Archive for Connectivity

Tech Tip – Lightbeam Screen-Sharing App

If you’d like an app that enables you to easily share mobile screens with a friend or colleague, for work or leisure, Lightbeam is a new, free, cross-platform app which does just that.

The social screen sharing app also makes it easy to book group itineraries and reservations for trips, and it also works as a video chat service.

To download the app find it on Apple’s iTunes, and on Google Play Store.

Slack Builds Email Bridge

Chat App and collaborative working tool Slack appears to have given up the fight to eliminate email by allowing the introduction of new tools that enable Slack collaboration features inside Gmail and Outlook, thereby building a more inclusive ‘email bridge’.

What Is Slack?

Slack, launched ‘way back’ in 2013, is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services. It provides mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and is available for the Apple Watch, enabling users to send direct messages, see mentions, and send replies.

Slack teams enable users (communities, groups, or teams) to join through a URL or invitation sent by a team admin or owner. It was intended as an organisational communication tool, but it has gradually been morphing into a community platform i.e. it is a business technology that has crossed-over into personal use.

Email Bridge

After having a five-year battle against email, Slack is building an “email bridge” into its platform that will allow those who only have email to communicate with Slack users.

Aim

The change is aimed at getting those members of an organisation on board who have signed up to the Slack app but are not willing to switch entirely from email to Slack. The acceptance that not everyone wants to give up using their email altogether has made way for a belief by Slack that something at least needs to be built-in to the app to allow companies and organisations to be able to leverage the strengths of all their workers, and at least allow those organisation and team members who are separated because of their Slack vs email situation to be connected to the important conversations within Slack. It will also now mean that companies and organisations have time to make the transition in working practices at their own pace (or not ) i.e. migrate (or not migrate) entirely to Slack.

How?

The change supports Slack’s current Outlook and Gmail functionality, which enables users to forward emails into a channel where members can view and discuss the content and plan responses from inside Slack. It also allows anything set within the Outlook or Gmail Calendar to be automatically synced to Slack.

The new changes will allow team members who have email but have not committed to Slack to receive an email notification when they’re mentioned by their username in channels or are sent a direct message.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Slack appears to have listened to Slack users who’d like a way to keep connected with their e-mail only / waiting to receive credentials colleagues, and the email bridge is likely to meet with their approval in this respect.  For Slack, it also presents the opportunity gently for those people who are more resistant to change into eventually making the move to Slack.

This change is one of several announced by Slack, such as the ‘Actions’ feature last year, and the two new toolkits (announced in February this year) that will allow non-coders to build apps within Slack.

Slack knows that there are open source and other alternatives in the market, and the addition of more features and more alliances will help Slack to provide more valuable tools to users, thereby helping it to gain and retain loyalty and compete in a rapidly evolving market.

‘ManyChat’ Raises $18 million Funding For Facebook Messenger Bot

California-based startup ‘ManyChat’ has raised $18 million Series A funding for its Facebook Messenger marketing bot.

ManyChat

ManyChat Inc. is now the leading messenger marketing product, reportedly powering over 100,000 bots on Facebook Messenger.

ManyChat lets you use visual drag`n`drop interface to create a free Facebook Messenger bot for marketing, sales and support.  The bot is essentially a Facebook Page that sends out messages and responds to users automatically.

The ManyChat bot allows you to welcome new users, send them content, schedule posts, set up keyword auto-responses (text, pictures, menus), automatically broadcast your RSS feed and more.

The bot, which is a blend of automation and personal outreach also incorporates Live Chat that notifies you when a conversation is needed with a subscriber.

Facebook Messenger

ManyChat says it has focused on Facebook Messenger because it is the #1 app in the US and Canada with over 1 billion active users, and it is the most engaging channel with average 80% open rates and 4 to 10 times higher CTRs compared to email.

The Funding

The $18 million funding for ManyChat was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Flint Capital, and means that Bessemer’s Ethan Kurzweil will be joining the board of directors, and Bessemer’s Alex Ferrara becomes a board observer.

