News w/c 3rd December 2018

How 5G technologies can be implemented more efficiently

Tech Radar

Newspaper reports have claimed that ISP BT are in early discussions with Apple over what could represent a significant shift in their Pay TV strategy within the United Kingdom, which might result in their EE mobile brand bundling Apple’s set-top-boxes with their home broadband and phone packages. Sources are alleged to have informed the Telegraph

UKAuthority

For all its good intentions, the government’s flagship digital services framework remains hamstrung by the wrong strategy and technical challenges, believes Romy Hughes of Brightman

The UK public sector spends over £200bn a year procuring goods and services from third parties. But, despite its efforts, a disproportionate amount of this is still spent with the same large outsourcers. 
 
The G-Cloud framework – and the numerous other frameworks that have followed it – have all sought to break down any unfair advantages that the ‘old guard’ of suppliers may have, and to make government contracts more accessible to SMEs. But, with business still being awarded to the same names again and again, questions are being asked about the future of these framework agreements.
 
First and foremost, it is difficult to question the government’s commitment to the digitisation of public services and the role it feels SMEs can play in this journey. 
 
The government has remained publicly committed to spending 33% of its own procurement directly with SMEs by 2022. It has also created the Government Digital Service (GDS), the Cabinet Office ‘centre of excellence which aims to drive the digital transformation of government across all departments. Again, another very positive step.
 
However, the best will in the world doesn’t always translate into the results you want. In the case of the G-Cloud, results are definitely falling short of the mark. In G-Cloud 9, for example, while SMEs accounted for 80% of registered suppliers on the framework, only 56% of total sales by value were awarded to SMEs. This meant 44% of business was still picked up by a handful of the usual suspects.
What is going wrong?

AWS spinoff is inevitable

Business Insider

Amazon will spin off its cloud business in the near future, unlocking tens of millions — perhaps even hundreds of millions — of dollars in value, marketing guru Scott Galloway said Monday at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference.

The move will also help the company placate regulators who are starting to scrutinize its anticompetitive practices, said Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

After the e-commerce giant spins it off, Amazon Web Services (AWS) “will be one of 10 most valuable companies in the world,” he said.

“The question then becomes, what happens to the old [retail-side of] Amazon,” Galloway added.

Cityfibre Win Contract to Build Gigabit Fibre Network in Suffolk UK

ISP Review

Innopsis member, Cityfibre has secured the £11.9m contract to build a new Gigabit (1Gbps+) capable “full fibre” broadband / Ethernet network in Suffolk (England), which will initially focus on connecting public sector sites across 10 towns before being expanded to reach local businesses and possibly homes. ISP and Innopsis member, MLL Telecom is also involved.

Back in October 2018 the Government announced that Suffolk would become the first local area to be awarded £5.9 millionof public funding from the third wave of their Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) challenge fund, which they said would be used to “[enable] next-generation full fibre connections to key public buildings”.

What does Brexit mean for the NHS?

Health Tech Digita

In regards to Brexit, the NHS will be impacted hugely, regardless of whether there is a deal in place or if Britain withdraws in a no-deal Brexit, but what does Brexit really mean for the NHS?

 

In regards to Brexit, the NHS will be impacted hugely, regardless of whether there is a deal in place or if Britain withdraws in a no-deal Brexit, but what does Brexit really mean for the NHS?

  1. Will EHIC Still Apply?
  2. Will The NHS Be Understaffed?
  3. Will There Be Enough Medicine?
  4. Will The NHS Really Receive £350 Million After Brexit?
  5. Does EU Migration Impact NHS Demand?
  6. Will Medical Research Suffer?

Public Technology

BEIS select committee urges the government to act ‘at the earliest opportunity’ to get back on track

The government’s efforts to drive a third of its procurement spending to SMEs have “moved in the wrong direction” in the last few years, MPs have found.

In a newly published report, members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said that “the government deserves some credit for the various steps it has taken to make it easier for SMEs to bid for public-sector contracts”. 

But headway made towards the goal of spending one pound in three with smaller firms has slipped of late, MPs said. The government is now “in danger of missing” its long-held ambition of achieving the 33% target by 2022 – despite this date having already been shifted back by two years.

“Progress in recent years has moved in the wrong direction in terms of central government contracts,” the report said. “In addition, it is not clear what progress is being made in terms of the percentage of local authority procurement spend assigned to SMEs.”

 

Hancock says his endorsement of GP at Hand helped competitors

HSJ

Matt Hancock has told NHS IT suppliers his endorsement of GP at Hand has helped its competitors, even as he faces fresh criticism for supporting the digital GP practice.

He has also hinted at further changes to NHS and GP funding rules to accommodate digital providers like GP at Hand, suggesting it needed to be linked to a patient’s home address rather than their GP practice.

