Friday, 30 November 2007

London launches SatLav

A new mobile phone service in London is helping people to find the nearest public toilet. It’s hardly worth coming up with a blog post full of puns… because Westminster City Council have called it SatLav. Anyone in the West End of London can text the word TOILET to 80097 to discover the most convenient convenience. It calculates your location by determining the signal strength between your phone and the nearest cell site. 40 council-run facilities are included, along with others run by the Greater London Authority, London Underground and major retailers on Oxford Street. SatLav costs 25p on top of your text message.

3 opens 250th shop in UK

Hutchison 3G says it’s added 150 new shops this year, which now means it has a total of 250 retail outlets in the UK. 3's 250th store opened last week in Tunbridge Wells. 101 shops were brand new, with the remaining 49 acquired from other mobile retailers. Another 20 extra stores are planned by the end of the year. [Press release]

BBC Watchdog criticises Carphone’s iPhone insurance

The BBC’s Watchdog programme has found staff at The Carphone Warehouse exaggerating the dangers of not having the retailer’s own iPhone insurance. A number of researchers were told they’d need to pay for a new phone and a new 18-month contract if the phone was stolen, although – unlike other handset deals – they’d actually only need a new phone because it’s sold unconnected. Carphone Warehouse said there could be an element of confusion among a few sales consultants. [Source:]

Google offers location-finding on mobile maps

Google’s mobile maps service is now starting to display your current location on the map – even if your phone doesn’t have built-in GPS. Pressing ‘zero’ shows a blue circle that indicates your approximate position based on signal strength and distance from the nearest cell site. Google says it’s only accurate to around 1km and is currently a beta feature, so it might not always work.

Phones exploding around the world

Here’s a story that wasn’t all that it seemed. First of all, police in South Korea said a quarry worker may have died because his mobile battery exploded in his pocket. The man was found dead with a melted mobile phone battery in his shirt pocket, having suffered burns, fractured ribs and a fractured spine. However, one of the unfortunate man’s colleagues later owned up to staging the accident after accidentally hitting him when reversing his truck.

And if that wasn't enough, a New Zealand man says he his mobile phone exploded at night whilst charging. Apparently he was woken by the sound of the explosion and found the phone on the floor in flames.

[Source: (also for New Zealand report)

EC names DVB-H as mobile TV preference

The European Commission has said DVB-H should be a non-mandatory standard for mobile TV services across the EU's 27 member states. It’ll be added to the official list in February next year, although a number of countries – including Great Britain – said it was too early to choose a single standard. Countries opposed to the choice need to persuade a total of 18 EU states to object if they want to block the process. [Sources:,,]

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Verizon opens network to "any apps, any device"

There's some excitement in the USA, where Verizon Wireless has said it'll let customers use any wireless device and any softwre on its network - a dramatic change from the current situation where it only lets customers use its own choice of phones. The option, which is likely to be chargeable, will be implemented by the end of 2008. Not every exciting news for the UK, where we can already pretty much connect what we want.

Nokia sells a million N95 handsets this year

A million Nokia N95 handsets have been sold in the UK since the phone's launch in April this year. [Source: Mobile News]

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Mobile adult market worth $3.5 billion in 3 years' time

A new study from Juniper Research says the market for adult material on mobile phones is expected to double to around $3.3 billion (£1.5 billion) by the end of 2010. 39% of the money is expected to come from Europe, with 70% of revenue coming from video.

Watchmaker TAG Heuer to produce mobile phones

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer says its name will be appearing on a series of mobile phones produced by French manufacturer Modelabs - the company behind the Levi's phone. The first handset is expected in the second half of 2008. [Source: Reuters press release on]

December is top mobile month

More people buy a new mobile phone in December than in any other month, according to a report from M:Metrics. 15% of all European customers who acquired a new phone in 2006 did so in December - that's 90% more than in an average month. It's a similar picture in the USA, where 12% of users bought in December - up 40% on the monthly average. [Source:]

Londoners to start paying by phone next year

Some London shoppers will soon be able to use their mobile phones to pay for purchases. Several hundred Barclaycard customers will be issued with customised Nokia handsets next year. These phones will be compatible with Barclaycard's “OnePulse” card technology, enabling users to pay for purchases up to £10 simply by putting their phone on a special reader. The mobiles will use the contactless communication system that’s been created for Transport for London's Oyster travel card. [Source:]

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