Government IT Still Ok Despite Trump Freeze?

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With President Trump making news with his latest signing, freezing government jobs. It looks like it’s not ALL jobs are affected. The Government IT jobs will be a bit tougher to get because of the signing, but it’s still very possible for those in the Defense and Cybersecurity positions.

Defense agencies are big users of IT and appear to be unaffected by the freeze. Cybersecurity hiring is a major impetus at civilian agencies and, depending on how broadly the government defines IT jobs related to “public security,” there could still be quite a bit of hiring.

Cybersecurity-related hiring was a top IT priority in the last year of President Barack Obama’s administration. It follows high-profile government breaches, including some 20 million records from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Source: Trump's federal hiring freeze won't kill government IT hiring

As to be expected, not everyone is on board with a government hiring freeze. In fact an independent watchdog, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GOA), issued a report stating that a hiring freezes had very little effect on actual federal employment levels and it was unknown whether they even saved the government money.

The last time there was a federal hiring freeze was in 1982.

Check out this section for more Government IT News and Notes 

Top 10 Higher Ed IT Issues for 2017

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Educause, the largest technology association for higher education, released their annual list of top 10 issues for higher education information technology professionals.

This is an in-depth report that we will breakdown for you, but if you just can’t wait, here is the first part.

The 2017 EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues are all about student success.

Information technology in higher education continues to have many priorities and serve numerous constituents. IT service catalogs comprise hundreds of services to meet the many needs of faculty, students, and staff in various fields: the humanities; social, biological, and physical sciences; law; music; theater; art; business; and healthcare and allied professions.

You name it, higher education offers it, and the IT organization supports it.

Every academic and administrative area makes its own, separate demands on the IT organization, at any time and from any place. Despite the many and disparate requirements of each user and each technology, a predominant focus has risen to the top for higher education information technology in 2017, and that focus is student success.

Colleges and universities are concentrating on student success to address concerns about the costs, value, and outcomes of higher education.

Student success initiatives are making use of every available resource and opportunity and are involving every relevant stakeholder. Institutional technology is all three: resource, opportunity, and stakeholder.

2017 Top 10 IT Issues

  1. Information Security: Developing a holistic, agile approach to reduce institutional exposure to information security threats
  2. Student Success and Completion: Effectively applying data and predictive analytics to improve student success and completion
  3. Data-Informed Decision Making: Ensuring that business intelligence, reporting, and analytics are relevant, convenient, and used by administrators, faculty, and students
  4. Strategic Leadership: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as a strategic partner with institutional leadership
  5. Sustainable Funding: Developing IT funding models that sustain core services, support innovation, and facilitate growth
  6. Data Management and Governance: Improving the management of institutional data through data standards, integration, protection, and governance
  7. Higher Education Affordability: Prioritizing IT investments and resources in the context of increasing demand and limited resources
  8. Sustainable Staffing: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention as budgets shrink or remain flat and as external competition grows
  9. Next-Gen Enterprise IT: Developing and implementing enterprise IT applications, architectures, and sourcing strategies to achieve agility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and effective analytics
  10. Digital Transformation of Learning: Collaborating with faculty and academic leadership to apply technology to teaching and learning in ways that reflect innovations in pedagogy and the institutional mission

Stay tuned for more on these topics.

Source: Top 10 IT Issues, 2017: Foundations for Student Success

Managing IT – One Way to Reduce Inconvenience and Cost

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It’s probably safe to assume you know that managing information technology (IT) is a critical element of running a successful business.

When it comes to IT, one thing you might not be aware of is “hyperconvergence.”

In our fast-changing technological landscape, it’s not uncommon to encounter a word such as this and not be completely sure what it means. With many businesses implementing hyperconverged systems, let’s quickly understand what exactly it is.

Hyperconvergence defined.

During his time as Chief Technology Officer of UK-based VCE, Steve Chambers noticed that businesses were investing a significant amount of time, effort, and money into combining his company’s three products into what technologists call a “virtualization stack.” In other words, companies were buying computers, storage, and networking separately, then trying to bring it all together themselves.

Chambers helped introduce the term hyperconvergence to the industry in 2012, with the publication of The Infrastructure Continuum.

By combining the three products into one, he and his team thought they could provide better customer service while also making more money.

