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Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

Microsoft's ex-Nokia phones unit has produced the successor to the Lumia 520, its best-selling Windows Phone by miles, topping the charts in the UK's Crimbo sales. The Lumia 530 is priced at €85 (£67) before taxes or subsidies, or an initial street price of €100, around £79. It's clearly designed to sit in the £70 sweet spot …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Bungling cops in Yorkshire have called upon householders to lock down their Wi-Fi after mistaking a free hotspot user for a piggybacking connection thief. A Reg reader from Heckmondwike claims that a local busybody called the police after seeing him access the internet using BT's Fon service, which allows customers to access …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz, Macquarie University

All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on

The 5G arms race has commenced, but beneath the duelling “my 5G is faster than your 5G” demos, there's serious work going on – and whatever the future of 5G, that work will change the future of mobility one way or the other. With that in mind, The Register spoke to Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz of Macquarie University. In May, …

Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Apple has told its suppliers to build a mighty mountain of 70 to 80 million new iPhone 6s. The new Jesus handset is expected to come in two sizes and arrive this year. This means that the number of brand-new iPhones could match the population of Germany, which is inhabited by slightly more than 80 million souls, and totally …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Jul 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

It's FONDLEMANIA: Mobile devices outstrip PCs on China's internet

Mobile devices have edged out PCs when it comes to Chinese online browsing, an official government agency in the People's Republic said on Monday. For the first time more Chinese folk are plugging into the internet using phones or tablets, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said (PDF in Chinese), according to …
Team Register, 21 Jul 2014
Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

iThing builder Foxconn applies to be mobile network operator in China

Foxconn, maker of Apple's iPhone, wants to own a mobile phone network in China and has applied for an MVNO licence. Under Chinese law Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, cannot own an MVNO itself and so is partnering with an unnamed Chinese internet company, according to an MVNO Dynamics report. That …
Simon Rockman, 21 Jul 2014
Gotenna offers secure communications

GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

You may have been hearing about a well-nigh miraculous device called GoTenna lately - a gadget which, apparently, lets your phone work even if there's no network coverage to be had. GoTenna is a two-way radio for mobile phones: it pairs with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth and uses 151-154 MHz radio to communicate with …
Simon Rockman, 21 Jul 2014

Move up, Siri and Cortana: BlackBerry's new... 'Assistant' is here

BlackBerry has unveiled a voice-powered assistant due to appear on its BB10 devices later this year. Imaginatively named er, "BlackBerry Assistant", the speech software hooks into web searches, social media and basic phone functions, like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Now. We tried Assistant on a very early leak …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Microsoft's Android phones are the latest casualty of the company's axe. The X range was only launched in February this year, before the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit had been completed, but the mutant 'droids will soon be phased out, says CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft is getting rid of up to 18,000 jobs as it digests the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Edward Snowden should be shielded from prosecution because the world needs people willing to expose violations of human rights, says the UN's High Commissioner for Human rights Navi Pillay. Speaking at the launch of a report into digital privacy, Pillay said Snowden's revelations “go to the core” of the UN's concerns about mass …
iPhone 4 unlocked

Want to legally unlock your phone from its network? The US Senate says that's A-OK

In a rare display of equanimity (and common sense), the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill allowing cell phone owners to unlock their handsets, should they choose to do so. "I applaud the Senate for so quickly passing the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which puts consumers first and …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

You can have “mobile first, cloud first” and target business and consumer users at the same time, apparently. So says Microsoft’s recently installed chief executive Satya Nadella, who reckons there’s no contradiction in his big plan for Microsoft. Nadella was speaking this afternoon at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jul 2014

US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe

Freemium mobile network FreedomPop has set its sights on Europe. The LA-based company has signed a deal with BASE, a subsidiary of Dutch telco and MVNO-lover KPN. It will launch in Belgium and then plans to expand to the UK, Germany, France and Spain. In the US FreedomPop’s model starts with a base price of $0 for 200 minutes of …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jul 2014
BlackBerry bleeding

If BlackBerry killed off its social gaming platform, would anybody notice?

Sticking to its knitting, BlackBerry is closing Scoreloop - the German social gaming platform and tools company it acquired in 2011 for $71m. The Canadian mobile phone company once known as RIM told the Wall Street Journal that this was in line with its focus on enterprise. When BlackBerry bought Scoreloop, it was at the height …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jul 2014

Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm plot spectrum-sharing test

Verizon, along with vendors Qualcomm and Ericsson, hopes to soon conduct field trials sharing spectrum currently owned by the US government as a means of expanding its wireless network capacity. Wireless carriers around the world face the problem of finding extra spectrum to support a huge population of new users expecting …
Cellular basestation antenna

Rural mobile coverage: Tweeting twits to join chirping tits in UK's national parks

The Mobile Operators Association has signed an accord with National Parks England to improve coverage over the 10 per cent of the UK which falls under the category of the national parks. Youtube Video The organisations are predictably keen to emphasise that this will be done without compromising any natural beauty. The move is …
Simon Rockman, 14 Jul 2014
Microsoft campus

Will Microsoft devices sit happily on a single platform?

