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Termination charges drop smacks Vodafone and EE in the WALLET

The reduction in how much mobile networks receive for handling incoming calls has hit both Vodafone and EE so hard that they have both separated out the charges in interim financial reports. Brit multinational Vodafone announced a global drop in its revenue of 4.2 per cent for the quarter while UK mobile firm EE's financials saw …
Simon Rockman, 25 Jul 2014
Micro SIM Card

The seven nations where SIM CARDS outnumber PEOPLE

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's (OECD's) latest broadband statistics update reports that about 72 per cent of the group's residents now have access to broadband. Startlingly, the data also reports that seven nations - Finland, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Korea and the United States – now have …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2014
The Pirate Bay logo

The Pirate Bay opens mobile site

The Pirate Bay has poked Big Content's sore spot again, by erecting a site for mobile devices at themobilebay.org. The new site doesn't do much beyond features offered by The Pirate Bay's other ventures. The site's overseers told Torrent Freak that “The normal version of the site renders like crap on mobile devices”, an …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2014
Comparison of BlackBerry Passport with rectangular phones

BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now

BlackBerry has given users another reason to throw out their BlackBerry servers – by putting BES10 into the cloud as a hosted service. It's a long-overdue move, allowing existing BlackBerry sites to set up and manage the first-rate MDM and secure communications services offered BlackBerry via the web, rather than maintaining in- …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2014
BBC iPlayer

Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage

BBC techies have no idea why the load on its database "went through the roof" last weekend, when Auntie was struck by a huge, two-pronged outage that caused its iPlayer service and website to go titsup. During the downtime, the Beeb was pretty reticent on social media about what had gone wrong, preferring instead to simply post …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jul 2014
Photograph 13

Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places

BT is recruiting an expert on 4G small cells. What are they up to? The job ad reads: BT is seeking a talented principal engineer who can drive the technical specification and design of LTE small cell products for our consumer Customer Premises Equipment. You will be implementing BT’s mobility strategy alongside the team of …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jul 2014

BT: Hey guys, we've developed NEW MOBE TECH! It’s called... 2G

BT has fallen through a timewarp and introduced a system based on GSM technology – and even resurrected a name used in the last millennium to christen it. OnePhone is a system aimed at companies with between 20 and 250 employees to give them a single phone that works in both the office and outside. It uses a 2G mobile network …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jul 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Facebook haters, look away now: BABY SNAP site's profit is up 138%

Facebook shares have rocketed after the social network biz reported record-setting growth, revenue and margins as it wrung cash from hundreds of millions of mobile users. The Menlo Park ads website reported second-quarter revenues of $2.910bn on Wednesday, beating the $2.81bn Wall Street analysts had been expecting, and up 61 …
Jack Clark, 23 Jul 2014

Comcast bosses: THAT pushy sales rep was only obeying orders

Comcast management has said the staffer who was recorded endlessly haranguing a subscriber over the phone was doing what he trained and paid to do. The ISP's customer-retention worker was recorded by Ryan Block, a VP of product at AOL and a former tech blogger, repeatedly refusing Block's request to cancel his subscription. The …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2014

FRIKKIN' LASERS could REPLACE fibre-optic comms cables

You may think that a waveguide is something issued to junior members of the royal family ahead of their first pomp parade through London. But it's actually a new communications technique that makes the air behave like a fibre-optic cable. Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014

Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

Microsoft's ex-Nokia phones unit has produced the successor to the Lumia 520, its best-selling Windows Phone by miles, topping the charts in the UK's Crimbo sales. The Lumia 530 is priced at €85 (£67) before taxes or subsidies, or an initial street price of €100, around £79. It's clearly designed to sit in the £70 sweet spot …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014
June Whitfield shows old people how to use Twitter to complain

June Whitfield and EE to old folk: Would you like a nice cup of tea and some internet, dear?

