The Rise of the “Industrial Internet”

by Jeff Wiener on April 17, 2015

While many companies are flooding the burgeoning so-called Internet of Things sector, there is another associated industry that many of us have never heard about and may never directly use that promises to play a significant role in establishing our connected everything existence, one that multinational conglomerate (and household name) General Electric has dubbed the “Industrial Internet.”

“The industrial Internet draws together fields such as machine learning, big data, the Internet of things, machine-to-machine communication and Cyber-physical system to ingest data from machines, analyze it (often in real-time), and use it to adjust operations,” the Wikipedia entry states, essentially describing the complex interaction of networked physical machines and software, combining IoT with advanced analytics.

Think of the Industrial Internet—or whatever name you might want to call it—as the backbone of the IoT movement, the communication of machines with other machines that allows for the collection, analysis, and deployment of massive amounts of data, which in turn allows for machines to adjust operations in accordance with a steady flow of real-time information. It’s the way our connected everything existence will know what we need when we need it, and it stands to be an important growth industry going forward.

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Nokia Eyes Re-establishing Global Empire, Acquires Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion

by Matt Klassen on April 17, 2015

It was almost two years that Nokia offloaded its entire mobile division on Microsoft; a move that allowed Nokia to exit a market it was clearly had no idea how to compete in, while giving Microsoft an established global footprint to grow its mobile brand. Saying nothing about Microsoft’s inability to do anything with that global presence, following the deal Nokia, for all intents and purposes, dropped off the telecom radar, with only a few quiet whispers that the company really had little left after divesting a significant portion of its business.

But apparently the rumours of Nokia’s demise were decidedly premature, as the Finnish communications company confirmed that it has finalized an acquisition deal to purchase French telecom Alcatel-Lucent in a deal worth 15.6 billion Euros ($16.6 billion). If shareholders approve the merger, the deal is set to be finalized by the first half of 2016.

While some speculate that the acquisition is intended to bolster Nokia’s telecom equipment business in an effort to establish itself as a global leader in a stagnating industry, given Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile assets this could mark Nokia’s return to the mobile industry as well, for while no details have been given the Finnish company has acknolwedged that this merger will “create an innovation leader in next generation technology and services for an IP connected world,” and that certainly sounds like mobile to me.

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Videotron Announces Canada-Wide LTE Network Coverage, Starting May 13

by Istvan Fekete on April 16, 2015

Videotron has announced another major step toward improving customer experience: It is expanding its network coverage from coast to coast. Starting May 13, 2015 Videotron customers will have mobile coverage across the whole of Canada.

The announcement comes less than a year after the carrier launched its LTE network, which supports theoretical download speeds of 150 Mpbs and covers nearly 90% of Québec’s population. Now, Videotron customers will be able to travel throughout the country and keep in touch with their loved ones at no extra cost, as a result of network partnerships.

“Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to continue offering Quebec consumers and businesses the best experience, which is why Videotron has the highest customer satisfaction rate of any telecommunications provider in Quebec,” said Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Videotron.
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Net Neutrality Hit with Flood of Legal Challenges

by Matt Klassen on April 16, 2015

Earlier this week the Federal Communications Commission’s rules for establishing a free and open Internet were published in the Federal Register, a move that pushes them one step closer to implementation. Unfortunately for the FCC, publishing Net Neutrality standards in the Register also means companies can officially start their legal challenges, and they certainly didn’t waste any time.

As we all expected, the broadband industry unleashed a torrent of lawsuits against the FCC this week, as both providers and industry trade groups are challenging the legal basis for the FCC to implement such regulations on wireless service, arguing that the FCC does not have the authority to reclassify broadband as a public utility, thus the entire foundation of the latest iteration of Net Neutrality lacks legal footing.

But amidst the challenges to the FCC’s legal authority to reclassify broadband as a public utility, the broadband industry is attempting to weave its own intricate web of propaganda, publicly stating that it now has no issue with Net Neutrality—in fact it welcomes the proposed regulations—it only has issue with the foundation that makes Net Neutrality legally enforceable in the first place.

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Ottawa Kicks Off 2500 MHz Spectrum Auction

by Istvan Fekete on April 15, 2015

Ottawa has kicked off the second wireless spectrum auction of the year. Following the AWS-3 spectrum auction which ended roughly a month ago, it was time for carriers to line up and start bidding on 2500 MHz airwave licences.

The auction aims to serve a major scope of “more choice, lower prices, and better service in the wireless sector”, Industry Minister James Moore emphasized once again as the bidding process kicked off. That’s something the government has been stressing during the past few years, although the results have been questionable. For example, since the introduction of the new Wireless Code, the incumbent carriers have raised the prices of their mid-tiered plans (which include data).

The 2500 MHz spectrum auction cannot replicate the success of the earlier AWS-3 auction, which raised $2.11 billion for the federal government. It won’t create a fourth Canadian wireless player, analysts say. The highest estimate is in the $800 million range, as both Rogers and Bell will be excluded from bidding for spectrum in some of the regions where they already own large chunks.
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Verizon Study Finds the Focus on Mobile Security Unwarranted at the Moment

by Matt Klassen on April 15, 2015

Despite what we’ve been hearing of late regarding the persistent threat to enterprise mobile security from the BYOD movement, from malware, or from cyber-criminals, Verizon has some counterintuitive paradigm altering news for us: mobile cyberattacks are relatively rare, short-lived, and generally benign.

Because of this, Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report recommends that businesses should focus their efforts on securing non-mobile infrastructure, noting that while mobile security will be a serious issue sometime down the road, it isn’t now, and companies need to shore up vulnerabilities in other areas first.

That’s not to say that mobile is protected from attacks, far from it in fact, but that it simply doesn’t offer the necessary rewards (access to personal information, financial gain etc…) to warrant sustained attention from cyber-criminals. Hackers have other preferred “vectors of attack,” and thus mobile remains largely secure, Verizon’s report found, because the attacks it does face aren’t actually that serious.

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Bell Withdraws Ads Program Due to OPC Privacy Concerns

by Istvan FeketeApril 14, 2015

Bell’s “Relevant Advertising Program” sparked an unprecedented 170 privacy-related complaints under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s federal private sector privacy law, after it was announced. Shortly afterwards, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) decided to investigate the matter, found that the program violated Canadian law, and advised [...]

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Has Apple Lost its Magic?

by Matt KlassenApril 14, 2015

For Apple it’s always been flash over function. The brilliance of the late Steve Jobs was not that he created the best mobile products, but that he was an incredible showman and an unrivalled manager of perceptions, able to convince the media and public alike that his company’s products were worth that extra money; a [...]

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Verizon Tracking ‘Super Cookie’ Investigated

by Istvan FeketeApril 13, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to investigate whether Verizon’s use of a “supercookie” to track users’ browsing habits is against consumer privacy and data security rules. The letter was sent to lawmakers late last month, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler informed the public about it only last Thursday. In the letter, Wheeler notes [...]

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Sprint to Offer Free International Roaming (sort of)

by Matt KlassenApril 13, 2015

Sprint has joined its UnCarrier rival T-Mobile in offering subscribers free international data roaming, but like many of Sprint’s value plans and marketing promotions of late, there’s certainly a catch. America’s third largest wireless carrier unveiled its new International Value Roaming bundle (again with little knowledge of the actual meaning of ‘value’), an add-on to [...]

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