Wednesday, November 19, 2014

McDonald’s Gets Softcard

McDonald’s Gets Softcard

Softcard (formerly Isis), a mobile payment system that competes with Apple Pay and Google Wallet, announced today that it is accepted at more than 14,000 McDonald’s locations around the country beginning today. Smartphone owners can make NFC-based mobile payments at the register and the drive-thru at all McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s will also accept Apple Pay.

Last month, Subway also announced a partnership with Softcard to support mobile payments.
Softcard is free to download and is compatible with more than 80 Android handsets sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Softcard combines payments, offers and loyalty in one app. Softcard uses the EMV Contactless specification and SmartTap technology to enable payments, offers and loyalty redemption through one tap.
Apple Pay saw more than one million card activations within 72 hours of launch, reports NFC World, and is already the leading NFC payments player in the US, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook outlined future growth plans for the service at the WS Journal D Live conference this week, including a potential partnership with Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.
US pharmacy chains Rite Aid and CVS plan to launch their own CurrentC mobile payment service in 2015, and have stopped accepting NFC payments, blocking mobile payments services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Softcard.
Unfortunately, CurrentC is now warning people that hackers have already swiped some of the beta tester’s email addresses.
Mobile proximity payments have to date proven lacklustre despite the hundreds of millions spent on developing these platforms. But loyalty rewards and benefits of the digital wallet is now seen by many as potentially the killer app that will help to finally ignite the long simmering mobile proximity payment market.
Ovum’s research indicates that 53% of consumers globally report they’ve either used or are interested in redeeming offers and coupons with their handsets, while 44% have used or are interested using their mobile device to pay for things in store and restaurants, explains Gilles Ubaghs, Senior Analyst, Financial Services Technology at Ovum.

source :

AT&T Verizon Work Toward VoLTE Interoperability

AT&T & Verizon Work Toward VoLTE Interoperability

Verizon and AT&T are working to enable Voice over LTE interoperability, reports Fierce Wireless. The two carriers said they are going to enable VoLTE-to-VoLTE connections in 2015. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) was devised to standardise a method for transferring voice over LTE data networks.
According to a Verizon blog post, engineers from both companies will start with lab testing and then move to field trials next year. Verizon said customers will have a seamless experience making VoLTE HD Voice calls between the two networks as well as other Rich Communications Services (RCS) such as video calls, rich messaging and more.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has VoLTE available in more than a dozen cities (with the proper phone), and has been testing interoperability, with interop agreements with VerizonWireless and Sprint since May, notes John Legere.
AT&T introduced VoLTE services in its initial markets earlier this year, and will continue to expand to more devices and more markets across the United States. “Interoperability of VoLTE between wireless carriers is crucial to a positive customer experience,” said Krish Prabhu, president, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer, AT&T.
Currently, to experience Verizon’s VoLTE service both parties on a call need to be using a VoLTE-enabled Verizon smartphone. AT&T’s VoLTE-enabled HD Voice service lets customers only make HD Voice calls with other AT&T customers using AT&T HD Voice-capable devices within AT&T HD Voice coverage areas.
An additional requirement for VoLTE enabled networks is to have a means to handing back to circuit switched legacy networks in a seamless manner, while only having one transmitting radio in the handset to preserve battery life. A system known as Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) is required for this. Handover from LTE to the legacy network is required when the user moves out of the LTE coverage area.
The benefit to wireless operators is more-efficient use of their network resources, explains C/Net’s Maggie Reardon. VoLTE benefits for consumers include faster call setup times (twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup), LTE data speeds while you are on a call, and HD Voice service with greater call quality.

source :

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

End of America Bill 2847

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Executive Cyber Intelligence Bi-Weekly Report by INSS-CSFI February 1st, 2014

