Telecoms finance – Pangu Tue, 11 Jan 2022 19:02:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Telecoms finance – Pangu 32 32 Nokia expects recovery to continue in 2022 Tue, 11 Jan 2022 08:03:45 +0000

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish telecommunications equipment maker Nokia on Tuesday gave its first forecast for 2022, allaying investor concerns about the impact the global chip shortage could have on its operations.

Nokia said it expected a comparable operating margin of 11-13.5% in 2022, pushing its shares up 2.8% in morning trading after the announcement.

“The outlook shows that the business recovery is still progressing well and that no compensation comes from cost inflation or component shortages,” Inderes analyst Atte Riikola told Reuters.

The company said it also expects to exceed its 2021 profit forecast, with its investments in venture capital funds driving the boost.

Nokia estimated a comparable operating margin for full year 2021 of 12.4-12.6%, above its previous forecast of 10-12%, and net revenue of 21.7 to 22.7 billion euros, within the range previously announced.

The company said its underlying business performed largely as expected in the fourth quarter.

“However, other operating income was higher than expected, including the added benefits of investing in venture capital funds, leading to a higher comparable operating margin exceeding the 2021 forecast,” a- he said in a statement.

Nokia is now counting on sales of 6.4 billion euros in the fourth quarter, below expectations of 6.5 billion euros, according to Reuters calculations.

The company is due to release its annual results on February 3.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen, Supantha Mukherjee and Essi Lehto; editing by Jason Neely, Kirsten Donovan and David Evans)

Data-driven decision making is key to building smart connected places Sun, 09 Jan 2022 17:37:00 +0000

4-step data-driven decision-making framework

Telecommunications experts are developing a four-step data-driven decision-making framework for policymakers and local government leaders to deliver smart connected places.

Our four-step decision-making framework requires top-down thinking, as opposed to a bottom-up, technology-driven approach, ensuring that local authority results and citizens’ needs are taken into account.

– Iqbal Singh Bedi

GLASGOW, DUNBARTONSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM, January 9, 2022 / – Telecom expert and smart city advisor Intelligences Consulting has developed a four-step data-driven decision-making framework for policymakers and local government leaders to deliver smart connected places.

The published data-driven decision-making framework in thought leadership item is based on recent client work and past research designed to create the foundation for smart connected places to benefit citizens and workers while encouraging investment in innovative and sustainable digital infrastructure.

Intelligens Consulting Founder and Managing Director Iqbal Singh Bedi said, “We’re surrounded by tech hype everywhere we look, driven by industry, government policy, tech metrics and rankings. ”

He thinks the very notion of “being left behind” is enough to embarrass policymakers and local government leaders to invest in digital infrastructure and says that “it can lead to other challenges and missed opportunities.”

According to Bedi, “a purely ‘technology-driven’ approach to providing digital infrastructure may be commercially difficult to justify, may result in inefficient network investments, and may not be able to meet the needs of local authorities or citizens. and social and economic outcomes “.

Intelligens Consulting has developed a four-step decision-making framework that requires policymakers, decision-makers and digital leaders to take a thoughtful approach when developing their digital strategy.

“The four-step decision-making framework,” according to Bedi, “requires top-down thinking, as opposed to a bottom-up, technology-driven approach, ensuring that the results of local authorities and the needs of citizens are taken into account.

Intelligens Consulting has provided its clients with connected place strategies based on top-down results, while offering private sector-led investments in innovative and sustainable digital infrastructures, creating significant social and economic impact. Its team of experts in technology, strategy, economics, procurement and finance can also provide strategic, technical and procurement support, economic research and analysis and we can seek private donors to finance the development of the digital infrastructure.

You can read the entire article here.

Intelligens Consulting is an award-winning telecommunications and smart city advisor with a global client base that provides investors, operators and policymakers with technical, strategic and business advice on the creation of Smart Connected Places and on 5G, IoT and fiber networks. . Founder Iqbal Singh Bedi has advised top government ministers on telecommunications policy and our historical research has been used to inform the UK House of Commons and the Scottish Government on telecommunications policy.

