Global consortium launches ‘transformative’ subsea cable for African connectivity

Facebook, Vodafone, China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt and WIOCC have announced they are teaming up to build 2Africa, claimed to be the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve the African continent and the Middle East region.

2Africa is intended to enhance internet connectivity, capacity and reliability across Africa and the Middle East. The system is expected to go live in 2023/4, delivering more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables serving Africa today, with a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

It will supplement the fast-growing capacity demand in the Middle East and underpin the further growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people.

At 37,000km long, 2Africa will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects and will interconnect Europe, eastward via Egypt, the Middle East via Saudi Arabia, and

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Rancho Water turns tap on Extreme connectivity for critical water delivery

Temecula, California-based community utility Rancho California Water District has expanded its relationship with networking company Extreme Networks to maintain continual uptime, control and security throughout its 100,000-acre service area.

Rancho Water delivers high-quality water and reclamation services to 155,000 customers across 150 square miles every day, and says it prioritises safety, redundancy and reliability in its operations.

Set up in 1965 in a one-room wooden building, the company believes that conserving and managing the area’s unique water resources are essential to the continued viability of the community.

Rancho’s implementation of an integrated resources plan (IRP), a roadmap for long-term resource planning, examines all possible supply-side and demand-side management opportunities to meet its customers’ needs in an economical and sustainable manner. The IRP addresses issues such as imported water supply availability, system capacity constraints, rising imported water costs, water quality issues, and recycled water.

Rancho Water has worked with Extreme

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Small firms seize digital lifeline to get back to business

In the battle to stay competitive, one of the key muscles that small firms have been able to flex is flexibility, and research has found that UK small businesses are moving more of their services online for survival as the sector looks to take its first steps towards recovery.

A study by Small Business Britain and BT Skills For Tomorrow polled more than 1,000 firms in Small Business Britain’s UK community and found that many across the sector are actively embracing digital tools to power recovery.

The agility and entrepreneurialism displayed by small businesses across the country has received widespread praise as the sector reacts to the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19. The research revealed that small firms are increasingly prioritising digital skills and tools, with more than one-third now seeing this as a key focus.

According to the study, over half of small businesses (57%) now expect their profits to

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UK contact-tracing app set to miss official launch date as Google, Apple release API

The saga of the development of a contact-tracing app to aid the UK’s fight against Covid-19 has taken another step with the news that just as senior members of the UK government concede that the official launch date of 1 June 2020 will not be met, health officials in Northern Ireland and Scotland look to be moving away from the official national strategy.

The UK’s track and trace programme is due to begin, as assured by prime minister Boris Johnson, on 1 June, but a key element of this – the contact-tracing app – is still only in test phase.

A trial of the contract-tracing app developed by NHSX, the digital innovation unit of the National Health Service, began in the Isle of Wight on 4 May. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to alert people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Once installed, the app logs

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Nokia, KDDI trial fully virtualised 5G cloud RAN

Aiming to add further support for its operator clients migrating to the next-generation infrastructure, communications technology supplier Nokia has revealed that it is working with leading Japanese mobile operator KDDI on a proof of concept (PoC) of a fully virtualised cloud 5G radio access network (RAN).

The planned lab-based PoC will use Nokia’s AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS solution to enable KDDI to research how flexible, virtualised radio network technology can support the diversifying network performance requirements in the 5G era.

AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS is a fully cloudified 5G BTS, placing both the real-time and non-real-time baseband in the cloud. Virtualised real-time baseband processing takes place at the far edge of the network to meet extreme latency requirements and provide the ability to scale to meet demand. It is part of Nokia’s broader Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN solution, which offers a mix of local and cloud-based processing.

AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS will

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GDPR wholly inappropriate to govern contact-tracing data

Labour MP and chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Harriet Harman, has branded the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) wholly inadequate for ensuring the security and privacy of data collected by the government’s under-test Covid-19 coronavirus contact-tracing app.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, Harman said that even before the pandemic, the committee had taken the view that the current system of data protection in the UK was not good enough, but that this rang even more true today.

“This is a wholly new area of data collection and therefore we need not the failed mishmash of protections that’s currently existing, we need a new bespoke bill,” said Harman.

“Currently the protection is spread between the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, case law on privacy and the European Convention on Human Rights, and it’s a tangle of law which never envisaged the sort

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