Executive Cyber Intelligence Bi-Weekly Report by INSS-CSFI

February 1st, 2014


Cyber Park in Beer Sheba expanding
One of the biggest network companies, Cisco, will invest millions of dollars in the Israeli cyber industry through the JVP foundation, The Marker reported. This investment joins the announcement made by Lockheed Martin and EMC on opening a research center/cyber park in Beer Sheba (initial investment being one million dollars). The park will be called Cyber-Spark and will accommodate leading cyber industries, academic research, and the national cyber command. Another addition to the ever growing park will be made by IBM in cooperation with Ben Gurion University, who declared their intention to open a center for global excellence in the field of cyberspace. The rise of the cyber industry in Beer Sheba is meant to create a cyber hub in the middle of the South, as well as mixing economic and security growth by creating 15,000 jobs in a few years.
Israel’s Darknet and TOR dilemma
Last year, Edward Snowden turned over to The Guardian 58,000 classified U.S. government documents, and only a fraction of the files have been made public. To avoid detection, Snowden almost certainly relied on one very specific and powerful tool to cover his tracks – TOR. TOR, an acronym for “the onion router,” is software providing the closest thing to anonymity on the Internet. Engineered by the TOR Project, TOR has been adopted by both agitators for liberty and criminals, and many people who use TOR do so to browse the Darknet liberally. Many countries have faced questions on how to deal with Darknet, and an example occurred with two young men in Israel, standing trial for using Bitcoins to purchase drugs on the Darknet. The young men also used fake credit card numbers, which were bought through the Darknet. This criminal issue related to Darknet is one of several cases the Israel court has had to deal with in the past few months.


Changes in NSA and cyber security matters due to Snowden affair
General Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA, is stepping down and being replaced by U.S. Navy’s Cyber Security Chief, Michael S. Rogers. Since whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed the intensity of U.S. spying on its citizens and allies, a call has been made for intelligence agencies to be more transparent and for them to uphold the law. The U.S. has faced many embarrassments and the need for explanation since the Edward Snowden affair. Yet because of the Snowden affair, policy decisions in cyber security have reached a stalemate as the U.S. has begun struggling to deal with the daily cyber-attacks from Russia and China. Plans and projects in the NSA have halted even though ideas could be effective, and decision makers in Congress explain: “[Snowden] slowed everything down.” However, opposing and pro-Snowden supporters insist the problem in U.S. and fighting terrorism was never lack of information but U.S. intelligence agencies not sharing data or informing the public. As it currently stands, the FBI, NSA, and  DHS are denied to share classified cyberspace information with the civilian population. Since Snowden, the U.S. has faced growing criticism internationally, with foreign leaders disregarding Obama’s warnings regarding cyber affairs. The announcement of Rogers as Director of NSA comes a few days after the cyber hackers group Anonymous hacked and publicized email addresses of U.S. members of the Federal Bureau Investigation.

Microsoft answers to growing criticism

Microsoft has responded to breaches in its security when it announced plans to launch ‘Transparency Centers’ worldwide, enabling government customers to verify their Microsoft products. Microsoft has faced growing pressure and criticism over its involvement with U.S. spying after the revelations of Edward Snowden Prism, a top-secret program giving the NSA direct access to the systems of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Microsoft also faced the embarrassment of being hacked by the SEA through phishing attempts on Microsoft email accounts to steal information. Microsoft plans to expand encryption across its services to provide legal protection for customer’s data and government users. Plans to reveal the source code have remained unannounced.