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Intelligence Consulting
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Global cybersecurity landscape – what to expect in 2022 | CNC Group Fri, 07 Jan 2022 23:34:22 +0000

To kick off the new year, we’re sharing our thoughts and predictions on what could shape the global cybersecurity landscape in 2022.

We interviewed industry leaders from our four key geographies – the UK, Asia and the Pacific (APAC), North America and Europe – to understand key developments in each region across the country. over the past twelve months, and what we might expect in the coming year and beyond.

Three key themes were evident in the four regions…

1. Governments are taking a much more hands-on approach to regulating and legislating cybersecurity and resilience

There seems to be a broad consensus among policymakers that the free market approach to providing secure and resilient infrastructure in the digital age has – so far – failed. As such, our interviewees see governments in their respective regions becoming more interventionist, introducing a growing number of seemingly strict regulations that organizations must adhere to. In some cases, there has also been a shift from outcome-based regulation to more prescriptive regulation, potentially indicating the lack of maturity of regulated entities in understanding what they need to do to achieve required outcomes.

These trends are particularly evident when it comes to securing critical infrastructure, with the EU expanding what constitutes critical infrastructure, the UK introducing flagship telecommunications security legislation, and governments in the Asia and Pacific region. taking steps to better protect their critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, in and out of the United States, the Biden administration is leading the global charge to improve supply chain security.

One area that could go against the grain, according to global research manager Jennifer Fernick, is decentralized finance (DeFi). As Jennifer and global CTO Ollie Whitehouse point out, DeFi’s value is stored digitally, making it particularly vulnerable to cyber theft on an unprecedented scale. Poor cybersecurity and resilience could be devastating for DeFi companies. As a result, we could see a market-driven, upward push for higher safety standards, in stark contrast to the regulatory-driven approach we’ve seen elsewhere.

In this context, organizations need to understand how laws and markets evolve in the jurisdictions and sectors in which they operate, and what steps need to be taken to comply with new regulations, protect their organization, and ultimately continue. to operate efficiently. This could be particularly difficult for companies operating on a global scale, especially those that own or operate critical infrastructure, because, while the overall goal is broadly the same for each jurisdiction, the way in which regulators want them to operate. organizations achieve it differs. As such, organizations may be better advised to design a plan that is cost effective while meeting all of the global requirements.

2. Global cyber rhetoric does not necessarily correspond to protectionist reality

There is no limit to the number of international declarations of intent, trade agreements and treaties agreeing to cooperate and collaborate to develop and adhere to an agreed set of standards in the digital borderless sphere. However, our interlocutors note a very different reality in their regions, where recent government action suggests an evolution towards inward-looking and protectionist policies. NCC Europe / Fox IT Managing Director Inge Bryan highlights the focus European policymakers have placed on digital sovereignty, while Ollie highlights new laws in the UK that give the government more power to intervene in foreign investments and acquisitions in key UK sectors. In Australia, as Regional Director General Charles Spencer points out, the government’s flagship Critical Infrastructure Security (SOCI) law, first introduced to manage national security risks posed by foreign investment in critical infrastructure, has been further strengthened. Meanwhile, in the United States, the Senate proposed the “CHIPS for America Act” which, if introduced, would see the launch of a massive program of government grants to support American production of semiconductor chips and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign supply chains.

Organizations operating globally face the challenge of looking beyond the rhetoric of what governments are saying on the global stage, and understanding and navigating the reality on the ground in the jurisdictions they operate. . To help organizations and achieve better security outcomes, nation states must balance their protectionist approaches with the need to work closely with their allies to achieve a coordinated response to cyber risks. This should involve going beyond high-level commitments to more clearly define which areas of digital policy require a truly comprehensive response, and those which are so fundamentally tied to the survival of a nation that nations will take charge. individually, while coordinating with their allies (eg through international treaties).

3. The value of security and resilience is on the rise

The increase in ransomware attacks, along with unprecedented digitization, connectivity, and technological advancements that present new and evolving security challenges, have led to an increase in the perceived importance of cybersecurity and software resiliency. in North America and the Asia and Pacific region. At the same time, wary of the increase in ransomware attacks and the growing sophistication of attackers, insurers have reportedly cut back on the coverage they offer customers.

