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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

New products from Microsoft, Samsung and Huawei... plus the rest of the week's news

Podcast - 5th November 2014

The new Microsoft Band, the Samsung Galaxy A smartphones and the Huawei Honor 6 are all discussed in this week's podcast.

We also look at some of the mobile industry's other big stories, including Amazon UK's mobile phone deals, the Lenovo purchase of Motorola Mobility, LG's quarterly results and the anticipated increase in WiFi hotspots.

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Takeovers, tablets, taxes and testing... all from the perspective of the mobile industry

Podcast - 21st May 2014

This week's podcast begins with news about the creation of Dixons Carphone plc. We then move on to talk about patent-related legal action, customised Braille phones and the health concerns of children using smartphones.

There's also time to discuss tablet shipments, potential protests and foreign network sales.

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Tesco gets into smartphones, Facebook gets into advertising... and O2 gets into trouble

Podcast - 7th May 2014

We start this week's podcast with Tesco's plans for a Hudl-branded smartphone. Next comes some potentially good news about the 'patent wars' affecting the mobile industry - although there's certainly no sign of a ceasefire.

Later we discuss an announcement from Facebook about its mobile advertising scheme, an unfortunate mistake for O2's Travel service, a new 20 megapixel camera-phone and an automotive investment by Nokia.

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A week of mobile industry news, including the latest security and privacy concerns

Podcast - 16th April 2014

We begin this week's podcast with a discussion about the Heartbleed bug, the effect it's having on the mobile industry and the wider issues for all internet users.

We're also talking about the future of BlackBerry, UK 4G coverage, new CEOs, Bluetooth connectivity, privacy concerns and the next generation of mobile processors.

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The week's top mobile industry news stories, from Motorola to malware

Podcast - 5th February 2014

This week's podcast starts with Lenovo's purchase of the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. Was it a good deal for everyone?

We also talk about network infrastructure sharing in the UK, mobile malware, 3G coverage, misleading apps, mobile advertising, Samsung's retail plans and global tablet sales.

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