Mobile > More stories

Loon balloon

Inside Project Loon – Google's megaplan to build a global internet

Google I/O 2016 Google's I/O developer conference isn't just about code – the Chocolate Factory has many schemes and attendees have been drawn to a large balloon hovering in a corner of the conference venue. The balloon is an example of Project Loon, Google's plan to loft thousands of balloons equipped with LTE antennae that will bring …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2016
Phone thief, photo via Shutterstock

Catz: Google's Android hurt Oracle's Java business

Google’s free distribution of Android damaged Oracle’s business – according to Oracle. The database giant reportedly told a US federal court that giving Android to handset makers for free destroyed the revenue it could have made on licensing Java. Oracle's co-chief executive Safra Catz reportedly told a San Francisco jury …
Gavin Clarke, 18 May 2016

Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Something for the Weekend, Sir? YOU LOVE IT YOU SLAG This was, as alert followers of my column may recall, the first SMS text message I ever received on my first ever mobile phone, sometime during the last century. I did not bother to find out who sent it to me. It was a wrong number, of course... but not knowing with absolute certainty ensures that the …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016
the red underpants are bugging from buechertiger's Flickr feed of Bonn street art

Vodafone changes mind, wants 700 MHz spectrum after all

Vodafone has put a half-billion-dollar offer to the Australian government for the 700 MHz spectrum it skipped in the government's 2013 spectrum auction. The company has told telecommunications industry newsletter Communications Day it wants to take the licenses for a shorter term than the auctioned spectrum – 11 years rather …
DirecTV

AT&T credits DirecTV gobble for $41bn quarter

AT&T says its recent purchase of satellite provider DirecTV helped drive a 24 per cent jump in revenues. The US telco giant said that the $49bn merger was already beginning to pay dividends with its 2016 Q1 [PDF] period. "We're seeing good momentum with our initial integrated wireless, video and broadband offers," said AT&T …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2016

T-Mobile US gobbles up another 2.2m customers

For yet another quarter, "uncarrier" T‑Mobile US has shown that there is money to be made in giving customers what they want. Its revenue for Q1 2016 was up on the year-ago period to $8.6bn, beating analysts' expectations: Revenues: Up 10.6 per cent year-on-year to $8.6bn. Service revenues up 13 per cent year-on-year to $6. …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Apr 2016

EE grows network by one-third, promises to build 750 new sites

EE has is expanding its 4G network by one-third to cover 95 per cent of the UK by 2020 – following its mega contract with the Home Office to provide emergency services coverage across the country. Under the plan the operator is building 750 new sites across the country in a bid to eradicate "notspots". It is the first major …
Kat Hall, 25 Apr 2016
A broken cable box

Verizon is big on IoT 'cos its wireline biz is dying on the vine

Verizon says that it will focus on "developing new markets," as the telco giant was just able to keep revenues on the uptick. The US carrier said that it would be shifting a focus over towards the internet of things (IoT) and its content market in the coming months, as it looks to bolster sagging revenues in other parts of its …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2016
Woman frustrated while trying to make mobile phone call... Photo via Shutterstock

Peak Cable looms: One in five US homes now mobile-only for internet

The number of American households relying solely on mobile networks for internet access has doubled over the past two years. This is according to Uncle Sam's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) who says that its 2015 internet usage numbers show that 20 per cent households use mobile networks …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Apr 2016

US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

America's flagship news program 60 Minutes has demonstrated how to "hack" a US congressman's smartphone. One little thing to bear in mind about this incredible scoop: the vulnerability has been in circulation since 2014 ... and it requires high-level access to global phone networks. House representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) loaned …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2016

TalkTalk broadband customers continue to flee

Broadband customers at TalkTalk continued to flee the operator during the first three months of this year, with 126,000 customers switching away from the provider. That was on the back of 250,000 broadband customers switching to other suppliers in the previous quarter, according to research from Kantar World Panel. Some 17 …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2016
Aries

Facebook open-sources city-wide WiGig internet comms, phone masts

Facebook's quest to connect the remaining four billion people on the planet without internet access up to Facebook the web is a huge task. On Thursday, Facebook showed off its open-source telecommunications tech that it hopes will get unconnected folks connected, and give those of us already on the internet a smoother ride. …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2016

Ruckus: A strong buy for Brocade, but leaves Juniper isolated again

Comment Pity poor Juniper. The networking company’s alliance with Ruckus Wireless last summer raised hopes that it would strike it third time lucky in the Wi-Fi market, filling the gaping wireless gap in its platform. Now Brocade has snatched carrier Wi-Fi leader Ruckus from under its rival’s nose with a $1.2bn acquisition. It's the …
Wireless Watch, 13 Apr 2016

UK competition watchdog gripes to Brussels about Three-O2 merger

Britain's competition regulator has written to Brussels to put the brakes on the proposed £10.25bn merger between Three and O2 unless a fourth mobile operator is proposed. In a letter to Europe's competition chief Margarethe Vestager, chief executive of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Alex Chisholm, reiterated the …
Kat Hall, 11 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

