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MuteFire targets LTE cells

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A new industry body has been announced to develop MulteFire, an LTE-based technology for small cells operating in the unlicensed spectrum like the global 5GHz unlicensed band.

A new industry body called the MulteFire Alliance was announced recently to develop and promote MulteFire, an LTE-based technology for small cells operating solely in unlicensed spectrum, such as the global 5 GHz unlicensed band. Utilising the robust radio link, ease of management and self-organizing characteristics of LTE and its 3GPP standard evolution, MulteFire is envisioned to deliver enhanced performance in local area network deployments.

The founding members, Nokia and Qualcomm, joined by members Ericsson and Intel, have issued a call for global industry participation through voluntary membership. The Alliance is an independent organisation.

Because it relies solely upon unlicensed spectrum, MulteFire expands the ecosystem of LTE-based technologies to new and established service providers, including internet service providers, cable companies, mobile operators, small medium and large enterprises, and venue owners. For mobile operators, MulteFire is an attractive solution in cases when licensed spectrum is unavailable or when a multi-operator system is required.

“By bringing the benefits of LTE technologies to unlicensed spectrum, MulteFire helps provide enhanced coverage, capacity and mobility. It can also improve the Quality of Experience and security in private network deployments” said Stephan Litjens, Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Analytics, Mobile Broadband, Nokia, and MulteFire Alliance board chair. “This technology is also aimed to deliver value to existing mobile networks and private customers such as building owners. MulteFire can act as a “neutral host” with the ability to serve users from multiple operators, especially in hard to reach places such as indoor locations, venues and enterprises.”

The MulteFire Alliance confirmed it has commenced operations with an open call for participation, with the objective to promote MulteFire technology, use cases, and business opportunities; to drive MulteFire global technical specification development; to establish a world class MulteFire product certification program; and to drive future evolution of MulteFire technology, while ensuring fair coexistence with Wi-Fi and other technologies in unlicensed spectrum. MulteFire is designed to meet global unlicensed band regulations, including “Listen-Before-Talk” features required in regions such as Europe and Japan.

“With MulteFire, consumers and network providers will enjoy the combination of 4G-LTE like performance with Wi-Fi-like deployment simplicity in local-area deployments,” said Ed Tiedemann, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and MulteFire Alliance board member. “Users will benefit from an enhanced connectivity experience when moving across spaces such as shopping malls and corporate offices thanks to MulteFire’s mobility features and optional integration with wide-area networks.”

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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