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Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

National Broadband Network names cable broadband trial sites

Three Queensland and one NSW locales will find out whether NBN Co's promise of downloads at 100 Mbps over hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) survives peak-hour traffic, after the company responsible for building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) announced trial sites of the delivery medium. In Queensland, Merrimac, Slacks Creek …
GreenPeak senior lifestyle app

Consumers beware! Ofcom's seen a scary new mobe nasty: APPS

Telecoms industry regulator Ofcom has just noticed that there are things called “apps” and has decided that people might like to know about them. “Apps are becoming an increasingly important way to communicate and access the internet through our phones, tablets and TVs”, explains the “Using apps safely and securely on your …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

ACLU files new lawsuits in hunt for police 'Stingray' mobe-trackers

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California has filed another two lawsuits on Tuesday as the organisation's campaign to bring information about StingRay cellphone surveillance devices into the public domain continues. The lawsuits against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the Anaheim Police Department …
Barney Rubble driving with Fred Flinstone

Cambridge Wireless scoops ex-UKTI man as new top dog

One of the most influential organisations in mobile is a non profit organisation. We are not talking about Sony Mobile but Cambridge Wireless. And it has a new boss: Bob Driver. Cambridge Wireless brings together the great and the good from the mobile industry, mainly from the research side. These include companies such as …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015
a coffee cup topped with cappucino foam with a wi-fi symbol sprinkled on top in powdered chocolate

Vodafone: Can't make calls on our network? Use Wi-Fi

Vodafone will launch Wi-Fi Calling and Voice over 4G (VoLTE) this summer. Both services require handsets that support the technologies, and Vodafone is keeping mum as to which ones it will be shipping. Wi-Fi Calling is a UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) service and for certain high-end handsets is an alternative to using the …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015
Williams Mercedes FW37

BT inks deal with Williams F1 for go-faster cloudy goodness

The Williams Formula 1 racing team has sealed a cloud services deal with one-time state telco monopoly BT. This will give the racing team fixed and mobile comms in what they have called a “a multi-year strategic technology partnership”. The deal means BT gets its logos on the headrests of this year's Williams Mercedes FW37 car, …
Simon Rockman, 11 Mar 2015

ACCC nixes Telstra wholesale gouge

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has driven its nope-mobile down to Collins Street and dropped a couple of tons of forget-it at the door of Australia's dominant carrier Telstra: rather than putting up prices for fixed voice and broadband services, the carrier's asked to cop a price cut. The regulator …

One does not simply ask the inventor of the WWW what he thinks about memes

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, academic, internet activist, and widely acknowledged lovely guy appeared on Reddit earlier today to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Here's what he had to say. On security Sir Tim regrets not baking more security into the web when he was developing it at CERN. "I wish we had a …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Mar 2015
US spectrum map

Ping-pong sueballs: Bankruptcy dogs LightSquared's chances

Stricken US mobe network LightSquared is wriggling for survival in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The idea of Chapter 11 is to provide protection for a company so that it can trade through difficulties and hopefully get back to trading normally. The system was to use a combination of 4G (LTE) and satellite to deliver national high- …
Simon Rockman, 10 Mar 2015
typing while standing

Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

The TREWGrip keyboard is designed for butter-fingered mobile users who are keen to touch type as fluidly on their smartphones as they would on a desktop keyboard. The keys are positioned on the back of the pad, piano accordion style, allowing you to depress them with the outstretched fingers of your hand, which is firmly clamped …
Simon Rockman, 10 Mar 2015

Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Comment Gaffe-prone Gunther is at it again. This time the EU Digi-Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger has described the enforcement of "uniform" net neutrality as "Taliban-like". Unsurprisingly digital rights activists have not been pleased at being compared with a fundamentalist organisation judged by the UN to be responsible for the …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Mar 2015
DDoS image

Obsolete – and IP-baring – Anon tool linked to feminist blog DDoS

A feminist blog hit by a DDoS attack on International Women’s Day has used the attack to its advantage. Amber Gordon, founder of femsplain.com, said although the site is no stranger to Distributed Denial of Service assaults, Sunday's attack differed in being unusually intense. “I think it’s because it’s International Women’s …
John Leyden, 9 Mar 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

Sleepy eNom bombs websites in HUGE DNS OUTAGE – remains silent despite gripes

Domain name registrar eNom appears to have gone titsup worldwide since the early hours of this morning, according to reports from furious customers who – at time of publication – were yet to get a response from the Washington-based firm. Reg reader Tim told us that the service buckled roughly five hours ago. @smallgreentree @ …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Mar 2015
Optus Logo

Optus to close its Zoo and shutter Optus Now app

Australian mobile carrier Optus has announced it will close its Zoo website, mobile site and Optus Now app, and replace them with “ an alternative content store to be available from 27 March”. Zoo offers a news portal of sorts, plus webmail and paid music, games and e-book downloads. The Optus Now app crammed that content into …

