Posts tagged ‘Wireless Industry News’
MasterCard is going to launch its P2P mobile remittance platform for issuers in the US later this month. MasterCard has partnered with The Bancorp Bank for this launch and worked with US mobile payments services provider Obopay to add a mobile channel to its money transfer platform MoneySend. In a first phase, consumers will be able to use MoneySend with a MasterCard prepaid card issued by The Bancorp Bank and link it to their mobile phone number to send or receive money. Banks who will use the platform will enable customers who register for MoneySend to use it with their everyday accounts, including MasterCard debit, credit, prepaid or checking, as determined by their issuer. The platform enables users to send and receive funds via SMS message, mobile web browser or a downloadable MoneySend application. Upon the initiation of the transfer, the sender approves the request by entering the MoneySend mobile PIN which is only known by the accountholder. Subsequently, the recipient receives a text message confirmation of the transfer (for pre-registered users) or that the transfer is pending (for yet to be registered users). The funds can then be accessed by the recipient through an account designated during the registration process. Initially, this will be a prepaid account with The Bancorp Bank. These funds are then available for access through the mobile phone. If the consumer has a MasterCard card associated with the account the funds can also be accessed at traditional points of interaction, including ATMs, over-the-counter at a bank branch, or at the point-of-sale.
French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom posted a 6% increase in sales for the three months to 31 March 2009 on the back of solid subscriber growth. Sales from network services grew 5% year-on-year to EUR1.175 billion (USD1.603 billion), including a EUR9 million contribution from its fixed line business, it said. Bouygues added a net 144,000 new mobile customers in the first quarter of 2009, compared with 51,000 in the first quarter of 2008. As at 31 March 2009, Bouygues Telecom’s cellular user base totalled 9.739 million, of which 7.348 million were on post-paid contracts — 75.5% of the total customer base — a year-on-year increase of 1.7 percentage points.
Clearwire, the US wireless broadband operator 51% owned by Sprint Nextel, has reported a narrowing of first-quarter losses to USD71.06 million, compared to a pro forma loss of USD76.44 million a year earlier (before Sprint and Clearwire unveiled their USD12 billion partnership to combine their planned nationwide mobile WiMAX networks). Revenue in the three months to the end of March 2009 rose 21% year-on-year to USD62.1 million. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Clearwire provides broadband internet services in at least 50 markets nationwide via fixed wireless networks which utilise a combination of pre-WiMAX and true 802.16e mobile WiMAX technologies. Clearwire, which has so far launched commercial WiMAX in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon, reported that it added 25,000 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total base to 500,000 (up 57,000 year-on-year). The firm expects to add 802.16e networks in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle during 2009. The company said yesterday that it still plans to expand its ‘Clear 4G’ WiMAX service to 80 markets covering a potential 120 million customers by the end of 2010 but the plan could be altered depending on the availability of capital.
Also announced yesterday, Clearwire has selected Cisco as its national core infrastructure provider as it expands mobile WiMAX network coverage across the US. Clearwire’s all-IP network will be upgraded and extended under the deal, whilst separately, Cisco is also planning to move into the mobile WiMAX terminal device manufacturing market this year.
NZ Communications has rebranded as 2degrees Mobile ahead of its launch as New Zealand’s third mobile network operator in August. 2degrees CEO Mike Reynolds said that the mobile network will provide 97 percent population coverage in New Zealand with its Huawei-built 3G network. The new brand “pays homage to the closeness of Kiwi connections”, the company said. Building on the notion of six degrees of separation between each person in the world, the company claims New Zealanders have a much shorter connection of just two degrees with each person in the country. 2degrees is inviting customers to pre-register for its service at the company’s website.
