Carrier Catch-Up: A Look At The Latest Buzz From Today’s Largest Telecoms


Telecom Temps On The Rise

Conflict turned up the heat in the telecom industry in August as a widespread data breach was revealed, mergers were challenged, and FirstNet board members resigned. On the other hand, some carriers moved ahead with new technology acquisitions and expanded on existing partnerships.

CRN took a look at what some of the largest telecoms were up to in August. Here are some of the headline-grabbing news items from some of the country's industry-leading service providers.

T-Mobile Reveals Data Breach

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About 3 percent of T-Mobile's customers were impacted by a data breach, the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier revealed at the end of August.

The breach impacted T-Mobile's Metro PCS wireless unit and could have exposed personal information of users, including names, phone numbers and account numbers. The carrier detected and shut down the breach, and said that no financial data, Social Security numbers, or account passwords were ever vulnerable.

Altice Opposes Sprint, T-Mobile Tie-Up

Cable provider Altice USA filed an opposition to the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger with the Federal Communications Commission in August. Altice, for its part, has plans to enter the wireless space by reselling Sprint’s wireless service under its own brand in 2019, and the company said it believes that T-Mobile may not allow Altice to resell the wireless service over the long term.

Satellite TV provider Dish Network also joined Altice in its opposition to the merger, urging U.S. regulators to block the deal.

AT&T Closes AlienVault Acquisition

AT&T last month completed its deal to buy open-source threat intelligence firm AlienVault. The Dallas-based carrier also said that its newly acquired security technology has become part of a new cybersecurity business division.

The acquisition will help AT&T make more security solutions available to small businesses, as well as enterprise customers, the carrier said. AlienVault's CEO, Barmak Meftah, will be leading the new AT&T Cybersecurity Solutions division as president of the business unit.

CenturyLink Achieves AWS MSP Partner Status

CenturyLink gained a new level of status with cloud giant Amazon Web Services. The telecom provider was named as an AWS MSP partner at the end of August.

To achieve the new status, CenturyLink met AWS MSP Partner Program requirements, which are validated by a third-party auditor. CenturyLink credits its hybrid cloud management platform, Cloud Application Manager, for helping the carrier achieve its new designation with AWS.

The new status validates the Monroe, La.-based provider's cloud-first approach, CenturyLink said.

FirstNet Emergency Wireless Network Board Members Resign

FirstNet, the federal government's high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, was launched earlier this year. Now, FirstNet has some openings as both the chair and vice chair have sent formal resignations to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Sue Swenson, chair of the board since 2014, and Vice Chair Jeffrey Johnson are stepping down. In early September, FirstNet's CEO, Mike Poth, also announced his resignation.