USA: Major retailers in the U.S. hacked during holiday season

Massive cyber-attacks hit major U.S. retail stores of high end Neiman Marcus. Neiman Marcus confirmed a data breach involving credit card theft from customers during the holiday shopping season, where hackers rooted payment information from customers. Neiman Marcus spokesperson, Ginger Reeder, stated the company is unaware of the cause or identification of the data breach, but they informed “federal law enforcement agencies and are working actively with the U.S. Secret Service, the payment brands, our credit card processor, a leading investigations, intelligence and risk management firm, and a leading forensic firm to investigate the situation.” Similar breaches affected Target on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) responded to the attack stating: “In the wake of the Target breach, customers, lawmakers, and consumer advocates have stepped up calls for Congress to set up guidelines on how merchants should protect consumer data…a need for clear, strong privacy and security standards across all industries.” Target has already responded with CEO Gregg Steinhafel proclaiming to improve Target’s understanding of consumer-based scams, including removing the malware the cyber criminals installed, hiring a team of data security to investigate occurrence, and working with law enforcement. Target is also preparing to announce an education campaign on accelerating the knowledge on technology and cyber security. Some believe other retail stores have been affected, causing a pattern in attacks heading towards larger widespread attacks. Chris Petersen, CTO of LogRythm remarked that this would entail extremely sophisticated malware software. At this time, these are just rumours circulating, and IntelCrawler contended the attacks on Target and Neiman Marcus were separate. Nevertheless, no national breach disclosure law exists, allowing many companies who may have been attacked to not publicize it.


Russia to set up a cyber-defense unit

Russian Maj. Gen. Yuri Kuznetsov was quoted by the national news agency RIA Novosti, stating a cyber-defense unit will be ready “to defend the Russian armed forces’ critical infrastructure from computer attacks” by 2017. The mission maintains to better protect the defense sector from cyber-attacks. Cyber-warfare has emerged and has become a national security threat in recent years to Russia. Websites used by Asian governments were targeted by the “Anonymous” cybercrime organization in 2013, and U.S. and Chinese officials have traded accusations about cyber espionage in recent years. RIA Novosti reports the Russian newspaper Vedomosti was knocked offline Thursday by a DDoS cyber-attack (denial-of-service), overwhelming servers with requests. Alexei Moshkov, Russia’s top cybercrime official, claimed cyber-attacks last year on Russian citizens combined cost around $28 million.

Middle East & Iran

Palestinian hackers suspected to be behind breach in Israeli defense ministry computers

Hackers broke into Israeli defense ministry computers by sending phishing e-mails containing an advanced remote access Trojan called Xtreme Rat, Aviv Raff, CTO of Seculert Research Lab, blogged on January 27th. The e-mail appeared as if it was sent by the Israeli Security Agency enabling legitimacy, and the original target was Israeli Customs, according to TrendMicro.  One of the 15 breached computers revealed to be Israeli Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, which monitors entry and work permits into the West Bank from Israel. The Civil Administration made no comment in regards to an attack. Even though the attack was conducted from a server located within the U.S., similarities in code to past cyber-attacks conducted from a Hamas server on the Israeli Police, enhanced rumours the Palestinians were behind the cyber-attack. As of now, it is unclear if the hackers used or gained any information.
Saudi Arabia to launch National e-Security Center to Protect Government against Hackers
Saudi Arabia embarked on producing a national authority for information security called the National e-Security Center. The main goal will be to protect important networks against cyber-attacks. The decision came after numerous attacks were launched by both cybercriminals and hacktivist on the Saudi Arabian government websites. An example was when the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry was breached with a DDoS attack, disrupting the website for several hours in May. The attack was traced back to various countries.
Iran unveils new cyber security products 
Fars news agency reported Iran was unveiling 12 new Iranian technological products within the cyber field at a ceremony held and attended by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali. Among the products revealed was a cell phone providing secure communications, immune from tapping. Other products unveiled were a home-made, secure operating system, a indigenized navigation system, a telecommunications optical transmission system, Padvish anti-malware, a cyber threats recognition and identification system, a security operations center, a high-speed and high-capacity firewall, and a software firewall.
Iran has launched an indigenous cyber defense network cited as “Shahpad,” according to project manager Mohammad Naderi. The initial idea stemmed from missile defense shields used in different countries to prevent missile attacks. “Shahpad” is the outcome of several years of research. The system protects data, operates as a data manager, and is responsive to the safety needs of all organizations. According to Iranian news agency ISNA, whenever a threat against an organization is detected, the system informs other sensors using smart mechanisms for the exchange of intelligence. The system is capable of informing all sensitive and important agencies such as Security Operations Centers across the country, facilitating a swift reaction.
SEA attacks PayPal UK and eBay UK
The Syrian Electric Army (SEA) used a DDoS cyber-attack on PayPal UK and eBay UK, causing Twitter to shut down the SEA’s official Twitter handle. Both PayPal UK and eBay UK verified the attacks occurred, and they were resolved shortly afterwards; however, they made no mention of the crude defacement SEA had left on their webpages with messages: “Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. Long live Syria. F*ck the United States government.” SEA stated the cyber-attack occurred because of PayPal’s denial to allow Syrians to purchase products online and also assured no information had been gathered by the account, unlike previous cyber-attacks were it was documented the SEA had stolen law enforcement data from Microsoft.
China and APAC
Japan sending Self Defense Forces to U.S. for cyber training
The Japanese government will send members of its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to receive specialized training in cyber defense with U.S. forces in a cooperative program to bolster Japan’s defense against cyber-attacks, sources said. The SDF members will learn from technologies and experiences of the more advanced U.S. forces in countering cyber-attacks. The project aims to improve the SDF’s cyber defense capabilities and to strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation. Until today, the Japan-U.S. cooperation in the field of cyber-defense was limited to exchanging information; however, this project is expected to strengthen the collaboration between the two countries.


