Articles about mobile networks

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We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

Vodafone's new group CEO has vowed to keep shareholders happy by continuing to pay out dividends in his first earnings conference, despite reporting a €7.8bn loss and falling revenue. Former bean-counter Nick Read, a certified chartered accountant, officially took over from Vittorio Colao on 1 October, and has pledged to take …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2018
Boot opening door

4G slowcoach Three plans network and IT overhaul to get foot in the door with 5G

Hutchison's Three UK has detailed an ambitious network and IT overhaul as it paves the ground for 5G. After being a laggard with 4G, the UK operation sees 5G as a chance to grow by jumping the competition with efficiency gains from infrastructure updates. Three has virtualized both its IT operations and its RAN and core …
Burning 5G against dark background

Mobile ops and Wi-Fi set to scrap for spectrum in the glorious 5G future

As the world's boffins prepare to carve up the airwaves again next year, the mobile industry has stepped up the lobbying war over spectrum, fearing a crushing 5G disappointment. Expectations for 5G are now stratospheric, with talk of it threatening the business case for fixed-line retail broadband and Wi-Fi. And maybe even …
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Boom! Just like that the eSIM market emerges – and jolly useful it is too

Well, that didn't take long. Owners of new iPhones can now download an app and stick some data and minutes on the second SIM that Apple has thoughtfully included, allowing cheap calls and roaming data that your main SIM provider might not include. The UK's veteran virtual SIM pioneer Truphone was the first to break cover, …
Mechanic photo via Shutterstock

While everyone coos at the promise of 5G, UK network Three asks if it can tempt you with 4G+

Hutchison's UK network Three has upgraded 2,700 urban sites to support faster 4G data. The introduction of carrier aggregation technology on the network has enabled it to boost downloads by an average of 33 per cent, said Three UK. Users in cities, traditionally the most congested areas, will see the benefit, which manifests …
Xiaomi Underpants

The Chinese are here: Xiaomi to bring phones to the UK next month

Xiaomi will officially launch in the UK with its first physical store in November – and retail support from Hutchison's Three UK. Xiaomi's Mi 5 Xiaomi the way: Hyped Chinese giant begins its battle for Britain READ MORE In May, Hutch vowed to wheel in its formidable retail clout to the support of the unconventional Chinese …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Oct 2018
mystery man stands in shadows, talks on phone

You can hear a PIN drop... All quiet on the mobile broadband speed front, says network watcher OpenSignal

Monitoring biz OpenSignal has found no major gains in mobile broadband performance since spring in its latest quarterly UK survey [PDF] as network operators focus their investments more carefully ahead of the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Speeds are where they were before, with BT-owned EE the fastest network as usual. …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Oct 2018
perplexed woman on phone

Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

Updated O2 customers have been reporting problems using their handsets on what's become a troublesome Thursday afternoon for the UK network operator. The first whinges began rolling in at 16:15 BST, and Twitter was soon awash with angry customers finding their social umbilical cords severed. I’m in St Helens right now and I can’t …
Richard Speed, 4 Oct 2018
A tortoise catches an orange frisbee. Photo by Shutterstock

Turns out download speed isn't everything when streaming video on your smartphone

The Czech Republic and Hungary top the world for mobile video performance – even though they don't have the fastest networks. While politicos and telco marketing departments are obsessed with the headline figure of broadband speeds, the download rate doesn't give you the complete picture of network performance – particularly …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2018
Apple Watch 4

Vodafone and EE ship Apple's Watch 4, but not without LTE teething issues

By popular opinion, Apple's most accomplished product of 2018 – and maybe even in years – has been its Watch Series 4. But wait, if you live in the UK, there are some things you should know about well before you pull out your wallet. While fanbois can swan into an Apple Store today and emerge more than £1,000 poorer for the …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Sep 2018
Young "creatives" whip out their mobile phones. Photo by Shutterstock

Brits pay £490m extra for mobes they already own – Citizens Advice

Brits forked out £490m extra on their last mobile phone contract because of bundled handset charges that continued long after the device was paid for, Citizens Advice has said. The charity today slammed networks that allow customers to stay locked into higher-cost agreements. It analysed more than 700 phone tariffs from EE, …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Sep 2018

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

Analysis The great techno-utopian fantasy for years has been that eSIMs will destroy mobile networks' lock on customers – allowing real-time switching. The phone would tune into the best signal. This notion was touted by the same sort of people who 15 years ago thought Wi-Fi would kill off mobile networks – Clay Shirky, WiReD magazine …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2018
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UK networks have 'no plans' to bring roaming fees back after Brexit

Seaside selfies from Spain may be a thing of the past if the UK waves buh-bye to Brussels without a Brexit deal. Brits have delighted in the ability to "Roam Like at Home" thanks to a bunch of EU regulations forcing carriers to allow their customers to call, text and use data without incurring heart-stopping surcharges. Data …
Richard Speed, 13 Sep 2018
Trinity atomic bomb test

Canny Brits are nuking the phone bundle

New research has highlighted a revolution in how Brits buy phones as punters become more discerning. Consumers are now more aware that they can buy the phone and the network access separately, and are increasingly doing so. "Many were totally unaware of the true value of the plan, and this marks a real change," CCS Insight …
Belfast Map

Belfast's networks are hella fast, London's are in the bog

As if you needed another reason to love Belfast, residents of the Northern Ireland capital enjoy the fastest and most reliable mobile network performance in the UK, while Londoners are stuck in the slow lane. RootMetrics' survey of 16 UK metro areas found Belfast to have the most reliable mobile performance – while only …
Annoyed user of cellphone / mobile phone

Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be

Interview eSIM-enabled phones are a solution to a problem that doesn't exist – and consumers are better off without it, according to analyst Dean Bubley. The eSIM replaces the removable plastic chip card provided by mobile network operators with an embedded, programmable chip. Last week Bubley, founder of Disruptive Analysis, set off a …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2018
Young people stare vacantly at their mobile phones/ cellphones

Vodafone's spending pays off - but EE hangs on to UK network crown

EE is being strongly challenged by rival networks that have improved their reliability, and in some cases their data performance too. Network performance monitor Rootmetrics' nationwide survey for the first half of 2018 placed EE top in the five main categories - as it always has. But more interestingly – now that network …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2018
Palm Treo 600, palmOne brand, Verizon: 2003 model

Time to party like it's 2005! Palm is coming BAAAA-ACK

Of all the intellectual property rights on which our future prosperity depends, perhaps trademarks are the most undervalued. The deep emotional power of a brand endures, long after its parent has expired. Don't believe me? Well, Palm is coming back. Yes, Palm. Two filings made with regulatory authorities in the US confirm …

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