The health and social care secretary made the comments during a roundtable event on 21 November, convened by HSJ to discuss digital technology and the impact on general practice.

Thousands of North East homes – and public places – could get superfast broadband

Chronicle Live

Ultrafast broadband could be rolled out to thousands of homes and businesses across the North East if a £24m upgrade gets the go-ahead.

One of the first actions of the newly-created North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) looks set to be putting a bid together for a massive upgrade of the area’s digital infrastructure.

The new body – which covers Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland – wants the Government to commit £12m to install ultrafast fibre optic cabling in up to 900 public buildings across the region by 2024, which could then be extended to nearby residents.

5G IS WEEKS AWAY — AND TODAY MARKS ITS FIRST REAL TEST

The Verge

THE TIMELINE: DON’T EXPECT PHONES YET

Even if AT&T launches a 5G mobile network by the end of the year — AT&T said “in the next few weeks” over five weeks ago, and it’s sticking by “end of the year” as of today — you won’t just be able to run out and buy a 5G phone.

The only confirmed device so far for AT&T’s network is the chunky Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, and AT&T tells us that the so-called “puck” will be its only 5G device available at launch.

News for w/c 26th November 2018

Healthcare primed to become fastest-growing sector for data readiness

Building Better Healthcare

With healthcare data demand set to outpace streaming services by 2025, a new white paper from IDC, has been launched, revealing that the healthcare industry will grow 13% faster than the other industries, while growth in hypercritical data is expected to grow over 47% on average, more than doubling every other year

  • Research reveals healthcare could be improved immensely by blockchain and AI investment, yet only 60% of healthcare executives have a blockchain implementation plan
  • Over 40% of healthcare respondents surveyed have difficulty hiring employees with the necessary data skill set, and this dynamic is not improving quickly
  • Healthcare is being driven by the shift to value-based care, rise of consumerism, and promise of personalised medicine

Cisco Forecasts Exploding SD-WAN Traffic

Virtualisation & Cloud Review

Cisco has released its big annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) report, which forecasts a huge rise in IP traffic, much of it driven by the exploding software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) market.

SD-WAN growth provides perhaps the most visible sign of the disruptive, game-changing software-defined networking (SDN) movement making inroads into the enterprise.

Globally exporting the NHS

National Health Executive

The NHS must export its services and expertise to protect its lead as the global healthcare market explodes, argues Professor Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, outgoing chair of NHS England.

We’re at a turning point in history as global healthcare cost and demand rise – due not only to the increase in ageing populations with complex conditions, but also to a huge expansion of the middle classes in countries such as India and China.

For instance, using a fitting medium for 2018, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that his country is witnessing “an expansion of the neo-middle class” following  the announcement of its highest GDP growth figures in two years. 

Tom Loosemore reminds us just how much digital government is flailing in the UK

Diginomica

One of the co-founders of the Government Digital Service, and now partner in Public Digital, Tom Loosemore gave evidence to the Science and Technology Committee on their inquiry into digital government – and it made for interesting viewing.

Today, Tom Loosemore, accompanied by Dafydd Vaughan, both co-founders of the Government Digital Service (GDS), answered questions by MPs on the achievements and failings of the government in adopting internet-era ways of working. During this session, Loosemore reminded us just how little leadership and direction we are currently receiving by those in charge at GDS and from the centre of government.

O2 UK Lays Groundwork for 5G with London Trial of Massive MIMO

ISPreview

Mobile operator O2 UK has today announced that they’ve begun a new pilot with Nokia in parts of London (i.e. Kings Cross and Marble Arch), which will test Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology as a way of helping to improve Mobile Broadband speeds in preparation for future 5G services.

In simple terms Massive MIMO technology uses multiple antennae to send and receive data more efficiently to lots of users. The enhancement forms part of what we expect to see from future deployments of 5G mobile technology, although it can also be made to work with existing 4G networks and this seems to be how O2 are piloting it. In that sense we wouldn’t call it a “5G trial“, as some others have done, but it’s definitely a stepping stone.

Work set to get underway on Jersey 5G network in 2019

ITV

Work is set to get underway on installing Jersey’s 5G network next year.

There are plans for it to be up and running by 2021, while widespread coverage is not expected in the UK until 2022 or later.

One of the main benefits delivered by 5G is a much quicker download speed than a top end 4G network, allowing the downloads of 3D video and Ultra HD.

Yorkshire LEPs approve merger plans to secure ‘bigger share of the prize’

Public Sector Executive

Two local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in Yorkshire have both approved merger proposals to create a combined Yorkshire LEP responsible for billions of business and infrastructure investment.

