Glitch may prevent people from connecting to networks
(Updated with new iOS 6.1.1 rumors) Carriers Vodafone UK and 3 Austria have issued statements elaborating on problems with the iPhone 4S and iOS 6.1. "We’re aware of an issue caused by Apple iPhone 4S handsets that have been upgraded to iOS 6.1 which impacts performance on 3G. Some customers may occasionally experience difficulty in connecting to the network to make or receive calls or texts or to connect to the internet [sic]," Vodafone's notice begins.
Spectrum auction set to finish before April 2013
UK regulator Ofcom has issued rules for the upcoming 4G spectrum auction in the country. The newly-released timetable will see network operators such as Vodafone and O2 submit bids for spectrum from January onwards, with the combined reserve prices for the 800MHz and 2.6GHz ranges being auctioned totaling over £1.3 billion ($2 billion).
Ofcom: tech complications may push back 4G sale
The largest wireless spectrum auction in the UK may be pushed back to the spring of 2012, according to a Tuesday report. The country's regulator, Ofcom, blamed the delay on many technical and legal issues. The potential delay is at least three months later than originally planned, though Ofcom added it has always said the original timescale was ambitious.
Nokia N9 timed to arrive in 49 days
Nokia's Swedish N9 page has started a countdown that has given away the timing for the MeeGo phone. As of Thursday, the smartphone was due to arrive in about 49 days, or September 23. Claims had already been made by carriers for the late September date but, until now, hadn't been acknowledged by Nokia itself.
Ofcom proposals may shake up paid mobile content
UK regulator Ofcom proposed on Friday that paid smartphone content bought through a carrier's site should be regulated by carriers and not PhonepayPlus, as it is currently. The content on an industry-owned Payforit gateway should be overseen by PhonepayPlus, it continued. Wireless providers asked Ofcom to look into the matter, but they didn't want Payforit content to be regulated.
Slightly smaller relative of the Galaxy S II
Samsung will begin selling the Galaxy Z Android 2.3 smartphone in Sweden through wireless carrier 3. The phone bears a strong resemblance to the popular Galaxy S II. The main differences appear to be a slightly smaller 4.2-inch, 480x800 SC-LCD touchscreen and a less powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor.
Buttonless touch screen phone runs MeeGo OS
Nokia has revealed a first ship date for its N9 smartphone. The N9, carried in Sweden by wireless service provider 3, will be available on September 23. The phone is the first to run the MeeGo OS, and not Windows Phone, which has been the focus of much of Nokia's recent development efforts.
Xperia Arc smartphone coming to Three, Vodafone
UK network operators Three and Vodafone will soon get Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc smartphone, both announced on Wednesday. While release dates weren't specific, it's expected the phone will begin arriving in April. Pricing for the device at either carrier also remains unknown.
3 UK to start unlimited 3G access on Wednesday
UK provider 3 on Tuesday promised it would offer unlimited mobile web access, instead of the current industry practice to cap and charge overages. Some analysts believe that if the move from Britain's fourth largest carrier gives it market share, others will follow suit, the International Herald Tribune claimed on Tuesday.
Orange UK outlines 3G iPad plans early
Orange UK has confirmed its subsidized 3G iPad plans and has started taking registrations for advance interest. The carrier will sell 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPads for £199, £249 and £349 respectively when attached to a two-year contract. Plans cost £25 per month for existing users, £27 for new customers, and provide 1GB of data in peak hours as well as 1GB during "quiet time" between midnight and 4PM.
3 UK plans to carry subsidized 3G iPad in months
3 UK and T-Mobile UK have confirmed Apple's widening plans to offer subsidized iPads with a deal of its own. The British carriers will have 3G versions of the tablet available, including at "more affordable prices" when tied to a data plan. The companies wouldn't detail the prices or their plans other than to say the device would come in "coming months."
3 UK points to Windows Phone 7 shipping in 2 weeks
An escaped roadmap from British carrier 3 has locked in a ship date for Windows Phone 7 devices in the country. The sheet obtained by Engadget shows what's likely to be the Omnia 7 reaching the provider on October 21. It further shows Microsoft launching with at least2,000 apps in Windows Phone Marketplace from the start, hinting that WP7 will have had a good early catalog.
Orange and T-Mo UK to share 2G in October
The newly united British divisions of Orange and T-Mobile today said they would switch on free roaming across each other's 2G networks on October 5. The optional service will let customers on either network use GSM voice and EDGE data should they be in an area where their regular service is weak or missing. It should improve T-Mobile's coverage in Northern and Western England and other parts of the UK.
iPhone 4 ships in 17 more countries
The iPhone 4 today launched in 17 more countries and included more carriers. Apple's phone is now available in Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Scandinavian countries, Singapore and new European countries that include the Benelux area and Spain. South Korea, which had been included in the original "second wave" list, is only due to get the device later this year due to delays.
