Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Work continues on 5G, shame no one's sure what it's for yet
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 20:33

MWC18 5G is – surprise, surprise – dominating this year's Mobile World Congress as more emphasis is heaped on how non-telco vertical sectors can use the fledgling technology.

Unlike 4G or any previous cellular generation, 5G aims to cover a wider set of use cases from the outset: not only enhanced mobile broadband, but also massive machine-type communications and ultra-reliable low latency applications. The new capabilities could broaden cellular-based networks to potential new users, particularly in vertical industries from automotive to factory automation.

To achieve that, the telecom sector is seeking input from other verticals on 5G use cases and

Take SNAT, says Microsoft, to improve Azure load balancing
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 18:29

Microsoft has rewritten the operation of its Source Network Address Translation (SNAT) protocol in a bid to improve Azure's load balancing performance.

Source Network Address Translation is a special sauce that allocates IP port numbers, making it easy for a router to fling traffic around multiple Azure servers. In the TCP/IP stack, the “port” is an addressing field in the header that identifies a host (because incoming traffic is addressed to the router, not the server) and the protocol. In load balancing, the customer allocation of ports identifies the server instances associated with a customer's traffic.

Originally, SNAT worked with

Ohhhh-klahoma! Where Verizon's sweeping legacy down the drain
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 16:02

Verizon's enthusiasm for 5G and virtualization has spawned a virtual radio access network trial in the USA.

The network know-how came from Nokia. Intel, always alive to a network architecture that can put once-specialised functions onto lots of generic servers, also took part.

Nokia called the “Cloud RAN” trial, in Oklahoma City, the first stage in Verizon's vRAN 1.0 architecture. Nokia's contribution was its Xeon-based AirScale Cloud Base Station Server.

AirScale is Nokia's virtualization play: intelligence is pushed cloud-wards, leaving behind a more compact base station that's easier to deploy (since it's smaller, and since most of the configuration is

IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 12:58

The Australian government has fingered the next threat in the country's cryptography vs. policing debate: the IPv6 protocol.

The nation's Department of Home Affairs (a super-department created last year to bring immigration, border protection, and security services under a single minister) aired its fears in a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, filed last week.

In the submission (PDF), the Department identifies two aspects of IPv6 as problematic: its huge address space, and its “native IP security system” (we presume it means IPSEC).

The submission says encryption technologies are already available, but “users require detailed knowledge

Smartphones to be inescapable, even at 40,000 feet
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 00:24

MWC18 Folk soon need not look up from their screens when boarding aircraft and wandering the aisles thanks to an alliance formed by OneWeb and Airbus to bring 5G roaming to the skies.

OneWeb, which hopes to launch the first of some 900 satellites into low Earth orbit this year aboard a Russian Soyuz-ST from the Korou Cosmodrome in French Guiyana , plan to make the announcement during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Both OneWeb's satellites and mass-market 5G are currently as substantial as the clouds in the sky. However, the data slinger promises a campaign from August that will

Mobile industry wants less regulation, mooooar radio spectrum
Monday, 26 February 2018 23:17

MWC18 5G could, er, bring an end to populism, said Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s chief executive during his keynote address at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

"We need as an industry to engage to make sure we build a better future for people.

"5G combined with IoT really gives us a great opportunity to create alliances of governments, operators, academics and startups to improve the deal society gives citizens."

Colao said that the biggest concern for the future was not machine learning, AI or fake news, but growing concern about job security and general quality of life. The answer? 5G, apparently.

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