Author Archives: Tony Dennis

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.

Counterfeit handsets present major challenge to African MNOs

Luckily Mobilethink believes it has the ideal solution

The use of cloned or counterfeit mobile handsets is a problem which MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] and MVNOs [Mobile Virtual Network Operators] in mature markets can afford to ignore. But that’s not the case in Africa. Such devices may form anything between 10 and 20 per cent of an African operator’s device base, according to Mobilethink. A genuine GSM handset should, of course, have a unique IMEI number. But that would involve paying the GSMA. Hence the popularity of counterfeiting. Additionally, the company quotes the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK,) as claiming that sub-standard components are often used in manufacturing cloned devices which have not been put through safety checks and might emit higher than recommended radiation levels. Hence, some countries such as Kenya and Nigeria have introduced legislation ordering carriers to trace and block cloned and counterfeit devices. It’s a nightmare for African MNOs but Mobilethink thinks it has the answer. Continue reading

big four's war chests threatenned - howdle Industry reaction to Ofcom increasing charges for UK MNOs

Don’t want their war chests diminished

More than a little bad news for the UK’s four MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] now that the industry watchdog, Ofcom, has decided to publish its recommendations. Basically, the UK government is keen to extract as much money as it thinks feasible out of MNOs for use of the airwaves. This process has been going on since 2010 and as Ofcom admits, its remit is to revise the fees MNOs pay “to reflect full market value.” The net effect is that the MNOs will see their joint annual bill rise from around £64.4 million currently to £199.3 million. Obviously the Big Four aren’t too happy with this prospect. As Dan Howdle of commented, “They [MNOs] won’t want their war chests diminished.” Continue reading

Malwarebytes reacts to Cinese iTunes attack

Bit worrying that XcodeGhost is almost undetectable

In the wake of the news here that Chinese hackers had managed to infiltrate mainstream apps posted on the official Apple iTunes App Store, Thomas Reed, director of Mac offerings with software security experts, Malwarebytes, has shared his reactions to the XcodeGhost outbreak. According to Reed, the attach is “the largest app store breach in history and anyone using iOS or OS X could potentially be affected.” He also gives some insights into why Apple has so far provided little guidance on how consumers could spot if they are running an affected app. Reed says it appears to be a form of dynamic library hijacking, where apps dynamically load libraries of code that they look for in one of multiple locations. “It’s hard for any user to be on guard against this kind of malware. Especially on iOS, where security features in the system make anti-malware software impossible,” Reed added. Continue reading

Unlucky EE Power Bar users get lucky

EE offers E1-6 possessors £20 voucher

It seems that leading British MNO [Mobile Network Operator], EE, is more than a little anxious for its customers to return a batch of potentially unsafe mobile power chargers. Known as Power Bars, the batch in question have “Model No: E106″ written down their side. These devices “could pose a fire safety risk “, the operator says. So, in order to entice the few remaining possessors of these units back into their local EE store, EE is giving them a £20 voucher in return. The voucher does, of course, have to be spent in the EE online accessories store here. Sadly, Power Bars “from any other batch are not affected by this recall.” So, no voucher for us, then. Continue reading

Tweakker’s Fit4Market scores coup with US handset vendor

Software helps both smartphone vendors & MNOs save money

As something of a breakthrough for cellular software specialist – Tweakker (which incidentally is now part of Spirent Communications), the company has just signed a deal with a  US-based handset supplier – Sky Devices. The product which Sky will be embedding into the OS of its Android based smartphones is called Fit4Market. The enormous advantage to employing Fit4Market is that it helps any handset maker to supply its smartphones into an enormous range of M & MV  networks worldwide which utilise the GSM cellular standard. So in the USA that means AT&T plus T-Mobile. In effect, Tweakker’s software removes the onerous burden of testing an Android smartphones against local mobile network operators (MNOs) or mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). settings. As one happy Tweakker user put it – using Fit4Market is a no-brainer for all levels of handset suppliers. Continue reading

almunia - previously nodded thru EU MNO mergers 4G delays may aid 3UK’s O2 bid

EU previously argued Europe had too many MNOs

According to recent reports, the conditions imposed on two Danish MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] by the European Commission were so onerous that the companies – Telenor and TeliaSonera, have decided to pull out of the planned merger. Therefore, some observers are arguing, the proposed deal to merge two UK MNOs – Three UK (3UK) and O2 will suffer the same fate. Or will it? GoMo News would argue that the proposed British merger would follow the EU’s own previously expressed opinions – namely that the roll out of high speed mobile broadband (ie 4G) was slower in Europe than in the USA and elsewhere precisely because there were  too many MNOs compared to the States Big Four operators. This could prove a very useful weapon in 3UK’s hands. Continue reading

iD will be offering the iPhone 6s in the UK

Check which MNOs will be offering Apple’s latest smartphones

Here at GoMo Towers, we noticed an announcement from leading UK MNO [Mobile Network Operator], EE, that it will be offering the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in the UK with LTE-A (4G+) support as well as Wi-fi calling. EE will offer the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, beginning on 25th September [2015]. Customers can pre-order the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from Saturday 12th September [2015] onwards from here. This announcement aroused our  curiosity as to which other UK MNOs and MVNOs [Mobile Virtual Network Operators] will be offering Apple’s latest and best. The answer is to visit this particular question , or by visiting a page on Apple’s web site here which revealed that in addition to the obvious players – 3UK, Vodafone, and O2 (including Giff-gaff) and EE, of course, both BT and iD will be supporting these latest handsets. This is impressive since iD is a relative new player in the UK market (see here) and is a mechanism for Carphone to tie in even more consumers.
Continue reading

wifi_calling iPhones are compatible with EE’s WiFi calling service

No clear indication that it is UMA based, though

It seems that leading UK MNO [mobile network operator] EE has finally decided to join the Wi-fi offloading camp by offering a new service called WiFi Calling. The company openly admits that this capability is initially severely restricted. But it has mistakenly given the impression that the service is limited to Android and Windows Phone based devices only. The reality is that most recent Apple iPhone are also capable of enjoying the service. This development leaves Vodafone as the only UK MNO presently not offering a Wi-fi offloading solution. Although GoMo News would argue that its femtocell based Sure Signal offering is extremely similar. Continue reading