1+ Million Accounts Created

ManyChat reports that more than 1 million accounts have been created on the platform already by customers in many different industry sectors.  The platform has also reported that these 1+ million customers have managed to enlist 350 million Messenger subscribers and that there are now a staggering 7 billion messages sent on the platform each month.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Bots provide a way for businesses to reduce costs, make better use of resources and communicate with customers and enquirers 24/7.

As ManyChat points out, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to effectively reach their audience because people open less email and social media is ‘noisy’ to the point where messages become lost in the crowd.  A key advantage of ManyChat, therefore, is that it uses Facebook Messenger as a private channel of communication with each user, it’s instant and interactive, no message is ever lost, and Messenger has huge user numbers. Other advantages that businesses will appreciate is that it’s free and easy to set up the bot (no coding skills are required), and it offers the best of both worlds of automated communications, and the option to jump in with Live Chat when it is needed.

This kind of bot could enable businesses and organisations to make their marketing more effective while maximising efficiency.

ManyChat is also good news for Facebook which owns Messenger as it appears to be boosting user numbers by finding an improved, business-focused use for the app.

For ManyChat, its Facebook Messenger bot appears to be only the beginning (hence the funding), with investors looking at platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, RCS, and more to further expand bot marketing services in the future.

School Enlists Chinese Help To Upgrade To Enhanced Wi-Fi

The Lytchett Minster School in Dorset recently made the news among IT commentators after demonstrating how it could overcome the connectivity challenges of its rural location, cut costs and increase efficiency by upgrading its on-site network with Chinese company TP-Link’s enhanced Wi-Fi.

Challenges

As recently featured by Computer Weekly, the school had to contend with a rural campus location and the resulting poor connectivity, next to a grade II listed 18th century manor house, and a rudimentary system of ageing individual home-user access points (APs) mounted in school corridors which required users to disconnect and reconnect when roaming around.   Also, the old wireless network was not voucher-based and was insecure (the pre-shared key could be compromised), which meant that staff had to reset each AP’s password individually (with remote authentication dial-in user service help) and users had to keep reconnecting each of their devices to the network.

As is the case with so many schools, Lytchett Minster School had to make its limited budget go as far as possible in the upgrade.  This meant the need to minimise price per AP and annual licensing fees while getting the best value, efficient and effective wireless infrastructure solution.

Requirements

It was decided that the most important requirements on the school’s list were power over Ethernet (PoE), Radius authentication, centralised management, provision of multiple service set identifiers (SSIDs) and voucher authentication.

TP-Link Chosen

The school chose Chinese company TP-Link to upgrade their on-site network based on features offered, value for money, and the fact that TP-Link builds its hardware itself instead of outsourcing and, therefore, doesn’t charge licensing fees.

Founded in 1996 by two brothers and based in Shenzhen, China, TP-Link is a manufacturer of computer networking products and is now the world’s number 1 provider of consumer Wi-Fi networking devices, shipping products to over 170 countries. 

Change

Changing to the upgraded, enhanced Wi-Fi meant that the old APs could be moved from corridors into classrooms for optimum performance and coverage. The changes to a better enhanced Wi-Fi network also meant that access control lists could issue users with vouchers that restricted network access at the subnet according to core user group, out of hours separate public access SSID could be offered to users of the school’s sports facilities, larger numbers of staff iPads and phones could be used for teaching, and special provisions could be made for the BYOD policy for  sixth form students.

The new system also enabled easier, centralised management of the network with data from each AP being displayed to the IT department on large screens, with no more need to perform network reboots (as these can happen automatically at 6 am every day to avoid disrupting lessons), and the ability to carry out all key tasks from a central interface.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This story is an example of how the potential of an organisation (a school in this case) was limited by poor Wi-Fi provision, partly due to its rural location and old, inadequate hardware. The school showed that today, it is possible for a school based in Dorset to choose a Chinese tech firm as a partner to deliver a business-class wireless network solution that meets all operational requirements within budget, and without the extra cost of ongoing licence fees. An enhanced Wi-Fi system of this kind also offers the convenience, transparency and ease of centralised control.

Is Huawei Really Dragging Its Feet Over Security?

