Tag Archives: Vodafone

Nexus One UK launch set for April

Google’s much-hyped Nexus One smartphone is set for UK launch in April, according to a new report in The Daily Telegraph, with the web giant no doubt hoping the device will make a bigger splash than it did on its US launch. At present UK consumers can purchase an unlocked version of the phone from Google’s website, although Google has been in discussions with network operator Vodafone for some time now about providing the device on contract to its customers

However, despite Vodafone being keen on a March launch, sources close to both companies confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that April is the more realistic time frame for the UK launch. According to the official Google site for the Nexus One, the device is still listed as “coming soon to Europe” in spring 2010.

Despite huge expectations of the smartphone, Google’s first own-branded device has met with a fairly luke warm reception from commentators and been beset with support and 3G connectivity issues. Many users complained that it is unclear which company is responsible for customer support; the phone manufacturer, HTC, the US network carrier, T-Mobile, or Google itself.

Others complained about the slow response times from Google to complaints and the lack of a manned customer service support line, although this latter problem has now been addressed. The web giant also released an over-the-air software update for the handset to enable new features and fix the widely reported connectivity problems, although sales still remain sluggish compared to the huge numbers of iPhones that Apple shifted on its launch.


TalkTalk ‘planning quad-play broadband deal’

Subscribers to TalkTalk’s broadband packages could soon be able to also take up mobile phone services as part of the deal, it has emerged.

The broadband provider is reportedly keen to become a mobile virtual network operator once its demerger from parent company Carphone Warehouse is completed at the end of March. Mobile Today reports that if the firm is successful, it could offer mobile services alongside its existing broadband and home phone bundles, as well as the digital TV platform it gained control of through its acquisition of Tiscali.

Discussing the move with the website, Strategy Analytics analyst Phil Kendall said the move was essentially “a natural extension” for TalkTalk. “Look at the others. O2 now has a fixed-line consumer offering, as does Orange. Vodafone is also likely to launch a product. T-Mobile and 3 are the only single play providers left in the UK,” he added. TalkTalk recently launched its new We’ll Call You service, which allows lonely over-65s to enjoy regular chats with a member of staff.


Vodafone explains rogue tweet – Practical joke gone very wrong

There was much mirth recently when Vodafone got all foul-mouthed on its Twitter feed – sending the ridiculously offensive message: “@VodafoneUK: is fed up of dirty homo’s and is going after beaver”.

The company immediately posted an apology, but the message immediately shot around the globe. Jakub Hrabovsky, head of web relations at Vodafone, has now explained exactly what happened – telling ReputationOnline:

“Since the inappropriate tweet that was published through @VodafoneUK on Friday there have been many questions and theories (some slightly wild) about what actually happened. Therefore, we can now share what actually took place”. 

“On Friday one of the members of the Web Relations team who was moderating the company Twitter account left his computer for a minute to ask a colleague some advice. Another member of staff who is unconnected with the Web Relations team saw his colleagues screen open and assuming it was his colleague’s personal Twitter account posted the inappropriate tweet”. 

“Within minutes we realised what had happened and issued an apology. The individual who posted the tweet was suspended with immediate effect and an internal investigation is now underway. We have strict guidelines with respect to all the social media we use and we are naturally upset that a rogue incidence like this could happen”.

The approach seems to have worked. Happening as it did just before a weekend, the incident was mostly forgotten by Monday.


Nexus One will struggle: Microsoft

In the wake of the launch of Google’s Nexus One “super phone”, Microsoft has attacked the company’s mobile strategy. Google’s Android mobile phone software will struggle to make a major impact in the market now that the company has launched its own mobile phone, the Windows manufacturer has claimed.

Robbie Bach, the President of the company’s entertainment and devices division, said that so long as Google makes its own handsets, such as the new Nexus One, other phone manufacturers would hesitate to work with the Android mobile software platform because they would fear that they would never be a top priority for the search company.

“Doing both [software and hardware] in the way they are trying to do both is actually very, very difficult,” Bach said in an interview yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “Google’s announcement sends a signal where they’re going to place their commitment.”

