Polls

Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
 
Cellnex and CK Hutchison have just 5 days to prove mass mobile tower sell-off won't harm competition
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 21:15

HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 02:00:11 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/5e3b42887de55c95121fd13d3d97af106450bb4e/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/0cc922c7cb49cae9d575c0715e1a343954e8a091/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/0cc922c7cb49cae9d575c0715e1a343954e8a091/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 02:00:11 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 66ef654a5a60fd46-SYD Cellnex and CK Hutchison have just 5 days to prove mass mobile tower sell-off won't harm competition • The Register

Cellnex already 'largest' phone mast supplier, says UK regulator


Two bigwigs in the UK's mobile phone biz have been given just five days to provide "legally binding proposals" that the proposed sale of thousands of phone masts won't damage competition and harm consumers.

The tight deadline came as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised "concerns" about the proposed acquisition by Spain's Cellnex of thousands of mobile phone towers currently owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, UK network Three's Hong Kong parent [PDF].

The CMA's intervention follows last year's announcement that Cellnex planned to splash out €10bn on a Europe-wide buyout of wireless telecoms infrastructure currently owned by CK Hutchison Holdings.

At the time it was reported that the acquisition would see some 24,600 towers added to Cellnex's portfolio of 60,000 masts across Europe including some 6,000 mobile phone masts across Britain.

Following the completion of Phase 1 of its investigation launched in May, the CMA has found that the deal "raises competition concerns" in relation to the independent supply of "passive infrastructure assets."

The CMA pointed out that Cellnex is already the "largest independent supplier of mobile towers in the UK" following its £2bn acquisition of Arqiva's telecoms division in 2020, which added around 8,300 sites to Cellnex's portfolio.

The CMA is concerned that its purchase of assets owned by Three – along with its already considerable estate of towers and masts – would further strengthen its position in the market.

As a result, Cellnex and CK Hutchison have five working days to offer legally binding proposals to the CMA to ensure the deal will not damage competition within the industry.

No one from Cellnex or Three was available for comment at the time of writing.

In a statement, Mike Walker, chief economic adviser at the CMA, said: "It's important that services provided to mobile networks remain competitive so that the millions of businesses and consumers across the UK that use mobile phones can enjoy lower prices. Cellnex is already the largest independent supplier of mobile towers in the UK. We're concerned that this deal could help to lock in this position and prevent the emergence of new direct competition."

Cellnex and CK Hutchison have until 20 July to reply. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

Chinese makers of network software and hardware must alert Beijing within two days of learning of a security vulnerability in their products under rules coming into force in China this year.

Details of holes cannot be publicized until the bugs are fixed. Malicious exploit code cannot be released. There are restrictions on disclosing details of flaws to foreign organizations. And vendors will be under pressure to address these vulnerabilities as soon as they can and set up bounty programs to reward researchers.

The regulations are intended to tighten up the nation's cyber-security defenses, crack down on the handling and dissemination of bugs, and keep China's elite up to speed on exploitable flaws present in Chinese-made communications systems, wherever in the world that technology may be deployed.

Continue readingThe coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why There's a time and place for wireless tech, but it still can't compete

Feature IEEE 802.11ax-2021 (more commonly known as IEEE 802.11ax or, more familiarly "Wi-Fi 6") was approved on 9 February 2021, with a top speed of 1.2Gbit/sec per single stream (think "stream" as synonymous with "channel"). As seems to happen each time a new Wi-Fi technology comes out, people are yet again asking whether this is the one that will finally tip us over the edge and entice us away from cables and onto wireless.

I'm going to stick my neck out and ask a slightly different question, and explore whether we're ever going to move our worlds to dispose with wires.

First of all, let's not get bogged down with the potential of moving the server room and the data centre into a wireless world: that's simply not going to happen, ever. In the average server room or data centre that uses physical servers, each box will have at least a pair of Gigabit Ethernet connections linked redundantly into the switch infrastructure. Gigabit Ethernet is full-duplex (strictly speaking the original spec included half-duplex, but it never really went anywhere) and so as long as the devices at each end can keep up, you get pretty much a gigabit constantly (and I say "pretty much" only because you have to allow for the bits of the Ethernet frames that aren't the data payload, such as the headers).

