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Vodafone refarms 3G spectrum in Australia and staff in New Zealand



(Image: Asha McLean/ZDNet)

Vodafone is shifting around spectrum and jobs in its Australasian operations.

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) will be refarming its 2100Mhz spectrum from 3G operations to 4G in certain areas of New South Wales, with work due to commence on March 18.

The telco said the other mainland states will follow throughout the year, with the NSW-enclaved Australian Capital Territory already shifted across.

Vodafone customers that have devices relying solely on a 2100Mhz 3G connection will need to use another handset.

“This upgrade work will ensure the 4G network gets a capacity boost, so more of our customers can use their data to stream their favourite content or use social media, while still keeping our 3G network strong,” Vodafone general manager of Access Delivery Networks Tom Joynson said.

“Once the work is complete in each state, we will be delivering even better service to more than 90 percent of Vodafone’s mobile subscribers across Australian metro areas.”

Telstra completed a similar switch in September last year, and provided a list of its handsets [PDF] impacted — including such classics as Blackberry Curve 9320, HTC Windows Phone 8S, phones by the Sony Ericsson brand, and a number of Microsoft Lumias.

Meanwhile, across the Tasman, the NZ Herald is reporting that Vodafone New Zealand has offered all of its staff, other than call centre and retail staff, voluntary redundancy.

AAP reports that the telco is creating a new operating model that it has yet to finalise, so the number and types of jobs to go are still up in the air.

In September, Vodafone NZ reported a NZ$7.7 million drop in profit to NZ$39 million, which the telco said was due to one-off advisor costs for a potential IPO, as well as foreign exchange losses.

Revenue was up by NZ$5.1 million to NZ$2 billion off the back of increasing mobile customer numbers. Vodafone NZ said it added 92,000 customers over the last 12 months while rivals Spark gained 58,000 and 2degrees lost 27,000 customers.

As for the Vodafone joint venture in Australia, VHA last month reported its revenue had increased 5.5 percent year on year to AU$3.65 billion for the year to December 31, and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped by 13.4 percent to AU$1.1 billion.

The company, however, continued to fail to post a net profit, but it did reduce its net loss by 30 percent to AU$124 million.

CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the company had spent AU$1.3 billion during the year to handle the increases in data being used, and to get its network ready for 5G. The spend included constructing 180 new mobile sites and upgrading 850 existing sites.

Vodafone Australia and TPG are currently waiting to hear back from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on the proposed merger of the two companies.

After delaying its decision previously due to a lack of information, the consumer watchdog has left the date for its decision hanging.

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The Best SUVs Of 2022



The Suburban is the largest SUV that Chevy offers, and it’s perfect for hauling large families, lots of luggage, trailers, or whatever else you want it to. The 2023 Suburban recently launched with GM’s latest Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving tech, but other than that, not much has changed over the past few years. The thing is, it doesn’t need to, as the reason the Suburban remains a perennial bestseller despite being one of the oldest nameplates on the road is simple: space. There are very few passenger vehicles on the market that offer such a cavernous interior as the Suburban, which means buyers can usually look past the SUV’s other shortcomings.

It might be huge, for example, but the interior isn’t always up to scratch in terms of quality, especially in higher trims where prices start to creep uncomfortably close to true luxury rivals. Its base suspension is also just okay rather than great, and suffice it to say, it’s far from the most efficient SUV on the market. But, all those things matter less if you’re just looking for a big car that can haul people or cargo with ease, and for that alone, the Suburban retains its title as one of America’s best SUVs.

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Elon Musk Takes Shots At Apple For Scaling Back Advertising On Twitter



The story doesn’t end with ads. Musk claims that Apple has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store.” Musk didn’t clarify whether Apple wants to remove the app from the App Store, or if the company is holding an updated version that might contain controversial changes potentially violating Apple policies. The latter recently happened when Apple kept Spotify from hawking its audiobooks via its streaming app.

When a reporter asked whether Apple was “threatening Twitter’s presence in the App Store or otherwise making moderation demands?” Musk only replied with a simple “Yes.” In another tweet, Musk started a poll asking his followers whether Apple should publish a record of the “censorship actions” it has taken in the past that have had a negative impact on customers.

Musk has also accused Apple of “secret suppression of free speech” and even appeared to suggest that the company might use its “duopolist powers to hurt Tesla” because the majority of Tesla car owners rely on the eponymous app installed on their iPhones.

Notably, the possibility of Twitter being banned from the App Store, and Google’s Play Store, evoked a rather interesting response from Musk over the past weekend. When quizzed about such a future, Musk responded that he would make a phone of his own if Twitter is booted off Apple and Google’s app repository. Musk is hoping to accomplish what the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta failed to pull off.

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Mac Users Have Another Emergency Chrome Update To Install



Needless to say, if you haven’t updated Chrome on your Mac, you will need to do so as soon as possible. Click the three dots in the right corner of Google Chrome and navigate to “Help.” Once you hover the cursor over “Help,” you click on the option that says “About Google Chrome.” The browser should perform an automatic update and install any new update available. Once the installation is complete, you may see a message that reads, “Nearly up to date! Relaunch Chrome to finish updating.” You may be required to close all instances of Google Chrome and relaunch the browser for the update to take effect. Once updated, ensure that your browser is on version 107.0.5304.122 for Mac and Linux systems.

In its release notes, Google describes this vulnerability as a “heap buffer overflow” which falls in the category of a memory vulnerability. Hackers may use this vulnerability to gain access to Chrome’s memory and manipulate its execution patch. In addition, this vulnerability could also be potentially used to siphon off data or perform an arbitrary code execution, reports Bleeping Computer. We expect Google to share more details surrounding this latest security vulnerability in the next few weeks.

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