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Friday, December 5, 2014

Europe moves closer to launching in-car eCall emergency service in 2018

The European Parliament has moved closer to mandating the installation of an emergency call system in all new cars and smaller commercial vehicles. Earlier this week MEPs voted to require all new car models to have its eCall system installed from 31st March 2018. They’d originally hoped to mandate eCall from 2015.

eCall would use mobile phone technology and the current 112 (999) emergency telephone number to call the emergency services if a car is involved in a major accident. This would enable a faster response from rescue teams.

However, MEPs changed the draft law to increase data protection so that eCall-equipped vehicles cannot be tracked before an accident. In addition, the automatic call would include a restricted amount of information about the vehicle and would not be passed to third parties without the consent of the person concerned.

Olga Sehnalova, rapporteur for the parliament’s Internal Market Committee, said “Too many people die in accidents on Europe’s roads. The eCall system will help to improve road safety by enabling emergency services to locate and reach accident victims much faster. As a public service, eCall will be free of charge for all citizens, whatever car they drive and whatever its purchase price. The new rules will ensure that eCall works only as safety device. It will be illegal to use it to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services.”

Before this new agreement becomes law for car manufacturers, it needs to be formally approved by all EU member states and then the entire European Parliament next year. It doesn’t apply to other vehicles, including buses, coaches or trucks; these would need a separate law.

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Opinion Articles

Mobile shopping is worrying... and usually successful

Mark Bridge writes:

I really don’t like to complain. Honestly, I don’t. I’m an optimist. True, I can be a bit of a cynic – but that’s because I like to see things work first time.

So when I saw a headline that said “Shopping via mobile phone causes concerns for consumers”, I wasn’t surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.

And then I looked closer – and I got annoyed. Not annoyed at the companies that make mobile shopping so disappointing. No, annoyed at the organisation that published the report.

Author: The Fonecast
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Is mobile technology too young to predict?

Mark Bridge writes:

“Leave them alone, they’re just kids”

My word, Anakin Skywalker was a smart boy. Child prodigy. Wunderkind. Genius, some would say, albeit fictional.

But, without the benefit of hindsight (or the Star Wars box set, as many would call it), very few people would have expected him to marry his babysitter, fall into a volcano, turn to the Dark Side and end up looking like the late Sebastian Shaw.

Which brings me to the mobile phone industry.

Author: The Fonecast
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Did 2009 turn out the way we expected?

Mark Bridge writes:

At this time of year it’s something of a tradition – certainly within the mobile industry – to make predictions for the year ahead. It’s a trend we’ve followed with The Fonecast… and we’ve done reasonably well over the last few years.

We’ll be making this year’s predictions for 2010 in our programme on 23rd December. Ahead of that, I’ve been listening to our last show of 2008 to see what we thought 2009 would hold for us.

Author: The Fonecast
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How long can Apple remain torn between two lovers?

Mark Bridge writes:

“Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking all the rules”.

Mary McGregor sang those words in 1976 – and Apple would do well to bear them in mind today. Why?  Well, Rick Astley is to blame for it all.

Oh, alright, Rick’s not personally involved. It’s worm-writer ikee, along with the people who’ve followed him in creating security threats for the Apple iPhone. But why am I invoking the lyrics of Mary McGregor?  It’s because Apple has two loves... and it may be struggling to choose between them.

Author: The Fonecast
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Everyone’s selling Android phones… but who’s selling Android?

Mark Bridge writes:

Samsung. Huawei. Acer. HTC. Motorola. LG. Toshiba. Sony Ericsson. INQ. Dell. They’re all after a slice of the Android cake. (The Android cake is an éclair at the moment. Not particularly good for slicing. But I digress).

And my, what advertisements we’ve seen. Most recently Motorola has been knocking the iPhone while HTC has been playing with marker pens.

But those ad campaigns are mainly about manufacturers and phones. As you’d expect, really. Not about Android.

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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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