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Sky launches its own mobile service

Entertainment company Sky has announced what it’s calling “the UK's most flexible mobile service”.

Customers with another Sky service will be able to sign up for Sky Mobile from mid-December, with a full launch expected in early 2017.

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Vodafone fined £4.6 million by Ofcom

Vodafone fined £4.6 million by Ofcom

UK communications regulator Ofcom is fining Vodafone £4,625,000 for mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor complaints handling.

This penalty is the result of two separate Ofcom investigations.

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BlackBerry moves away from handset production

BlackBerry moves away from handset production

Veteran smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry says it’s moving away from producing its own handsets and will instead license its software to other companies.

The first deal is with an Indonesian partner, BB Merah Putih, which is led by a leading telecommunications distributor in Indonesia.

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UK mobile users can now send a text to reduce nuisance calls

The Telephone Preference Service and Ofcom have introduced a new text message service that lets UK mobile users opt out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing calls.

Mobile phone users can simply text ‘TPS’ and their email address to 78070.

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The Nokia brand is returning to mobile phones and tablets

The Nokia brand is returning to mobile phones and tablets

Android-powered devices being produced by a new Finnish company

Former mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has signed a deal that’ll see a new Finnish company producing Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

The new company – HMD global – is being granted an exclusive branding and intellectual property licence to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years.

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Opinion Articles

Sunday, March 2, 2014

IBM, smartphones and a graffiti wall: what's the real message?

Mark Bridge writes:

I was ready to poke fun at IBM for its sponsored graffiti wall at Mobile World Congress this year. Graffiti and IBM don't have a comfortable history, as anyone who remembers the Linux campaign from 2001 will tell you.

Not that there was anything wrong with the quality of its latest work. This mural was being created by Barcelona-based artist Philip Stanton and his team. They were doing a good job. You could watch the team sketching outlines and carefully using their brushes to paint characters, logos and products "telling the visual story of the event". Except... brushes?  Never mind whether or not graffiti is art. This isn't graffiti at all. Not by the contemporary definition.

That's surely some kind of metaphor, I thought. Doing something well but not really doing it right. Trying too hard to be one of the cool kids.

Yet IBM doesn't need to create buzz - and it doesn't deserve my cynicism. It's already one of the cool kids. It isn't just a computing pioneer, it's a mobile computing pioneer. Never mind all the computer-in-a-suitcase stuff from the 1970s, it was IBM that created the world's first smartphone. This remarkable device was called Simon. Developed by IBM and made by Mitsubishi, the Simon Personal Communicator was sold by the BellSouth mobile network in the USA from summer 1994. He/it could handle phone calls, faxes, emails, pager messages and appointments... while the iconic Communicator was but a twinkle in Nokia's eye. Yet it's the Communicator we remember, not poor old Simon.

Twenty years later, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty used her keynote speech at MWC14 to announce the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, which is designed to encourage the adoption of the 'artificial intelligence' used by IBM's Watson project.

Watson is truly remarkable. It was smart enough to win the often baffling Jeopardy TV show, an achievement that's beyond most competitors. Unlike conventional software, Watson can understand context and it can learn - which means it behaves much like a person.

But smart doesn't always mean commercially successful. The real question is whether Watson will be adopted by mobile developers or whether someone else's AI system will be favoured in a couple of years.

IBM is doing some things well, certainly. Is it doing what the mobile world wants?  Only time will tell. But let's not talk about the graffiti, shall we?

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Recent Podcasts

Reviewing our 2015 mobile industry predictions... and looking forward to 2016

Podcast - 15th January 2016

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return to review their mobile industry predictions from last year. Which mergers, partnerships and developments did they forecast correctly... and which didn’t work out as planned?

Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

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Interview with Chris Millington of Doro about mobile retailing, wearables and technology for older consumers

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

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