Mark Bridge writes:
Mobile networks aren’t what they used to be. As last week’s interview with Vince Russell of The Cloud demonstrated, more and more customers are relying on WiFi to augment their mobile data service.
Truphone is now planning to do exactly the same with voice calls and text messages by linking its mobile network with WiFi for even wider coverage. Before long you’ll be able to make and receive calls via GSM or a WiFi hotspot, all using the same telephone number.
Also blurring the boundaries between mobile and VoIP is Skype, which has now got direct mobile operator billing up and running. It means customers can pay for Skype credit by charging it to their mobile phone account. First came Russia, next it’s the USA and Canada.
On the subject of money, Amazon is launching its own virtual currency in May. To start with it’ll only be offered to Kindle Fire owners in the USA, although expansion seems pretty likely. Amazon Coins will be an option for buying applications, games and in-app items.
It’s real money being spent by Michael Dell, who’s planning to buy back the computer company he founded. (That’s Dell, in case you hadn’t guessed). The deal’s worth around £15 billion. Back in the UK, Broadband and telephone business Liberty Global is spending a similar amount to acquire Virgin Media.
And there was relatively good news from the Royal Academy of Engineering, which warned that violent sun spot activity could knock out satellites and disrupt electricity supplies... but reckoned it would leave the UK’s mobile phone networks largely unaffected. Of course, how we’d manage to recharge our phones is another matter entirely.
|We’re off to Mobile World Congress 2013 at the end of the month - and there are just a couple of sponsorship packages left at The Fonecast. If you’d like to put your company or client in front of the people that matter, take a look at what we’re offering.
Every Monday morning we summarise the past week’s mobile industry headlines in a newsletter that’s just like this article. To receive it, simply register your email address at TheFonecast.com by clicking the link at the top right-hand corner of our home page.