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Cheap LG androids

LG takes on Nokia X, Moto G: These are the cheapie 'droids you've been looking for

Nokia's X and Motorola's G now have two new rivals to compete for the reals, pesos and quetzals as LG targets emerging markets with landfill Androids. The New LG L Fino and L Bello, to be launched at IFA in Berlin, will go on sale in South America first but will also be launched in Europe, Asia, and CIS soon after. The budget 3G …
Simon Rockman, 22 Aug 2014

The Register Monopoly Pubcrawl Mobile Map: VODAFONE WINS VOICE

Special Report Check out the Register's interactive mobile coverage Monopoly map (voice only for now) right here. While all the sexy stuff these days in mobile phones is web, apps and tweeting, voice calls are still the major thing people use mobile phones for. The Register and mobile network survey experts GWS took to the London streets to …
Simon Rockman, 22 Aug 2014
John Legere

Cult of T-Mob US wants you to INDOCTRINATE your friends and family

T-Mobile US has promised a year's free mobile data for subscribers who convince friends and family to join its network. The biz said that from 29 August it will reward customers who refer peeps from other carriers with one year of free LTE data for both the customer and the referred party. Those with unlimited data plans will …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014
Nokia Asha 501

Microsoft ropes in Opera Mini as default Nokia dumbphone browser

Opera will provide the browser for Microsoft's last dumbphones, under a new agreement between the two companies. Nokia's low-cost Asha devices and its feature phones currently use a proxy-based browser, Nokia Xpress, using Nokia's own servers. This will continue to work, but new devices will ship with Opera Mini, which uses …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Aug 2014
Testing at Marble Arch

Roll up for El Reg's 3G/4G MONOPOLY DATA PUB CRAWL

Special Report In January I was in the pub with Richard, an old school friend I hadn’t seen for 30 years and whom I was keen to impress. Then he asked one of those seemingly simple questions. “Simon,” he said. “You’ll know which 4G network I should be on”. Just 10 words but a whole heap of trouble. And like any good pub conversation, it led to …
Simon Rockman, 21 Aug 2014
Fight Night Champion

EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore

EE is still the best mobile network in the UK, but the others are catching up and Three is the one to watch. This is the conclusion of the latest report from RootMetrics the mobile survey company which regularly looks at UK mobile coverage and is headed by Bill ‘Frappuccino’ Moore. The previous survey descended into a war of …
Simon Rockman, 19 Aug 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Exclusive The Metropolitan Police has spent more than two years lobbying phone manufacturers and the government in a bid to introduce mandatory passwords on every new unit sold in Blighty, The Reg has learned. Senior officers from the Met's National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) have met with firms including Apple and Samsung to discuss …
Jasper Hamill, 19 Aug 2014
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure

New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first

The new CEO of US mobile operator Sprint says he's planning aggressive moves to regain market share starting next week, but the big changes he has in mind will make job cuts unavoidable. According to a report by telecoms industry news site Light Reading, Marcelo Claure, Sprint's newly minted chief exec, told employees at a …
Neil McAllister, 15 Aug 2014

EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

Updated EE customers are struggling to access the mobile network. A number of subscribers have reported seeing "PDP authentication failure" error messages on their smartphones, but EE has yet to put out an official announcement about the tech blunder. It told one user in a muted tweet that the company was "aware of the issue and are …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2014

What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?

Vodafone has been chided for misleading customers with a telly ad that wrongly implied that the majority of Blighty's emergency services' staff personally subscribed to the mobile operator. Britain's ad watchdog agreed with three out of four complaints submitted by the parent company of rival O2 - Telefonica UK. The TV …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2014

UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom

All of Blighty's mobile phone networks are providing great coverage and you can make a successful voice call nearly 100 per cent of the time. And the source of this wonderful news? Why, it's … er, the mobile phone networks themselves. Oh. The latest report (PDF) from telecoms regulator Ofcom shows that all the mobile phone …
Simon Rockman, 13 Aug 2014

Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app

A new app and service aimed at people with sight impairments is being cooked up on Silicon Roundabout. The service, called Eyebridge, is being put together by Guy Curlewis and Andrew Law, who believe that a smartphone camera linked to a call centre could be of use to blind and poorly sighted people. Versions of Eyebridge are …
Simon Rockman, 12 Aug 2014
3 In Hong Kong has launched a sailfish phone

Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'

Dented Linux mobile OS Sailfish has taken a new route to market as Three in Hong Kong prepares to start selling the smartphone-that-could-have-been from Jolla. The Linux-based OS has had a tortuous history. The open source OS, based on the MeeGo operating system, was first developed, and then dropped, by Nokia. Since then it has …
Simon Rockman, 12 Aug 2014
Woman throttling man

Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum

Ericsson and SoftBank in Japan have demonstrated a system which lets the network control not just how much bandwidth you have but how much spectrum each user gets to play with. Throttling heavy users and giving more capacity to those on higher tariffs usually takes place at an IP level, but now Ericsson and SoftBank have shown …
Simon Rockman, 12 Aug 2014
Spam

Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

The infrastructure for text messaging is creaking. Not only does it need to be fixed, but it seems mobile operators don’t understand enough about their own systems to do it themselves. This is according to Louise O'Sullivan, CEO of mobile solutions firm Anam Technologies. She maintains that the problem that needs fixing lies in …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014
GCHQ as seen on Google Earth

O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge

Both Vodafone and O2 are claiming to be the best mobile phone network for people, particularly government people, who are worried about security. O2 is crowing about achieving the secure and government-approved network certification known as CAS(T), which stands for CESG Assured Service (Telecommunications), O2 being the first …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014

Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms

The number of machine-to-machine (M2M) mobile data connections in the UK increased by nine per cent last year on 2012 figures, UK communications regulator Ofcom has reported. In its annual communications market report (429-page/4.10MB PDF), the regulator said 5.6 million M2M mobile data connections were made in the year ending …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Aug 2014
Brazil flag

Telefónica bids for Vivendi's Brazilian bits: Telecom Italia gasps

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica’s unexpected €6.7bn bid to buy Brazilian broadband operator GVT, which is owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi, has put the cat among the pigeons across the Mediterranean at Telecom Italia, Italy’s largest telco. Telefonica, which owns O2 in the UK, is already the largest mobile operator …
Faultline, 8 Aug 2014
Data breach image

'Up to two BEEELLION' mobes easily hacked by evil base stations

Black Hat 2014 videos The mechanisms used to update smartphone operating systems over the air are vulnerable to hijacking and abuse, researchers have claimed. Speaking at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, the infosec bods believe up to two billion handsets are at risk, and that in some cases patches for the flaw still haven't been …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2014
T-Mobile Sprint

POW! Sprint kills T-Mobile US bid ... BAM! CEO Hesse is out

Sprint has confirmed industry rumors by announcing the departure of its CEO, and has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US. The telco said Wednesday morning that big cheese Dan Hesse will leave the biz and hand the reins to Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure. Hesse will leave the position effective Monday, August 11. Claure cofounded …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2014

'POWER from AIR' backscatter tech now juices up Internet of Stuff Wi-Fi gizmos

Researchers who last year demonstrated they could harvest stray RF signals to power RFID tags have scaled-up their technology to power Wi-Fi devices. The University of Washington team is pitching their ultra low-power “backscatter harvesting” technology with the inevitable Internet of Things (IoT) tag, since if it could be …
Nanu VoiP over mobile data

Nanu nanu! Mork calling Orson on VoIP over 2G

A Singaporean outfit called Gentay Communications has launched “nanu”, an ad-funded VoIP-over-mobile-data service it says will succeed where others have failed. Ad-funded phone calls are an old idea, but have hardly ever met with success. Last March, for example, free mobile network operator Ovivo went titsup. Gentay's founder …

Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

Verizon is hitting back at the FCC's criticism over plans to throttle bandwidth hogs' download speeds. The US telco said in a letter [PDF], obtained by The Register, to the American watchdog's commissioner Tom Wheeler that its plan to limit data speeds at times of heavy use was not only legal – but a commonly used tactic for …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2014
cloud

BT offers vanilla mobile deal to biz bods

The latest deal for small businesses from BT is part of its move to become a mobile phone network again. The deal from BT Business includes a bundle of resold EE airtime and Wi-Fi – with or without hardware. The hardware bit includes a range of Android and Windows Phones and Apple, Android and Windows tablets. It's also offering …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2014
A fake iPhone with electric shock capabilities

Surfing the web from Android? We KNEW it – sorry, iOS fanbois

Google's Android has slipped past Apple's iOS to become the top mobile operating system for the first time, in terms of online usage. Figures from Net Marketshare show that devices powered by Android were detected browsing the web more than iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices running iOS throughout July 2014. Net Marketshare …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Aug 2014
Huawei P1

European networks giants have adjusted to life with Huawei at last

Analysis The wireless infrastructure vendors were uncharacteristically upbeat in their second quarter results announcements. The impact of Huawei and ZTE has overshadowed them for so long that it seemed like a permanent fixture, but to a great extent, the western suppliers, and their shareholders, have now adjusted to the reality of …
Do Not Adjust Your Set

Nokia Networks: Don't hate us, broadcasters – we're testing LTE for TV

Comment The Nokia Networking LTE Broadcast trial announced in Germany this week is all about building bridges between broadcasters and mobile operators, because it is about sending TV for televisions through an LTE Network, rather than TV for phones. And for a change the trial was explained clearly in its release, which meant quite a …
Faultline, 4 Aug 2014
Presidetn Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

President Obama has signed off on the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, meaning that, in the US, people can take their mobile phone and unlock it from the carrier that sold it to them. President Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act President Obama signs the Unlocking …
Iain Thomson, 2 Aug 2014

