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£150m, three years... TWO base stations. Gov.uk? You guessed it

A government project funded with £150m of taxpayers money to improve rural broadband with mobile coverage has managed to erect just two base stations in three years. The project needed EU approval to ensure that it wasn’t the UK government unfairly subsidising the mobile networks. The plan was to provide basic voice and data – …
Simon Rockman, 7 Oct 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

AT&T fires insider for slurping customers' social security numbers, driver licenses and more

AT&T has warned subscribers that a rogue staffer rifled through the telco's customer database without authorization. The telecoms giant said one of its workers pulled up sensitive information – including social security numbers – and was duly fired for breaking the corp's privacy rules. According to a letter [PDF] to customers …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Oct 2014
Sprint WiMax Coverage map

Sprint will KILL OFF WiMax in 2015 – report

Third-ranked US mobile network Sprint appears to be poised to kill off its implementation of its less-regarded 4G technology, WiMax. According to a newsletter from the wireless provider leaked to Android Central, the date for the closure of the service is 6 November 2015. The spectrum it frees up – along with the spectrum …
Simon Rockman, 6 Oct 2014

It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

Mobile operator Three UK is suffering a widespread outage across the country after the service was abruptly halted by server maintenance earlier today. Customers began complaining that they were unable to access the network this morning. The Register contacted Three UK to find out what had gone wrong. Yet the carrier's PR …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Oct 2014
Speaking Clock

BT's consumer mobe network suffers tech snags – but telco denies delay claims

BT's return to the consumer mobile market is reportedly being hampered by technical difficulties but the company has denied that the problems could force it to delay its plans. According to the Telegraph, which cited anonymous sources, BT is continuing to wrestle with carrying voice calls and data traffic over Wi-Fi networks. …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Oct 2014

'Cops and public bodies BUNGLE snooping powers by spying on 3,000 law-abiding Brits'

Thousands of innocent Brits have reportedly been mistakenly snooped on by UK police and public bodies. That claim, which involved nearly 3,000 citizens, was made in a Times report (£) on Saturday. It was alleged that "Authorities routinely use sweeping legal powers to collect phone and internet records secretly". And there are …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Oct 2014
Video

Verizon punches RED button on Redbox Instant video-streaming service

Verizon will shut down its Netflix competitor Redbox Instant on Tuesday, a mere year and a half after the firm first launched the video-streaming service in the USA. It's set to shut down permanently in a little over 48 hours from now, Verizon told subscribers. Redbox Instant said in a post on its website: Information on …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Oct 2014
Photo of the Starship Enterprise's sick bay

Doctor Zuck, I'm so poorly right now! Facebook examines healthcare biz: report

Facebook is reportedly mulling over plans to step into the healthcare business – a move that would hardly be surprising given Google and Apple's interest in that market. According to Reuters, which cited three unnamed people familiar with the matter, the Mark Zuckerberg-run free content ad network is looking at setting up " …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Oct 2014
HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Even small businesses need control over their mobile devices

Sponsored article This article is sponsored by EE No matter how small your business, the chances are that smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like, whether owned by employees or the company, are an essential component of working life. They enable staff to respond quickly to questions and address problems at any time, wherever they are. A …
David Gordon, 4 Oct 2014

Sprint starting mass layoffs to 'improve operational efficiencies' in mobile network

Workers at third-ranked US mobile network Sprint will have a nervous month as large numbers of them are going to be getting the call to "Come into the HR office please, and bring your key card." On Friday, the company made a regulatory filing in which it said it would be setting aside $160m to cover the cost of the layoffs, …
Iain Thomson, 4 Oct 2014

You folks probably don't have much to say on the Comcast-TWC merger ... FCC extends deadline for comments anyway

The FCC has extended the deadline for people wishing to send in comments on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The commission said on Friday that it would give the public until 29 October to file their opinions on the proposed $42.5bn deal between two of the largest cable providers in the country. The …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Oct 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

The Marriott has been fined $600,000 by the FCC for paralyzing guests' personal Wi-Fi hotspots, forcing them to use the hotel giant's expensive network instead. The US watchdog today said the Marriott Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, used monitoring equipment to illegally boot hotel and convention center guests off …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Oct 2014

Verizon: We're throttling broadband. FCC: WTF? Verizon: Lol, jk!