The new organisation will be responsible for investment to boost economic growth and social inclusion, covering a region of 4,000 square miles comprising towns, cities, and rural and coastal areas, which represents 8% of England.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

BT promises an end to WIFI blackspots with launch of new home broadband package

Total Telecom

BT’s Complete WIFI service comes with the industry’s first WIFI strength guarantee – promising compensation for any customers who do not receive a strong signal in every single room of their house

BT has launched a new home broadband service that it says will bring an end to domestic WIFI blackspots. BT will guarantee its customers a strong, reliable WIFI signal in every room of their house, using WIFI discs to power its Complete WIFI service.

Capita seeks new networking chief: Up for it?

The Register

Capita is looking for a new networks chief.

The company has confirmed that Béatrice Butsana-Sita, formerly managing director at its Networking Solutions division, is no longer with the company. Butsana-Sita joined Capita in 2016from BT.

The network team runs vital communications infrastructure for customers including the police and first responders, local authorities, and private sector clients including retailer John Lewis.

The firm remains the biggest supplier of IT outsourcing services to UK businesses and the public sector, though the direction of travel has given top brass food for thought.

Capita sources told The Register that a brutal programme of cuts had left staff struggling to maintain SLAs.

News for w/c 19th November 2018

Google’s cloud business under Greene was plagued by internal clashes, missed acquisitions, insiders say

CNBC

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai handed Diane Greene the keys to the company’s fledgling cloud business three years ago, it was supposed to mark the internet company’s arrival into enterprise computing.

For years, Google had struggled to get out of its own way in business software, hamstrung by a developer-centric culture that prioritised automation and fast, easy-to-use products over communication with business buyers and users. The huge profit margins in the online advertising business made it hard to justify loading up on expensive salespeople and marketing campaigns

Dell EMC and Inet join forces on cloud offering

The Nation

DELL EMC Thailand has joined with Internet Thailand (Inet) to provide Inet Dell Could as a service to help Thai businesses, along with other companies across the Indochina sub-region, embark on digital transformation.

The company said Inet Dell Could will offer not only infrastructure as a service but platform as a service as well as Big Data analytics as a service. This will encourage businesses to transform to the digital realm with greater insights into data for decision-making. Both companies invested on their own to build the capability to offer the service and they both also do the marketing

5G Mobile Trial in Japan Delivers Broadband Speeds of 27Gbps

IspReview

A joint outdoor field trial by Mitsubishi and NTT DOCOMO in Japan appears to have achieved a “world’s first” by pushing the future 5G mobile network technology to deliver maximum throughput speeds of 27Gbps and 25Gbps (communication distances of 10m and 100m respectively) via one mobile terminal in the 28GHz band.

Secure Chorus publishes new white paper on Emergency Services Communications

Security News Desk

ecure Chorus has announced the publication of its latest white paper entitled ‘Emergency Services Communications: Secure Chorus Compliant Products interoperability with Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk Products.’

Public safety organisations and other relevant stakeholders, says the paper, more than ever have a pressing requirement for reliable, secure and interoperable multimedia communication technologies to support their operational effectiveness and service delivery in disaster response scenarios such as natural and man-made crises

Holograms to Match of the Day: Huawei shindig shows 5G is still playing all things to all people

The Register

But whatever, you can expect phones next year

After years of interminable waffle, 5G is almost upon us, and Huawei wants to tell us what works – and what must wait. At this stage, the wrinkles are as valuable as the milestones, because 5G is a vast smorgasbord of different technologies and aspirations.

Not everything has been nailed down yet by the 3GPP Release 15 committee, but enough detail was established in June for the industry to charge on regardless*.

At Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), Huawei deputy chairman and rotating CEO Ken Hu** said that 154 carriers in 66 countries are testing 5G, and Huawei itself has shipped 10,000 5G basestations.

But Huawei doesn’t expect 5G smartphones to reach decent volumes until 2021. That’s necessary for the mass market to take off.

TalkTalk to move headquarters and take on BT’s Openreach with new fibre company

DCL Search

Talktalk Telecom Group PLC said it would relocate its headquarters from London to Salford next year and accelerate its fibre broadband rollout as it reported a 0.6% dip in first-half revenue.

Hundreds of roles will be relocated to Salford, where its business and technology teams are already based, while the firm will start hiring for new posts at the site next year.

Construction Starts on Cityfibre’s 1Gbps Home Broadband in Stirling

ISPreview

Fibre optic network builder Cityfibre has announced that their £10m investment to build a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband ISP network in the city of Stirling (Scotland), which will be sold on to consumers via UK ISP Vodafone, has now begun.

At present Cityfibre already has a 24km long Dark Fibre network in Stirling, which is used to serve public sector sites and businesses. But in April 2018 both Cityfibre and Vodafone jointly announced that they’d be using this as a stepping stone to build a much wider residential focused Gigabit broadband network.