Europol smashed financial cyber-crime gang targeting UK citizens
The European cyber-crime agency EC3 of Europol was thanked after Polish police arrested five Bulgarian citizens accused of electronic payment card fraud targeting mainly UK citizens. The agency declared three hackers from the gang were caught, two of them were carrying out illegal electronic payment card transactions at automated cash machines (ATMs). One of them was receiving compromised card numbers online and encoding counterfeit plastic cards. The other two suspects were arrested in different hotels in Krakow on 22 January. Europol said the financial data involved came mainly from the U.K., but a spokesperson informed to online security magazine that they could not divulge about the UK card holders involved as “the investigation is still ongoing.” The European cybercrime center was created a year ago, and its role is to help to co-ordinate national police forces targeting cyber criminals all over Europe.
Germany: Increase of Cyber Attacks
A study conducted by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in Germany recorded 2,000 to 3,000 attacks on the German government Internet domains per day. Some cyber-attacks are on such an advanced technical level, the alleged offenders are suspected to be intelligence services. Hundreds of thousands of computers in Germany are infiltrated and potentially could be operated for cyber-attacks through so-called bot networks by remote control, making computers used as tools for crime without the knowledge of the actual owner. Many German companies experience cyber-attacks; however, instead of reporting these offenses, companies conceal them to avoid damage control.
The Federal Criminal Police Office counted almost 64,000 cases of cyber-crime solely in Germany, raising concerns with security experts. According to the EU, more than a million people fall victim to cyber-attacks each day, ranging from hacked bank transfers to digital blackmail to dispersal of child pornography. At this point, the President of BSI Michael Hange expressed the relevance to sensitize and educate the public in IT security. The President of the Federal Academy for Security Politics Hans-Dieter Hermann spoke about a confidence crisis and how European states must realize their standards.

inss150About the Cyber Intelligence Report:

This document was prepared by The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) – Israel and The Cyber Security Forum Initiative (CSFI) – USA to create better cyber situational awareness (Cyber SA) of the nature and scope of threats and hazards to national security worldwide in the domains of cyberspace and open source intelligence. It is provided to Federal, State, Local, Tribal, Territorial and private sector officials to aid in the identification and development of appropriate actions, priorities, and follow-on measures. This product may contain U.S. person information that has been deemed necessary for the intended recipient to understand, assess, or act on the information provided. It should be handled in accordance with the recipient’s intelligence oversight and/or information handling procedures. Some content may be copyrighted. These materials, including copyrighted materials, are intended for “fair use” as permitted under Title 17, Section 107 of the United States Code (“The Copyright Law”). Use of copyrighted material for unauthorized purposes requires permission from the copyright owner. Any feedback regarding this report or requests for changes to the distribution list should be directed to the Open Source Enterprise via unclassified e-mail at: CSFI and the INSS would like to thank the Cyber Intelligence Analysts who worked on collecting and summarizing this report.