After espionage chiefs from the ‘Five Eyes’ agreed last July that they would try to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom Huawei (over fears that it was spying for China), a new report from the Huawei Cybersecurity Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) says that the company is still not fixing previously identified security problems.

Summary – Bans, Detention, and Trump’s Trade War Efforts

Last summer saw US President Trump put China in his sights for a trade war, and with a climate of fear about possible Russian interference in US political affairs, you could be forgiven for thinking that it would have been relatively easy for Mr Trump to point the finger at China too, while implicating US tech giant Apple’s biggest competitor at the same time.  In fact, after the ‘Five-Eyes’ (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.) announced that Huawei could be spying for the Chinese state, the US, Australia and New Zealand banned Huawei Technologies Ltd from being a supplier for fifth-generation networks, and Japan banned Huawei from official contracts from December 2018.

Also, pressure was put on Deutsche Telekom, the majority owner of T-Mobile US, to stop using Huawei equipment, and Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, was detained in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities for allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran.  China’s state-run media and some other commentators suggested (perhaps unsurprisingly) that Meng’s detention appeared to be politically or economically motivated.

Huawei Sues

Huawei has been left with no option but to sue the US government in a Texas court, and to claim the ban on the use of Huawei equipment by any US federal violates parts of the US Constitution.

Promised Transformation

Last November, in the face of mounting concerns and criticism, Huawei’s board of directors resolved to carry out a companywide transformation programme to the with a starting investment of US $2Bn, to enhance software engineering capabilities.  The company also said it would work with UK operators and the NCSC to make sure that the implementation met required standards along the way.

New Report Says Old Problems Not Fixed

The new report by HCSEC claims that Huawei isn’t making any real, material progress on the problems identified in the 2018 report.  HCSECs Oversight Board is still concerned about Huawei’s approach to software development, and the risk that it may pose to UK operators.  The Board is also concerned about the security aspects of the Huawei equipment currently deployed in the UK.

Huawei is world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and No.3 maker of smartphones. However, BT for example, has been using Huawei systems as part of its network, but after security concerns were expressed last year, it has been removing Huawei systems from the core of the mobile network EE, which it purchased in 2016.

Loser Attitude?

Huawei has met recent criticism from the US by saying that it is simply the result of the US displaying a “loser attitude” because it can’t compete with Huawei’s success.

Spying Would Be Suicide

The chief legal officer of Huawei, Song Liuping, has pointed out that spying would be commercial “suicide” anyway for Huawei because more than 48% of its business comes from overseas markets.

Popular Products

It would be true to say that Huawei’s consumer products (i.e. phones) have proven to be very popular despite the accusations made against the company.  Huawei has predicted that it could become the world’s biggest-selling smartphone vendor this year and that all three business groups – consumer, carrier and enterprise, are expected to post double-digit growth in 2019.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Many commentators acknowledge that there may be political and economic motivations behind some of the measures being taken against Huawei.  The point that the ‘Five-Eyes’ have been trying to highlight is that possibly, Huawei’s products and network software could have backdoors built-in to them which could, in theory, allow covert surveillance or control, or destruction of phone networks (which are accessible via the internet).  The fear is that those acting for the Chinese state could gain access to the data stored/routed through Huawei devices, telecoms equipment and software, and could even, perhaps, monitor the conversations on mobile phones. No evidence of this has been made public to date.

One thing that is hard to deny, however, is the popularity of Huawei’s consumer products.  The company has now become the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment and has overtaken US giant Apple in terms of the number of handsets that it ships worldwide.  UK stores are still stocking and selling its handsets, and the warnings of various governments look unlikely, for the time being, to make any major dent in that side of its business, although more outright bans from more countries (for a company that ships nearly half of its products overseas) could soon begin to hurt.

Automatic Compensation For Broadband Problems Begins

Next week will see the introduction of automatic compensation, without having to ask, for customers of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet who experience delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments.

More To Follow

PlusNet has also committed to the scheme but hasn’t provided a timescale while Hyperopic and Vodafone will begin automatic compensation later this year, and EE is likely to start paying compensation automatically in 2020.

