Nordic states launch joint drone development initiative

Four Nordic states have joined forces in a far-reaching joint initiative to drive the development of drone transports for goods and passengers.

The Nordic Drone Initiative (NDI) will probe the efficient use of airspace for drones. It will help accelerate the introduction of drone-based mobility, including their deployment as air-taxis and for autonomous courier services. 

The shared objective in the inter-state NDI will lead to a pooling of capabilities and resources to develop sustainable drone-based transport services across the Nordic region.

The green and technology-focused nature of the project makes it an ideal platform for Nordic cooperation, said Tor Skoglund, ‎senior research project manager at the Gothenburg-based RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

“The Nordic region enjoys many commonalities,” said Skoglund. “We have very similar conditions not just in climate but also within key infrastructure, markets and regulatory areas. Together, we can position the Nordic region at the forefront of developments

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Société Générale adopts work-from-home policy

French multinational bank Société Générale (SocGen) is allowing its staff in France to work remotely two days a week after completing negotiations with labour unions.

As part of the plan, employees will be given money to help them get the technology they need to work from home.

SocGen is the latest bank to announce plans to increase flexibility for staff after the success of enforced work from home policies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The policy will apply to all its staff in France – about 40,000 – but will eventually extend to its total global workforce of around 140,000.

Caroline Guillaumin, SocGen’s head of human resources, said: “It is essential to quickly define a new work structure that would meet the expectations of our employees after the unique experience of remote working, which we had to set up urgently due to this unprecedented crisis.”

The bank agreed with trade unions

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Telecom Egypt implements IBM hybrid cloud to transform operations

Telecom Egypt (TE), one of the largest integrated telecommunications operators in the country, has turned to IBM and Red Hat to help develop an open, hybrid cloud strategy that is intended to modernise its operations and accelerate its digital transformation journey.

The telco can trace its history all the way back to the birth of Egypt’s telecommunications industry and the inauguration of the first telegraph line connecting Cairo and Alexandria in 1854. It installed the first telephone line between the two cities in 1881.

In its current formation, Telecom Egypt’s mission is to shape the future of telecommunications services in the region through what it calls world-class customer centricity, attraction and retention while maximising shareholder value.

As part of its strategy for growth, Telecom Egypt is reinventing its infrastructure to be based on open, hybrid cloud technology to gain more flexible deployment options and drive innovation to meet

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Large and small firms accelerate UC technology adoption in response to Covid-19

Research from Ribbon Communications has revealed that in the space of a year, unified communications solutions have gone from a useful business add-on to a critical part of the fabric of any company large or small.

On a yearly basis, and basically beginning from April 2020, the coronavirus has changed everything and, in terms of networking, turned everything upside down. Remote conferencing and collaboration are now business necessities, and just as important to the supplier community as to users.

The real-time software and IP optical transport solutions provider’s annual unified communications (UC) survey measured the UC purchase drivers and buying behaviours of leaders from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enterprises around the world. It took responses in November 2020 from more than 4,500 technology decision makers across 18 countries in the Americas and Europe. Respondents worked in companies with five to more than 5,000 employees.


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Telcos flesh out 5G volumetric use cases

Volumetric technology, which could be one of the most interesting applications based on 5G mobile networks, has to date been one of the most under-reported, but now UK and Japanese telco giants BT and NTT DoCoMo have, almost simultaneously, announced advances into the field.

In essence, volumetric video is a way of capturing an object or environment in three dimensions so that it can be seen remotely in 3D from any perspective. Low-latency 5G connectivity paired with edge network computing enables volumetrically captured objects to be streamed to a display and experienced in the same way people perceive an object moving in front of them.

Volumetric video will enable live events to be streamed online at high quality and in three dimensions, allowing viewers to watch in real time from any angle of their choosing.

Use cases can extend from watching live performances unfold from just a few feet away

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Appeal court finds ‘digital phone tapping’ admissible in criminal trials

Judges have decided that communications collected by French and Dutch police from the encrypted phone network EncroChat using software ‘implants’ are admissible evidence in British courts.

Police have made more than 1,000 arrests in the UK after the EncroChat phone network was compromised by French and Dutch investigators.

UK law prohibits law enforcement agencies from using evidence obtained from interception in criminal trials.

But three judges found on Friday [5 February] that material gathered by French and Dutch investigators and passed to the UK’s National Crime Agency were lawfully obtained through “equipment interference”.

“Today’s verdict implies that intercepting, or “tapping” – copying other people’s live private calls and messages – has no clear meaning in the digital age,” said Duncan Campbell, who acted as a forensic expert in the case for defendants, speaking after the verdict.

“If upheld, the ruling appears to mean that tapping is only now tapping if

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