Mobile World Congress: What to Expect

Mobile World Congress: What to Expect

Posted by Sam Churchill on
Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile show, starts on the 24th (, exhibitors and Mobile World Daily).
A plethora of smartphone, tablet, wearable, and infrastructure announcements are expected and reported on (twitter, facebook, YouTube, IOS App and Android App).

Smartphone and tablet announcements

  • Samsung: At CES Samsung announced two tablets: the Galaxy TabPro and the Galaxy NotePro. A big Samsung event on February 24, is rumored to announce the new flagship S-5 smartphone. It is expected to feature a fingerprint reader on the home button. Phones based on Tizen, an alternative operating system to Android, are also rumored.
  • LG: LG has announced three new smartphones called the L90, L70 and L40 which will become the L Series III from LG. It follows up the L Series and L Series II. The flagship G3, a G Pro 2 phablet, and a watch are also rumored. The G3 may have a 2.2GHz octa-core run Android 4.4 KitKat, 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, and feature a fingerprint scanner. The LG G2 Pro will feature a 13MP camera with improved optical image stabilization (OIS+) and 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) video recording.
  • HTC The 5.5-inch HTC Desire 8 will be formally unveiled next week while the flagship HTC One 2 is expected to have its own dedicated launch event in March. HTC could also announce a line of mid-range devices.
  • Huawei a new smartphone, two new tablets, and most interestingly, a smartwatch are expected from the manufacturer. Specs, or other details are still few.
  • Motorola No new hardware, but there could be some details about how the Lenovo purchase of Motorola will work and what it means for the future of the company.
  • Nokia: The Lumia 930 would be the successor to the Nokia Lumia 920 and would launch with a quad-core 2.2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. Nokia’s event could include an 8-inch tablet – possibly the Lumia 2020, but the really interesting rumors are of an Android smartphone.
  • Sony: According to rumors, there will be a new flagship phone – the 5.2-inch Sirius or Xperia Z2 at MWC, and possibly a Sony Castor tablet to update the Xperia Tablet Z.
  • ZTE: The Chinese gian showed off the Grand S2, a couple of Nubia phones, and the Sonata 4G at CES. Announcements at MWC could add Tizen phones and smartwatches to the lineup. The ZTE Geek is the first ZTE smartphone to sport an Intel processor (the new 32nm Atom Z2580).

Infrastructure announcements

  • Alcatel-Lucent: Small Cells, WiFi 2.0 Integration, LTE-Advanced and new LTE wins are expected. Alcatel-Lucent will showcase a new Distributed Antenna System. The U.S. and China are the world’s largest DAS markets and are expected to remain so through at least 2017.
  • Ericsson: The largest cellular infrastructure company will likely have announcements across the board, including their new 4G-compatible cloud-based push-to-talk (PTT) service in Europe.
  • NSN: Announcements on 5G, Mobile Broadband/LTE, Big data, OTT, telco cloud and outsourcing are promised.
  • Huawei: Huawei is promoting its FusionSphere — an open cloud platform optimized for convergence. Huawei’s Cloud DC solution flattens architecture to facilitate global management & resource scheduling.
China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, received TD-LTE licenses in December last year and can now offer TD-LTE in mainland China.

