Thursday, 29 May 2008

Mobile advertising research from USA

A new USA study from Harris Interactive has looked at the potential effectiveness of mobile advertising. 56% of teens and 37% of adults said they'd be interested in ads with incentives. Of these respondents, 80% of adults and 70% of teens said cash was the best incentive. Teens liked the idea of entertainment downloads (61%), free music (57%) and complimentary minutes (53%), while adults were most keen on free minutes (49%) and discount coupons (37%). Text messaging was the preferred medium, with 69% of adults and 64% percent of teens wanting their ads to arrive using SMS. [Press release; PDF]

Institute of Engineering & Technology talks about mobile phone health effects

The IET - the Institute of Engineering and Technology - has published a document explaining its position on the possible health effects of mobile phones and electricity pylons to health. It has reviewed scientific papers from the last two years and points out that scientists have been unable to replicate some results from high-profile studies, suggesting that the original research wasn't investigated sufficiently before publication. The IET says the absence of robust new evidence of harmful effects of electromagnetic fields is reassuring and is consistent with findings over the past decade. [PDF document]

Worldwide mobile sales up but Western Europe is down

Researchers at Gartner say that mobile phone sales were up 13.6% in the first quarter of 2008, although figures in Western Europe were down - which is the first time this has happened since Gartner began tracking in 2001. Worldwide sales reached 294.3 million handsets in Q1 2008, although quarterly sales of mobile phones in Western Europe were down 16.4% year-on-year. Nokia's market share slipped slightly to 39.1%, Samsung held on to the number 2 position with 14.4%, while Motorola's share slipped to 10.2%, keeping it in third place. [Press release]

New features for Google Android OS

Google has revealed some new features for its Android mobile phone operating system, including touch-screen support, a revised standby screen and enhancements to GPS support. Google Android devices should be available by the end of the year. [Sources: AP via Google;;]

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

New Mobile News podcast now online

In this week’s edition of the Mobile News podcast we take an extended look at the week's industry news headlines and gossip, including Arun Sarin's departure from Vodafone and 3's termination charge appeal... and we also find time to review the Samsung F490 widescreen mobile phone. The Mobile News podcast is produced by; you can download it from the Mobile News website, from, from our RSS feed or via iTunes.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Vodafone's Arun Sarin to retire

Vodafone has announced that Chief Executive Arun Sarin is retiring in July after five years in the role. He will be replaced by current Deputy Chief Executive Vittorio Colao. Mr Colao was appointed Chief Executive of Vodafone's European businesses and Deputy Group Chief Executive of Vodafone Group plc in October 2006. The company has also announced its annual results, with profits up 5.7% to £10.1 billion and a proportionate mobile customer base of 260 million people worldwide. [CEO press release; results press release]

Monday, 26 May 2008

...all about the new Apple iPhone 3G...

Apple iPhone 3GCartoon by Hugh MacLeod. We'll wait for the official news...

49% of the world has a mobile phone

There were 3.3 billion mobile phone users worldwide at the end of 2007, equivalent to a penetration rate of 49%, according to the International Telecommunications Union. Average worldwide growth was 22%, with Africa's subscriptions showing the largest gains: up 39% annually over the last two years. The ITU pointed out that nearly 90% of all telephone subscribers in Africa now use mobile phones. [Source:]

Restructuring for China's telecoms industry

The Chinese government has said it's going to restructure its telecoms industry. Current rules prevent fixed-line operators from offering mobile services and vice versa. There'll be a number of mergers and swaps, resulting in more competition for state-owned China Mobile, which currently has over two-thirds of the country's mobile phone customers. The government has also said it'll start issuing 3G licences. There are currently around 600 million mobile phone users in China. [Sources:; BBC News; Chinese government announcement]

Nokia annoys N-Gage gamers

There were protests last week when gamers realised that N-Gage downloads bought for their Nokia handsets were locked to that specific device. The All About N-Gage website revealed that customers who replaced their phone or upgraded to a different Nokia handset needed to buy the games again if they wanted to keep playing. Nokia has subsequently relented, saying it is now "solution that would allow people to transfer purchased N-Gage games to a new Nokia device". The N-Gage gaming platform was re-launched last month, five years after the first dedicated N-Gage device appeared.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Orange and Nokia to form "strategic international partnership"

Orange and Nokia have said they're extending their current working agreement to form a strategic international partnership that'll see them co-operating with music, mobile gaming, maps, advertising and location-based services. As part of the deal, Orange will be launching a range of Nokia phones that offer access to the Orange Music Store, Orange games, N-Gage games, and Nokia Maps. [Press release]