Meanwhile, there is not enough cyber skills in the world to meet today’s challenges. This reinforces the need for increased investment to attract and train new talent. Industry partnerships with education service providers, diversity and inclusion strategies, and a focus on transferable skills all have important roles to play in making the cybersecurity industry more open and accessible.

These factors combine to increase the value of security. Indeed, while organizations must be prepared to invest more in cybersecurity and software resilience than they have done so far, they are increasingly seen as essential catalysts for a responsible and sustainable business. in the modern era. As the industry matures, however, organizations need to be reassured that better quantification of ROI will be available, which will give them confidence and justify investment decisions.

Views from around the world

Click below to read the interviews in full

Vue d’Europe with Inge Bryan, Managing Director of NCC Europe / Fox IT

“As more countries realize that ransomware poses a threat to national security, I hope we will see a proactive and concerted response from governments. European intelligence services must join forces with their allies to develop truly coordinated and proportionate defensive and offensive cyber operations. Failure to do so will leave Europe massively exposed.

View of the UK with Ollie Whitehouse, Global CTO

“Expect to see a much more hands-on and offensive approach to cybersecurity and software resilience from the UK government. We will see the UK’s new National Cyber ​​Force, the new home for offensive cyber operations, become fully operational. My prediction for 2022 is that the Force will undertake the first UK government-led offensive operation against ransomware. “

View of North America with Jennifer Fernick, Global Head of Research

“I am captivated (and concerned) by the security implications of the ongoing development within the AI ​​research community of large language models. They are evolving rapidly and we are moving closer to a “codeless future” where tools using large language models replace traditional coding and application development. However, there are inherent security risks associated with using such tools, which requires a deep and serious research effort on the part of good faith security researchers, so that we better understand what is possible, before attackers don’t. This looming safety issue is not on the radar of policymakers, but it will be soon. “

View of the Asia and Pacific region with Charles Spencer, Regional Director General

“In Australia and South East Asia, the focus on securing critical infrastructure and increasing the pool of skilled talent will dominate political agendas. The focus will be on reopening the region, and centralizing R&D, higher education and international cooperation to build vibrant and secure economies could be a factor. “

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HSBC leaves China with new deals Thu, 06 Jan 2022 06:09:00 +0000

A pedestrian walks past a sign showing the HSBC lion at its headquarters in the central financial district of Hong Kong, China, August 4, 2020. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu – RC207I96XPCZ

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HONG KONG, Jan.6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Perceptions matter for profits in China, or at least for Western banks entering its vast markets. News on Wednesday that HSBC (HSBA.L) may soon take a larger stake in its Chinese securities joint venture came just a week after Beijing approved the acquisition of full ownership of its mainland co-ownership insurer. While China’s approval process is often difficult to read, both moves and other developments imply that a tough time for the Asia-focused lender is coming to an end.

HSBC has been widely seen as being out of favor since 2019, when it was revealed to have passed on information to U.S. officials about telecommunications equipment titan Huawei. Abandoned deals followed, Reuters reported citing sources. More recently, however, the bank played a leading role in the Hong Kong introduction of SenseTime (0020.HK) – a mainland artificial intelligence company blacklisted by Washington mid-term, and it now has the option to buy an additional 39% of its securities business after its public partner said it wanted to sell. Progress in China is never quite linear, but HSBC appears to be headed in the right direction. (By Jennifer Hughes)

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Reuters Breakingviews is the world’s leading source for financial information on agenda making. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big companies and economic stories from around the world every day. A global team of around 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provide real-time expert analysis.

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Activist Investor ‘Stakes’ Need Further Consideration Mon, 03 Jan 2022 05:00:49 +0000

Some words are so misused that they should be removed from the financial lexicon. “Stake” is one example. For many readers, this is a shorthand for “shareholding”. This suggests that when sophisticated investors, such as Patrick Drahi or Elliott Management, “take a stake” in a publicly traded company, their interests are closely aligned with those of ordinary shareholders of BT Group or GSK, respectively.

