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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Government and UK mobile networks agree a £5 billion coverage deal

No sign of mandated national roaming in ‘landmark deal’ for mobile phone users

Sajid Javid MP, the UK Government Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has announced what’s described as a “landmark deal” with the ‘big four’ mobile networks to improve coverage.

It follows a three-week consultation period that involved the government proposing mandated ‘national roaming’ as one of the options to improve rural coverage in areas where some networks provided service but others didn’t.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have together agreed to invest £5 billion to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017, with guaranteed voice and text coverage from each network across 90% of the UK (geography, rather than population coverage). This will also cut ‘not spot’ areas of no mobile coverage by two thirds.

The deal will be legally binding and enforceable by Ofcom, with the networks agreeing to accept amended licence conditions in return for changes to the Electronic Communications Code and a potential reduction in Annual Licence Fees. (These moves were proposed by the GSMA as part of its response to the government consultation.) In addition, hundreds of government buildings will be made available as potential sites for mobile infrastructure.

Sajid Javid said “I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts. Government and businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile connectivity, and improved coverage, so this legally binding agreement will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves. The £5 billion investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan.”

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Opinion Articles

Satellite phones may work everywhere... but that doesn't mean they're legal

Mark Bridge writes:

Every time a British citizen finds themselves in trouble abroad – whether the problem is pirates, police, having a drink or having a cuddle – it’s very likely someone somewhere will say “you should have checked first”.

That’s sensible advice when it comes to looking at the FCO website… but an extra reminder about checking the legality of your technology came this week when biofuel bus driver Andy Pag was arrested in India for using a satellite phone.

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Google, Android and TouchDown – demonstrating the new "old" business model

James Rosewell writes:

If you work for a sizeable organisation it’s 65% likely your email, contacts, calendar and task list will all reside on a Microsoft Exchange server. That’s quite a lot of mobile phones to connect and synchronise with Exchange. Microsoft has a solution called ActiveSync now supported by Nokia, Apple and a few others. RIM requires a server that IT departments need to install to allow their BlackBerry users to access these features.

Android has been left behind when it comes to accessing ActiveSync.

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Google Nexus One – a tale of 2 power supplies

James Rosewell writes:

Last week I decided to use my own hard earned money to buy the latest high-end HTC smartphone running Android 2.1 in the form of the Google Nexus One. I’ve not used an Android-based device as my main phone for some time so was keen to understand the improvements to the operating system and see for myself how fast the Snapdragon processor really is.

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Ten tips for mobile working at home

Mark Bridge writes:

So you’re stuck at home because the snow’s made your journey to work too hazardous?  Or perhaps you just needed a little peace and quiet to finish an important project?

Well, technology can certainly make your life easier – but how can you make the best of it?  Here are my top ten tips… all gathered from personal experience. So switch on your BlackBerry, connect to your VPN and let’s do some telecommuting.

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Today, Nexus One... tomorrow, the world

Mark Bridge writes:

To my mind, the Google Nexus One is just another Android-powered handset. It’s a very good Android-powered handset – and one that might dissuade me from my planned upgrade to a Motorola Milestone – but in reality it’s only another phone.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, I don’t think Google’s method of selling the phone is going to transform mobile retailing. Well, no more than the internet is doing already.

Because that’s not why the Nexus One has been created.

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