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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 …
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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
BlackBerry Passport

Man, its smartphones are SQUARE. But will BlackBerry make a comeback with them?

Analysis BlackBerry, which recently suffered one of the most sudden and catastrophic crashes of any technology company, begins its comeback on Wednesday. For John Chen's firm, it marks the end of almost 18 months in the wilderness and out of the public eye. But the Canadian mobile firm is still going, and just about breaking even – it's …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2014
eyeofSauron

Ericsson follows Broadcom to modem Mordor

Ericsson, once the major manufacturer of modems, is planning to leave the business. The move will see 1,000 redundancies and 500 people moving to other Ericsson projects, such as small cells. In February 2009, Ericsson entered into a joint venture with ST-Microelectronics – itself a merger of SGS-Thomson and NXP – in a bid to …
Simon Rockman, 22 Sep 2014
Phones4u logo

EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass

EE has scooped up 58 Phones 4u stores from the beleaguered High Street retailer, one week after it slipped into administration. The mobile operator, which was partially blamed by Phones 4u for its surprise collapse, revealed the £2.5m purchase in a brief statement to The Register: We can confirm that we have agreed with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Sep 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet

In surprising-no-really-it's-surprising research from NBN Co, Australians with slow internet services apparently get frustrated trying to work from home, so they unnecessarily condemn themselves to the frustration of commuting instead. In a study announced here, the network builder has slung some funds in the direction of Evolve …
Files

New UK.gov DATA SLURPING diplomat to push US telcos to share more subscriber info

The British government has appointed a senior diplomat who will act as a go-between on overseas data access jurisdiction issues, to push communication providers - particularly those based in the US - to share more information with UK spooks. The new post, created by Prime Minister David Cameron, comes after Whitehall pushed what …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Sep 2014
Atmospheric snap of vultures silhouetted against a sunset on a wooden structure on the shore of a lake. (C) Jerry Rogers

Report: EE in talks to scoop up 60 Phones 4u stores from troubled High Street retailer

EE is reportedly the latest company to pick over the carcass of stricken British High Street mobile phone retailer Phones 4u, which fell into administration late last week. According to the Sunday Times (£), EE has until tonight to secure a deal to buy 60 stores from Phones 4u. The move comes after rival mobile network Vodafone …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Sep 2014
Miner sculpture

Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Google has quietly removed mandatory signups to its unloved "network thingy" Google+, which new Gmail users had been automatically shoved into when creating accounts on the ad giant's web-based email service. The Chocolate Factory was criticised by former employee and Digg founder Kevin Rose in January this year for linking …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2014
Phones4u logo

Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer

Vodafone has swooped on 140 Phones 4u stores just days after the retailer blamed the operator for contributing to its untimely demise when it slipped into administration late last Sunday. Administrator PwC said in a statement late on Friday that Voda had struck a deal with Phones 4u to re-brand the stores over the next few weeks …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2014
By Veni Markovski - licensed under creative commons (attribution unported)

ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has never been one to hide his opinions. Now the father of the World Wide Web is up in arms about the state of net neutrality in the United States. In a chat with the Washington Post Sir Tim railed against the telecommunications companies' push to introduce differential pricing for internet content – such as …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2014

Oh you crazy Frenchies. Iliad won't take no for an answer from T-Mob US

French telco Iliad, which earlier this year was shot down in its attempt to buy T-Mobile US, is once again hoping to make a play for the American carrier. According to Reuters' sources, Iliad will, by mid-October, either make another offer to buy T-Mobile US from its parent Deutsche Telekom – or give up entirely. In August, the …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Sep 2014
London Apple store queue for iPhone 6

Reg bloke zips through an iPHONE 6 queue from ZERO to 60 SECONDS

Vid World+Dog descended upon the flagship London Apple Store today in an attempt to get their sweaty mitts on the phabulous new iPhone 6 Plus. This Register reporter was on hand a little after the shop opened, to get a sense of why on earth people would queue for weeks just for the opportunity to buy a phone which is only …
Jasper Hamill, 19 Sep 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has again unloaded on his predecessors in government, saying the swift planing process for the National Broadband Network made it “the riskiest and most complex project the Australian Government has ever attempted to carry out. In a speech delivered yesterday to the Corporate …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2014

Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U

"Their marketing seemed to be aimed at the more erm ... chav infested end of the market", wrote one Reg reader on the demise of Phones4U, which went into administration on Sunday. But the drinking classes needs phones too, and why shouldn't they have them? Phones4U catered to this need very astutely, and with more care than any …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Social networks for the rich and famous are nothing new: the first one started about ten years ago. But, this week, a new site called Netropolitan has emerged, and thinks it's cracked the reason why so many of them fail – they just weren't charging enough dosh. "No one has ever thought of charging a substantial fee for social …
Iain Thomson, 16 Sep 2014
Apple iPhone 6

Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets

Weve, the bonk-tastic joint venture between EE, O2 and Vodafone to “create and accelerate the development of mobile marketing and wallet services in the UK”, has abandoned plans to launch a digital wallet. This follow on the heels of having lost £25m, on revenues of £13m in its first year, doing the mobile marketing stuff – as …
Simon Rockman, 16 Sep 2014
Thurber-esque cartoon of fat mouse looking inquisitively at bicycle pump valve

