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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
Google UK office logos

Google signs up Sprint and T-Mobile to sell its cellphone plans – report

Google's plans to become a mobile phone operator – which we outlined earlier this month – have grown closer to reality with the news that the search giant has signed deals to run calls and data over Sprint and T-Mobile's network. According to news reports, Google will become a virtual network operator by buying access to the two …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015
John Chen

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

In a blog post on the BlackBerry website, CEO John Chen has called on regulators to force Apple and Netflix to support Blackberry hardware, claiming this forms part of the ongoing net neutrality debate. He argues that because BlackBerry has the eyes, ears and fingers of the most important people in the world – thanks to its …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
The SAMSUNG GALAXY ALPHA lies on a white background, displays Home screen icons.

LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Newly leaked specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S6 show the South Korean company taking the fight back to Apple. The expected flagship is expected to debut a year after we saw the S5 at Mobile World Congress. The “64-bit eight-core 14nm CPU which is 50% faster” could be the rumoured Snapdragon 820, but that’s likely to be …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE data network goes TITSUP* after mystery firewall problem

Updated Mobile network operator EE appears to have been hit by a nation-wide outage. People took to Twitter this morning to complain of the network and data outage affecting large swathes of the country: @EE Data Network Down in Manchester area ?. Can't get any data connection on any either phone #ee #networkdown — Neil Reid (@tech2xs …
Kat Hall, 22 Jan 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

Analysis It's always jam mañana for Windows Phone owners. In 2011, the "Apollo" update (which became Windows Phone 8.0) would bring new riches. Then it was 8.1. Now it's mid-year before Windows Phone 10 devices can storm the market. So at the enthusiast end of the market, they're not a happy lot. There hasn't been a headline-grabbing, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Cheer up UK mobile grumblers. It's about to get even pricier

You may not think being a mobile phone customer in Britain is much fun, what with rural Not Spots, the world's most irritating advertising campaigns*, and LTE arriving later (and rolling out slower) than anywhere else. Readers are quick to complain. But you actually get a better deal than you think. So enjoy it while you can, …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2015
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

China's Apple? PAH! We're looking for SUCCESS in internet TV – Xiaomi

Rising star mobile company Xiaomi is planning an assault on TV content and has reportedly set aside $1bn with which to do it. The company – which is currently giving Samsung a run for its money and recently raised $1.1bn to value the company at $45bn – has budgeted $1bn for building internet content in China and foreign markets …
Simon Rockman, 19 Jan 2015

Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Analysis Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report paints a pretty grim picture for 4K adoption. As well as charting IPv6 uptake, an important step forward to catering for the billions of new connected objects that account for the Internet of Things (IoT), the report finds that internet speeds in many countries still lag behind the …
Faultline, 19 Jan 2015
O2 XDA Argon

Hong Kong mogul mulls MULTI-BEELLION POUND bid for O2 – report

British mobile operator O2 has reportedly been eyed up by Hong Kong biz baron Li Ka-shing, with a takeover bid of up to £9bn apparently being floated. The owner of Hutchison Whampoa, which controls UK mobe carrier Three, has been in tentative talks with Telfonica-run O2, according to a report in today's Sunday Times (£), which …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jan 2015

US mobe network Sprint breaks ranks, says YES to net neutrality

Fourth-place US mobile operator Sprint has broken ranks with the telco industry and said it think that Title II legislation should apply to broadband internet provision - both wired and wireless. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - which is due to decide on the matter next month - Sprint CTO Stephen Bye …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2015
"334/365 this is a phoooonne!!!" - Lazurite

UK's landmark mobile not-spot deal already falling apart

The made-of-straw “landmark deal” to fix the not-spots in mobile phone infrastructure - which has made the UK the poor man of Europe in mobile coverage - is already starting to crumble. The necessary planning regulation to make it easier for the networks to roll out coverage to 90 per cent of the UK is being clumsily rushed …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jan 2015

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

After such a banner year of Linux releases it might seem overly pessimistic to pause and ask this question: is there a future beyond this? The answer is, of course, "yes" – or rather it's yes, but... The qualifying "but" can take many forms, depending on who you talk to and what their stake is in the game. Even if you take the …
Supreme Court Building

