Archives: A Week in Wireless

Doomed, we’re all doomed

Me oh my but the credit crunch bit like a pitbull this week, with a slurry of dreary results and announcements of the type that make company employees throughout the building loosen their collars in anticipation of the worst.

Com Vodacom Voda Voda Com Com

On Thursday this week Vodafone achieved a long-held ambition, announcing that it is to assume control of South African headquartered Vodacom. Until this week Vodafone had held a 50 per cent stake in the African player, which has operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as South Africa.

Hello Dolly!

From time to time the world of wireless plays fawning host to a celebrity figure or two. At the Mobile World Congress alone over the years we’ve had visits from Robert Redford, Roger Moore, Wesley Snipes, Tom Jones, Diana Ross and Craig David (all right, that last one’s pushing it a bit). But this week the stars are taking a stand against the industry, led by none other than the First Lady of Country and Western: Dolly Parton.

Flight of the Concordes

Before it was taken out of service, the Franco-British aerospace marvel Concorde was the only civil aircraft that pretty much everybody could name on seeing it in the skies. Its iconic form factor and record-breaking performance made it the world’s most famous plane.

Here comes the bribe

Somebody’s got to take a stand in this dirty old world of ours and this week it was Norwegian carrier Telenor – for a period of six months, anyway. The operator this week banned Chinese supplier ZTE from all new business tenders for half a year, after the vendor breached Telenor’s code of ethics.

In Vino Veritas?

One morning a couple of weeks ago the Informer met up with a friend, a young boulevardier nursing a rather sore head. He was staring at his mobile phone. It turned out that the previous night, after getting what the Germans call ‘over-served’, he had sent a text message to his former squeeze, a lady who had terminated their relationship based on his refusal to commit to the three steps to heaven of cohabitation, betrothal and eventual procreation.

We’re off to email the wizard

The explosions in internet and cellular adoption happened more or less side by side – like Take That and the Spice Girls they boomed, bust and came triumphantly back together – and now, at long last, they’re starting to converge.

Paranoid Android

In The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams’ android Marvin suffered from acute depression since his brain was reputedly the size of a planet and thus the menial tasks of existence only ever occupied the tiniest fraction of his vast intellect. It’s funny how life sometimes imitates art isn’t it?

Take it to the bank…

…Or don’t. It’s been the kind of week, after all, where the crazy old people of social legend who keep their life savings stuffed into their mattresses suddenly don’t look so crazy any more. In fact, the Informer’s dear old Granny – whose funds were up until yesterday invested almost exclusively in insurance firm AIG – was told by her financial adviser to take the money out and keep it. The poor man couldn’t think of anywhere to recommend that she might make a new investment.

Phone wars – a new hopeless

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – well, actually it was in this galaxy, and it was only ten years ago, but we have to allow for a certain poetic licence – a princess was lying on the beach of a remote tropical island, dismayed that she was unable to get any reception on her StarTac cell phone.

New broom

What do Newcastle United FC, the population of the United States of America and Alcatel Lucent have in common? They’ve all been looking for leaders, that’s what. And while our stateside cousins have plenty of time to make up their minds and the board at St James’ Park will probably just have to take whatever they can get, Alcatel Lucent this week appointed Ben Verwaayen as CEO. He’ll be filling the hole shortly to be left by Pat Russo, who announced in the summer that she’d had enough, after presiding over a Q208 loss of more than $1bn.

Daddy’s home!

Ah, my dear readers. It’s so good to see you. Is that a new shirt you’re wearing? Have you done something different with your hair? You look radiant! It seems so long since last we spoke but I trust you had an enjoyable summer – or winter if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere (or the UK).

It’s always the little ones

“England is a nation of shopkeepers,” said Napoleon a few hundred years ago, in one of the most famous put-downs this island’s people have ever received. Not that the Informer thinks Napoleon should have been criticising. After all, he was so messed up they named a whole complex after him. And it’s not a shopping complex, either; it’s a psychological one. But he might have sided with British shopkeepers this week, given how important it must have been for him to stand up for the little guy.

A nugget of purest Green!

These days, most of the people the Informer meets consider themselves to be making at least a token effort towards Saving The Planet. There are some, of course, who do a great deal, although they are in the minority. But at the very least most human beings of his acquaintance are motivated to sort their domestic waste for recycling where applicable.

Beggars can’t be choosers

It’s a truism of the cutthroat world of human romance that there are few more effective turn-offs than desperation. It’s not absolutely the least appealing trait one can exhibit, of course. You could show yourself to be bigoted, selfish, arrogant or miserly, for example. They’re probably worse. Or you could just be butt-ugly. But on the list of characteristics that set the warning lights a-flashing, desperation is right up there.

If you want something doing…

There are lots of songs about the power of partnership: ‘It takes two’, ‘Let’s work together’, ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ – there’s three off the top of the Informer’s head. And any one of them could easily have sound-tracked the creation of handset OS collective Symbian ten years ago. But this week time was called on the alliance. And handset front-runner Nokia was probably rather more inclined to drain its glass of vino collapso, sling down its handbag and warble the lines from that staple of the girls’ night out, ‘I will survive’, while tracing unsteady, stilettoed circles on the dance floor.

The blissful cloud of summer-indolence

My God, it’s been so quiet this week you could have heard a Trappist monk complaining about a pin dropping onto a sponge. “Ripe was the drowsy hour,” as Cockney-John Keats wrote; the summer lull looks to have begun a little ahead of schedule this year, with only a few entities poking their heads above the news parapet.

The Empire Strikes Back

This week we’re going to play a special version of the classic TV quiz show Going for Gold. Contestants must correctly identify what the show’s guest host, the Informer, is describing: Fingers on your buzzers.

It had to be you

Earlier this year, US carrier Verizon Wireless (VZW) was suing its competitor Alltel over false advertising. Relations were decidedly frosty. Now, as if in the telecoms version of seminal rom-com When Harry Met Sally, they’ve gone and got it together, after Alltel faked a noisy orgasm in a restaurant. Vodafone – which holds a 45 per cent stake in VZW – confirmed the acquisition on Thursday, which will see VZW gobble up Alltel and its 13 million subscribers for $28.1bn.

New blood

It’s the end of an era. The torch is being passed on. Let the trumpets sound out: The Emperor has abdicated. A great leader knows when his work is done; he understands that there comes a time when fresh hands must steer the course of his mighty ship. And so it was this week, that Lars-Johan Jarnheimer stepped down as president and CEO of Swedish carrier Tele2, to be replaced by Harri Koponen.


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

Loading ... Loading ...