Feeds

Symbian loophole 'threatens operator revenue'

Services bypass

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

New mobile devices based on a version of the Symbian OS are a serious threat to mobile operator revenue streams, according to consultancy Mako Analysis. Savvy users can use devices running on Symbian's Series 60 operating system (OS) to completely bypass a range of services that are normally charged for by their mobile operator, the UK-based consultancy warned on Monday. While the threat is currently minimal, the loophole has the potential to cause major headaches for operators.

"The increasing sophistication of high-end mobile devices opens up a range of additional problems and will continue to undermine the data revenue streams of mobile operators at a time when they desperately need them to be increasing," a Mako spokesperson said.

Mako Analysis highlighted a selection of devices that are currently available on the market, including the Nokia 6600, N-Gage and Sony Ericsson models P800 and P900, that allow an entire range of new revenue- generating services to be installed on the device.

"As with any new device feature," the spokesperson continued, "it will eventually infiltrate into medium and low-end terminals, in the case of practically every other advancement this would be welcomed. This historical approach has lead us to blindly encourage the addition of increasingly sophisticated devices throughout the range, in the case of open platform operating systems our approach surely has to be one of caution."

The Symbian Series 60 OS works in a similar fashion to a Microsoft Windows PC. The user can install new applications and software while also uploading a range of consumer content such as ringtones and Java games.

From such simple content to complete service offerings such as mobile music or instant messaging, an open OS can bypass, and therefore potentially eliminate, any revenue from these services, according to Mako.

As one example, if a consumer has a Symbian Series 60 device, there are several MP3 players that can be downloaded to their device for a small, one-off fee. Once they have the player on the device, MP3 tracks can be moved over to the phone's memory card for free by using Bluetooth, infrared or a USB connection cable.

"Given the widespread knowledge of acquiring or creating MP3's free of charge," Mako warns, "particularly in the youth segments that are being targeted by mobile operators, the potential to bypass mobile operator solutions is significant."

© ENN

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.