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Free Mobile, France’s newest operator, has drawn criticism from French politicians concerned it will harm investment and employment in the telecom sector due to its low cost.
Iliad-owned Free added 4G at no extra cost to customers on Tuesday, providing faster speeds than existing 3G services. LTE, of course, is designed to lower the cost per user by enabling more people to use the same tower.
France’s incumbent operators Orange (formerly France Telecom), SFR and Bouygues Telecom, were hoping to charge higher prices for 4G services.
Arnaud Montebourg, industry minister, and Fleur Pellerin, junior minister for telecom and digital issues, criticised Free’s move in a statement, warning that “a new price war would weaken the ability of operators to maintain significant levels of investment in telecommunications infrastructure”.
They described Free’s move as “bold and risky”, adding that under-investment in infrastructure caused by the low-cost strategy will lead to poorer quality service and job losses.
Free in France offers unlimited talk, unlimited SMS and MMS messages, tethering and unlimited data with a speed reduction after 3 GB. In the U.S., that plan might cost $100 for limited data with a two-year contract. In France, Free charges only $25 per month and there is no contract.
Since its launch at the beginning of 2012, Free has secured a 10 per cent mobile share, and triggered a price war between the other operators in France.
By contrast, UK operator 3, the smallest operator in England, failed to attract any criticism when it launched its LTE service at no extra cost earlier this week.
Three launched LTE services in December 2013 in London, Birmingham and Manchester and will expand to a further 50 locations by the end of 2014. In February, some 1.5 million customers who have 4G devices will be able to access 4G. Three expects to cover 98% of the UK population with LTE by the end of 2015.
Currently, all four of the major UK mobile operators offer LTE, including Everything Everywhere, Telefónica UK (O2), Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G (3). Only Three says it will provide 4G without any extra costs, making it the cheapest price for 4G in the UK and the only unlimited 4G service in the UK.
UK regulator Ofcom announced 4G auction winners in February of this year, for its spectrum auction in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands. After more than 50 rounds of bidding, the winners were: EE, Hutchison 3G (Three), BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, Telefonica (O2) and Vodafone.
Ofcom said the auction only brought in £2.4 billion pounds, less than the £3.5 billion it had anticipated. Telecom companies MLL Telecom and HKT, which qualified for the bidding, came up empty. Interestingly, Vodafone — headed by CEO Vittorio Colao who famously suggested only “technofreaks” were into 4G speed — spent the most, notes Engadget.
Everything Everywhere had a head start offering LTE service in the U.K. using their refarmed 1800 MHz band. Competing mobile operators Telefónica UK (O2), Vodafone UK and 3 can now start playing catch-up with rival Everything Everywhere.
Mobile operators in the UK have a total of 80 million subscribers, with a 130.55% penetration rate.
In other news, Verizon has won FCC approval for its $130 billion takeover of Vodafone’s share of its wireless network. Verizon Wireless, will buy back the 45-percent stake Vodafone has owned since 1999. Vodafone shareholders will also get Verizon stock as part of the exchange.
With the commission’s blessing, Verizon will then have complete control of its wireless communications business when the purchase closes in Q1 2014.
Related Dailywireless articles include; UK Auction Winners Announced, UK Begins 800/2.6GHz Auction Process, Joint LTE Network in UK Planned by Vodafone and Telefónica, Ofcom: LTE This Year for Everything, Everywhere, Joint LTE Network in UK Planned by Vodafone and Telefónica,
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The brilliant Smarty Ring that is being showcased on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo only has 69 hours left to run looks like this campaign is not going to make it.
It is going to be such a shame because I would have loved these to hit the market; I would have even bought these as wedding rings as they are different. Who wants the boring wedding ring anyway?
The Smarty Ring would put a stop to the getting the phone out of your pocket or bag etc, we all check our phones all the time and this new accessory would be great for security issues as well. Getting a smartphone out in public when you do not need to could stop the potential thief, because you would only need to check the Smarty Ring.
The new Smarty Ring will alert you of notifications via your smartphone, you may have a text messages or a Facebook notification, check out the video below to see the ring in all its glory.
I love the design a lot and would love to get my hands on one; they look classy and elegant and would make the perfect wedding ring for some. The Smarty Ring specs include Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, tracking features include outgoing and incoming call notifications as well as e-mail messages, alerts for text and real-time Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Hangout update alerts.
