Networks > More stories

Mobe network Three is the magic number for FreedomPop

The MVNO beloved by Californians, FreedomPop, is courting beta testers in the UK. The service will offer 200MBs of data, 200 voice minutes, and 200 texts completely free each month via the FreedomPop app, or new international SIM. FreedomPop is now accepting orders on a first-come, first-serve basis. Numbers are allocated by …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Foxconn joins the Cyanogen investment party

Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has joined Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefónica and others to swell Cyanogen’s round C funding to $110m. Neither company is saying how much Foxconn is investing, but before the announcement the round C stood at $80m. The money will go to build on the Cyanogen platform – which riffs on Android – “to …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Maybe it won't look like this

Tesco tries to talk Tesco Mobile up from 'Value' to 'Finest' ahead of sale

Analysis Tesco is rumoured to be selling off Tesco Mobile, its mobile phone network. The move comes as no surprise, with the company hauling back to its core businesses after dismal results, recently writing down assets to post a loss of £6.4bn. Figures given for the value of the business sit at about £700m. This is on the basis of Tesco …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
NBN logo

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off. In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in …

Sprint and Verizon to pay $158 MILLION over bogus 'cramming' fees

US mobile operators Sprint and Verizon will pay out a combined $158m after the Feds ruled that they allowed advertisers to tack unwanted premium charges onto customers' bills. According to the FCC, the carriers looked the other way when dodgy companies signed customers up for services without warning them that would be billed …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

Rural English villages that almost nobody has heard of are set to receive broadband connections that are nearly fifty times faster than the national average. Baywood, Wooton, Dry, Sunningwell, Boars Hill and others will benefit from infrastructure being rolled out by small telco Gigaclear, which is laying fibre to the premises …
Simon Rockman, 12 May 2015
Dog's backside and tail

EEeeeeek, complaints! Ofcom roasts BT-wannabe-spouse

EE was the most moaned-about ISP for the final nine months of 2014, Blighty's communications watchdog Ofcom said this morning. The operator, which awaits regulatory approval for its planned nuptials with telecoms giant BT later this year, was lobbed more customer complaints about its broadband and landline services than any of …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 May 2015
BT Openreach van

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

BT's plans to develop improved broadband infrastructure would be put at risk if Ofcom decided to force it to sell off its Openreach division, the company's chief executive has said. Gavin Patterson said that it "would be difficult to convince the board of BT to invest" in broadband infrastructure improvements if the regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2015
Netflix

According to Netflix, Australia's slowest ISP owns half of Foxtel

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, offers Netflix customers the slowest download speeds, the video-streamer says. Here's Netflix's data for Australia. Netflix Australia speed data Netflix's view of Australian internet service provider download speeds Netflix says its index “lists the average prime time bitrate for Netflix …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2015

FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it will implement its net neutrality provisions despite objections from telcos. The FCC issued a ruling on Friday denying a motion from trade groups USTelecom and CTIA, among others, to stay the FCC's Open Internet proceedings pending legal challenges to the FCC order. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

A conference at Bristol university is set to reveal the current state of the art on Full Duplex technology, which allows for transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency at the same time. The idea that a radio can simultaneously shout and listen has been regarded as both old, established technology and a bonkers …
Simon Rockman, 11 May 2015
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

Turnbull moves on NBN subsidy arrangements

Australia's government has slapped the defibrillator on the Vertigan review of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and is asking for submissions about how subsidies for unprofitable services in remote areas should operate. Have your say on funding options for #nbn non-commercial services visit http://t.co/T3UkVduXvP # …
hand holdin retro telephone

1998 asks to speak to Turnbull about local calls

In its relentless search for regulations that impose unnecessary compliance costs on industry, the federal government is considering scrapping untimed local telephone calls in Australia, again. “Again”, because the last time retail price controls were raised was in 2014, when the Australian Communications and Media Authority ( …

US government asks internet community how long it should extend IANA contract

The US government has asked the internet community how long they think it will take to decide on and implement changes to the top level of the internet, and so how long it will need to extend the current IANA contract. In letters sent to the chairs of the two different groups working on transitioning the critical internet …
management regulation2

Ericsson to Apple: Cough up for licences or stop selling iPhones, iPads and Watches

The expiry of patent licences from Ericsson means that Apple has been selling phones it should not have been, according to Ericsson, and the Swedish commtech firm has now asked Apple to pay up or stop doing it. Ericsson has filed suits in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands against Apple's products. The whole area of …
Simon Rockman, 8 May 2015
Throttling

