Welcome to our News & Views archive section where we will keep you up to date with whatï¿½s going on
in the world of telecommunications.
News & Views - Archive!
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02 Feb 07 - Mobile Bling boosts web performance
The Sydney Morning Herald, 01/02/07
Using the Web on most mobile phones has tended to be a balky, awkward experience, reminiscent of what the Internet was like on computers in dial-up 1995. So a handful of startups are trying to make it much cooler.
One such company, Bling Software Inc., uses a programming technique called Ajax to deliver web-like modules of content to any phone with a browser, on any wireless carrier's network. Ajax speeds up web applications by summoning snippets of data as needed instead of pulling entire web pages over and over.
These modules might contain video clips and other interactive features. Users can access them through a slicker graphical interface rather than the text-heavy menus often used to bring content onto mobile phones.
Hoping to first attract a young, urban demographic, Bling is fueling content modules for rapper Jay-Z and baseball's Barry Bonds. The San Francisco Giants slugger is a business partner of one of Bling's investors and appeared at DEMO to help launch Bling's platform. top
01 Feb 07 - Bid for the 3 mobile Ashes team bat!
Australian fans can now place a bid for a piece of cricketing history, with proceeds to the McGrath Foundation in support of specialist breast cancer nurses.
A cricket bat signed by the victorious 3 mobile Ashes team, including retiring heroes Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, is now available for auction on eBay.
The bat has been fully certified by Cricket Australia.
The auction closes on Friday February 9, 2007 at 4pm - will you be the winning bidder?
3 mobile customers can log on to eBay from Planet 3 & bid anytime.
Alternatively, all cricket fans can place bids for the signed bat online:
1. Register as an eBay member: it’s easy and free!
2. Go to www.eBay.com.au/charity
3. Click on the 3 Mobile logo
4. After reading the terms and conditions of the auction, make a bid. eBay will continue to bid on your behalf up to the maximum bid you have set.
5. Keep checking the auction to see if you are the winning bidder!
For more information about the McGrath Foundation or to donate, visit www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au
31 Jan 07 - Rural 3G mobile to boom
The Sydney Morning Herald, 31/01/07
SINGTEL OPTUS is spending aggressively to catch up to Telstra and protect its mobile phone revenues, earmarking $800 million for a new national "third generation" phone network.
The spending to cover 41 per cent of Australia's population in regional and rural areas - bringing Optus's total 3G coverage to 96 per cent of the population - puts Optus head-to-head nationally in third generation telephones with Telstra.
But analysts were left puzzling about how the new Optus network would pay for itself, with estimates Optus would require about 1 million customers to break even, even at the lower cost.
"It presents a material challenge to Telstra in non-metropolitan Australia," an analyst, who asked not to be identified, said. "The size of the investment has surprised the market."
Optus says it wants the new network to wind back Telstra's mobile market share in regional and rural areas from its current level of about 55 per cent to levels of about 45 per cent. Network costs would range from $500 million to $800 million, depending on which 3G frequency Optus selects.
Optus may also be motivated by its long-term competitiveness in broadband, where it has admitted it has lagged behind Telstra. Wireless broadband services can be offered over the new 3G phone networks.
30 Jan 07 - African mobile phone boom
The former UN Secretary General, Dr. Kofi Annan has identified the rapid growth in mobile phone use as one of the positive economic indicators Africa has recorded in recent years.
Dr. Annan disclosed that between 1998 and 2003 mobile phone use in African grew by 5,000 percent.
He was however sad that despite the phenomenal increase in phone connectivity, 50 percent of Africans are yet to receive or make a call, let alone used the internet.
The primary obstacle to wider use of mobile phones is the cost of the handsets. Lower prices will put mobile phones, and their attendant economic benefits, into the hands of millions of people. Mobile phones let fishermen and farmers check prices in different markets before selling produce, make it easier for people to find work, allow quick and easy transfers of funds and boost economic development. Little wonder that mobile phone snatching has become big business in Ghana.
The increase in mobile phone use in Ghana is partly due to the fact that many people are unable to obtain landlines because of corruption involved in the process. Africa's mobile phone use increased at an annual rate of 65 percent, twice the global average. Africa gained more than 13 million new subscribers in 2003 alone, bringing the total to more than 52 million.