With hyperconvergence, IT departments purchase everything at once, saving the time and effort they originally put into combining everything. “In one server, you have network, compute, and storage, so it was hyperconverged, and that’s where the phrase came from,” says Chambers, who now serves as CTO of Viewyonder, a U.K.-based tech industry analyst.

Reducing inconvenience and cost.

IT teams consistently look for ways to simplify their infrastructure, not only to save money but also to make things easier for employees who always have overflowing to-do lists. Scott Lowe is CEO of ActualTech Media, an organization of industry experts who provide surveys, reports and blogs to IT professionals. He says hyperconverged products are a critical resource and by simplifying certain processes, professionals can concentrate on other areas that may have more importance.

“One of the primary goals of hyperconvergence is to eliminate the need for separate storage resources,” Lowe says.

And we’re putting that storage into the server container and managing that as a single device rather than multiple devices that we then have to go through and connect together. It eliminates a lot of the complexity and cost in the data center environment.”

For businesses interested in switching to hyperconvergence solutions, Lowe advises looking at solutions holistically, choosing solutions that meet their needs while also being scalable.

Chambers says there’s generally a lower cost of entry to hyperconverged infrastructure compared to traditional configurations because you can make a smaller initial purchase and then grow it over time. If you’re able to fully replace your old equipment, you may eventually be able to save up to 60 percent of your prior infrastructure costs, he says.

Who needs hyperconvergence?

The size of your company isn’t the best indicator that you need hyperconverged infrastructure. How fast your company is growing is more important.

Chambers recommends researching the pros and cons of each “HC” platform so you can nail down your specific IT needs. Nutanix, SimpliVity and the VCE/VMware divisions of DellEMC are considered top vendors in the space. Publications like Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems provides detailed information about the outlook for the technology, as well as rating service providers.

Budgeting for hyperconvergence.

Chambers has found one of the biggest obstacles IT departments face relates to budgeting. When everything is separate, companies budget separately for storage, network equipment, and computers. Prior to moving toward hyperconvergence, Chambers advises thinking carefully about procurement.

“It’s an organizational challenge because you’re moving to a new way of spending money,” Chambers says. “You’re going to need someone very senior who can control budgets and say, ‘This is how hyperconvergence works. We’re going to have to rearrange our IT finances.’”

Hyperconvergence solutions give IT departments the option of an all-in-one platform, which helps increase efficiency. When professionals can manage everything in one place, they can operate more productively, increasing the time they can put toward other efforts.

Source: One Way to Reduce Inconvenience and Cost of Managing IT

Technology, Media and Telecommunication (TMT) Dramatic $700 Billion Impact

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The savvy CEOs anticipate that trends in 2017 are likely to follow the path of disruptive events in 2016.

Change is the norm. Digital technology will continue to have a dramatic impact on legacy players in the marketplace.

Technology, Media and Telecommunication (TMT) sectors completed 3,021 deals worth $698.2 billion in 2016, representing a decrease of 4.5% in value and 5.7% in deal count compared to a record 2015, while deal count remained consistent, according to the latest market study by Mergermarket.

The TMT sector accounted for 21.4 percent of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity – that’s up from 18.5% in 2015, and its second highest share on Mergermarket record (since 2001) after 2013 (22.4%).

TMT sector market development

Deal activity accelerated towards the end of 2016, with deals announced in the final quarter of the year (683 deals, $295 billion) marking the highest Q4 value on record.

U.S. M&A activity ramped up in the run up to November’s presidential election, with dealmakers looking to complete business before a winner was announced.

High profile mega-deals, such as AT&T’s $105 billion takeover of Time Warner, the largest transaction targeting any sector globally in 2016, and the $34.5 billion acquisition of Level 3 by CenturyLink, were both announced in the month prior to the election.

Such big-ticket deals consequently led to the U.S. being the most active region last year having recorded its second highest deal value on Mergermarket record with 1,101 deals worth $362.7 billion, accounting for 41 more deals compared to a record 2015 (1,060 deals, $393.8 billion), despite a 7.9 percent decrease in value.

According to the Mergermarket assessment, the outcome of the American 2016 election spurred the markets, with dealmakers hopeful that a more business-friendly climate will encourage more mergers and acquisitions in 2017.

Outlook for the global TMT market

Europe followed in terms of deal activity, with 992 deals worth $168.6 billion reaching the highest annual value since 2007 ($181.8 billion, 933 deals), while increasing its market share to 24% from 19 percent in 2015.

