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Optus sparks broadband HYPEGASM with gigasite trial

Optus has deployed a 'gigasite' delivering 1.7 / 2.3 Gbps performance (strike out which does not apply) by running seven / eight spectrum bands in a single site (strike out which does not apply) using equipment from NSN / Huawei (strike out which does not apply), demonstrating meaningless hype / the future of telecommunications …
CarPlay

Dashboard Siri! Take me to the airport! NO, NOT the RUNWAY! Argh!

Fanboi racers can soon embed an Apple tablet in their dashboard following the launch of iOS-powered CarPlay. Cupertino has signed up Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo to be the first manufacturers to fit Apple's touchscreen fondleslab into their cars. The CarPlay rollout is not a surprise: the in-car system tech was previously …
Jasper Hamill, 3 Mar 2014
Not Smart and not a book, but a smartbook

Alcatel unveils 'cheaper-than-Chromebook' Lapdock-alike phablet-powered laptop

MWC 2014 Alcatel had the distinction of previewing the least powerful device at MWC. At the mobile extravaganza, the French firm unveiled the prototype of the Hero, a dumb terminal which interfaces to its Hero mobile phone to provide a full screen and keyboard. The device is called a smartbook, but all the smarts actually reside in the …
Simon Rockman, 3 Mar 2014
Un Frog

French silver foxes use Fujitsu's Grandroid mobes... to send each other selfies

One of the features of the Fujitsu Stylistic phone, a device targeted at the older French market and sold by Orange France, is its dedicated social network. The Raku-Raku phones Fujitsu sells in Japan have a similar feature, and the silver-haired beta testers of the er, francophone, will soon be using it to get friendly with …
Simon Rockman, 28 Feb 2014
The Can

Software containers for BYOD/mobile device management: Big Tin Can

An environment which runs on a number of mobile platforms seeks to solve lots of the BYOD issues faced by corporates. It creates a balance between locking down a device so completely that people won't or can't use it and leaving the door open to miscreants. Such environments these days are often known as "containers" (or " …
Simon Rockman, 28 Feb 2014
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Blink once to turn right: Samsung asks software dev Teleca to talk Tizen

Symphony Teleca is the company the big equipment manufacturers go to when they want software written. Unlike most development houses it doesn't do apps for iPhone and Android and, er that's it. Teleca writes low level code and was commissioned by Samsung to look at the Tizen engine. Teleca head of mobile and media biz, Andrew …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014
Fujitsu F-07C Windows 7 phone

Fujitsu says SAYONARA to smartphone chip JV

Fujitsu has decided to end its aspirations to be a smartphone semiconductor player after dissolving a joint venture with NEC and NTT just 18 months after its launch. Access Network Technology Limited was established by Fujitsu in August 2012, with the firm taking a majority 52.8 per cent stake. Its Fujitsu Semiconductor …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
A man shouting angrily

New radio tech could HALVE mobe operators' bandwidth needs

MWC 2014 A team from Stanford University has patented a technology which could make a huge difference to mobile phone operators by halving their bandwidth requirements overnight. Kumu Networks is showcasing tech which allows radio equipment – such as that used by mobile telephones – to send and receive on the same frequency. It does this …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2014
T-Mobile modem

T-Mobile US: Our dump-your-network drive is doing SO WELL (PS: We lost $20m last quarter)

T-Mobile US is boasting over continued growth in subscribers for its mobile services, despite losing $20m this quarter. The firm said that over the fourth quarter of its 2013 fiscal year it added some 1.6 million customers, topping off 4.4 million new customers over the full year. The company noted that more than half of the new …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Feb 2014

Hey 4G bods: We need to make 'phonecalls' with our 'voices', too

MWC 2014 It’s well documented that voice is little more than an afterthought on 4G. That’s now being addressed, says Paul Gowans from network tech specialist JDSU, but it will be some time before you can reliably pick up a 4G phone and make a call to another one. JDSU runs services for all kinds of networks, not just mobile. It does …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2014