Continue readingSweat-sipping wearable aims to charge electronics without couch potatoes lifting a finger What's wrong with plugging it in?

Brainiacs at UC San Diego say they have created a wearable design to turn your horrid sweaty hands into a charge for your electronic devices – while you barely have to lift a finger.

"We envision that this can be used in any daily activity involving touch, things that a person would normally do anyway while at work, at home, while watching TV or eating," said Joseph Wang, professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego and the study's senior author. "The goal is that this wearable will naturally work for you and you don't even have to think about it."

Previous efforts to generate energy from sweat, including earlier work at UC San Diego on a sweat-sucking shirt with embedded microgeneration, focused on the really sweaty types who exercise. This time around, it's for everyone – including couch potatoes.

Continue readingFacial-recognition technology gets a smack in the chops from civil rights campaigners US retailers accused of privacy invasion

Civil rights campaigners in the US have called on retailers to stop using facial-recognition technology amid worrying privacy concerns and fears that it could lead to people being wrongly arrested.

Fight for the Future – which is made up of more than 35 organisations including the Consumer Federation of America, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) – says people's faces should not be scanned, stored, or sold just because they stroll into a shop or work in a store.

While it claims retail giants such as Walmart and Kroger have said they would not deploy facial recognition in stores, it claims others – including Macy's, Albertsons, and Lowes – are still using the technology.

Continue readingHappy 4.20: Latest version of Tails bakes connection wizard into top-secret Linux distro Privacy-focused operating system now more flexible in how you get online

Privacy and security-focused Linux distribution Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, has announced a major new release completely overhauling how it connects users to the Tor network.

"After connecting to a local network, a Tor Connection assistant helps you connect to the Tor network," the project maintainers explained in the release notes for the latest version, Tails 4.20.

"This new assistant is most useful for users who are at high risk of physical surveillance, under heavy network censorship, or on a poor Internet connection."

Continue readingTrouts on a plane: Utah drops fish into lakes from aircraft and circa 95% survive Meanwhile, Minnesota city authorities evict dozens of monster goldfish from murky local lake

Authorities in the US state of Utah have released video of an extreme method they have devised to stock inaccessible lakes in its mountainous regions: a specially adapted aircraft that makes it rain fish.

The fish airdrops were devised as a method for stocking remote lakes as a challenge for anglers. The fish, young brook trout and tiger trout between one and three inches long, are not native to the lakes and do not breed, meaning their numbers have to be replenished on a yearly basis in order to maintain the volume.

To get the fish delivered accurately to their new homes, the aircraft – the one in the video below being a converted Cessna 185 Skywagon with a water tank installed in the rear baggage/cargo bay – fly into the target areas “just barely above the trees,” according to The New York Times.

Continue readingtsoHost pleads for 'patience and understanding' as sites borked, support sinkholed Like 'thoughts and prayers' but for web hosting

Brit hosting outfit tsoHost has rendered some websites and bits of the company's all-important client area inaccessible since yesterday.

The company's status page begged patience and understanding for "some issues with our client are [sic] which is causing the back-end of your TSO account not to be accessible." At time of writing, issues continue.

tsoHost's social media orifice weighed in, describing work to fix the problem as "a priority." For some, however, tsoHost's idea of "priority" was not really good enough.

Continue readingUK's biggest trade union takes aim at Amazon over 'price gouging' allegations Nothing to see here, says gargantuan online retailer, thrilled as ever to chat with a union

Unite – the UK's largest trade union, with some 1.4 million members – has accused Amazon of inflating prices for items such as hand sanitiser and other health products during the pandemic.

Working with competition lawyers Preiskel & Co LLP, Unite has submitted a formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over alleged "abuse of its market position in relation to price gouging at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Unite claims that the price hikes hit vulnerable and older people, who had no choice but to stay at home and minimise their risk of infection. It has called on Amazon to "repay the overcharges."

Continue readingIt had to happen: Microsoft's cloudy Windows 365 desktops are due to land next month The good: It's a Windows PC running in the cloud. The bad: It's a Windows PC running in the cloud

Microsoft today introduced Windows 365 at its Inspire event: a desktop-as-a-service set for general availability on 2 August.

