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TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk eyes up Blinkbox for advanced FOURPLAY – report

Budget telco TalkTalk is reportedly pursuing a buyout of video-streaming service Blinkbox from Tesco. In the manoeuvrings to provide mobile, internet, TV and fixed phone services, Blinkbox had looked to be a good move for Britain's biggest supermarket, but while Tesco Mobile has been successful for the retail giant, BlinkBox …
Simon Rockman, 30 Dec 2014
Apple phone payement.

UK banks prepare for Apple Pay 'invasion', look to slap on bonking protection

Analysis Apple's attempt to launch its NFC payment solution in the UK could be thwarted by some financial institutions' concerns over privacy and security issues surrounding Cupertino's "invasion" of the banking industry. The system, which has been developed with the credit card companies, has been tried by two million iPhone 6 users in …
Simon Rockman, 30 Dec 2014

OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away

+Comment An obscure court case in India appears to have dented hopes of the mobile industry weaning itself off Google dependency - and has raised questions about the goals of Cyanogen and its backer, a Silicon Valley VC firm with close ties to Google. In the cosy world of Menlo Park VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz (or "A16Z") is as close …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Dec 2014
xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi router

'Apple of China' Xiaomi: Yep, we HAVE just bagged $1.1 BEELLION

Top Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi has confirmed reports that it has raised $1.1bn to fund its plans for world domination. In a Facebook Post, president and co-founder Bin Lin said: We just completed the latest round of funding last week, raising US$1.1 billion at valuation of US$45 billion. Investors include All- …
Simon Rockman, 29 Dec 2014
Gözde Kansu in the offending dress

Mobe not-spots 'landmark deal'? We ain't thick, Javid

The “landmark agreement” between the government and the mobile phone operators has been reported as a coup, something worthy, and a step forward. However, scratch the surface and it’s merely a face-saving exercise. It’s more than a little difficult to work out what the agreement actually says, but we here at the offices of El …
Simon Rockman, 26 Dec 2014
Funny money from south of the river

BONK for CASH in Brixton and help us EAT the RICH

The Brixton Pound (B£), the private currency for denizens of the slightly more affordable bit of earth next to Clapham, is to adopt near field communications, or NFC, payments. The area – which has become so painfully fashionable the locals are fighting back against poshos buying all the houses – has had its own currency for …
Simon Rockman, 22 Dec 2014

T-Mobile US to refund $90m for bogus charges: Un-Carrier to Un-Crammer

T-Mobile US will pay out $90m to settle cramming allegations raised by the US trade watchdog. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the telco will dish out the money as refunds to all customers who were pinned with hidden mobile cramming charges since 2010. The company – which portrays itself as the do-no-wrong Un-Carrier – …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Dec 2014
Swiss alps

Iliad owner coughs €2.3bn for Orange Switzerland

Xavier Niel, the owner of French ISP and mobile phone company Iliad, is buying Orange Switzerland for CHF2.8bn (€2.3bn) from VC Apax Partners. Iliad, under its Free Mobile brand, is a 3G and 4G operator but grew its mobile business through a 2G roaming deal with Orange and used aggressive pricing to grow its market share. Niel’ …
Simon Rockman, 19 Dec 2014
Mobile phone no service

UK.gov binds mobe operators to £5bn not-spot deal

Blighty’s government has announced a new deal with the top four mobe operators in the country to improve the state of so-called mobile roaming "not-spots". Culture secretary Sajid Javid announced a binding agreement with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, meaning they will tackle poor signal issues in certain areas by investing £5bn, …
Angry woman on mobile

Bill cram woes piling up for Sprint: Campaigners lob in a sueball

Yet another group has filed suit against Sprint, alleging the US telco unfairly profited from phone bill cramming. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it wants to extract a pound of flesh from the carrier for allowing murky traders to sneak extra charges onto customers' bills, a portion of which was paid to …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Dec 2014
Dom Joly

If 4G isn’t working, why stick to the same approach for 5G?

Analysis The start of 2015 is sure to bring an even greater intensity of interest in what "5G" might be. After all, some operators are saying they will start commercial deployments in 2020, and a five-year time-scale is short enough to induce panic attacks. LTE has set a strong precedent here. The specifications that became LTE were …
Wireless Watch, 17 Dec 2014
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

FCC to smack Sprint with $105m fine over 'cramming' – report

US mobile carrier Sprint should expect a hefty fine from the Federal Communications Commission for overbilling its customers, say sources with knowledge of the agency's plans. As first reported by the National Review, the FCC is preparing to vote on action to be taken against Sprint over its role in "cramming" – the practice of …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2014
The only problem with an earing is that it will trigger the NFC app everytime you answer the phone

Unlock your mobe by STROKING it with your PEARL

Jewellery firm Galatea has released an app which plays audio when one of the company's pearls is touched to the back of a phone. That's not a euphemism. It is usually believed that pearls are formed when a bit of grit gets into an oyster. This is, however, not the case. Oysters are filter feeders and quite adept at dealing with …
Simon Rockman, 16 Dec 2014

