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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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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

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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Big numbers for EE, Apple, smartwatches and the Internet of Things

Podcast - 29th October 2014

We start this week's podcast with news that EE now has the largest 4G customer base in Europe, with 5.6 million UK connections.

There's also talk about a new DIY product for the Internet of Things, the disappearance of Nokia branded smartphones, quarterly results for Apple, increasing M2M connections and a growing market for smartwatches.

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Microsoft cuts its mobile staff, Apple finds a new partner and Yahoo! makes an acquisition

Podcast - 23rd July 2014

We start this week's podcast with news that thousands of Microsoft's ex-Nokia employees are losing their jobs.

Other topics for discussion include the new Apple and IBM partnership, Yahoo's acquisition of Flurry, regulating mobile games, improving rural mobile coverage, BT's new phone service and some management movements.

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Talking about smartwatches, smartphones, roaming charges and customer complaints

Podcast - 2nd July 2014

In this week's podcast we talk about two of the big announcements from Google I/O: a new version of Android and the retail launch of smartwatches powered by 'Android Wear'.

We also talk about Android-based smartphones from Nokia and Blackphone, network complaints in the UK, a reduction in European roaming charges and mobile ticketing.

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A week of mobile news, including a US launch for the Amazon Fire smartphone and a UK launch for Google Glass

Podcast - 25th June 2014

This week's podcast covers the launch of the first Amazon smartphone and the introduction of Google Glass to the UK.

We also talk about new WiFi-powered voice services from EE and Three, plans to reduce mobile 'black spots', BlackBerry's app partnership, smartphone theft, 4G innovation... and rechargeable trousers.

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