Mark Bridge writes:
As summer approaches, so the media’s interest in mobile phone roaming increases. Once again, the maximum price of calls and texts when abroad in Europe is falling – but this year there’s something different on the horizon. The European parliament has just approved the EU’s plans to introduce a price cap for mobile data... and in a couple of years’ time we’ll be able to choose a completely separate network to help cut roaming costs.
Talking of money, it’s been a busy week for mobile payment news. Payment solution provider VeriFone Systems, whose name you’ll see on a lot of credit card machines, has just introduced a new plug-in card reader for smartphones. As well as letting businesses use smartphones to accept payments, it also opens the potential for mobile developers to build secure payment solutions on top of VeriFone’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile MasterCard announced that its digital PayPass Wallet was expected to launch this autumn, iZettle dropped its fixed transaction fee for mobile payments and Samsung’s new Galaxy SIII was confirmed as the payment-enabled Olympic Games Phone.
From payment applications to a different kind of app. Facebook has announced plans to introduce an ‘App Center’ to its web pages and to its iOS and Android applications as well. It wants to encourage the use of mobile apps that link with Facebook, which is hardly surprising given the lack of revenue currently coming from the social network’s mobile users.
That’s common sense - but some companies are happy to defy convention. In an industry that’s historically made plenty of money from messaging, here’s a network that wants to give it all away. Telefónica has just launched a new all-in-one communication application called TU Me. This is a free messaging app that’s available internationally and introduces the new TU brand from Telefónica Digital. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
Finally... we ended Wednesday’s podcast with the story of Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson, whose non-existent computer science degree was causing eyebrows to be raised in Silicon Valley. Surely not a big deal? Well, he’s now the former CEO.
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