Finally Agreed Last December

Initially announced by Ofcom back in November 2017 following a review and intervention in the broadband market, the voluntary agreement, which will only apply if a fault takes longer than two days to fix, was reached between Openreach and the five UK service providers last December.

The Scale of Broadband Problems

Ofcom figures show that there are a staggering 7.2 million cases of broadband or landline customers suffering delayed repairs, installations or missed appointments per year and before this scheme only 1 in 7 customers received compensation.  Those few who did receive the compensation had to ask for it rather than it being automatically paid, as is the big change with the new agreement.

How Much?

The new agreement (which was reached after more than 6 months of negotiations and which is subject to a 12-month review of Cancelled Provisions) should mean that £8 compensation per-day can be paid, with £25 compensation if an engineer does not arrive on schedule or cancels within 24 hours, and an offer of £5-per-day can be made for new services not starting on time.

Customers whose providers are not in the scheme can choose to switch to a new provider if they are unhappy with their current service.

Fastest Way?

Ofcom’s answer to the questions about why there are no formal regulations for automatic compensation and why this is still a voluntary agreement is that it has proved to be the quickest way to get a commitment from the largest companies and to get some kind of scheme up and running for 95% of households.

Openreach – Given Own Quality Standards

Openreach (who many blame for the origin of many broadband problems because of their responsibility for the physical infrastructure in the UK over many years) has been set its own set of tough Quality of Service (QoS) standards by Ofcom.  However, Openreach’s position of not paying out for force-majeure  events, and Ofcom expecting retail ISPs to cover those costs themselves has led to some ISPs perhaps feeling that they will still end up paying for Openreach’s failures.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For businesses, a fast and reliable broadband connection is vital to operate and compete effectively in today’s marketplace. Problems with broadband services can be very costly and frustrating for businesses, and many businesses feel that they shouldn’t have to fight for compensation on top of the problems caused by poor broadband services and that current levels of compensation are too low, and don’t come close to reflecting the harm caused. Automatic compensation at higher levels is, therefore, welcome news, but many businesses may still think that the amounts on offer are unlikely to cover the disruption and problems caused after several days of broadband problems.

The new automatic compensation scheme will still be good news for small businesses because one-third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) choose residential landline and broadband services, and around half (49%) of SMEs don’t know if they’re entitled to compensation when service falls short (Ofcom figures).

It is also reassuring to know that the main providers are on board with the scheme and that Ofcom plans to monitor its implementation, review it after one year, and step in if it’s not working well enough for customers.

The Web @ 30

It was back in March 1989, 30 years ago, that the World Wide Web as we know it was created by a computer scientist at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

From Proposal To Reality

Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal in March 1989, entitled “Information Management: A Proposal” which was based upon his vision of having a unifying structure for multiple computers, which by 1991 had developed into the World Wide Web.

The proposal, which was mainly focused on how information could be easily stored, shared, and accessed by CERN staff (and scientists, universities and institutions) expressed concern about “the problems of loss of information about complex evolving systems” and how “a solution based on a distributed hypertext system” could be used to help.  It was envisioned that a web of notes with links (like references) between them could be more useful than the existing fixed hierarchical system.

The Internet, rather than the Web, had existed for quite some time but had been developed for military purposes so that communications in a country could be retained even when some hubs may have been damaged or destroyed.  This early Internet was also used by researchers and computer scientists, but did not have the user-friendly, hyperlinked structure that Sir Tim Berners-Lee created, which he based upon his experience of writing a linked, hotspot-based program for keeping track of software (back in 1980) called ‘Enquire’.

First Website

The first website was hosted on Sir Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer.  This was the computer built by the company set up by Steve Jobs after being ousted from the early Apple company.  The website was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself.

Public Domain

The first World Wide Web software was introduced to the public domain on April 30th 1993.  With the next release available with an open licence, CERN was able to help provide a huge boost to the growth and popularity of the Web.

Celebrations at CERN

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, CERN hosted an event on 12th March 2019 in partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and with the World Wide Web Foundation at which Sir Berners-Lee was the key speaker.