Cable internet won't need dose of fibre to stop feeling bloated

CableLabs, the industry group that develops data transmission standards for cable television networks, is experimenting with Active Queue Management (AQM) to deal with the issue of bufferbloat in cable networks. Bufferbloat is one of the underground problems of Internet performance: the way that buffers in network kit add to …
Tor

Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it

Comcast has denied claims that it will cut off subscribers for using the Tor project's anonymizing web browser. "Comcast is not asking customers to stop using Tor, or any other browser for that matter," said Jason Livingood, VP of internet & communications engineering at Comcast in a blog post titled "Setting the record straight …
Iain Thomson, 15 Sep 2014

Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

BT and other British network operators have followed in the footsteps of knickers model David Beckham by urging Scotland not to quit the Union. The companies, including the former state monopoly, EE, O2 and Vodafone, have written an open letter to Scots in which they are warned of the wallet-hitting drawbacks of voting for …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Sep 2014
Spectral map

Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom

UK regulator Ofcom is looking for radio hams' opinions about proposed changes to spectrum and amateur licensing. In exchange for giving up some spectrum, hams are getting access to new spectrum in the 470 kHz and 5 MHz bands that the Ministry of Defence is happy for them to use. Users of that spectrum will have to quit if the …
First text

New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

A project that's just landed on github aims to let users in the developing world access Web pages over text messages alone. It's not as absurd an idea as it might first seem, to those of us whose first-world-problems include “how do I delete the U2 album from my iTunes library?” While the number of mobile phones in the world …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Tasmania offered possible pay-to-connect for NBN fibre

NBN Co boss Bill Morrow has told Tasmanians that communities might be able to preserve the fibre rollout – if they're prepared to kick the can for the installation. In an interview with The Mercury, Morrow said the network builder was investigating the possibility of using co-funding models under which “everyone can jointly …
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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Phones 4u fell into administration late on Sunday, after carrier EE cut its ties with the UK retailer. The company said in a statement that's EE's "unexpected" decision not to renew its contract with Phones 4u meant the High Street business would be without any mobile network partners. EE's withdrawal from that deal, which runs …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014

New Snowden leak: US and Brit spooks 'tap into German telco networks to map end devices'

An NSA and GCHQ surveillance programme - dubbed Treasure Map - grants US and British spooks access to the networks of German telcos such as Deutsche Telekom, according to a new stash of leaked documents from Edward Snowden. Der Spiegel published the latest revelations today. However, Deutsche Telekom reportedly said it had found …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014

Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names

Drag queens are protesting against Facebook's real name policy, after the free content ad network forced them to use their legal names on the service. A number of performers have complained about Facebook's actions after drag queen Sister Roma, who lives in San Francisco and is a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Misery for Virgin Media mobe customers over mysterious 'EE data centre gaffe'

An unknown number of Virgin Media customers, who have been complaining about a shocking mobile service for at least the past fortnight, are being asked to wait for EE to resolve a technical blunder at its data centre. Gripes about new SIM cards that were recently issued by Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media have spiked in recent …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014

Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

This week's internet slowdown protest has been, as one might expect, declared a roaring success by its organizers, after US watchdog the FCC was once again forced to change its comment policy under a deluge of opinions. Organizing group BattleForTheNet said 2,039,500 people took part in the September 10th day-long campaign, …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2014

T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

Now that Apple has announced Wi-Fi calling as one of the major new features of the iPhone 6 series, multiple mobile carriers are scrambling to support the tech, with AT&T announcing that it will offer it for the first time starting next year. T-Mobile in the US and EE in Europe were the two carriers mentioned when Apple …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014
Smartphones

Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars

Review David Wood, one of the founder executives of Symbian - and the one who saw it through to the bitter end - has written a book. A very big book. Smartphones and beyond: Lessons from the remarkable rise and fall of Symbian tells the entire story from Symbian's conception, to world domination, to its rapid demise, and it must be one …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2014
Apple Watch

Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

Apple is set to be the biggest player in the smartwatch market, Canalys analysts have predicted. But its reign may be temporary, as competitors will inevitably storm Cupertino's barricades armed with cheaper wristputers to steal away the unfaithful. Canalys predicted that "wearable band" shipments will grow 129 per cent between …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Sep 2014
Angry woman on mobile

This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...

A global survey of more than 1,200 mobile apps has discovered that the vast majority (85 per cent) fail to provide basic privacy information. The global survey faulted apps for accessing large amounts of personal information without adequately explaining how they were collecting, using and disclosing personal information. Almost …
John Leyden, 11 Sep 2014
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Get thee to YouTube, Turnbull tells community TV broadcasters

Australia's federal government has announced the outcome of its consultation into community broadcasters, and its decision is: give back the spectrum and learn how to post on YouTube. While upper bands of TV spectrum are in demand among mobile carriers (something bound to increase as consumers shift to higher-capacity 4G …