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Watch ads, get free calls says Virgin Mobile US

Virgin Mobile USA is giving hard-up youngsters the chance to make free phone calls in return for watching ads. The "yoof-oriented" cellco has hooked up with ad outfit Ultramercial to launch the ad-for-airtime service called "SugarMama". So far, Virgin Mobile USA - a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT dogged by Deutsche Telekom takeover talk

Shares in BT were down a smidgen today after weekend press speculation that the UK incumbent could be the takeover target of German giant Deutsche Telekom. Reports suggested that Deutsche Telekom was prepping a £25bn bid for BT with rumours fuelled still further by both firms' reluctance to comment. Now, though, The Telegraph …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
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IT jobs under threat as Voda reports £15bn loss

Vodafone is to axe 400 jobs and outsource a stack of IT posts as part of sweeping plans to reduce costs. The changes are designed to save around £500m a year as Vodafone battles to keep a lid on spiralling costs. Exactly how many IT jobs are at risk remains unclear. Vodafone is already talking to potential outsourcing partners …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Cash handed out for recycling cellphones

A Cheshire-based firm has paid out more than £250,000 to punters recycling their old mobile phones since the beginning of the year. Envirofone.com either pays cash or offers punters credit that can be used at Argos for handing in old handsets. The firm then reconditions the handsets, if necessary, before sending them overseas …
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2006
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Viewers 'confused' by HDTV

TV viewers are confused about high definition TV (HDTV) with one in five not realising they need to buy an HD ready TV set to receive the crystal clear pictures. Half of those quizzed didn't realise they would also need a new HD set top box, while two thirds failed to twig they would also have to shell out for a monthly …
Tim Richardson, 26 May 2006
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Ofcom chief exec to quit

Comment Stephen Carter is to stand down as chief exec of Ofcom after more than three years in the job. The former NTL boss will continue to be in charge of Ofcom until 15 October, but will cease to be involved in economic, competition, and policy decisions from the beginning of August. He will also be unable to scout around for a new …
Tim Richardson, 26 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT wins rights to show Premiership football

BT has won the right to show Premier League football "on demand" following an £84.3m joint bid with satellite TV broadcaster BSkyB. Exactly how much each company will pay is being kept under wraps. However, it is the most high profile content deal struck by the giant telco to date as it prepares for the autumn launch of its …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
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C&W pumps up broadband spend

Cable & Wireless (C&W) is to capitalise on its investment in local loop unbundling (LLU) by providing unbundled services to its corporate customers. So far, C&W has installed its kit in 411 BT exchanges via Bulldog, its consumer-oriented broadband ISP, and expects this number to double by the end of September. But the telco is …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Nominet racks up 5m .uk domains

Nominet has registered five million .uk domains since it was founded ten years ago. The Oxford-based .uk domain name registry is marking this important milestone with a nostalgic look-back over the last decade. Did you know, for example, that Nominet registered 2,000 .uk registrations in its first month of operation in 1996? …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
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Employee discontent grows at 4uBusiness

Staff at troubled 4uBusiness - the SME-focused sibling of phone retailer Phones4u - fear the firm is being wound down, with devastating consequences for employees. Earlier this week, The Register reported that staff at 4uBusiness are "leaving in droves" and morale among workers has hit rock bottom. Now insiders at 4uBusiness, …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Email problems snag Legend Internet

Legend Internet is blaming a hardware failure for leaving customers without email since the weekend. Legend, which was acquired by Scottish telco Thus earlier this year, has already warned customers that "because of the nature of the mail server failure, delivery of mail sent prior to this time cannot be guaranteed before …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Evolution Broadband pulls service

London-based broadband ISP - Evolution Broadband Ltd - has decided to "stop providing ADSL service entirely" from next month. In an email to customers yesterday the firm urged customers to "migrate immediately" and warned that it could not "guarantee that service will be continued past 6th June 2006". The firm has already …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Fine phone slammers, says TSI