Windows 365, also known as Cloud PC (and previously code-named Deschutes) is a Windows 10 or (when available) Windows 11 PC running on Azure. Does not Microsoft already offer this in the form of Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop?

Melissa Grant, Director of Product Marketing, told The Reg: "We think of AVD and Cloud VDI as a PaaS solution and what we're offering with Windows 365 is a SaaS solution... you don't have to be a virtualisation expert. You don't have to interact with the Azure portal."

Continue readingCompsci eggheads bring OpenCL framework to RISC-V to push parallel performance Extended version of POCL now supports everything from high-end parts to embedded chips

A quartet of computer science boffins have showcased work on bringing the OpenCL programming framework to a wide range of RISC-V chips – improving their suitability for highly parallel workloads in science and beyond.

Born at the University of California at Berkeley in 2010, following an earlier research project from the 1980s dubbed Berkeley RISC, which would eventually become the SPARC architecture, RISC-V is both free and open source. As a result, anyone can build chips implementing the RISC-V architecture and can modify and expand it at will, adding new features or tweaking existing ones as required.

A paper presented at the Fifth Workshop on Computer Architecture Research with RISC-V (CARRV 2021), though, concentrates wholly on off-the-shelf RISC-V chips – introducing support for the Open Computing Language (OpenCL) heterogeneous programming framework commonly used to spread scientific workloads across CPUs, GPUs, and other accelerators.

Continue readingInformatica bids to become Switzerland of data with SaaSy governance and catalogue tool Stakes claim for neutral territory after Databricks and cloud vendors make play to manage your data

Informatica has launched a SaaS product that aims to manage data governance and catalogues in a single system.

While cloud platform and data lake vendors are encouraging organisations to use their tools to list and find data sources, as well as understand data provenance and quality, the 28-year-old data integration outfit argues users need a neutral provider to oversee these tasks.

To this end, Informatica is releasing its Cloud Data Governance and Catalog, which it claims is an enterprise-scale, seamless data governance and catalog as-a-service, a component of its Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC), launched in April.

Continue reading

HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 02:00:11 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/5e3b42887de55c95121fd13d3d97af106450bb4e/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/0cc922c7cb49cae9d575c0715e1a343954e8a091/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/0cc922c7cb49cae9d575c0715e1a343954e8a091/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 02:00:11 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 66ef654a5a60fd46-SYD Cellnex and CK Hutchison have just 5 days to prove mass mobile tower sell-off won't harm competition • The Register

Cellnex already 'largest' phone mast supplier, says UK regulator


Two bigwigs in the UK's mobile phone biz have been given just five days to provide "legally binding proposals" that the proposed sale of thousands of phone masts won't damage competition and harm consumers.

The tight deadline came as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised "concerns" about the proposed acquisition by Spain's Cellnex of thousands of mobile phone towers currently owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, UK network Three's Hong Kong parent [PDF].

The CMA's intervention follows last year's announcement that Cellnex planned to splash out €10bn on a Europe-wide buyout of wireless telecoms infrastructure currently owned by CK Hutchison Holdings.

At the time it was reported that the acquisition would see some 24,600 towers added to Cellnex's portfolio of 60,000 masts across Europe including some 6,000 mobile phone masts across Britain.

Following the completion of Phase 1 of its investigation launched in May, the CMA has found that the deal "raises competition concerns" in relation to the independent supply of "passive infrastructure assets."

The CMA pointed out that Cellnex is already the "largest independent supplier of mobile towers in the UK" following its £2bn acquisition of Arqiva's telecoms division in 2020, which added around 8,300 sites to Cellnex's portfolio.

The CMA is concerned that its purchase of assets owned by Three – along with its already considerable estate of towers and masts – would further strengthen its position in the market.

As a result, Cellnex and CK Hutchison have five working days to offer legally binding proposals to the CMA to ensure the deal will not damage competition within the industry.

No one from Cellnex or Three was available for comment at the time of writing.