Mobile operator group defines security requirements

The Open Mobile Terminal Platform forum (OMTP), which is supported by a number of network operators, has announced a set of recommendations to improve mobile device security over the next few years. In particular, the recommendations are designed to protect new mobile payment solutions and services from hackers. They've been welcomed by UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and by Jack Wraith, Chairman of the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum. Members of the OMTP include AT&T, Hutchison 3G, Orange, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

USA ahead of UK for mobile browsing

Smartphone users in the USA are spending an average of four hours and thirty eight minutes per month browsing the mobile web, compared with two and a half hours per month in Britain, according to a survey of 3,500 people by M:Metrics. The favourite site for mobile users in the United States is Craigslist, where users spend an average one hour and thirty-nine minutes per month - and in the UK it's Facebook, where users stay for an average of one hour and forty-five minutes. The company says one of the main reasons for the difference in browsing time is that flat-rate data plans are more popular in the United States, where almost 11% of users have an unlimited data plan compared with 2.3% in the UK. They also say more US smartphones have QWERTY keyboards... and there are more smartphones in the UK. [Press release]

Motorola settles Iridium bankrupcy

A judge in the USA has said the bankruptcy case involving satellite phone network Iridium won't cost Motorola anything. The mobile satellite company collapsed in 1999 with Iridium's creditors claiming that Motorola, which had backed the company, was to blame for Iridium going bankrupt. They were after around $4 billion in damages plus interest. Iridium still offers satellite phone services, with the current company run by a group of private investors who bought Iridium’s assets in 2000. [Sources: Press release; Reuters]

Bluetooth awareness at an all-time high

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced that global awareness of Bluetooth technology is at an all-time high. Awareness of Bluetooth technology has risen for the fifth consecutive year, with 85% of consumers now recognising the technology. The survey, which was conducted by research firm Millward Brown, asked around 2,500 consumers in China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the US and the UK about Bluetooth technology. In addition, 68% recognised the Bluetooth logo and 79% understood the technology was used on mobile phones. This compares favourably with WiFi, where only 53% of consumers worldwide were aware of the technology. [Press release]

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Ofcom survey shows fixed-line usage dropping

Ofcom's annual review of the UK's TV, radio, and telecommunications usage has been published. Although an increase in rural broadband usage has grabbed much of the attention, the survey also shows that an increasing number of people are living without fixed-line telephones at home. In general, 87% of UK homes have a fixed-line phone - down 3% from last year. An average 12% of households rely on mobile phones, with Belfast and Liverpool (23% and 21% respectively) having a particularly high number of mobile-only households. [PDF summary]

A third of mobile ad cash is spent on search ads

More than 34% of all mobile advertising money is being spent on mobile search advertising, according to figures from Juniper Research. They say mobile search advertising spending in 2008 will exceed $445 million (£226 million) - and it'll increase to over $2 billion by 2013, with the total spending on mobile ads hitting $7.6 billion (up from $1.3 billion in 2008). ABI Research published a similar report last month.

Christian Dior plans mobile phone

Fashion design company Christian Dior is planning a range of mobile phones. The first model is a flip-open design that's being built by ModeLabs, who have also built phones for Levi's, TAG Heuer and Hummer. [Sources:; PDF press release]

Hydrogen power cell for mobile phones

French researchers have created a hydrogen fuel cell that can be used to recharge mobile phones, reducing our reliance on electrocity for recharging. The fuel cell is being developed by STMicroelectronics and Bic. It's the size of a small cigarette lighter and could be on sale in early 2010. Each cartridge will recharge a traditional battery between three and five times. [Source: AFP via Google]

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Carphone co-founder gets Olympic role

Carphone Warehouse co-founder and non-executive Deputy Chairman David Ross has been been appointed as the London Mayor's representative on the London Olympic Games Organising Committee. [Press release]

3 loses call termination rate appeal

3 has lost its appeal against a cut in call termination rates imposed by Ofcom. The Competition Appeal Tribunal has agreed with Ofcom's decision that 3 UK has 'significant market power', ordering the network to cut its termination rates by 45% over the next three years. The other four major UK networks will be cutting their charges by between 10% and 20% to reach a similar level. Call termination rates are the wholesale prices paid by network operators for connecting calls from other networks. [Sources: PDF of judgement;]

