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Google plans smarter messaging with forthcoming Allo app

Google says it’s planning to launch a new iOS and Android ‘smart messaging’ app called Allo, along with a video calling app called Duo.

Both are based on the user’s mobile phone number, drawing comparisons with WhatsApp.

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Samsung to discontinue its ChatON mobile messaging service in 2015

It’s reported that Samsung Electronics is closing down its free ChatON mobile messaging service next year.

ChatON was launched in 2011, enabling users to communicate using text, images, handwritten notes and video.

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Survey: companies are missing out on using mobile to make their customers feel cared for

Application-to-person mobile messaging specialist Mblox has published its findings from a survey of customers and businesses conducted by Millward Brown Digital. It looked at how well companies felt they were engaging with their customers via mobile devices - and how well customers felt they were being engaged with by brands.

The survey revealed a ‘care gap’ in business-to-consumer interactions: 67% of companies thought consumers were satisfied with their current methods of mobile engagement, yet only 47% of consumers said they were happy with it.

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The vast majority of people say they wouldn't struggle without a home landline

Mobile phones are now used at home more than anywhere else

A new report reveals that 95% of people in the UK say they “wouldn’t struggle” without a landline at home.

In addition, more than half of all respondents said they used their mobile phones more at home than anywhere else.

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BT talks to O2, Nokia and Jolla announce new tablets, Apple Watch developers get started... and Ofcom plans for more mobile capacity

Podcast - 26th November 2014

In this week's podcast we're talking about the potential purchase of the O2 UK mobile network by BT.

We also discuss new tablets from Nokia and Jolla, the end of a patent battle, mobile payments via instant messaging, app development for the Apple Watch and plans to make even more spectrum available for mobile broadband in the UK .

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Opinion Articles

Mobile phone coverage: is this as good as it gets?

Mark Bridge writes:

A new report has highlighted the issue of poor mobile phone coverage in rural Sussex villages. BBC Sussex invited me onto their ‘Sussex Breakfast’ radio show to explain what could be done - and, as usual, I made enough notes for a lecture rather than a three-minute interview.

Here’s what I would have liked to have said if I’d been given a disproportionate amount of time to talk.

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Last week at The Fonecast: 27th January 2014

Expecting the unexpected

Mark Bridge writes:

Great news for mobile phone users. Ofcom’s new rules preventing unexpected mid-contract price rises came into force last week, which means UK consumers can no longer be surprised by their subscription charge increasing while they’re still locked into a minimum-term deal.

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Ofcom changes the rules for mobile phone contracts... and so does O2

Mark Bridge writes:

This week, new Ofcom rules came into force. They’re designed to avoid unexpected price rises during the minimum term of a mobile phone contract. Yes, just because you signed a fixed-term contract doesn’t mean the charges can’t increase. Networks said they needed this option in case of inflation or regulatory changes. Customers felt trapped.

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Review: CAT Active Urban rugged phone case for iPhone 5 and 5s

Natasha Cooper writes:

As someone who has been through more iPhone screens than I’d like to remember, when I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5s I was keen to keep it in one piece - for a few months at least. Cue the new CAT Active Urban Phone Case, which claims to protect your phones from falls of up to 1.8 meters using a reinforced material that can also be found in protective equipment for motor bike riders.

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Ovum reveals 2014 will be a year of innovation, disruption, and consolidation in mobile payments

Analyst firm Ovum has published its mobile payment and mobile advertising predictions for this year.

Ovum expects continued technology and service innovation, notably around location-based applications, in the mobile payments space in 2014. However, there will be increasing complexity within the mobile payments ecosystem this year, and on-going challenges around the business model for digital wallet services.

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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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