In a statement, Mike Walker, chief economic adviser at the CMA, said: "It's important that services provided to mobile networks remain competitive so that the millions of businesses and consumers across the UK that use mobile phones can enjoy lower prices. Cellnex is already the largest independent supplier of mobile towers in the UK. We're concerned that this deal could help to lock in this position and prevent the emergence of new direct competition."

Cellnex and CK Hutchison have until 20 July to reply. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

Chinese makers of network software and hardware must alert Beijing within two days of learning of a security vulnerability in their products under rules coming into force in China this year.

Details of holes cannot be publicized until the bugs are fixed. Malicious exploit code cannot be released. There are restrictions on disclosing details of flaws to foreign organizations. And vendors will be under pressure to address these vulnerabilities as soon as they can and set up bounty programs to reward researchers.

The regulations are intended to tighten up the nation's cyber-security defenses, crack down on the handling and dissemination of bugs, and keep China's elite up to speed on exploitable flaws present in Chinese-made communications systems, wherever in the world that technology may be deployed.

Continue readingThe coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why There's a time and place for wireless tech, but it still can't compete

Feature IEEE 802.11ax-2021 (more commonly known as IEEE 802.11ax or, more familiarly "Wi-Fi 6") was approved on 9 February 2021, with a top speed of 1.2Gbit/sec per single stream (think "stream" as synonymous with "channel"). As seems to happen each time a new Wi-Fi technology comes out, people are yet again asking whether this is the one that will finally tip us over the edge and entice us away from cables and onto wireless.

I'm going to stick my neck out and ask a slightly different question, and explore whether we're ever going to move our worlds to dispose with wires.

First of all, let's not get bogged down with the potential of moving the server room and the data centre into a wireless world: that's simply not going to happen, ever. In the average server room or data centre that uses physical servers, each box will have at least a pair of Gigabit Ethernet connections linked redundantly into the switch infrastructure. Gigabit Ethernet is full-duplex (strictly speaking the original spec included half-duplex, but it never really went anywhere) and so as long as the devices at each end can keep up, you get pretty much a gigabit constantly (and I say "pretty much" only because you have to allow for the bits of the Ethernet frames that aren't the data payload, such as the headers).

Continue readingSweat-sipping wearable aims to charge electronics without couch potatoes lifting a finger What's wrong with plugging it in?

Brainiacs at UC San Diego say they have created a wearable design to turn your horrid sweaty hands into a charge for your electronic devices – while you barely have to lift a finger.

"We envision that this can be used in any daily activity involving touch, things that a person would normally do anyway while at work, at home, while watching TV or eating," said Joseph Wang, professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego and the study's senior author. "The goal is that this wearable will naturally work for you and you don't even have to think about it."

Previous efforts to generate energy from sweat, including earlier work at UC San Diego on a sweat-sucking shirt with embedded microgeneration, focused on the really sweaty types who exercise. This time around, it's for everyone – including couch potatoes.

Continue readingFacial-recognition technology gets a smack in the chops from civil rights campaigners US retailers accused of privacy invasion

Civil rights campaigners in the US have called on retailers to stop using facial-recognition technology amid worrying privacy concerns and fears that it could lead to people being wrongly arrested.

Fight for the Future – which is made up of more than 35 organisations including the Consumer Federation of America, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) – says people's faces should not be scanned, stored, or sold just because they stroll into a shop or work in a store.

While it claims retail giants such as Walmart and Kroger have said they would not deploy facial recognition in stores, it claims others – including Macy's, Albertsons, and Lowes – are still using the technology.

Continue readingHappy 4.20: Latest version of Tails bakes connection wizard into top-secret Linux distro Privacy-focused operating system now more flexible in how you get online

Privacy and security-focused Linux distribution Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, has announced a major new release completely overhauling how it connects users to the Tor network.

"After connecting to a local network, a Tor Connection assistant helps you connect to the Tor network," the project maintainers explained in the release notes for the latest version, Tails 4.20.

"This new assistant is most useful for users who are at high risk of physical surveillance, under heavy network censorship, or on a poor Internet connection."

Continue readingTrouts on a plane: Utah drops fish into lakes from aircraft and circa 95% survive Meanwhile, Minnesota city authorities evict dozens of monster goldfish from murky local lake

Authorities in the US state of Utah have released video of an extreme method they have devised to stock inaccessible lakes in its mountainous regions: a specially adapted aircraft that makes it rain fish.

