whatsapp logo

WhatsApp raises the OTT stakes with new calling feature

The most popular instant messaging app in the world has raised the OTT stakes even further with the introduction of calling via the app. In the light of moves by parent company Facebook to make its messenger app more central to the mobile communications experience, the pressure is on telecoms companies to respond.

Vodafone_Campus 2

Vodafone Wallet to offer contactless card payments

Vodafone Wallet users will soon be able to make contactless card payments with their smartphones, the operator has announced. The telco has entered into partnerships with financial services firm Visa and transaction technology provider Carta Worldwide to offer the NFC SIM-based solution through the Vodafone Wallet app.

Facebook Zuckerberg

Facebook opens Messenger to app developers

The social media giant unveiled Messenger Platform at its developer event – F8 – which is designed to help developers incorporate Messenger into their apps. Facebook reckons 600 million people use Messenger every month so integrating with it is an easy way to ‘socialise’ an app.

Office for Android

Microsoft entrenches platform-agnostic mobile strategy with Samsung Office push

Microsoft and Samsung have announced an expansion of their global partnership to bring more Microsoft mobile software and services to Samsung mobile devices. This move is designed to support the broader mobile strategic aims of both companies, with Microsoft’s focus shifting away from Windows Phone and Samsung keen to be seen as a trusted BYOD player.

Apple TV

Apple web-TV service rumoured to launch in autumn

Apple appears set to vie for control of living room entertainment, with rumours circulating from the Wall Street Journal, suggesting talks are ongoing between the consumer tech giant and several US broadcasters over the launch of a web-TV service which could land as early as September.

Video Calling IP messaging RCS WebRTC

Telco giants to demonstrate next phase of IP comms at MWC 2015

Some of the world’s leading operators are uniting with rich communication services (RCS) vendor Jibe at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona. IP video calling, group chat and sharing will be demonstrated based on platforms developed by Jibe, in sync with RCS specifications laid out by the GSMA.

Google Softcard Mobile Payments

Google & Samsung move to counter Apple Pay debut

Google has stoked the fire burning underneath the mobile payments industry by announcing its acquisition of “some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better.” The payment software will come pre-installed as standard on Android phones running KitKat or higher with three of the big four carriers across the USA, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

apps, content, TV

Telekom Austria begins home gateway virtualization

Austrian incumbent Telekom Austria, has announced the completion of its in-depth trialling of virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE), integrating SDN technology with virtual network functions (VNFs) through a common service and network orchestration platform from multiple vendors. NEC and NetCracker were among the main contributors to the development of the project.

Apple App Pay Once and Play

Apple moves focus away from in-app purchases

Apple has unveiled a new section of the iOS App Store which features games free of in-app purchasing, suggesting a move away from the vastly successful, yet at times controversial, freemium model.

Sky Go 2

Sky makes multiplay move with Telefónica O2 MVNO deal

Pay TV and broadband service provider, Sky, has signed an agreement with Telefónica UK to launch an MVNO on its network in early 2016. The provider is already well established in the triple-play market, providing premium television, film and sport services, along with residential broadband offerings.

AT&T trials live LTE broadcast for mass content delivery

American multiplay operator AT&T has confirmed it has undertaken a trial of LTE broadcast technology in Texas, USA. The trial focussed on delivering live digital content in stadia to attendees of an American football match, which took place earlier this week.

World Network Roaming Sharing 1

T-Mobile Netherlands to cheapen cost of EU roaming

The Dutch subsidiary of T-Mobile has announced that as of next week it will begin offering free international voice and SMS allowances to customers within the EU. On its new packages, the operator plans to allow up to two hours per month of inbound and outbound voice calls anywhere within the EU, and also unlimited text messaging.

Unauthorised in-app purchases have been in the FTCs crosshairs

Google to pay $19m for bogus kids app purchases

Google on Thursday agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint over the unfair billing of millions of dollars worth of in-app purchases, to the tune of at least $19m. The case also forced a change in Google’s billing practices as children were the users of the applications which allowed in-app purchases without authorisation.

Whispir connects enterprises

Nexmo boosts OTT quality with Telefonica deal

The lines between network operator and OTT communications provider blurred further this week as Telefónica O2 UK partnered with cloud-based messaging and voice software developer Nexmo. Nexmo writes the underlying APIs that power the likes of Viber, Line and Kakao Talk.

Emu features a full fledged assistant

Google snaps up Siri developer and messaging app

Google has acquired a Californian startup which created a highly praised rich messaging application featuring a full fledged personal assistant along the lines of Apple’s Siri. Emu, which was started by veterans of Apple and Google, will be short lived however. The app only launched a few months ago and Google has confirmed it will be shut down later this month.

Netflix is moving into Europe

Netflix paying AT&T for interconnect

Internet video player Netflix has struck yet another peering agreement with a US carrier, this time AT&T, essentially paying for better quality of service for customers using the provider’s network. The deal was confirmed by AT&T and sits against a background of uproar over network neutrality debate in the US.

Sky is taking control of assets in Italy and Germany

Sky shores up Italian, German holdings with £5bn pay TV blowout

UK-based media empire BSkyB created a multinational pay TV business on Friday with the £4.9bn acquisition of Sky Italia and a 57.4 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland. The move puts Sky in a leading position in the pay TV market in the UK, Italy and Germany.

The SIM-based authentication space is getting competitive

Telefonica puts focus on security

European carrier Telefónica has unveiled a collaborative security working environment aimed at helping developers and researchers create and share their own digital intelligence gathered from different sources. It offers security researchers and intelligence analysts and developers a free infrastructure to create topologies using the modules available in the community as well as custom developed modules.

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