The May Review

The May Review 

May was an eventful month in the ever-shifting world of telecoms, and this is the very first of our monthly articles which will digest the essential news which you may have missed or may want to know more about.

Early on in May, BT launched a ‘stay fast’ speed guarantee with 24/7 monitoring. Adding a more bespoke service level to the consumer, the initiative offers, upon signing a new contract or extending an existing one, a personalised speed to the customer dependent on their needs and requirements. Once this has been agreed, the company advises that it will monitor these speeds 24 hours a day and seven days a week to be proactive in maintaining them. Adding further incentive for proactive monitoring, BT advise that if the broadband speed does drop and they cannot return it to the promised amount, they will offer the client £20. Moreover, this is a service level offer that can be redeemed up to four times in the same calendar year. This is a forward leap in customer service, and the compensation offer will no doubt reassure consumers that BT are committed to the service they are pledging.

An ever-present concern in the digital world is data security, and trust has never been more scrutinised in this industry. We touched upon this in our article ‘The value of trust in the telecoms industry’, which you can read here. Once again there was another high profile data breach; not for the first time it was the messaging giant WhatsApp who had to confirm that an advanced ‘cyber actor’ was responsible for exploiting a vulnerability within its app that allowed spyware to be installed onto the devices of users. With a reported 1.5 billion active users, this had the potential to be one of the largest data breaches in modern history. The ‘attackers’ were able to infect users’ devices simply by making calls to the individuals, and these calls did not even have to be answered. Providing they connected to the end device, the malicious code was successfully ‘shipped’. Although patched incredibly quickly upon discovery, this does not aid the onward efforts to quell the paranoia surrounding digital security and safety.

Mid-month, the furore and media frenzy surrounding Huawei showed no signs of abatement, with many parties beginning to take more robust measures in order to secure the use of their essential technologies and infrastructures. Huawei advised that they were willing to sign ‘no spy agreements’ for their corporate clients in order to gain their trust and investment. Whilst perceivably a positive step, it still presents a counter intuitive bargaining position from the Chinese tech giants. No doubt the thorny issue was also to be discussed during the state visit of President Trump to the United Kingdom.

And finally, on a slightly lighter note, a BBC News live broadcast, which was using the 5G mobile network entirely to stream an outside broadcast, had to be brought to a premature end when there was a signal outage. Whilst it could have been an embarrassing moment for the 5G rollout, it was more of a signal of the early days of the rollout and the logical issues present when there are limited compatible masts. Earlier on in the same day successful broadcasts had been made using the same technology with no issue.

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