60% annual growth in mobile advertising expected

Consultancy Arthur D. Little has said that mobile advertising is going to become a major media platform for brands. Its latest forecast predicts a 60% annual growth in mobile advertising spend over the next four years, with mobile advertising growing as high-speed mobile data availability increases. The company also says mobile operators must take action if they want a significant share of this revenue, otherwise they'll lose it to Google, Yahoo! and other internet advertising companies. [Press release]

Symbian OS on over 200 million devices

Symbian, which produces mobile phone operating systems, says its OS has now been installed on over 200 million mobile phones. 18.5 million Symbian-equipped devices were shipped worldwide in Q1 2008 - up 16.5% year-on-year - with Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG announcing new Symbian-equpped handsets this year. [Press release]

Almost 40% of mobile web traffic is to social networks

Mobile browser company Opera has released a report about the state of the mobile web, basing its findings on statistics from more than 44 million Opera-equipped devices. It says almost 40% of mobile web traffic worldwide is to social networks, with some countries hitting 60%. Over three-quarters of all users are visiting standard web sites, with WAP and .mobi sites accounting for 23% of mobile web traffic. The UK's top ten web sites viewed from a mobile device were:

New podcast edition of 'The Fonecast' now online

This week’s edition of the Mobile News podcast (produced by includes our regular look at industry news headlines and gossip from the last 7 days. Mobile News editorial director Ian White talks about a press release that’s been troubling him, plus there's a preview of the Motorola MOTO Z10 video-focussed smartphone.

The Mobile News podcast is produced by The Fonecast. There's more information about the team and an archive of previous broadcasts at

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Order repeat prescriptions by mobile phone

DigiTV, which runs 'Looking Local' interactive TV services, has joined with healthcare software company EMIS to enable patients to ofer repeat prescriptions through their mobile phone, digital TV or online. The service is available from around 1,400 surgeries using EMIS software, covering more than eight million patients. Looking Local is accessible free on Sky, Virgin and Freeview boxes with a modem or broadband connection. [DigiTV press release; EMIS press release]

Phone call database planned

The Times says the UK government is planning a database that holds details of every phone call, email and internet browsing session as part of its fight against crime. Information would be held for at least 12 months. The plans have apparently been considered as part of a data communications bill that would be included in the Queen's Speech in November. The EU already requires telecoms companies to keep records of phone calls and text messages for 12 months.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Researchers link mobile use during pregnancy with behavioural problems

Using a mobile phone while pregnant could lead to a child with behavioural problems, according to research highlighted by The Independent. A survey found that mothers who'd used handsets just two or three times a day could have raised the risk of their babies developing behavioural problems by the time they reached school age. The research involved the mothers of 13,159 children born in Denmark in the late 1990s, asking them about their use of the phones in pregnancy, their childrens' use of them and their childrens' behaviour up to the age of seven. Mothers who'd used mobiles were 54% more likely to have children with behavioural problems. The scientists are reported as saying there might be other possible explanations they did not examine – such as that mothers who used mobile phones frequently might pay less attention to their children – and stress that the results should be interpreted with caution. (Update: Guy Kewney at explains the situation well, as usual).

Qualcomm wins bid for UK radio spectrum

American telecomms manufacturer Qualcomm has paid £8.3 million to win the spectrum rights to the so-called L band of 1452MHz to 1492MHz in the UK, which was being auctioned by Ofcom. Curiously, it’s not yet said exactly what it plans to use the frequencies for, although Ofcom had previously suggested the L Band would be suitable for mobile TV, satellite digital radio or broadband wireless access. [Ofcom press release; Qualcomm press release]

Vodafone reaches Silver Jubilee

Jeremy Warner, writing in The Independent, reminds us that it's 25 years since Vodafone (then part of Racal) was awarded its UK licence to run a mobile phone network.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Facebook group for The Fonecast

There's now a Facebook group for The Fonecast, making it even easier for our listeners and contributors to keep up-to-date with mobile phone industry news.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Ofcom figures show mobile usage increasing over fixed-line

Ofcom's update for the fourth quarter of 2007 shows that fixed-line voice call volumes were 10% lower year-on-year, while mobile call volumes grew by 18% in the same period (and by 6% from the previous quarter). In addition, Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile customers sent 15.7 billion SMS and MMS messages in Q4 2007, a 14% increase on the previous quarter. [Ofcom summary; PDF report]

Vodafone buys social networking company

Vodafone has bought ZYB, a Danish company that runs a mobile social networking and online backup tool to let mobile phone users save and share their handsets' contact and calendar information online. They're paying 31.5 million Euro (around £25 million) for the company. [Press release]

