Archives: A Week in Wireless

You won’t get away with it

This week, the Informer received a missive from his Big Boss reminding him that inappropriate use of the company’s IT infrastructure was a sack-worthy offence. With this in mind he begrudgingly removed his teacup from the aging G4’s CD tray and took down his Ethernet cable washing line, placing his damp socks on the radiator instead. Then he took out his Big Book of Jokes and put a thick red tick next to the chapter regarding inappropriate use gags.

Icahn and I will

If corporate raider Carl Icahn lived in the classic 1954 MGM musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, he’d probably step out onto the veranda of his ranch each day to admire the fine, hand-painted Technicolor morning. Then, in response to his wife’s enquiry as to what he planned to do, he’d launch into song:

Roll up, roll up, roll out

Mobile WiMAX – it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Or, as developments this week would suggest, it’s not a Sprint, it’s a Clearwire. Sprint Nextel’s plans for a nationwide mobile WiMAX network in the US have stalled more than once, not least because of the carrier’s failure to sustain its relationship with wireless broadband provider Clearwire.

Spam lasagne

Apparently this week sees the 30th birthday of spam. Not the tinned meat product (which is 71 years’ old, if you’re interested), but the endless, unsolicited electronic messages with which we are each bombarded daily. The Informer wouldn’t have known about this anniversary were it not for a press release he was sent using the news as a hook to plug some anti-spam products.

On the rebound

You know what it’s like when you get dumped by that beautiful woman, or handsome man (or both, the Informer’s not judgemental). You feel like you’re never going to be happy again. You keep hearing that song on the radio, the one that was playing when you first met. Everywhere you turn, happy couples shine the blinding light of their contentment into your eyes, which are red and sore from the sleepless nights of weeping. It can be a time of low self-esteem. The danger is always that you’ll throw yourself into a new relationship; anything to prove that you can still be loved.

Thank you Bochum!

The stardust is still being sprinkled at Nokia HQ, it seems. Q108 figures for the Finnish vendor were published yesterday and the firm amassed profits for the period of EUR1.2bn – that’s a 25 per cent increase on the same period for 2007. Operating profit was up 39 per cent, while sales were EUR12.7bn.

Kramer vs Kramer it ain’t

It’s never a pretty sight watching a once happy couple slug it out in court. Compelling maybe, but never pretty. Everyone knows that the only winners in such tawdry scenarios are the bloodsuckers in the wigs. Well, everyone except perhaps Heather Mills and Henry VIII. Perhaps that’s why this week, Finnish love rat Nokia agreed a Eur200m package for the 2,300 workers facing the chop this June at its device manufacturing plant in Bochum, Germany.

A bowl of Shreddies

When the Informer was a stripling, each day used to start with a lovely bowl of Shreddies (a lattice-shaped breakfast cereal), with warm milk and plenty of sugar. One spring morning, he bounded down the stairs – this was back when life was fun – looking forward to his day. There on the table, lovingly placed by his dear Mama, was his bowl of Shreddies. And there was the sugar.

Give it to me straight, Doc…

In scenes reminiscent of some corny medical drama this week, Motorola finally opted to sacrifice the infected limb that is its handset division in a bid to save the rest of its body. The Informer presumes this decision was taken on the advice of the firm’s personal physician, Dr Carl Icahn.

Feel the burn

People love to talk about what a high growth market China is, and the Informer thinks he may have discovered one of the key drivers behind the bumper handset shipments that the market stimulates. According to local press reports which emerged after last week’s edition went to press, the wife of a handset retailer in the Weifang area of China, seething with resentment after being dumped, gathered the shop’s entire stock of 400 phones, put them on the marital bed, doused them in kerosene and set fire to them. The cost of the bonfire was around $42,000. That’s 400 more phones shipping to China, then – every little helps, right?

Publicity shy

The Informer loves his anonymity like he loves the darkness. He can hide in the shadows, it gives him respite from the world and allows him to communicate with people without fear of revealing his staggering social ineptitude. For, truth be told, the Informer suffers from crushing insecurity. At school he crept from class to class, learning nothing so well as how to make himself near invisible to other people. And it’s become a way of life.

Anti mast campaign takes new turn

We’re all familiar with campaigners who think that cellular network masts are pumping diseases into their heads and lobby against the towers being placed anywhere near them. But it takes the Taleban to really grab the issue by the throat. This week the fundamentalist insurgents from Afghanistan threatened to blow up masts in the war torn country.

I don’t like it. It’s quiet… Too quiet

It’s always quiet in the week after World Congress. It’s as if the whole industry has pulled the duvet up over its head and is issuing only the occasional, muffled rejection of any attempt to persuade it out of bed. This was not a week during which the Gods of News Announcements, in their fury, flung thunderbolts down around our ears. They barely managed a stiff breeze – hardly surprising after the Beaufort-buster they whipped up in Barcelona.

Cheese and ham

The Informer has thought about this a bit but he can come up with no circumstances under which a person would need so much carbohydrate in a single dish that a potato omelette sandwich would be necessary. But they’re a staple foodstuff in Barcelona – and almost unique among the local cuisine in that they […]

Oh Lordy

Several times in the last two weeks the Informer has been contacted by his company email administrator because his inbox has exceeded its size limit. This is because we are bearing down on the brouhaha of the Mobile World Congress, and thousands of PR folks around the world are frantically issuing press releases, briefing invitations and announcements about announcements.

She cannae take it, Captain

The setting: Deep space. The USS Motorola, a personnel transport vessel carries a delegation of important civilian shareholders, en route to Profitability 9, a distant star system on the far side of the galaxy. The navigator’s drunk.

Poor little rich boys

The Informer visited a basement bar in The City of London this week to see a friend who wears pinstripe suits every day. You hear tales of the City being full of men who are brash, flash and flush with cash and the Informer was expecting to see people burning £50 notes and pouring champagne over one another.

Stupid is as Stupid does

Do stupid people need protecting from themselves? Is it anybody else’s responsibility to stop them doing stupid things? This is one of the great arguments of political philosophy, of course. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld made a useful contribution to the debate in his discussion of the US Helmet Law that forces motorcyclists to wear protective headgear. This is a ruling, he said, designed to “preserve a brain whose judgment is so poor, it does not even try to avoid the cracking of the head it’s in.”

New Year’s Resolutions

People always say ‘happy new year’ when they see you first thing in January, and the Informer was about to confer the same blessing upon his readers. But then the following thought occurred to him: Just how happy is it?

How many of you have given up smoking (again) dear readers? How many are staying off the sauce for a few weeks? How many are on a diet, in a bid to shed the pounds gained over the festive season? How many of you have joined the waddling throng of red-faced January joggers, clogging their city’s arteries and wrecking their knees in the name of the Healthy Lifestyle?

Little donkey

And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? If you’re the Informer, you haven’t done a damn thing, including your Christmas shopping. And if you’re the rest of the industry, you haven’t done much either, judging by the paltry news offerings that wafted the Informer’s way this week, which counts among its events the last appearance of A Week in Wireless for 2007.

Nope, everybody’s hunkering down for the holiday season, gradually drifting away from the office and into the bosom of their family. Or the local pub.


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