Bill Ray

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Motorola parcels up enterprise Wi-Fi biz amid selloff rumours

Motorola – the bit which makes money and wasn't bought by Google – is looking to offload its Wi-Fi business now that everyone and their dog is flogging access points to enterprises. Motorola Solutions sells enterprise radios, from handheld walkie-talkies to citywide internet access networks and wireless LAN technologies, but …
Bill Ray, 22 Oct 2013
Engineers fitting antenna heads

Crown Castle blows $4.85 BEEELLION for rights to AT&T's cell towers

Wireless infraco Crown Castle International has bought 600 cell mast sites from AT&T and secured leases on 9,100 more for $4.85bn in cash. Crown Castle, which has been borrowing cash to buy up cellular infrastructure across America, will stump up the lump sum in exchange for outright ownership of the 600 sites, and exclusive …
Bill Ray, 21 Oct 2013
Grumpy cat

That's a lotta cats: 40% of YouTube vids are streamed to mobes

40 per cent of YouTube streams are being delivered to mobile devices, to Google's delight – though this could seen as a failure to get beyond blink-and-you'll-miss-it cat videos into something more profitable. The numbers came out during a Google earnings call late last week, which showed the Chocolate Factory beating …
Bill Ray, 21 Oct 2013
Google Nexus 4

Google's leaky ship spills new Nexus 5 photos, $349 price tags all over web

Google's next smartphone, the Nexus 5, will apparently be priced $349 just like its predecessor – but it will come with a bigger screen and more pixels to show off the much-heralded KitKat version of Android. The Nexus 5 has been comprehensively leaked all over the web, with purported photographs popping up on network operator …
Bill Ray, 18 Oct 2013

What the CUFF? Nokia shows how a smartwatch really OUGHT to work

Video Boffins working for Nokia have knocked together a prototype smartwatch with six screens, and patented the ways in which one might use it should such a thing ever become technically practical. The Nokia Facet isn't a product, it isn't even a prototype, but the functional model lets Nokia engineers work out how one might …
Bill Ray, 18 Oct 2013
Apple micro USB adaptor for iPhone

ITU to Europe: One charger for all mobes good. One to rule them ALL? Better

The EU is about to make micro USB charging mandatory on mobile phones, but the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is pushing to extend that regulation to everything handheld, making all electronic gadgets chargeable from the same cable. The EU regulation in question is the amended Radio Equipment Directive, which …
Bill Ray, 18 Oct 2013
A photo taken with the iPhone 5s

iPhone 5S autopsy shows WHY it can't tell which end is up – dev

Balance problems plaguing the iPhone 5S popped up with the first reviews. But a teardown by Chipworks and the musings of an iOS dev have isolated a likely reason why the steering on that motor racing app is about 5 degrees off. It's all down to a replacement accelerometer which lacks the accuracy of its forebear. Although …
Bill Ray, 18 Oct 2013

Ofcom flogs ex-military 4G spectrum, but ONLY the iPhone 5 can use it

A fresh round of 4G spectrum auctions are in the offing as Ofcom proposes selling off surplus military frequencies at 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz, despite the fact that only the iPhone 5 can make any use of it. Another 190MHz of 4G spectrum will be up for grabs next year after being discarded by the military and heading for the auction …
Bill Ray, 17 Oct 2013
Square reader on an iPod Touch

Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

Not content with revolutionising shopping as we know it, uber-cool money-transfer outfit Square has launched a peer-to-peer payment system – secured only by an SMTP password. Square – the payment firm developed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey – has debuted a new service, Square Cash, which authorises transactions with an email …
Bill Ray, 17 Oct 2013

Nokia, Indian upstart square up to Google's mighty mapping empire

Google's assumed dominance in online maps is being challenged in India by Nokia's efforts and separately an upstart service in the country. And the outcome of this battle could send tremors throughout the world. First, the local competition: WoNoBo, launched by mapping operation Genesys, presents 360-degree panoramas of the …
Bill Ray, 16 Oct 2013

'Patent trolling' InterDigital CAN ask ITC to ban Nokia mobes: Supreme Court

Nokia has failed to get the US Supreme Court to rule that the International Trade Commission shouldn't hear cases involving companies whose business only involves patents, despite supporting evidence from Amazon, Red Hat, and HP – and to the delight of InterDigital. Nokia recently lost an appeal in an ongoing court case …
Bill Ray, 16 Oct 2013

All cool kids' phones run ALTERNATIVE alternative custom Android ROM

Android users who want a custom ROM*, but are turned off by Cyanogenmod's attempts to go commercial, now have another option in the form of the newly-launched OmniROM. OmniROM comes from several of those involved in CyanogenMod, who lost interest when those in charge of the most popular replacement firmware committed the …
Bill Ray, 16 Oct 2013

Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

A sticker slapped onto a SIM card can cut international calls by 98 per cent, and guarantee a 50 per cent saving on business spending, without changing numbers or phones. The sticker comes from BiBiTel, and is really a second SIM which sits between the handset and the operator SIM. Most commands are passed straight through, …
Bill Ray, 16 Oct 2013
Spectrum Oyster Card holder

Hong Kong underground gets pay-by-bonk

The Octopus card, used to pay for tubes, buses, ferries and trams in Hong Kong, is now available as an NFC app for download onto an operator SIM, making pay-by-bonk a reality in the Chinese administrative area. The app will only run on a handful of Sony phones, and NFC player Gemalto is providing 5,000 new NFC-enabled SIM …
Bill Ray, 15 Oct 2013

Let police track you through your mobe - it's for your OWN GOOD

Two thirds of emergency calls are made from mobile phones, many of them from people who don't know where they are, and Ofcom wants to know if we should be tracking their locations. When a call is made to 999 (or 112, or 911, depending on your neck of the woods) the communication provider is required to provide the caller's …
Bill Ray, 15 Oct 2013

Problems at Home: Facebook opens alpha testing to world+dog

Facebook is recruiting adventurous fanbois willing to become alpha testers for the next version of its Android client. The social network warns that the process "is not for the faint hearted" as features will be altered "several times a week" and the app's stability will be deliberately rocked during tests, but it's the ideal …
Bill Ray, 14 Oct 2013
A German Type Ae 800 observation balloon

Jawohl! Vodafone gets nod for £6.5bn Kabel Deutschland slurp

Vodafone now owns just over three quarters of Kabel Deutschland, following a shareholder meeting which approved the British operator's takeover of the German telco, creating a one-stop-shop for continental consumers. The buyout, which cost Vodafone £6.5bn, was announced back in June but has been awaiting shareholder approval …
Bill Ray, 14 Oct 2013
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

Custom ringback tones: Coming to your next contract mobe?

Ringback tones, which replace the ringing tone one hears while waiting for a phonecall to be connected, are about to explode back into fashion, if vendor OnMobile is to be believed. Technically speaking, ringback tones (RBTs) are trivial to implement. The "brrr brrr" (or "brrrrrrr" in some countries) one hears while waiting …
Bill Ray, 14 Oct 2013
The bay

TAT-1: Call the cable guy, all I see is a beautiful beach

Geek's Guide to Britain A cabled telegram first crossed the Atlantic in 1858, but it took almost a century for voice calls to follow, being carried by the TAT-1 Cable which landed at Oban in Scotland, where we went along to see it. Back in 1955 a phone call to Canada, or the United States, would require booking several hours in advance as the various …
Bill Ray, 14 Oct 2013

Ofcom, it's WAR! Mobe networks fire broadside over 2G spectrum pricing

The UK's mobile network operators have successfully kicked off their PR campaign against spectrum regulator Ofcom, painting themselves as surprised victims of governmental incompetence. Most of the media coverage of Ofcom's tripled fees for the 2G frequencies focused on the potential for higher mobile pricing. This left no …
Bill Ray, 11 Oct 2013

YouTube turns on dormant DRM, permits official downloads

From next month the YouTube mobile app will let users download videos and keep them for 48 hours of disconnected viewing before they disappear into the DRM'd ether. Users uploading videos can opt out, but in-stream adverts will also be cached and viewing figures will be uploaded once the device reconnects, so there seems …
Bill Ray, 11 Oct 2013
EE 4G banner

BT Mobile inks network deal with EE, dumps Vodafone

BT Mobile will be switching from Vodafone's network to EE's, pushing aggressively back into the mobile space it departed when it sold off Cellnet in 2002. There aren't many details available on the move yet, apart from the fact that EE has been selected from a number of various possible suppliers (three, at an informed guess) …
Bill Ray, 10 Oct 2013
Google Chocolate Factory

Google's Wi-Fi not good enough for its home town

Google's offer of free Wi-Fi to its home city of Mountain View isn't good enough for residents who have been struggling to make use of the overloaded service – but now they're finally getting an alternative. Google got permission to strap access points to lampposts around Mountain View in 2005, launching the free network a …
Bill Ray, 10 Oct 2013

Brace yourselves, telcos: Ofcom triples cost of 2G spectrum holdings

Ofcom has set out charges for mobile operators who want to keep the 2G spectrum they were allocated in the '80s, and it's about triple what they're paying now. Numbers are in millions of pounds, and will go up every year Following the 4G auction, the problem remains of allocated spectrum; frequencies which were handed over …
Bill Ray, 10 Oct 2013

Azerbaijani election app announced winner before polls even opened

The official mobile app for tracking the Azerbaijan election got a little premature in announcing a victory for the incumbent – by doing so a good 12 hours before voting had even opened. Not only did the app, which comes from the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan, report on Tuesday that incumbent president Ilham Aliyev …
Bill Ray, 09 Oct 2013