Verizon is going back on its vow to throttle broadband for some of those on unlimited data plans. The telco said it will not punish heavy users of its network by crippling their LTE speeds. Verizon said in July that it will implement the policy, which would have cut throughput rates for the top five per cent of LTE users, in …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Oct 2014

Leaked: Mobile operators' SCARE campaign against net neutrality

Europe’s mobile phone operators are so worried about the effects of a proposed net neutrality law on their businesses that they appear to have planned to scare politicians out of passing it. A leaked document from the GSMA, the global mobile phone operators' association, reveals a campaign strategy that plays on people's …
gavel_judgment_channel

Apple bats away yet another WiLAN patent sueball

Patent licensing firm WiLAN has lost another intellectual property case against Apple, this time related to LTE. WiLAN said it was reviewing the ruling from District Judge Dana Sabraw that threw out its case for two LTE patent infringement claims. The ruling has not yet been made public on the court’s website. Apple had moved …

TalkTalk and Three want to make it easier to switch mobe networks

TalkTalk and Three want to make it easier for mobile customers to switch networks – but they're going about it in a very odd way. TalkTalk boss Dido Harding and Dave Dyson of Three, along with Chris Pateman, chief executive of the Federation of Communications Services and Sarah Willingham, founder of LetsSaveMoney.com, have not …
Simon Rockman, 2 Oct 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Vertigan hands Turnbull a knife, Turnbull carves Vertigan report

It would be hard to find a more doctrinaire document than the final Vertigan panel's Markets and Regulatory Report that was handed down yesterday. The panel has managed to produce a report so far off realpolitik that the government had no choice but to damp it down immediately. The document takes to heart Tony Abbott's notorious …
RFID_snail_trio

NBN Co to launch commercial FTTN in Q3 2015

The Federal Government's favoured “multi-technology model”, under which fibre-to-the-node would become the default build for NBN Co where the fibre build hasn't commenced, has finally got a landing date: 2015. NBN Co's latest product roadmap (PDF here) says commercial fibre-to-the-node services will launch in the third quarter …
An abandoned Telstra facility on the Stuart Highway

Telstra announces another national WiFi rollout

Telstra has announced that its re-entry into the wireless hotspot business will go into live trial before the end of the year, using public phone boxes to host WiFi in “iconic” locations. The system is being rolled out in partnership with Fon. Eventually, the commercial service will be free to people with a BigPond account, with …
Hong Kong harbour daytime

Hong Kong protest puts mesh nets to the test in state censorship smash

Protesters in Hong Kong have turned to the FireChat app to communicate electronically – because it uses mesh wireless networking and thus evades any attempt by the authorities to block the web amid ongoing unrest. Multiple reports from the area note how youngsters taking part in the uprising this week have connected with one …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Sep 2014

PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai

Broadband and IPv6 are hot – and distributed denial-of-service attacks and IPv4 are not. Well, that's according to Akamai. The cache-and-carry-on biz said in its latest State of the Internet report that, for the first time ever, the average connection speed for netizens is more than 4Mbps, meaning your average punter has a " …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Sep 2014

Beijing says YES, GIVE US the iPHONE 6 even if it spies for the NSA

Beijing has approved the new iPhone 6 for sale after regulators were reassured that the devices contain no backdoors allowing NSA snooping. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will hit the shelves from 17 October, ending Chinese fanbois' wait to see if the larger iPhone 6 Plus will bend if exposed to the fiery heat of their crotches …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2014

Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey

Consumers carelessly use public Wi-Fi without regard for their personal privacy, even blithely agreeing to surrender their first born in exchange for the opportunity to check their emails without paying. That's according to an experiment which involved setting up a "poisoned" Wi-Fi hotspot. Unsuspecting users who connected to …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2014
iPhone 4

TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

Two teenagers have braved the wrath of Tim Cook after apparently sneaking into an Apple store and bending a number of iPhones, after which they uploaded the vid to YouTube, as you do. The pair, whose faces are visible in the video, performed their "test" in response to persistent rumours that the iPhone 6 Plus was changing shape …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Sep 2014

New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality

Comment The incoming EU Commissioner for all things digital, Günther Oettinger, was quizzed by the European Parliament on Monday night. Truthfully, most of the questions lacked teeth. While the answers to his written questions were bland and lacking in any real content, Oettinger seemed to have decided that saying “infrastructure” over …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

Chinese grey market sales of Apple's new iPhone 6 have been sluggish, according to local sources, as the Middle Kingdom fails to warm to the smartphones. The country's fertile grey market is usually overcome with intense demand following the announcement of a new iPhone, as the mobes are generally released a few weeks later than …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Sep 2014

Internet of Stuff: Chip rivals try to stop Cortex-M7 from flexing ARM’s muscle

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing an estimated five times more quickly than the overall embedded processing market, so it's no wonder chip suppliers are flocking to fit out connected cars, home gateways, wearables and streetlights as quickly as they can. However, the sector is so new that there is considerable uncertainty …
Wireless Watch, 29 Sep 2014
netflix