77 stores to close

DSG International says it plans to close around 77 of its 177 stores over the next five years. (These are the shops that traded as 'Dixons' until 2006). It is also restyling many of its remaining, Currys and PC World outlets. This follows last week's announcment of a joint electrical retailing venture between Best Buy and The Carphone Warehouse. [Sources: PDF press release,]

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Two-thirds of drivers want harsher penalties for breaking hands-free law

A survey by headset manufacturer Jabra says most drivers know it's illegal to use a mobile phone at the wheel and believe the penalties aren't harsh enough. The Jabra research surveyed over 2,000 consumers in Great Britain, revealing 93% of motorists were aware that using a handheld phone while at the wheel without a hands-free kit could be treated as dangerous driving with a potential prison sentence of up to two years. And 68% of motorists thought this penalty should be tougher to encourage more drivers to stop using their handheld at the wheel. Overall, 62% of motorists said they were now using a handsfree solution and 17% said they'd stopped using their mobile when driving. [Press release]

Ofcom investigates Phones 4U

Telecomms regulator Ofcom has opened an investigation into Phones 4U to ascertain whether or not the company has breached any relevant consumer protection legislation, infringed any law or harmed the interests of consumers. It says it's started investigating after having received a large number of complaints via the Consumer Direct advice service and to Ofcom’s Advisory Team about a range of issues including mis-selling.

Apple and O2 announcement coming soon

O2's CEO, Matthew Key, has said his company is going to make a joint announcement with Apple in the coming weeks. He wouldn't give any further details but there's speculation he's talking about the anticipated 3G iPhone. [Source:]

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

BT and O2 do connectivity deal

O2 has announced an agreement that'll see BT providing and managing the connectivity between most of O2's base stations and its UK network. It's a five-year agreement that follows a similar deal between BT and Vodafone that was reported last month. [Press release]

Microsoft and BlackBerry to work more closely

Microsoft and Research In Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry, have said they're going to start working together to provide Windows Live services on BlackBerry smartphones. The agreement will give BlackBerry users access to Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail from later this year. [Press release]

40% of smartphones running Windows Mobile by 2012

40% of smartphones worldwide will be running Windows Mobile by 2012, according to Microsoft's MD of Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) embedded devices in Asia. It's currently on course to deliver 20 million Windows Mobile devices in the company's current financial year, with its Windows Mobile 7 operating system scheduled for launch in 2009. [Source:]

New CEO for Samsung

Samsung Electronics says its CEO, Yun Jong Yong, has decided to retire. His departure comes less than a month after Group Chairman Lee Kun Hee resigned following his indictment on tax evasion charges. The new CEO is Lee Yoon Woo, who's being promoted from his role as Vice-Chairman. The new Mr Lee - no relation to the former chairman - has been at Samsung for 31 years. [Source:]

Icahn considering Yahoo/Microsoft move?

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has recently campaigned successfully for changes to Motorola's management, is now reported to be turning his attention to the failed Yahoo/Microsoft merger. He's apparently bought around 50 million Yahoo! shares and could be planning to replace the company's board of directors, according to the Wall Street Journal. Any merger between Microsoft and Yahoo! would have a dramatic effect on the mobile industry, as we reported in our podcast in early February.

The Mobile Phone is 100 this week

Depending on your definition of "mobile phone", you could be celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its invention this week. American inventor and farmer Nathan Stubblefield patented his wireless elephone, which used magnetic induction, in May 1908. [Sources:;]

Unique Distribution sold

Mobile phone distributor Unique Distribution is being sold to IT distributor Computer 2000, according to a report in Mobile News. Computer 2000 is a part of the US-based Tech Data group, which is already part of the Brightstar Europe distribution business. The sale is expected to be finalised within the next few days. The business is being sold by Chantrey Vellacott, the managing receiver appointed by HM Revenue and Customs after it launched a VAT fraud investigation into Unique Distribution's parent company IGB. Warehouse stock is being sold separately.

New edition of 'The Fonecast' now online

The new weekly edition of the Mobile News podcast (produced by is now online. You'll hear our regular review of the latest mobile industry headlines and rumours, a quick preview of the new HTC Touch Diamond and an interview with Faisal Sheikh from Fone Doctors about his new mobile-focussed TV show.

