China, Dec 18 (AP/UNB) — The chairman of Huawei has called on the U.S., Australia and other governments to provide evidence to back up claims that the Chinese tech giant is a security risk.
The remarks from Ken Hu on Tuesday came as part of a public relations effort to diffuse fears that threaten Huawei's role in next-generation communications.
Hu complained that accusations against the biggest global supplier of network gear stem from "ideology and geopolitics." He warned that excluding Huawei from the rollout of fifth-generation telecoms would raise costs and hamper innovation.
Hu told reporters at Huawei headquarters that if governments have evidence, "it should be made known."
He said governments don't have to disclose information publicly, but at least should show proof to phone companies that would be blocked from using Huawei technology.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) - State-owned mobile phone operator Teletalk has introduced the fourth generation (4G) network service in parts of the capital.
Teletalk Managing Director Shahab Uddin said the 4G service was launched commercially in some areas of the capital on Sunday evening and the entire capital come under the coverage by this month.
All the districts of the country will be brought under the 4G network within June and July, he said.
To activate the 4G service, customers will have to write ‘4G’ and send it to ‘111’ number.
Currently, the Teletalk 4G service is available in Baridhara, Banani, Gulshan, Niketan, Ramna, Motijheel, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi, Shyamoli, Farmgate, Buet and Dhaka University areas.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB)- The largest 4.5G network provider of the country, Robi, has been recognised by the global leader in internet testing, data and analysis, Ookla®, to have the best download speed in Dhaka region.
As per OOKLA®’s Q3 2018 Speedtest® intelligence mean download speed data, Robi has been constantly showing the best download speed compared to its competitors in Dhaka Division.
In order to celebrate the achievement, Robi has been offering 6GB internet to all customers, (3GB any and 3GB 4.5G data) for 7 days upon recharging 129 taka from any Robi number.
Robi created history by launching 4.5G in all the 64 districts of the country, the day it launched the service. It continued to maintain its momentum in the fast evolving digital landscape by expanding the network to more than 99% of all the thanas of the country with more than 7,300 4.5G sites.
Being the only operator to have successfully tested the trial run of 5G service, Robi’s dominance in the digital sector is imminent.
Beijing, Dec 16 (AP/UNB) — While a Huawei executive faces possible U.S. charges over trade with Iran, the Chinese tech giant's ambition to be a leader in next-generation telecoms is colliding with security worries abroad.
Australia and New Zealand have barred Huawei Technologies Ltd. as a supplier for fifth-generation networks. They joined the United States and Taiwan, which limit use of technology from the biggest global supplier of network switching gear. This week, Japan's cybersecurity agency said Huawei and other vendors deemed risky will be off-limits for government purchases.
None has released evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei, which denies it is a risk and has operated a laboratory with Britain's government since 2010 to conduct security examinations of its products. But the accusations, amid rising tension over Chinese technology ambitions and spying, threaten its ability to compete in a sensitive field as carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars.
"This is something that's definitely concerning Huawei at this stage, because there is a political angle to it and a business angle," said Nikhil Bhatra, a senior researcher for IDC.
Huawei is no ordinary electronics supplier. The company founded in 1987 by a former military engineer is China's first global tech brand and a national champion at the head of an industry Beijing is promoting as part of efforts to transform this country into a technology creator. It has China's biggest corporate research-and-development budget at 89.7 billion yuan ($13 billion) in 2017 — 10 percent more than Apple Inc.'s — and foreign customers can draw on a multibillion-dollar line of credit from the official China Development Bank.
That puts Huawei at the heart of strains over the ruling Communist Party's technology aspirations, competition with Western economies and ties between companies and government, including possibly spying.
A European Union official, Andrus Ansip, expressed concern that Chinese rules requiring telecom equipment suppliers to cooperate with intelligence services would involve possible "mandatory backdoors" in computer or telecom systems.
"Do we have to be worried about Huawei and other Chinese companies? Yes, I think we have to be worried," said Ansip, the trade bloc's vice president for a digital single market.
The company says it is employee-owned and operates independently. It denies it designs equipment to allow eavesdropping or that it is controlled by the Communist Party — a stance critics including some U.S. senators say is doubtful in China's state-dominated system. The company notes it uses the same global components suppliers as Western manufacturers.
"Not a single shred of evidence against the company has ever been presented," Huawei said in a written response to questions.
The company is the "most examined telecoms equipment vendor," the statement said. It said foreign officials visit regularly to see "the lengths we go to assure them of the integrity of our technology."
Huawei, headquartered on a leafy campus in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, has been working on 5G since 2009 and is one of the major suppliers of the technology, along with Sweden's LM Ericsson and Finland's Nokia Corp.
The company whose technology winds up being adopted stands to reap billions of dollars from sales and license fees.
5G promises more than just faster mobile phone service. It is designed to support vastly expanded networks of devices from internet-linked cars and medical equipment to factory robots and nuclear power plants. Annual sales of 5G network gear are forecast to reach $11 billion by 2022, according to IHS Markit.
That makes it more politically sensitive, raises the potential cost of security failures and requires more trust in suppliers.
Even a "really minuscule" risk could disqualify a provider, said Andrew Kitson, head of technology industry research for Fitch Solutions.
But Kitson sees commercial motives behind the accusations against Huawei. He said many come from U.S. and European suppliers that are losing market share to Chinese rivals.
"There never has been any actual proof," said Kitson. "They've only got to make a few insinuations for other governments to sit up and think, hang on, even if there is no proof, it is too much of a risk."
Huawei took a new hit on Dec. 1 when its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver on U.S. charges of lying to banks about transactions with Iran.
