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Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

Analysis Microsoft has given us a glimpse of Windows progress this week – and it was generally well received – particularly the one-year "grace period" allowing Windows 7 holdouts to climb on board for free. While price won't induce Enterprise customers to upgrade, lower retraining costs will –and the majority will wait to see what the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2015

Telefónica to offload O2 to Three daddy Hutchison for £10.25bn

Telefónica confirmed this morning it has entered into an “exclusivity agreement” with Hutchison Whampoa that could see it offload subsidiary O2 for up to £10.25bn in cash. Talks between the pair surfaced last weekend and if signed and sealed will further consolidate the mobe carrier space, coming weeks after BT turned its back …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2015
Disney's Beagle Boys

Verizon posts WANTED poster for copper rustlers

Verizon is sick of having to refresh its copper network merely to replace stolen metal, and for the forth time since 2013 has posted a reward for information leading to arrests. The broadband brigands aren't fooling around, either. In the latest incidents more than 10,000 feet of copper were heisted by thieves, leading to the …
Google UK office logos

Google signs up Sprint and T-Mobile to sell its cellphone plans – report

Google's plans to become a mobile phone operator – which we outlined earlier this month – have grown closer to reality with the news that the search giant has signed deals to run calls and data over Sprint and T-Mobile's network. According to news reports, Google will become a virtual network operator by buying access to the two …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015

FCC Commissioner argues for delaying February net neutrality ruling

One of the FCC's five Commissioners has argued that the Commission should delay its net neutrality ruling until Congress has had an opportunity to devise new legislation aimed at resolving the issue. Speaking on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael O’Rielly argued that "there are very good reasons for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015
John Chen

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

In a blog post on the BlackBerry website, CEO John Chen has called on regulators to force Apple and Netflix to support Blackberry hardware, claiming this forms part of the ongoing net neutrality debate. He argues that because BlackBerry has the eyes, ears and fingers of the most important people in the world – thanks to its …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
The SAMSUNG GALAXY ALPHA lies on a white background, displays Home screen icons.

LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Newly leaked specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S6 show the South Korean company taking the fight back to Apple. The expected flagship is expected to debut a year after we saw the S5 at Mobile World Congress. The “64-bit eight-core 14nm CPU which is 50% faster” could be the rumoured Snapdragon 820, but that’s likely to be …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE data network goes TITSUP* after mystery firewall problem

Updated Mobile network operator EE appears to have been hit by a nation-wide outage. People took to Twitter this morning to complain of the network and data outage affecting large swathes of the country: @EE Data Network Down in Manchester area ?. Can't get any data connection on any either phone #ee #networkdown — Neil Reid (@tech2xs …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2015

4Chan man Moot logs off as admin for last time

The founder of web cesspit 4chan has bailed from the site he created. Chris “Moot” Poole says he's “decided it's time for me to move on”. Moot founded the site aged 15 and has been its administrator ever since. With more than eleven years heading the site, and the small matter of 42,176,061,890 page views under his belt, Poole …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2015

Net neutrality bunfight heads to Congress, with predictable results

Not one but two Congressional hearings over net neutrality have taken place this week, sparking a wave of letters, commentary, and advocacy but precious little resolution. Many of the arguments that have been rehearsed over the past few months were given another airing. But what is new is an effort by Congress to develop and …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

Analysis It's always jam mañana for Windows Phone owners. In 2011, the "Apollo" update (which became Windows Phone 8.0) would bring new riches. Then it was 8.1. Now it's mid-year before Windows Phone 10 devices can storm the market. So at the enthusiast end of the market, they're not a happy lot. There hasn't been a headline-grabbing, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015

Eurovision tellybods: Yes, you heard right – net neutrality

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the annual Eurovision musical telly glitterfest, has rounded up a group of “civil society” pressure groups to send a letter to EU leaders demanding net neutrality. The letter, published on Tuesday, urges the EU Council of Ministers “to support strong and clear net neutrality rules …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Jan 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Cheer up UK mobile grumblers. It's about to get even pricier

You may not think being a mobile phone customer in Britain is much fun, what with rural Not Spots, the world's most irritating advertising campaigns*, and LTE arriving later (and rolling out slower) than anywhere else. Readers are quick to complain. But you actually get a better deal than you think. So enjoy it while you can, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Graphic depicting the Cluster satellite constellation in action. Credit: ESA

Tap sat app gap, yaps Inmarsat chap: Orbiting bird API opened to devs

Satellite communications oldie Inmarsat is to open up its systems to third-party developers – and wants them to create new ways to use its communications grid to link ships, aircraft, and machine-to-machine data traffic. "We have been providing global mobile connectivity for decades and want to leverage this position to …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2015
slow_sign