The Mobile News podcast is produced by The Fonecast. There's more information about the team and an archive of previous broadcasts at

RSS feed

Monday, 12 May 2008

Marketing Director leaves 3

John Penberthy-Smith, the Marketing Director at 3, is leaving the company following a restructure. The Sales and Marketing teams will now be run by Marc Allera, who had been the company's Sales Director. John Penberthy-Smith had worked at Vodafone before joining 3 in 2006. [Source:]

Social Networking is going mobile (in case you hadn't noticed)

Research conducted by Nielsen Mobile shows that a growing number of mobile phone subscribers are taking online social networking to the streets. The UK leads Europe, with approximately 810,000 mobile subscribers - around 1.7% of the total number of customers - visiting social networking websites on their mobile phones in the first quarter of 2008. That's double the percentage of users in the rest of Europe and is also fractionally higher than in the USA. Facebook was the UK leader with 557,000 unique mobile users per month, followed by MySpace with 211,000 unique users. [Press release]

More than 550 million GPS mobiles worldwide by 2012

ABI Research says over 550 million GPS-equipped mobile handsets will be produced worldwide by 2012. It says GPS is already a feature of most 3G handsets and smartphones - and it predicts we'll start soon seeing GPS included in standard high-end GSM phones. The company says the take-up of GPS phones is likely to be boosted by social networking functions, not just by navigation features. [Press release]

Data exceeds voice on T-Mobile

T-Mobile says data traffic exceeded voice calls during the first quarter of this year (although it hasn't explicitly said what it means by this). In addition, 25% of all new contract customers were choosing its mobile broadband service - up from 4% in 2007 - and it's on course to quadruple the number of mobile broadband customers in 2008. [Press release]

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Carphone Warehouse launches payment card

Just when you thought there were no more surprises to come from The Carphone Warehouse, the company has announced that it'll be launching a payment card in August. Customers will use their mobile phones to transfer cash from their bank account to the card - and will then be able to purchase items from a wide range of retailers worldwide. [Source: Mobile News]

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Legends unite

Industry veteran Sir Julian Horn-Smith, who was one of Vodafone's founders, has joined one of the mobile industry's other long-established names, Martin Dawes. Sir Julian will be a non-executive director of Martin Dawes Systems, which provides billing and customer management systems. [Press release]

Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile top JD Power survey

Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile have come out as the top networks for customer satisfaction in the 2008 J.D. Power UK Mobile Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study. Tesco Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction with pre-pay mobile telephone service, while Virgin Mobile ranks highest among contract mobile phone customers. Overall, customer satisfaction in the pre-pay segment has decreased slightly while customer satisfaction in the contract segment has increased. Orange came bottom of both sets of results. [Press release]

Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy to combine businesses

The Carphone Warehouse is selling half of its mobile phone business to US retailer Best Buy, creating a new company. Best Buy is buying 50% of The Carphone Warehouse's European and US retail interests for £1.088 billion, leaving the Carphone Warehouse with 100% of its UK fixed-line businesses. The new combined company will operate over 2,400 stores in Europe plus outlets in the USA.

The whole deal is subject to shareholder agreement at a meeting in August. Bob Willett, Best Buy's CEO, is expected to be chairman of the new venture with Roger Taylor, The Carphone Warehouse Group's current CFO, as CEO. Carphone Warehouse Group CEO Charles Dunstone will remain involved as part of a board of directors. [Press release]

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Ofcom publishes "Tomorrow's Wireless World" predictions

Ofcom has published a report about future communications technology . Called "Tomorrow's Wireless World", it talks about technology in cars to help avoid collisions, wireless devices to remind patients to take medication and wireless food scanners to check the content of products before we buy them. It looks up to 20 years ahead, saying it doesn't expect much new technology, just more uses for existing technology. [Press release; report]

186 million machines using mobile networks by 2012

A new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight says the number of mobile network connections used for machine-to-machine communication will grow from last year's total of 37.5 million to 186 million connections in 2012; a growth rate of around 38% per year. In general, between 1–3% of mobile subscribers in developed markets are actually non-human users, although this is closer to 10% in Sweden and Finland where the mobile network is used instead of human 'meter readers'. However, Berg Insight reckons that vehicle connections will cause most growth in the future. [Press release]

BT launches mobile broadband service

BT has launched a new combined home-and-mobile broadband service called out BT Total Broadband Anywhere. The package costs £29.99 monthly and offers a free smartphone plus BT’s Total Broadband service in the home. Customers can choose between two devices, both christened BT ToGo: the HTC S620 or the HTC S710. Both devices can use compatible WiFi hotspots for VoIP calls and browsing; they'll use the mobile network at other times. [Press release]

New edition of Mobile News podcast now online

This week's edition of the Mobile News podcast (produced by features an interview with Shaun Gregory, the UK CEO of virtual network Blyk. You'll also hear our regular review of the latest mobile industry headlines and rumours, plus there's a quick review of the new Nokia 6600 slide.