 

Telia and Nokia launch live 5G network in Finland

Total Telecom

The test site is located in the Oritkari-Nuottasaari area of the city

Telia and Nokia have joined forces to launch Finland’s first live 5G network in the town of Oulu. The network will allow industrial companies and logistics operators to develop new new digital operating models, ready for the commercial launch of 5G next year. 

BT’s new converged smart network will have 5G at its heart

Total Telecom

BT is set to launch commercial 5G services in 16 towns and cities across the UK in 2019

BT will put 5G at the heart of its fully converged smart network, when it launches the next generation technology next year, according to the company’s chief technology officer, Howard Watson. 

News for w/c 12th November 2018

Google went down after traffic was routed through China and Russia

Engadget

Google’s services went down for an hour yesterday after its IP addresses were routed way from normal paths to Nigeria, China and Russia. Google told Ars Technica. 

Government-owned China Telecom was recently caught routing Western carrier traffic through mainland China. Some of Google’s most sensitive data, including its corporate WAN infrastructure and VPN, were reportedly redirected.

Does the modern telecoms CTIO know how to deliver a 5G digital revolution?

Vanilla Plus

Despite a growing number of communications service providers (CSPs) converging CIO and CTO functions and teams, there is no single technology strategy in place to help guide this process.

This is a key takeaway from a new report from TM Forum, the industry association that claims to be driving digital transformation through collaboration. The report was launched at Digital Transformation Asia in Kuala Lumpur today.

EE announces 16 UK cities will get 5G in 2019

Total telecom

BT’s mobile network subsidiary, EE, will be the first MNO to rollout 5G services in the UK

 

New appliances from Cisco aim to make branch SD-WAN easier

The Register

Optimised Office 365 performance also on cards

Cisco has claimed to be “bringing intent-based networking into every domain”, the latest being branch offices which need software-defined WAN capabilities and security.

The quote came from product management senior veep Sachin Gupta, who told El Reg the cloud has destroyed traditional notions of the “network edge”, and while SD-WAN makes it easier to shift packets in the multi-cloud world, securing such environments involves too much heavy lifting.

IT Pro Portal

What do enterprises really know about overall cloud performance?

Public cloud providers are everywhere, literally. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the big three cloud providers – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud (GCP) are in a great race for cloud dominance.

Analyst research firms predict that the global public cloud market will continue to rise briskly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent and will be predominantly influenced by the top three players. So much so that at the beginning of 2018, Forrester predicted the Big 3 would capture at least 76 per cent of the cloud platform revenue in 2018 and rise to 80 per cent by 2020. That’s big.

Yet what do enterprises really know about overall cloud performance?

Wireless UK ISP Airband Begins Rural FTTP Broadband Rollout UPDATE

ISPreview

Hybrid wireless and fibre optic ISP Airband has announced that they’ve started to expand their “bespoke” Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network into “current deployments,” which we assume includes those that have previously only had a service via their slower fixed wireless network.

The provider, which already claims to cover 20,000 premises and recently secured a £16m investment from the Amber Infrastructure-managed National Digital Infrastructure Fund (here), now aims to expand its network to an additional 50,000 business and residential premises in England and Wales by 2021

Digital Health

The new secretary of state for health and social care has placed interoperability at the heart of his vision for the NHS. So is the long-standing nut of information sharing between systems about to be cracked? Jennifer Trueland investigates.

With his initial technology strategy, secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock has made it perfectly plain what he wants to see in the realms of NHS IT – and interoperability is right at the heart.

Outdated and obstructive digital systems will become a thing of the past, he has frequently stated. A set of standards will be the order of the day, to ensure systems can speak to one another. Indeed, he has said such standards will be mandatory.

Public Technology

The UK will be shut out of many European networks and databases over the next few years – and will have to pay the EU for access in the meantime, under terms of Brexit deal

After departing the European Union, the UK will eventually be shut out of 28 different EU IT systems, networks, and databases, with an access deadline of 2021 set in most cases. During the withdrawal period, the UK must also pay the EU for the cost of maintaining this access, under the terms of the government’s Brexit deal.

Plans to Microchip UK workers spark privacy concerns

The Independent

‘Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers,’ a TUC spokesperson said

The prospect of UK firms implanting their staff with microchips in order to improve security and efficiency has raised concerns among trade unions.

Several legal and financial firms in the UK are reportedly in discussions with a company responsible for fitting thousands of people with chips in Scandinavia.

The chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are usually implanted beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger and use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow people to replace physical key cards, IDs and even train tickets.

News from w/c 29th October 2018

BT increases profit on declining revenues by getting rid of 2,000 people

Telecoms.com

Operator group BT saw its revenues decline in the six months to the end of September but still managed a 30% increase in net profit.

