A Few More Pandemic Items

March 23rd, 2020 by · Leave a Comment

The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate everything, which means that non-pandemic news is going to be a bit thin for a while.  C’est la vie, here are a few of the more interesting bits from over the weekend:

Reports suggest that the UK government is talking to wireless carriers about using location tracking in order to monitor social distancing. The idea would be to use anonymized data to detect and presumably respond to gatherings of people and thus slow the spread of virus. Yeah, setting that precedent doesn’t make me nervous at all, because there’s no way it could be abused under other circumstances…  Oh wait.

Also over in the UK, we have another data point showing how the crisis is putting strain on existing network infrastructure. BT says that it has been seeing a 50% surge in normal daytime usage on its network, going from 5Tbps all the way up to 7.5Tbps, with another surge expected this week as schools close across the country. That’s still far less than the 17.5Tbps BT says its network was built for, but it’s also an aggregate and doesn’t consider bottlenecks that might arise along the way.

And SoftBank is apparenly preparing to reduce it’s vulnerability to the global economic downturn that is likely ahead. The company’s billionaire protagonist Masayoshi Son unveiled plans to unload as much as $41B in assets in an effort to reduce debt and perhaps buy back stock. He didn’t say which assets, but speculation quickly fell upon the company’s stake in Alibaba, its ownership of the chip manufacturere Arm, and its Japanese carrier arm SoftBank Corp.

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Categories: Mergers and Acquisitions · Wireless

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