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Vodafone adds payment cards to mobile wallet

Vodafone wants to bonk you… wait, wants you to bonk

NFC payment tech for phones, aka bonking, is coming to an Android Vodamobe near you. Not put off by the failure of the O2 wallet and Orange CityZi payment systems, Voda has teamed up with payments processing tech company Carta Worldwide to add bonking to its mobile wallet. In the internal war of NFC technologies the new service …
Simon Rockman, 30 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

NBN Co launches fibre-to-the-building product

+Comment NBN Co, the entity charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network, says it has launched its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) product. In a statement sent to The Register at 6:00PM on Monday described today's events as a “commercial launch” and features chief customer officer John Simon saying pilots have seen “families …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Ofcom's to-do list: Number porting, sell spectrum, buy milk

Ofcom has set out its objectives for 2015/16, and they're broadly as outlined in the draft report. There is increased interest in consumer number portability to improve the switching providers process, clearer pricing on the previously announced spectrum auctions, as well as the hotly anticipated Strategic Review of Digital …
Simon Rockman, 30 Mar 2015
David Cameron, Prime Minister, meets Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei Technologies, in Downing Street, 11th September, 2012.

Huawei networking kit gets the green light from Blighty's spooks

A board put together to double-check the work of a British government team set up to investigate Huawei has given the Chinese giant a clean bill of health. The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board was established in early 2014 on the recommendation of the UK National Security Adviser. The board is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Mar 2015
Bates Motel

Hotel Wi-Fi not only hideously expensive – it's horribly insecure

Travelers are used to getting screwed over by hotel internet access. But it's not just the eye-watering Wi-Fi prices guests should be worried about. A major security flaw in a network gateway popular among hoteliers can be exploited by hackers to launch attacks against guests by injecting malware into their downloads over …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2015

FCC supremo slams big cable in gridiron Robin Hood metaphor mash-up

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, the chairman of US broadband regulator the FCC, fresh from no fewer than four Congressional grillings, has given a spirited defense of his radical net neutrality rules. And by spirited defense, we mean, slamming big cable for trying to control the internet. In a keynote at his alma mater, Ohio State University, …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Mar 2015
Jeroen Hoencamp is the boss of Vodafone UK

Voda UK CEO says one thing about not-spots, Minister of Fun says another

Don’t hold your breath for better mobile phone coverage. While Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp is hopeful that the government will do its bit as part of the not-spots agreement, Minister of Fun Ed Vaziey claims he’s already done it. We asked Hoencamp how he felt about having signed up to the not-spots deal when all the …
Simon Rockman, 27 Mar 2015
BT Openreach van

Vodafone: So what exactly is 'ludicrous' about the Frontier report?

Vodafone has struck back at BT’s claim that the Frontier Economics report on Openreach’s apparent profiteering is “ludicrous”, with Matthew Braovac, Vodafone's head of competition and regulatory affairs, writing to his BT opposite number asking for a justification of the claims. “Far from being ludicrous, the report is based …
Simon Rockman, 27 Mar 2015

Optus must hire checkbox champion after epic router, voicemail borking

Optus has escaped a financial penalty imposed Australia's privacy boss and instead must review its internal security measures after it shipped hundreds of thousands of routers with open internet ports and default credentials, opened voice mails, and marked public scores of private phone numbers. The order billed as an ' …
Darren Pauli, 27 Mar 2015
Derisive laugh

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

BT has labelled a report into its apparently inflated return on broadband investment as "ludicrous", as Vodafone calls on the government to tighten the regulations surrounding Openreach. A confidential November 2014 report from Frontier Economics (seen by El Reg) has claimed that while the historic return on investment, which …
Simon Rockman, 26 Mar 2015
Columbia University's full-duplex IC

Big barrier to 5G cracked by full-duplex chippery

Take a look at mobile standards like LTE and you'll notice that duplexing is difficult: it's either accomplished by separating uplink and downlink in time or frequency. Why? Because it's really hard to use closely-spaced frequencies for uplink and downlink in the small space of a smartphone: the two signals will inevitably …
Chattanooga

Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

The US state of Tennessee is suing the FCC after the regulator declared that cities should be free to build their own municipal-owned broadband networks. The Volunteer State wants to overturn that ruling, made in February, arguing the decision goes against heavy restrictions placed on government-owned organizations that compete …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2015
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

