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Monday, June 11, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 11th June 2012

Vodafone and O2 team up to battle Everything Everywhere

Mark Bridge writes:

With just three working days for many people in the UK last week, you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing much would happen. However, you’d be wrong.

Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK announced plans to pool the basic parts of their network infrastructure in an expansion of their existing ‘Cornerstone’ partnership. It means that Vodafone and O2 will be using the same base stations for 2G, 3G and 4G service across the country. Responsibility is being split down the middle; Telefónica UK will take care of the east, while Vodafone UK will have the west. I imagine the dividing line running conveniently between the headquarters buildings in Slough and Newbury respectively.

But that wasn’t the only big news from Vodafone. It’s also taken control of mobile coupon business Vouchercloud, which lets registered customers receive discounts, codes and vouchers on their phones. I’d say there’ll be some kind of integration into Vodafone’s mobile payment partnership before too long.

On the subject of acquisitions, A1 Comms is reported to have taken over the Go Mobile UK franchise business, Google has acquired the Quickoffice mobile productivity business and Citrix has expanded its mobile services by picking up data optimisation provider Bytemobile.

All fun and games, you might say – which would be a perfect link into our next couple of stories. Microsoft has revealed a new application that’ll bring entertainment from its Xbox gaming console to other Windows 8 devices and Windows Phone handsets. It’s called Xbox SmartGlass and, for example, will display bonus features from TV shows on your smartphone while you’re watching television via the Xbox.

Meanwhile Sony had good news for fans of its rival PlayStation gaming platform. HTC is joining the fun and will be bringing PlayStation Mobile games to HTC devices.

Finally, a question. What’s 12.3mm wide, 8.8mm high and just 0.67mm thick?  That’s the new smallest-ever SIM card. 40% smaller than a microSIM, it’s just been approved by ETSI. Expect to see it appearing in the iPhone 6 from 2013 (perhaps). Let’s just hope my eyesight will still be good enough to fit the card.

Start your week with a reminder of the latest mobile headlines. Simply register at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page and we’ll send you this weekly news summary by email.

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