The long distance fraud epidemic

Imagine opening up your monthly telephone bill to find tens of thousands of dollars in mystery charges. And then opening more bills from other companies – ones that you don’t even do business with – to find over $500,000 owing from long distance calls. The kicker? The calls originated from your office, but you didn’t make them. Long distance fraud is something that happens more often than we realize and businesses around the world are falling victim to the scam. Usually hackers gain access to the telephone system through something we take for granted in the business world: Remote voice

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Communications Woes Costing Hospitals Big Bucks

With advances in technology, you might expect the health care system to run like a well-oiled machine. However, a new report by the Ponemon Institute finds that hospitals suffer from the same telecommunications woes that hit other businesses hard. The biggest culprit appears to the pager, which still remains popular within the industry. But administrators may want to take a second look at the device – the study suggests lost productivity associated with pagers costs more than $8.3 billion each year, a significant hit to the bottom line. Along with decreased productivity, it is thought use of the devices increases

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Samsung could face fines for online malice

Think teenage bullies are the only ones on the attack online? You’re wrong. In fact, Samsung’s latest trickery in Taiwan could prove to be grounds for a nasty lawsuit. The tech giant is battling some bad press as of late after it came to light that Samsung paid students to post negative comments about competitor HTC online. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the accusations, something the agency appears to be taking very seriously. Samsung could be fined up to $835,000 USD if found guilty of false advertising. A marketing firm working with Samsung could also be

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VoIP providers eye changes to regulations

For the last 10 years, Voice over IP (VoIP) services have exploded in popularity. Every day millions of Americans rely on the service to make the majority of their traditional phone calls. Why are more and more people turning to the Internet-based service? Most will tell you that the lowered cost is the biggest selling point, especially when compared with fees for landline service. And it’s not just the residential sector that’s been affected – more businesses are eying VoIP as a viable alternative. It’s a trend that’s been closely monitored by the Federal Communications Commission, which recently announced it

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This week in wireless

There is never a dull moment when it comes to the ever-changing world of wireless. Here’s a quick Friday digest of some of the stories making headlines this week. Verizon Plenty of news on the Verizon front this week. First, the carrier announced a new prepaid feature phone plan. For $35 a month, you get 500 anytime minutes, unlimited text and unlimited Internet. Any overages will set you back 25 cents per minute. The plan works with feature phones only – smartphone users are out of luck – and Verizon is offering four different discounted devices: LG Cosmos 2, Samsung

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AT&T tops in Gartner wireline report

Gartner Inc. has released its new report Critical Capabilities for U.S. Wireline Telecom Services, examining the major service providers’ capabilities in the American marketplace. Of the eight studied, AT&T landed on top with the best solutions and services for businesses of all sizes. The study looked at seven key capability areas: multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services, SIP trunking, dedicated Internet, metro private line, managed and redundant broadband, Ethernet WAN and managed routers. “AT&T’s overall rating reflects its depth of product capabilities across the portfolio and explicit strengths in such areas as metro and optical networking and managed broadband, where competitors’

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Cable provider files lawsuit over channel bundling

Ever complained there is nothing to watch despite having hundreds of channels at your disposal? Or shuddered at the sight of your cable bill, knowing you only watch a handful of the channels that you are paying for each month? Believe it or not, cable companies are becoming sympathetic to your plight, even if they are motivated by their own bottom line. Last month, service provider Cablevision filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Viacom claiming it has illegally forced the company to carry and pay for a number of channels that its customers have no interest in

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Is mobile payment the next big cash grab?

Canadian telecom giant Rogers Communications has expanded its mobile payment service to Android and BlackBerry 10 devices, allowing even more customers to use their smartphones to pay for purchases instead of traditional plastic credit cards. The suretap service works with compatible terminals, allowing users to pay wirelessly or collect loyalty rewards points without having to produce a physical card. Currently tens of thousands of MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave terminals across Canada are equipped for the service. “To continue driving adoption and growth of mobile payments in Canada, it is essential that a strong ecosystem is established to include multiple

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Lawsuit takes aim at SMS spam

Posting a sign on your mailbox used to be enough to stop the flow of junk mail into your home. But today, it seems there’s no escape from spam – it arrives in our email, is beamed onto our screens through social media and pops up on otherwise informative or entertaining message boards. Annoying? Absolutely. Illegal? Indeed. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to have had enough, launching a massive crackdown on those exploiting the latest spam medium: The cell phone. Globally, 200,000 text messages sent every second, making the short, digital transmissions an irresistible venue for spammers and con

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Smartphones to eclipse feature phone shipments around the world

This year will mark the first time that global smartphone shipments are expected to surpass feature phones, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) recently released Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Figures show that about 50 per cent of mobile devices shipped this year will be smartphones, roughly 918 million units. And the number is only expected to grow over the next five years, reaching 1.5 billion in 2017. IDC attributes the rise in smartphone popularity to a number of factors, including falling prices and the widespread introduction of 4G networks. Historically, the highest demand for smartphones has been in

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