The prime minister of Morocco has approved the award of the country’s third 2G mobile licence to Wana, a subsidiary of domestic conglomerate Omnium Nord Afrique (ONA), after studying a recommendation by the National Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ANRT). The award follows the launch of a tender by the ANRT on 30 October 2008, in accordance with its plan for the development of the telecoms sector and a decision by the regulator’s board in May 2008. After Wana submitted a bid by a deadline of 6 January 2009, an evaluation of its offer was made on technical and economic aspects, including commitments on infrastructure, coverage, quality of service, the diversity of product offerings and coherency of its business plan.
The 15-year nationwide licence includes frequencies in the 1800MHz band suitable for GSM-based services, but is technology-neutral. Wana (formerly Maroc Connect) won a 3G licence in July 2006, which it added to an existing concession to offer CDMA-based services, and will join rivals Maroc Telecom and Meditel in the 2G GSM-based market. According to the ANRT, the concession winner must undertake to make a significant investment and provide innovative services to meet market expectations and contribute to the improvement of telecoms facilities in Morocco. In addition to direct financial investment, Wana must help finance the redevelopment of the frequency spectrum under a budget of MAD36 million (USD4.6 million), the regulator said in its report.
The T-Mobile G1 is now in Germany. It is the first mobile phone in the world with the Android operating system. Top features include the intuitive user interface and direct access to services such as Google search, Google Maps, Google Mail and numerous applications from independent providers via Android Market.
Other features include HSDPA for mobile bandwidths of up to 7.2 Mbit/s, WLAN, a built-in compass, a five-row QWERTY keyboard, the trackball, the built-in GPS receiver and the large, slide-out touch screen display with three user-friendly starting views. T-Mobile is now offering the device to consumers as part of a 24-month contract with the new Combi Flat XS, S, M and L rates. T-Mobile G1 costs just EUR 1 in conjunction with the Combi Flat S, M and L voice and data flat rates.
The T-Mobile G1 is already enjoying tremendous success in the US and the UK, and it impresses the experts: The jury of the renowned Global Mobile Awards nominated T-Mobile G1 as a finalist in the “Best Mobile Handset or Device” category. The unique Android open source software and the extremely user-friendly design were key factors in the decision. The international association of network operators (GSMA) will award the prize at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest event of its kind in the worldwide mobile industry, on February 17, 2009.
The T-Mobile G1 represents an exceptional mobile Internet experience: Users can access the functions or surf the Internet with a simple finger tap on the display. Google services, familiar to millions of people from their desktop PC, can now be used efficiently and conveniently on the move with the T-Mobile G1. One example is the Google search engine, where the suggest feature’s automatic term recognition allows users to find the information or entertainment content they are looking for by entering a minimum of information.
The T-Mobile G1’s browser loads Internet pages very quickly as it is constantly connected to the Internet. The navigation service on Google Maps makes it no problem for customers to find their current location and, if they wish, call up detailed directions. Google Maps also makes it possible to find individual addresses, such as restaurants or cinemas.
The T-Mobile G1 is the first cell phone in the world to enable access to Android Market with more than 700 applications from international developers already available. As a result, users can personalize their phone with just a few clicks. New services and applications constantly expand the range of programs available. The smart shopping assistant, ShopSavvy, and the Wikitude application, conveniently displaying information on numerous attractions, are two examples of the exciting and successful Android Market programs. A software update will soon allow users to access chargeable programs as well.
Mobile phone giant Nokia threatened to leave its native Finland if a change to laws blocking companies from monitoring employee emails was not introduced, a respected Finnish newspaper said Sunday.Nokia spokeswoman Arja Suominen subsequently rejected the accusation, telling the STT news agency that Nokia has in no way threatened to move, claiming the Helsingin Sanomat article is quite polemic. It contains many mistakes and misunderstandings. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen also denied that politicians had been pressured by the company to change the law.
I have not heard about such an ultimatum. I have discussed (the law) with many companies including Nokia, and I have never heard that they have made such a threat, he told national broadcaster Yle.The daily quoted an unnamed civil servant as telling the paper that “Nokia lobbied very hard for the proposed law to be unanimously approved… (The message) was very clear: if the law was not approved, Nokia would leave Finland.