Archives: A Week in Wireless

Bad Apple

If you thought the ‘I am rich’ application that two or three numpties bought for their iPhone a while back was crass in the extreme (the application, which cost almost $1,000, simply displayed a glowing ruby, with the words ‘I am rich’ on the phone’s screen) you’ll be no doubt interested to learn that Apple’s App Store has sunk to a new low.

The Twits

The Informer wouldn’t mind betting that a good number of his readers are Twits; assuming, of course, that ‘Twit’ is the noun employed to describe people who frequent the Twitter social networking site. The Informer is a Twit himself, through www.telecoms.com, so you’re in good company.

Spare ribs

Spare ribs, that’s what the Informer needs after all of the ones he was born with exploded from excessive laughter this week, which featured, nestled at its centre, April Fool’s Day. One of the great George W. Bushisms runs: “There’s an old saying in Texas: ‘Fool me once… shame on… shame on you. Fool me… you can’t get fooled again.” And that’s kind of how the Informer felt as March went out like a lamb.

Double scotch

Last week the Informer had Vodafone scotching rumours of a network sharing deal with O2 by announcing an outsourcing deal with Ericsson. This week the firm scotched the scotching of those rumours by unveiling a pan-European infrastructure sharing deal with Telefonica (O2’s owner) covering Germany, Spain, Ireland and the UK, with the Czech Republic likely to follow.

Our house

Here in the UK we’ve this week been turned into a nation of peeping toms, with the arrival of Google’s street view mapping application. Although, it seems that people are only really interested in looking at places they’ve looked at thousands of times before.

I am not a number… I am a free man!

In the future, the Informer believes, people will not need to leave their houses to find a perfect mate. This is because every single detail of everybody’s lives, loves, needs, skills, quirks, deficiencies, hatreds, peccadilloes, insecurities, joys, dreams, secrets and genetic predispositions will be held on a central database by Google. The would-be web Omnipotent won’t simply use this infinite repository to hunt for matches, it will actually run simulations of entire relationships.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Please give it up for… Lent!

We’re well into Lent now, as any practising Christians among the Informer’s readership will tell you. Lent – when the religion’s followers are encouraged to forego a regular food, habit or pleasure – is one of those elements of Christianity that has been adopted by the secular community. Each year unbelievers can be found using it as a handy pre-allocated time period in which to cut out the booze or stop gorging on fatty snacks.

Desperate measures

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. But the following sentence from a Telekom Austria (TA) financial news release issued this week had the Informer diving for the phone in slow motion, emitting a distorted, bass “Nooooooooooo” as he tried to stop the impending madness:

Fira and loathing in Barcelona

You know that feeling, readers? The dry mouth. The rapid, shallow breathing. The growing thrill of dread in your stomach. The all but irresistible urge to take flight, to run as fast as your little legs will carry you and not stop until you’re on safe ground, where you can fling yourself down in a heap and pant your way back to normality. It’s what’s known as “getting the Fira” and it occurs in certain species that are indigenous to the Mobile World Congress.

Fightin’ talk

Yesterday the Informer received an email containing a press release which opened with the following sentence: “Nortel today made two announcements, highlighting its leadership in Carrier VoIP and its continued commitment to its carrier customers.” While its carrier customers across the globe may have rejoiced at these glad tidings, Israeli firm Alvarion probably muttered some blue language under its breath.

Ice, ice baby

It seems that the UK is about as well equipped to deal with a moderate dumping of snow as it would be to manage a surprise visit from a flying saucer full of angry, tentacled, mucus-dripping extra-terrestrials. Things didn’t so much grind to a halt here on Monday as stop in their tracks; frozen – literally – to the spot. From the streets of London it looked as if an apocalyptic ice age had struck. Cars were left in the middle of the road, or half mounting the pavement where people had abandoned them. Shops were shut. All was still and eerily quiet. Until you came to one of the city’s parks, that is, most of which were full of joyous citizens, of all ages, frolicking in the white stuff. Wonderful scenes.

Wouldn’t it be nice

The Informer was delighted by news this morning that the credit crunch is drawing to a close and that a period of intense economic prosperity is set to begin very shortly and last for some 75 years. No, of course it’s not true, but if you’re anything like the Informer, you’re already heartily sick of reading about the downturn.

Back to the future

The Informer has an admission to make. As a long-time user of the Symbian S60 operating system, he’s grown accustomed to downloading all sorts of applications and hacking his various devices to better suit his nefarious ends. In fact, a book on the arcane delights of Mobile Python has been propping his monitor up since he got his Nokia N95. But neither of these revelations is what he wants to get off his chest.

Livin’ on a prayer

The Informer doesn’t know about you, but he recalls the 1980s with a shudder. We can’t tar everything with the same brush, of course, some good stuff did happen. But generally, it was a nasty decade. The haircuts were awful, the clothes were terrible. Much of the music was downright offensive. This week one of the icons of 80s pop culture, ‘Boy’ George O’Dowd, was sent to prison and the Informer rather thinks that’s what should happen to the 80s as a whole. They should be locked up and forgotten.

It’s grim up north

The arctic winds of the global credit crunch have yet to ease and some (in)firms clearly can’t afford their heating bills. Nortel became the first of the big names to scurry for shelter, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. This is no surprise; the firm warned of such a development before Christmas and has been struggling for a number of years.

Here we go again

It may be a new year but nothing much has changed, has it. For example, the Informer – as is often the case – is struggling to think of a second sentence for this week’s edition. At least that problem’s solved now, anyway. Really, though, 2009 feels like more of 2008. Maybe that’s what life’s like when you hit a certain age but, either way, it doesn’t feel much like we’re leaping forwards into the glorious and thrilling unknown.

The final frontier

If you’re anything like the Informer then you’re just starting to think about what to buy your loved ones for Christmas this year. You’re phoning your sister-in-law to find out what to get for your brother and then asking him what his wife wants. Same deal with the parents, the sister and her branch of the family. You’ve got no idea

Saving lives with SMS

We’ll start this week with an impressive story about the impact of mobile telephony in a genuinely life-or-death situation. Much is often made of the empowerment that cellular services offer in developing markets in terms of economics and wellbeing. But a story emerged this week about a British doctor who volunteers for Medicins Sans Frantieres for a month each year in Africa’s troubled Democratic Republic of Congo.

Get lost

The fact that London taxi drivers need to pass a rigorous test to prove that they know how to get from A-B within a six-mile radius of the centre of town before they’re allowed to take to the streets is a bizarre source of pride for some of the UK capital’s residents. Often cited as clear evidence that the city they live in is so much more civilised than those found elsewhere – or, more specifically, those found overseas.

It’s a long term game

The Informer’s been in gloriously sunny Cape Town this week, attending Informa Telecoms & Media’s AfricaCom event, which beats working for a living. Everybody likes to talk up Africa’s growth potential and not without justification. The show itself is expanding in reflection of the potency of the continental market. Attendees numbered 3,500 up from 3,000 last year, flying in from 72 countries compared to 54 in 2007.

Polls

Do you agree public funding should be used to support mobile operators to more broadly deploy Open RAN?

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