Investors have traditionally paid to gamble if they wanted to intervene in the management of companies. The influence is deemed to be proportional to their disbursement in ordinary shares.

But that would make activism, which depends on securing the support of long-term investors, a costly business. Professionals therefore often resort to derivatives and leverage to obtain cheap voting rights. They can also avoid disclosure of significant holdings that would otherwise apply. They do this by exercising voting rights through investment banks which benefit from significant disclosure exemptions.

Their actual exposure to gains and losses may be much lower than that of so-called long funds that invest for pension plans and insurers. Management and the media can therefore overestimate the real financial commitment of activists – and therefore the alignment of their interests with other investors.

Activists and other corporate raiders are generally a good thing. They challenge complacent bosses and highlight strategies that have failed. To be fair, they rarely use the word “stake”, preferring a more vague phraseology. But it’s time for them to take on a few more challenges on their own relationships.

Elliott is the simplest example to start with. The New York hedge fund ranks among the most influential activists in the world, with notable victories against BHP and Alliance Trust. In the UK, he is involved with GSK and SSE, where he advocates divestitures, and with Taylor Wimpey, where he called for a management overhaul. In the announcements, he described himself as holding “a significant position” in the pharmaceutical group and as one of the “top five investors” in both the energy supplier and the homebuilder.

Databases such as Bloomberg and S&P Global do not record any shareholder register data to show that Elliott has direct interests of any size in any of these companies.

It is in such moments of doubt that public relations specialists rally to explain to the poor and naive financial writer that hedge funds like Elliott get their exposure through more effective means. The problem with the explanation is that these exhibits are rarely disclosed in detail, so the true scale of their investments cannot be verified.

Some hygienic sunshine fell on them in 2019 via the Securities and Exchange Commission deposits on Sherborne’s failed investment in Barclays. The American activist had claimed a 5.5% investment in the British bank, with a theoretical value of around £ 2 billion. As it turned out, two-thirds of this “stake” was represented by a cap-and-collar derivative agreement with Bank of America. This limited gains and losses and secured a $ 1.4 billion loan.

French tycoon Drahi could theoretically have used similar methods to finance the 18% stake in BT acquired by his leveraged telecommunications group Altice. One way to get into debt to pay some of this would be to pledge shares through a fixed-price put option in a transaction involving an investment bank.

Assuming that just under 10 percentage points of Altice’s stake is covered by such a deal, its unhedged net exposure to BT would be greater than 8 percentage points. The company would still have 18% of the vote on any major change in strategy.

Some professionals in the City of London believe that such an arrangement exists or has existed. Others dismiss the idea as a conspiracy theory. Altice declines to comment. However, its own European business was valued at just € 5.7 billion when it bought out minority shareholders last year, while net debt was around € 30 billion. Buying an unleveraged £ 3 billion stake in BT could be a difficult exercise for Altice.

It is customary at this point in a financial opinion column to require more legal disclosure. But I don’t think more regulation would help. Sophisticated investors and their investment banks would quickly find ways to keep playing their cards close to their chests.

A simpler fix would be for GMs and long funds to be more skeptical. They should challenge activists and other savvy investors to disclose their detailed exposure to a target company with approval from an investment bank. If the wheel dealers refused, it would be reasonable to ask why. And we should stop throwing around that silly word “game”.

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AT&T, Verizon May Delay 5G Expansion Again Due To FAA Concerns Sat, 01 Jan 2022 22:45:52 +0000

In the past month, AT&T and Verizon delayed their potentially faster rollout 5G C-band service, due to Federal Aviation Administration safety concerns. Now, it looks like a further delay could be expected, once again due to FAA concerns. The two main operators were due to use the newly purchased frequencies on December 5 to roll out C-band service, but postponed the launch until January 5 after the Department of Transport raised concerns over possible interference. According to a letter obtained by Reuters, the Department of Transportation and the FAA are now asking for up to two more weeks to investigate the matter.

In the letter sent by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson to CEOs of AT&T and Verizon, the couple asked for a “no more than two weeks” delay. The two made the request as part of a “proposal as a short-term solution to advance the coexistence of 5G deployment in the C-band and safe flight operations,” according to the report. Reuters.