EE has realised that while the vast majority of their target market has at least one phone, there is a whole untapped business opportunity in older people. So the company is inviting loads of them around for a cuppa to try and sell them a phone and internet connection. On September 9th EE will be devoting the morning to hosting …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jul 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Bungling cops in Yorkshire have called upon householders to lock down their Wi-Fi after mistaking a free hotspot user for a piggybacking connection thief. A Reg reader from Heckmondwike claims that a local busybody called the police after seeing him access the internet using BT's Fon service, which allows customers to access …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz, Macquarie University

All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on

The 5G arms race has commenced, but beneath the duelling “my 5G is faster than your 5G” demos, there's serious work going on – and whatever the future of 5G, that work will change the future of mobility one way or the other. With that in mind, The Register spoke to Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz of Macquarie University. In May, …
Telstra's 4G surfboards

Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016

Telstra has announced, with an ever-so-modern blog post, that it will kill off its 2G network by the end of 2016. Telstra says 2G traffic now accounts for less than one per cent of its traffic, and that it stopped selling 2G handsets a couple of years ago. The carrier's group MD for networks Mike Wright says he can't imagine …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2014

Faced with stiff competition, Facebook just can't satisfy – report

The latest data on social networks from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows Facebook is about the least popular social network – but that doesn't seem to stop people using the site. "Even with improvements across the board, e-business—and social media in particular - doesn't do well in terms of user …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2014

Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Consumer takeup of network-level filters offered by the UK's biggest ISPs remains sluggish, with customers largely declining to censor internet content on their home connections even when prompted, an Ofcom report revealed today. The regulator found (PDF) that very few subscribers opt to turn on so-called parental controls. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014

Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Apple has told its suppliers to build a mighty mountain of 70 to 80 million new iPhone 6s. The new Jesus handset is expected to come in two sizes and arrive this year. This means that the number of brand-new iPhones could match the population of Germany, which is inhabited by slightly more than 80 million souls, and totally …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Jul 2014
Today's bloated CPE

WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

As software-defined networking takes off, it's become the basis of a parallel development: network function virtualisation. NFV is a boon to the data centre. For decades now, giants and minnows of the networking industry alike – Cisco and all of its competitors, along with anybody offering firewalls, WAN optimisation devices and …
Twitter for Mac New

Twitter hints at messaging moves

Twitter has issued a couple of big, meaty, hints that it wants in on instant messaging. The avian network already has a messaging service, in the form of “direct messages” that are sent between two parties but don't ever appear in public. Such messages, known as DMs among the Twitterati, aren't very widely used because most apps …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
SK Telecom / Ericsson Elastic Cell

SK Telecom, Ericsson trial 'elastic cell'

SK Telecom and Ericsson have demonstrated a technique they call “elastic cells”, which the two say should improve mobile connectivity in difficult environments. Ever since the earliest days of mobile phones, phones have logged into the base station that presents them with the “best” signal. Each handset is dedicated to the cell …
The Satellite Dish at the Jameson Earth Station

NBN Co extends satellite scheme

NBN Co has announced that 9,000 more premises in remote Australia will be offered satellite services. The NBN Co Satellite Support (NSS) Scheme is an interim operation until dedicated satellites go aloft. In the meantime, NBN Co has used third-parties to provide connectivity to remote users, but ran out of capacity. The outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

It's FONDLEMANIA: Mobile devices outstrip PCs on China's internet

Mobile devices have edged out PCs when it comes to Chinese online browsing, an official government agency in the People's Republic said on Monday. For the first time more Chinese folk are plugging into the internet using phones or tablets, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said (PDF in Chinese), according to …
Team Register, 21 Jul 2014
Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

iThing builder Foxconn applies to be mobile network operator in China

Foxconn, maker of Apple's iPhone, wants to own a mobile phone network in China and has applied for an MVNO licence. Under Chinese law Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, cannot own an MVNO itself and so is partnering with an unnamed Chinese internet company, according to an MVNO Dynamics report. That …
Simon Rockman, 21 Jul 2014
Gotenna offers secure communications

GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

You may have been hearing about a well-nigh miraculous device called GoTenna lately - a gadget which, apparently, lets your phone work even if there's no network coverage to be had. GoTenna is a two-way radio for mobile phones: it pairs with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth and uses 151-154 MHz radio to communicate with …
Simon Rockman, 21 Jul 2014
Hyperbolic map of the internet. Credit: Nature Communications

CAIDA to survey peers, colo sheds and ISPs for new map of internet

CAIDA – the group of router boffins established at the University of California to research 'net traffic and look for solutions to threats to Internet stability – has given itself a new name. If you're thrifty with your letters and don't want to learn a new acronym, you'll be pleased to know that the name change is from the …
Orange Competition

Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs

Customers of UK mobile carrier Orange have spent the weekend nursing their thumbs after receiving a deluge of unwanted TXT messages. The messages spruiked “Magic Numbers”, a service whereby it is possible to make “ free calls to your favourite Orange mobile and Orange Broadband Wireless and Talk numbers” that you nominate in …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2014

Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN

Video Yet another person has stepped forward to claim that Verizon is deliberately throttling Netflix traffic, this time with video evidence. Colin Nederkoorn, CEO of software firm Customer.io, alleged in a personal blog post that his Verizon Fios internet connection in New York slows Netflix traffic to a trickle, but runs at full …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014
self-service checkout

Facebook in new 'experiment' drama: Will users buy it?