The materials are great as well because the Smarty Ring is made from allergy free, surgical quality stainless steel. Looks good on both man and woman with style and class factor.
The LED display is great for day and night use. Looks fantastic, you can go swimming with it, and it comes with its own charging dock that looks classy in itself. $9,720USD has been raised so far of a $40,000 goal, with only 69 hours left to run, which means this will not make the crowd funding. For more information and the option to back the Smarty Ring please visit Indiegogo.
Would you like to own a Smarty Ring?
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The NSA is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.
That enables the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally”.
Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among individuals using them.
The records feed a vast database that stores the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.
Both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA chief Keith Alexander told Congress in 2010 and 2011 that location data was used only for a test and “was not used for any other purpose and was never available for intelligence analysis purposes.”
James Clapper condemned Snowden’s actions as having done “huge, grave damage” to US intelligence capabilities. Perhaps one could say the same thing about him.
Related Dailywireless articles include; NSA Spying Threatens Global Internet?, Snowden Pursuaded Co-workers to Give Up Passwords, NSA Stores Social MetaData on US Persons, GCHQ Stores and Searches Oceanic Fiber Data, NSA Decrypts Everything
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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology today issued licenses for the TD-LTE standard to the country’s three carriers, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.
China, the world’s biggest smartphone market, has some 1.2 billion mobile users as of the end of October. China Mobile is the world’s largest cellular provider with 759 million subscribers, or 62.3 percent of the Chinese market. China Unicom is the second-largest with 22.6 percent of total users, while China Telecom has 15.1 percent.
China Mobile got access to 130MHz of spectrum, reports Unwired View, (in the 1880 -1900 MHz, 2320-2370 MHz, and 2575-2635 MHz bands). China Unicom will get 40MHz (2300-2320 MHz and 2555-2575 MHz bands), while China Telecom will also have 40MHz (2370-2390 MHz and 2635-2655 MHz bands) for their homegrown TD-LTE offerings.
4G licenses for FDD LTE services for China Unicom and Telecom will be issued separately. China Telecom said it will apply for a LTE FDD license once available. The carrier currently uses CDMA2000 3G networks, and has said in the past it would prefer to upgrade to LTE FDD technology.
China Mobile’s 3G subscribers, using TD-SCDMA, accounted for just 23 percent of its total subscribers as of the end of October. That’s a much lower 3G adoption rate than the 42 and 54 percent for China Unicom and China Telecom, which use CDMA and GSM 3G standards. The globally adopted TD-LTE standard is expected to stimulate 4G wireless broadband growth throughout China and stimulate other markets world-wide.
For now, China is only issuing the licenses to operate LTE TDD networks, and not its other variant LTE FDD (frequency division duplex), a 4G standard in popular use in the U.S. The government said it would still need to test the LTE Frequency Division technology before it issues the other licenses.
China Unicom and China Telecom both carry the iPhone, but China Mobile’s handsets have been at a disadvantage without an iPhone capable of using TD-SCDMA (3G) or TD-LTE (4G) data. Apple is expected to announce a deal with China Mobile soon.
According to the Wall Street Journal, China Mobile has signed a deal to carry the iPhone on its network. The deal with China Mobile, expected to be announced on December 18, would give Apple access to a subscriber base that is seven times the size of Verizon Wireless, the U.S.’s largest carrier.
TD-LTE, of course, uses a single radio channel for both up and downstream (like WiFi). Frequency division uses paired channels, dedicating two radio channels, one for “talking” and one for “listening”.
Since two-way voice now uses only a tiny percentage of cellular capacity, the efficiency of using dynamically assigned asymmetrical (TD) links for downstream (or upstream) makes more sense, especially in high-density urban centers.
China Mobile is planning to officially launch TD-LTE services in 2014. Ericsson the world’s largest cellular infrastructure provider, will deploy TD-LTE network in 15 provinces in mainland China for China Mobile. Ericsson will provide radio access network, Evolved Packet Core and upgrade and expand the installed base. The EPC is the core network of an LTE radio system, relying entirely on Internet Protocol (IP) packet switching for both voice and data.
China Mobile has required chipset suppliers offer TD-LTE chips supporting five modes (LTE/LTE FDD, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM) and also 10 operational frequency bands.
China became the leading market for smartphones in 2012. By 2016, India and Brazil will enter the top 5 markets for smartphones.
