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Saturday, April 23, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 23rd April 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s Easter, but that’s not stopped the mobile phone industry from generating plenty of news stories.

Let’s start with partnerships. Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom - which already work together as Everything Everywhere in the UK – have now agreed to combine their procurement activities for customer equipment, network equipment, service platforms and IT infrastructure. Yes, even these two telecoms giants can save money with group buying!

The other big partnership news came from Nokia and Microsoft, who finally signed the agreement they announced in February. In addition Nokia released its quarterly results, which – by all accounts – were neither brilliant nor terrifying.

Talking of results, we also saw figures from Qualcomm, ZTE, Huawei, Sony Ericsson and Apple. All, as you’d expect, were accompanied by upbeat announcements.

An assortment of research told us things we could probably have guessed… with a surprise or two. Shipments of GPS-equipped phones are up, sales of NFC-equipped phones are increasing, most tablet sales are iPads – and smartphones are ever more reliant on WiFi to handle their data requirements.

Ofcom published figures showing the mobile networks that generated the most complaints – but this complaint story was soon eclipsed by news that Apple’s iPhones were tracking their users.

And finally, the ‘legal action of the week’ award goes to Apple and Samsung. Apple is taking legal action against Samsung, arguing that many Samsung products have copied Apple’s designs. Within a few days, Samsung responded with its own attack on Apple. It’s a bit like the schoolyard, isn’t it?


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Opinion Articles

Is Android losing its impact for Google?

Mark Bridge writes:

Recent figures released by ABI Research have prompted the market intelligence company to ask whether Google is losing control of the Android ecosystem.

At first glance, Android dominated smartphone shipments for the final quarter of 2013. ABI Research says 77% of the 287 million smartphones shipped in Q4 2013 were running Android.

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It’s time to prepare for the upcoming surge in signaling traffic

Robin Kent writes:

After initially suffering from slow pick up by consumers, 4G has begun to accelerate, and is now well on the way to the forecasted one billion subscribers by 2017. In fact EE, owner of T-Mobile and Orange, recently announced the addition of 493,000 new 4G customers to its existing base of 1.2 million.

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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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