Facebook is dipping a toe into the e-commerce market to test an Amazon-style "Buy now" button on the adverts it serves. The social network is initially rolling out the feature to a select number of small and medium-sized businesses in the US. The button will appear on the website and in its mobile app. It's not only about …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jul 2014
Apple iPhone

Telstra to grinch WAP 1 network five days before Christmas

Telstra has quietly announced it will shutter its WAP 1 network, just five days before Christmas. The carrier is warning that users of older handsets will lose the ability to send Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages or access the internet as of December 20th. The list of soon-to-be-internet-deprived handsets won't alarm …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2014

Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup

A backbone provider that pumps video from Netflix to viewers has hit back at Verizon's moan that everyone else is to blame for its users' slow streams. Verizon blogged that poor Netflix playback is caused by the networks used by Netflix to pipe films and TV shows to subscribers. Verizon said that while its wires have more than …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014

Move up, Siri and Cortana: BlackBerry's new... 'Assistant' is here

BlackBerry has unveiled a voice-powered assistant due to appear on its BB10 devices later this year. Imaginatively named er, "BlackBerry Assistant", the speech software hooks into web searches, social media and basic phone functions, like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now. We tried Assistant on a very early leak …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Microsoft's Android phones are the latest casualty of the company's axe. The X range was only launched in February this year, before the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit had been completed, but the mutant 'droids will soon be phased out, says CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft is getting rid of up to 18,000 jobs as it digests the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

ACCC should be regulated: Vertigan NBN review

The first slab work by the Vertigan panel, the group assembled to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of Australia's National Broadband Network (NNB), has landed and suggests the industry is happier with dealing with NBN Co than it is with the Australian Competition and Consumer Comission'ss (ACCC's) regulatory processes. Broadly, …
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Edward Snowden should be shielded from prosecution because the world needs people willing to expose violations of human rights, says the UN's High Commissioner for Human rights Navi Pillay. Speaking at the launch of a report into digital privacy, Pillay said Snowden's revelations “go to the core” of the UN's concerns about mass …
iPhone 4 unlocked

Want to legally unlock your phone from its network? The US Senate says that's A-OK

In a rare display of equanimity (and common sense), the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill allowing cell phone owners to unlock their handsets, should they choose to do so. "I applaud the Senate for so quickly passing the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which puts consumers first and …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

You can have “mobile first, cloud first” and target business and consumer users at the same time, apparently. So says Microsoft’s recently installed chief executive Satya Nadella, who reckons there’s no contradiction in his big plan for Microsoft. Nadella was speaking this afternoon at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jul 2014
scissors cut cable

WiGag war: Tiny low-power chip promises mobes 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi

The quest to kill video and IO cables with super-fast wireless connections is an old one. Now chip companies are gearing up for another push using the 802.11ad standard – aka WiGig – to scrap wires and carry data over the air at multi-gigabit-a-second speeds. Today, one such biz, Nitero, reckons its new hardware will outperform …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2014

US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe

Freemium mobile network FreedomPop has set its sights on Europe. The LA-based company has signed a deal with BASE, a subsidiary of Dutch telco and MVNO-lover KPN. It will launch in Belgium and then plans to expand to the UK, Germany, France and Spain. In the US FreedomPop’s model starts with a base price of $0 for 200 minutes of …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jul 2014
BlackBerry bleeding

If BlackBerry killed off its social gaming platform, would anybody notice?

Sticking to its knitting, BlackBerry is closing Scoreloop - the German social gaming platform and tools company it acquired in 2011 for $71m. The Canadian mobile phone company once known as RIM told the Wall Street Journal that this was in line with its focus on enterprise. When BlackBerry bought Scoreloop, it was at the height …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jul 2014
White flag

Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

In another attempt to get someone, anyone, spending time on Google+, the Chocolate Factory has abandoned its “real names only” policy. The policy has been criticised for its entire existence. The company began deleting accounts that didn't pass its real-names test in 2011, without any particular consistency of enforcement. In …

'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the deadline for public comment on its net neutrality proposals – after a flood of traffic borked the agency's website yet again. At the heart of the proposals are rules that could allow huge corporations to pay for prioritized internet traffic. While on the one hand, …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014