Until now, the problem has been the possibility that pilots may use an inclement weather safety system that could conflict with this new 5G C-band technology. The FAA would eventually like to promulgate regulations prohibiting pilots from using such systems, The Wall Street Journal reported in November. Aviation officials have claimed that the 5G C-band has the potential to interfere with flights in and around the nearly four dozen cities where the C-band towers are located. there was no evidence that the 5G C-band would jeopardize flight safety.

In the framework that Reuters Described in its report, the FAA would designate “priority” airports where “a buffer zone would allow flight operations to continue safely while the FAA completes its assessments of potential interference.”

Reuters said both companies say they received the letter. But so far they have not agreed to an additional two weeks. Needless to say, this delay would be bad news for both carriers. Reuters Reports that on Friday, the companies accused the aviation industry of holding C-band expansion “hostage until the wireless industry agrees to cover the costs of upgrading obsolete altimeters.”

And in a statement to Initiated On Saturday, a Verizon spokesperson said: “If airlines are so concerned about 5G-related flight cancellations, they should really take a look at their track records over the past two weeks,” referring to a wave of recent cancellations amid an increase in COVID-19 cases. “This industry which has benefited from a $ 54 billion taxpayer-funded government bailout over the past two years clearly has much bigger issues to worry about.”

As frustrated as the executives of both carriers can be, however, also Reuters notes that companies have accepted six months of precautionary measures when they bought the C-band spectrum in early 2021.

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Tanzania: Rising Mobile Money Transfers Raise Cost of Living Fri, 31 Dec 2021 05:43:00 +0000

Tanzania Telecom tariffs:

Tanzanians are forced to dig deeper into their pockets as the government has increased the cost of mobile money transfers. Since July of this year, Tanzanians have seen the costs of sending and withdrawing money skyrocket.

The government, through parliament, passed a bill to increase charges, arguing that the additional tax is necessary for national development projects. The government amended the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (CAP 306), which allowed it to impose a tax on mobile money transactions based on the amount sent and withdrawn.

At 17 percent, Tanzania’s excise rate on mobile phone services is the second highest in Africa, just behind Zambia.

The amount is an increase from the previous 14.5% which had been increased in 2014. At that time, it was explained that the tax increase was intended to compensate the government for what it explained as ” loss of income resulting from the withdrawal of the SIM card. tax during the 2013/14 financial year. ‘

Well, now the government has offered to refund the SIM card tax at a rate of up to $ 0.09 (Tsh 200) per day per SIM card.

“I propose to modify the law on electronic and postal communications as follows. To impose a levy of between $ 0.0043 and $ 0.09 per SIM card depending on the user’s ability to top up the balance”, said the country’s finance minister, Mwigulu Nchemba.

So not only is the government increasing fees on mobile money transfers, it also charges a fee for simply having a SIM card. The public outcry and outcry was huge, so much so that 6th President Samia Suluhu called on the finance ministry to review the bill and find a possibility to reform the bill and lower the charges.

Plight time limit bundles persist

To make matters worse, not only has the mobile money transfer fee been increased, but unlike elsewhere in the East African Community (EAC) when you purchase a telecom plan (data, voice call, or SMS) in Tanzania it comes with a time stamp. The time stamp varies from day to month, and when your time is up, service is interrupted, even if you still have unused data, airtime, or text messages.

Three months ago, this outrageous sales tactic that benefits the poor unwittingly buying what appears to be affordable offers at first glance only to find out that the “many” MBs or minutes or texts were for a limited time only.

So you could literally buy a one month plan that will actually only last you a week!

This was all supposed to be a thing of the past in April this year, when the government stepped in and released a slew of new telecommunications regulations. Through its ICT watchdog, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the government issued some 13 new regulations and among them, these time-based telecommunications bundles needed to be ended.

Well it all sounded like pitch and cream until you read between the lines. For the sake of argument, let’s look at the time limit packages and what the regulation asked the telecoms to do or rather how the telecoms reshuffled the TCRA order to get rid of the time limit.

