Last week the Informer joked that Nokia might get turfed out of its recently sold headquarters to make way for a Chinese tenant. It could never happen, of course. Could it…? Huawei got all up in Nokia’s face this week by announcing the opening of an office in Helsinki. Statements of intent don’t come much more pointed than that.
China has long been seen as a potential goldmine for foreign investment due to the sheer size of the market, but the trick is always going to be catering to niche audiences within the country’s substantial economic diversity.
The Informer offers his heartfelt commiserations to anyone out there with a world destruction fantasy. It turns out that December 21 2012 was the Mayan equivalent of April Fool’s Day. As the BBC’s Radio 4 delivered the news: “Yesterday we reported that, according to some Mayans, the world would end on December 21st. It didn’t.” The Informer’s break would have been a lot less restful had the apocalypse reared its head(s)—and even shorter than it felt.
OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod! Kate Middleton is having a baby!! It might be a boy!! Or a girl!!
Right, that’s that out of the way, let’s get on with the real news. Christmas will soon be upon us and what better time than this to de-clutter. So says Nokia Siemens Networks, anyhow, as it continues to jettison non-core assets.
Back in October a chum of the Informer’s from one of the big infrastructure vendors told him that Apple was auditing LTE networks before allowing operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device. The Informer made a few calls to people in the know and was told the story was true, although Apple maintained a stony silence and nobody else, operator or vendor, would go on the record. Until now.
For the third year in a row, revenues from Europe’s telecoms sector have dropped, according to ETNO, the trade body for the region’s operators. The group released its third ETNO Annual Economic Report and found that total revenue in Europe’s telecoms sector amounted to €274.7bn in 2011, a decrease by 1.5 per cent compared to 2010.
To put that in perspective, the last time Europe’s telecoms market was on the rise, David Tennant was still Doctor Who, Obamamania swept the US and Europe for the first time, and Justin Bieber hadn’t even been discovered. Those were the times.
The recent news that Disney is to further desecrate the temple of Star Wars by rebooting the franchise with two new episodes and a new film every two to three years thereafter was met with howls of pain by many of the Informer’s generation, who grew up with the first three movies. But we shouldn’t be surprised at this bid to wring yet more dollars from the Force, given that Yoda, once the most powerful Jedi in the universe, has for some time been reduced to mugging in Vodafone adverts to earn a crust.
The Informer imagines the walls of Greek operator OTE’s headquarters to be decked at present with soft focus posters extolling the various virtues of gardening, fishing, woodland walks and home baking. All those hobbies you never had time for during your working life but no doubt aim to enjoy once retirement comes around.
The UK is a nation from where great innovators such as Isaac Newton, Isambard Brunel, John Logie Baird, Alexander Graham Bell, James Dyson and Tim Berners-Lee have all hailed. Yet despite even the inventor of the World Wide Web coming from these shores, the UK is a nation at risk of being left behind in today’s digital age.
There’s a lot of furious activity going on in the telco services space right now. Feeling the heat from our Over The Top friends, carriers are feverishly investing in similar services and applications to maintain their place as a gatekeeper of the communications experience.
Europe. Once upon a time it led the world in mobile communications. Once upon a time it smiled a condescending smile across the Atlantic, towards the US, which didn’t really understand text messaging, was conflicted by a jumble of standards that it tried to pass off as technology competition beneficial to the consumer, and still favoured handsets with comedy telescopic antennas. Times have changed.
Anyone reading the news will have seen plenty of reputations on the line this week. For one, a US House Intelligence Committee report levelled more allegations at Chinese infrastructure vendors ZTE and Huawei than USADA has at Lance Armstrong.
In recent times, over the top providers have been billed as the operator’s nemesis. The message has been rammed down their throats: Skype is going to erode your voice revenues, WhatsApp will signal the demise of your SMS offering and YouTube is going to put tremendous strain on your network, offering you nothing in return. [...]
When the Informer saw the news this week that a Californian artist had created a model of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs out of his own waste he naturally jumped to the wrong conclusion; namely that an art school flunky had made some sort of jobbie-Jobs. Of course we cannot rule out the possibility that, at this very moment, somebody, somewhere is meticulously bent on just such a project, in the middle of their living room, with all the manic concentration of Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters. But the story centred in fact on an artist that had created a Jobs figurine from Jobs’ own domestic rubbish, gathered over a period of months from his bins, before he passed away.
As is usual on the morning of the launch of an iPhone, there were queues outside Apple retail stores so long that even the Parisian paparazzi struggled to capture the scenes with their hi-tech lenses. But although the majority of those sleeping rough for several nights to be among the first to own the slightly thinner, slightly taller and slightly faster version of last year’s phone were hardcore Apple fans, an increasing proportion were opportunists, lining up to be caught on camera in their promotional t-shirts or selling their space in line for four figure sums.
This week it was announced that a new species of monkey had been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To the untrained eye – and even to the trained eye – this new monkey bears a striking resemblance to species already in circulation. Nevertheless, close inspection revealed it to be distinct from its peers. The fact that the differences are less in evidence than the similarities has not dampened the sense of jubilation in the monkey-studying community, because new monkeys don’t come along all that often.
It’s that time of year again readers: Back to school. New shoes; new backpack; new Windows Phone 8 device?
Yep, they’re finally here – – those first Windows Phone 8 handsets, launched in that awkward window between the end of August and the annual Apple product frenzy that takes place in early September. As if Windows Phone champion Nokia didn’t already have enough to worry about, handset king Samsung delivered the Finn a ringing slap across the face by announcing its own WP8 unit six days earlier.
July 27th, 2012 – a date that will live gilded in our memories forever. The eyes of the world are on London, a historic city bristling with pride at being chosen to host this momentous event. It is the culmination of years’ of hard work, dedication and belief. The crowds have gathered in celebration and the flags are flying high. Let the ceremony begin because, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the 500th edition of A Week in Wireless.
Microsoft has had a record quarter. For the first time in its life as a public company the software giant has reported a quarterly loss. Admittedly that’s not the kind of record you want to be setting, but it’s a record nonetheless. The firm decided to write down the value of advertising player Aquantive, which it gobbled up for $6.3bn in 2007 and it is this that accounts for the $492m loss, the firm said.
What allows hundreds of known criminals to be able to roam the street at night, impedes London cyclists from getting around town, exacerbates a nation’s fears over the Olympics Games, and leaves eight million Brits up in arms? A mobile network outage, as O2 found out this week when its network failed for 24 hours.