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'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has had enough of T-Mobile US chief John Legere, and he's told the world about it. The Sprint boss took to Twitter last night and fired off a testy rant calling T-Mobile US "bullshit" and accusing the telco of being "cheap" and "misleading" its customers. The rant came after Legere posted a tweet …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jul 2015

Sprint: Forget all we said about strangling your web video streams

US telco Sprint has killed off its attempt to strangle internet video streaming on its so-called "unlimited" phone plan. The carrier said its "All-In" $80 monthly plan will no longer impose a 600Kbps cap on streaming video speeds. "At Sprint, we strive to provide customers a great experience when using our network. We heard you …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2015

Sprint: Our 'unlimited' mobe plan has one tiny limit: High-quality video

US phone carrier Sprint is offering an unlimited data plan that carries one important caveat: throttled data rates for video. The carrier's All-In smartphone plan charges users $80 per month with no limit on voice or data usage. Streaming video, however, will be slowed to a crawl, thanks to a limit holding video to "3G" data …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2015

EUROPEAN PURGE on hated mobile roaming charges

After 12 hours of tense negotiations, EU negotiators agreed at 3am on Tuesday to impose a minimal cap on mobile phone roaming charges for calls, texts and data. The so-called Telecoms Package has been in trouble for months, but – acting on behalf of EU member states – the rotating EU Council Presidency, under Latvia, pushed …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Jun 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Ofcom: We need 5G spectrum planning for the future’s ultramobes

Despite the majority of Reg readers thinking that 5G can wait, there needs to be some planning as to how spectrum will be allocated if the same frequencies are to be made available globally. The need for international harmony on use of millimetre spectrum was the focus of a recent presentation by UK regulator Ofcom to the LTE …
Simon Rockman, 29 Jun 2015
Checking comms at supersonic speeds

Cambridge boffins: STOP the rush to 5G. We just don't need it

+Poll The headlong rush into 5G is an unnecessary technology treadmill, or so the great and the good of the wireless world have concluded. Cambridge Wireless, a network which brings together senior players in the mobile industry, may have moved its annual shindig from the esteemed university to London's Emirates Stadium, but it …
Simon Rockman, 26 Jun 2015
Reported mobile black spots

Telstra, Voda bag blackspot bucks

The Australian government has embarked on a mobile blackspot crackdown with funding released for the creation of 499 new mobile base stations to improve coverage in rural and remote areas. The new base stations will provide an extra 68,600 square kilometers of handheld coverage, and 150,000 square kilometres of external antenna …
Sad iPhone

Apple apes Microsoft with iPhone BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

T-Mobile users with iPhones are being beset by a mysterious issue that causes their handsets to randomly flash a blue screen and then reset itself. Multiple users are reporting that their Apple handsets have been flashing the blue screen before going black and restarting without warning. T-Mobile has yet to respond to a request …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2015

Post Office launches mobe service for aged greybeards

The Post Office has launched its own mobile phone service. The organisation plays hard on the value for money that its new pre-pay tariffs offer, but in practice the market is so competitive it’s hard to make that stand up. While the headline prices are cheaper, many rivals – notably Tesco Mobile – offer top-up bonuses, which …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

Following a working party meeting in San Diego, the ITU has announced the timeline for 5G standardisation. The IMT-2020 process, outlined here, envisages completing standards for 5G during 2020. The standards body expects to complete its 5G vision statement to be completed this year, which will let it start serious work on 5G …

Sprint: Net neutrality means we can't stamp out download hogs

Sprint says America's new net neutrality rules – which kicked in last week – have forced it to stop throttling download hogs' mobile broadband connections. Everything's fine, though, the US telco insists: it turns out this traffic strangling wasn't really needed in the first place. Sprint, the third-largest carrier in America, …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2015

AT&T fined about 3 days of profit ($100m) for limiting 'unlimited' plans

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined AT&T $100m (£63m) after accusing it of unfairly limiting "unlimited" mobile data plans. The telco insists it has done nothing wrong. The regulator said AT&T broke its Open Internet rules by deliberately slowing subscribers' download speeds when they went over their 3GB to …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2015

Toothless Ofcom: C'mon consumers, show your teeth on broadband speeds

Consumers experiencing consistently shonky broadband speeds will have the power to walk away from their contracts, new Ofcom chief exec Sharon White will announce today. The body will publish a "beefed-up" Code of Practice on broadband speeds, White will announce in her inaugural speech to consumer body Which? White joined …
Kat Hall, 11 Jun 2015
Cellular basestation antenna

Nokia adds German uni to 5G research ecosystem

With World+Dog working to define their technologies into standards, build their 5G patent books ahead of the anticipated rush, and try and work out what 5G's use-case will be, Nokia has tapped Germany's University of Kaiserslautern to help its 5G research efforts along. The company says the university will be working on network …