Profit is revenue minus overheads and reducing the latter is a time-honoured way for companies to keep themselves in the black. Among BT’s five strategic highlights for the fiscal half-year, which included finding a new CEO and demonstrating its 5G capability, was the ‘removal’ of around 2,000 roles over that time. The other two were a small NPS gain and some vague Openreach achievement.

UK Government Allocates £200M for Full Fibre Broadband in Hard-to-Reach Areas

Computer Business Review

The UK government has allocated £200 million to deploy full fibre broadband to hard-to-reach areas across the country in what it called an “outside-in” approach to connectivity.

The Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme will allow trial models for local hubs in rural areas such as primary schools that would otherwise never have had access to high-quality broadband.

The rural funding, which comes from the National Productivity Investment Fund, will also provide a voucher scheme for in order to fund full-fibre connectivity to nearby homes and businesses.

SD-WAN drivers, strategies are broad and deep, survey finds

Fierce Telecom

SD-WAN is still a relatively young technology, so it is not surprising that a survey conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of tech integrator Teneo found that multinational enterprises have significantly different goals and deployment strategies.

Public Technology

A House of Commons inquiry into the work of GDS to data and the state of digital government has begun publishing its findings.PublicTechnology looks at what a range of experts have had to say.

For those of us who, in our younger years, often had to explain ourselves in the wake of an underwhelming school report or parents evening, the word ‘disruptive’ will likely have few positive connotations.

 

Hyperoptic full-fibre network hits public housing milestone

Computer Weekly

More than 150,000 publicly owned homes have now been connected to Hyperoptic’s ultrafast fibre broadband network

Full-fibre broadband network builder and service provider Hyperoptic has now passed 160,000 social and community housing properties around the UK with its ultrafast fibre optic network.

In addition to its roll-out to commercial developments, over the past 18 months Hyperoptic has established itself as a leading provider of broadband services to public housing projects in the UK.

Public Technology

Rob Thompson, formerly head of engineering at the Department for Work and Pensions, has joined the Home Office as chief technology officer.

Thompson announced the move in a blog post, where he said that his new role will see him “provide the strategic direction for engineering, technology and architecture across the Home Office”.

Memo to Mark Sedwill: Here’s how to reboot government IT

The Register

This time, use people who know what they’re doing

The new Cabinet secretary and head of the British civil service, Mark Sedwill, has a chance to rethink how the UK government does IT.

And this means deciding what to do with GDS, the Government Digital Service. Although the kids-in-jeans-in-Whitehall era is now a distant memory, GDS remains, in name at least, the go-to expert in Whitehall.

Professor Vishanth Weerakkody, an expert in government IT at Brunel and now Bradford University, said we might as well start from scratch on new principles. He recently submitted devastating testimony to a Science Select Committee on digital government.

Government Prep Another £250m+ for UK Full Fibre Broadband

ISP Review

The UK Government’s Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is reported to be planning another investment boost of at least £250 million to help further extend the availability of Gigabit capable “full fibre” broadband (FTTP / FTTH) links across more of the country. An announcement is expected on Monday as part of the Autumn Budget.

According to the Telegraph, the extra investment will be targeted toward delivering fibre optic lines to connect more schools, libraries and other publicly-owned buildings. The idea seems to be that by establishing these local “hubs” then other ISPs will later be able to harness them in order to extend ultrafast broadband outward, such as into nearby homes and businesses.

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It’s made for the home! The office! On fruits!

The Register

Yeah, everyone’s getting fed up with next-gen wireless hype

Once in a generation, a technology comes along that changes everything: how we work, communicate, trade, live.

And based on a year of seemingly endless coverage, you could be forgiven for believing that “5G”, the next advance in wireless technology, is it.

It will make the internet-of-things a reality; it will fix internet access for rural areas; it will create entire new markets; it will change literally everything that we do on a day-to-day basis.

Except it won’t.

News for w/c 22nd October 2018

Let’s speed up the transformation of NHS services

National Health Executive

The NHS is arguably the UK’s greatest asset, but it’s facing major challenges.

Patients are constantly demanding more of the service. People are living longer, and a 65-year-old costs over twice as much as the average 30-year-old. And by 2044, a larger chunk of the population will be over 65 – 16.5 million people, three million more than today.

CityFibre to invest 2.5 billion pounds in full-fibre for UK homes

Reuters

Innopsis member, CityFibre, a British broadband operator backed by Goldman Sachs, said it would spend 2.5 billion pounds ($3.25 billion) on rolling out fibre networks in 37 towns and cities, offering ultra-fast connections to as many as 5 million homes.

The company, which was bought by Goldman Sachs West Street Infrastructure Partners and private equity firm Antin for $750 million earlier this year, is taking on national provider BT, which has faced criticism for the extent of its own full-fibre ambitions.

CityFibre said its networks, which offer gigabit speeds, would help deliver one third of the government’s 2025 target of 15 million homes.

