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Top 10 telecoms and mobile stories of 2020

Looking back to December 2019, the following 12 months were really supposed to establish 5G as a permanent fixture in global communications markets and realising the potential in the many use cases that 5G was intended to make good on. Prime examples were autonomous vehicles and telehealth.

But health issues of another kind have led to a year that, although not throwing a massive spanner in the works for 5G, have led development onto unintended path.

Despite the fears of many that 5G roll-outs would be delayed or just not possible – due mainly to the adverse economic conditions caused by Covid-19 and simply not being able to get infrastructure construction workers to work – the year has actually witnessed increased 5G investment during the pandemic, rising by double digits compared with 2019’s forecast and with 5G-related jobs set to soar.

Indeed, a December 2020 study released by Qualcomm Technologies

Top 10 remote working stories of 2020

On 4 March 2020, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan announced the then not universally known videoconferencing company’s financial results for the previous 12 months.

“We strive to empower our customers to accomplish more with our video-first unified communications platform,” he said, reporting a particularly strong performance for the fourth quarter ending 31 January 2020 with total revenue growth of 78% at a scale of $188m. For the coming full fiscal year, Yuan predicted total revenue of between $905m and $915m – about $280m more than the company banked for 2020.

On 1 December 2020, Yuan announced that for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 ended 31 October 2020, the company had clocked up total revenue of $777.2m, up 367% year on year. Zoom, which has now become a verb like Sellotape and Hoover, expects its 2012 full-year revenues to be $2.575bn to $2.58bn. And that really is the story of 2020.

Top 10 end-user computing stories of 2020

In 2020, IT departments have demonstrated how quickly they can adapt to provide essential end-user computing services to enable employees to work from home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The policy to deploy laptops for “road warriors” changed to laptops for everyone. Using corporate IT security as a reason not to enable staff to connect their own devices to the corporate network has been relaxed as the surge in demand for new corporate laptops led to supply shortages.

At a high level, people were able to work if they had access to the applications they used regularly. Some, such as office productivity tools, could be delivered as software as a service; others required end-users to dial into the corporate network.

This showed up the limits of virtual private networks (VPNs). Businesses that had only purchased enough VPN capacity and licences to cope with a relatively small number of remote workers in

UK parliamentary committee slams government broadband targets as unrealistic

The UK government’s stated aim to roll out gigabit broadband across 85% of the UK by 2025 has been declared unrealistic in a withering report by Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.

The committee also looked at what role 5G technology might play in national infrastructure and called the government’s target for majority 5G coverage by 2027 equally ambitious, especially following recent rulings on the use of equipment from high-risk suppliers, specifically removing Huawei technology from national infrastructures.

The DCMS Committee report on broadband and the road to 5G is the result of an inquiry examining the government’s pledge to ensure that every home and business in the UK has gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.

Just after the Conservatives’ General Election victory in December 2019, the government outlined plans to make good on prime minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to work towards “delivering full-fibre [broadband] to every home in the

Cisco reveals intention to acquire Dashbase

For the third time in almost as many weeks, Cisco has announced a strategic purchase, with its AppDynamics division declaring its intention to acquire enterprise software company Dashbase for its logs and events analytics technology.

Dashbase’s stated mission is to support proactive service delivery of real-time communications, enabling service providers to deliver what it says are “high-quality” services and impress their customers.

Its core technology is designed for troubleshooting voice, video and chat, offering the ability to visualise call flows end to end. It allows users to see every hop of a call as it routes through a platform, so they can quickly isolate issues. All functionality is powered by log data collected throughout the many systems inside users’ platforms.

Dashbase says it has the tools that make the deployment of its software on users’ cloud Kubernetes infrastructure simple and fast, even for those not familiar with either Kubernetes or

EU looks to enter broadband space race

With Elon Musk’s Skylink constellation set to take the lead in a market that UK government-backed OneWeb wants a slice of, the European Union (EU) has revealed itself as the next on the launch pad for satellite-based broadband services.

Details of the bid have been revealed by the European Commission (EC), which has selected a consortium of European satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, telco operators and launch service providers to study the design, development and launch of a European-owned, space-based communication system.

The EC said the study would assess the feasibility of a new initiative aiming to strengthen European digital sovereignty and provide secure connectivity for citizens, commercial enterprises and public institutions, as well as providing global coverage for rural and “not-spot” areas.

Once it gets the green light, the new EU flagship programme would complement the existing Copernicus and Galileo craft and, said the EC, would “fully exploit”