Opinion Articles

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 28th May 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

It’s often said that timing is everything. Or is it size?  I’m never sure.

Both came into play this week as online giant Google announced the forthcoming launch of its much-rumoured mobile payment service. Expect Google Wallet to arrive on the Nexus S 4G in the USA this summer. Is it a big deal?  Bearing in mind the lack of any UK information, I’m inclined to think it’s less exciting than the launch of Quick Tap last week... or the US-based clearXchange partnership.

Anyway, there wasn’t much time for Google to bask in the glory of its announcement. PayPal, while not mentioning Google Wallet specifically, is taking legal action against Google and two Google employees who’d previously worked at PayPal. Mobile payments, trade secrets and breached contracts are on the agenda.

Let’s head to Cornwall, where there’s news of a happier partnership. Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale are planning trials of 4G LTE mobile broadband later this year. If you live in the St Newlyn East area of Newquay, you could be looking at speeds of up to 100Mbps.

If, however, you live elsewhere, you’d be more likely to get 1.5Mbps. That’s what Ofcom reckons the average UK mobile broadband speed is on dongles and datacards.

It may not be close to the maximum possible - but it’s a darn sight better than GPRS, which was launched in the UK just ten years ago. Talking of improvements, the latest J.D. Power Mobile Phone Customer Satisfaction Study shows that mobile phone customers in the UK are more satisfied this year than they were in 2010. Tesco Mobile topped the chart for prepay and post-pay service.

Finally this week, some operating system news. Microsoft announced the details of Mango, its forthcoming Windows Phone OS update. Apparently there are 500 new features - and there’ll also be new manufacturers. Joining Microsoft’s new best friend Nokia will be Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE.

Meanwhile there’s good and bad news for Symbian. Bad news that the EC has closed down the multi-million pound SYMBEOSE Symbian-based development project - but good news that Nokia will support Symbian until 2016 at the very earliest. Anyone splashing out 800 Euro on the brand new gold-plated Nokia Oro will undoubtedly be reassured.

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Author: The Fonecast
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