From September, the Mobile Broadband Group will start using the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to help UK mobile networks restrict access to commercial content that is unsuitable for customers under the age of 18.
This comes after 8 years of working with the Independent Mobile Classification Board, which currently provides the framework for mobile commercial content.
The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation to find out whether some free web-based games and mobile applications for children are breaking the law.
It’s particularly concerned that games may include a ‘direct exhortation’ encouraging children to make a purchase or persuade their parents to buy advertised products for them, as this is illegal under consumer protection regulations.
PhonepayPlus, the UK regulator of premium rate telephone services, says parents need to take control of their children’s smartphone bills and social media use - or face mobile phone bills that run into thousands of pounds.
The warning comes in a new report that highlights two areas of particular risk: free apps and social media linked to smartphones.
NTT Docomo says it’s working on a mobile phone that’s aimed specifically at pre-teen children and teenagers who are upper elementary and junior high school students in Japan.
The Smartphone for Juniors SH-05E is being manufactured by Sharp and will go on sale in early February.
A new UK virtual mobile network is offering parents the ability to monitor and control their child’s mobile phone.
Bemilo, which is running over the Vodafone network, will offer concerned parents the ability to check and restrict connections from their child’s SIM card. Unlike app-based solutions, the controls cannot be switched off by the user.