Web Memories

With the web being a relatively new, and constantly evolving part of modern life, many people reading this may have similar memories of using the Web from the 90s onwards.  These memories of the early Web include:

  • Being able to access library archives and records digitally for the first time, rather than actually having to go to a physical library and being able to copy and print off results rather than using a library photocopier (as was the pre-Web way).
  • The popular introduction of ‘chatrooms’ in the early 1990s – the forerunners of social networks.
  • In the late 90s bookshops stocked pocket-sized web directories, which were like mini phone books for the best websites.
  • Very slow dial-up modems using the telephone line, and CD-ROM disks to provide (relatively expensive) connections to the Internet.  Popular paid-for early service providers were AOL and Compuserve, but many people still used paid-for slots in Internet cafes. British ISP Freeserve opened up Internet access to the wider market in 1998 by providing free connections in the UK.
  • Lycos, Ask Jeeves and AltaVista (pre-Google days) were popular search engines in the late 90s, and the popular browsers in the UK were Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator which could also be used as an early website builder.
  • Early animated Gifs were succeeded by the introduction of Flash.  This enabled animation to be incorporated into websites, flash games were created, as were whole cartoon-like websites in Flash. In the beginning, the only problem was that search engines couldn’t read Flash files, and therefore, Flash websites tended to suffer in the search engine results.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

The evolution of the Web, originally envisioned and brought into being by Sir Berners-Lee, has revolutionized business, not least with email, and the ability to trade and shop online, globally.  In opening up the business world it has created many often unforeseen opportunities but has also opened businesses up to threats e.g. global competition and security issues.

In recent interviews, as well as expressing pride in his creation, and how it was mainly a force for good in the first 15 years, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has also expressed concern about how the Web has recently been used in a negative way to influence election results (the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook scandal), and that it has also shown how it can be used effectively to spread misinformation.  Sir Tim has also acknowledged, however, that the access that young people have had to information (in countries where Web use is not restricted) has created a generation who are more like online activists who are able to challenge and question the decisions of those in power.

Tech Tip – Check Your Screen Time on Apple Devices

If you’d like to be able to get a report about how you or your family members use your Apple devices, apps, and websites, how much time is spent on them, and (for example) set limits on your child’s device, there’s an app in the new iOS 12 to help you do it.  Here’s how :

– Turn on the ‘Screen Time’ app: on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > Screen Time.

– Select ‘Turn On Screen Time’.

– Select ‘Continue’.

– Select This is My (device) or This is My Child’s (device).

You can now get reports. To set limits, you can configure your child’s device from your own device using ‘Family Sharing’:

– Go to Settings > Screen Time (if you’re already in a Family Group).

– Tap your child’s name.

– If you need to create a new Apple ID for your child, go to Settings > (your name) > Family Sharing > Screen Time.

– If you’re new to Family Sharing, ‘Set up Screen Time for Family’.

– Follow the instructions to add a child and set up your family.

– Add any other family members from the Family Sharing settings at any time.

No More Windows 10 Mobile Support – Microsoft Suggests Switching

Microsoft has formally announced on its support pages that, as of December 10th 2019, Windows 10 Mobile users can no longer expect security updates and support, and Microsoft recommends that customers then move to a supported Android or iOS device.

Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is a mobile OS that was released in 2015 as the successor of Windows Phone 8.1 and is essentially an edition of Windows 10 running on devices that have less than a 9-inch screen.

The end of Windows 10 Mobile support comes just over four years after Microsoft’s failed acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services businesses, which led to Microsoft having to write off $7.6 billion in 2015.  At the time, tech commentators wondered why Microsoft had got into the low-margin, highly competitive phone business, and Microsoft shifted its strategy from the standalone phone business to a strategy to grow the Windows ecosystem.  This effectively put the writing on the wall for Windows 10 Mobile, and many tech commentators have been waiting over the years for the formal announcement for the end of support to come.

What Is Coming To An End?

In this announcement, Microsoft has said that new security updates, non-security hot-fixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free will end for users of Windows 10 Mobile as of December 10, 2019.