Bush-first NBN build was back to front says NBN Co CEO

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow has told a TasICT gathering that the original National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout plan, which prioritised regional areas to receive fibre first, was a mistake. Speaking to the IT industry group TasICT on Monday evening, Morrow added that the rollout schedules announced by the previous government had …

Telcos try to head off net neutrality rules with legislation

Having tried and seemingly failed to steer the FCC away from enacting new net neutrality rules under so-called Title II legislation, US telcos have turned to Congress for relief. A new "discussion draft" [PDF] of potential legislation was published over the weekend, accompanied this morning by an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2015

Google: What this planet needs is INTERNET FROM SPAAACE

Google is reportedly close to flinging $1bn at Elon Musk's SpaceX to bulk up investment in the private company's development of satellites for internet-based services. According to The Information, which cited several people familiar with the matter, a deal could be sealed soon. One source said that Google had agreed to value …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jan 2015

India pushes ahead with slimmed-down fibre rollout

India is pushing ahead with the Modi government's fibre vision, under which 20,000 rural villages will get fibre backhaul by December 2016. The country's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) says villages in the southern state of Kerala, Karnataka on the west coast, and Seemandhra on the Bay of Bengal will be the first …

New York State plots broadband future

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has decided that the 6 Mbps that's out of reach for a million residents of the state isn't good enough, and has created a half-billion-dollar fund to kick things along. The target, Cuomo says, is to get 100 Mbps speeds to everyone in the 141,000 square kilometre state. In his announcement, the …

THREE vans and FIVE people: that's what Telstra needs to fix one fault

The impact of weather on Telstra's ailing copper network has hit the headlines, with some parts of Canberra told they'll suffer outages well into February. The Fairfax Media reports that storms in early December led to 700 faults in the ACT and another 900 being logged in surrounding areas. The ACT isn't the only location where …
Darth Vader choking someone

Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

Virgin Media, Vodafone and EE have promised to be more upfront with their subscribers about traffic management policies two and half years after rival, big name UK ISPs signed up to the voluntary "Open Internet Code". The telcos have also vowed not to choke the services of competitors, such as over-the-top players – Microsoft's …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jan 2015
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

China's Apple? PAH! We're looking for SUCCESS in internet TV – Xiaomi

Rising star mobile company Xiaomi is planning an assault on TV content and has reportedly set aside $1bn with which to do it. The company – which is currently giving Samsung a run for its money and recently raised $1.1bn to value the company at $45bn – has budgeted $1bn for building internet content in China and foreign markets …
Simon Rockman, 19 Jan 2015

Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Analysis Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report paints a pretty grim picture for 4K adoption. As well as charting IPv6 uptake, an important step forward to catering for the billions of new connected objects that account for the Internet of Things (IoT), the report finds that internet speeds in many countries still lag behind the …
Faultline, 19 Jan 2015

MARS NEEDS BROADBAND, insists Elon Musk

Another day, another billionaire with a broadband-in-space plan. Last week's unconvincing launch came from Virgin's beardy Branson, who reckons 6,498 satellites are enough to do the job of bringing broadband to the next billion. Now Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX and Hyperloop fame has let Bloomberg Businessweek know that he thinks …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2015
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN's basement-dive begins in earnest

NBN Co, the entity building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has started identifying which apartment blocks are to get its fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) rollout, with 43 blocks totalling 6,000 premises on the current plan. Around 2,000 of the premises in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney (the latter receiving the bulk of …

Twitter complies with Turkey's 'national security' blackout demand – BLOCKS newspaper's tweets

Turkey has once again browbeat Twitter into censoring some of the content posted on the micro-blogging site, after being threatened with an outright ban in the country. The demand came after the Turkish government issued a court order in Adana on Thursday. According to the New York Times, officials had told news organisations to …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jan 2015
O2 XDA Argon

Hong Kong mogul mulls MULTI-BEELLION POUND bid for O2 – report

British mobile operator O2 has reportedly been eyed up by Hong Kong biz baron Li Ka-shing, with a takeover bid of up to £9bn apparently being floated. The owner of Hutchison Whampoa, which controls UK mobe carrier Three, has been in tentative talks with Telfonica-run O2, according to a report in today's Sunday Times (£), which …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jan 2015
Alcatel Speedtouch USB ADSL modem

Future imperfect: A UK broadband retrospective

Feature It's astonishing how fast the world changes. It's not so long ago that my internet connection at home was a 64k KiloStream, with an ISDN line that was used for backup, or channel bonding if I wanted to download something at a whopping 128kbps. It was fearsomely expensive, but since I was writing about the net a lot back then, it …
Nigel Whitfield, 17 Jan 2015