Related Dailywireless articles include; Ericsson Wins Big China Mobile TD-LTE Contract, China Mobile Getting iPhones?, China Mobile Awards Initial TD-LTE Contracts, TD-LTE Hits the China Fan, The Next Trillion, Bharti Airtel Activates TD-LTE in India, LTE-Advanced: Upsetting the Apple Cart?, China: 1 Billion Mobile Activations, India: HSPA King by 2016, India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done,
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There were a lot of people wondering what the takeover by Google of Motorola would mean for the smartphone manufacturer going forward, and we are now beginning to see the first signs of the search engines giants’ influence. The recently released Motorola Moto G has raised the bar for budget handsets but its low price still brings a small profit for the company.
The Motorola Moto G brings a handset with some worthy specifications and a low asking price for an unlocked smartphone, but a new report suggests the company is still making a profit from each handset it sells.
In the past it has been reported that the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire is sold at almost cost price with profits made from sales of digital content, but research company TechInsights are speculating that the components for the Moto G cost around $123.
The company charges consumers $199 for the 16GB model so that equates to around $76 made on each handset, but analyst Mark Newman from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. is suggesting that Motorola’s profit margin is below 5% for each handset when taking into consideration operating costs.
This works out to a maximum net profit of $2.50 per handset sold which according to Newman compares to Samsung that has a 20% profit for similar specification handsets like the Galaxy S3 Mini, or up to 28% for the Galaxy S4.
Another analyst from the same company believes that Apple makes between 30 to 35% profit on each iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C sold. While these figures can’t be confirmed it goes to show if accurate that Motorola won’t be making much profit on each Moto G sold, but when you consider the company is likely to sell the handset in extremely high numbers it should still see a healthy return.
Have you already purchase the Motorola Moto G?
Source: The Wall Street Journal.
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Bluetooth 4.1 was officially released today, building on the current low power model. The updated version improves usability with increased coexistence support for LTE and data exchange, and empower developer innovation, said Errett Kroeter, director of brand marketing for the Bluetooth SIG (specs).
Bluetooth 4.1 improvements include:
- Coexistence. Bluetooth and LTE radios can communicate in order to ensure transmissions are coordinated reducing the possibility of near-band interference.
- Better Connections. Devices can reconnect automatically when they are in proximity of one another. The consumer can leave the room and upon returning, two recently used devices reconnect without user intervention.
- Improved Data Transfer. For example, sensors which gathered data during a run can transfer that data more efficiently when the consumer returns home.
The last Bluetooth update was in July 2010, with the spec for Bluetooth Smart, also called Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth 4.0. It enabled low-energy technology for the Internet of Things.
A single device can now act as both a Bluetooth Smart peripheral and a hub at the same time. For example, a smart watch acts as a hub gathering information from a heart rate monitor while simultaneously acting as a peripheral to a smartphone — displaying new message notifications from the phone.
Bluetooth has become the wireless technology of choice for developers, according to the Bluetooth SIG, with over two billion devices shipping annually. The Bluetooth SIG now counts over 20,000 member companies.
Bluetooth use is set to rise to 3.1 billion units in 2017, up 91 percent from 1.6 billion in 2011, according to IMS Research.
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As 2013 draws to a close thoughts have been turning to next year and what the various smartphone manufacturers may have in store for consumers. Samsung has obviously been at the centre of a lot of speculation, and the Galaxy S5 renders we have today show two designs.
There has been a lot of talk about when the Galaxy S5 will be released and today we have two concept phone ideas from the guys over at simonlyradar.nl, which features a normal Galaxy S5 while the other one features a flexible display.
The design ideas are based on the various leaks we have been seeing recently but this design has a 5-inch Super AMOLED display alongside the 5.2-inch flexible device, which according to recent leaks could be a 2K resolution display.
Under the hood is a 2.7GHZ quad core processor that could likely be the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor. This will be paired with 3.5GB of RAM with support for a 16-megapixel rear camera capable of 4K video capture.
Powering the device is a 3,500 mAh battery or 3,300 mAh in the flexible Galaxy S5 concept with the handset running Android 4.4 KitKat with a new version of the Samsung TouchWiz overlay. The device is made from an aluminium body with an edge to edge display housed in the new material.
Do you like the look of these designs?
Source: Concept Phones.
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iBeacons are an indoor positioning system promoted by Apple for IOS-7 devices. On Friday, Apple will begin using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages about products, events and other information – tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given Apple permission to track you.