29 Jan 07 - Motorola sells 75 million RAZR's
The Australian IT, 26/01/07
THE world's top mobile phone maker, Nokia, has sold more than 30 million of its mid-range model 6230 since it was launched in 2004, its chief financial officer told has revealed.
Meanwhile, its US rival Motorola has so far sold more than 75 million of its top model RAZR, with a thin clamshell design.
Nokia's 6230, with classic block design, also has camera, mp3 music player and radio included. top
29 Jan 07 - One.Tel legal bill tops $30 million
The AustralianIT, 29/01/07
THE One.Tel case resumes this week as the cost of the long-running stoush looks set to top the $30 million mark.
Lawyers for One.Tel founder Jodee Rich will submit their final arguments as to why he and former finance director Mark Silbermann should be cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to the telcommunications company's collapse.
The legal and investigative costs relating to the case are in the vicinity of $30 million, according to insiders, with Mr Rich believed to have spent more than $12million defending the case.
It will be the last chance for Mr Rich to defend the allegations made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
ASIC wants Mr Rich and Mr Silbermann to pay $92 million in compensation and is seeking to have the pair banned from holding company directorships, alleging they misled the board as to One.Tel's true financial position. ASIC also alleges that Mr Rich made two misleading statements to the market.
ASIC brought the case against Mr Rich, Mr Silbermann, former director Bradley Keeling and former chairman John Greaves. It subsequently settled with Mr Keeling and Mr Greaves.
25 Jan 07 - Transfer your local number to VoIP
PhoneChoice has found a way that you can move to a new suburb, city or even state, and keep your existing landline phone number.
The service is available from an Australian VoIP carrier called Fonebox, which allows you to transfer your existing number onto their VoIP network.
This enables you to make and receive calls on your old phone number, while saving call costs and line rental fees through VoIP telephony.
Sydney based research firm, Market Clarity, predicts six million Australians alone will be using VoIP services by the year 2011.
In addition to the phone number transfer service, Fonebox can also give you a series of local numbers, so that your interstate friends, family or customers can call you from their local area for the cost of a local call.
Information about many VoIP providers including Fonebox is available in our Know Your Provider section. top
24 Jan 07 - Back 2 school, Back 2 bills
The popularity of mobile phones for school-age children and the extra peace of mind they bring to parents has one potential downside - what if your child spends more than they can afford?top
"Nobody - students, parents or the mobile companies, want school kids to get into trouble with their mobile bills," said PhoneChoice spokesperson Reg Robertson. "It places unnecessary stress on the student and their parents. And the mobile companies want kids to use their phones for good safety and social reasons. If students get in over their heads, everybody loses."
For those attending school the first priority is to give the child a phone for safety reasons to let their parents know where they are waiting to be picked up after school.
Mobile phones designed especially for young children, such as TicTalk, have many in-built safety features, such as the ability for parents to control which numbers can be received or called, and at what times of the day.
But a recent study carried out by Phonechoice shows that parents of older children have a much more daunting task to satisfy their children’s needs.
“Older children go back to school to find that their friends have been given a new mobile phone for Xmas. It’s bigger and better than the phone their friend had at school last year. So, under this peer pressure your child will also want a bigger and better phone,” says Robertson.
Even so, for many children, owning a mobile may be their first experience of being responsible for an asset, and learning to manage these monthly payments is a great way for teenagers to prepare for big responsibilities later in life such as a car or mortgage.
23 Jan 07 - engin launches VoIP mobile
The Sydney Morning Herald, 23/01/07
Internet phone services, already eating at fixed phone line rentals, are now moving threateningly into the mobile phone market.
Engin, a leading Australian "voice over internet protocol" (VoIP) provider, has announced that users of the Nokia N80 Internet Edition handset could now use it to make VoIP calls over the Engin network.
Ilkka Tales, Engin's chief executive, predicted the price differential between internet phone calls and regular mobile calls could spell trouble for traditional mobile network operators.
"Engin provides internet phone calls for 10 cents nationally, whereas that call from a mobile network carrier perspective is usually charged per 30 second lots and averages around 27 cents or 30 cents a minute."
Provided they are within reach of a wireless hotspot, users of the new service could make 10-cent untimed calls to Australian landlines, and 20-cent untimed overseas calls, Mr Tales said.
VoIP services for mobile phones have had a muted reception in Australia, largely because free wireless hotspots are not as prevalent as they are overseas.
But late last year, the NSW Government announced plans to install a free wireless broadband network throughout the Sydney CBD and other major centres by early 2008.