This increase was largely due to a rise in activity targeting Technology (708 deals, $121.3 billion) and Media (199 deals, $29.2 billion), up 72.6% and 107.7% by value year-on-year, respectively.

Virtual and augmented reality software apps will be the TMT sectors to watch in 2017. Moreover, sector dealmakers are expected to invest millions into start-ups that are promising to turn new technologies into commercial opportunities in 2017.

 

Source: Technology, media and telecom M&A hit $698.2 billion in 2016

Healthcare IT’s Most Influential Women

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Seven women from across the globe learned that they are the inaugural recipients of HIMSS’s Most Influential Women in Health IT Award, sponsored by Verizon and EY.

Our distinguished judges, themselves notable influential women, selected our awardees from more than 140 nominations.

I am honored to share this exciting news with you. Each of these women has demonstrated transformational influence in the health sector. They are at various stages of their careers, which was a defining philosophy of our Awards program – that a woman at any stage of her career can be influential and positively change health and healthcare in meaningful ways.

Each Awardee collaborates and innovates within her area of health IT-related expertise.

Each understands, and has acted upon, the power of harnessing the best of IT across many different components of health and healthcare including nursing, pharmacy, medicine, government, public policy, industry and business management. The accomplishments of these women matter not only within their respective organizations, but across the healthcare trajectory.

As many of our nominees demonstrated various characteristics required of the Award, our judges had a challenging time determining our inaugural recipients. The stories and accomplishments are inspiring; one Awardee has positively impacted the lives of millions of citizens, while another has shaped the entire trajectory of the health IT sector. And, we have recipients who have used IT in health settings to utterly transform the ability of a region’s population to remain well, and to receive optimal care when needed.

Inaugural recipients of HIMSS’s Award are:

Shareefa Al Abulmonem, MSc CPHIMS

  • Head of eServices
  • King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Saudi Arabia

Marion J. Ball, Ed.D, FHIMSS, FACMI, FAAN, FAHIMA, FCHIME, FMLA

  • Senior Advisor, IBM-Center for Computational Health, USA
  • Professor Emerita, Johns Hopkins University

Rachelle Blake, PA

  • CEO and Managing Director
  • Omni Med Solutions, Germany

Christina Caraballo, MBA

  • Senior Healthcare Strategist
  • Get Real Health, USA

Karen DeSalvo, M.D., MPH, MSc

  • Acting Assistant Secretary of Health
  • US Department of Health and Human Services, USA

Karen Guice, M.D., M.P.P.

  • Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
  • US Department of Defense, USA

Lisa Stump, MS, RPh, FASHP

  • Chief Information Officer
  • Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine, USA

When I reviewed the nominations of our recipients, I found consistent references that captured the accomplishments and drive of these seven leaders. As leaders in their respective careers, these seven women also understand the strategic role IT plays in improving health and healthcare. They acted on that knowledge, and as a result, made patient care better, more accessible and more affordable.

Here are examples from the nominations:
Marion Ball has and is mentoring many young women and men in her long career as a national and international leader in health IT.

Dr. Karen Guice’s leadership has already created profound improvements for our military’s fighting forces, and will shape military medicine’s engagement with the world for the coming decades.

With a focus on innovation, Lisa Stump is leading efforts to experiment and roll out new technologies aimed at improving population health, patient engagement, and the patient’s experience with the healthcare system.

Dr. Karen DeSalvo is a physician who has dedicated her career to improving access to affordable, high quality care for all people, especially vulnerable populations, and promoting overall health.

Recognizing Shareefa Al Abulmonem as one of the Most Influential Woman in Health IT will set the female population of her home, Saudi Arabia, ablaze as to an example of what can be accomplished when you put your passions to purposeful use.

Christina Caraballo is highly respected in the community for her passion to move health IT forward, working with other thought leaders and getting involved in her community to learn, share ideas and solve problems.

Rachelle Blake’s critical thinking and problem solving skills allow her to equip professionals to meet policy, business, and regulatory requirements in everyday practice – to take the possible in health IT and make it real.

HIMSS knows that women in health IT seek resources and community:

About a year ago, after surveying over 20,000 women about the current state of women’s professional needs in health IT, we identified a need for expanded recognition of women sector-wide.

Some 83% of respondents said there remains insufficient recognition for the women executives in health IT. And, an overwhelming 85% would find value in a resource recognizing contributions, and supporting the career advancement, of women. Women across all career levels within health IT seek community and resources.