Companies such as StickNFind and Estimote are already creating cheap iBeacon-compatible hardware. They can also be used by the Android 4.3 operating system or later.
iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (aka Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) to calculate micro location at key locations around a building. Apple is expected to make the iBeacon protocol public soon.
iBeacon aware apps can perform “Region Monitoring” in the background. When the app is in the foreground or when you wake your iPhone then Apple’s Core Location service can use “Ranging” for a more accurate estimate of how far you are away from the nearest beacon, explains the Automated Home. Electronic leash applications are also well suited to iBeacon/BLE devices.
One London-based company uses iBeacons to sell subscriptions to digital magazines. It also enables an establishment to enable access to full magazines to patrons who come in.
iBeacons can notify a device to send push notifications to devices within close proximity. Any compatible Bluetooth LE iPhone or iPad can be a iBeacon transmitter too. Apple’s Core Motion framework takes advantage of the new M7 chip inside the latest iPhone 5s.
The location is based on signal strength and the results will put your location into one of three states – Immediate (approx 10 centimetres away), Near (approx 2 – 3 metres away), Far (approx 5 – 70 metres away).
Apple has already begun using one implementation of BLE iBeacons with the new ‘bump‘ setup for the Apple TV.
The new 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard, due in 2015 / 2016, has been designed to support the sort of sensor networks suited to Home Automation. It allows low rate 802.11 wireless stations to be used in sub gigahertz spectrum. It uses 802.11a/g specification down sampled to provide 26 channels, each able to provide 100 kbit/s throughput.
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A Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX has successfully launched a satellite to orbit. It’s the first time SpaceX has launched a geosynch satellite, its most difficult mission to date.
The SES-8 satellite was released to its geosynchronous transfer orbit. The upper stage will, if all goes well, restart to raise apogee to its prescribed orbit.
SES-8 will provide telecommunications services to South Asia and the Asia Pacific. The 3,200-kg satellite features 33 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity. In addition, SES-8 carries a Ka-band payload that together with the Ku-band payload consumes approximately five kilowatts of electrical power. Designed for an anticipated service life of 15 years, SES-8 will be co-located with NSS-6 at an orbit location of 95° East Longitude.
Why did SES agree to launch a satellite on a rocket that had never flown to geostationary transfer orbit before and never demonstrated its ability to do so?
According to SpaceX Chairman Elon Musk, SpaceX launched the commercial satellite, insured for $200 million, because the Falcon 9 is capable of completing its mission even if it loses one of the nine first-stage engines. That gives the vehicle an inherent reliability far beyond its actual flight heritage, said Musk.
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Alcatel-Lucent has launched a Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program, to facilitate site acquisition and backhaul for metro cell deployments. LightRadio Metro Cell small cells, similar in size to WiFi hotspots, can easily mount on light poles.
Inaugural members of the Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program will include cable operators (MSOs) in the United States, a leading outdoor advertising agency, systems integrators, managed services providers, and site acquisition firms including Crown Castle, EdgeConneX, Knight Enterprises and Zayo, each bringing unique real estate assets, deployment capabilities and technical expertise.
Alcatel-Lucent wants to mount small cells on light posts, bus stops, cable TV infrastructure, utility assets, buildings, and street furniture. Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm are collaborating to integrate cellular and WiFi into AlcaLu’s lightRadio using Qualcomm’s FSM9900 family of Small Cell chipsets.
With its initial program members, Alcatel-Lucent says operators will gain access to more than 600,000 qualified sites including:
- Over 150,000 serviceable on-net buildings
- 325,000 street assets including outdoor advertising assets
- 30,000 roof tops
- 10,000 fiber to the building assets
- Dense aerial physical plant and fiber assets for backhaul
- Public utility right of way access addressing vast urban US market coverage
- Over 200,000 route miles of fiber in primary urban and suburban markets across the US
“We have solicited the help from companies who have assets to contribute to the solution,” said Michael J. Schabel, Vice President, Small Cells, Alcatel-Lucent. “While no company alone can address the 4P’s necessary for small cell deployment –people, power, poles and ports — the group working together creates tens of thousands of qualified and available small cell sites.”
AT&T, which is in the process of deploying 40,000 small cells as part of its Project Velocity IP initiative, has said that it wants all small cell deployments in 2014 to include Wi-Fi.
As many as 11.5 million small-cell base stations could be deployed by 2018, up from just 168,000 today, according to a status report from the Small Cell Forum.
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