Three UK is making a last-ditch attempt to win EU approval of its £10.25bn O2 merger with a number of sweeteners, including £3bn in network deals with competitors, according to reports. According to The Telegraph, Three's owner, CK Hutchison, has signed deals with Virgin and Sky that will guarantee space on its expanded mobile …
Kat Hall, 7 Apr 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

Vodafone has once again come under fire for poor customer service, this time for its handling of a computer glitch that led to customers being overcharged. A spokeswoman admitted the company experienced problems last year when it migrated records onto a new billing system. "Unfortunately, there were some problems during the …
Kat Hall, 6 Apr 2016

Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

Two reports by privacy campaigners into mobile and Wi-Fi services' location tracking activities have revealed practices of questionable legality and security. The studies found that “at best, companies are fulfilling the minimal legal requirements, and at worst could breaking the law and breaching our right to privacy.” The …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

EE most 'reliable' mobile provider for cities – Ofcom

Communications regulator Ofcom has named EE the mobile provider with the fastest speeds in four major cities, according to research published today. EE came out on top in all five categories: download speeds, web-browsing speeds, upload speeds, video streaming and even - gasp - telephone calls in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2016
A grandmother gives cash to grandson. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom puts aside a little bit of spectrum for Internet of Things things

A proportion of very high frequency (VHF) wireless spectrum will be reserved for future use by Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, the UK telecoms regulator has announced. Ofcom will also create a new category of licence specifically for IoT/machine-to-machine (M2M) communications applications, along with a “dedicated …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2016

DARPA issues collaborative spectrum sharing challenge

Static spectrum allocation is going to pass its use-by date soon, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has kicked off a US$2 million challenge to find co-operative ways to share radio frequencies. DARPA's project page, here, describes its aim simply: it wants to replace static spectrum …
Bristol's massive MIMO testbed

Bristol boffins blast 1.59 Gbps down ONE 20 MHz channel

VIDEO In what's being touted as a “5G breakthrough”, University of Bristol researchers have demonstrated that MIMO (multi-in, multi-out) antenna arrangements can be scaled up to more than 100 transmitters. The demonstration, as described in a canned statement, used 128 antennas transmitting to as many as 12 single-antenna clients …
Shoppers escalators1 photo via Shutterstock

Google to unleash Android Pay on UK shoppers within 'months'

Google’s smartphone payment system, Android Pay, is coming to the UK “in the next few months". The payment service, released in September 2015, will début with a host of the UK’s retailers, banks and financial services institutions on board, Google said on Wednesday. Android Pay is already available in the US, with a claimed …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Mar 2016

A third of Australians lose mobile services after Telstra outage

Australian incumbent telco Telstra has been forced to offer another day of free mobile data after a nationwide outage knocked out mobile services for eight million customers across the country. The carrier says the cause of the outage, the second in about a month, was an offshore connection issue affecting international …
Darren Pauli, 17 Mar 2016

Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month

CK Hutchison’s Three network says each customer burns through 5GB of mobile data a month, on average, and around half of that is YouTube traffic*. Three carries 42 per cent of the UK’s mobile bits, and it has seen an increase of 1.7GB per customer per month from last year. The UK network disclosed its financial results today …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2016
Prey for the Gods - game by No Matter studios (sequel to In the Shadow of the Colossus)

CK Hutchison/O2: 'Four networks' dogma risks one giant and three hopeless dwarves

Analysis Three parent CK Hutchison is so keen to get its merger of O2 approved by Brussels, it’s willing to give up infrastructure and spectrum that a new entrant could use to create a fourth network. Brussels (and Ofcom) remain dead set on the UK having four major networks, rather than regulations that beef up competition from Virgin …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2016
Woman frustrated while trying to make mobile phone call... Photo via Shutterstock

David Cameron hints at Budget law change to end mobile not-spots

David Cameron has hinted a law change will be introduced in the budget next week to make it easier to erect mobile phone masts in “not spot” areas. Cameron was responding to a Parliamentary question yesterday asked by Conservative MP Andrew Morrison, asking what will be done ahead of next week's budget to address the UK's …
Kat Hall, 10 Mar 2016

Stop whining, America: Your LTE makes Europe look slow

US consumers love to moan about their internet providers, but in reality they enjoy superior LTE speeds to Europe. A vendor’s global survey of mobile broadband performance highlights some intriguing trends - and tips India to leapfrog into the future. For years the US was a poor relation of Europe when it came to mobile. …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Mar 2016

Feel old? You will now: Blighty's mobile network Three is a teenager

Hutchison Whampoa’s Three network turns 13 today. The fifth mobile network to launch in the UK went live on … the March 3, 2003. Or 3-3-03. (Geddit? The date was no accident: 3 is a lucky number in Chinese culture.) Car crash Even with Hutch’s billions behind it, 3 had a rotten launch. The entire industry was suffering a …

Surprise! British phone wins Best Product at Mobile World Congress

MWC16 When’s the last time a British company won Best Product at Mobile World Congress? In fact it was yesterday - but few people realise how British this product actually is. The rugged CAT S60 phone was one of the most unusual and talked about devices in Barcelona this week, sporting a thermal imaging camera. Although it’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2016

Can Qualcomm broker a peace deal between LTE and Wi-Fi in unlicensed spectrum?