- lawson-stratham Apple is working with Brits on iPhone fuel cell

Could have major implications for markets like India

Rumours have emerged recently that Apple is working with a British technology company has developed a  hydrogen fuel cell that is small enough to be factory fitted inside one of its smartphones. The company is Intelligent Energy and in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph here, Intelligent Energy’s CFO, Dr Mark Lawson-Stratham, mentioned working with a partner. He said while the tech is still a couple of years away from being ready for the general public, “But it’s about how quickly does our partner want to press the button and get on with it?” Naturally, with Apple be notoriously harsh to suppliers who leak information, the company refused to confirm that the smartphone manufacturer was Apple. However, Intelligent Energy has strong links with Apple which already sells its Upp fuel cell charger in its stores. The technology has, of course, major benefits for emerging markets such as India, where traditional mains electricity supplies can prove difficult to find. A whole new market for reusable cartridge could open up for retailers, too. Continue reading

it's working and ready to go - winand Fuel cells to put India MNO on cutting edge technology

GoMo News suspects the MNO in question is Ascend Telecom

A UK based company, Intelligent Energy, has apparently struck a deal to deploy its fuel cell technology to power cellular base stations in India, according to a recent report in The Sunday Telegraph. The deal will make India the first country to deploy this cutting-edge technology within the cellular industry. Intelligent Energy will apparently replace up to 26,000 diesel generators with fuel cells. The newspaper didn’t name which Indian based mobile network operator [MNO} will utilise its products but . GoMo News. discovered that the company has been participating in trials with Ascend Telecom in Uttar Pradesh West. Continue reading

- williams Invisible mobile ads could increase demand for adblocking

AdBlock Plus has found way of offering its Adblock browser for Android on Google Play

According to Ben Williams, head of operations with Adblock Plus, a recent study from Forensiq focused on fraud detection revealed that thousands of mobile applications in both Google and Apple’s apps stores misled marketers. They did so by loading invisible adverts that cannot be seen by users, and in doing so costing the marketing and advertising industry an estimated $1 billion a year. His company says that the findings from this report supports further evidence that advertising fraud is spreading rapidly from online to the mobile app advertising market – which is expected to grow by up to 50 per cent to almost $21 billion this year in the USA alone. Continue reading

tessier Mobile ad veteran Tessier joins adsquare

Organiser of MobileDrinks & AppDays

Mobile ad industry veteran, Vincent Tessier has joined adsquare as vp for demand partnerships. With more than 10 years of experience in media and mobile, Vincent has been prominent on French digital landscape since the early 2000s – having worked at AOL, Cellfish Media, Trademob and most recently LAPLACEMEDIA. “Very few companies are able to offer what adsquare is offering to our market, empowering unprecedented targeting possibilities, especially in Europe,” Tessier observed. He is well known within the mobile community for initiatives such as (his blog); organising MobileDrinks meetups and for AppDays, which claims to be the largest conference about mobile and apps in France. Continue reading

UK imprisons 30 per annum over propaganda theft

Pay up for the Beeb licence or else

Shocking statistics have emerged on how the UK government persecutes those who refuse to pay their annual subscription fee for its propaganda arm – the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation], otherwise known as the Beeb. Curiously it seems that women are the most reluctant to pay for their indoctrination. Seventy per cent of 178,300 people prosecuted in 2013 were women. It is not known how many of the 30 or so people who are sent to prison every year for refusing to pay the £1,000/$1,564 fine for failure to pay the annual fee of £149.50/$234 were women. The harsh reality, however, is that publications such as GoMo News have to pay that fee to enable services such as to compete against us. The good news is that the Tory [conservative] party’s Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, has finally called for non-payment to be decriminalised. Continue reading

charge my mobile box is already ticked GoMo accidentally places bet using Payforit

Pen in pocket bets with

Here at GoMo Towers, we’d have to recommend opting out your handset from the UK’s Payforit mobile payment service at present. That’s because we appear to have placed a bet whilst driving along. Which means the pen in our pocket managed to bet £8 with When we tried to track down the operator of this service, we had a great deal of trouble. The company is called BigWin Ltd and a spokesperson told us, “Obviously the pen in your pocket entered the competition.” It’s a shame to recommend this negative action because we’d used Payforit originally to purchase a bus ticket. Won’t be doing that again in a hurry. Continue reading

threeuk Hutchison will push EU hard for 3 & O2 UK merger

Combined UK MNO big enough to take on Vodafone

It seems that Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa – which built the 3 (Three) mobile network in the UK will be urging the European Commission to permit its acquisition of UK MNO [Mobile Network Operator] – O2.  The company built the 3 network in the UK and is looking to merge it with its rival UK  MNO in an £12.5 bllion merger. GoMo News first reported the rumouurs back in January [2015] – see ‘More hints that 3UK might take over O2‘. The figures make a compelling argument.  Three  has circa 12.2 per cent of the UK’s mobile network spectrum whilst O2 has around 15.2 per cent. Combined they’d have 27.4 per cent compared to Vodafone’s 27.5 per cent.You know it makes sense. Continue reading