Operators get the FEAR as Ofcom proposes 275% hike in mobile spectrum fees

Ofcom has “rethought” the fees that UK mobile networks pay for their 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, based on the industry's reaction to its latest proposal. Previously Ofcom decided to hike the annual fee that the networks pay for access to spectrum from £65m to £309m – a relative rise of 375 per cent. That’s now been modified to …
Simon Rockman, 1 Aug 2014

Apple's iWatch may be DELAYED over sapphire glass supply problems

Problems with Apple's sapphire glass supply chain could mean the Apple iWatch will only be released in small numbers this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted. The latest leaked note from the respected KGI Securities bod has claimed that production of the iWatch will be moved back September to November. Kuo also …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Aug 2014
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

BlackBerry lands feature-light BBM on Windows Phone

The wait for BBM on Windows Phone is over. BlackBerry has brought its pioneering and much-imitated messaging app to Windows, following launches on Android and iOS last year, albeit with the "Beta" label. BBM for Windows looks a lot more like a native app than other BBM ports: it uses Windows Phone pivot views and includes …

Ah ha, mon amour violet ... French Iliad attempts to nibble on T-Mobile US

French telco Iliad has made a surprise offer to acquire a majority stake in mobile carrier T-Mobile US, though the bid may have already been shot down. Following multiple press reports, Iliad confirmed it was indeed making an offer to buy out a 56.6 per cent stake in T-Mob US. "The US mobile market is large and attractive," the …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Aug 2014
T-Mobile Zest 2

T-Mobile US preps for $43 MEEELLION shower of gold on cram victims

As American regulators at the FTC crack down on mobile bill "cramming" scams, T-Mobile US has ring-fenced at least $43 million – to refund customers who were fraudulently charged for premium SMS services. The network said in its quarterly earnings report that the expected payouts were among the non-recurring factors it listed …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2014
Angry woman on mobile

You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is demanding an explanation from Verizon over the carrier's decision to throttle LTE speeds for heavy users. Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote to Verizon CEO Daniel Mead seeking information about the network's plan to deliberately slow data speeds for the top five per cent of …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2014
Cortana China

Microsoft's Brit kid Cortana lands on UK WinPhone 8.1, but China's is the real cutie

Microsoft will be fine-tuning its virtual assistant Cortana in its first update to Windows Phone 8.1. The Siri rival is predicted to arrive on UK users' smartphones over the next few months. The preview pack for developers is already out, of course. Youtube Video Cortana will be coming to folks in Blighty and China as a beta …
australian credit cards fraud contactless

iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Apple's iWallet mobile money app could be the start of a more general trend that sees web giants such as Facebook pushing into the payment industry, according to online payment experts. iWallet would give iPhone-toting consumers the ability to pay for goods with their smartphones. It is predicted to use the firm's Touch ID …
John Leyden, 30 Jul 2014

Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms

Live Chat Our previous article about goTenna, a new device which allows mobile phones to communicate without signal, stirred up a lot of interest from readers and fellow journalists. goTenna CEO Daniela Perdomo and her brother, CTO Jorge Perdomo, held a live chat on El Reg this Friday, 1 August, at 3pm BST. Daniela Perdomo has worked in …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2014
Bletchley Park Manor House, photo: Gavin Clarke

Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage

Young property buyers see mobile coverage as a more important when it comes to choosing a location – rating it as more important than proximity to schools and transport or local crime rates, says a report commissioned by mobile survey company RootMetrics. It’s long been known that the main reason people change mobile networks is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2014

BlackBerry: We'll buy Angela Merkel's phone security company. HA!

BlackBerry has bought privately held German firm Secusmart as part of its drive to become the handset provider of choice for security-conscious clients such as government agencies and big businesses. Secusmart, which specialises in voice and data encryption, was already a partner of the one-time business phone giant, providing …

FTC to mobile carriers: If you could stop text scammers being jerks that'd be just great

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has urged mobile carriers to crack down on scams that lure people into receiving expensive texts. The commission has published a "cramming" report [PDF] that states that American networks are failing to protect subscribers from unfair or deceptive premium service charges, levied by sleazy …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2014

What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan

T-Mobile US reckons it has undercut its larger rivals with a discounted family plan to give four lines and 10GB of shared mobile data for $100 monthly. The carrier claims its new family plan will be $60 cheaper than those of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The $100 package gives each user 2.5GB per month and includes T-Mob's unlimited …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2014
Screenshots of the Samsung Z smartphone running Tizen

Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?

Samsung has postponed the launch of its new Samsung Z smartphone yet again, and given no indication of when we'll ever see the Tizen OS mobe on sale. The move delays the Samsung Z's world debut in Russia. The Linux-powered Z has been doing the rounds of developer conferences and events, but has yet to be spotted in the wild. …