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.

vital customers can access all info - neudegg Ofcom hands out mega fine to UK’s EE

Is BT buying the right UK MNO we wonder?

Quite frankly a one million pound fine (£1 m) handed out to a player in the UK’s mobile telecoms business is nothing short of extraordinary. But that’s what’s just happened to leading UK MNO [Mobile Network Operator], EE, which has been on the wrong end of UK telecoms watchdog, Ofcom‘s, wrath. The fine was for failing to comply with Ofcom’s rules on handling customer complaints. Regular GoMo News readers will remember that we’ve been on the wrong end of EE’s customer relations more than once. See ‘EE says today is in 65 days time’. It also raises the question of whether UK entrenched telecoms operator, BT, is buying the right UK MNO. Especially given that EE’s High Street presence is allegedly what BT picked EE and not O2. Ofcom’s consumer & content group director, Claudio Pollack, wasn’t too please. He commented, “It’s vital that customers can access all the information they need when they’re pursuing a complaint.” Continue reading

RIP inventor of SMS/text Matti Makkonen

SMS long ignored in USA thanks to not-invented-here

Here at GoMo Towers we were saddened to learn of the death of famous Finn, Matti Makkonen, who is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the Short Messaging Service (SMS) which is now best known as text messaging. Essentially what Makkonen did was to realise the potential for the use of the standard signalling channel for brief messages. Makkonen thus decided on 160 characters whereas Twitter uses less. The original objective with SMS was to enable test engineers to communicate briefly with each other as part of network infrastructure installation and setup. Now look at it. Bizarrely, the USA took a long time to implement text message services as we now know them today. Chiefly as the result of the ‘not-invented-here’ syndrome which was rife at the time. Continue reading

it's early days - Doku Air of disbelief greets EU roaming news

Will the charges definitely disappear in 2 yrs time?

It seems that data roaming charges will be abolished within the European Union [EU] by June 2017, according yesterday’s [June 30th 2015] announcement from EU regulators. Not everyone is convinced that the end is definite. uSwitch.comtelecoms expert, Ernest Doku, commented, “It’s early days and, like the debates over scrapping EU roaming charges, these good intentions could still unravel.” Mark Windle, head of marketing with OpenCloud warned that MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] need to innovate in order to combat their squeezed revue streams. Meanwhile David Walker, a vp with Tangoe, warned, “Companies will find that true bill shock comes from data usage not phone calls in the future.” Continue reading

power_bar 35p EE Power Bar won’t work with our Moto G

But then the UK MVNO doesn’t range this handset

On the very first day [June 24th 2015] that EE made its second batch of ‘Power Bar’ mobile device chargers available to consumers, GoMo News managed to rush into the Epsom EE phone store and claims its Bar. Obviously we’ll be accused of nit-picking but for some reason best known to itself, when EE sent us the code to claim our ‘free’ unit, it cost us 35 pence to receive that SMS [text]. But the biggest disappointment turned out to be that the Bar won’t charge our loan Motorola Moto G. However, it has no problems with our BlackBerry Q5. Worked a treat. Continue reading

Funny – ARM holdings looks good to us

Maybe Bernstein hasn’t heard of the IoT, then?

Cambridge based microchip designer, ARM, has come in for a bit of stick recently. Apparently a respected market analyst, Bernstein, has decided that the bottom has dropped out of smartphones. So this news affected both ARM and iconic device maker – Apple. This is intriguing because we can bet our bottom dollar that Bernstein never realised that ARM was founded as a result of co-operation between Acorn (the UK home computer maker) and Apple. Anyway, the good news is that there are plenty of positive signs for ARM. For starters, Xiaomi – the Chinese smartphone manufacturer enjoying major success in India, is a good ARM customer. And recently, Hong King based FIH Mobile (which makes the Xiaomi smartphones) forecast that its own profit will more than double. In the meantime, ARM has show that it knows the way things are going in the mobile world and is behind wearable technology as well as the IoT [Internet of Things] which we all used to known as M2M [Machine-to-Machine] technology. Continue reading

pesky 'invert' option is left middle Invert colours setting screws Android screen appearance

No need for a new Motorola handset display

Wow. Close call. Our loan Motorola Moto G handset suddenly developed a massive usability fault. The smartphone became almost impossible to use because the screen’s background colour had mysteriously changed outright from black to white. So it was nigh [nearly] impossible to see what was happening on the smartphone’s screen. Here at GoMo Towers, we tried all the usual common tricks to re-stetup the handset to become in functional again. We’d almost given up hope until we finally spotted that there is an option under General Settings menu which can be changed. Called invert colours. Continue reading

Outlook_screen Microsoft to end Outlook Andriod app support pre ICS/4.0

Beast of Redmond slips back into its old ways

It seems that Microsoft is planning to end support for the old version of its Outlook app for Android on handsets which cannot run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or above. This is due to happen on on July 31st [2015]. So it’s a jolly good idea for consumers to ensure that their Android handsets are running Version 1.2.23 of the Outlook which is the very latest version of the app that appeared on June 25th [2015]. Download it from here. Versions installed before January 29th [2015] (when it also introduced Outlook for iOS) will shortly become defunct, therefore. This doesn’t leave owners of older Android handsets high and dry, however. There are ways around the problem, of course. However, its is indicative of Redmond based Microsoft’s attitude to customers who can’t be bothered to update their hardware. Much like those still running Windows XP on perfectly good PCs. Continue reading

music festival feature Glasto goers are able to get ‘free’ Power Bar early

Just text Festival to 3650 and get one early

There’s nothing like a good story to flush out the real truth. As we said in our original story ‘Glasto fans have no chance of a free EE charger‘, ”We’re sure that EE has, in fact, got a great counter to our allegations.” Indeed, the company has a really good one. Anyone attending the UK’s Glastonbury music festival has actually been able to obtain their ‘free Power Bar’ from June 18th [2015]. So in plenty of time for the June 24th [2015] start of this event. If you are wondering what a Power Bar is, well it’s effectively a portable mobile charger. And EE customers going to the event were advised to text “Festival” to 3650 from the 15th June [2015]. But you had to register your mobile phone as attending for this to work. Continue reading