Say WHAT? Qualcomm, MediaTek scrap over who has best 'marketing gimmick' octocore

MWC 2014 Qualcomm launched its first 8-core processors at Mobile World Congress this week, after last year describing octocore chips as "a marketing gimmick". “You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari," Qualcomm's senior VP Anand Chandrasekher said last year. "We don’t do …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2014

LG offers BRAIN-SAVING CANCER-BL... er 'good luck charms'

MWC 2014 What LG would like us to be writing about is its Knock Code – a system which takes the idea of drawing a shape to unlock a phone and replaces it with a Simon-style pattern of taps. That might have been the case if LG hadn’t chosen to promote the technology by handing out a, ahem, "radiation shield". This will "protect" you, but …
Simon Rockman, 25 Feb 2014

What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

Multibillion-dollar chat app WhatsApp will let users make voice calls, it was announced today. Its makers said that in the second quarter of 2014 it would begin rolling out support for voice comms for iOS and Android devices with Windows Phone and BlackBerry support planned for a later date. Announcing the new service at a …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2014
Global Wireless solutions coverage testing backpack

Mobe operators, need to check your network? There’s an app for that

MWC 2014 US mobile network checking company Global Wireless Solutions says there is a gap between its traditional way of testing mobile coverage using vans driving around with $300k of testing kit in the back and crowd-sourced reports on quality of mobile network coverage. The problem with using vans to check networks goes beyond cost. …
Simon Rockman, 24 Feb 2014

Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

MWC 2014 Three years after it announced a switch to Windows Phone, Nokia launched a family of Android-based phones today at Mobile World Congress 2014. Nokia's new X family of mobes... The first three devices revealed today at Mobile World Congress adopt the same strategy Amazon has with Android: use the open-source base and develop …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2014
BlackBerry logo

T-Mobile US makes peace offering with $250 BlackBerry olive branch

In a move to calm outraged BlackBerry fanbois after suggesting they should get an iPhone, T-Mobile US is offering them $200 towards any newer handset available, be it a BlackBerry, Android gadget or iPhone. The limited-time offer is open to subscribers and anyone who signs up to the wireless carrier. Folks already on T-Mob US …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2014
The ITMugs Surf for Porn mug

Fandroids get their very own PERVY SMUT browser

SFW Are you a pr0n-loving Fandroid who's sick of having to toggle the privacy button every time you view a grumble flick? There's help, er, at hand, apparently, with the release of the world's first ever smut-focused web browser. A developer called Steven Goh has designed a new mobile web browser which is unsubtly called Jerky, a …
SA Mathieson, 19 Feb 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Nearly half of European tourists say they would never use mobile internet in another EU country and over a quarter turn off their mobiles altogether over fears of monstrous phone bills when they get home. The European Commission, which is trying to get roaming charges abolished, surveyed 28,000 EU citizens and reckon that …
Smartphone user on Tube

Opera launches public beta of data-saving app

Norwegian browser-maker Opera Software has announced a limited public beta of Opera Max – a new app designed to let users get more out of limited data plans. Opera has offered "off-road mode" in its browser for a while now, with the feature promising to reduce the amount of data consumed by the application. Last year turned that …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Feb 2014
Fight Night Champion

FIGHT! BlackBerry,T-Mobile US CEOs clash in 'inappropriate' ad spat

Wireless carrier T-Mobile US would like to see its BlackBerry customers switch over to Apple's camp – and die-hard BlackBerry users are none too happy about it, to say nothing of BlackBerry CEO John Chen. The brouhaha began last week, when T-Mobile US reportedly sent emails to some of its customers offering them financing on new …
Neil McAllister, 19 Feb 2014
The existing, human crewed Caterpillar 797B

Ericsson and Kodiak in Europe WALKIE-TALKIE-style push-to-talk push

Push-to-talk company Kodiak has struck a deal with Ericsson to sell the systems it is currently touting to the US market through American firm Cspire to European telcos. The pair are aiming to sell these services to both real mobile network operators and virtual ones. The technology emulates an old-fashioned walkie-talkie using …
Simon Rockman, 18 Feb 2014
First Data's Claover an Android based point of sale terminal

