The October Review

So the dark nights and mornings have returned, and as the final months of the year approach Michael Bublé will remove himself from hibernation to once more spread Christmas cheer as we navigate through endless reality TV shows. October was a busy month in the telecoms world, so here is a brief review of some of the stories you may have missed.

The Cloud Act causes high pressure

Privacy implications have been at the forefront once again with this piece of legislation, which requires entities such as Facebook to hand over private messages sent using communications networks. Overall it has been met with fierce resistance by members of the public who are very privacy oriented. However, the act is meant to apply to those who are using private encrypted message services for unsavoury purposes. A mainstay of former UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, this required there to be a back door into the encryption to aid in the fight against terrorism.

Logically, those opposed have noted that where there is a back door, undue surveillance may be carried out, and it would only be a matter of time before hackers could exploit this. Discussions on this matter continue between the UK and US governments.

Record 5G network speed set

Huawei and Sunrise have set a new download speed record on a 5G network, reporting in at a staggering 3.67gbps using smartphones in a 5G cell in Zurich. This was the second time in one day where the record was broken, which was earlier set at 2gbps. Huawei’s innovative MU-MIMO technology significantly increases 5G capacity without any additional requirement of spectrum and power resource.

Lebanon backtracks on plans to tax voice calls

One of the stranger government policies to be unveiled in foreign fields, Lebanon had controversially planned on charging a tax on voice calls which were made over the internet, but also including services like WhatsApp and FaceTime audio. There are only two telecoms providers in Lebanon, both of whom are state owned, and as such there would have been no escape for users from the tax, suggested at 20 cents per call. There was naturally widespread outrage; following violent protests and clashes the government decided to drop this plan.

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