Verizon splits with carrier-led bonking and invests in SimplyTapp

Verizon Ventures has invested in NFC technology company SimplyTapp. What makes this interesting is that SimplyTapp is a cloud-based service using Host Card Emulation (HCE) for the security element in Android phones. Operators have traditionally supported the rival Single Wire Protocol (SWP) standard and Vodafone recently …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jun 2015

T-Mobile has a network, Dish has spectrum it can't use. Oh, HELLO

T-Mobile US and Dish Networks are in talks about joining forces. Consolidation and quad-play are all the rage between mobile networks, and mobile networks and other networks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the two companies have even decided that Dish boss Charlie Egan would head the beast as Chairman, with the outspoken …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jun 2015
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

LTE will catch up with 3G by 2020: Ericsson

Here comes 5G, except for one thing: most of the world will still be on pre-4G by 2020. That's the conclusion of research by Ericsson, which finds that today's 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions are dominated by GSM/Edge services. By 2020, the biggest slice of the world's 9.2 billion services will be the 3.8 billion WCDMA/GSM …

Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

A high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida, has been suspended without pay for using a jamming device to keep students off their cellphones. Science teacher Dean Liptak will spend five days on the naughty step at Fivay High School for employing a device that prevented nearby phones from making or receiving calls, sending and …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jun 2015

MEPs, Council still deadlocked over EU telco laws

After three years of negotiations, the proposals to overhaul Europe’s critical telecoms rules could come to nothing, with political power blocks seemingly deadlocked. The so-called Telco Package has been shorn of many of its original proposals and has now been whittled down to just two major issues: net neutrality and roaming …
A bus on fire in Whaddon

Nice 4G-for-plods demo, Samsung. Good luck actually selling it

Samsung has staked its claim towards being an integral part of the emergency services with a demonstration of its public safety solution - the first based on the 3GPP Rel.12 standard - using LTE technology. A post on the official Samsung blog explains how 80 devices were connected to a network to demonstrate PS-LTE, or Public …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jun 2015

Japan, EU: we'll research 5G unicorns together

We don't know what 5G will look like yet, apart from fast and probably expensive, but Japan and the European Union have agreed to cooperate to research the coming-in-2020 mobile standards. Under the agreement announced Friday, the partners will work together on standards efforts, and to harmonise the radio spectrum to be used in …

Apple: Relax, fanbois! We never meant to read your heart rate during wild wrist action

Apple – having tweaked how its Watch monitors a customer's heart rate – has been forced to explain the change, after fitness freaks freaked out about the gizmo's irregular tracking function. On Saturday, in an update on its support page, the iThing maker explained that Apple's wristjob "attempts to measure your heart rate …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 May 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Mergers scuttle strategy as Ofcom reneges on spectrum promise

Ofcom wants to hold onto the 60MHz of the 190MHz of spectrum it had announced would be for sale, and is floating the idea of scaling things back, citing a change in market conditions for the sale, slated for the end of this year or the beginning of next. In the revision to the proposals, Ofcom said: “Since the publication of …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2015
Hyundai Android Auto

First production car powered by Android Auto rolls out – and it's a Hyundai

Nearly a year after Google announced it was adapting Android to act as a car operating system, the first vehicle using the software has gone on sale from South Korean carmaker Hyundai. Google demoed its Android Auto operating system at last year's I/O developer conference, and said then it had 40 car companies lined up to use …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2015

Microsoft: Cortana not exclusive to Windows – it loves Android, iOS too

Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant that will be built into Windows 10, will also be available on Android and iOS devices, the software giant confirmed on Tuesday following rumors that have been swirling around since March. In a blog post, Microsoft operating systems veep Joe Belfiore said that most – but not all …
Neil McAllister, 26 May 2015

O2 craps itself on national Blighty holiday as cabinet minister moans: 'Oi, sort it out!'

Updated O2 customers up and down the UK were left without access to the carrier's mobile service on Bank Holiday Monday, after its network buckled for five hours yesterday evening. Even former Minster of Fun Sajid Javid – who is now Business Secretary under the new Tory government – griped about O2's pisspoor service. He tweeted: No …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 May 2015
Poor people in India queue for a political party-sponsored medical check. Pic: Welfare Party of India

Zero rating? Zero chance says Vodafone India

Vodafone India, country’s second-biggest mobile operator, has announced it will hold off offering zero-rated services amid a fierce political argument about the practice. Zero-rated services are offered to customers when an online service provider, such as Facebook, Spotify or, in the Indian case Flipkart, does a deal with the …
Jennifer Baker, 22 May 2015

Mobiles at school could be MAKING YOUR KID MORE DUMBER

Restricting smart watch and mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities. This is the conclusion of a report by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy working at the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance (pdf) and Louisiana State University. The survey looked at a number …
Simon Rockman, 21 May 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Brexit-fearing Vodafone: Of course we’ll make money from 4G