MWC16 Here’s something you wouldn’t expect to see at Mobile World Congress: LTE and Wi-Fi service providers and vendors together in a room, clinking champagne glasses to celebrate a new technology that will allow the two wireless standards to use the same band of unlicensed spectrum. So it was at the MulteFire Alliance launch on …

Between you, EE and the lamppost ... this UK cell network is knackered

Updated UK cellphone network EE has struggled to provide a decent service to Brits for most of today. Folks have complained for several hours that they've been unable to make calls or download stuff from the internet using their smartphones. EE's customer service has blamed a "PDP failure" for inconveniencing "a small percentage" of …
Chris Williams, 23 Feb 2016
shutterstock_236128771

Intel, Verizon et al loom over 5G, tapping their feet, coughing politely

Intel, Verizon and Facebook are among the big names trying to advance 5G wireless broadband networks this year. All three companies issued releases bigging up their respective efforts to build, test, and create content to shift around on the next-gen wireless broadband. For Intel, the push is coming as a series of …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2016
Billboad image via Shutterstock

UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

Three UK and Three Italia are to offer network-level ad-blocking software from startup Shine Technologies to their customers. The telcos have implemented Shine’s ads blocker in the UK and Italy with plans for rapid rollout in Three’s other markets. The carriers are owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings, which has …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Feb 2016

Hey cellcos: Guess who's got your backhaul still? That's right. Big daddy BT

One of the things that will not be answered by any amount of discussion about 5G is how the huge increase in bandwidth expected in next generation cellular gets backhauled. But at Faultline we have assiduously tracked the ownership of fixed line assets throughout the US and Europe, anticipating the rising cost of backhaul to …
Faultline, 16 Feb 2016

India's ‘Facebook ruling’ is another nail in the coffin of the MNO model

Nobody could accuse India’s telecoms regulator, TRAI, of being in the operators’ pockets. This month it has, once again, set eye-watering reserve prices for the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction (see separate item), and now it has taken one of the toughest stances in the world on net neutrality, in effect banning zero rated or …
Wireless Watch, 15 Feb 2016

1Gbps quad-antenna mobile broadband chip dives off Qualcomm's drawing board

California chip designer Qualcomm says it has crafted an LTE modem capable of downloading data at 0.98Gbps, tops. Samples of the new Snapdragon X16 are in the hands of gadget makers, and should appear in products shipping in the second half of the year, we're told. The chip will be fabricated using a 14nm FinFET process. The …
Chris Williams, 11 Feb 2016

Three scoops 'most reliable network' crown, EE takes every other title

Three emerges as the UK’s most reliable mobile operator and EE as the UK’s fastest, in RootMetrics' biannual network survey. EE’s plump spectrum and its investment in capacity and benefits pay off in the results, where it was rated as first in five of the survey’s six key categories. Three won the reliability category for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Feb 2016

Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

The world’s wealthiest activist shareholder, Steve Ballmer, has offered another critique of Microsoft, the company he helped build. A Business Insider interview finds Ballmer – now an “outsider” – generous and complimentary on most aspects of Nadella’s leadership. Ballmer thinks SatNad’s “cloudobile” pivot was something he …

Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Exclusive Fraudsters who attempted to scam TalkTalk customers by using records of their maintenance engineer visits are thought to have bought that info from current or former staff. According to one ex-TalkTalk employee, who asked not to be named, the company uses a third-party system called Qube Portal to book visits and record …
Kat Hall, 9 Feb 2016

TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

A number of TalkTalk customers have had their maintenance visits data breached by fraudsters in an attempt to gain remote access of their computers, it has emerged. One customer, Chris, told The Register that a week after the cyber attack was reported he experienced some issues with his broadband, so TalkTalk sent an engineer …
Kat Hall, 8 Feb 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

New legislation could force EU countries to make sure the 700 MHz band of spectrum is made exclusively available for mobile services by the middle of 2020. The European Commission has published proposals to introduce new laws that would require EU countries to “allow the use of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 8 Feb 2016
Marina Bay hotel singapore. By https://www.flickr.com/photos/leonid_yaitsky/

If you're reading this on your phone, pray you're in Singapore

If you're reading this on your phone, pray you're in Singapore, New Zealand, Hungary or Israel, because they're the four nations where LTE networks deliver the fastest downloads. Clasp your hands and look heavenwards again if you live in the United Kingdom or United States , as those nations come in 29th and 55th respectively in …