Feeds

Too dim to set up your phone? Pay someone else to do it

Get your phone settings here, only a quid

Security for virtualized datacentres

A new service from WDSGlobal will send your mobile all the configuration settings it needs, and the company reckons you'll pay a quid for it too, despite network operators offering the same thing for free.

Configuremyphone is a website where UK punters can select their mobile phone and network to receive settings for browsing, e-mail, MMS and Java, charged at £1 each. Of course, you could just get them from your network operator for nothing, but people seem surprisingly reluctant to do that.

The service is really aimed at companies selling mobile applications, who think they're losing a fortune 'cos punters can't download their applications or use them once downloaded (if the application needs connectivity). Configuremyphone offers APIs for those content providers so they can tie into the service from within their application. WDSGlobal reckons that only 20 per cent of customers will try the official support lines when they have problems, the rest of them will just (figuratively) walk away.

WDSGlobal certainly knows the business; it runs the configuration services used by many mobile operators and reckons it configures around 250 million handsets a year.

In the UK around 30 per cent of handsets are operator variants: they've been pre-loaded with all the right settings and often some branding applications and bits of paper in the box. The remaining 70 per cent are 'vanilla' handsets provided direct from the manufacturer and come without settings.

Operators try to get shop staff to help configure the phone, but once they've made the sale they tend to lose interest in the customer and need bribing to spend more time making it work. O2 has an interesting SIM application that requests the settings be sent by SMS to the handset, but it's all a bit hit-and-miss.

Ideally the settings would be stored on the SIM, as (for example) the address of the SMSC server already is. That's the approach adopted by the R-UIM (the CDMA SIM-equivalent) which now includes both MMS and data-connection settings as well as a host of other useful things. Unfortunately the GSM-SIM standard is too busy working on high-speed connections and NFC integration to be bothered with finding space for server information.

So even today there are millions of handsets that can't see the mobile revolution because they're not configured to do so. WDSGlobal isn't expecting a huge number of people to pay a quid to retrieve their settings, but they do expect content providers to be willing to pay the same to expand their potential customer base. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.