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US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016

In brave new 5G world, data centres are pizza boxes... or football fields

OPFVN 2016 Flexible tech such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation will be a prerequisite for our brave new 5G world, reckon Intel and Ericsson. Speaking at the open-source network function virtualisation (OPNFV) project, the general manager of Intel's SDN division, John Healy, said the technologies …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
huawei store in shanghai , china by J. Lekavicius /Shutterstock - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Huawei: Come 2017, we'll also deal in pure, uncut software

OPNFV Summit Huawei is poised to make its big push into flogging pure software products next year - an area its cloudy chief architect believes will come to dominate other parts of the biz. Speaking at the the open-source network function virtualisation (OPNFV) project summit in Berlin, Uli Kleber, chief architect of cloud platform for its …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Linux's NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be 'cool' like, er, Facebook

OPNFV Summit Network operators have a jealous eye on the likes of Facebook and Google and want to ditch their clunky networks to compete for "cooler" consumer services, the head of the open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) project has said. Heather Kirksey is director of the collaborative Linux foundation's OPNFV project – the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

Microsoft has launched its entry into the near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments space. The Microsoft Wallet app will allow Windows Mobile users whose phones are equipped with NFC hardware to link their bank accounts and credit cards to their handsets for retail transactions. Currently, the Wallet app is limited to a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016

Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

One thing the Brexit debate hasn't been short on is hyperbole, with much talk about a potential economic Armageddon triggered by a leave scenario. Certainly there has been no shortage of tech companies loudly nailing their colours to the remain mast. Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise even went so far as to email staff …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016

Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

TalkTalk is down again, with frighteningly little being said by the business as to why. A post on its official forums copped to the problem, apologising for the lack of services. The website at has been replaced with a holding page, where the telco is informing visitors that the "Customer Service team are …

TalkTalk says 8-month app outage lasting 'bit longer than we hoped'

TalkTalk's Talk2Go app has been offline for eight months - since that breach, in fact - but that hasn't stopped the business reminding those trying to leave that they'd be missing out on it if they went elsewhere. Talk2Go is a free app allowing customers to "make calls to friends and family using your landline minutes on your …

One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Mobile operator Three is pushing ahead with plans to block ads on its network in the UK during a one-day trial next month. Sam Barker, an analyst at Juniper Research, said other operators are likely to follow suit. "Although the operators are likely to push this as a consumer-focused benefit, the reality is that the operators …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2016

Florida man, Chinese biz fined $48k, $35m on mobe signal jam raps

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Florida chap and a Chinese business over cellphone jamming boxes. The watchdog said it will try to extract [PDF] $34.9m from Shenzhen-based retailer CTS Technologies for marketing illegal jammers and, in a separate case, will fine [PDF] a bloke $48,000 for using a …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Three UK: Our MMS prices are up. Get around us with WhatsApp or Skype

From next month Three customers are advised to be more selective when sending pics of their food, cats or drunken escapades - as the mobile operator is more than doubling its pricing. Or, you know, you could just use an OTT app. Yes, like the ones that are eating mobile operators' breakfasts with internet voicecalls over Wi-Fi …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2016
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 …

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

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 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

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