Tuesday, 16 August 2022 08:57

Optus launches 5G Standalone

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Telecommunications company Optus has launched its 5G Standalone network after close to year of testing including customer trials, offering network slicing, cloud orchestration edge computing and self-healing networks that will elevate connectivity capabilities.

According to Optus vice president networks on 5G Standalone Lambo Kanagaratnam, 5G Standalone does not rely on 4G radio and core network, and unlike 5G non-standalone, it uses 5G to communicate from the device to base station, capitalising on higher speeds.

Kanagaratnam lists how the 5G Standalone would benefit consumers and businesses.

For consumers
Optus consumers can access the 5G Standalone on selected plans with a 5G SIM in a compatible handset such as Samsung S22 or Oppo X3.

“5G Standalone will provide a greater 5G coverage footprint which means you’ll be able to connect to 5G in more places. As the technology matures, you will see even faster speeds, greater reliability and lower latency,” Kanagaratnam said.

These capabilities, he said will create richer user experiences especially for gamers who seek better ping rates or those who want to explore AR, VR, and XR experiences.

For business
5G Standalone offers end-to-end network slicing, low latency, and network orchestration.

Slicing the network into different virtual segments allows each slice to be configured to optimise speed, latency, and other attributes important to our customers’ requirements.

Kanagaratnam claims this will offer increased flexibility, maximum efficiency and, for enterprises, the opportunity to improve operations through automation.

“Network orchestration, underpinned by 5G Standalone, is a bit like having a conductor in an orchestra. In the same way the conductor controls what instruments play when, network orchestration looks at the business needs and sets up the network to deliver on those requirements,” Kanagaratnam compared.

5G Standalone will allow next-generation technologies come to life such as driverless cars and remote surgery, he said.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 15 August 2022.





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    That account was closed as soon as the review was done and one wonders why Optus is still holding on to the data.

    This is not just my concern; Rachael Falk, chief executive of Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, says in an op-ed in The Age: "The real issue that Optus will have to stare into is why were they holding such sensitive personal information? So much sensitive data that only had an initial, point-in-time use. This just appears to be data gluttony, and it must stop."

    Falk makes a further succinct point: "Well-intentioned emails and media releases are one thing, but it is not Optus that is necessarily the ‘victim’. It is the 9 million-plus customers who are the real victims, and may well continue to be for many months or years to come."

    {loadposition sam08}One thing that Optus has not disclosed is when its systems were breached. It has only told us when it became aware of the breach, claiming that the information was made public within 24 hours. One presumes that the telco has logs that will provide this information.

    It is of no use to any user to know that Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is disappointed about the breach - which is what the email I got says. "It is with great disappointment I'm writing to let you know that Optus has been a victim of a cyberattack." One does not expect any chief executive to be overjoyed about a breach.

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    Am I supposed to dance with joy on reading that?

    Later in the same email, Optus makes it clear that the onus of not being scammed as a result of this breach is entirely mine:

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    "Look out for any suspicious or unexpected activity across your online accounts, including your bank accounts. Make sure to report any fraudulent activity immediately to the related provider.

    "Look out for contact from scammers who may have your personal information. This may include suspicious emails, texts, phone calls or messages on social media.

    "Never click on any links that look suspicious and never provide your passwords, or any personal or financial information.

    "If people call you posing as a credible organisation and request access to your computer, always say no." Well, thanks a lot, Optus.

    There has been an unconfirmed report by a reporter named Jeremy Kirk who claims to have made contact with the attacker. It's worth a read. This piece could be read for a more technical look at the claims that Kirk makes.

    As is a tweet thread from former IT security manager Adam Garner, which is highly educative – exactly what is needed, as it treats users as people with some intelligence. It is far from the kind of spin in which Optus has indulged.

  • Optus suffers massive data breach putting millions at risk

    Telecommunications company Optus has informed the public that its current and former data was accessed following a cyberattack on its systems, and sensitive information such as dates of birth, email addresses, and passport numbers may have been impacted in the security incident.

    iTWire reported the breach yesterday. As per The Australian, up to nine million customers were affected.

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    Optus services including mobile and home internet were not affected and remain safe to use and operate as normal.

    {loadposition kenn}

    Optus said on Thursday that it is immediately "investigating the possible unauthorised access of current and former customers' information."

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    "As soon as we knew, we took action to block the attack and began an immediate investigation. While not everyone maybe affected and our investigation is not yet complete, we want all of our customers to be aware of what has happened as soon as possible so that they can increase their vigilance. We are very sorry and understand customers will be concerned. Please be assured that we are working hard, and engaging with all the relevant authorities and organisations, to help safeguard our customers as much as possible."

    F5 regional vice president for ANZ Jason Baden said the personal data of many Australians may possibly land in the hands of criminal or state actors.

    "That data could be used to sign up for new mobile services, open mule bank accounts, gambling accounts, or pursue social engineering for purposes of fraud and money laundering," Baden commented.

    "The impact of breaches like this is much wider than the initial organisation hit - now everyone needs to be on notice, both individuals and organisations such as banks, gambling companies, telcos, loyalty programs, and more."

    Following the breach, the ACCC warned customers to protect their accounts and take necessary steps to secure their personal information.

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     This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 23 September 2022.

  • Second lot of Optus data advertised for sale on Web forum

    A second lot of data claimed to be from Optus has been advertised for sale on a Web forum, with 100 sample records being linked to as proof that it is genuine.

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    Arrcus' SRv6 MUP with SRv6 Flex-Algo provided traffic engineering capability to extend a 5G network slice to MEC applications with automation without additional 5G equipment.

    The collaboration also saw SoftBank verifying Arrcus’ SRv6 MUP interoperability with 5G equipment in its laboratory.

    The trial will now proceed to the next step to prepare SRv6 MUP technology for deployment.

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    The simplified approach to network slicing enables operators to introduce 5G services like network slicing and MEC commercial with reduced time to market (TTM) with reduced operational complexity.

    “Arrcus is excited to work with industry leader SoftBank on this innovative approach, leveraging our Ace platform that is highly programmable with advanced traffic engineering features, to realize the vision of 5G services with a simplified approach,” Arrcus CEO and chairman Shekar Ayyar.

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  • Telco industry demand paves way to integrated passive devices market boom

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    Low-cost production is critical for profit maximisation. Traditional printed circuit boards, on the other hand, are standardised for individual discrete components but not for integrated passive devices.

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    This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 21 September 2022.

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