Be gentle with the Informer today as it was the Telecoms.com Awards last night and, as ever, it was a large one. Chatting to the lovely Lucy Porter, as you do, the Informer learned that, despite being a celeb of some renown, Porter rarely tweets.
Late December is supposed to be dead when it comes to business news, so the Informer must extend the hand of gratitude to BT for picking this week to announce it is hoping to acquire the UK’s largest mobile operator – EE. Now if it could just announce plans to snap up Virgin Media next week that would be perfect.
Even operators privately admit they need to be regulated. While the laissez faire, free market utopia to which many of us aspire should preclude such interventions, in many cases a perfect market is impossible and it appears to be human nature to exploit oligopolies as much as possible. Hence, some kind of independent body is required to protect the consumer.
Having come over all earnest a week ago The Informer will endeavour to keep things nice and frivolous this time. Today is Black Friday, or so we are told. It derives its name not from the apparent need to get especially drunk on the last Thursday of November, but from the consumer spending frenzy that pushes retailers into profit for the first time in the year.
This week the Informer reports from the front line of a war. Not an actual one with guns, bombs, etc – the Informer’s journalistic commitment doesn’t extend that far – but rather a cultural one, with moral missiles, rhetorical trenches and fortresses of dogma.
In the name of variety the Informer reports from Cape Town, South Africa this week. It’s hard to think of a location that would contrast more with last week’s venue – Stockholm – than Cape Town, but they do have a few things in common. They’re both coastal, cultured and cosmopolitan, but the Informer must report that a beer here is a tenth of the price than it is in Sweden.
Such is the Informer’s commitment to bring you, dear Telecoms.com reader, the latest news from across the world that this week’s A Week In Wireless comes to you from not-so-sunny Stockholm. The Swedes have been excellent hosts and the Informer is delighted to report that the country’s reputation for statuesque blondes is well deserved.
One of the many great things about the internet is the freedom it allows. There are no constraints on space and distance, the cost of participation is very low and within the boundaries of the law, nothing is off-limits. The flip-side of all this lovely freedom is that anyone can participate, even strange people, and furthermore they’re also free to pass judgment on everything else.
As the Telecoms.com awards draw closer, the Informer notes a general ramping up of such things. A close cousin of the industry award is the market survey, which aims to add some insight into a given part of the market. Once more, Telecoms.com does such a thing and many of its readers seem to find it useful, but the industry survey can take many forms.
The combination of the camera-laden smartphone and the cloud has given us the power to photographically record our every waking moment with the assurance that our memories will forever reside on a distant, networked hard-drive. But there is another side to this technological coin.
Video is the next big thing, apparently. “But surely it’s already been around for a little while,” you might nervously venture after a telco evangelist with a challenging hair cut blurts this factoid at you as if he’s just discovered the secret of alchemy. That was old video, he will sneer, we’re now in the mobile video era!
Imagine the Informer’s surprise upon reading new research that found there’s a difference between how teenage boys and girls use text messaging. According to the Journal of Children and Media, opinion is divided in the US teen community regarding texting best practice.
Mrs Informer, ever alert to telecoms news as she is, was kind enough to alert the Informer to a piece of news being covered by the BBC breakfast team this morning. It concerned the apparent scandal that some of the new super-sized iPhone 6+s have started bending. The thing is they’re not supposed to bend, you see, made as they are from glass and intricate circuitry.
It is a hazard of the journalistic trade to be persistently lied to. Most of these are pretty benign lies, or not even that – merely half-truths, exaggerations or hyperbole – but the selective dissemination of information by those with an overt agenda is big business.
Predictable though it is, the Informer just had to reflect on Apple’s mega launch this week. Unveiling three major new products at one event is just showing off. Apple probably had half of this gear sitting around for years, but it just felt like lulling its competitors into a false sense of security, before giving them so much to worry about that Samsung has presumably had to hire armies of therapists just to keep its senior execs sane.
A revived and refreshed Informer greets you today after a month off that included exploring the delights of France. It’s a very diverse country, offering contrasting experiences such as camping in the Dordogne, wine-tasting in the Cotes du Rhone and queuing in Disneyland. But one factor remains constant throughout this beautiful and fertile land – rubbish mobile coverage.
The business world is like the real world, but with everything slightly altered. That’s because, in the real world, we’re not constantly under pressure to appear to be productive. If we want to spend days on end slumped on the sofa in front of the cricket we can, although as the Informer can confirm, dissent from those close to you is never far away.
This week presented a change of scenery for the Informer, who fled the glorious British summer into the typhoon-soaked arms of Seoul, South Korea, the home of LTE speeds so fast that your phone downloads stuff before you even know you want it.
Nokia is a company and brand that has been synonymous with the mobile industry pretty much since its inception. A decade ago Nokia was so dominant as a handset vendor the Informer wondered why anyone else even bothered, with Motorola and BlackBerry among the few that were able to coexist with the unstoppable Finnish juggernaut (and look at them now).
If a band plays at a summer music festival, but nobody records it and uploads it to social media, does it make a sound? This essential philosophical question of our times was never more important than over the past couple of weeks, when the UK population mobilised for the annual tradition of listening to music in a muddy field.