Wednesday, 4 February 2009

New podcast from 'The Fonecast' updated every week

The Fonecast is available to download free of charge. It's updated every Wednesday morning at and is also on the Mobile News website. In addition you'll find us on iTunes and via RSS too. The Fonecast RSSThe Fonecast is presented and produced by Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge at

Thursday, 29 January 2009

We've moved our blog!

We've moved our blog to our own site at You'll find all the latest mobile industry news there, along with a few new features as well. Plus, of course, there's our free weekly podcast produced for Mobile News.

The Fonecast

Barclays bank gives mobile security software to customers

Barclays is giving its online banking customers free software to protect against mobile and PC security threats. It says it's the first UK bank to offer mobile security software. Barclays mobile banking is available online at [Source: Mobile News]

Acer smartphone due next month

Computer manufacturer Acer is expected to launch a smartphone on 16th February at this year's Mobile World Congress, according to reports. [Sources:;]

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

190 million Fixed/Mobile Convergence users by 2013

There'll be over 190 million people using converged fixed/mobile services by 2013, according to Informa Telecoms and Media - and 46% of these will be using femtocells. [Source:]

Eight mobile technologies to watch

Research company Gartner has published a list of eight mobile technologies that it says will have an impact on mobile strategies and policies over the next couple of years:
  1. Bluetooth 3.0,
  2. User Interfaces,
  3. Location Sensing,
  4. 802.11n WiFi,
  5. Display Technologies,
  6. Mobile Web and Widgets,
  7. Mobile Broadband and
  8. Near Field Communication.

[Press release]

Vodafone buys Wayfinder

It's not just Nokia interested in maps. Vodafone has completed its takeover of Swedish navigation software company Wayfinder, which was first proposed in December. [Sources:; Vodafone press release - as before, not for Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa!]

Nokia buys another map company

Nokia has agreed to buy bit-side GmbH, a Berlin-based services and software company with 39 employees. It says integrating the company in its Services unit will strengthen and accelerate its mobile development for Nokia Maps. Nokia acquired digital map company NAVTEQ last year. [Press release]

New Mobile News podcast now online

As usual, the Mobile News podcast team looks at the latest headlines from the industry. Iain, Mark and James talk about termination charges, premium SMS, manufacturers' quarterly results, crossing the road with a phone... and Barack's BlackBerry. You can download or listen free at and on the Mobile News website... and you'll find us on iTunes and via RSS too.

Mobile News podcast RSSThe Mobile News podcast is presented and produced by Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge at

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sumsing Turbo 3000

Okay, it's not new - but it is funny.

Competition searches for 'best text message'

Mobile application blog SMS is the new Black is running a competition to find the best text message sent or received in January 2009. It's an entertaining promotional exercise... and it'll be interesting to see the results. [Press release]

Research says crossing the road with a mobile is dangerous for children

Children who are talking on their mobile phone when crossing the road are at greater risk of being involved in an accident, according to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. Pretty obvious when you think about it. Psychologists who used a virtual reality software program found that all of the children tested (aged 10-11) were more likely to exhibit risky behaviour when they crossed the street while talking on a mobile phone, even when the children were familiar with mobiles or were rated as highly attentive. Children using mobiles took an average 20% longer to cross the road, gave themselves 8% less time to cross safely in front of traffic and were 43% more likely to be hit by a vehicle or to have a close call. [Press release]

Electricity by SMS

Rwanda's national electricity company, Electrogaz, has been selling prepaid electricity scratch-cards since the beginning of last year. Customers buy a card, scratch off the serial number, send a text message and receive a unique code that lets them add the credit to their electricity meter. Apparently 30% of the country’s electricity consumers now purchase their electricity this way. [Source: Nathan Eagle via]

Monday, 26 January 2009

Mobile companies could keep 3G licences forever

The Sunday Times says mobile companies will be allowed to keep their 3G licences permanently if they commit to new broadband plans expected in the next few days from communications minister Lord Carter. He's expected to tell the UK telecomms industry that it needs to provide broadband service to every home in the country. The 3G licences cost a total of £22.5 billion in 2000 but are only valid for 20 years. [Source:]

New premium rate mobile rules for UK

Premium phone service regulator PhonepayPlus has set out new measures for the mobile premium content market. With immediate effect companies offering mobile subscription services charging over £4.50 a week or applying pay-per-page mobile internet charges must apply for permission from PhonepayPlus. In addition, customers must receive a free confirmation text message and must reply to that text before the service starts. [Press release]

BT considering mobile internet service?

The Guardian says BT is considering setting up a mobile phone or mobile data service in partnership with T-Mobile and 3. It currently offers some mobile services as an optional extension of its broadband package.

Google G2 to launch by summer?

A successor to the Android-powered T-Mobile G1 mobile phone will be launched in May, according to an assortment of online rumours. The G2, made by HTC and codenamed Sapphire 2.0, won't have a slide-out keyboard but will apparently have a 3.2 megapixel camera. [Sources:;]

Sunday, 25 January 2009

President Obama to keep BlackBerry

In November we reported that Barack Obama would give up his BlackBerry when he became president - but now it seems he'll be hanging on to it. His email address will remain confidential, his email addresses will apparently be designed not to be forwarded... and pretty much everything he says will be archived. [Sources:; Seattle Times]

Microsoft job cuts to hit mobile?

Microsoft has said it's cutting 5,000 jobs worldwide during the next 18 months, with 1,400 going immediately. It's now reported that the company's Entertainment and Devices unit will be the first to suffer. This is the part of Microsoft that's responsible for Xbox, Zune and Windows Mobile -and many of the immediate cuts are expected here. [Source:]

Samsung figures show increased sales

Samsung's quarterly results show an overall 22.2 billion Korean Won loss (around £12 million) loss, despite shipping 52.8 million handsets (up 14% year-on-year and up 2% from the previous quarter). The handset operating division did, however, make a profit. Rather like Nokia, it anticipates a 5%-10% drop in sales during 2009. [Sources: Press release (pdf);]

Vodafone's Indian tax battle continues

India's Supreme Court has said it's not appropriate for it to hear Vodafone's appeal against its £1 billion tax bill for buying Hutch Essar. Instead it says India's tax authorities should reconsider the case and - if they considers that they have jurisdiction - Vodafone can then approach the High Court again for action. [Source:]

Friday, 23 January 2009

UK mobile termination rates likely to fall

The Competition Commission has told O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone that their mobile termination rates should be cut to 4p per minute for April 2010, which is 1.1p per minute more than Ofcom's original proposal. The decision stems from Ofcom's change to mobile phone termination charges in 2007. The recommendations have been passed to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, which meets next month. [Competition Appeal Tribunal; Press release (pdf)]