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Friday, March 21, 2014

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone now working with the UK Information Commissioner's Office to tackle text spam

The UK’s major mobile network operators and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are now all using the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service to deal with unwanted SMS text messages. Although networks have offered spam reporting services for several years, the involvement of the ICO will increase the likelihood of offenders being identified and fined rather than simply being blocked.

Customers connected to EE, O2, Three and Vodafone can report nuisance text messages by forwarding them to a free-of-charge short code: 7726 (which spells ‘SPAM’ on most alphanumeric keypads). This service is managed by online security company Cloudmark, which started running the GSMA’s SMS spam service in 2010.

Messages are aggregated and analysed, with information shared in real time to ensure the effect of attacks can be minimised. Rogue senders can then be shut down.

John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd, said “Increasing numbers of consumers are victims of spam and mobile network operators are working hard defending against these threats. The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides operators with a tool to measure the extent of fraud and phishing and provides the insight needed to address sophisticated messaging threats that could harm users. By working closely with the ICO, the UK’s operators are making it more difficult for spammers and fraudsters to target mobile phone users in this country.”

The GSMA says future plans for the Spam Reporting Service could include extending it to address nuisance calls.

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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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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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