US mobe network Sprint breaks ranks, says YES to net neutrality

Fourth-place US mobile operator Sprint has broken ranks with the telco industry and said it think that Title II legislation should apply to broadband internet provision - both wired and wireless. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - which is due to decide on the matter next month - Sprint CTO Stephen Bye …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2015
"334/365 this is a phoooonne!!!" - Lazurite

UK's landmark mobile not-spot deal already falling apart

The made-of-straw “landmark deal” to fix the not-spots in mobile phone infrastructure - which has made the UK the poor man of Europe in mobile coverage - is already starting to crumble. The necessary planning regulation to make it easier for the networks to roll out coverage to 90 per cent of the UK is being clumsily rushed …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jan 2015

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

After such a banner year of Linux releases it might seem overly pessimistic to pause and ask this question: is there a future beyond this? The answer is, of course, "yes" – or rather it's yes, but... The qualifying "but" can take many forms, depending on who you talk to and what their stake is in the game. Even if you take the …

Virgin, Qualcomm, back 600-satellite space internet plan

WorldVu, an outfit that last year looked to have Elon Musk and Google backing its vision for a fleet of broadband-beaming low-earth orbit satellites, has scored support from Virgin Group and Qualcomm. Now operating as OneWeb Ltd, but still helmed by former Google man Greg Wyler, the plan now calls for 648 satellites instead of …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2015
turbine

For pervasive 5G and IoT, prepare for wind turbines on cells

As growing user populations and hunger for mobile capacity drive ever-smaller cell sizes (even before the advent of 5G), electricity becomes a problem. A group of researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology reckon renewables will be the only way to power the small cell networks of the future. In this …
Supreme Court Building

Come now, don't be beastly to cellphone giants, Supremes tell America's town halls

The US Supreme Court has made it a bit easier for telcos to build cell towers in America. On Wednesday, the court ruled in a majority decision [PDF] that city governments must provide mobile network giants a reasonable amount of time to appeal when deciding on applications to build phone masts. The Supremes said Roswell, …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jan 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Jammin', we know you hate jammin' too: Marriott U-turns on guest Wi-Fi ban

Marriott has lifted a ban on personal Wi-Fi hotspots in its hotels. Citing concerns about rogue wireless hotspots, Marriott disrupted guests' Wi-Fi networks by flooding the aether with disassociation packets. The move – which meant that guests and conference delegates were obliged to use the (expensive) Marriott-supplied Wi-Fi …
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2015

BT bemoans 'misconceived' SUPERFAST broadband regs

Ofcom is attempting to clip BT’s financial wings by proposing to regulate the margins it banks from superfast broadband sales to consumers, essentially to prevent the firm from future profiteering and elbowing rivals out of the market. The Brit telco monopoly is the largest provider of fibre broadband services over its network …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jan 2015
Microsoft's Lumia 532 Dual-SIM

Microsoft rolls out even cheaper 'Notkia' Lumias

Windows Phones fanbois aren't happy that there's no new €600 flagship to fondle – but nobody can accuse Microsoft of complacency as it tackles the low-cost smartphone business. Microsoft's Lumia 435 The 435 – the cheapie with the front-facing camera Six months after it revealed its lowest cost model, Microsoft's phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2015
Jersey cow

Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

Patchy connectivity in rural areas is hampering small businesses with half complaining of poor broadband speeds, according to an extensive survey from the Federation of Small Businesses. In contrast just 28 per cent of their urban small biz counterparts reported broadband issues, according to nearly 1,500 responses. Frustrated …
Kat Hall, 15 Jan 2015

Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP

Updated Demon internet broadband users are currently unable to connect, with the company reporting a complete outage of its services. The internet provider first reported problems at 08:43 this morning. According to Demon, engineers have localised the issue and further engineers have been despatched to a network site. "Our focus …
Kat Hall, 15 Jan 2015

If cities want to run their own broadband, let 'em do it, Prez Obama tells FCC

President Obama wants US internet watchdog the FCC to overturn bans on city-run broadband in America. The White House has sent FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and his fellow commissioners, a letter requesting city governments be allowed to build and administer their own fiber networks. "Today, President Obama is announcing a new …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015
Office Space

Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

Facebook will soon tell its users (sorry, people) to dump its colleagues on the site and interact with them instead on the company's social-networking-for-suits site, Facebook at Work. In the meantime, Facebook is at work on Facebook at Work. Facebook will not be renamed Facebook at Home, but the Mark Zuckerberg-run firm has …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jan 2015
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

5G needs new connectivity methods, say Spanish boffins

While millimeter-wave radio frequencies are hyped as the future of high-speed wireless networks, they're severely range-limited. A group of Spanish boffins has proposed using user context information like location to help mobile devices get the best speed. As they explain in their paper at Arxiv, it's not enough just to run an …