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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.

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

Inside Telecom Staff

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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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Telecom Sales Strategies that will Bring You Success in 2020

Ahmad Nasereddine

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Telecom Sales Strategies

With 2020 around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about telecom sales strategies that win the competition. According to experts, the worldwide telecommunications industry expects to expand to $1.5 trillion by the end of 2020. The industry is booming but fierce competition between carriers may reduce the market share of each of them. Whether you are a well-established business or a new-comer, an effective customer acquisition approach is essential . Based on the experience of telecommunication companies around the globe, we have chosen five strategies to drive in customer engagement.

1. Product Differentiation

A survey conducted in 2017, revealed that many customers don’t even know about the features of the telecom services they use everyday. Moreover, when Internet service providers name their packages like turbo or ultra, people don’t really understand what they mean. Businesses and customers speak a different language, so putting a human face on telecom services can help step-up the customer experience. After adopting this practice, Telstra, the largest Australian mobile network, saw a 17% increase in customer satisfaction.

2. Customer Experience

The best telecom sales strategies keep customer experience in mind. This approach is vital, especially when the telecom industry is known for low levels of consumer satisfaction. The most important step to take is to shed the bad reputation through improving the customer experience. There are so many things companies can do. However,  the starting point is to analyze the feedback and find the source of discontent. This is what a Hong Kong based telecom company did. They optimized their network to consequently reduce downtime and improve connectivity. Furthermore, they notified customers on removing outages whenever they occurred. In the end, the business achieved a reduction in customer complaints by 47% and 34% on 3G and 4G networks respectively.

3. Analytical Marketing

With a vast array of telecom solutions, customers feel confused and overwhelmed. There is hardly any person who needs every single service available out there. Analytical marketing is useful to understand the needs of a particular person or a group. This approach relies on customer data to learn which services suit customers based on their demographics, lifestyle, etc. As a result, businesses can break their plans into smaller segments with more personalized offers. After adopting this strategy, Turkcell managed to increase their profits by $15 million per year. Additionally, they were able to shorten their marketing cycle tenfold.

4. Content Marketing

In this day and age, content is everything. We consume tons of information on the Internet, YouTube, and social media apps. It would be foolish to ignore this channel to communicate with your prospects. Virgin Mobile, for example, seized this opportunity and teamed up with BuzzFeed to target younger auditory. The company created its own news hub that became a source of fun, entertaining, and informative content. Virgin Mobile got to achieve a friendly atmosphere and the feeling of involvement among young prospects. As a result, more than 10% of the audience started considering Virgin Mobile as their next carrier.

5. Video Marketing

A spot-on video message, similarly to an apt image, is worth a thousand words. Verizon, for example, used this strategy to showcase their products and highlight the benefits. As a result, they could improve conversion and decrease the load on their call centers. China Telecom went even further and rolled out its own streaming service. Its goal was to deliver a high-quality picture, cutting-edge technology, as well as seamless user experience. Within two years after its launch, China Telecom gained 2 million new clients. In addition to this, they got hold of around 20% of the nationwide video streaming market.

Telecom Sales Strategies Bottom Line

The key success factor in finding new customers is understanding their needs. Consequently, customer satisfaction and user experience underlie the most effective telecom sales strategies. If you struggle to boost your clientele or you see dissatisfaction, these approaches will help reverse a trend.

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