MWC 2015 roundup: Strap on a wearable and cover your face in sickly VR goo

Yes – it's time for our Mobile World Congress 2015 linkfest! Here's The Register's full coverage of what was hot and plain old rot in Barcelona this year. Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge – A built-in battery? Is your name Apple? Samsung Galaxy Note Edge HTC One M9 hands on: Like a smart M8 in a sharp …
Team Register, 8 Mar 2015
Ubisoft Driver San Francisco

United Nations: For pity's sake don't use your iPhone in your car

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the telecoms agency of the United Nations) has published a very short whitelist of mobile phones that are properly compatible with car kits. The phones have been tested to an exacting specification which defines the mechanical mouth used, the mechanical ear and brings scientific …
Simon Rockman, 6 Mar 2015
Barcelona brothel takes poster site

GSMA: Er, sorry about that MWC brothel ad with our logo

Mobile World Congress organiser the GSMA has issued an apology for the use of its logo on a website advertising a Barcelona brothel, but has been unable to do anything about a large poster which sits next to a Samsung advert. Visitors to Mobile World Congress are used to the route from the airport to the city imploring the 90, …
Simon Rockman, 6 Mar 2015

Turnbull says no need to future-proof NBN

Those who feel Australia should invest in a future-proof National Broadband Network (NBN), and that a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network offers the best long-term investment, have new reason to take umbrage with the nation's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull after he yesterday said a quick-and-cheap approach is the best …
a coffee cup topped with cappucino foam with a wi-fi symbol sprinkled on top in powdered chocolate

Why Wi-Fi won't solve mobile telcos' data dilemma

If mobile operators rely upon Wi-Fi to relieve themselves of data traffic they are going to need to find some way to get the data home. Right now they're heading for a data bottleneck. So says Bluwan, which – guess what – has a solution to the problem: its 42GHz point to multi-point backhaul. It sees this as the way Wi-Fi can …
Simon Rockman, 5 Mar 2015

Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Feature It is far more common to find routers with critical flaws than without – Craig Young It's sad that end-user education about strong passwords, password safes, and phishing can be undone by something as innocuous as the blinking box in the corner of your room. – Peter Adkins Introduction Home and small business router …
Darren Pauli, 5 Mar 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges

Europe’s telco ministers appear to have done a U-turn over a proposed total removal of mobile phone roaming charges by the end of the year. In 2013, the European Commission proposed a plan - backed by MEPs - to end costly roaming surcharges by the end of 2015. No longer would holidaymakers or business travellers be surprised and …
The European flag

EU annoys industry and activists with net neutrality proposal

Europe’s telco ministers have finally come to an agreement on net neutrality – but it’s one that makes both digital activists and industry unhappy. On Wednesday, a council made up of EU member states' telecoms ministers published its position on the so-called Telecoms Package and managed to alienate almost everyone with a stake …
Huawei HQ

Huawei to build 5G patent book

MWC 2015 Huawei has talked up its plans for 5G at Mobile World Congress, with an emphasis on building its patent book for the next mobile standard. The company is already in fifth place in European patent applicants for 2014 according to the European Patent Office, and had nearly 500 patents granted in that year. New filings across its …
connections_global_internet

How does a global corporation switch to IP Voice?

Not so long ago I worked with a company that had more than a dozen offices around the world. Each had its own phone system – a total of five different makes – of which only two could handle IP telephony. As a colleague once put it, we used to “spend a lot of time phoning ourselves”. International calls to our own staff, …
NGMN 5G Vision

Carriers want 5G to do everything, for anything, anywhere

MWC2015 The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) carriers' club has sorted out its ideas of what 5G's future, and set forth a blueprint of its preferred vision of a post-4G world. The 5G world is going to have to get cracking, though: the roadmap, with contributions from luminaries like AT&T, BT, China Mobile, DoCoMo, SingTel, …

Botched NBN installs leave folks with no internet, or recourse

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Simon Cohen says the agency can do little to help subscribers dealing with broken National Broadband Network (NBN) installations. While the agency can flag complaints with NBN Co, the entity building and operating the NBN, it appears unable to do anything to force the utility to …
Darren Pauli, 4 Mar 2015

East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

The country of East Timor was officially removed from the internet this week, with the '.tp' registry and all domains under it deleted from the "root zone". The unusual but not unprecedented decision to delete an entire arm of the internet comes following a long and painful independence struggle for the nation, and also …
Netflix House of Cards remake

Optus joins iiNet with free-to-download Netflix offer for Australians

Australia's second-largest ISP Optus has followed the third-largest, iiNet, by announcing Australians will be able to watch Netflix without the downloads counting towards their monthly data cap. The announcement places pressure on Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, to do likewise. But as Telstra is a major shareholder in …
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

