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Monday, December 10, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 10th December 2012

From Christmas SMS to customer service

Mark Bridge writes:

We started last week with a 20th birthday party for the SMS text message, which was first used as an alternative Christmas card by Neil Papworth in 1992. Since then, mobile data has been transformed from the familiar dit-dit-dit dah-dah dit-dit-dit of Nokia phones to non-stop internet connectivity on smart devices.

Also transformed is Nokia itself, no longer an industry leader in terms of sales volumes. It’s just launched its third Windows Phone 8 device and has boosted its bank account by leasing its headquarters building rather than owning it.

Sticking with mobile data, a new partnership between France Telecom and mobile security company Lookout will see anti-virus software preloaded on some Android devices sold by EE, Orange and T-Mobile in the UK. And a new app from Kickvox promises a mobile search experience that’s specifically designed for smartphones.

Still on the subject of ‘new’, two more virtual networks are launching in the UK. Talk Home and White Mobile are both associated with ‘calling card’ companies – and both MVNOs are the first to launch on the rebranded EE network, albeit only on 3G.

However, it’s not been a week of entirely good news. News Corporation has decided to stop publishing its American iPad newspaper, The Daily, with the last edition appearing on Friday 15th. Juniper Research has lowered its estimates for NFC growth in North America and Western Europe, blaming the NFC-free iPhone 5 for reducing the confidence of brands and retailers.

Perhaps most disappointing is Ofcom’s customer service survey, which revealed that dissatisfaction levels amongst UK mobile users had increased in the last three years. However, to end on a positive note, it’s worth pointing out that mobile subscribers are still happier than fixed-line phone and fixed-line broadband customers.

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