Reconnaissance Aircraft Monitor Flooded Areas over Southern England

Stormy weather and unprecedented rainfall over the UK is causing floods throughout southern England, some areas have been flooded for several weeks. As 14 severe flood warnings remain in place along the Thames, Berkshire and Surrey, and two in the Somerset Levels, the military is called to help local communities fighting the rising water in an effort to protect property and restore routine life.
Soldiers have been working in Staines putting up a dam in a field to redirect water away from housing into fields. The soldiers are from C company Royal Ghurka Rifles. Photo: Crown Copyright
Soldiers have been working in Staines putting up a dam in a field to redirect water away from housing into fields. The soldiers are from C company Royal Ghurka Rifles. Photo: Crown Copyright
The deployment of the Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham in Norfolk has produced detailed imagery that will aid the planning and co-ordination of multi-agency efforts to provide relief to local residents and communities. Photo: Crown Copyright
The deployment of the Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham in Norfolk has produced detailed imagery that will aid the planning and co-ordination of multi-agency efforts to provide relief to local residents and communities. Photo: Crown Copyright
More than 3,000 military personnel have already joined flood relief efforts, and 5,000 more are preparing to help flood-stricken communities. “We’ve got to treat it like any other national security issue” Labour leader Ed Miliband said, describing the floods and climate change in general as a “national security issue” for the UK.
While soldiers creating sandbag walls and flood defense are a regular view in the flood stricken areas, the RAF has provided additional support from above, committing surveillance aircraft to provide authorities a unique picture of the situation on the ground.
Flooded area analysis of the Thames Valley and Hampshire, UK generated by SAR imaging provided by Sentinel R1 sortie over Somerset. The Sentinel was operated by the RAF’s 5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Photo: Crown Copyright
Flooded area analysis of the Thames Valley and Hampshire, UK generated by SAR imaging provided by Sentinel R1 sortie over Somerset. The Sentinel was operated by the RAF’s 5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Photo: Crown Copyright
Two of the assets employed include surveillance patrols Sentinel R1 employing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) clearly indicating the wet and flooded areas over wide areas of land. With mapping provided the Sentinel, the RAF could deploy Tornado strike fighters carrying RAPTOR electro-optical reconnaissance pods, to bring visual reconnaissance from the affected areas. The combination of wide area surveillance and reconnaissance delivered by fast jets could process a situational picture of the wide area affected by the storm and floods, enabling authorities to focus on the worst affected areas.
By using the imagery gathered by both systems, civilian authorities will be able to compare the current flooding in the Thames Valley to how the same area was affected during a similar devastating period of flooding in 1947 which was caused by melting snow and extended periods of heavy rain. Being able to draw comparisons may help to indicate what areas are most likely to be affected next and help the civilian authorities to make informed decisions about where best to target their efforts.
“The Sentinel has long-range capabilities which enable highly trained Airborne Image Analysts onboard to capture imagery of large parts of the flooded areas.” Squadron Leader Victoria Fulton, Chief of Staff 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron saID, “It is hoped that this key information will greatly assist the civilian authorities when determining where best to focus their efforts.”
The Tornado aircraft and RAPTOR has been used in many military operations and is currently in use over Afghanistan. It was selected for this task as it can rapidly scan and capture a huge area of interest in just one sortie – in this case areas in need of flood relief work.
“The sortie launched today demonstrates the versatility of both the [Tornado] aircraft and its reconnaissance systems and of the men and women who support those operations.” Wing Commander Neil Tomlin, Acting Station Commander said, “It is hoped that the imagery provided by our RAPTOR reconnaissance system will provide valuable assistance in supporting the flood relief efforts currently under way in the South of England.”
The Royal Air Force launched one of its Tornado strike fighters on Thursday February 23, 2014 to capture a highly detailed aerial picture of the areas affected by the floods in southern England, after a request by Gold commanders in the Thames Valley. The aircraft, operated by the RAF’s 31 Squadron, is equipped with the highly versatile RAPTOR – Reconnaissance Air Pod for Tornado – which enables it to gather high-resolution imagery.
The Royal Air Force launched one of its Tornado strike fighters on Thursday February 23, 2014 to capture a highly detailed aerial picture of the areas affected by the floods in southern England, after a request by Gold commanders in the Thames Valley. The aircraft, operated by the RAF’s 31 Squadron, is equipped with the highly versatile RAPTOR – Reconnaissance Air Pod for Tornado – which enables it to gather high-resolution imagery. Photo: Crown Copyright
The air crew of the Sentinel monitoring surveillance images collected in flight. Photo: UK MOD, Crown Copyright
The air crew of the Sentinel monitoring surveillance images collected in flight. Photo: UK MOD, Crown Copyright
No 5(Army Cooperation) Squadron operates the Advanced Stand Of Radar (ASTOR) radar surveillance system, and comprises 5 Sentinel R1 aircraft and 8 Ground Stations. The concept of the ASTOR system is to provide a highly effective 24-hour surveillance and target acquisition capability. It delivers wide area, all-weather, tactical, theatre and national surveillance information in near real time. At its heart is a dual mode Synthetic Aperture/Moving Target Indicator (SAR/MTI) radar. The SAR provides high-resolution images and the MTI monitors hostile forces – their quantity, direction and speed. The imagery can be exploited both on board the aircraft and on the ground, is passed to Ground Stations at both theatre and tactical level. By operating at high altitude and considerable stand-off distances, the radar platform is able to remain over safe territory while providing an excellent ‘look-down’ angle of the target area.
Sentinel R1 aircraft operated by No 5 Squadron. Photo: UK MOD, Crown Copyright
Sentinel R1 aircraft operated by No 5 Squadron. Photo: UK MOD, Crown Copyright

