Mark Bridge writes:
Last week mobile phones and health were back in the headlines together, rather like love & marriage or salt and vinegar. The news is pretty much as we’ve heard before; this time it’s the UK Health Protection Agency’s independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation telling us there’s no convincing evidence that mobile phone technologies cause adverse effects on human health – but longer-term research is still needed.
Mobile payments are also getting plenty of publicity as O2’s Wallet finally relaunches. The new O2 Wallet is a mobile application that allows customers to send money from an existing debit or credit card to individuals or to online retailers... and there’s a physical debit card available as well.
Last week’s big money deal came courtesy of Vodafone, which is spending just over £1 billion on Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc.
And on top of all this are the quarterly results from assorted mobile-related tech companies, which I’ll try to keep brief.
Apple: situation normal; sold loads of devices and made loads of money.
Samsung: big profits. Now ships more mobile phones than Nokia.
Amazon: smaller profits. Now ships more Android tablets in the USA than Samsung.
Ericsson: profits are up, thanks to selling Sony Ericsson.
LG: making money again.
ARM: revenue and profits are up.
ZTE: revenue and profits are up.
Huawei: revenue up but profits down.
HTC: revenue and profits are both down, but the future is looking better.
That’s all from the well-known names. But I’ll end with some UK innovation that demonstrates how ‘mobile industry’ is becoming an increasingly vague term.
Cambridge-based Neul has deployed the world’s first city-wide ‘white space’ wireless network. It takes advantage of spare bits of wireless spectrum, such as unused TV channels and unlicensed radio bands. At the moment the Neul network – which covers Cambridge, perhaps unsurprisingly – is demonstrating smart metering, although the company says it could easily be expanded to connect everything from recycling points to parking spaces. Which means before long your car could be telling you where to get rid of your old phone.
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