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Saturday, March 19, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 20th March 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

The last seven days have seen the UK mobile industry coming to terms with Ofcom’s plans to cut mobile termination rates from next month. Some think the reductions should have been larger and faster-acting, others say they’ll mean higher call charges for prepay customers. The reality will become more obvious from 1st April.

Also industry-wide – but voluntary – is the traffic management code for UK fixed-line and mobile broadband services. Although Everything Everywhere is a notable exception, most of the big network operators have committed to providing better information to consumers about internet traffic management. Expect explanations on web sites from this summer.

Talking of the mobile internet, Three UK has taken a bold step by making its adult filtering opt-in rather than opt-out for ‘pay monthly’ customers. It’s bound to prove popular with many consumers who – as part of signing a contract – have already proved they’re over 18.

O2’s implementation of its mobile web filtering caused well-publicised concerns a few weeks ago… but this week it’s been hitting the headlines with some good news. Following Ofcom’s new spectrum rules, it’s claiming to be the first UK network to boost capacity by reusing its 900MHz frequencies in London for 3G services.

In the world of mobile retailing, a majority share in Phones 4U has been sold to private equity firm BC Partners by owners Providence Equity Partners. The reality is likely to be ‘business as usual’ for the company’s 500 shops, although founder John Caudwell is thought to have made a little more cash from the deal.

Nothing as dramatic at The Carphone Warehouse, although it has confirmed it’ll have an exclusive launch deal on the LG Optimus 3D and is also now selling Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader.

Finally, this week saw the annual Mobile News Awards taking place in London. The event, hosted by TV presenter and comic Jason Manford, had 19 different categories - with Vodafone, 20:20 Mobile and Lebara each picking up two awards. We’ll have more details in our podcast on Wednesday.


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