First Data hoiks out custom Android point-of-sale fondleslab

Around half US online transaction revenue goes through payments firm First Data’s systems. They have such a large volume of transaction information they are used as an economic barometer by the US government. In Europe they have 660,000 point-of-sale terminals, and nearly ten times that across the world. $58bn went through their …
Simon Rockman, 18 Feb 2014
Viber logo

Play.com tech titan snaps up 'VoIP-tastic WhatsApp' firm Viber

Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten will slurp messaging app Viber for $900m in cash as it continues its plans for world domination. The firm behind Play.com offers services from shopping to online video and is now adding messaging and VoIP to its repertoire courtesy of Viber, which is run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon …

Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

A pilot scheme to test mobile phone signal blocking technology in Scottish prisons will go live in two jails in the next few weeks, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced. MacAskill was visiting HMP Shotts, one of the prisons chosen for the pilot, to see the technology beings installed and said that the scheme was due to …
USB Stress Panic Button

So cool it 2.4 gigahertz: BATTERY-FREE comms for international band

Embedded wireless solutions company EnOcean is planning to show the first self-powered transmitter to work at 2.4GHz. The radio isn't passive, the power to run the radio is generated through motion, light or temperature changes. Specifically this takes the form of an electromechanical converter which is as easy to press as a …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2014

Ono board mulls Vodafone's offer to grab its pipe for £5.8bn

The board of Spain's biggest cable operator Ono will meet today to decide if it should accept a £6bn (€7bn) bid from Vodafone or push ahead with its plans for an IPO. The sale would see a reasonable return on investment for the four venture funds Anglo-CCMP, Providence, Thomas H Lee and Quadrangle, which invested in 2005. …
Simon Rockman, 11 Feb 2014
Thibaut_Kleiner

EU network tech boss: Europe to take the lead on 5G (thanks, Huawei)

At the 5G@Europe Summit on Monday, Brussels networking czar Thibaut Kleiner said that Europe will "lead" the way with 5G, and that this will mean growth in the IT sector and the economy at large. The Munich event was heavily sponsored by Huawei and while panel members included representatives from French telecom and networking …
Simon Rockman, 11 Feb 2014
Microsoft Clippy

Qipp debuts 'Clippy for your STUFF' app

It looks like it's time to oil your bike chain. Would you like to 1) check warranty instructions 2) just oil it already and/or 3) check if the kids' bikes need attention? A new mobile app called Qipp aims to help you organise your life by putting all of your possessions into a database. You enter details of your things such as …
Simon Rockman, 10 Feb 2014
Vodafone on Piccadilly

Vodafone's Euro revenues slump by nearly TEN PER CENT

Vodafone's latest results make grim reading for the company's investors, with revenues in established markets falling and subscribers drifting away despite the firm's 4G investments. The British mobe operator's service revenues fell in Europe by 9.6 per cent and was only partially offset by gains in India and Turkey. The group …
Borg

Yet ANOTHER Brit MOBE tower BORG: Three and EE ink network-sharing deal

A new deal between EE and Three will apparently see the two British mobile operators sharing their cellular networks, according to reports. Neither company has an obligation in its licence to provide a certain level of coverage – the only company which does is Telefonica's O2, which is required to provide 98 per cent indoor …
Simon Rockman, 4 Feb 2014
The Powa hardware

Ker-ching...Er, ZZZWIP: Square-alike mobile swipe type scores $96m

Sitting above what used to be Laskys in London's Tottenham Court Road is a British mobile money startup which has just raised almost $100m in its second round of funding. Powa, together with its mobile products mPowa and Powatag, provides a system for retailers to both take payments and mine information about their customers. …
Simon Rockman, 3 Feb 2014
Motorola StarTAC

HELLO LENOVO. Do you really, really want to make smartphones?