WiFi Roaming Demoed at MWC

WiFi Roaming Demoed at MWC

Posted by Sam Churchill on
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and Wi-Fi Alliance will co-host a demonstration of Wi-Fi roaming at Mobile World Congress next week in association with the WBA Carrier Wi-Fi Summit hosted onsite.
The demonstration features seamless network authentication and roaming across different networks using Certified Passpoint devices made available for attendees. Supported by 18 operators, the demonstration offers a look at a live Next Generation Hotspot network from seven vendors. The association says it reflects the momentum toward industry-standard easy-to-use Wi-Fi hotspots and roaming.
According to research conducted by Maravedis-Rethink on behalf of WBA, more than half of operators surveyed have become “more confident” about investing in public Wi-Fi than in the previous year. More than 27 global operators have participated in three phases of WBA NGH trials, and to date, more than 400 devices have obtained Passpoint certification, including a wide range of smartphones and tablets.
By 2018, ,small cells will be contributing 28% of additional capacity and 75% of them will integrate Wi-Fi, according to Maravedis-Rethink.
The WBA brought together nearly 20 of the world’s largest operators and vendors to participate in defining the Carrier Wi-Fi vision. They include: Accuris Networks, AT&T, BSG Wireless, BSkyB, BT, CableLabs, China Mobile, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Qualcomm, Ruckus Wireless, SK Telecom, Time Warner Cable and Towerstream.
The “CableWiFi” network identifier (SSID) allows devices to auto-connect to a “CableWiFi” hotspot when in range. The wireless gateways that Comcast is installing in Xfinity Homes, contain two SSIDs, enabling consumer cable WiFi boxes to “share” their WiFi.
See related Dailywireless articles; Comcast Buying Time Warner Cable, Ad-Sponsored WiFi Initiatives from Gowex & Facebook and Comcast Creates Hotspot 2.0 National Network

2013: 6.7 Billion Mobile Subs

2013: 6.7 Billion Mobile Subs

Posted by Sam Churchill on
The Ericsson Mobility Report released today says mobile subscriptions through 2013 are now 6.7 billion, although the actual number of subscribers is around 4.5 billion, since many have several subscriptions.
Close to 60% of all mobile phones sold in Q4 2013 were smartphones, compared to around 45 percent in Q4 2012. Some 40 million new LTE subscriptions were added during Q4 2013.
The report also shows that data traffic grew 70% between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013. Voice traffic, meanwhile, was practically flat, and an increasingly tiny percentage of the bandwidth used.
A recent GSMA report suggests that China will be a significant player in the field of 4G with up to 900 million 4G users by 2020.
4G Americas predicts that by the end of 2018, HSPA/HSPA+ subs would number 4.2 billion while some 1.3 Billion connected devices would use LTE.