Come now, don't be beastly to cellphone giants, Supremes tell America's town halls

The US Supreme Court has made it a bit easier for telcos to build cell towers in America. On Wednesday, the court ruled in a majority decision [PDF] that city governments must provide mobile network giants a reasonable amount of time to appeal when deciding on applications to build phone masts. The Supremes said Roswell, …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jan 2015
Microsoft's Lumia 532 Dual-SIM

Microsoft rolls out even cheaper 'Notkia' Lumias

Windows Phones fanbois aren't happy that there's no new €600 flagship to fondle – but nobody can accuse Microsoft of complacency as it tackles the low-cost smartphone business. Microsoft's Lumia 435 The 435 – the cheapie with the front-facing camera Six months after it revealed its lowest cost model, Microsoft's phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jan 2015
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

5G needs new connectivity methods, say Spanish boffins

While millimeter-wave radio frequencies are hyped as the future of high-speed wireless networks, they're severely range-limited. A group of Spanish boffins has proposed using user context information like location to help mobile devices get the best speed. As they explain in their paper at Arxiv, it's not enough just to run an …
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Enterprise chief: Yes, we did leave users behind

Interview BlackBerry's previous management left its users behind and underused a vital asset, its enterprise chief told El Reg in a wide-ranging interview. John Sims is part of the rescue team brought in a year ago, when the Canadian giant was at rock bottom – and was seemingly on the wrong end of every trend in the business. The company …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2015
jack russells racing with knitted 'jockeys' on their backs

You go fast, but we go 'further' and 'deeper' – Voda tells 'Speedy' EE

In a blog on the Vodafone website, its UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp claims the global operator could build something as fast, or faster than, EE’s 300Mbps - it just doesn’t want to. Hoencamp claims that “one of the things that makes us different from others is that we have our 'low band spectrum'. What that means is that our 4G is on …
Simon Rockman, 13 Jan 2015
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

I don't think you're ready for this Jelly: Google pulls support for Android WebView

Google has decided to end support for older versions of Android WebView, the default web browser on 'droid devices. This will apply to users running 4.3 or earlier versions of its Android smartphone OS. It has decided instead to invite securobods to fix the problem, saying it "welcome(d) patches with the report for …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2015
An Android robot blushes from embarrassment

Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

Stats from self-pleasuring site Pornhub (link vaguely NSFW - no pics but still contains the word Pornhub) show that mobile viewing has overtaken desktop, and Android is the OS of choice for viewers of its select content. The, ahem, growth is in part down to the site removing its limit on the number of videos a day that can be …
Simon Rockman, 12 Jan 2015

US govt opens door to Google The Cellphone Network

The US government has cleared the way for Google to become your next cellphone network provider – possibly without costing the company a pretty penny. As we revealed yesterday, the advertising giant wants to use the largely open spectrum at 3.5GHz to provide high-speed mobile data connections at low cost to phones and gadgets in …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2015
Lenovo's P90

Lenovo hopes to say Hello Moto to smartphone cash

A year after buying Motorola, Lenovo is looking to sell a lot of its once highly popular phones. The Chinese company expects the brand to account for 40 per cent of the smartphones it sells next year. Combined Motorola and Lenovo sales of smartphones last year were 85 million. This would make it the third-largest smartphone …
Simon Rockman, 9 Jan 2015
india

BILLIONTH Indian mobile subscriber due in 2015

Growth of India's mobile phone using population has stalled, but the nation looks on track to notch up its billionth subscriber during 2015. India's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) helpfully pops out monthly counts of subscriber numbers. The most recent data, for says India had 937.06 million mobile phone subscriptions as of …
Airwave has given the police reliable comms

Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

In less than 18 months' time the police radio network will be switched off. There is no obvious replacement and the looming omnishambles is turning into a bonanza for Arqiva, the only company brave enough to offer a solution. Peter Neyroud CBE, former head of the National Policing Improvement Agency and now at the University of …

Right, who feels like going to an Ofcom meeting? Anyone? Bueller?

Ofcom has released a draft of its plans for 2015 and 2016, promising to protect citizens, as well as allow them to express a view on developments, which is nice. The final plan will be published in March, but the draft allows interested parties to express a view, to be aired at one of a series of public meetings which you can …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jan 2015