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Monday, April 2, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 2nd April 2012

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s always a relief when April Fool’s Day doesn’t fall on a work day, isn’t it?  Still, that didn’t stop the jokes. Even though the mobile industry traditionally tends to head to the pub for a roast dinner and a pint on Sunday, there was many a prank in the morning of April 1st. Our friends at revealed left-handed device detection, Google prepared to run mobile ads on phones with dials, Phones 4U introduced Gnomes 4U femtocells, Nokia made a Windows Phone device out of ice… and so on.

Back to reality now – and with a bump.

BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion reported quarterly results that weren’t as good as previously hoped. CEO Thorsten Heins talked about a ‘refocus’ on enterprise users, which led a number of journalists to assume the company was about to drop its offering to individual consumers. Not true.

On a positive financial note, UK-based mobile commerce business Monitise plc agreed to acquire US-based mobile banking company Clairmail Inc. The deal values Clairmail at approximately £109 million.

The other big headline-grabber of the week was the European Commission, which moved closer to seeing its new roaming rules becoming law. It wants price caps on data use from this summer, along with the ability to choose a separate contract for mobile use abroad from July 2014. Call me a cynic but I can’t see this running smoothly.

While we’re talking about networks, O2 UK introduced a new tariff called On & On. It offers unlimited calls and text messages, along with a fixed data allowance. O2 isn’t the first network to do this, so it’s beginning to look like a trend.

Meanwhile T-Mobile UK has announced that it’ll be increasing some of its prices from May. Customers on most ‘pay monthly’ contracts will have their basic monthly charge increased by 3.7%. It’s a somewhat gentler announcement than last year’s Orange price rise.

Mind you, network operators need every penny they can get. Juniper Research has calculated that the mobile telecommunications industry lost more than $58 billion last year due to inadequate Fraud Management and Revenue Assurance processes. The figure is the equivalent of over 6% of global industry revenue. And that’s no joke.

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Author: The Fonecast
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