Glasto fans have no chance of a free EE charger – Updated

Left hand oblivious to what right hand is doing
UPDATE: We explain how, in fact, they can here

Here at GoMo Towers we are big fans of MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] hooking up with music festival organisers to promote their brands. And the UK’s EE is no exception. Especially since the company sponsors the iconic British music festival – Glastonbury. But the company appears to have just shot itself in the foot over its promotion of a mobile device recharger called the Power Bar. We spotted that a leading British newspaper – the Sun on Sunday, has suggested that a must-have accessory for Glastonbury (pf which EE is a major sponsor) is the Power Bar (mobile device recharger). Sadly, however, EE is experiencing stock problems with Power Bar supplies. And so any would-be Power Bar consumers have been told (via SMS) to reapply for their units “from 8am 24th June”. Only problem with this? 24th June is officially the first day of the Glastonbury music festival. Continue reading

cloudprint-ready What Google doesn’t tell you about Cloud Print

You def need a PC or Mac to set it up

Doesn’t it seem a great idea? You can send a file from any of your mobile devices: – smartphone, tablet, notebook/laptop PC and it will magically be printed out for you when you arrive back home or in the office. This is the promise behind cloud based printing services .The catch? Somewhere a long the line you actually need a Windows or Mac based PC to set the whole thing up. This is the harsh reality behind Google’s Cloud Print, for example, as GoMo News learnt the hard way. It applies in particular to those who wish to the avoid the tyranny of the Microsoft Windows OS by switching to a Chrome OS based laptop PC. You don’t actually need the printer to be permanently plugged into a Windows PC or Apple Mac. But you do require one or the other to set aprinter up to work with your Google Cloud Print service. Continue reading

Mail on Sunday calls for action over bill shock

MNOs should bring security & protection in line with banks

The leading UK national newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, has called for more protection for consumers over ‘bill shock’. This follows a complaint from a British woman, Laura Harris, over a £2,000 ($3,100) bill she managed to run up with local MNO[Mobile Network Operator], Vodafone. The worrying thing is that she managed this feat mostly by linking her Apple iPhone to a Microsoft Exchange email server. She discovered the cause by contacting a specialist firm, Forensic Mobile Services, which claimed that “Exchange email services have known technical issues that can result in high data usage when used on Apple devices.” Known by whom, GoMo News would like to know? Anyway, Ms Harris and the Daily Mail (here) have subsequently called for UK MNOs to bring security and protection in line with banks [financial institutions]. Continue reading

it's early days - Doku Apple’s entry into UK mobile payments could be gamechanger

So market watcher, uSwitch.com, seems to think

“When the world’s biggest company wades into mobile payments, you know it’s going to be a game changer,” says Ernest Doku, a technology expert with uSwitch.com. “The support of some of the UK’s best known retailers, from Marks & Spencer to the Post Office, doesn’t hurt either,” he added. We all know, of course, that the introduction of Apple’s iTunes changed the face of music retailing. Now the Apple brand is being brought to bear on the whole concept of a mobile wallet, which has yet to become mainstream. What has Apple got which the opposition hasn’t? The answer appears to be a higher level of security – particularly with fingerprint recognition. Continue reading

- cotterrell O2 helping Exterion to better target Tube users

It’s all about the Out-of-Home sector

This could well be ground breaking stuff. Telefónica UK (which owns the O2 brand) has entered a partnership with Exterion Media, aiming to provide better targeting for those using the London Underground (best known as The Tube). Telefónica is utilising its Smart Steps solution to furnish anonymous data from across its mobile network of 24 million O2 devices. This will provide, for example, the ability to highlight certain stations, days, and times by audience affluence and other lifestyle perspectives. Continue reading

Chelsea Apps Factory considering AIM float

Founded by former md of the Current Bun [Sun]

Those GoMo News readers with long memories will probably remember the battle over mobile app specialist, amongst the Big Guns in the world of UK betting. The outcome was, of course, that Ladbrokes stole mobile specialist, Chelsea Apps Factory, from arch rival William Hill (see here). It now seems that Chelsea Apps Factory founder, Mike Anderson (former md with the Current Bun [Sun] newspaper) , is now considering floating the company on London’s AIM exchange. We also hadn’t realised that the leading accountancy firm, KPMG, has somehow built a 10 per cent stake in the company. Anyway, Anderson is betting on mobile apps as being the future. Continue reading

Airport_Angel-Screenshot Finally some useful action on the Airport Angel app

At last Barclays Premier Life passengers might be happy

By complete accident, here at GoMo Towers we were browsing through old Android apps that we’d once installed and noticed that Airport Angel had recently been updated [May 18th 2015]. Our original story about the Airport Angel service being available free with Barclays Premier Life accounts first ran in 2008 (See here). Ever since, GoMo News has been inundated with requests for help. The Angel service is currently being offered by the CPP Group and even though we did manage to speak to Joanne Gibbons, head of customer propositions with CPP, we still couldn’t answer all readers questions. Until now. Continue reading