Pentaband Antennas Deployed

Pentaband Antennas Deployed

Posted by Sam Churchill on
Saudi Telecom will deploy Huawei Penta-band Antennas to boost their TD-LTE and FD-LTE network. STC, the Middle East’s largest operator with 160 million subscribers, decided to deploy Penta-band Antennas since its GSM/UMTS network was unable to meet rapid growth in demands for data services. It now operates the world’s largest TDD/FDD convergent network.
Huawei’s Penta-band antennas simultaneously supports five bands on the 690-960MHz and 4×1710-2690MHz spectrum bands in a single compact antenna design.
The antennas support plug-and-play EasyRET (Remote Electronic Tilt), which provides embedded remote control unit to enhance system efficiency. Different spectrum bands are able to be independently adjusted to achieve better coverage.
Huawei says they have shipped more than 1.65 million antennas to more than 360 operators in 155 countries. According to ABI Research, the Total Cost of Ownership is 13% lower for a LTE-TDD network. If utilized for backhaul, LTE-TDD can provide a 33% saving over Point-To-Point Microwave and a 43% saving over fiber.
Sprint recently demonstrated 2.6 Gbps TD-LTE throughput over a single sector using NSN’s commercially available Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. The tests conducted at NSN’s Mountain View facility, aggregated 120 MHz of Sprint’s TDD spectrum to achieve an unprecedented speed of 2.6 Gbps.
The previous record was 1.6 Gbps. Sprint has plenty of 60 GHz chunks, which can deliver over 1.3 Gbps. Even if the average total throughput is something closer to 300 Mbps to end users, that’s still equivalent to 100 HD video streams (using H.265 at 3 Mbps each).
NSN’s TD-LTE 8-pipe radio module supports up to 120 MHz of channel bandwidth in Band 41 spectrum (used by Sprint’s 2.6 GHz band). The 2.6 GHz LTE TDD spectrum is used in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia and the USA.
Broadcom, NSN and Finnish operator Elisa demonstrated LTE data rates of 300 Mbps on a live commercial network in the Nordic Countries, aggregating two 20 MHz channels, one in the 1800 MHz band (LTE Band 3) and one in the 2600 MHz band (LTE Band 7) to reach speeds of 300 Mbps.
NSN provides infrastructure equipment for all three of South Korea’s FDD-based LTE Advanced networks, which were each launched last summer by SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

Tablets Up, Laptops Down, Desktops Out

Tablets Up, Laptops Down, Desktops Out

Posted by Sam Churchill on
A report tabled by NPD Display Search claims demand for tablet devices is expected to scale new heights this year with 315 million tablet devices projected to be sold in 2014, rising to 455 million by 2017.
“Competition is expected to increase as traditional notebook PC brands, including Lenovo, HP, and Dell update their product portfolios to emphasize tablet PCs”, said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch.
Standard notebook PC shipments are forecast to decline from 155 million in 2013 to 105 million in 2017. Ultra-slim PC shipments will rise from 26 million in 2013 to 57 million in 2017.
Emerging regions will account for an increasing share of worldwide mobile PC shipments, growing from 57%, or 274 million in 2014, to 62%, or 385 million, by 2017. Growth will be led by tablet PCs, which will account for 70% of mobile PC shipments to emerging regions in 2014.

Google Fiber Expands to More Cities

Google Fiber Expands to More Cities

Posted by Sam Churchill on
Google Fiber is ready to expand, reports ArsTechnica. Google has identified nine areas around the country as possible deployment sites. Currently, Kansas City (KS and MO), Provo UT and Austin TX are using Google’s gigabit fiber.
“We’ve invited 34 cities in nine metro areas across the US to work with us to explore what it would take to build a new fiber-optic network in their community,” Google said in an announcement today. There’s no guarantee for any of these cities.
Google is asking municipal officials to do the following:
  • Provide detailed, accurate maps of existing infrastructure like utility poles, conduits, and water, gas, and electricity lines.
  • Ensure the company can access and put its fiber on existing poles or conduits.
  • Review permitting processes to make sure cities can handle as much as 100x their usual number of permit requests—once it starts building.

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