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Pushmi-Pullyu

BlackBerry's money-making QNX unit touts virty dual-OS devices

QNX Software Systems, the BlackBerry subsidiary that markets operating systems and tools for embedded systems, has released new virtualization software designed to allow device makers to deliver rich graphical UIs without sacrificing reliability or safety. QNX Hypervisor allows embedded devices to operate two OS instances at the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Feb 2015
LG Prada KE850 - model

Qualcomm, ARM: We thought we had such HOT MODELS...

The history of mobile device processors is that of two companies, Qualcomm and ARM, both with unique licensing models which many envy but few can successfully copy or compete with. As the growth in the wireless world shifts to embedded and larger-screened devices, and the mobile chip balance of power moves towards China and Wi- …
Wireless Watch, 17 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015

Meerkats helped Ofcom unlock White Space spectrum-hopping

A trial at London Zoo has paved the way for Ofcom guidelines on using the unused “White Space” parts of the radio spectrum in the 470 to 790 MHz frequency band. Three webcams were set up: two in the meerkats' home and one in the otters' enclosure. All three were linked to a web server using White Space radio as TVWS – TV White …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit

Ericsson and Qualcomm in BONKERS 450Mbps 4G test lab demo

Combining frequencies to get more bandwidth is part of the LTE (4G) specification. Wireless boffins have now demonstrated the concept, achieving blazingly fast speeds in a test lab. Qualcomm and Ericsson say they aggregated licensed frequencies and unlicensed 5GHz spectrum to achieve very high bandwidths. Use of spectrum across …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
Unlocked padlock

Let freedom RING! Americans can now legally liberate phones from axis of network evil

It's phone Independence Day as American mobe owners can now legally unlock their smartphones again from their network carriers – provided you've finished paying for them. Phone unlocking, allowing it to subscribe to a different network, was perfectly legal in the US until 2012, when the practice was banned in a review of the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2015
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

Mobile network testing company RootMetrics has again hailed EE as the best network for speed, reliability, calls and text. Three comes second in all tests. Vodafone and O2 swapped third and fourth spots in various categories but O2 came out ahead overall. The latest figures cover the second half of 2014, so may well under-rate …
Simon Rockman, 10 Feb 2015

Alibaba splurges $590m on mobile-maker Meizu. Xiaomi the money?

Alibaba, which held the largest IPO in history after raising $25bn, has bought a minority stake in Meizu, the Chinese manufacturer of Android-based smartphones. While recent releases such as the eight core Meizu M1note run standard Kit-Kat (with Lollipop to come), it is expected that Alibaba will want to see devices with its …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015

UK mobile networks LOSE to France and Germany on data speeds

Mobile internet speeds are slower in the UK than in France and Germany, says yet another mobe coverage survey. This survey is crowdsourced by Aalto University and it has to be read with a little caution, as while the research has 1,250,020 data points, 1,144,213 of them were captured in Finland and only 10,298 in the UK. It …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015

Crap mobile coverage costs UK biz £30m a week, reckons survey

Comment Indoor mobile coverage is pants, says ip.access, a company which makes kit to improve indoor coverage. To quantify just how pants it is the Cambridge-based company commissioned a poll from survey outfit OnePoll. They carried out research in the form of an online survey, and then did some sums to come up with the claim, “UK …
Simon Rockman, 9 Feb 2015

Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

The “next chapter” in Windows is coming to Microsoft's cheapo, mass-market Lumia phones. Microsoft is working to get Windows 10 working on devices with just 512MB RAM, including the Lumia 520. The news was tweeted by Microsoft operating systems group vice president Joe Belfiore on Sunday. Just one catch: small memory means …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Feb 2015
shutterstock_184661174

TalkTalk may begin making 'Three style' low-cost mobile moves

As Telefonica looks to sell its O2 UK outfit to Hutchison Three, it is also supporting two mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals which are adding to the quadplay mayhem of the UK market. BSkyB and TalkTalk both have their virtual mobile services hosted by O2, and both will be harnessing these, while also investing in Wi- …

4G Mobile data suck stiffens Vodafone revenues

Vodafone has seen an increase in its UK revenues of almost one per cent during the fourth quarter of 2014, prompted by users gradually moving to 4G and spending more on data. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 was £1,518m, rising to the princely sum of £1,532m for the end of 2014, the mobile giant's first UK revenue rise for …
Simon Rockman, 5 Feb 2015
EE 4G banner

BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

BT has agreed terms with the French company Orange and Deutsche Telekom to buy their joint venture EE to form a quad-play superpower. The £12.5bn deal will be a combination of cash and new BT ordinary shares issued to both Deutsche Telekom and Orange. Average cost savings of £360m a year over the next four years will include “ …
Simon Rockman, 5 Feb 2015
germany

German 700MHz auction signals start of Euro spectrum flogoffs

Germany is to be the first country in Europe to flog off the 700MHz frequency band, with auctions taking place in May and June this year. The Teutonic auction will take place seven years ahead of the date Ofcom proposes for the frequency to be made available to mobile operators in the UK. The lower frequencies are more valuable …
Simon Rockman, 4 Feb 2015
Paul Winchell and dummy

