experience more positive and give them the tips and advice to take control of their online worlds.”

John, 18, YoungMinds activist, says:

“I’ve noticed when my mental health hasn’t been so good, that I tend to use social media as a distraction. But I, like many others, will often see things that will make me feel isolated and low. I wasn’t even aware at first how what I saw on online could affect me and how damaging it was to my mental health.”

It can be so easy to let social media take over but it’s really important that you control it rather than the other way around. It can be a really positive tool that can not only help you but allows you to support those around you too. That’s why I’m taking part in #OwnYourFeed to make my social feeds more positive for my mental health.”

Nicola Green, Corporate Affairs Director at O2, said: “We know that young people are very switched on to the impact social media can have on their digital wellbeing and mental health – and as a responsible business we have our part to play in helping them live better with tech. That’s why we’ve teamed up with YoungMinds to launch #OwnYourFeed: sharing our tech know-how to help create a peer-to-peer, youth-led, social campaign that’s all about empowering young people to have a more positive time online.”

02 Social Media

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Hybrid cyberattacks – A new era of threat

Inside Telecom Staff

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Hybrid cyber attacks

In the ultimate dystopian novel, George Orwell’s “1984”, there is a chilling sentence towards the end of the book which reads, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” 

The same can now be said for your common cyber-criminal and groups of state hackers. The ability to differentiate between the two is becoming more and more difficult as the two are increasingly impersonating one another in an attempt to cover their tracks and escape detection.

The most recent edition of the “Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate”, from security solutions integrator Optiv Security of Denver, Colorado, states that cyber-criminals and nation-state owned or sponsored hackers are now learning from each other and improving at what they do, as they implement similar practices, spoof each other’s hacking plans and lay fake tracks to confuse investigators. 

The Optiv report states:

Sometimes threat actors may masquerade as a certain type in order to hide their true agenda. Or, threat actors may belong to two or more classes, switching between them as their priorities change”.

The report finds that many vertical industries are still susceptible to constantly evolving cyber threats.

While businesses and organisations increasingly understand that cyber-security is an imperative asset to their success, this issue is rarely at the top of the corporate agenda despite the fact that just one, brief, effective cyber-incursion could bring an entire business down.  Anthony Diaz, VP and general manager of cyber operations at Optiv says, “Cyber security can be an existential threat for organisations.”

The report discovers that retail, healthcare, government, and financial institutions are among the industries most vulnerable to verticals of cyber security attacks. The attackers also are developing in terms of sophistication as “hybrid threat actors” (those that pretend to be of a different threat classification to conceal their real identities) begin to thrive. 

Old conventional attack methods (botnets, DDoS attacks, malware and phishing remain persistent threats but ransomware and “cryptojacking” are amid the new array of weapons in the hacker’s armories.

The painful fact is that cyberspace is increasing in terms of its hostility, hackers are now more refined than ever and hybrid threat actors are improving at defying detection methods and systems. Consequently, no vertical business is exempt from attack.

The new report recommends several instances of best practice including the employment of multi-factor authentication when possible, and conducting of frequent audits of all vendors and third-party assets, disposing of the ones that aren’t used any more.

The report also recommends that organisations take a proactive stance, rather than a reactive one in their approach to cyber security. When it comes to Cyberspace, shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted is pointless. The deed is done and the money (or the IP) has long gone. It is better and more cost effective to put the defenses up before an attack takes place rather than to try to recover when the assailants have come and gone. In today’s world, it is sadly a case of when, rather than if.

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