With FTC suit looming, AT&T backs off on throttling 'unlimited' data plans

AT&T has apparently had a rethink regarding its policy of limiting data transfer speeds for heavy users who subscribe to its so-called unlimited data plans. The US telco giant now says it will only throttle mobile data gluttons when they are in areas with heavy traffic. The reworded policy, which AT&T customers first began …
Shaun Nichols, 7 May 2015
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC wants to know if carriers can grab some of YOUR WiFi signal

The United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking over a key item on the telco industry's wish-list: spectrum sharing to try and cope with a capacity crunch. While its consultation paper, here, focuses on “LTE-U” (LTE-Unlicensed), current developments will probably also be relevant to the looming 5G business …
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Australian Labor Party toys with a return to fibre, sometime, somewhere

The Australian Labor Party is considering whether it might be able to revive some kind of fibre-to-the-premises policy to take to the 2016 election. It's put forward a proposed policy platform, which will have to get past its backroom policy-making sausage factory, that includes a “two-stage” national broadband network (NBN). …
America

Snowden scandal latest: NSA, GCHQ lingo-spies replaced by unstoppable RHINEHART robots

The NSA has been using software to convert intercepted phone calls into transcripts stored in searchable databases, it is claimed. It is also entirely believable: Dragon Dictate isn't exactly top secret, is it? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept on Tuesday show that Uncle Sam's spies, and their …
Iain Thomson, 6 May 2015
Looks like DNA

Great, we all want 5G mobile broadband. Now just how are we gonna wire it all up?

The UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new focus group to look at how today’s landline networks can be adapted to provide the backhaul for 5G. In other words, how to use today's cabling to link high-speed 5G phone masts to carrier networks and the wider internet. Some of the language the ITU uses has …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2015
Three store maidenhead

Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

Updated UK telco Three appears to be having problems with its Home Signal femtocells. The Home Signal is promoted as “a great way to make calls and send texts if you have trouble getting signal indoors” because it hooks a small mobile phone cell - a femtocell – into a DSL connection. For punters whose homes are in mobile blackspots, the …

Fat cable bods Comcast belch contentedly, stroke bulging broadband belly

Broadband sales boosted profits at US cable goliath Comcast by nine per cent to $3.9bn (£2.6bn) for the company's first quarter, compared with the same period last year. Overall sales rose 2.6 per cent to $17.9bn (£11.7bn), with revenue at the company's Cable Communications biz rising 6.3 per cent to $11.4bn (£7.5bn). Comcast …
Kat Hall, 5 May 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Firm with 80 per cent of UK mobile numbers fails to monetise them, sold to O2

Weve, the mobile marketing consortium of EE, O2 and Vodafone, is being sold to O2. The organisation, which was formed with £38m from its wealthy parents under the codename “Project Oscar” fought significant regulatory hurdles with the aim of building a common technology for mobile NFC payments. Weve was launched at the end of …
Simon Rockman, 5 May 2015
Woman on phone. Pic: Carolyn Coles

AT&T fined for gouging Uncle Sam on phone plans for poor folk

AT&T has been fined $10.9m by US regulator the FCC for overcharging the government on phone plans for poor people. The watchdog said the telco over-billed the US government between 2012 and 2013 while providing the Lifeline service to hard-up citizens. Lifeline works like this: the cell networks offer discounted or free phone …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2015
Intel Atom x5 and x7 Processors.

Intel has ambitions to turn modems into virtual servers and reinvent broadband

Intel has assembled a stack of technologies it thinks can give broadband modems a brain implant and change the nature of home broadband services. At the core of Chipzilla's ambition, as Intel folk have explained to The Reg, is a plan to put x86 chippery into customer premises equipment (CPE) – the modem/router homes and smallish …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2015
Rand Paul

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

US presidential wannabe Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a motion under the Congressional Review Act that could block the introduction of the Democrat-driven net neutrality rules. The joint resolution means both houses of Congress are highly likely to vote on a straight majority basis to reject the broadband regulations, drawn up by …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Analysis The US government has argued that the rules around how and when it is allowed to shutdown phone networks must remain secret because the disclosure could endanger lives. In a court filing [PDF] this week, lawyers from the Department of Justice argued that public disclosure of Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP 303) "would …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

Speaking in Tech: Comcast bails from TWC merger – a nation cheers

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of El Reg's best and only tech podcast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Greg has escaped to another tech conference, so Sarah and Ed are left to themselves to talk about AWS and Microsoft earnings, Comcast dumping the …
Team Register, 29 Apr 2015
David Cameron