O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

O2 has denied that it's suffered a serious data breach after customers began receiving sophisticated phishing emails that appeared to have been sent by the mobile operator late last month. It was claimed by subscribers that the body of the email included their name, email address, and date of birth. The dodgy messages about VAT …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Feb 2015

Dish, the FCC, and a sly trick to leave American taxpayers $3bn short

Analysis A row has erupted over the $3bn discount Dish Networks hopes to bag on the slice of US government radio space it bought for wireless broadband. It's put a spotlight on the process of auctioning frequencies to private biz – and thrown the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the hot seat. One of the regulator's five …

Not-spot-busting for the home: Eero thinks tiny mesh router's a winner

A San Francisco startup has launched a tiny mesh router aiming to kill notspots and end buffering in the home. Eero features dual Wi-Fi radios (alongside Bluetooth and wired Ethernet) in a curved box around 4.75inches square. It combines a router, repeater and range extender – but additional Eeros auto-configure, creating a …

TalkTalk boasts of fourplay-loving customers, extreme growth

While the battle lines are being drawn up between BT-EE and Vodafone over selling you great big lumps of TV, broadband, fixed and mobile phones, TalkTalk has been in the quadplay game for ages. The telco, which was spun out of Carphone Warehouse in 2010, has announced its last quarter (third quarter, full year 2015) figures, and …
Simon Rockman, 3 Feb 2015
Doomsday clock

UK not-spot deal: When we said '2017’, we meant 1 DAY BEFORE 2018

Opinion While the initial “not-spots” deal looked vague and woolly, the latest communication from Ofcom shows that there is at least some engineering nous in the background. The crux of the matter is that the operators have now been given some actual numbers (PDF) to define coverage: The Licensee shall, by no later than 31 December …
Simon Rockman, 3 Feb 2015
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-519892p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Chad Zuber</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

You heard this Chicago electro underground sound? ... Yeah, it's 4G

The Chicago subway system is to become the biggest transport system in North America to be completely blessed with 4G mobile broadband coverage. The $32.5m project will use a next-gen distributed antenna system rather than the leaky feeders employed by other underground networks. The estimated 18-month project was brought …
Simon Rockman, 3 Feb 2015
Pistol cartridges and a pistol

Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

Analysis Electrical retail Goliath Dixons Carphone has announced deals with mobile networks EE and Three to head off the scenario that killed Phones4u. Phones4U folded when it failed to negotiate contracts to sell mobile network airtime. Dixons Carphone has now announced a multi-year contract with EE and a new range of custom tariffs …
Simon Rockman, 2 Feb 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Dish, AT&T, Verizon's mobile broadband bids slash US debt by 0.13%

AT&T was the biggest spender in the auction for wireless broadband frequencies that closed yesterday – spending $18.2bn to get access to every corner of the US. Of the remaining $23.1bn spent by telcos, Dish Network was the unexpected second largest shopper with $13.3bn blown on spectrum licenses, followed by Verizon with $10. …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2015
Shaun of the Dead

Super-cookie crumbles: Verizon vows to kill off hated zombie stalkers

Verizon has backed down over its fingerprinting of subscribers using so-called immortal "super cookies." In 2012, the US mobile telco started injecting unique identifying headers (UIDHs) into every HTTP request users made to websites via the Verizon network. This allowed sneaky ad agencies to recognize people as they moved from …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jan 2015
Jersey cow

Three to pleasure bumpkins with 800MHz

Hutchison's Three will finally launch into the prime 800MHz band later this year, which it expects will improve rural coverage significantly. H3UK won two bands of 800MHz spectrum in the auction round held two years ago. Previously it was the only operator without lower frequency spectrum dating from the first digital handouts; …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jan 2015
iPhone 6 Plus opened up

Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

People are turning away from pricey "flagship" smartphones sold on complicated expensive contracts, according to industry figures. Dealmaker site uSwitch says it's seeing steep declines in year on year sales of flagship smartphones in 2015, with Sony hit particularly hard. Even Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone 6 exhibited the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jan 2015
Starry_night_tech_bed_3

Sky sidles up to O2, whispers: 'Fancy a little FOUR-PLAY?'

As we predicted, Sky is to launch an MVNO and get competitive against the other networks' four-play offerings. What we got wrong in our prediction was that the deal would be with Vodafone; Sky has instead jumped into bed with O2. The deal will allow Sky to offer a Four-play service of TV, Broadband, fixed and mobile phones, the …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 930

Mobile broadband giants blow $45bn on Uncle Sam's finest air

Cell networks in the US have spent $44.9bn buying the rights to use a chunk of the American government's airwaves for wireless broadband networks. The FCC has just finished auctioning off the frequencies in its latest Advanced Wireless Services sale, dubbed AWS-3. It had hoped to bank just $10bn from the selloff to help line the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2015
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

