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Saturday, April 9, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 9th April 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

We head into the weekend with the News of the World admitting voicemail hacking was more widespread than previously thought. Mobile networks had already made it much harder to access voicemail remotely… and now the NotW is saying sorry and preparing to pay compensation.

Talking of illicit activities, British police ‘on the beat’ have been given the ability to identify stolen mobile phones within seconds. Access to the National Mobile Phone Register has been added to the handheld computers used by thousands of officers, thanks to Recipero.

On to other partnerships now, and the biggest news of the week was Vodafone’s decision to sell its stake in French network SFR. What’ll this mean for its Verizon partnership in the USA?  Probably not much in the short-term, to be honest.

In Ireland, Telefonica O2 Ireland and the eircom Group announced a new mobile network sharing arrangement. And here in the UK, Everything Everywhere added another 3 MVNOs to its network. That’ll be a total of 21.

Facebook was talking technical this week. First came an announcement that it was moving to a mobile internet platform that would automatically tailor the appearance of its web site to suit the visiting phone – much like our own mobile site at thefonecast.com – and later in the week it revealed a new server centre in the USA.

Okay, let’s return to basics. Time for some sales figures. In the last few days we’ve seen research that emphasises the growth in ‘smart’ mobile technology. Worldwide cameraphone sales are expected to exceed 1 billion units this year… and almost half the world's new smartphones will be running Android by the end of next year.

Of course, all those smartphones won’t be much use without decent tariffs. This week The Carphone Warehouse stepped into the space already occupied by Three UK and giffgaff by introducing an unlimited internet tariff. At the moment it’s only available for purchases within the next month – but I’m hoping it’s a sign that the bigger networks might also be thinking of relaxing a bit. Well, you never know.


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