We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

A new generation of smaller, faster Apple processors is now under production by Samsung, including at Sammy's Texan facility, according to reports. While Apple and Samsung have a rather fraught relationship (mainly conducted through lawyers) Samsung’s components division is a major supplier to Cupertino. It’s not known what …
Simon Rockman, 15 Dec 2014
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Vodafone poised to ink chumship pact with T-Mobile and get back into US enterprise

Vodafone is poised to piggyback on T-Mobile US's network to get back into the American business market. The MVNO deal is aimed at offering US enterprises global coverage from Voda: the mobile telco has about 400 America-based multinationals as customers, and 500 companies headquartered outside the States but which have a large …
Simon Rockman, 15 Dec 2014
Monty Python Wafer Thin Mints

Secretive Chinese smartmobe colossus Xiaomi is on WAFER thin margins

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is operating on the thinnest of margins to keep its handset prices low, according to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Chinese phone-maker, that’s creeping up on Western manufacturers, made a profit of $56.2m on $4.3bn in revenue last year. That gives the firm operating margins of …
Smartphone user on Tube

BYOD: How to keep your data safe on their mobile devices

This article was produced in association with JAMF Software Bring your own device (BYOD) is a novel concept that perturbs cynics. And in some ways I can't really blame them. You appear to be saying to your users: “We are not going to give you a computer to work with. Instead we expect you to bring your own, and we will give you …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Dec 2014
Gloved hand reaches into victim's pocket to steal mobile phone

UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Brits who have their mobes stolen are still facing shock bills, despite government promises that charges would be capped in a similar way to stolen credit cards. The Citizens Advice watchdog said that as many as 160,000 victims of phone crime were forking out up to £4m a year to pay for thieves’ texting and calls, although they …
Slurp

Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

Three or four market players is plenty, at least according to the GSMA, the association that represents nearly 800 mobile operators. At an event in Brussels this week, GSMA director Anne Bouverot said it was ridiculous that there were nearly 100 players in the EU market while the US does perfectly well with four or five. In …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Dec 2014
Bus jam

Vodafone to spend more time hanging out at bus stops

Vodafone has done a deal with poster giant JCDecaux to use posters sites and street furniture as sites for small cells. The project is based upon an experiment in Amsterdam that used 1800MHz and 2600MHz small cells. Unlike the EE rural project, the sites are not meshed. This isn't surprising since the focus of the project is …
Simon Rockman, 12 Dec 2014
A fake iPhone with electric shock capabilities

Get comfortable with mobile device management

This article was produced in association with JAMF Software Mobile device management (MDM) is very much the thing at the moment. And frankly it's about time. Get comfortable with mobile device management Until quite recently if you wanted users to have mobile devices connected BlackBerry-style to the corporate network – …
Dave Cartwright, 11 Dec 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Canadian watchdog goes to court to probe Apple's iPhone deals with mobe networks

Watchdogs in Canada are investigating Apple over concerns the iPhone giant violated antitrust laws in its dealings with Canadian telcos. A spokesperson for Canada's Competition Bureau confirmed the Cupertino goliath is the subject of a probe into possible violations of the nation's Competition Act. "I can confirm that the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
By Luke Ford  http://www.lukeford.net/Images/photos4/071209/214.htm  Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en

BACK OFF, KIM KARDASHIAN. BlackBerry CEO is NOT into SENSATIONALISM

There are no plans for a takeover at Blackberry, says John Chen, CEO of the mobile firm, who recently took to LinkedIn to explain his Kim Kardashian-free global strategy. And it’s sensible, all about business and not about glitz. The company will not repeat the mistake it made with former brand ambassador Alicia Keys and will …
Simon Rockman, 9 Dec 2014
Two mobiles man

Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

A new service piggybacks a company number on the back of the employee's personal number to save money for both and make Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) easier. Youtube Video The idea of people wanting to use their own mobile but have work pay for calls opens a can of worms. The spectre of BYOD brings with it the issue of who pays …
Simon Rockman, 9 Dec 2014
NSA TTTC logo

GSMA denies latest Snowden leak

Mobile carrier club the GSMA has hit back against the latest round of Snowden claims, saying it can't find any evidence of “active targeting or compromise of GSMA systems, communications and stored documentation”. When The Intercept first ran its accusation – that the NSA and GCHQ successfully broke into the traffic of more than …
NFC tag with Bluetooth connectivity

18 million iPHONE USERS HAVE NEVER BONKED to ApplePay

+Comment Oh, what a surprise. NFC has failed to ignite the imagination of iPhone users, with 90 per cent of them shunning the payment method of the future. This is among the findings of stats-loving website InfoScout, which reports that of the approximately 20 million or so iPhone 6s which have been sold, 18 million have never been used …
Simon Rockman, 8 Dec 2014
snowden SXSW

Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

The NSA, and its British counterpart GCHQ, snooped on innocent telco employees and standards bodies to tap into mobile phone networks worldwide, according to the latest leak from the Edward Snowden archive. The mobile tapping system, dubbed AURORAGOLD, successfully cracked 701 of an estimated 985 cellular networks worldwide, …
Iain Thomson, 4 Dec 2014

Commish: Stop playing that Spanish jazz, Orange. Wait until we’ve done our homework

Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain could hit a wall as the European Commission begin an investigation to determine if the merger is in line with EU competition law. Both Orange and Jazztel operate fixed telco networks in Spain and the planned takeover would reduce the number of nationwide providers from four to three …
management BYOD5

Should you call on comms suppliers when you go for a BYOD setup?