Essex trust awards £5.7m HSCN connectivity contract to Capita

Digital Health

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has signed a £5.7 million contract with Capita to deliver wide-area connectivity across 400 NHS sites.

The five-year contract will see professional services firm Capita move EPUT from the legacy N3 Network to the new, multi-vendor Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), with implementation to start before Christmas.

What does 5G mean for converged operators?

Vaillaplus

In the third of a series of articles in advance of this year’s Broadband World Forum, Niall Hunt, the digital content lead for the event, explores how preparations for 5G are progressing and assesses the impact of 5G on converged operators.

Although it may feel like 5G has been around for years, the official approval of standalone specifications by international telecoms standards organisation 3GPP earlier this year means it’s really only just getting started

UK steps back from Verify ID system

Government Computing

The UK has announced the end of public funding for its digital identity programme, Verify.

Last week, the government signed five 18-month contracts with its certified private sector identity partners, tapering off the amount of public money they receive. Oliver Dowden, parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office, told MPs that this will be the last investment that the government will provide directly to support the programme.

Mike Thomas, managing director at Innopsis – a trade association for private sector firms supplying services to the public sector – questioned whether the private sector would have enough incentives to continue with the initiative once public cash dries up

Alibaba launches first UK data centres

DSL Search & Selection

Two London sites are now operational as Alibaba aims for global cloud dominance.

The Chinese giant has opened two sites in London, saying it based its decision on ‘rapidly growing customer demand’.  “The United Kingdom is one of the fastest-growing European markets for Alibaba Cloud,” the company’s spokesperson said.

Samsung and NEC join forces on 5G

IT Pro

The companies have said they will combine expertise to stave off market competition

Samsung and NEC have joined forces to provide 5G services to the masses. The two firms have actually tied up on a number of initiatives, but 5G is the one both companies want to talk about right now, it would seem.

“5G will unlock the potentials, create new values and push the limits of today’s technology,” said Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to announce our joint efforts with NEC to boost 5G end-to-end solution portfolio for the best user experience.”

Both companies have made it clear they want to make sure any work they do in the 5G space focuses on standardisation of the technology to prevent any fragmentation in the 5G industry. By making sure that any joint solutions are in-line with the rest on the industry, it will enable business transformation to flourish.

Vodafone claims UK 5G first

Computer weekly

Mobile network operator Vodafone claims the activation of a trial site in Manchester marks the first time mobile data traffic has been streamed to and from the internet exclusively over 5G technology

Vodafone has switched on its first full 5G mobile network trial site in the UK at Salford in Greater Manchester, claiming this marks the first time 5G traffic has been carried over a live, customer-facing commercial network in the UK

Up to now, the operator claimed, tests have taken place either within a single location, or used elements of the existing 4G network infrastructure to complete the service.

Why Decentralisation Matters

Medium

The first two eras of the internet

During the first era of the internet — from the 1980s through the early 2000s — internet services were built on open protocols that were controlled by the internet community. This meant that people or organizations could grow their internet presence knowing the rules of the game wouldn’t change later on. Huge web properties were started during this era including Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In the process, the importance of centralised platforms like AOL greatly diminished.

News for w/c 15th October 2018

Public Technology

Department aims to save £30m a year as it moves to public cloud hosting

The Ministry of Justice has laid out plans to move its infrastructure to public cloud hosting, in an attempt to better manage systems, increase resilience and save millions of pounds a year.

Steve Marshall, head of hosting for the department, outlined the new approach in a blog post which details how his team plans to refine the ministry’s infrastructure.

New Survey Claims 59% of UK Telecoms Workers Suffer Stress

DCL Search

A new survey of 10,053 UK employees (inc. 322 telecoms workers) from 25 sectors by Salary Finance has found that 52% of telecoms workers reported experiencing financial worries, while 59% suffer stress, 47% claimed they were more prone to panic attacks, 46% felt depressed and 52% of engineers were tackling sleeplessness.

Lack of Broadband Access Can Hinder Rural Telehealth Programs

HIT Infrastructure

As healthcare organisations implement more telehealth programs to support remote patient care, rural broadband connectivity should be considered for applications.

Telehealth programs allow patients to connect with their care providers from local clinics or the comfort of their homes. While this is useful to many patients who can’t easily meet with a provider or are interested in saving on travel time, the reliable broadband connections needed to successfully use telehealth services isn’t available to all patients.

Ericsson sales boosted by early 5G adoption

TechRadar

Ericsson is already feeling the benefits of 5G rollout, with strong sales of network equipment contributing to a nine percent increase in revenue to 53.8 billion Swedish Krone.

That figure was boosted by earlier-then-expected deployments of 5G networks – especially in North America – but there were strong performances in Europe and Latin America too.

