Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Hutchison's 3UK and Google push 3.5 GHz on both sides of the pond
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 20:35

Analysis Some are talking about 3.5 GHz as a 5G band, but Hutchison’s deal to acquire UK Broadband to bolster its 3UK arm is all about the good old fight for LTE spectrum.

This deal shows that it is not just the US’s opening of its 3.5 GHz band, via its CBRS scheme, that has thrust this spectrum into the limelight. In many parts of the world, airwaves between 3.4 GHz and 3.9 GHz are more simply available than in the US, and are finally being appreciated for their potential to add capacity to wireless networks without waiting for 5G’s

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:58

Real-world mobile network performance monitor RootMetrics reckons the reliability of the UK’s mobile networks improved eight per cent in the last six months of 2016.

RootMetrics tests network performance on roads and some 1,000 indoor locations, and the data is based on over 800,000 data samples.

Vodafone was the most improved, sharing top spot with EE in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However Voda came out badly in the data performance ranking.

Given its scale and spectrum advantages, it isn’t surprising EE continued to lead on all five specific tests: network reliability, network speed, data, call and text performance, just as

Remote unauthenticated OS re-install is a feature, not a bug, says Cisco
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:03

Cisco's taken umbrage at accusations that its Smart Install (SMI) protocol is vulnerable to abuse.

The problem – if there is one, because “it's a feature, not a bug” – is that if netadmins are using SMI to auto-configure switches installed in branch offices they need to know it doesn't enforce authentication.

If an attacker changes the startup-config file, they can do all manner of fun things: force a reload, change the IOS image, or execute privileged commands.

As Switchzilla says in its advisory : “Cisco does not consider this a vulnerability in Cisco IOS, IOS XE, or the Smart

Riverbed bakes SD-WAN into WAN optimisation
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:04

Riverbed is hoping to push more large-scale Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) deployments with a data centre version of its SteelConnect, plus integration of the system into its SteelHead appliances under the new moniker "SteelHead SD".

The SteelConnect SDI-5030 provides an SD-WAN-capable data centre gateway gets integration with the company's Interceptor appliance. This provides combined orchestration of SD-WAN and WAN optimisation to deliver applications “across thousands of remote locations”.

The point here is that as an organisation's big offices shift their applications into a handy cloud, branch offices needs WAN optimisation to reach the application. And if that can be done without

Roses are reddish, exam-takers more so: Cisco's test price hike's a smack to the torso
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 22:12

Spare a thought for those taking the Cisco CCNA assessments, who are facing a 32 per cent hike in fees this month without warning.

One reader got in touch with El Reg to report they had noticed the increase as they were re-booking a failed exam at the weekend. That cost £100+VAT in January but is now £132+VAT when re-booked.

He said: "I'm a lowly IT engineer that is working through their CCNA and have come to realise that Cisco has stealth-bumped their exams at the start of February."

He added: "Seeing as I'm self-funding this it's a bit of

Cisco's Visual Networking Index: Rather optimistic traffic numbers, aren't they?
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 21:24

Updated One of the toughest jobs in this industry is analyzing out the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index. First you have to get your head around all those numbers which are impossible to visualise, like exabytes. And then you start to see questions in the logic, and wonder if perhaps Cisco has gone too far off in one direction or another.

The release this month has a great start , reminding us that by 2021, more people will be using mobile phones (5.5 billion) than have bank accounts (5.4 billion), or running water (5.3 billion), or landlines (2.9 billion).


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