David Cameron 'guarantees' action on mobe not-spots. Honest

It’s election time, so all the party leaders are promising everything to everyone. The latest one from David Cameron is good mobile phone coverage. According to Mobile News, Cameron told a meeting of chartered accountants: “These things aren’t discussed in some dusty corner of a business park. They are discussed round the …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015

New antenna supports all three wireless charging standards

A new antenna design aims to solve the two major problems with wireless charging: the mess of standards and the limitations of transmitting power by radio. The antenna, built by Chicago company NuCurrent, can support the wireless charging standards of Qi, the Power Matters Association (PMA) and the Association for Wireless Power …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015
Verizon's FiOS promo shot

ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Sports TV giant ESPN is suing Verizon after the telco invited its FiOS home subscribers to pick and choose their TV channels. ESPN has filed a lawsuit in New York State alleging breach of contract, and is seeking damages. ESPN reckons Verizon is "unfairly depriving" it of money by allowing people to drop unwanted channels, …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2015

Today, the US govt must explain why its rules on shutting down whole cell networks are a secret

The US government will be forced to explain why its cell network kill-switch plans should be kept secret today. Under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, the US government – in particular the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – is allowed to shutdown cellphone service anywhere in the country, and even across an entire …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Have Oetti and Google kissed and made up?

Google’s new Project Fi – the Chocolate Factory's attempt to square up to mobile carriers – has a relatively surprising big fan: none other than EU digi commish Gunther H. Oettinger. After the ad flinger's low-fi launch of Fi on Wednesday, Oetti, who has in the past suggested taxing the hell out of Google, took to Twitter to say …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Apr 2015
NBN Logo

NBN Co loses the “Co” for AU$700,000

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has changed its name to NBN. Reports from Fairfax Media suggest the company spent some AU$700,000 on the re-branding exercise, which produced the logo at the top of this story and the variant at its foot. Both appear heavily- …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015

Yahoo! Mail! goes! titsup! in! Blighty! due! to! mystery! error!

Updated Yahoo!'s email service tumbled off the interwebs in the past hour when it began spewing out a "temporary error" message to an unknown number of users in the UK. The Purple Palace, however, remained silent about the outage on its official Twitter customer care account. At time of publication, it was not clear how many netizens …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2015

Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Comcast has admitted it has given up on its $45bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). Comcast, America's biggest cable giant, announced in the past few hours that it will end the pursuit of its largest rival amid stiff opposition from government watchdogs and other telcos. "Today, we move on," declared Comcast CEO Brian …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015
5_pounds_sterling_money_cash_moolah

giffgaff riff-raff hacked off with lift-off of cash spaff

giffgaff claims to be “the network run by you”, so perhaps it shouldn’t be quite so surprised when the online community objects to what was a mobile phone company suddenly deciding it’s a bank. The “run by you” bit means that the company worries a lot about what customers say in the forums. And what the “owners” are saying is …
Simon Rockman, 24 Apr 2015

Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Comcast is walking away from its proposed $45bn merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC), insiders claim. Comcast will announce as early as Friday its intent to scrap its plans for the mega-acquisition, according to well-placed sources speaking to Bloomberg. Comcast did not take up The Register's offer to deny the claims. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Apr 2015
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Google: We're not mad, our mobes-in-sky Project Loon is FINE

Google has posted a new video explaining the progress it’s made with Project Loon, the plan to float thousands of balloons into the upper atmosphere to provide internet connectivity for penguins. Project Loon: Scaling Up It’s a project akin to Motorola’s Iridium, which was also a plan to provide ubiquitous mobile coverage, …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2015
network_rail_hst_test_train_cropped

Industry infighting means mobile users face long delays on UK trains

Comment Mobile coverage on trains is rubbish, Wi-Fi isn’t much better and battles between companies offering the services are not going to make it much better. A plan to offer fibre running down the side of the tracks, which would have given great Wi-Fi coverage, has been abandoned, despite Network Rail’s 2013 technical strategy review …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2015
Facebook Hello

Facebook invents Caller ID ... say Hello to today's staggering technology

Facebook has released a smartphone app called Hello that matches the numbers of incoming calls to friends and businesses on the social network, and displays them on-screen, giving you a slightly better idea of who's calling if you can't recognize the digits. It's otherwise known as Caller ID, and the tech fashion press is going …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2015
The inflatable arse, with free pump and matching lipstick

Nobody should have to see their own rear, but that's what Turnbull's NBN will do to Australia

Last month I had a disorienting and quite frankly unnerving experience: I saw myself from behind. This bit of magic happened at the LAUNCH festival in San Francisco, where a few hundred baby startups get together to show off their ideas. This year, reflecting the broader trend in the industry, several firms had VR products. …
Mark Pesce, 22 Apr 2015