BYOD (bring your own device) has its ups and its downs but it is becoming more and more popular and those of us in IT management need to learn to live with it. So assuming we have bitten the bullet and decided to go with BYOD, is it something we can do all on our own or should we be getting third parties involved? Are we …
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

If EE was being its normal hype-filled self, it would call its latest mobile trial in Cumbria 5G. Its restraint is admirable – and the technology even more so. Putting up cell sites is one way of solving rural mobile not-spots, but getting data from those sites back to the network is an increasingly thorny problem. Building …
Simon Rockman, 3 Dec 2014
Brown greets Obama at Downing Street

UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

It might be a cunning plan. Culture minister Sajid Javid’s really stupid idea of national roaming seems to have got the mobile phone networks to pull their fingers out about "not spots". The government has tried to fund the filling in of not spots, indeed Javid’s own department stumped up £150m three years ago and has managed …
Simon Rockman, 2 Dec 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Shin avoids boot: Samsung hangs onto mobile chief despite crappy Galaxy S5 sales

Samsung has surprisingly opted to hang onto its current head of mobile JK Shin, despite rumours that he was for the chop after the mobile division underperformed all year. Reports suggested last week that Shin would be ousted in favour of appliances and telly boss BK Yoon because sales of Sammy’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, …
Dingo Gap

Get your staff working on the move: Develop that app for mobile

Working on the move has become most people's normal way of operating. We are used to having our world in our pocket and being able to read and write emails, produce simple documents and generally stay in the corporate loop whether we are in the office, in the pub, on a train or (sadly) sitting on a beach trying to be on holiday …
Pile of mobiles

Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Analysis Almost everyone involved in IT fears BYOD to some extent. That’s largely because they are terrified of careless colleagues costing the business a shed load of money. But small to medium sized businesses who lack the budget and resources to do security well fear BYOD more than most. Just this week, Hugh Boyes from the Institution …
Tom Brewster, 29 Nov 2014
BioLite CampStove

Cutting the cord without losing touch with your office

If you're a member of the backroom staff at a big company, you probably spend a lot of time sitting at a desk bashing at a computer. Indeed, in my day job as IT ops manager for a telco I'm delighted to have probably the only truly comfy chair on the premises and my huge desktop screen for the Excel-wrangling that forms part of …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Nov 2014
The BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry's turnaround relies on a secret weapon: Its own network

Analysis Last year we invited you, as a thought experiment, to value BlackBerry as an oddball cluster of startups – and now it seems the company has taken our advice to heart. It forms the heart of its strategy: the once tightly coupled divisions are free to compete – even if it means taking business off each other. It also means playing …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2014
Lightning

Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Analysis It has been more than 100 years since the first wireless power systems were demonstrated and the principles are about as well-known as any in the technology field. While wireless networking has been the norm for over a decade, wireless power is still very much in its infancy and is years away from mass adoption. Last week, the …
Iain Thomson, 27 Nov 2014
P3 uses dedicated hardware

Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

UK readers, what you've always suspected has been proven true – even the weakest mobile networks abroad perform better than some of our best. This is according to German mobile network survey company P3, which this week published solid numbers on mobile network coverage. P3 uses dedicated hardware P3's test equipment And it’s …
Simon Rockman, 26 Nov 2014
The European flag

Dawn raids on Orange over TROMBONING allegations were fine, rules EU court

The European Commission was perfectly entitled to conduct dawn raids against Orange, according to the EU General Court. The inspections took place between 9 and 13 July 2013 on four of Orange’s premises as part of an investigation into allegations that Orange was abusing a dominant market position. However, Orange cried foul and …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

Qualcomm joins Ericsson, Telstra in 450 Mbps LTE demo

Telstra has again demonstrated technology that will let lucky LTE users consume the entire 15 GB of its largest consumer post-paid broadband plan in less than 5 minutes. A repeat of the May 2014 demonstration of the same speed in conjunction with Ericsson, the latest demo brought Qualcomm into the fold. Qualcomm provided the …
O2 XDA Argon

BT in talks to RE-SLURP O2 after spitting it out a decade ago

BT could be the new owner of Blighty mobe network O2 if talks with Spanish parent Telefonica go well. The ex-national telco has confirmed the talks, which were first reported on Spanish website El Confidencial. Sources told the site that Telefonica was keen on selling O2 to British Telecom in return for a 20 per cent stake in …
Cellular basestation antenna

IBM and Ericsson plot to deploy 5G. Never mind that it doesn't exist

Ericsson and IBM have announced a collaboration to jointly research phased-array antenna designs for 5G, which might prove interesting as nothing has yet been agreed on what 5G might involve. Crucially for this work, nobody's yet decided what frequencies 5G will operate on – although Ericsson has previously said it’s looking for …
Simon Rockman, 24 Nov 2014