“We continue to invest in our competitive 5G-ready portfolio to enable our customers to efficiently migrate to 5G,” declared Börje Ekholm, Ericsson CEO. “Operators around the world plan for launching 5G services, led by North America.”

Is this the first 5G phone?

5G

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi looks set to launch what could be the world’s first 5G phone next week – well ahead of the roll-out of 5G networks.

Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 is scheduled to launch on October 25. Not all the details of the phone have been made available yet but reports say the manufacturer has confirmed the phone will come with 5G support and 10GB of RAM.

Early teasers of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 phone suggest it will have a sliding mechanism for the front-facing camera, where it’s only visible when you slide it out from the top of the phone. The Mi Mix 3 is also rumoured to have a  facial recognition feature as well as a full bezel-less screen and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

We also don’t know how much the phone will cost yet, but early 5G phones are likely to be expensive.

What Constitutes a Commercial 5G Network, Anyway?

Light Reading

This week has got me wondering about what actually constitutes a commercial 5G network right now, in the earliest days of next-generation deployments.

A couple of announcements and comments have bought this into the light for me. Notably, Nokia Corp, – with Verizon Communications Inc.claiming “the first call on a commercial 5G NR network.” That is a 5G network using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (5G NR) specification.

Top Five Security Trends to watch

CenturyLink

As cyber crime evolves and develops new ways of targeting businesses across the globe, these are the current trends that we believe organisations need to be aware of today to help keep themselves secure.

UK public sector stuck in business process dark ages, report finds

IT Pro Portal

Enterprise-level business process management systems can improve efficiency significantly, and other sectors such as financial services and insurance organisations have been big adopters of BPM technology.

Failure to adopt business process management (BPM) technology is causing bottlenecks in UK public sector organisations’ workflow according to new research. Just 30 per cent of public sector bodies have implemented any kind of automation technology, with just 7 per cent using menu-driven automation. Those who fail to automate standard, rules-based tasks risk missing out on productivity gains and the associated cost and efficiency benefits that will benefit the wider public.

Public-private commissioning: a question of trust

LocalGov

 

The recent report by the New Local Government Network found a dwindling appetite for outsourcing at a time when many are rethinking the relationship between the public and private sectors

Only 15% of local government leaders are planning to outsource more in the next two years, it found, while 39% said they would outsource less. Clearly the outsourcing boom, as LocalGov recently commented, has run out of steam.

A string of episodes highlights some of the problems: there was the collapse of Carillion, the giant construction company many local authorities and other public sector bodies had put their faith in. There was a massive fraud involving an outsourced operation at Barnet, while crisis-hit Northamptonshire County Council admitted making ‘mistakes’ with PFI deals.

Good data governance is good business

Computer Weekly

Organisations are failing to understand the importance of getting their data relationship with customers right and seeing the business opportunities that it enables, an industry analyst warns

Trust is the real currency of the digital economy, according to Katryna Dow, founder and CEO of life management firm Meeco.

“In the wake of massive data breaches at companies like Facebook and Equifax and in the light of regulations such as the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] or open banking, we are at a crossroads around three points of tension,” she told Computer Weekly.

News w/c 8th October 2018

BT and EE Seeking UK Broadband Pay TV Deal with Apple

IspReview

Newspaper reports have claimed that ISP BT are in early discussions with Apple over what could represent a significant shift in their Pay TV strategy within the United Kingdom, which might result in their EE mobile brand bundling Apple’s set-top-boxes with their home broadband and phone packages. Sources are alleged to have informed the Telegraph

The case for an innovation committee in local government

UKAuthority

Geoff Connell places a lot of emphasis on the importance of getting elected members involved in a local authority’s digital initiatives. He believes the approach taken by Norfolk County Council, where he is head of information management and technology, shows that a lot can be achieved with a formal structure that makes a key group of councillors aware of the challenges and potential benefits of a targeted investment.

EE UK Switches On First Live Trial of 5G Mobile Tech in Canary Wharf

IspReview

As expected mobile operator EE (BT) has today announced that they’ve switch-on their first live UK trial of 5G based technology in Montgomery Square (Canary Wharf, London), which will test the new spectrum and related hardware devices for performance, wireless broadband speeds and coverage

Home Office appears set for new ESN move with launch of Air to Ground communications pre-tender

Government Computing

The Home Office appears to be creating some movement around the Emergency Services Network (ESN) with the publication of a pre-tender for air to ground (A2G) and aircraft radio systems.

Fibre island: How Jersey went ultra-fast

BBC

Full-fibre broadband for everyone – right to the door.

That was the new standard set by the UK government back in the summer. Just 5% of homes can get that right now, so making it available nationwide will take years of work and billions of pounds of investment.

But in Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, things look very different. It has just completed the rollout of its full-fibre network to 40,000 homes and business premises.

Now, it is making an extraordinary claim: that it is the first jurisdiction in the world to make fibre-to-the-home available to 100% of broadband users.