BT gently returns to mobe biz with cheap SIM-only swoop

BT has tentatively returned to the mobile market it abandoned 13 years ago with a competitive SIM-only deal for its broadband customers. The one-time state monopoly – as expected – touted a 4G data, minutes and texts bundle this morning, with prices starting at £5 a month. BT's offer weds existing broadband subscribers to a 12- …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Mar 2015

EU digital veep: If you like America's radical idea of net neutrality, you're in luck, Europe

Europe’s digi-chief has spoken out about net neutrality rules emerging from America, and mobile networks favoring particular websites over others. Speaking at an event in Brussels this week, Digital Vice President of the Commission Andrus Ansip said he sees no difference between the EU and the FCC in the US in their approach to …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

Melbourne fibre expert calls out 'fibre cost doubled' claim

The idea that the planned fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) may have ended up meeting its cost targets has received a high-profile endorsement from emeritus professor Rod Tucker of the University of Melbourne. Speaking to US conference, professor Tucker said the claim in the …
Mobile phone no service

Treat us like the utilities we believe ourselves to be, say UK operators

Rents on mobile phone masts should drop dramatically, with a pricing model loosely based on that used for utilities, states a report from Deloitte, commissioned by several mobile network operators. The professional services firm says that where a mobile network pays £7,500 yearly in rent for sites in rural areas, and £9,200 in …
Simon Rockman, 24 Mar 2015
BT Home Hub 3

Complaints against ISPs and mobe firms are up by a fifth — reports

BT Broadband is one of the most complained about ISPs, according to UK consumer body Which?, scoring particularly poorly in technical support and value for money. Moreover, complaints in general about ISPs and mobile companies are up 20 per cent on the year, according to numbers released by the Ombudsman Services. Consumers …
Simon Rockman, 23 Mar 2015
Digital Voice Recorders

Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

When I was a contractor building IT architectures, it was common to find that people had a rather old phone system and were looking to move to something newer. The question they asked was always: what shall we do to get something stable but future-proof? Phone lines or IP trunks? Even in 2015 you seldom see an organisation that …
Dave Cartwright, 23 Mar 2015
Two mobiles man

BT set to undercut rivals with return to mobile biz

BT will launch its own 4G network when it returns to the mobile market within the next few days, it has been reported. According to the Telegraph, the former state monopoly – which proposed a huge £12.5bn takeover of mobe operator EE late last year – will name its service BT Mobile and offer it only to the firm's broadband …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Mar 2015
shutterstock_209016412-faclon

Nesting falcons interrupt £200m Vodafone 4G mast upgrades

Five pairs of nesting falcons have disrupted Vodafone customers' mobile phone signals in London and the south east – because the birds have set up shop on the carrier's masts. The Daily Telegraph reported that Vodafone engineers spotted the birds of prey nesting on and around base stations on a church, a hospital and an office …
Simon Rockman, 20 Mar 2015
FCC logo

FCC to Verizon: Blocking 911 calls? That's a $3.4m paddlin'

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extracted a $3.4m fee from Verizon for its failure to provide customers with emergency phone service last year. The FCC said that it had agreed to the fee with the US telecoms giant after an April 2014 outage that left 11 million people without phone coverage, including for the …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Mar 2015
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Skype squares up to Cisco again with new round of 'Room Systems'

Cisco issues regular blog posts pointing out that its unified communications products outsell Microsoft's, but it now looks like Redmond's decided not to take that lying down because it's announced one of the new things Lync will do now that it's become Skype For Business is offer more “room systems”. Microsoft's teamed up with …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2015
Android icon desktop toys

$30 Landfill Android mobes are proof that capitalism ROCKS

Worstall on Wednesday I've mentioned around here before that the shipping container has been one of the most revolutionary technologies of our times. Similarly, I've said that the mobile phone has had a vast effect on human wealth. The TL;DR version of mobes is that 10 per cent of the population with a mobile increases GDP by 0.5 per cent each and …
Tim Worstall, 18 Mar 2015
GEC PABX 3 switchboard and operator

Sit back and let someone else manage your telephony

If you are a small company, it takes a certain amount of time and effort to maintain a phone system. This is not a huge problem as the system sits in the corner and gets on with its job most of the time; you have to fiddle with it only to set up new extensions or change the names on items when people leave or join. For a medium …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Mar 2015
Spam

Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

The Electoral Commission has spotted two things: 18-24 year olds don’t vote and 18-24 year olds have smartphones. You'll never guess what's coming next. The commission, which is charged with getting the UK population out to vote, has employed Weve to peddle mobile voter registration to the youth market. Young adults will be …
Simon Rockman, 17 Mar 2015
Clip Art cartoon of smiling sun