The telecoms have agreed that “the packages will no longer have an expiration date …” (wait for it) “… if the customer recharges the package before it expires! “

And: “The user will be notified to top up when the plan is 75% exhausted and again when it is completely exhausted. “

So the timestamp of the telecom packages was never really removed because the public was led to believe it, instead it was coated in sugar, the wolf went back to the forest, put on the sheepskin and came back to get the three little pigs or is it Little Red Riding Hood?

All in all, the wolf of telecommunications has dressed up in sheepskin and has returned to devour the innocent, unprotected public. Let’s review the order of the regulator and what the telecoms actually did.

Airtel and Telkom succumb to rising internet and call charges

A cycle of poverty: the infinite loop of bundles of deadlines

The government ordered the removal of time-limited plans from April 2, telecoms agreed but made a condition: “you will not lose your unused data, airtime or text messages if and only if you buy the same package in capsule before its expiration “.

In other words, they’ve really made matters worse for the common man who chooses to buy the time-locked plans in the first place because they promise to deliver a lot more data, airtime, and data. texts at a reasonably affordable price.

However, when the time expires you lose the unused part of the plan, you go back and force that user to buy another plan simply forces them into an endless loop of buying more plans to save their already paid for unused. package!

Why has the government, through the TCRA, not simply ordered the end of this loop which, in effect, imposes a cycle of poverty on people who are already poor? The country has just gone from a per capita rate of one dollar a day, these packages cost on average just over a dollar a day, forcing someone to spend their whole day earning to communicate with loved ones is just plain wrong.

Granted, it’s a free saving, so fine, I chose to spend my entire day communicating, and then at least let myself use the entire service I purchased. It’s a trick, if not a steal in the light of day, to get me to “get more” only to win if I don’t use it fully within a given time frame.

Kenya takes telecoms to court for time-limited packages

If my approach seems like a hard-line position, consider the fact that in Kenya telecoms companies were taken to court for the same lifespan packages in 2019. And Kenyans have been enjoying their money ever since. hard earned until the last cent or shall we say the last MB.

“… Safaricom on Wednesday (October 23, 2019) abolished the expiration dates of the data plans it offers, in what it said was to celebrate its 19 years of service,” wrote a regional media outlet.

In the article titled “Safaricom Removes Deadlines on Data Plans,” the document clarifies that Safaricom’s decision to remove time-limited plans was not due to sheer goodwill or the pleasure of celebrating nearly two decades of “limited time plan profits, but rather because the company along with two other major telecommunications companies were facing a class action lawsuit over the high cost of data and arbitrary expiration or paid plans.”

Kenya is not the only country to sue telecoms and protect its people from unscrupulous profiteers. In that same October 2019, across the continent in West Africa, Ghana also asked its telecommunications operators to remove restrictions on data, the newspaper writes.

In Ghana, however, it appears the telecom giants have gotten away with lobbying on the condition that they have now imposed on Tanzanians the unused but paid portion of the plan will be postponed if, and only if, the user. purchases the package again; the infinite time limit package aka the cycle of poverty.

As these deceptive and deceptive advertising tactics push already poor peasants further into the abyss of poverty, the multinational telecom giants continue to make ever-incredible profits every year.

Consider this, the sued Kenyan Safaricom is in fact the most profitable telecommunications company in East Africa pocketing a net income of $ 598 million collected from over 33 million subscribers1 who are unwittingly forced into purchase these time-limited packages among other services.

1African Business Magazine an annual survey (April 9, 2020)

Where is the Tanzania Consumer Protection Commission located?

When you run million dollar ads on radio, TV, on larger than life billboards saying GET MORE FOR LESS, then just send a small print text message saying “top up to save money.” unused package ‘and expect half-educated rural peasants to choose the best option, this is tantamount to misleading the consumer (and if he doesn’t, he should) because the public is not sufficiently informed to make the appropriate decision.

It is illegal for a business to engage in conduct that misleads or deceives or is likely to mislead or deceive consumers or other businesses. This law applies even if you did not intend to mislead or deceive anyone or if no one has suffered loss or damage as a result of your conduct – Australian law.