When Google launched the Nexus One on Tuesday night, however, both Motorola and the phone’s manufacturer, HTC, joined the search giant on stage. Motorola Chief Executive Sanjay Jha confirmed that his company was already working on a range of new Android devices, even though many in the industry consider that the new Nexus One has largely stolen the thunder of the Motorola Droid handset.

Mobile network operators around the world, too, are apparently keen to get their hands on the Nexus One. Vodafone have confirmed that they expect to be the first to bring a Nexus One-subsidizing tariff to the UK market, although T-Mobile, which is already partnering with Google in the USA, has also held advanced talks with the company in Europe.

Google has stated that it is keen to work with as many network operators as possible.


Orange and Vodafone braced for iPhone data avalanche

The extra data traffic which plagued O2 when it launched the iPhone will not be a problem claim Orange and Vodafone. Orange have already launched the iPhone and Vodafone are set to do so on 14 January. Jeni Mundy, Vodafone UK’s CTO, said the company has spent “millions” strengthening its core network to deal with the increased demand on its networks as it phases out analogue voice for digital.

Data accounts for half the traffic across Vodafone’s network, a figure which looks set to grow as customers start to rely more on their smartphone. Over at Orange – who have just encompassed T-Mobile’s UK network – the company has introduced what it terms high density (HD) voice which expands the frequency range of mobile signal and improves signal quality.

The reason for these quick claims of stealth is that O2 networks struggled when they took on the iPhone. Traffic increased 18-fold in as many months. To make they don’t run into similar problems with “iPhone Killer” the Palm Pre, O2 has installed an extra 200 base stations in London and is talking to Nokia Siemens to optimise their infrastructure


O2 says iPhone demand strained its London network

Apple’s data-hungry iPhone at times overwhelmed operator O2’s network in London during the last six months but additional capacity helped ease the problem by December, O2 said on Tuesday.

O2, which is owned by Spain’s Telefonica, said some customers in the UK capital had periodically not been able to make or receive calls or transmit data because of pressure on the network from smartphones such as the iPhone. O2, whose exclusive contract to market the Apple handset in the UK expired in November, had seen an 18-fold increase in data traffic since the start of the year, a spokesman said.

Chief Executive Ronan Dunne told the Financial Times on Tuesday: “Where we haven’t met our own high standards then there’s no question, we apologise to customers for that fact.” “But it would be wrong to say O2 has failed its customers en masse.”

O2’s network has suffered a spate of crashes since the summer, when it said it was seeing a huge surge in data traffic. The company had invested 30 million pounds ($48 million) in its London network to meet demand, the spokesman said, and 200 extra mobile base stations had been installed.

O2 is not alone in finding its network stretched by iPhone users, who have some of the largest appetites for downloading applications, surfing the Internet and using email. AT&T temporarily stopped selling the iPhone on its website to New York City residents over the weekend, causing speculation that the operator may have been trying to ease congestion on its network.

O2 said it did not encounter any problems over the Christmas period. Orange, owned by France Telecom, started selling the phone in the UK in November, while retailer Tesco launched an iPhone service earlier this month. Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, will join the iPhone battle in Britain and Ireland on Jan 14


Twitter Introduces Better Interface For Mobile Users

Micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter has unveiled a new beta version for its mobile web interface which can be accessed via a mobile device on http://mobile.twitter.com. Leland Rechis, who is in charge of user experience at Twitter, wrote on Twitter’s blog that his team had build a new web client from scratch using the startup’s own API. The new website works best on Webkit browsers apparently while others – including Microsoft and Blackberry – will need to wait as Twitter finetunes the service, which will no longer be located at m.twitter.com.

Rechis also added that “This is just the start, we’re excited about the new APIs launching at Twitter, and have been busy tinkering with some neat ways to use them. We look forward to sharing more cool things with you soon.” A number of third party applications have surfaced to fill the gaps left by the original web client, something that Twitter is keen to remedy.  What’s ironic is that some of these third party service providers are charging a pretty penny to deliver these improvements and are bringing in significant revenues.

Twitter has enlisted a number of mobile phone networks in the UK, such as Three, Vodafone, Orange and O2 to update their status for free via their mobile devices which might help explain why the site is the 13th most visited in this country.


Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/portal/news/article/2009/12/6/twitter-introduces-better-interface-mobile-users/#ixzz0YwAFzKW4

Twitter to offer paid for corporate accounts as added extra

A bit of a tweet deal for companies

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone today confirmed plans for paid-for corporate accounts on the microblogging giant. Within these new commercial accounts users will gain an enhanced experience with access to analytical tools and ways to gain feedback from their followers. In the interview with the BBC, Stone comments;  “One of the first things we’re going to do explicitly is commercial accounts and that is providing a special layer of access. Twitter will always be free to everyone whether it is commercial or personal, but you’ll be able to pay for an additional layer of access to learn more about your Twitter account to get some freed back to get some analytics to help you become a better twitter

Keen to stress the free and openness of Twitter, Biz also took a pop at Rupert Murdoch’s plans for paid content during the interview. He said that he “would love to see what happens” if Murdoch’s plans of banning Google were to happen. His take on the situation: “They should be looking at this as an opportunity to try something radically different and find out a way to make a ton of money from being radically open rather than some money from being ridiculously closed.” Stone was in the mood for talking having also tipped his hat at possible media company and search engine team ups in the near future, naming Google and Bing as companies that he would like to get involved with. Even with the possible commercial deals with Orange and Vodafone announced this week, the plans for the future and over 7 million users worldwide Stone believes “We have a lot of work to do”.


iPhone war hots up – just ask the actor Brian Blessed!


My all time favourite video clip about new technology was one involving the actor Brian Blessed. Not noted for his technological acumen, while he was shooting a scene a ringing was heard amongst the surrounding crew. “What the bloody hell is that?” said the disgruntled actor – “A Palm Pilot” came the timid retort. Blessed replied “Palm Pilot…sounds like a bloody wanking machine to me”

Now those days of gratuitous crudity are now gone and the names of new products have just evolved from the wacky to the mainstream. 

The latest in the current line, the iPhone is threatening to be the root of all desire on most people’s Christmas list and don;t the mobile phone shops just know it. They are threatening to fight over the rights to resell iPhones like rats trapped in a sack.

In the latest installment, Carphone is understood to be close to agreeing terms with Vodafone over the sale of Apple’s hugely popular device.

At present Carphone has exclusive retailer rights to sell the iPhone through an agreement with Apple and O2, which until this week held the sole network rights to the iPhone.

Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse, has credited the iPhone with enabling the company to increase its market presence at the expense of rival Phones4U.

Carphone securing the rights to sell the iPhone comes two months after the companies agreed a truce that saw Vodafone’s phones return to Carphone after a two-year absence.

It is understood that Vodafone may also market the phone through Phones4U stores.

Orange is understood to have signed a deal to sell the iPhone through Phones4u, but it might also allow Carphone to market the phone.

The wider the phone is marketed the more likely it is that the price will fall considerably as both operators and retailers will be battling to attract customers.

Analysts expect that rampant competition could force the price of the phone down by more than £100. Orange’s iPhones are expected to go on sale at the start of November. Vodafone’s iPhones will not go on sale until early in the new year, at just about the same time that thousands of O2’s iPhone customers’ contracts will come up for renewal.

Orange will squeeze the pips out of O2 this Xmas – the consumer will be the winner

Orange have now struck a deal withApple to offer the iPhone and have become the first operator to break O2’s exclusivity over the icon handset in the United Kingdom reports The Daily Torygraph.

Other UK mobile operators are also talking with Apple, and there is rumour that at least one other network may offer the iPhone, the frontrunners are presumed to be Vodafone and Virgin Mobile however it could be a while before any deal is announced.

There could be the possibility of an iPhone price war now that the iPhone has been opened up and Ovum analyst, Steven Hartley has remarked that where the iPhone is sold by more than one operator, it is cheaper, it depends on how Orange wants to play it. If Orange get aggressive, O2 will need to respond and the result could be a full on price war.

Orange have thus far refused to announce details of their iPhone contract terms, but have indicated they will offer cheaper iPhone deals than O2.