Ericsson buys Sunrise Technology

Ericsson, which has just laid off 2,200 people Sweden and which plans more cost cutting around the world has already started spending the savings by buying the IT business services part of Chinese outfit Sunrise Technology. The transaction means Ericsson will take on 1,000 employees at the Guangzhou-based IT services provider, …
Simon Rockman, 17 Mar 2015
Keyboard where return key is marked communication and to its left is a key with the Cuban flag. Copyright: xtock, Photo via Shutterstock

Cubans 'get' 'free community' 'Wi-Fi'

Cuba says it is further loosening its grip on the nation's internet access with the launch of its first public Wi-Fi hotspot. According to a report from The Associated Press, a community center in the capital city of Havana will serve as the only hotspot in the nation to be authorized to operate by the state-run Etecsa telco …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2015
stopwatch

FCC takes three-month pause to consider massive telecoms mergers

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it's pausing before making a decision over the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) and AT&T's gobbling of DirecTV, citing legal issues. The agency planned to announce the results of its three-month review of both mergers at the end of March, but has …
Iain Thomson, 16 Mar 2015
Moments of perspiration

Tell us, do you enjoy the thought of BT-EE's sweaty fourplay?

The Competition and Markets Authority has written to telcos and media groups asking for their thoughts as it weighs up the implications of BT swallowing EE. Rivals, notably Vodafone, have already highlighted how much more radio spectrum the combined organisation will have than any of the other mobile phone networks. The telcos …
Simon Rockman, 16 Mar 2015
REM's Shiny, Happy People

Fizzy bubbles at the ready: Dot-com celebrates 30th birthday

In 1985 most commercial internet users were US government contractors, but all of that was set to slowly change after Symbolics became the first company to register a dot-com domain name. Thirty years on, the total number of registered top-level domains (TLDs) surpassed 288 million at the end of 2014, according to the latest …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2015

BBC websites GO TITSUP – Auntie blames 'internal system failure'

Updated The BBC is suffering a major outage, after its websites – including News and the public service broadcaster's iPlayer system – buckled in the past hour. It's unclear, at time of publication, what was behind the Beeb's technical woes. An unknown number of people attempting to visit various online BBC services were greeted with a …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2015

Ofcom: We're going to shake up the digi comms market

UK regulator Ofcom has announced a wide-ranging review of digital communications, looking at infrastructure and competition. The review will examine incentives for efficient investment and effective competition drive good outcomes: coverage, choice, price and quality of service for consumers, citizens and businesses. It will …
Simon Rockman, 13 Mar 2015

Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

Microsoft is porting its personal-assistant software Cortana to Android and iOS to go head to head against Apple's Siri and Google Now. Cortana will be available as a standalone app available for download to phones and tablets running the Google and Apple operating systems, Reuters reports. Cortana will debut on Windows 10 …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Mar 2015

Alibaba hopes to roll net-connected car out of the cave

China's Alibaba and SAIC Motor Corp have decided the country needs to get its cars connected to the Internet, and have inked a $US160 million deal to get the ball wheels rolling. According to Reuters, the joint venture between the two will be worth a billion yuan, and targets 2016 as the launch date for the Middle Kingdom's …
Broke - empty pockets

NBN Co says 'ante-up' to fibre applicants

Want to know if you can get fibre to the home instead of the node? It'll cost at least $300 just to ask the question, under a new “Technology Choice Policy” published by NBN Co. The former “network extension” policy (which let satellite users ask about fixed wireless upgrades, and fixed wireless areas ask about fibre) was made …

US bares its net neutrality enforcement regime to world+dog

US regulators have finally detailed how they'll enforce net neutrality among broadband carriers and service providers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) two weeks ago formally approved a new set of rules that would impose net neutrality. However, the body didn’t say how the rules would be imposed. On Thursday the …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Mar 2015
Moshi Moshi 03 Handset

Look, no handsets: How to do telephony without a phone

As I sit at my desk, I have two phones in front of me. One is a cordless Panasonic that talks to a base station via the DECT protocol, and thence to the public phone network via a knackered old piece of copper that broke the other day. The other is a snazzy mobile number with a picture of a piece of fruit on it and the ability …
Dave Cartwright, 12 Mar 2015
NBN Co logo

NBN Co to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 from 2017

NBN Co, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that from 2017 it will offer DOCSIS 3.1 over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it acquired from Telstra and Optus. The announcement is surprising because just two-and-a-half weeks ago, on February 23rd, NBN Co spoke of designing its …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015
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