The Mobile News podcast is produced by The Fonecast. There's more information about the team and an archive of previous broadcasts at

RSS feed

Monday, 5 May 2008

SIMable offers alternative to unlocking

A new product called SIMable says it could put an end to the complicated business of mobile phone unlocking. SIMable is a thin chip that is attached to your SIM card. When inserted in a phone, it can fool the majority of mobile handsets into thinking it's being used with a legitimate card - even if the phone is locked to another network. All you need to do is punch a hole in your SIM card to correspond with a bulge on the SIMable card. The product is available online for £16.99 plus delivery, which includes the SIMable chip and a cutting guide. [Press release]

Mobile manufacturers working on new memory standard

LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have said they're working with a number of electronics manufacturers to create an open standard for the next-generation of mobile phone memory technology. They've formed the Serial Port Memory Technology Working Group, which is aiming to produce a memory chip with a lower power demand, fewer pins and more options for mobile phone designers. [Press release]

Chinese mobile production slows

Mobile phone production in China has slowed, according to to figures from the country's Ministry of Industry and Information. Handset production in the first three months of 2008 reached 141.29 million units, which was a rise of 6.7% over the same period in 2007. However, it's substantially less than the 27.8% rise between Q1 2006 and Q1 2007. The main reason for the drop is believed to be production volumes at Motorola's plants in northern and eastern China. [Source:]

Nokia and T-Mobile working together on online services

T-Mobile and Nokia have said they're going to work together to improve the availability of new internet services and social networking on mobile devices. The deal is expected to improve access to T-Mobile's web'n'walk internet services and to Nokia's Ovi internet services. There were reports in March that the companies had fallen out following the introduction of Ovi, with T-Mobile said to be dropping a number of Nokia phones. [Press release]

Mobile internet increases the audience of web sites by 13%

Offering a mobile internet service extends the audience reach of an internet site by an average of 13%, according to a new report from researchers at The Nielsen Company. The highest increase came from weather sites, which averaged a 22% lift in their overall audience reach through mobile web traffic compared with PC-only visitors. [Press release]

Vodafone resolves 'crossed line' problem

Vodafone has admitted that some customers have recently suffered a problem with 'crossed lines', according to The Observer. Some customers were able to listen to other conversations until Vodafone diagnosed the problem and replaced some faulty equipment.

Vodafone adds web browsing deal to new tariffs

Vodafone has included a so-called "unlimited" internet access deal - actually 500MB per month - as part of its new 'pay monthly' tariffs. The company says it's the first UK network to do this, although O2 created a similar deal for iPhone customers last year. The internet usage is included with all new Vodafone tariffs costing upwards of £25 per month. Existing customers can move to the tariffs if they commit to a new minimum term. [Sources:, press release]

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Microsoft walks away from Yahoo! deal

Microsoft has said it's no longer interested in buying Yahoo! because the two companies can't agree on a price. Microsoft had originally offered $44.6 billion three months ago, later raising the bid to $47.5 billion. Yahoo! said it wasn't prepared to accept less than $53 billion. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, has said the company doesn't plan to launch a hostile bid because it could result in Yahoo! working more closely with Google. [Press release]

Friday, 2 May 2008

Premium rate phone watchdog to investigate mobile phone promotions

PhonepayPlus, the premium rate phone regulator, has said it will be reviewing premium services on mobile phones. The UK market is estimated to be worth around £350 million annually. The regulator will look at ringtones, games and other chargeable downloads, with a particular focus on unsolicited promotions, price transparency and subscription services. (PhonepayPlus was previously known as ICSTIS; it's the regulator for services that allow you to charge purchases to your phone account). [Press release]

460 drivers caught using mobiles every day

Police figures from 2006 show they caught an average of 460 drivers every day using hand-held mobile phones in the UK. Overall, more than 168,000 people were fined for using a mobile phone when driving, which is a rise of 30% on the previous year. (Figures for 2007 haven't been made available yet). [Source:]

O2 hits Ofcom's 3G coverage target

Ofcom says O2 has now met its obligation to provide 3G coverage to at least 80% of the UK population. The regulator had told O2 in February that it would impose a penalty if the network didn't comply with its obligation to offer 80% coverage by the end of June. O2 should have hit its target by the 31st December 2007 but was only offering 75.69% coverage. [Press release]