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Windows Phone beats BLACKBERRY in mobe OS popularity stakes

The difference is small, and they are both way behind the leaders, but online data analytics specialists comScore have reported that while usage of Windows Phone stayed steady as a rock at 3.2 per cent, BlackBerry slipped half a percent down at 3.1 per cent. This puts Windows in third place, behind Apple (at 41.7 per cent) and …
Simon Rockman, 12 Mar 2014

Mastercard, Syniverse target holiday payment security with mobile verification system

It’s ironic that when people are abroad so many people switch off their mobile phones' data and so many banks switch off customers' credit cards. But a deal between Syniverse and Mastercard aims to keep both switched on. You’ll have heard of Mastercard but are less likely to know about Syniverse unless you work in the mobile …
Simon Rockman, 12 Mar 2014
Sim card

It's BANKS v TELCOs: Mobe payments systems go head-to-head

The GSMA's Mobile Connect mobile payments project is going head-to-head with the Payments council's rival Paym system after both systems launched this week. The mobile operator creates a token which is then shared with vendors to verify who you are. Customers do not necessarily have to tie their actual mobile phone to the token …
Simon Rockman, 12 Mar 2014
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

Cherry-pick undermines NBN business case: Switkowski

NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski has told a Senate committee that “cherry-picking” network rollouts planned by TPG and mooted by Telstra do, indeed, pose a threat to its own business model. TPG Internet stated last year that it wanted to extent its metro fibre networks to residential apartment basements, using existing copper to …
GoGet's autonomous research car Ethel the Yaris

ITU given keys to autonomous car standards process

The International Telecommunications Union has communed with the auto industry and agreed “to host a dialogue of senior executives of vehicle manufacturers to identify the activities needed to consider future steps to realize the potential of fully autonomous driving.” That statement, part of a communiqué issued in the wake of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2014

NBN backbone passes TERABIT test

US systems vendor Coriant has announced a successful test of a backbone fibre “superchannel” running at 1 Terabit per second over a 1,066-km NBN fibre ring in the south-east Queensland city of Towoomba. While the test won't have any particular impact on consumer-side services, it restates the long-term upgrade path of the NBN's …
Masayoshi Son

Softbank boss promises 'massive price war' if he can buy T-Mobile US

The billionaire boss of Softbank, which owns US network Sprint, has promised a price and technology war with American mobile market leaders AT&T and Verizon – if he's allowed to merge with T-Mobile US, of course. Masayoshi Son made the promise during an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose, as embedded below. Son said Verizon and AT …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2014
Fail whale

Twittapocalypse! Twitter implodes, locked out tweeps around the world

Updated Twitter has suffered a site-wide outage that stopped users from logging into their accounts and blocked access to all public profiles. Beginning about 1100 PDT here at Vulture Annex in San Francisco, Reg hacks began noticing that they were logged out of their accounts and the service was not accepting their passwords. No error …
Neil McAllister, 11 Mar 2014
Audi S3

AT&T waves its magic wand, turns that $30,000 Audi into a Wi-Fi hotspot

AT&T will provide high-speed mobile internet to Audi's LTE-equipped A3 line of cars in the US. The network operator will offer a pair of contracts: a six-month plan carrying 5GB of data over that period, and a 30-month plan with a 30GB cap. Customers will get a free six-month trial of the service upon purchasing an 2015 A3 – …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2014

Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

BT-owned telco Plusnet has blamed subscribers who use third-party routers for a rise in hostile DNS traffic that has been crashing its way through the ISP's system. The rebuff came after Sheffield-based Plusnet suffered a nasty outage last Tuesday relating to an unspecified "network error". A Reg reader claimed on Sunday, in …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Mar 2014

Indonesia plans 10 Gbps FTTP as part of 20-million-premises broadband project

Indonesia is the latest country to announce a mass deployment of fibre-to-the-home, and has tapped Alcatel-Lucent for the rollout. During February, Telkom Akses (the infrastructure arm of incumbent Telkom) declared 2014 the year it will “build greatness”, and on March 7, it stated (Google translation) a target of passing 20 …

NEC, Alca-Lu win Sea-Me-We 5 build contracts

NEC and Alcatel-Lucent are to divvy up the planned Sea-Me-We 5 submarine cable build. The cable's consortium has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars worth of build contracts for the anticipated 2016 switch-on. The new 20,000-km cable is planned to run from Singapore to France via the Middle East, and will have a design …

Merger with Sprint is INEVITABLE, suggests T-Mobile chief bean counter

Braxton Carter, the chief financial officer for T-Mobile, has said that it's highly likely his firm will merge with larger US mobile rival Sprint. "It is not a question of if, it is a question of when," Carter said, Reuters reports. "To take a third-scale national player that has the scale benefits with the right business model …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2014
Virgin Media Digital Media Centre

Got a Netgear router from Virgin Media? Change your admin password NOW

A Wi-Fi security flaw leaves Virgin Media subscribers' wireless connections vulnerable to takeover by hackers. The vulnerability, identified by IT consultant Paul Moore, means Virgin Media Superhub router/modem combo devices leak users' passwords every time they reboot. The issue arises because the Netgear-manufactured device …
John Leyden, 10 Mar 2014

PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

+Analysis Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he has spotted the "Second Industrial Revolution" – and it’s the Internet of Things. Speaking at the start of the CeBIT show in Hannover, Cameron foresaw British software and services companies working up with German engineering and manufacturing companies to turn IoT from a “slogan to a fact …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2014

Cellular desperation in France drives not one, but two SFR offers

While there is merger mania among both fixed and cellular operators around the world for very positive reasons (in the US, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere), the desire to acquire in France is fuelled by slightly desperate appetites. For French operators, the disruption caused by two years of cellular market-share-grabbing …
Faultline, 10 Mar 2014

Cameron pitches UK-Germany 5G collaboration to Cebit

UK prime minister David Cameron has used a speech at the CeBit trade show to announce a UK-Germany collaboration to try and win the race to develop so-called 5G wireless technology. Presumably stung by the way Asian giants like Samsung are stealing the 5G pixie-dust-and-unicorn-wind headline race, Cameron told Cebit that 5G is a …
LG D958 G Flex Android handset

Not so shiny shiny: MWC in a post-affluent iPhone world

Live Chat The dynamic of the mobile phone market since about 2007 been shaped by Apple’s iPhone. Before the Jesus phone, the trend was ever tinier, ever shinier. Since then, it's been big screens, app stores and pricey handsets targeting relatively affluent markets. This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw a shift in that six-year …
Team Register, 6 Mar 2014
EE 4G result

Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

Olaf Swantee, the CEO of EE, says that his network is planning a scorching 300Mb/s upgrade to its London coverage using the LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) specification. This will roll out in South London first and then to cover the whole of the area within the M25. While Swantee claims that this will make London the place with the …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2014
Pinky and the Brain

BT's IPv6 EXPIRED security certificate left to rot on its website

BT may insist that it is committed to a smooth transition to the new interwebs address system – IPv6 – but a quick glance at the company's corporate website last month left some Brits questioning the one-time national telco's promise. That's because the telecoms giant embarrassingly failed to spot the fact that its security …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Mar 2014

Facebook: We want a solar sky cruiser comms net that DARPA couldn't build

Facebook hopes to operate a fleet of solar-powered flying drones to provide wireless internet connectivity to the poor, it was suggested on Tuesday. And the Mark Zuckerberg-led social network is considering buying New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace for $60m to make this happen, it's reported. Titan's drones fly at vast heights – …
Simon Rockman, 4 Mar 2014
Temporary lead-ion

Telstra 'snot boxes' challenge Turnbull's FTTN plan

Rain has been a problem for my fixed line for years. There have been other exciting ventures in broadband fail over the years, such as when a contractor set fire to a large Telstra pit and cut off 20 homes for three weeks, but rain has been the constant niggle. It most recently came to a head last weekend – March 1 – when …

Cyber battle apparently under way in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Ukraine's mobile phone infrastructure is under attack: with equipment installed in Russian-controlled Crimea interfering with the phones of members of parliament, a senior Ukrainian government official alleges. The head of Ukraine's SBU security service told a press conference on Tuesday that the attack has been running for at …
John Leyden, 4 Mar 2014

Icahn and I will: Carl's war on eBay goes NUCLEAR over Skype

Carl Icahn has pressed the red button in his war on eBay and has demanded access to all its records documenting the sale of VoIP firm Skype. The irate investor has published another of his infamous open letters in which he savages eBay management, and board director Marc Andreessen in particular. Icahn wants to launch a full …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Mar 2014

SYSTEM ERROR DOWN: Twitter twits silenced by hack attack 'false alarm'

Parts of Twitter fell silent yesterday after the social network accidentally reset its users' passwords. Despite a flap about whether accounts had been compromised, twits were told that Twitter had mistakenly sent out password reset emails. "Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Mar 2014

Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

Plusnet's broadband and phone service is slowing coming back to life, after the telco's network suffered a nasty hour-long outage this morning. The BT-owned firm did not cough to the cause of the downtime, which struck customers at 9:30am, but it did confirm that subscribers would struggle to get online. Anecdotal reports on …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Mar 2014

Optus sparks broadband HYPEGASM with gigasite trial

Optus has deployed a 'gigasite' delivering 1.7 / 2.3 Gbps performance (strike out which does not apply) by running seven / eight spectrum bands in a single site (strike out which does not apply) using equipment from NSN / Huawei (strike out which does not apply), demonstrating meaningless hype / the future of telecommunications …
CarPlay

Dashboard Siri! Take me to the airport! NO, NOT the RUNWAY! Argh!