5G news: 2025 will be the ‘tipping point’ for 5G

Computing

5G is the latest networking technology for connected devices, promising speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, and 10 times faster than home broadband.

It’s not all about speed, though: a more ubiquitous and responsive (between 1ms and 10ms, compared to 4G’s 40-60ms) network are also planned, enabling connected devices like autonomous vehicles, drones and even artificial limbs.

Public Technology

Value of eSourcing framework shoots up from £4m to £10m as buying agency expects platform to process an increased amount of spending

A high level of demand from the public sector has seen the Crown Commercial Service more than double planned spending on its underlying tech platform for public sector procurement.

Why broadband and telehealth are interconnected

MediaCity News

In a phone interview, broadband analyst Craig Settles explained why the community broadband and the telehealth industry should help each other and collaborate.

Telemedicine is increasingly getting the spotlight in the healthcare space. But while its applications are being applauded, it’s easy to forget that it’s not always a possibility everywhere. In areas without good broadband, citizens can’t get good telehealth services.

Broadband analyst Craig Settles took a closer look at this topic earlier this year. And in a recent phone interview, he expanded on why telemedicine and broadband are intertwined.

The race for 5G is on – Literally!

Total Telecom

Nokia and TIM showcase 5G services at the Rally Legend in San Marino

Finnish tech giants, Nokia have teamed up with Telecom Italia (TIM) to demonstrate some of the main use cases for 5G, in the tiny European micro-state of San Marino.

The pair are making strides towards the goal of making San Marino the first 5G nation in Europe.

Creating a responsible payment culture: a call for evidence on tackling late payment

Gov.uk

The Cabinet Office has issued a new consultation on payment of invoices. Whilst this is aimed at SME’s, input is sought from businesses of all sizes. Payments are the life blood of Commerce, should should there be tighter regulation?

In recent years government has taken steps to tackle the problem of late payment, introducing measures such as the Small Business Commissioner and the Payment Practices Reporting Regulations.

As of 2017, the amount owed to smaller businesses in late payments more than halved from the previous 5 years but we understand the need to go further to tackle unfair payment practices. The level of late payment debt owed to small and medium-sized businesses remains far too high and many small firms still have no choice but to trade on terms which are too long, imposed on them by larger customers.

This call for evidence seeks views on what more the government can do to create a responsible payment culture, including:

  • the current experiences of businesses in their payment practices
  • the impact of existing measures to improve payment practices and what more can be done to further refine measures and promote good practice
  • whether new measures should be introduced to further encourage a responsible payment culture

Click here for the call for evidence document

The week in govtech: the biggest tenders and awards

Tech-Newstatesman

This is the latest instalment in an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. In partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the top five most valuable tenders and awards from the previous week, and take stock of which tech firms have won the biggest share of the public sector pie.

Top five tenders

It’s a huge week for govtech tenders, with the top two alone amounting to £750m. The first, valued at £500m, is a framework for procuring the technology required for hospitals to access patient records through the Health and Social Care Network. The second is a £250m framework for a single supplier to provide IT services across two NHS trusts in Cambridgeshire. Suppliers have until 25 October to apply.

Authority Contract Title Date Published Bid Deadline Framework Tender Value (High)
Crown Commercial Service Health and Social Care (HSCN) Access Services Contract Notice 26/09/18 22/05/20 Y £500,000,000
East Of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub The Provision of ICT Services for Cambridgeshire NHS trusts 24/09/18 25/10/18 Y £250,000,000
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited NRT Frameworks; Telecoms Design and Network Integration Support Services 26/09/18 31/10/18 Y £40,000,000
Belfast City Council Belfast Local Full Fibre Network Programme — Anchor Tenancy 28/09/18 31/10/18 N £25,000,000
Ministry of Defence Codification Information Services 24/09/18 05/07/19 N £12,000,000

Top five awards

Organised Computer Systems has won the biggest award of the week: a contract to supply the Nursing and Midwifery Council with cloud-based data centre services. It was awarded in April, last nearly two years and is worth more than £20m.

 

Contracting Authority

Supplier Contract Title Data Awarded Framework Award / Framework Value
Nursing & Midwifery Council Organised Computer Systems Limited Outsourced Cloud Based Datacentre Services 14/04/18 N £20,040,000
Merseytravel Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH Merseytravel Train Connectivity and Information System (TCIS) Project 19/09/18 N £20,030,000
NHS Business Services Authority Multiple suppliers Electronic Assistive Technology Products 08/07/18 Y £20,000,000
Home Office Worldreach Software Competition EU Settlement CC Service Operations and Support 11/09/18 N £18,000,000
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Accenture (UK) Limited Implementation partner for Atlas Programme 20/09/18 N £15,270,588

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