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Ericsson software upgrade targets great indoors, makes networks faster

A substantial software upgrade for Ericsson mobile networking kit will improve throughput, said the firm – adding it will need new hardware, meaning your existing device won’t automatically run faster. Ericsson called its new release “Ericsson Networks Software 16A” and it includes a suite of LTE software upgrades targeting …
Simon Rockman, 2 Sep 2015
Reinhard Ploss CEO

Infineon CEO admits auto-chip biz may be a takeover target

Former Siemens chip company Infineon may find itself on the shopping list of a bigger semiconductor company, thanks to its strength in automotive. Consolidation and specialisation has been the order of the day in the semiconductor industry, with fewer companies for each type of component. Where once there were a dozen or so …
Simon Rockman, 1 Sep 2015

T-Mobile US CEO calls his subscribers thieves, gripes about 'unlimited' limited tethering

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere launched a tirade Sunday over subscribers who make heavy use of tethering on his network. Legere said his company will tell 3,000 customers that they face having their "unlimited" mobile broadband plans cancelled if they don't stop circumventing T-Mob's limits on LTE tethering. Under the T-Mobile …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2015
Microsoft monopoly

US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Microsoft has swerved a potentially crushing blow to its vanishingly small mobile biz, after a US watchdog swiped away a request to block the import of its Lumia handsets into the country. InterDigital, which had been in a patent spat with Nokia many years before Redmond scooped up the mobile maker, said it was disappointed …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
Graph showing growing numbers

India, Myanmar lead the way as mobile bandwidth consumption mushrooms

Mobile data usage is exploding. In an update to its Mobility Report, Ericsson said mobile broadband subscriptions had passed three billion in Q2 2015, and the year-on-year traffic growth for the same period is 55 per cent. The startling figures bring the number of mobile subscriptions to 7.2 billion, but the report points out …
Simon Rockman, 28 Aug 2015

Germany to fork out BEELLLIONS for farmers' broadband

Under-investing cable companies in Germany are to get a €2.7bn hand-out to bring high-speed broadband to the countryside. Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the grants wil be given in an effort to give every German household speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2018. …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Aug 2015

Vodafone: Dammit Britain, your emergency services need 4G!

Despite not being part of the bid to supply the future Emergency Services Network, Vodafone wants to see public services using its 4G, and has commissioned a YouGov survey (something companies do when they want to put numbers in press releases) of front line workers, such as police officers, nurses, and social workers. The …
Simon Rockman, 28 Aug 2015
TV watcher, image via Shutterstock

Channel surfers and the irresistible rise of Content Delivery Networks

Fastly, a four-year-old content delivery network start-up, this month landed $75m in venture funding. It was the firm’s fifth intake of cash, the second in less than a year. What’s remarkable is that inventors are backing a firm that is going up against some big names – among them the massive Amazon juggernaut. Clearly, …
Tom Baines, 28 Aug 2015
Indian mobile use

Indian State shuts off mobile internet to stop rumours fuelling riots

An activist's call for the Indian State of Guajarat to restrict access to WhatSapp and mobile internet has been heeded by local authorities, in the hope that restricting communications will quell violence. Authorities complied with that request. 22 year-old Hardik Patel is a member of the Patidar caste, a group that has been …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015

BitTorrent kills bug that turns networks into a website-slaying weapon

BitTorrent has fixed a flaw in its technology that quietly turns file-sharing networks into weapons capable of blasting websites and other internet servers offline. The San Francisco company said Thursday the patch for its libuTP software will stop miscreants from abusing the peer-to-peer protocol to launch distributed …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2015
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster satellite lands in French Guiana

PICS nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is just 34 days away from putting its very own satellite into orbit, and the organisation's communications operatives are starting to reveal a little about the bird. Here, for example, is a picture of the satellite. NBN SkyMuster satellite …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Dunce's cap graffiti by cc 2.0 attribution

AT&T accused of Wi-Fi interception, ad injection

AT&T has been accused of grabbing user traffic from its Wi-Fi hotspots for ad injection. The news comes from Stanford lawyer and computer scientist Jonathan Mayer, whose previous work includes uncovering a browser history bug in 2011, and the use of Verizon zombie cookies by third parties. In Webpolicy, Mayer writes that …
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Qualcomm sells L-Band spectrum to Vodafone, Three for massive profit

As we reported in June, Qualcomm has been looking to sell its 1452-1492MHz spectrum – and it seems it's found willing buyers in the form of Vodafone and Three. It's thought the two networks paid over £100m in total for the spectrum. The chip company rather lucked out, having paid £8.3m at auction in 2008. At the time we saw …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015

BYOD? More like CYOD as companies still set the parameters

Companies are rapidly expanding the volume of mobile devices used by their employees. The number of devices enrolled in business grew by 72 per cent during the whole of last year, compared with 2013. Moreover, a Good Technology survey in the first quarter of 2015 found 72 per cent of those devices ran iOS, 26 per cent Android …
Andy Favell, 25 Aug 2015

Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Analysis Arts and humanities graduates are schooled for years in metaphor and analogy - and these are very useful skills for understanding the world. But what happens when an approach based on metaphor and analogy meets hard science and engineering reality? And what happens when the chosen metaphor doesn't fit? While you can choose …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Aug 2015
Mats Granryd is the new GSMA Director General

GSMA appoints Mats Granryd as new director general

The new director general of the mobile phone operators organisation is Mats Granryd, who will take up his new role on January 1 2016. Granryd’s appointment follows the departure of Anne Bouverot last month. Bouverot has gone to head up French security and identity solution vendor Morpho. Granryd will be joing the GSMA from …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
Fibre Optic by Barta IV cc 2.0 attribution

BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home broadband tech

The first customers were connected in a BT trial of its 330Mbps "" ultrafast broadband in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire today. The test, which was announced in July, will later be extended to Swansea, Gosforth and Newcastle. uses a fast link from a specially equipped cabinet to a distribution point, then employs …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
BT Openreach van

That thing we do in the UK? Should be ILLEGAL in the US, moans ex-State monopoly BT

Former state-owned monopoly BT is calling for tough rules to force US telecoms companies to let rivals – such as, err, BT – have access their networks. The move would emulate the reverse situation in Blighty, where UK rivals are allowed to use BT's broadband network through Openreach. However, regulators are considering …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2015

Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

Chris Bryant MP has added his support to the lobby which wants to see Openreach split from BT. This is just one area under investigation as part of Ofcom's 2015 strategic review. The previous review a decade earlier saw Openreach ring-fenced as a separate BT organisation. However, the view of most of its customers – who are …
Simon Rockman, 24 Aug 2015
NBN logo

NBN cost blows out by at least AU$10bn and FTTN isn't launched yet

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has presented a cost overrun greater than AU$10 billion in the National Broadband nNetwork's (NBN's) peak funding requirements as a win because the former government's plan would have been worse. “The project we inherited from the Labor party in 2013 had failed,” he said, discussing the …
Bill Morrow NBN CEO

NBN Co yet to make a single fibre to the node connection but is eyeing off

nbnTM, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has released its results for FY 2015 and says it has met all of its targets. The company's CEO Bill Morrow today said “the number of premises that can order an NBN service more than doubled from 553,000 premises to 1.2 million”. Of those premises, 486, …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015

Telstra News spews banking trojan after malvertising attack

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has been serving one of the world's most dangerous hacking tools after its news site was infected with malvertising. Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura says the attackers were likely dropping the Tinba trojan, considered to be the world's smallest malware by file size at about 20kb and …
Darren Pauli, 24 Aug 2015
   An outage has knocked TalkTalk’s website offline, along with internal systems.  The company tweeted that it was working on addressing the problems  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are aware of issues affecting our website and help pages at the moment. We&#39;re working to restore this asap. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) <a href="">August 21, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>  On Twitter it has asked customers to call after 1pm, and the internal VoIP and data systems are affected.  The Website has been up and down intermittently and callers  re being told that the internal systems are slowly coming up.  A customer services person told The Register that the outage was caused by an upgrade to the systems and that the diagnostic systems were also being upgraded so  customers were being asked to call back in “one to two hours”. While access to customer systems had been down they were now back up.

TalkTalk not talking much as systems take a tumble

An outage has knocked TalkTalk’s website offline, along with internal systems. The company tweeted that it was working on addressing the problems: We are aware of issues affecting our website and help pages at the moment. We're working to restore this asap. — TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) August 21, 2015 …
Simon Rockman, 21 Aug 2015

Vodafonica’s Cornerstone missing its UK coverage target, says report

The “Vodafonica” project Cornerstone, which aimed to combine the O2 and Vodafone network infrastructure, will fail to meet its self-set target of 98 per cent UK population coverage this year. When the deal was announced in 2012, it was seen as the route to both better coverage and cost savings. While O2 and Vodafone use …
Simon Rockman, 19 Aug 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by

One in eight mobile calls in India drops out __ ___ middle of your chat

India's department of telecommunications has hauled the nation's telcos in for a stern-talking to, because the nation's suffering an epidemic of dropped calls. A report issued last week ((PDF) by the nation's Telecoms Regulatory Authority found that one in eight calls on 2G networks drops out, while calls on other networks …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2015
FCC paddling

Conference Wi-Fi biz fined $750k for jamming personal hotspots

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a network operator $750,000 for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots in favor of its own Wi-Fi networks in US convention centers. The FCC said in its decree [PDF] that Smart City used its Wi-Fi network equipment to transmit deauthentication frames that disabled the personal …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2015
Cookie Monster

Anti-privacy unkillable super-cookies spreading around the world – study

At least nine telcos around the world are using so-called super-cookies to secretly monitor citizens' online behavior, according to a new study. A super-cookie is a token unique to each subscriber that is injected into every HTTP request made through a telco's cellphone networks. They can't be stripped by the user: every time …
Iain Thomson, 17 Aug 2015

