Level 3 says Global Crossing deal with US did not allow for snooping

Reuters

Fiber optic network provider Level 3 Communications Inc said a 2003 network security agreement signed by its unit Global Crossing did not include any provision for unauthorized surveillance by U.S. government agencies.

The Washington Post reported last week that the deal allowed Team Telecom, a collection of U.S. government agencies, to access data transferred through Global Crossing's (Hamilton, Bermuda) fiber-optic backbone that connects several countries.

AlcaLu to build Africa's "first" 4G network in Ghana

Alcatel-Lucent has won a deal in Ghana to roll out what it claims will be the first 4G network in Western and Central Africa.

The operator is to build the network for local operator Surfline Communications (Accra, Ghana), which believes there is a pent-up demand for higher-speed services in the country.

Describing itself as a “data-centric communications provider”, Surfline says it will address national requirements for broadband connectivity that will contribute to Ghana’s social and economic growth.

Italian regulator backs Telecom Italia network spin-off

Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia has won support from Italy’s regulator for its plans to spin off its fixed-line business, reports Reuters.

In a speech to the Italian parliament, Angelo Marcello Cardani, the president of regulatory authority AGCOM, is reported to have praised the plans, saying that a broad and deep separation would pay regulatory dividends.

Telecom Italia’s board approved the separation scheme in May and will hope the move helps the operator to slash its substantial debt of more than €28 billion ($35.8 billion).

China, US talks on cyber security go well: Xinhua

Reuters

Talks between China and the United States on cyber security, overshadowed by revelations of U.S. electronic surveillance by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, have gone well, state media said on Wednesday, with both sides pledging to improve cooperation.

Cyber security is one of the main topics for high-level talks this week between the world's two largest economies, as both countries trade accusations about hacking attacks on each other.

France eliminates threat to cut off internet pirates

Reuters

France has put an end to the most controversial element of a copyright piracy law that allowed the government to cut off the Internet subscriptions of repeat offenders.

The Socialist government of Francois Hollande published an official decree on Tuesday to erase the provision in the law that allowed courts to deprive copyright violaters of their internet connectivity if they transgressed on three occasions. However, other sanctions, such as fines, will remain in place.

Vodafone enterprise unit to open new hubs in Africa

The UK’s Vodafone has unveiled plans to open two new regional hubs in Africa to support the growing demand for its enterprise services.

Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE), which caters to corporate customers, plans to establish hubs in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana to provide greater support for more than 600 of its multinational customers with operations in Africa.

VGE serves some 1,700 customers internationally and says revenues have been growing fast in Africa, exceeding €1 billion ($1.29 billion) in the last financial year.

S&P cuts Nokia rating further on Siemens venture buyout

Reuters

Standard & Poor's downgraded Nokia further into junk territory on Friday, warning that the Finnish telecom firm's plan to take over Siemens AG's stake in their joint network equipment venture would strain its finances.

The ratings agency downgraded the one-time tech darling by one notch to B+ from BB- citing pressure on its net cash after Nokia (Helsinki, Finland) said on Monday it would buy Siemens's (Munich, Germany) 50 percent share in Nokia Siemens Networks.

UK teams with defense and telecom companies on cyber security

Nine of the world's biggest weapon makers and telecoms providers are teaming up with Britain to bolster the country's cyber security, aiming to tackle the increasing threat of hacking and other such attacks.

Britain made cyber security one of its top national defence priorities in 2010, citing the growing menace of digital attacks from criminals and state-sponsored overseas groups.

Telekom Austria, AlcaLu achieve 1Gbps over copper

Telekom Austria has been trialling a copper-based broadband technology from Alcatel-Lucent that can support download speeds of more than 1Gbps.

The innovation could be hugely significant, allowing operators to avoid making costly investments in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in order to provide superfast services.

The product from Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) combines VDSL2 and vectoring – are already in commercial use – with a new transmission technology called G.fast, which uses a wide frequency band to boost connection speeds on copper lines over short distances.

NSN wins LTE contract with MTS for Moscow, central Russia

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has won a three-year contract with MTS to build an LTE network in Moscow and central Russia, following the operator’s receipt of 4G spectrum licenses last year.

The Finnish vendor is to build out the system in the third quarter of this year, according to its statement, with the deal valued at approximately $200 million, according to an MTS (Moscow, Russia) spokesperson cited in a Bloomberg report.

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