Analysis Lenovo has bought third place in today's smartphone market by acquiring fallen giant Motorola. Not a bad performance since it only created its 'MIDH' mobile division three years ago. But is this really a prize worth fighting for? Lenovo took the No.1 spot in PCs last year from HP with a huge home advantage in China, where it …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jan 2014

Sprint to buy T-Mobile US? Not so fast, says antitrust official

Rumors persist that US mobile carrier Sprint may be looking to snap up smaller rival T-Mobile US, but a top antitrust enforcer has warned that any such deal would be very unlikely to meet regulatory approval. "It's going to be hard for someone to make a persuasive case that reducing four firms to three is actually going to …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jan 2014
Three Huawei E585

Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down

British mobile network Three is having data issues this morning, cutting its subscribers off from the internet. Despite having no access to the web, frustrated users still managed to tweet about how annoyed they were to be kicked offline: This AM @ThreeUK rolled out their new 0G internet to a few thousand London customers. …

Mobe industry quails as Ofcom floats idea of QUADRUPLING 2G spectrum prices

The GSM Association has castigated Ofcom for wanting to quadruple the price of the mobile phone spectrum mostly used for 2G. The price hike, which will hit the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, was proposed in an Ofcom document issued in October. John Giusti, head of spectrum at the GSMA, said: “We focused on the relative impact that a …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jan 2014

Radio boffins remember the future-ture-ture: From the Cold War to (White) SPAAAAACE

Attention radio boffins: hankering for a look at some vivacious valves? Have some ideas on what "could have been" had Britain gotten its hands on certain broadcasting tech just THAT much sooner? There's a wireless heritage special interest group at Cambridge Wireless with plenty of hot models to ponder from the past "100 years …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jan 2014
Apple iPod Touch 5G

Apple declares war on PAYPAL: Pay-by-bonk + iTunes = profit, right?

Apple is planning to take on Paypal with its own mobile payment system, it has been claimed. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Eddy Cue, the man in charge of iTunes and the App Store, has been meeting with industry bigwigs to discuss using iDevices to handle payments for goods or service. It is understood that …
Jasper Hamill, 27 Jan 2014
Back of iPhone 5

Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

Apple is preparing to unveil a new iPhone with a larger screen, it has been claimed. Fruity sources suggested to the Wall Street Journal that the new phone will come in two models. The first will have a screen of 4½ inches (11.4cm) measured diagonally, and a second version will boast a display of up to 5 inches (12.7cm). The …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Jan 2014
Back of iPhone 5

Apple: That 'white screen of death' nightmare? We'll fix it... AT SOME POINT

Apple has promised to fix the dreaded "white screen of death" bug that has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth after causing fanbois' phones to crash. Ever since the release of the fruity firm's last mobiles, the iPhone 5C and 5S, the Apple forum has filled up with angry fanbois complaining that their mobes "randomly shut …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Jan 2014

Verizon's transparency report shows more than 320,000 US data slurping orders

Verizon has published its first transparency report detailing how often governments come calling for customer records and conversations – and the results show the amount of stuff Google, Microsoft and others hand over is just a drop in the ocean by comparison. "Our report reflects the fact that telecom providers receive more …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2014

How much do you trust T-Mobile US? Enough to let it be your bank?

T-Mobile US is now offering debit cards that can be managed using a smartphone app. The network operator and Bancorp Bank today launched the prepaid cards and software as Mobile Money, which is aimed at its subscribers who want to, for example, cash paychecks without having to pay middlemen a fee. Each of the T-Mobile-US- …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014
using mobile when, er, upwardly mobile

Ofcom says yes to sat broadband on PLANES (and trains and ships)

A generous allocation of 4,128 MHz worth of spectrum running from 27.5GHz to 30GHz (albeit not contiguous) will give data speeds of 50Mbit/sec to a single plane or ship and an estimated 10Mbit/sec per user thanks to a new frequency allocation from Ofcom. The ruling allows "Earth station antennas" on moving vehicles which will …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2014