Huawei is more politically important than ZTE Corp., a Chinese rival that was nearly driven out of business after Washington blocked it from buying U.S. technology over exports to Iran and North Korea. President Donald Trump restored access after ZTE paid a $1 billion fine, replaced its executives and hired U.S.-picked compliance officers.
That won't work with Huawei, which is the "key to Beijing's aspirations to lead globally" on 5G, Eurasia Group said in a report. It said Chinese leaders would see an attempt to impose ZTE-style controls as "tantamount to an open technology war."
Huawei's U.S. business evaporated after a 2012 congressional report labeled the company and ZTE security threats. The same year, Australia banned it from bidding on a national high-speed broadband network.
Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its territory and regularly threatens to attack, imposed curbs in 2013 on Huawei and other Chinese telecoms technology. Lawmakers are discussing expanding the controls.
Elsewhere, Huawei supplies phone carriers in Asia, Africa and Europe. The company says it serves 45 of the 50 biggest global telecom operators. Its 2017 global sales rose 16 percent to 604 billion yuan ($92.5 billion) while profits increased 28 percent to 47.5 billion yuan ($7.3 billion).
Huawei accounted for 28 percent of last year's $32 billion global sales of mobile network gear, according to IHS Markit. Ericsson was second with 27 percent and Nokia had 23 percent. ZTE, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Corp. and other vendors made up the rest.
Asked about the impact of security concerns on its 5G business, Huawei said this year's total revenue — which also includes the No. 3 global smartphone brand and an enterprise unit — should exceed $100 billion. That would be an 8 percent gain over 2017.
Washington is pressing allies to shun Huawei, but Germany, France and Ireland say they have no plans to ban any 5G network suppliers.
Huawei "has an important place in France" and "its investments are welcome," the country's economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, said Dec. 7, according to news reports.
The company has agreements to field test 5G equipment with Deutsche Telekom, Bell Canada, France's Bouygues, Telecom Italia, India's Bharti Airtel and carriers in Singapore, South Korea and Ireland.
China's foreign ministry complained critics were "hyping so-called threats" to hamper Huawei's business without evidence.
As for Ansip's concern about eavesdropping, "we have no such law that authorizes" backdoors, said a spokesman, Lu Kang.
IDC's Bhatra said excluding Huawei would leave countries with only two major 5G suppliers, Ericsson and Nokia. That would limit competition, raise prices and might slow innovation, he said.
Already, industry analysts say telecoms equipment costs more in the United States and other markets that lack lower-priced Chinese competitors.
"There are quite widespread implications," said Bhatra.
New York, Dec 15 (AP/UNB) — Facebook's privacy controls have broken down yet again, this time through a software flaw affecting nearly 7 million users who had photos exposed to a much wider audience than intended.
The bug disclosed Friday gave hundreds of apps unauthorized access to photos that could in theory include images that would embarrass some of the affected users. They also included photos people may have uploaded but hadn't yet posted, perhaps because they had changed their mind.
It's not yet known whether anyone actually saw the photos, but the revelation of the now-fixed problem served as another reminder of just how much data Facebook has on its 2.27 billion users, as well has how frequently these slipups are recurring.
The bug is the latest in a series of privacy lapses that continue to crop up, despite Facebook's repeated pledges to batten down its hatches and do a better job preventing unauthorized access to the pictures, thoughts and other personal information its users intend so share only with friends and family.
In general, when people grant permission for a third-party app to access their photos, they are sharing all the photos on their Facebook page, regardless of privacy settings meant to limit a photo to small circles such as family. The bug potentially gave developers access to even more photos, such as those shared on separate Marketplace and Facebook Stories features, as well as photos that weren't actually posted.
Facebook said the users' photos may have been exposed for 12 days in September. The company said the bug has been fixed.
The company declined to say how many of the affected users are from Europe, where stricter privacy laws took effect in May and could subject companies to fines. Facebook said it has notified the Irish Data Protection Commission of the breach.
The problem comes in a year fraught with privacy scandals and other problems for the world's biggest social network.
Revelations that the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million users led to congressional hearings and changes in what sorts of data Facebook lets outside developers access. In June, a bug affecting privacy settings led some users to post publicly by default regardless of their previous settings. This bug affected as many as 14 million users over several days in May.
With each breakdown, Facebook risks losing credibility with both its audience and the advertisers whose spending generates most of the company's revenue.
"It's like they keep getting these chinks in the armor that is causing this trust deficit," said Michael Priem, CEO of Modern Impact, which places ads for a variety of major brands.
Although Facebook doesn't appear to be losing a lot of users, Priem said some advertisers have been seeing data indicating that people are spending less time on the social network. That's raising concerns about whether the privacy breakdowns and problems with misinformation being spread on the services are taking a toll.
But it's difficult to know how much Facebook's recent wave of headaches has been affecting the service because its growth, particularly among younger people, had been slowing even before the problems began to crop up, said Nate Elliott, an analyst with the research firm Nineteen Insights.
Advertisers are unlikely to curtail their spending significantly as long as Facebook is able to maintain the current size of its audience, Elliott said. So far there has been little evidence a significant percentage of the users are worried enough about privacy to get off the service.
"Even if people don't trust Facebook, as long as the value that the service provides is worth more than the cost of the privacy violations, then that may be a trade-off most people are willing to make," Elliott said.
On Thursday, to counter the bad rap it's gotten around privacy, Facebook hosted a one-day "pop-up" to talk to users about their settings and whatever else may be on their mind. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan gave Facebook's work on privacy a "B'' when asked by a reporter for a grade. By 2019, she said she hopes the improvements will result in an "A."
Privacy experts might call it grade inflation. In any case, the company has its work cut out before it makes the top grade. The company has had to increase how much it spends on privacy and security, which put a dent in its bottom line and in August contributed to a stock price plunge .