The fish airdrops were devised as a method for stocking remote lakes as a challenge for anglers. The fish, young brook trout and tiger trout between one and three inches long, are not native to the lakes and do not breed, meaning their numbers have to be replenished on a yearly basis in order to maintain the volume.

To get the fish delivered accurately to their new homes, the aircraft – the one in the video below being a converted Cessna 185 Skywagon with a water tank installed in the rear baggage/cargo bay – fly into the target areas “just barely above the trees,” according to The New York Times.

Continue readingtsoHost pleads for 'patience and understanding' as sites borked, support sinkholed Like 'thoughts and prayers' but for web hosting

Brit hosting outfit tsoHost has rendered some websites and bits of the company's all-important client area inaccessible since yesterday.

The company's status page begged patience and understanding for "some issues with our client are [sic] which is causing the back-end of your TSO account not to be accessible." At time of writing, issues continue.

tsoHost's social media orifice weighed in, describing work to fix the problem as "a priority." For some, however, tsoHost's idea of "priority" was not really good enough.

Continue readingUK's biggest trade union takes aim at Amazon over 'price gouging' allegations Nothing to see here, says gargantuan online retailer, thrilled as ever to chat with a union

Unite – the UK's largest trade union, with some 1.4 million members – has accused Amazon of inflating prices for items such as hand sanitiser and other health products during the pandemic.

Working with competition lawyers Preiskel & Co LLP, Unite has submitted a formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over alleged "abuse of its market position in relation to price gouging at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Unite claims that the price hikes hit vulnerable and older people, who had no choice but to stay at home and minimise their risk of infection. It has called on Amazon to "repay the overcharges."

Continue readingIt had to happen: Microsoft's cloudy Windows 365 desktops are due to land next month The good: It's a Windows PC running in the cloud. The bad: It's a Windows PC running in the cloud

Microsoft today introduced Windows 365 at its Inspire event: a desktop-as-a-service set for general availability on 2 August.

Windows 365, also known as Cloud PC (and previously code-named Deschutes) is a Windows 10 or (when available) Windows 11 PC running on Azure. Does not Microsoft already offer this in the form of Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop?

Melissa Grant, Director of Product Marketing, told The Reg: "We think of AVD and Cloud VDI as a PaaS solution and what we're offering with Windows 365 is a SaaS solution... you don't have to be a virtualisation expert. You don't have to interact with the Azure portal."

Continue readingCompsci eggheads bring OpenCL framework to RISC-V to push parallel performance Extended version of POCL now supports everything from high-end parts to embedded chips

A quartet of computer science boffins have showcased work on bringing the OpenCL programming framework to a wide range of RISC-V chips – improving their suitability for highly parallel workloads in science and beyond.

Born at the University of California at Berkeley in 2010, following an earlier research project from the 1980s dubbed Berkeley RISC, which would eventually become the SPARC architecture, RISC-V is both free and open source. As a result, anyone can build chips implementing the RISC-V architecture and can modify and expand it at will, adding new features or tweaking existing ones as required.

A paper presented at the Fifth Workshop on Computer Architecture Research with RISC-V (CARRV 2021), though, concentrates wholly on off-the-shelf RISC-V chips – introducing support for the Open Computing Language (OpenCL) heterogeneous programming framework commonly used to spread scientific workloads across CPUs, GPUs, and other accelerators.

Continue readingInformatica bids to become Switzerland of data with SaaSy governance and catalogue tool Stakes claim for neutral territory after Databricks and cloud vendors make play to manage your data

Informatica has launched a SaaS product that aims to manage data governance and catalogues in a single system.

While cloud platform and data lake vendors are encouraging organisations to use their tools to list and find data sources, as well as understand data provenance and quality, the 28-year-old data integration outfit argues users need a neutral provider to oversee these tasks.

To this end, Informatica is releasing its Cloud Data Governance and Catalog, which it claims is an enterprise-scale, seamless data governance and catalog as-a-service, a component of its Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC), launched in April.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3hF744b