HIMSS is answering that call.

Our resources include a biweekly enewsletter from HIMSS Media and HIMSS webinars, podcasts, roundtable reports and more offered online for anyone ready to enjoy and benefit from this information.

Women have been making a difference in health IT for decades, but their accomplishments and contributions are not often visible to all of us. Recognizing these seven recipients of the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Award changes that scenario. I congratulate them and encourage all of us to embrace and learn from their collaborative spirit and success.

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Women in Health IT events at HIMSS17:

We will honor the recipients of the Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards at HIMSS 17 on Monday, Feb. 20. You can register for the Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards Dinner and the Women in Health IT Reception preceding the dinner. Both are on Monday evening, Feb. 20 and require a separate fee. Register for HIMSS17 and use the online registration to sign up for both events, which each require a separate fee.

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Source: HIMSS’s Most Influential Women in Health IT Are Most Impressive

Cisco’s Conrad Clemson on how to empower networks

Cisco’s Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company’s Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading’s Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he’s bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. “If you think about where we’re going… whether it’s a mobile application, or a video application, or quite frankly a VPN application… it’s a service. I think what you’re going to see from us is making those services more and more ubiquitous and being a much stronger horizontal play for our service providers,” Clemson said in the interview.

Source: Cisco’s Clemson on Mobile Cloud Videocisco-conrad-clemson.png

What Big Tech Companies Can Teach Your Business About Going Green

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A new Greenpeace report explains why Apple gets an ‘A’ for its clean energy efforts while Netflix gets an ‘F.’

Messaging, sharing photos, streaming videos — can you even recall what life was like before the internet? Those days are long gone, and today the internet is the backbone of the modern economy.

All of this connectivity comes at a price, however.

The amount of energy it takes to manufacture and power our devices and data centers accounts for nearly 7 percent of global electricity, explains environmental organization Greenpeace in its recently released “Clicking Clean” report.

Greenpeace has been measuring energy consumption and performance in the IT sector since 2009.

In its new report, the organization issued letter grades to major tech companies based on their green efforts. Big players Google, Facebook and Apple each received an overall grade of “A.”

The scores are based on five categories: energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement and advocacy. Apple and Facebook both earned all As and a B in advocacy, and Google received all As and a B in energy transparency.

Unfortunately, a number of major tech players have yet to demonstrate similar efforts.

A high number of Ds and Fs were reported among video streaming companies including Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Vimeo. (YouTube, which is part of Google, received an A.) Video streaming generated 63 percent of global internet traffic in 2015, and Greenpeace expects that share to increase to 80 percent by 2020.

Netflix, which earned a D overall, accounts for one-third of internet traffic in North America.

Because the company provides no regular data regarding its energy consumption, energy sources or greenhouse gas emissions, it scored an F in transparency. In the past, Netflix has claimed that streaming its videos is “more energy efficient than breathing,” but Greenpeace identified room for improvement.

Because of their size, the tech companies mentioned above have the power to sway others in the industry to go green, and these efforts also factored into their overall grades. Although smaller businesses don’t wield the same influence, here are three lessons they can learn from the tech giants about transitioning to renewable energy.

Transparency

Facebook and Apple lead the industry in transparency, providing easy-to-access information about their facilities and their consumption. By releasing this data to the public, they’re holding themselves accountable. Not all companies are big enough, or have a large enough budget, to invest millions of dollars in green energy, but transparency indicates that a company takes the issue seriously.

Goal-setting

Transitioning to renewable energy won’t happen overnight. After pledging to become 100 percent renewable, Facebook broke down its commitment into smaller, actionable goals. The company set the goal of being 25 percent renewable by 2015 — and 50 percent by 2018.

Google took a similar approach, although before getting started, the company clearly articulated its own set of principles and criteria for renewable energy. It created a plan for executing its goals.

Partnerships

A key to transitioning to renewable energy is partnering with companies or clients who also commit to this green effort. In some cases, that may mean drafting guidelines and company policies require production plants, data centers or any other partners to use or be moving toward renewable energy usage.