The world can be a confusing place. Often a one-size-fits-all solution looks to be just the thing but ultimately it turns out that it fits no one. Microsoft is touting a single development environment for desktops, laptops, tablets, phablets, mobiles and the Xbox. Can this deliver? The platform for PC, phone and tablet comes …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2014

Telefonica inks deal with mobile ads platform: Find your customer? There's an API for that

Spanish telco Telefonica has looked to Brainstorm Mobile to supply it with a platform to roll out its global marketing strategy. The Brainstorm platform is also behind Weve, which is the UK consortium of mobile operators working in mobile marketing. By working directly with Brainstorm, Telefonica can use the service outside the …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2014

Do your execs take mobile security seriously?

Reader Poll One of the findings emerging from our latest poll is that many of you are highlighting a lack of exec awareness and air cover when it comes to mobile security. This in turn appears to translate to a lack of funding to put the systems in place to cope with new devices, BYOD and so on. Is this something you are experiencing? If …
Dale Vile, 11 Jul 2014
Silent Circle email

Silent Circle takes on Skype, Viber, mobile telcos with crypto-VoIP

Silent Circle has launched a global encrypted IP voice calling service that will go up against over-the-top services Skype and Viber, among others. The idea here, however, is that it will feature a way to communicate privately. It's more bad news for mobile carriers, which are already beating off roaming-revenue pinchers in the …
John Leyden, 10 Jul 2014

Siri, did we just take a hit in that voice-recog patent fight?

Apple has lost the first stage of a patent infringement battle in China over its voice-controlled assistant Siri – after a Beijing court ruled a speech-recognition patent held by the Chinese firm that launched the lawsuit is valid. The iPhone maker was arguing with both Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology and the State …
A boat full of Fail

TalkTalk talks itself into trouble with budget broadband package fibs

TalkTalk has been admonished for misleading customers with claims that it offered "Britain's lowest priced totally unlimited broadband". BT and another complainant challenged three separate issues with a series of adverts in the press and online that wrongly suggested that the budget telco had cheaper deals than its competitors …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Jul 2014
Isis mobile wallet logo

Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

US mobile payments biz Isis has decided to change its name to avoid associations with terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Isis – not an acronym for anything – offers a pay-by-tap platform that allows customers to use their NFC-enabled smartphones to make purchases wirelessly. As such, it competes directly …
Generic mast

O2 and 'leccy firm's MNVO bid flops as £25m glugs down the drain

A new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) planned by Scottish and Southern Energy has been switched off. The plan, as reported by Mobile magazine, was for the network to run on O2's infrastructure and use SSE’s customer base of 9.6 million customers. Two hundred thousand of those customers already have broadband and fixed …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jul 2014
Smartphones

IDC interview: The five stages of business mobility

Youtube Video It has long been a familiar feature of everyone’s working life but really we are all still waiting for mobile working to come of age. There has been plenty of progress, the advent of 4G and the uptake of cloud services having led to a big change of attitude in the last couple of years, but generally few UK …
Eira Hayward, 5 Jul 2014
padlock

BlackBerry knocks Google's KNOX LOCK PICK for Android

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, has hit out at Google’s decision to adopt Sammy’s KNOX security platform across the whole Android ecosystem. In a blog post on the official BlackBerry website Chen is quoted saying: While we applaud Google and Samsung for their plans, we don’t think it’s enough for security-minded enterprises. …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jul 2014
John Legere

T-Mobile US boss: Hey, FTC! We didn't make THAT much from 'bogus premium texts'

The head of T-Mobile US is refuting claims from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that his company made huge revenues from allowing customers to be flooded with expensive text messages. CEO John Legere said his cell network never bagged the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that the commission claims it did when people were …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jul 2014

British owners flog Virgin Mobile France

Virgin Mobile France has been sold to cable network Numericable. The French MVNO was 46 per cent owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group and 46 per cent owned by Carphone Warehouse, with the remaining shareholding being owned by the company management. The deal is valued at €325m, which given the 1.7 million subscribers is a …
Simon Rockman, 3 Jul 2014
Nokia Lumia 625 displaying Office app