NXP flings sueball at Marvell over Xbox NFC chips

NXP Semiconductors, the chipmaker which was once part of Philips, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Marvell Electronics, alleging that its patented wireless technology has been used in the Microsoft Xbox. NXP claims that Marvell's Avastar chips infringe on four NXP patents, including three related to getting …
Simon Rockman, 29 Jan 2015

Microsoft Outlook comes to Android, iOS: MS email now a bit less painful on mobile

Microsoft has released new Outlook apps for Android and iOS. The apps are based on code acquired with Acompli late last year, and former Acompli CEO Javier Soltero is now Outlook general manager at Microsoft. On iOS it is a full production release, but on Android it is a preview. You can connect to accounts including Exchange, …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jan 2015
Checking comms at supersonic speeds

Supersonic Bloodhound car techies in screaming 650mph comms test

Engineers from the Bloodhound supersonic car world record attempt have been testing their radio comms gear as plans to stream the 1,000mph (1,610kmph) event live come together. Live-streaming the car's record-breaking run is no trivial matter. Given that you can’t even maintain a phone call on a London train, trying to maintain …
Simon Rockman, 29 Jan 2015

Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES

Feature Despite regular headlines about self-powered gadgets and a deluge of stories claiming that any day now we should expect our smart phones to start gathering power from the environment around us, the promise of harvested energy always seems just out of reach. Or is it? We may not be charging our gadgets in our Wellington boots any …
Bill Ray, 29 Jan 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

The FTC has reached a settlement with TracFone in what could be the first of many refunds for screwed-over customers with so-called unlimited data plans. The US regulator said the cell network must pay back $40m to customers who used its prepaid unlimited data plan and found their connections deliberately strangled, stretching …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2015

A year with Canada's Volvo-esque smartphone – The BlackBerry Z30

Comment Why return to the Blackberry Z30, a phone that's over a year old? Well, the smartphone has matured impressively since its launch in 2013, and BlackBerry is about to introduce a major revision to its software: BlackBerry OS 10.3.1. The Z30 remains the most up-to-date all-touchscreen BlackBerry to run this operating system. There …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jan 2015

EE squashes Orange UK: France Telecom's been 'destroying it for years'

With BT now expected to complete the deal to buy EE, it has been reported that EE will kill off the T-Mobile and Orange brands in the UK. The mix of brands from BT, EE, T-Mobile and Orange is all a bit confusing. Nobody will mourn T-Mobile, and it was always a bit uncomfortable after the success of the One2One brand which …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jan 2015
Allows signals to reack those difficult places

Post-modem Ericsson wobbles thanks to flat sales and falling profits

Ericsson's flat sales last year were the result of its disappointing fourth quarter, especially in America, its latest financial results show. The Swedish company is still the biggest supplier of mobile network infrastructure in the world, and in the fourth quarter it saw strong sales growth in the Middle East, Asia and Europe …
Simon Rockman, 27 Jan 2015
ip.wireless picocell

Euro mobile standards chiefs eye tiny beauty: It's the KEY to 5G

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which sets the standards for mobile comms, has just started work on five specifications for millimetre Wave Transmission – the 30GHz to 300GHz range. The new Industry Specification Group on millimetre Wave Transmission (ISG mWT) held its first meeting last week and will …
Simon Rockman, 27 Jan 2015
image from shutterstock_148618127

Brightstar deal means Post Office mobile network could be a thing

The Post Office is ramping up its plans to become a virtual mobile phone network, with hardware distributor Brightstar being appointed to handle logistics for SIMs and phones. The deal between the Post Office and EE to provide an MVNO, a virtual network with the Post Office brand, was revealed in 2012 when a Request for …
Simon Rockman, 26 Jan 2015
Google UK office logos

Should Google play carriers at their own game? There's never been a better time

Analysis In the week that Microsoft made its last, best bid for mobile relevance, Google was active all over the mobile ecosystem. It had recently announced an investment in satellite venture SpaceX, and was said to be stalking mobile payments outfit SoftCard, and even planning to launch direct mobile services via its own mobile virtual …
Wireless Watch, 26 Jan 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Analysis Telefonica has sold O2 to Three big-daddy Hutchison Whampoa for £10bn - and it pretty much had to. Here's why. Telefonica had shown its hand in trying to flog its O2 biz to BT, revealing that it wasn’t interested keeping the brand; Telefonica smacks of never really having its heart in the venture. With BT buying EE, and …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jan 2015

Microsoft: We bought Skype. We make mobiles.. Oh, HANG ON!

Analysis Microsoft has given us a glimpse of Windows progress this week – and it was generally well received – particularly the one-year "grace period" allowing Windows 7 holdouts to climb on board for free. While price won't induce Enterprise customers to upgrade, lower retraining costs will –and the majority will wait to see what the …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2015

Telefónica to offload O2 to Three daddy Hutchison for £10.25bn

Telefónica confirmed this morning it has entered into an “exclusivity agreement” with Hutchison Whampoa that could see it offload subsidiary O2 for up to £10.25bn in cash. Talks between the pair surfaced last weekend and if signed and sealed will further consolidate the mobe carrier space, coming weeks after BT turned its back …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2015