Review Edge. Get used to the word. From here on in, if the scuttlebut is to be believed, several flagship Samsung devices will be available with an Edge variant.  An Edgy version of the Galaxy S6 has already been confirmed.  A what? In simple terms with a bit of extra screen that curves around the right hand edge of the device. …
Alun Taylor, 3 Mar 2015

Europe's digital chief wants China's help on standardising 5G

MWC 2015 Europe’s digi Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger wants China’s help in deploying 5G. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Oettinger laid out his “grand vision” for 5G, saying that his “ambitious strategy” will give the EU a strong voice in international deals to set 5G standards. “The EU industry has a major role …
Slow downloads

Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

MWC 2015 Nokia's CEO has ridiculed the idea of a one-speed “neutral” internet, arguing that some IP packets are simply more important than others. Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents, said Rajeev Suri, speaking to media and analysts at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. …
BlackBerry Leap smartphone

BlackBerry gets flirty with QWERTY IP, launches $275 Leap

MWC 2015 BlackBerry's CEO told The Register today that everything in the company’s IP portfolio is up for grabs, including hardware IP for BlackBerry’s hallmark QWERTY keyboards. “I’m not a big believer in holding on to all your secret sauces,” John Chen told us. “We have 53 per cent of staff employed in IP creation and engineering and …
Borg

Internet of Things? Pah! Biz bods, you're wasting your money

Mobile operators could be pissing away $46bn in their excitement over the Internet of Things and wearables. So says Syniverse, the company which forms the glue between mobile networks handling lots of interconnects and things like number portability. Of course being polite and American, it didn’t quite phrase the problem quite …
Simon Rockman, 3 Mar 2015

Google's broadband-in-the-sky goes TITAN-ic

After a couple of years of selective reveals to favoured media, Google has made an uncharacteristic to-all-comers announcement about its broadband plans at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Chocolate Factory bought drone-maker Titan Aerospace in 2014, and has told the conference its solar-powered drones will be carrying …
management regulation2

ACCC slaps iiNet over prices in ads

Second-tier telco and major ISP iiNet has forked over AU$204,000 to settle infringement notices from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The notices were issued as a result of iiNet's advertising for its Naked Broadband 250GB plan, which the consumer watchdog says didn't “prominently state the total minimum price …

90% of mobile data eaten by TINY, GREEDY super-user HOTSPOTS

+Comment Usage of mobile data is extremely unevenly distributed. This is the conclusion of a report by the Location Intelligence business unit of a major communications equipment company. JDSU, which makes test equipment for mobile operators, looked at who is using the most mobile data and where they are using it. Its research found …
Simon Rockman, 3 Mar 2015
xperia m4

Chasing pennies, Sony, Microsoft and smartphone biz rivals retreat to mid-range

MWC 2015 Before you read this, or any phone news at all this week, keep in mind one statistic. According to Strategy Analytics, for every Great British pound of profit made in the entire smartphone industry, Apple pocketed 89 pence. Everyone else is left with 11.7 pence. Everyone. In an industry that generates $300bn in wholesale revenue …
Sundar Pichai

Google dips toe into U.S. mobile market with 'small scale' offering

MWC 2015 Google confirmed on Monday that it plans to enter the wireless carrier market Stateside within the "coming months". Top Mountain View mobile exec Sundar Pichai offered up scanty detail on the ad giant's biz strategy during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. On Google's seemingly cautious MVNO plans, …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Mar 2015

Ericsson, Telstra and Qualcomm up the ante with 600Mbps demo

MWC 2015 Qualcomm, Ericsson and Telstra are set to demonstrate a new tri-carrier LTE-A solution capable of delivering 600Mbps over mobile at this week's Mobile World Congress. Nokia has already managed the same speeds using two carriers with a four-antenna MIMO. However, the Ericsson technology meets the specs of LTE CAT 11, and (so it …
Simon Rockman, 2 Mar 2015
Generic mast

Network vendors need something far more real than ‘5G’

MWC 2015 The big infrastructure vendors all made significant announcements in advance of Mobile World Congress, holding their beauty parades before the distractions of the event itself. While there was a lot of the inevitable "5G" vision-making on show, the main focus was on something more real: new platforms which could be deployed in a …
chain_relationship_channel

HP Services engineer dispatch tool 'broken', say engineers

An automated service call system pilot at HP – which we are told cost $72m to develop – is fundamentally flawed because it often relies on patchy web connectivity, engineers are complaining. The "enhanced dispatch" is expected to replace the existing "resource control" call centre in Bulgaria towards the end of there year, but …
Paul Kunert, 2 Mar 2015
Cellular basestation antenna

Telstra takes lead in 5G, just like everybody else

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, has joined World+Dog in promising to take the lead in the 5G race, with a roadmap that reaches all the way to next year. The main thrust of the carrier's talk to Mobile World Congress and accompanying canned release is actually the immediate future of its 4G network. The carrier promises …