Fanboi racers can soon embed an Apple tablet in their dashboard following the launch of iOS-powered CarPlay. Cupertino has signed up Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo to be the first manufacturers to fit Apple's touchscreen fondleslab into their cars. The CarPlay rollout is not a surprise: the in-car system tech was previously …
Jasper Hamill, 3 Mar 2014
Not Smart and not a book, but a smartbook

Alcatel unveils 'cheaper-than-Chromebook' Lapdock-alike phablet-powered laptop

MWC 2014 Alcatel had the distinction of previewing the least powerful device at MWC. At the mobile extravaganza, the French firm unveiled the prototype of the Hero, a dumb terminal which interfaces to its Hero mobile phone to provide a full screen and keyboard. The device is called a smartbook, but all the smarts actually reside in the …
Simon Rockman, 3 Mar 2014
Doctor Who: Empty Child

Child sex abuse image peddlers dodge UK smut filters and demand Bitcoin payments

Exclusive The implementation of network-level filters by all of the UK's biggest ISPs has contributed to a worrying side effect: it appears to be forcing peddlers of child sexual abuse images to seek different ways of distributing the illegal material. Apparently these increasingly include hacks into the websites of businesses whose …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Mar 2014
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

BT demands end to Ofcom wholesale broadband subsidies for BSkyB, TalkTalk

Updated BT is pressuring communications regulator Ofcom to end what it described as a "pricing distortion" in the wholesale broadband market that has protected rivals BSkyB and TalkTalk for nearly 10 years. The former national telco would like the watchdog to end maximum limits set on the prices rivals BSkyB and TalkTalk have to pay for …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2014
Un Frog

French silver foxes use Fujitsu's Grandroid mobes... to send each other selfies

One of the features of the Fujitsu Stylistic phone, a device targeted at the older French market and sold by Orange France, is its dedicated social network. The Raku-Raku phones Fujitsu sells in Japan have a similar feature, and the silver-haired beta testers of the er, francophone, will soon be using it to get friendly with …
Simon Rockman, 28 Feb 2014
The Can

Software containers for BYOD/mobile device management: Big Tin Can

An environment which runs on a number of mobile platforms seeks to solve lots of the BYOD issues faced by corporates. It creates a balance between locking down a device so completely that people won't or can't use it and leaving the door open to miscreants. Such environments these days are often known as "containers" (or " …
Simon Rockman, 28 Feb 2014
Facebook logo

Facebook cans Windows and Firefox Messenger apps

Facebook took another step away from the desktop on Thursday with the announcement that it’s canning its Messenger app for Windows and Firefox from next week. The social network said support will end on March 3, in the following brief message sent to users: We're sorry, but we can no longer support Facebook Messenger for …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2014
Comedy porn citrus fruit

Mens sana in fibro sano: Virgin Media network-level smut filters are ON

Virgin Media joined the big boys' club today by switching on network-level filters which allow subscribers to prevent perfectly legal material such as pornography from being accessed on their broadband connections. The cable company's rivals BT, BSkyB and TalkTalk have implemented similar censorship blockers on their networks …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Blink once to turn right: Samsung asks software dev Teleca to talk Tizen

Symphony Teleca is the company the big equipment manufacturers go to when they want software written. Unlike most development houses it doesn't do apps for iPhone and Android and, er that's it. Teleca writes low level code and was commissioned by Samsung to look at the Tizen engine. Teleca head of mobile and media biz, Andrew …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014

Young, fun and full of comely tech skills? Then BT needs you!

BT is on the hunt for around 300 freshly qualified science, biz and IT graduates to work in research and development for the telecoms giant, but it might have a tough time finding enough skilled young folk to fill the posts, it has warned. The company is hoping to recruit a further 730 bods to take on apprenticeships in …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Feb 2014
Fujitsu F-07C Windows 7 phone

Fujitsu says SAYONARA to smartphone chip JV

Fujitsu has decided to end its aspirations to be a smartphone semiconductor player after dissolving a joint venture with NEC and NTT just 18 months after its launch. Access Network Technology Limited was established by Fujitsu in August 2012, with the firm taking a majority 52.8 per cent stake. Its Fujitsu Semiconductor …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
A man shouting angrily

New radio tech could HALVE mobe operators' bandwidth needs

MWC 2014 A team from Stanford University has patented a technology which could make a huge difference to mobile phone operators by halving their bandwidth requirements overnight. Kumu Networks is showcasing tech which allows radio equipment – such as that used by mobile telephones – to send and receive on the same frequency. It does this …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014
T-Mobile modem

T-Mobile US: Our dump-your-network drive is doing SO WELL (PS: We lost $20m last quarter)

T-Mobile US is boasting over continued growth in subscribers for its mobile services, despite losing $20m this quarter. The firm said that over the fourth quarter of its 2013 fiscal year it added some 1.6 million customers, topping off 4.4 million new customers over the full year. The company noted that more than half of the new …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Feb 2014
The Pirate Bay's temporary Research Bay logo

Pirate Bay becomes 'Research Bay' for three days

Notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has found a way to clothe itself in a little respectability for a couple of days by teaming with Sweden's Lund University Internet Institute to research file sharing. The Institute operates a ”Cybernormer” effort that says “Understanding online norms and values is essential to …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2014

Hey 4G bods: We need to make 'phonecalls' with our 'voices', too

MWC 2014 It’s well documented that voice is little more than an afterthought on 4G. That’s now being addressed, says Paul Gowans from network tech specialist JDSU, but it will be some time before you can reliably pick up a 4G phone and make a call to another one. JDSU runs services for all kinds of networks, not just mobile. It does …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2014