The head of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has called for "strong penalties" to combat mis-selling by telecoms companies. TSI chief exec Ron Gainsford said he is "concerned at the growing problem of telecoms mis-selling and would like to see strong penalties for misleading sales behaviour". His comments come on the …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT's 'honeymoon period' nearing end

BT has been warned that its "honeymoon period" is coming to an end after some telcos said they were still sceptical about changes designed to make the UK's telecoms sector more competitive and transparent. The warning was contained in that latest assessment of Openreach, BT's access services division created earlier this year …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
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Staff at 4uBusiness 'leaving in droves'

Staff at 4uBusiness have been warned they face job losses following a decision to merge the business with Phones4u, both of which are owned by telecoms entrepreneur John Caudwell. Insiders have told The Register that staff "are leaving in droves" and that morale has hit rock bottom. They blame the impending sale of The Caudwell …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
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Execs back $2.4bn Eircom buy-out

The former head of BT's giant retail business in the UK is set to take a top job at Eircom after the Irish incumbent announced today that it is backing a $2.4bn (£1.64bn) bid for the business. Pierre Danon, the former chief exec of BT Retail, is due to become chairman of the Eircom once the deal is completed. In an …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
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Administrators go in at Supanet

Administrators have been called in to Burnley-based ISP Supanet Ltd. A notice published in the London Gazette, the official source of personal and corporate insolvency data in the UK, reports that Joint Administrators Martin Ellis, Andrew Hosking and Leslie Ross of Grant Thornton UK were appointed on 5 May. The Register has …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
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Technology 'misuse' leads to time-wasting at work

Misuse of office technology adds more than two hours to the average British working day, according to research released today by cableco NTL:Telewest. Its study found that far from improving productivity, email, voicemail, and the internet can all distract workers, leading to increased time wasting. The report said: " …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

T-Mobile cuts World Cup roaming charges

T-Mobile is slashing the cost of using a mobile in Germany for England football fans travelling to the World Cup. With up to 200,000 footie fans expected to travel to Germany over the next six weeks, the cellco - the "official mobile sponsor of the FIFA World Cup" - has cut roaming charges for Germany to 25p a minute for …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Voda Arcor sale off - report

Vodafone could be on the verge of signalling an about-turn in strategy amid reports that it plans to hang on to its fixed line phone business in Germany. The Times reports that Voda boss Arun Sarin is preparing to scrap the €1bn sale of Arcor as the giant cellco looks to embrace fixed line and broadband services. Voda's …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Sky HD installs delayed

Sky has delayed the installation date for thousands of its customers who are hoping to tune into High Definition (HD) TV in time for the World Cup. Supply problems with its new HD box means that 17,000 installation dates are being rescheduled to cope with the shortfall. Sky is blaming the delay on "an unforeseen and very late …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Virgin Mobile offers free beer and kebabs

Virgin Mobile is offering its gig-going punters free beer and kebabs this summer as part plans to be nice to its customers. Virgin Mobile punters attending certain youth-oriented events will be invited to text the word "beer" or "kebab" to a short code number. In return, they'll receive a text containing a voucher for two free …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Gremlins halt BT's 8 meg upgrade

The migration of thousands of people onto higher speed broadband services has been put on hold after BT admitted that a key system has been floored by a software glitch. ISPs have been gearing up to begin the mass migration of punters onto BT's new DSL Max service, which gives broadband users speeds of up to 8 meg. But …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT to offer home visits for broadband installs

BT customers who'd prefer not to install their own broadband connection can now get the giant telco to do it - for a price. It seems the monster telco is mulling the idea of charging punters around £50 a throw for a home visit. The firm currently has around 2.5m retail broadband punters, and reckons there's a market for an …
Tim Richardson, 18 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT yet to feel impact of the 'Carphone effect'

BT has seen "no impact" on its business following the much-hyped launch of Carphone Warehouse's "free broadband forever" product. A month ago Carphone confirmed the details of its new bundled phone, broadband and line rental service that at £20.99 a month all-in, was half the price of its nearest rival. But the UK's dominant …
Tim Richardson, 18 May 2006

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