Source: What Big Tech Companies Can Teach Your Business About Going Green

Corporate IT Lessons from Geek Squad Legal Case

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Make sure end users sign off on allowing forensic searches of computers

The life of the corporate desktop team can turn into a legal nightmare quickly if end users haven’t agreed that it’s OK for techs to search their machines, something that has come to light in a California child pornography case involving Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

In that case, Geeks working on a customer laptop found a pornographic picture and turned it over to the FBI, which paid them $500 and prosecuted the owner of the machine.

Now the Geeks in question are in hot water because the arrangement with the FBI violates the corporate policies of Best Buy, which runs Geek Squad.

And the admissibility of the evidence they found is in question because it’s not clear they had the right to access the picture, which was stored in free space on the hard drive; it had been deleted and no longer appeared on the file system.

At issue is the matter of illegal search and seizure, says Steven M. Abrams, an attorney who practices cyber law and digital forensics in Mount Pleasant, S.C. To legally search the hard drive requires a warrant that spells out beforehand what’s being looked for, where you can look and what crime is being investigated.

The exception is if the evidence is in plain view – can be seen by someone without using special tools requiring special expertise, he says. “Anyone legally in this space could see this thing,” he says. In the Geek Squad instance, a digital forensic carving tool was used to recover an image from free space, so it was not in plain view.

In many states computer technicians are obligated by law to tell police if they find child pornography.

If they find it, they must report it to police. In a corporate setting, that means if a desktop tech finds such images, they must report it, too, Abrams says.

If the image was in free space, it could be argued that the tech had no business looking there. If the user were charged and the charges were dismissed because the evidence was tainted, the defendant could sue the tech for damages caused by publicity in the case, he says.

The way to avoid this is to get all employees to sign affidavits saying that the techs have the right to search the hard drives including free space.

That way they have consent up front to search and don’t have to worry about lawsuits.

Techs should check with their HR departments to see if such policies are in place, and recommend them if they’re not, he says.

Abrams says that in discussions with FBI and Secret Service officials in South Carolina, he heard that agents there had considered paying Best Buy Geek Squad members for finding child pornography on customers’ machines. The regional U.S. attorney nixed the idea based on the interpretation that the arrangement to pay the Geeks would make them agents of the Secret Service or the FBI.

That would make them subject to having warrants before they could look at customers’ computers.

Source: Lessons for corporate IT from Geek Squad legal case

What Every CEO, CIO and CTO Must Know About Digital Transformation

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Every organization occupies a unique place on the spectrum of digital transformation.

Whether they have an accurate perception or understanding of what that means to their business is the bigger concern. Some see digital as little more than a portfolio of projects or initiatives to be implemented, others as a problem to be solved or an opportunity to be exploited, and yes, there are always those who fail to see it at all. The special ones, they see it as a chance to create advantage, to deliver value and to innovate at scale.

Innovation has always been synonymous with business survival and that hasn’t changed.

What has changed is the pace and scale at which businesses must innovate to remain competitive in a digital world. The speed of technology advances in the market are making the old paradigm of first mover versus fast follower largely irrelevant – every business must now become some version of a first mover.

Many leaders have fallen into the trap of believing digital transformation is like playing a game of technology catch-up.

That if they can harness a bit of digital exhaust and turn big data into smart data, that somehow their business will transform itself. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the billions of dollars being spent chasing digital shadows won’t change a thing.

Organizations whose business models are a few revolutions back on the digital curve cannot transform from lagger to leader by simply implementing blockchain or machine learning.

Digital transformation is really more of a leadership, culture, strategy, and talent issue than a technology issue. Real digital transformation occurs when business models and methods are reimagined by courageous leaders willing to manage opportunity more than risk, focus on next practices more than best practices and who are committed to beating their competition to the future.

For the geeks, nerds and propeller-heads reading this piece looking for a more granular discussion on the topic of digital transformation, I’ll point you to a piece recently authored by John Nives, my Chief Digital Officer, who rather brilliantly explains the nuances of digital and why it matters to every business. The one thing I can promise you is that the tool kit that allowed leaders to reach the C-suite won’t be the one that keeps them there. Leaders who won’t embrace new thinking will simply be replaced by those who will.

Here’s the thing – leaders must reframe their perspective by recognizing that digital transformation is far more than a set of buzzwords and technology initiatives – it’s a strategic subset of the broader category of business transformation. Therein lies the problem; the impact of time compression, and the need to rapidly infuse an entirely new genre of talent and thinking into businesses that may not presently exist is forcing executives to think and act in ways they’re simply not comfortable with.

