Canada’s Shaw Acquiring Wind Mobile

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016

Shaw Communications, a Canadian broadband provider, is buying Wind Mobile for US$1.16 billion. Shaw is best known as a cable television operator.

Wind Mobile, according to Light Reading, launched in 2008 and has quickly become the fourth largest wireless provider in Canada. It has about 940,000 subscribers in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. This year, it is expected to earn US$485 million and US$65 million in revenues and net profits, respectively, the story said. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of next year.

Wind controls 50 MHz of spectrum in the three regions.


2016: The Year of Nest for Alphabet?

Google – now Alphabet – may be set to push Nest, according to CNET’s Richard Nieva. The company, which makes Web-connected thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras, has been in the Google/Alphabet camp since 2013. Projects include Works with Nest and Weave, which enables elements in the home to communicate with each other. Works with Nest started last year and Weave in October. Seventy to 80 products have been released.

The story paints a picture of a deeply connected home:

For Nest, the key to owning the smart-home market involves more than just selling you a thermostat or smoke detector (although it would very much like for you to buy those, too). Its ambition rests on making sure all your Web-connected products can communicate and interact with one another. For example, if your Nest security system senses someone lurking, it can tell your Internet-connected lights to switch on. The dream is digital, domestic nirvana.

The sense of the piece is that Nest, which has 12,500 engineers working with the program, may get more aggressive in 2016.

CT Court: NetScout Suit Against Gartner Can Continue

Gartner has carved out a niche with its Magic Quadrants, which assess various players in telecommunication and IT sectors. NetScout, a service assurance and security vendor, has a long-standing lawsuit against Gartner over its treatment in one of these reports.

This week, the Connecticut Superior Court decided that the lawsuit could move forward. NetScout’s press release says that NetScout claims in the suit that:

…Gartner's Magic Quadrant ratings were “corrupted by favoritism shown to Gartner's major customers” and that “its ranking system is based not on objective facts, but rather on Gartner's 'pay-to-play' business model."

The court held that the suit could move forward because Gartner didn’t show that its findings in the report are “protected opinions.”

They Can’t Crack What They Can’t Reach

Ever-more attention is being paid to the task of securing the Internet of Things (IoT). The rationale is simple: The IoT will burrow so deeply into people’s lives and society’s infrastructure that the consequences of not protecting it may be brutal. 

At Network World, Zeus Kerravala noted a suggestion by Jeff Costlow, the security architect for Tempered Networks. The idea is to secure the IoT by cordoning off end points:

If the network is partitioned into secure segments, or zones, then the IoT devices could be isolated from the traditional IT devices. One benefit of segmenting the IoT endpoints is that OT could continue to manage all of their devices without requiring support from IT or putting IT at risk. If a path to the Internet is required, then that could be granted, and if the device is somehow breached, the devices in that segment are the only ones impacted. The zone can be quarantined and remediation steps can be taken without incurring the risk that other systems, IT or OT [operational technology], are infected.

Rechecking Android Security

This nicely done update on Android security starts with the reassuring words that most of the exploits in the news are worst-case scenarios that won’t likely happen in real life. They mostly are generated by the companies that stand to make the most from selling security software.

JR Raphael then gets to the meat of his presentation, which is a checklist of common-sense Android security steps. They include assessing the apps to which access has been given; removing old smartphones, tablets and other devices that have been linked to; and making sure Android Device Manager and Verify Apps are activated and on the job.

Raphael also counsels Android users to make sure a PIN is being used; update the Android Smart Lock system; consider going with two-factor authentication; visit and utilize the Google security site linked to from the story; and, if these other steps have been completed, consider not using a third-party security app.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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