This would make it far easier to connect to VoIP services while on the go, but the limited coverage would still necessitate traditional mobile plans.
23 Jan 07 - MyNetFone supplies VoIP in Dili
The AustralianIT, 23/01/07
AUSTRALIA'S defence presence in Dili has been patched into Australia's telephone networks using a satellite-based broadband telephony system.
An unnamed contractor supplying air logistics to the Australian Defence Force has deployed the system at military facilities in Dili airport. The system was devised by broadband telephony supplier MyNetFone and satellite communications specialist Ursys.
MyNetFone, which usually supplies internet telephony to conventional broadband users, said it hoped the service would allow it to venture into new markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Ursys chief executive Grahame Cover said the service required special compression techniques to carry the voice service securely over satellite without losing quality.
"This has the bonus of zero packet loss, and low traffic congestion, resulting in business-grade call quality," he said. top
19 Jan 07 - Mobile phone shields gunshot
US: An unidentified man escaped injury Thursday afternoon when his mobile phone came between him and a bullet, a Sheriff's Office spokesman said.
Two men attempted to the rob the man shortly after 4 p.m. as he was getting into his car parked at Trisha's One Stop in the 3600 block of Mobile Highway in Pensacola, Florida.
The two would-be robbers also got into the Nissan, one in the front and the other in the back.
The man that got in the backseat demanded money.
The driver refused, and the man in the backseat fired a shot, striking the mobile phone on the man's side, however leaving him uninjured.
The two holdup men were last seen fleeing the scene. top
19 Jan 07 - Record year for mobile handsets
The Daily Telegraph, 19/01/07
AUSTRALIA's love affair with the mobile phone continues, with 8.74 million new handsets shipped last year, a figure handset market leader Nokia believes could be bettered this year.
The figure is a record, beating the previous best performance of 8.02 million in 2004 and came despite almost 20 million mobile phones, or close to one for every person in the country, being in use according to figures released by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.
"We see style and form factor continuing to be a big influence in the market and 3G is starting to play a more important role," Mr Colligan said. "At Nokia, we have an absolute focus on multimedia offering music, images and content on our handsets."
The network operators are losing more money each year in handsets as they continue to subsidise customers who sign up to one and two-year contracts.
18 Jan 07 - New Scam: Pay up or die
The Sydney Morning Herald, 17/01/07
A new spam campaign claiming to come from a hit man is cropping up in e-mail boxes across the United States with recipients ordered to fork out thousands of US dollars or face death.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is urging people not to respond to the email, which first surfaced in December and is thought to originate from overseas.
The email claims that the sender is a hit man hired to kill the recipient and that the contract on that person's life will be canceled if a large sum of money is paid.
The message warns recipients not to contact authorities.
One person who responded to the email received another message containing his work address, marital status and daughter's name, the FBI said.
It added that a new twist on the scam involves emails now purporting to be from the FBI office in London and claiming that someone recently arrested for several murders in the US and Britain was carrying information identifying the recipient as the next victim.
The email calls on the recipient to respond to the email to help assist in the investigation.
The FBI is urging people not to respond to the emails as doing so could compromise their identities and open them to identity theft. top
18 Jan 07 - Broadband hijacker convicted
The Sydney Morning Herald, 17/01/07
A Singaporean teenager who illegally tapped into a neighbour's wireless Internet network - an offense the city-state deems punishable by jail - was placed on 18 months' probation by a district court on Tuesday.
The court also ordered Garyl Tan Jia Luo, 17, to carry out 80 hours of community service after he admitted linking his computer to his neighbour's wireless router to access the Internet without permission.
Tan could have been jailed up to three years and fined $S10,000.
A second Singaporean is currently facing 60 charges of illegally accessing wireless internet networks.
17 Jan 07 - First Russ then Naomi
"Slapanista" Naomi Campbell pled guilty to misdemeanor assault Tuesday for hitting her maid with a mobile phone.
You know Naomi don't play when it comes to her jeans, and when maid Ana Scolavino couldn't find them, Miss Campbell lashed out.
"I threw a phone in the apartment. The mobile phone hit Ana," the super model explained to a Manhattan Criminal Court judge.
Isn't it interesting how folks just happen to get hit when they're in the room with her?
Anyway, she has to pay Ana's medical expenses, $363, and do five days community service and attend a two-day anger management program. top