Vodafone has announced steady-as-she-goes results for the year to 31 March 2015, with group revenue up 10.1 per cent to £42.2bn, and the first increase in service revenue for ten quarters (albeit only 0.1 per cent) — all pretty much in line with what the company had forecast. Emerging markets saw a six per cent increase, …
Simon Rockman, 20 May 2015
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Pic: openDemocracy

Turkey president: Nuts to 4G networks, we're cutting straight to 5G

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that as Turkey doesn’t have 4G yet, the country might as well wait a couple of years and go straight to 5G. This is a pretty bold move given that we don’t even know what 5G is yet – although there are expected to be some announcements from the ITU in June. Most countries are …
Simon Rockman, 15 May 2015

Mobe network Three is the magic number for FreedomPop

The MVNO beloved by Californians, FreedomPop, is courting beta testers in the UK. The service will offer 200MBs of data, 200 voice minutes, and 200 texts completely free each month via the FreedomPop app, or new international SIM. FreedomPop is now accepting orders on a first-come, first-serve basis. Numbers are allocated by …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Foxconn joins the Cyanogen investment party

Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has joined Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefónica and others to swell Cyanogen’s round C funding to $110m. Neither company is saying how much Foxconn is investing, but before the announcement the round C stood at $80m. The money will go to build on the Cyanogen platform – which riffs on Android – “ …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015
Maybe it won't look like this

Tesco tries to talk Tesco Mobile up from 'Value' to 'Finest' ahead of sale

Analysis Tesco is rumoured to be selling off Tesco Mobile, its mobile phone network. The move comes as no surprise, with the company hauling back to its core businesses after dismal results, recently writing down assets to post a loss of £6.4bn. Figures given for the value of the business sit at about £700m. This is on the basis of …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2015

Sprint and Verizon to pay $158 MILLION over bogus 'cramming' fees

US mobile operators Sprint and Verizon will pay out a combined $158m after the Feds ruled that they allowed advertisers to tack unwanted premium charges onto customers' bills. According to the FCC, the carriers looked the other way when dodgy companies signed customers up for services without warning them that would be billed …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

A conference at Bristol university is set to reveal the current state of the art on Full Duplex technology, which allows for transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency at the same time. The idea that a radio can simultaneously shout and listen has been regarded as both old, established technology and a bonkers …
Simon Rockman, 11 May 2015
management regulation2

Ericsson to Apple: Cough up for licences or stop selling iPhones, iPads and Watches

The expiry of patent licences from Ericsson means that Apple has been selling phones it should not have been, according to Ericsson, and the Swedish commtech firm has now asked Apple to pay up or stop doing it. Ericsson has filed suits in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands against Apple's products. The whole area …
Simon Rockman, 8 May 2015

With FTC suit looming, AT&T backs off on throttling 'unlimited' data plans

AT&T has apparently had a rethink regarding its policy of limiting data transfer speeds for heavy users who subscribe to its so-called unlimited data plans. The US telco giant now says it will only throttle mobile data gluttons when they are in areas with heavy traffic. The reworded policy, which AT&T customers first began …
Shaun Nichols, 7 May 2015
Looks like DNA

Great, we all want 5G mobile broadband. Now just how are we gonna wire it all up?

The UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new focus group to look at how today’s landline networks can be adapted to provide the backhaul for 5G. In other words, how to use today's cabling to link high-speed 5G phone masts to carrier networks and the wider internet. Some of the language the ITU uses has …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Firm with 80 per cent of UK mobile numbers fails to monetise them, sold to O2

Weve, the mobile marketing consortium of EE, O2 and Vodafone, is being sold to O2. The organisation, which was formed with £38m from its wealthy parents under the codename “Project Oscar” fought significant regulatory hurdles with the aim of building a common technology for mobile NFC payments. Weve was launched at the end of …
Simon Rockman, 5 May 2015
Woman on phone. Pic: Carolyn Coles

AT&T fined for gouging Uncle Sam on phone plans for poor folk

AT&T has been fined $10.9m by US regulator the FCC for overcharging the government on phone plans for poor people. The watchdog said the telco over-billed the US government between 2012 and 2013 while providing the Lifeline service to hard-up citizens. Lifeline works like this: the cell networks offer discounted or free phone …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2015

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Analysis The US government has argued that the rules around how and when it is allowed to shutdown phone networks must remain secret because the disclosure could endanger lives. In a court filing [PDF] this week, lawyers from the Department of Justice argued that public disclosure of Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP 303) "would …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015
David Cameron

David Cameron 'guarantees' action on mobe not-spots. Honest

It’s election time, so all the party leaders are promising everything to everyone. The latest one from David Cameron is good mobile phone coverage. According to Mobile News, Cameron told a meeting of chartered accountants: “These things aren’t discussed in some dusty corner of a business park. They are discussed round the …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015