Netflix bullish after six-country European INVASION

By any measure, Netflix’s European expansion – adding six more countries – could not have gone better, although this still does not mean the operator will achieve its bullish forecast of penetrating one-third of all homes within seven years of launching in every market. That almost hubristic forecast will depend on factors yet …
Faultline, 29 Sep 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co: Melton trial document SMELLS BAD

NBN Co is still complaining about media and political attention being given to the leaked results of a deployment trial conducted in an area of the Victorian town of Melton. Speaking to the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network, NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow described the leak as having “a bad smell” and reiterated …
Angry woman on mobile

EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers

Outraged EE customers who have reported flawed data usage spikes on their accounts are being told not to panic by the mobile operator. The glitch in the company's "My EE" app has led to some confused subscribers paying for more data, it has been claimed. Register reader Andy told us that his account had first been hit with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Sep 2014
BT Openreach van outside Comedy Pub

BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

BT has claimed that ultrafast modern broadband can be delivered using a decidedly old school method: copper wires. The telco has released research which found that combined downstream and upstream speeds of up to one Gigabit per second (1000 Mbps) is possible using a mix of fibre and copper. It admitted that many folk assumed …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Sep 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Internet Transit price falls slowing: Telegeography

IP transit prices are still declining globally, but in bad news for 'net users of all kinds, the declines are slowing. In what could be an indicator of continuing heavy demand for transit services, research company Telegeography says what was once a rapid fall in transit prices has eased considerably. The company says the 50 per …
Generic mast

Alcatel-Lucent techie: Race for ‘5G’ technologies is 'ridiculous'

Vendors are generally delighted to raise their profile by pretending to have "5G" systems just around the corner, but it was a CTO from Alcatel-Lucent who threw a welcome bucket of cold water over the 5G hype at last week’s CTIA Super Mobility Week conference in Las Vegas. Michael Peeters, the company’s wireless CTO, told the …
Wireless Watch, 25 Sep 2014
Armoured submarine cable

Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

Construction has begun on the next major submarine cable, which when it's completed in 2016 will provide a big increase in capacity between South-East Asia and Europe. Sea-Me-We-5 has a design capacity of 24 Tbps, and will run 20,000 km to link Singapore at one end and France at the other. Presuming there are no construction …
Google Loon balloon envelope

Google to go Loony within the year

Google reckons its Loon balloons are going to be delivering a service within the next year, and has revealed that it's abandoned the radio kit it first tested in favour of LTE. When it first started playing with its stratospheric connectivity in 2013, the Chocolate Factory would only reveal that it had a “3G-like” communications …

Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS

Comcast has branded Netflix, Discovery and others extortionists after they opposed the ISP's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable In a dossier to US watchdog the FCC [PDF], Comcast claimed companies lobbying against its merger are hoping to force it into making concessions that benefit them. Specifically, Comcast alleges …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Sep 2014

Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Western regulations like the mooted US changes enforcing “net neutrality” will hold back internet development for consumers, Huawei President and board member Ryan Ding told us today. Ding said it was absurd to have a put up with one-speed slow, dumb networks when different consumers and applications had different requirements …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

NSFW: Click here, watch iPhone 6 being TORTURED

Apple claims its latest device is bigger and better than any other mobile phone, but the iOS 8 sporting iPhone 6 Plus has already been criticised for supposedly bending in fanbois' pockets. So if it can't survive the flaming heat of an Apple lover's crotch, what hope has it got against a hammer or a large calibre rifle? Not a …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...

Members of the Apple faithful have so far updated less than half of their iPhones, iPads and iPods with the newest refresh of the firm's mobile operating system, iOS 8. Five days after the new mobile OS was released, Cupertino reckons 46 per cent of iThings have been given software updates, where possible – iOS 8 isn't …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Sep 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Comms Alliance preps vectored VDSL2 connection rules

The Communications Alliance has published drafts two key standards associated with the introduction of vectored VDSL2 services to the Australian market. Once the standards are formally adopted, they will provide the specs permitting vectored VDSL2 modems to be connected to the network; and requires that line filters support the …

Net Neutrality? Hold my coffee, I got this: FCC says it's still considering all options for Open Web

The Federal Communications Commission says that – despite immense pressure from all sides – all options are still on the table for implementing its grand Open Internet scheme. That's the scheme that may or may not end up enforcing so-called net neutrality rules on the internet, and has had millions of comments from the public …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2014
Samsungs_Mitchinson

Huawei's top UK mobile man walks out in shock resignation

Mark Mitchinson, executive veep of Huawei's UK and Ireland consumer devices division, will leave the Chinese firm at the end of the month. Mitchison headed the consumer devices division for three years, but trade magazine Mobile reports that he is to leave on 30 September. Mobile speculates that he will be returning to his alma …
Simon Rockman, 22 Sep 2014