My advice is to business leaders is this – don’t just throw money at the symptoms, fix the problem.

Don’t pin your success to purveyors of the ethereal by signing multi-year contracts with large consultancies guaranteeing to lead you out of the old economy desert into the promise land of digital transformation. Don’t outsource the hard rigor of transformation – insource it by getting smarter, faster, and more creative. Recruit new talent, breakdown outdated hierarchies, and get very serious about operationalizing a solid digital strategy.

As I’ve always said, the plausibility of impossibility only becomes a probability in the absence of leadership. Great leaders will drive real digital transformation while others will simply manage their way into a digital free fall. How will you face this challenge?

Source: Digital Transformation Or Digital Free Fall: What Every CEO Must Know

Mike Myatt, is a leadership advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs and Boards, Author of Hacking Leadership (Wiley), and Chairman at N2Growth. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMyatt

New year, new telecoms round-up

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2017 gets off to a flyer for some of the industry’s biggest players.

As Total Telecom returns from its winter break, we thought it appropriate to test the theory that it is never too early in the year to have a news round-up. With that in mind, there follows below a brief look at some of the big stories that broke during the festive period.

3 Italia/Wind JV launches combined operations

Wind Tre, the joint venture between 3 Italia and VimpelCom’s Wind unit, announced in early January that it has been operating as a combined entity since 31 December.

The 50:50 venture is led by Wind CEO Maximo Ibarra, and 31 million mobile, and 2.7 million fixed-line customers.
Elco unit Electra Consumer Products to acquire Golan Telecom

Electra Consumer Products, a unit of Israeli conglomerate Elco, has agreed a 350 million shekel (€86.4 million) deal to acquire troubled operator Golan Telecom, reported local news outlet Globes.

The agreement ends a long-running dispute between Golan and Cellcom, which was pursuing the company for ILS600 million of compensation related to its aborted takeover bid for Golan and a cancelled national roaming agreement.

According to the report, Electra has signed a 10-year network roaming deal with Cellcom worth ILS200 million per year, which cancels out the ILS600 million debt owed by Golan.
Intel buys 15% of mapping firm Here

Chip giant Intel has agreed to acquire 15% of Nokia’s former mapping company Here, now owned by a group of German car makers. The two companies have agreed to work together on technology to enable real-time updates of high definition maps, which will support automated driving. Intel and Here will also explore strategic opportunities to add location data to edge-computing devices.
Ericsson-Cisco partnership now includes WiFi

Ericsson and Cisco have expanded their wide-ranging strategic alliance to include new WiFi products, which they are calling Evolved WiFi Networks (EWN).

EWN will combine Ericsson’s cellular access, core networks and applications with Cisco’s WiFi portfolio, to provide reliable, high-performance WiFi connectivity solutions to operators and enterprises.
Vodafone and Liberty Global complete Netherlands JV

Nearly a year after striking the deal, Vodafone and Liberty Global late in December completed the merger of their respective Dutch operations, creating an integrated services provider with nearly 15 million revenue-generating units (RGUs), and combined revenue of more than €4 billion.

The joint venture will continue to operate under both the Vodafone brand, and Liberty Global’s Dutch brand, Ziggo. The deal is expected to generate synergies of €3.5 billion.
Sky Mobile goes on sale

The U.K.’s newest MVNO, Sky Mobile, has entered commercial service. Operated by satellite TV provider Sky and hosted on O2’s network, Sky Mobile allows customers to carry over unused data from one billing cycle to the next.

Research commissioned by Sky claims that almost 20 million smartphone users deliberately buy more mobile data than they need for fear of being charged for exceeding their allowance.
AT&T, Ericsson, Qualcomm team up on 5G trials

AT&T, Ericsson and Qualcomm have announced plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on expected 5G New Radio (NR) specifications currently under development by 3GPP.

The trials will use device and base station prototypes developed by Qualcomm and Ericsson respectively, and spectrum from AT&T. The trials aim to accelerate the deployment of next-generation mobile services in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency bands.
Global device market to be flat in 2017 – Gartner

Gartner served up some gloomy news for device makers last week, predicting a flat market in 2017.

The research firm expects mobile phone shipments to increase slightly to 1.89 billion, but that will be offset by PC volumes, which are expected to slip to 266 million from 268 million.

Source: New year, new telecoms round-up
By Nick Wood, Total Telecom