Microsoft has also stressed that, although third parties or paid support programs may still provide ongoing support, Microsoft support will not publicly provide updates or patches for Windows 10 Mobile after that date.

The announcement does not mean that Windows 10 Mobile devices will shut down with the cessation of support, but that continuing to use the devices afterwards will mean higher risks because of issues such as the lack of security updates and the phasing-out of backups.

Which Models?

Microsoft says that only device models that are eligible for Windows 10 Mobile, version 1709 are supported through the December 10th end date. Also, for Lumia 640 and 640 XL phone models, Window 10 Mobile version 1703 was the last supported OS version and will reach end of support on June 11th, 2019.

What Now?

The suggestion from Microsoft itself to Windows 10 Mobile customers is to move to a supported Android or iOS device.

Those customers who plan to keep using their Windows 10 Mobile device after the December 10th support cut-off date have been encouraged by Microsoft to manually create a backup before that date.  This can be done using Settings->Update & Security->Backup>More Options and then tapping on ‘Back up now’.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

This announcement from Microsoft is certainly not unexpected.  Where commercial customers are concerned, they have the same cut-off dates as domestic customers, but Microsoft has said that it will be working with many commercial customers to ensure a successful migration to a supported platform prior to the end of support date.

This is an acceptance and acknowledgement by Microsoft that most of the partners and customers of businesses already use Android or iOS platforms and devices.

Some commentators have suggested that the move to end support for Windows 10 Mobile may also be a way for Microsoft to clear the decks ready for the introduction of a new folding smartphone, codenamed ‘Andromeda’.  This remains to be seen.

Concerns Over Huawei and ZTE Equipment and Software

A statement from the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) has warned network operators that using software or hardware made by Chinese telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE could represent a security threat.

Why?

Huawei, which the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is based in China, and according to the NCISA, private companies residing in China are required by law to cooperate with intelligence services.  This could mean that the products and services of those companies could, in theory, become part of the Chinese state security systems e.g. Huawei and ZTE could be used for spying on behalf of China.

Global Suspicion & Action

According to the Wall Street Journal, espionage chiefs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. (the so-called ‘Five-Eyes’), agreed at a meeting in July this year to try to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom Huawei because of the threat that it could be spying for China.

The US, Australia and New Zealand have barred Huawei Technologies Ltd. as a supplier for fifth-generation networks, and Japan also looks set to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

The U.S. government is also reported to have been putting pressure on Deutsche Telekom, the majority owner of T-Mobile US, to stop using Huawei equipment, although the head of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schoenbohm is reported to have told German news outlet Der Spiegel that proof is required to substantiate the accusations.

Detained

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, was recently detained in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities for violating US sanctions on Iran. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou happened on the same night that President Trump was dining with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Argentina.  China’s state-run media, and some other commentators have suggested that Meng’s detention appears to be politically or economically motivated.

Response

The response by a Huawei spokesperson to the NCISA warning has been to deny any suggestion that a national security threat is posed by Huawei to the Czech Republic, and to call for NCISA to provide proof of its claims.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

If the ‘Five-Eyes’ are to be believed, Huawei’s products and network software could have backdoors built-in to them which could, in theory, allow covert surveillance or control, or destruction of phone networks (which are accessible via the internet).  The fear is that those acting for the Chinese state could gain access to the data stored / routed through Huawei devices, telecoms equipment and software, and could even, perhaps, monitor the conversations on mobile phones.

There does, however, appear to be a lack of clear proof for the allegations, and bearing in mind that Huawei is the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, and that its products are popular (this year it overtook Apple in terms of the number of handsets it was shipping worldwide) and that UK stores are still stocking and selling its handsets, the warnings of various governments look unlikely to be heeded for now.  It is worth noting that BT uses Huawei systems as part of its network, but is now is removing Huawei systems from the core of the mobile network EE, which it purchased in 2016.

The advice as part of the recent Czech warning is that system administrators in critical information infrastructure should take ‘adequate measures’ against the threat.  This advice appears a little vague, and until conclusive proof can be produced, many people and businesses will feel that they can decide for themselves what, if any, action to take.