UK's 3 gets cheapest Android phone with ZTE Racer
Phone maker ZTE has brought its first Android-powered handset to UK provider 3 this week. The Racer also has the distinction of being the first Android phone to cost less than £100 (about $150) at 3 when contract-free. The phone is powered by Android 2.1 and gets a 2.8-inch, 320x240 touchscreen display.
Huawei E585 pocket 3G router shows data use
Britain's 3 today added a portable 3G router with its own rare display features. Huawei's E585 has its own monochrome OLED display that shows both the battery life and connection as well as the amount of data used. A new web-based setup page comes along with the router and can be configured from Linux PCs and Macs, not just Windows systems.
Orange and Vodafone may curb data use too
New leaks suggest Orange UK will follow O2 into abandoning unlimited data. The rival currently promises unlimited data with a 750MB "fair usage" policy but would have more definite limits in the summer. A source for Mobile didn't say how closely Orange would follow O2's plan, which limits most users to 500MB and has them pay for blocks of extra data.
Kin due on N. American, Euro, Asian carriers
Microsoft's Kin phones are due to reach many many more carriers than just Verizon and Vodafone, based on a posting of raw data from leaked firmware. The scoop shows the One and Two, or possibly new models, also reaching the US through AT&T and T-Mobile in GSM versions, with Canada getting the phones through Rogers' sub-label Fido. Asia will also get a major lift with versions for both China Mobile and China Unicom as well as Japan's NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank.
Orange UK, T-Mobile UK merger approved
The merger of telecom firms Orange UK and T-Mobile UK has been approved by the European Commission with certain limits. As a result of antitrust concerns related to the deal, the deal requires that a change is made to a current network sharing agreement with 3 UK. The amendment will involve divesting a quarter of the combined spectrum of the two merging companies in the 1,800MHz band, one of three frequency bands used for cellphones in the UK.
Orange, T-Mobile to make compromises in merger
In an attempt to ward off an investigation by the UK's Office of Fair Trading into their proposed merger, Orange and T-Mobile UK said today they are willing to make antitrust concessions. The Brussels office of the European Commission stated that the two companies offered some fixes to their proposed deal, but didn't elaborate on their details. The deal would create the largest wireless operator in the UK, and a deeper inquiry as to its legitimacy was called for by competitors Telefonica and Hutchison Whampoa's 3.
Carrier would use notebook plans, Huawei routers
The Austrian division of cellular carrier 3 has unusually claimed that it will subsidize Apple's iPad as soon as possible. National chief Berthold Thoma says his company will be the first to bundle the tablet and will simply use the same strategy it does for notebook data bundles to encourage customers. Those who buy an iPad will get a generic 333 euro ($456) credit if they agree to a two-year data plan worth about 29 euros ($41) per month.
3 Scandinavia and Ericsson to out 84Mbps network
Wireless network operator 3 and Ericsson on Wednesday said they would introduce the first 84Mbps HSPA+ 3G wireless network in the world. The rollout will cover Denmark and four major Swedish cities. Significantly, the move means customers will see a theoretical fourfold increase in mobile broadband speeds even while they stay on a similar network standard.
Device previously sold unlocked
(Updated with correction) Two carriers have announced direct sales of the iPhone 3G and 3GS in Hong Kong, according to reports. SmarTone-Vodafone has not revealed any prices or a release date, but is now registering interest through a form on its website. The other carrier, 3, has likewise not published a launch date, but has posted prices.
Company reverses course on smartphones
3 UK is hoping to carry the iPhone 3GS sometime in 2010, according to the carrier's CEO, Kevin Russell. Russell comments that the company has had a deficit of smartphones to date, as a result of focusing on conventional phones in order to build up a subscriber base. That should change in 2010, as the company intends to add a variety of high-end smartphones to its network. Efforts are beginning late this year with devices like the HTC Hero.
HTC Hero comes to 3 with free Spotify, Skype
UK wireless provider 3 said it will soon offer its first Android-powered phone, the HTC Hero with the unique addition of unlimited music. The Android smartphone will include a free Spotify Premium account, allowing users to access the online music service both on the phone and on a computer. While Spotify is available for iPhones and Android devices thanks to an app, and a monthly subscription, this is the first time it is bundled into an existing device, with the equivalent $16 monthly subscription fee waived as well. Also included with the 3 Hero is Skype access to VoIP calls.
Region may see intense iPhone competition
T-Mobile is not the only UK carrier distributing iPhones unofficially, a report claims. The Telegraph says it has learned that 3 is also engaged in giving iPhones to its most lucrative customers, though 3's involvement in the strategy is thought to be recent, having only begun in recent weeks. T-Mobile has allegedly been giving away iPhones since the summer.