Watch the videos of the Microsoft enterprise mobility event

Business Transformed – conference in full On June 4, Microsoft ran an enterprise mobility conference in London. Among the speakers were a tech-anthropologist, an IDC analyst and Microsoft execs and customers. As media partner for the event The Register was there to video the proceedings. Above is the webcast of the whole …
David Gordon, 3 Jul 2014

Got mobile security sussed yet? No fibbing, now

Reader Survey First we were told that BYOD would define the future of end user computing. Now many are saying that the use of personal devices for work isn't the way forward after all. While the truth is probably somewhere in between – BYOD for some users, but company devices for others – most agree that the use of mobile technology is set to …
Dale Vile, 3 Jul 2014
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

Xiaomi: Hidden Android dragon is growing fast, despite being unknown in the West

Xiaomi - the fastest growing mobile phone manufacturer - is now Number Three in China and setting its sights on the top spot. The company has said through its blog that it sold 26.11 million phones in the first six months of the year and has set a target of 60m phones for the full year. The figure shows extraordinary growth of …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jul 2014

FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

T-Mobile US has been accused of hitting customers with bogus text-message charges running into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against the carrier, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an investigation. The agencies alleged the company allowed users to be …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2014
Allows signals to reack those difficult places

Ericsson resurrects not-spot swatter

Mobile phone hardware firm Ericsson has relaunched its Radio Dot indoor mobile base station, aimed at networks which want to provide indoor coverage for major corporate clients. The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit Radio Dot is a system of small antennas …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jun 2014
Zune for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 world conquest plan: folders!

Sharp-eyed Twitter chap @ebin_5 has spotted something interesting: a reference to folders in future versions of Windows Phone. Ebin published a link to a Microsoft page categorised as having something to do with Windows Phone 8 and the title “Create folders on my Start screen”. That page has since disappeared from Windowsphone. …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jun 2014
LG G3 Android smartphone

LG drops G3 quad HD Android mobe with FRIGGIN' LASER camera

Review LG is releasing its new G3 smartphone today. It’s a large device made slim and comfortable by clever design, and is distinguished by a mind-boggling screen, and a superb camera. It’s let down only by hardware buttons, which can be a challenge to locate with accuracy, and the software execution, which hasn’t really tamed Android …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014

Mobile money firm Weve waves goodbye to David Sear

David Sear, the boss of mobile money joint venture Weve, has stood down, Mobile, Marketing Week and others have reported. The Weve platform is based around analytics as well as payments but works by enabling the wallet - which the operator or bank brings to the platform. Weve was originally positioned as a way for EE, …
Simon Rockman, 25 Jun 2014

Vodafone Australia's 'doubles user traffic' on free weekend

Vodafone has unintentionally exposed the miserly behaviour of Australian mobile data users, while hyping data usage over the “free data weekend” it declared to apologise for network outages. It turns out that punters hammered the network with a stunning eight Kbps per user. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Voda customers “ …
A football might be big enough on a small screen, but golf?

Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Telephone companies could supplant television companies as the source of goggle-box fodder, says mobile gear-maker Ericsson as it promotes the new mobile LTE Broadcast specification. Unlike traditional mobile phone communication, which is one-to-one, LTE Broadcast sends the same data to many people. It's a little like the SMS- …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jun 2014
The Project Loon team prepares solar panels, electronics and balloon envelopes for launch as the sun rises in New Zealand.

That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

Emergency Services in New Zealand town today scrambled to assist what they thought was a downed plane, but actually turned out to be one of Google's Project Loon WiFi-beaming balloons. Project Loon is Google's attempt to become an ISP of sorts by floating balloons over parts of the world where internet access is not often …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2014
Huawei campus Shenzhen

Operators shackled to GSM, so Huawei ties GSM to LTE

Huawei and Vodafone have run a trial in Spain that demonstrated GSM and LTE transmissions co-existing on the same spectrum. The idea behind Huawei's GL DSS (GSM-LTE dynamic spectrum sharing) is to let operators roll out their shiny new LTE infrastructure without restricting the spectrum available to the (currently) larger …
Porsche 918 Spyder

Vodafone buys into Internet of Stuff, sinks fangs into Cobra

+Comment Vodafone has announced that it is going to buy the Italian machine-to-machine company Cobra, which does a brisk business in stolen vehicle tracking. Cobra has done well out of the slip in Tracker’s market share and counts many of the major European car manufacturers – including Porsche – among its customers. The firm started …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jun 2014
Sim card

Japan's DOCOMO suggests wearable SIM cards

Japanese mobile carrier DoCoMo has come up with an interesting idea: a wearable SIM card that authenticates all your devices on its network under a single account. The company says the portable SIM is currently a “pocketsize mini device” but that “further downsizing” will deliver “convenient wearable devices”. Those devices will …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2014