Don't fight the cistern: Voda takes the plunge with plumbers’ parking app

The Vodafone bright ideas department, xone, has been testing its car-tracking system with a plumbing company in London, potentially saving the pipe/washer-related enterprise "£100,000 a year". It’s the job of xone to tinker with new technology and then work out how to sell it. The Drivexone is a device which contains a GSM …
Simon Rockman, 17 Aug 2015
Airwave has given the police reliable comms

Home Office seeks advice on Police Radio omnishambles

The Home Office has announced a new twist in the sorry tale of the Emergency Services Network saga and is asking suppliers to consult on a procurement framework that started two years ago. The government department has published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for a tender to replace the Airwave communications equipment used …
Simon Rockman, 17 Aug 2015
Fenland coverage

Ofcom coverage map: 7/10 – must try harder next time

Analysis Ofcom has released a map of where you should have mobile phone coverage. Based on computer models and limited testing, however, it’s not a map of where you do actually have mobile coverage. We searched one of our favourite blackspots – a point in Hampstead where the networks deliberately reduce coverage to avoid the signal …
Simon Rockman, 14 Aug 2015


The inevitable fight to the death between humanity and the soulless hordes of Skynet's robot army came a step closer recently, after hideously beweaponed drones vanquished their human adversaries in the merciless arena of the proceedings of the US communications regulator – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Deathbot …
Matt Dupuy, 14 Aug 2015

DNS root zone drama: Follow live the most important dullest ceremony you'll ever see

If you have literally nothing better to do today, we would recommend watching the most important but dullest ceremony you can catch online. The eight-hour event is taking place today in Los Angeles and is being streamed live – just like the Oscars. Although without the music, or famous people, or speeches, or ball gowns. OK, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Aug 2015
BT Openreach van

More UK broadband for bumpkins, but have-nots still ain’t happy

Small enterprises have warned that delays in BT's rollout of rural broadband could push them out of business as the government announced that three million rural properties now have super-fast net access. Dr Adam Marshall, policy director at the British Chambers of Commerce, told the Daily Mail: "No one should be patting …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Aug 2015
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Full duplex! Bristol boffins demo Tx and Rx on the same frequency AT THE SAME TIME

Transmitting and receiving on the same radio frequency, at the same time, has been demonstrated by the UK's University of Bristol in a new YouTube video. The system being used is running 900MHz and 1800MHz with exactly the same equipment. There are a number of companies working on this technology, called full duplex radio, a …
Simon Rockman, 13 Aug 2015

Samsung says micro-sats could blanket the world with Internet

Samsung has joined the likes of Google, Facebook, SpaceX and O3B with a proposal to bring the Internet to those who don't yet have it. While it's not an official Samsung policy document, the proposal is under the signature of Farooq Khan, who is president of Samsung R&D in Texas. In his paper at ArXiv, Khan proposes low-cost …
Twitter for Mac New

Twitter EMBIGGENS users' inboxes to THOUSANDS of CHARACTERS

Twitter has lifted one of its basic rules: the 140-character limit on messages sent with the service. The financially-flustered micro-blogging platform today announced that the 140-character ceiling has been removed for direct messages, the peer-to-peer missives members can send each other without the rest of the world being …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2015
IBM 5150 PC is a complete omnishambles, says study into hated scheme

The hated scheme was dysfunctional and undemocratic from the get-go, according to a new case study from wannabe boffins studying on Cambridge University's Masters of Public Policy programme. The peer-reviewed case study is published in Technology Science, which describes itself as an open-access journal for those …

Foxconn to build Xiaomi phones in India

With the world of mobile phones fragmenting into local markets, both Taiwanese maker-of-everything Foxconn and China's rising dragon Xiaomi are keen to find a route into the Indian market. Earlier this week, El Reg reported that Foxconn will spend $5bn (£3.2bn) on new factories in India. It's now emerged that the company will …
Simon Rockman, 12 Aug 2015
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Gigabit Google? We're getting ready for 10 gigabits says Verizon

Verizon has upped the ante in the fibre-to-the-home business, plugging some test kit into its network to show off 10Gbps. The test was a proof-of-concept for what's called NG-PON2 – next generation passive optical network – an ITU roadmap that plots GPON (gigabit PON) upgrades with a minimum of new kit. In the test, Verizon …
Optus Logo

Optus kicks off WiFi calling in Australia

Optus has become the first Australian carrier to make the jump: it's launched a WiFi calling app to let users make calls when they can't get a 3G/4G signal. The company has launched its snappily-named WiFi Talk app, which like Skype lets users have conversations and send text messages over a handy wireless LAN connection. …
airplane just kidding shot

OK, who unplugged the modem? North Korea's internet disappeared for four hours today

North Korea disappeared from the internet on Monday for roughly four-and-a-half hours. At around 6.30pm local time (or 6pm if you take the starving nation's recent decision to create its own time zone seriously) through to 11pm, the routes for the country vanished from the internet's routing tables, meaning nothing was coming …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Aug 2015

Telstra's Netflix downloads get EVEN SLOWER

Netflix has released its new monthly rankings of Australian internet service providers' (ISPs) download speeds for video streamed from its servers and has found that Telstra is the worst-performing of the six it samples. Telstra is Australia's dominant carrier and promotes its networks as the nation's finest, but it also owns …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2015