Vodafone May Buy T-Mo UK
An apparent leak late Sunday suggests that Vodafone may be interested in buying T-Mobile's British division. Reported sources for FT have the former either buying the smaller UK carrier or else establishing a joint venture. The deal would be possible thanks to T-Mobile's widely rumored dire financial state, which may have left the company with little choice but to look for a partner.
T-Mobile UK May Merge
T-Mobile's UK division may merge with a rival or even sell off its assets if it can't recover from major losses, its CFO Timotheus Hoettges said at the cellphone carrier's annual shareholder's meeting. The British group may have to write down the equivalent of $2.4 billion in costs for just the first quarter of 2009 and is considering any steps it can take to cut these expenses. Which is more likely isn't known, though the executive sees a merger as one of the most practical ways to address the problem.
Vodafone Hutchison in AUS
Vodafone and cellular provider 3's parent label Hutchison today said they would combine their operations in Australia, creating a much larger carrier. The move gives the entity about 6 million cellular customers on the island nation and is being made to compete against incumbents Optus and Telstra, both of which have outpaced Vodafone's Australian wing. A combined Vodafone and Hutchison will have about $4 billion Australian dollars in revenue per year and match Optus in size.
INQ1 handset coming to 3
European wireless provider 3 announced it will soon launch its INQ1 handset, integrating Facebook by delivering alerts and synchronizing contacts with their Facebook profiles. The handset will also pair existing contacts with their respective Skype and Windows Live Messenger accounts. The data network connected handset is thus able to replace a user's PC for chat and social interaction, and also complement it thanks to its ability to act as a plug and play modem for notebook PCs.
Unlocked Hong Kong iPhone
The iPhone 3G is now on sale directly from Apple in the city of Hong Kong, despite no prior announcements, listings reveal. An 8GB phone is selling for $5,400 HK ($692), while a 16GB model costs $6,200 HK ($794). Notably, iPhones in the region can be "activated with any wireless carrier," according to Apple, and require only that a carrier's SIM card be installed prior to sync with iTunes 8.
3 Skypephone S2 debuts
Skype, together with network operator 3, have once again teamed up to bring the second-generation of the 3 Skypephone, dubbed S2. Functional changes from the original VoIP candy bar handset include the addition of a bigger screen and HSDPA wireless network support. The 2.2-inch, 320x240 resolution display replaces the old 176x220 unit, while the built-in camera now takes 3.2-megapixel photos as opposed to 2-megapixel captures.
Ericsson 5Mbps HSPA Evo
Ericsson and the Italian division of cell carrier 3 today said they have successfully tested the world's first 3G network based on enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA). The trial of the new service gives uploads to the network at up to 5.8 megabits per second in peak conditions and is faster even than downloads on most existing services, which in ideal conditions would offer 3.6 megabits. The new technology also cuts back dramatically on the lag that hurts video calls, multiplayer games, and other time-sensitive features.
3 Australia iPhone poll
Wireless carrier 3 Australia has received a strong surge of interest in carrying the iPhone 3G, a corporate blog claims. On Thursday the carrier posted a message explaining that it has contacted Apple about carrying the 3G, but that it is seeking public response on the issue as a means of getting Apple's attention. Hundreds of mostly positive comments have since been posted on the site, and visitors can currently sign up for e-mail notifications about the iPhone.
Despite a series of conflicting news releases, Vodafone has confirmed that there will not be a pay-as-you-go version of the iPhone 3G available in New Zealand. NZMac.com first spotted the confusion in statements from Vodafone and Apple New Zealand which announced both contract and prepaid versions of the iPhone in various press releases. Vodafone cleared things up this morning, saying only the contract versions will be available in New Zealand and Portugal beginning in July 11.
Apple snubbing 3 Italia?
Apple may be refusing to negotiate with all players in the Italian cellphone market, one telecom executive suggests. Vincenzo Novari, the CEO of phone carrier 3 Italia, says that while his company is "super-interested about the iPhone," he has not heard any response in regard to inquiries at Apple, whether positive or negative. Novari in fact claims to have sent two e-mail messages directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, without receiving any sort of acknowledgement.
iPhone for Hong Kong Macau
Hutchison, parent company of cellular provider 3, today said it has signed a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone in Hong Kong and Macau. As with agreements struck in recent weeks, Hutchison doesn't provide specifics and says only that it will offer the iPhone sometime "later this year." The introduction is the first for Chinese-owned territories and the first for 3, whose coverage area includes parts of Europe already addressed by other iPhone carriers.
US Mobile Web Use Study
Americans browse the web on their cellphones almost twice as often as their British counterparts even without the help of web-friendly devices like the iPhone, according to a new study by M:Metrics. Despite the reputation of Europeans as more openly embracing smartphones, Americans in March were known to spend an average of four hours and 38 minutes per month on websites using their phones versus almost exactly two and a half hours for British users. The difference is largely attributed to the prevalence of flat-rate data plans in the US, which give customers either a block of data or unlimited access instead of the metering that more often exists in Europe.