EU Committee Delays Roaming Fees Removal

There have been a lot of talks these past two years regarding the abolishment of roaming fees in the European Union’s member states. Last year, we heard that the EU Commission was voting to scrap the fees altogether and have them removed by 2016.

However, this might not be the case. The European Parliament does have its mind set on removing the roaming fees, but it seems that it also backs carriers who claim that they need to charge customers due to the space taken up on foreign carrier networks. To be noted is that carriers such as Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telefonica, and Telenor already have networks in almost every EU country, but there are still some carriers who cannot cope with a big changes just yet.

While there has been a steady drop in roaming prices in the past two years, along with a variety of tariffs added to reduce prices even further, we won’t be seeing a total removal of roaming fees next year. A more realistic target now points to 2018, making some room for everyone to cope with a big change on a large scale.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Firefox OS Set to Enter the US and Other Developed Markets in 2016

Mozilla has developed its Firefox OS in order to target low-cost smartphone markets all around the world. Its recent statement claims that the company is considering to enter more developed markets next year.

Mozilla has stated a project with US, Japanese, South Korean and Spanish carriers to get ready for shipping high-spec smartphones starting from 2016 onwards. However, the more developed markets for smartphones are currently owned and heavily competed by Apple, Android and Windows Phone. But Mozilla seems to be taking a rather strange and out of fashion approach.

Flip phones and sliders would be the main attraction and key feature of these new Firefox OS phones, as stated by Andreas Gal, chief technology officer at Mozilla. He stated that customers like the older form factors of mobile phones and this is the main cause of why they are stuck with older operating systems.

“Development of feature phones has essentially stopped, said Gal. “This project will bring a modern smartphone OS into this market.”

The project has been announced on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, pointing out that Verizon Wireless, KDDI, LG uPlus and Telefonica will be the first carriers to start shipping these new smartphones next year.

Thank you Computer World for providing us with this information

Three Beat Sky and TalkTalk to £10.25 Billion Purchase of O2

Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based owner of UK mobile network Three, has confirmed its purchase of rival network O2 from Spanish telecoms company Telefonica for £10.25 billion.

Hutchison has trumped both Sky and TalkTalk to complete the deal, which as agreed requires £9.25 billion up-front from Hutchison, with a further £1 billion deferred payment, making Three and O2 combined the biggest mobile operator in the UK, taking a 41% share of the market.

“The deal remains subject to satisfactory due diligence over O2 UK, agreement on terms, signing of definitive agreements, and obtaining required corporate and regulatory approvals,” a spokesperson for Hutchison Whampoa said.

Telefonica were desperate to sell O2 in order to pay off its existing debts, but managed to get £1 billion more for the company than early reports suggested.

Source: The Guardian

Sky and TalkTalk Compete With Three for O2 Purchase

Until this week, Hutchison Whampoa, owner of the Three mobile network in the UK, was thought to be in pole position to buy rival network O2 from Telefonica. But now, Sky and TalkTalk have entered the fray, with Telefonica eager to sell its asset for £9 billion to pay off existing debts.

Sky and TalkTalk, both major UK providers of broadband services, are eager to expand into the mobile communications sector, with TalkTalk already engaged in a partnership deal with the Vodafone network, and running its own small network hosted by O2. Financial Times sources claim that Sky, carrying a large debt after a £7 billion European expansion, is thought to prefer a partnership deal with O2, rather than an outright buy-out.

BT is not considered to be interested in O2 since its £12.5 billion takeover of EE.

Source: Wired

Owner of Three Network in Talks to Buy O2

Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong conglomerate that owns UK mobile operator Three, is in talks to buy rival network O2, owned by Telefonica. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Hutchison will pay up to £9 billion for O2.

Telefonica is said to be keen to leave the UK to help pay off debts, hiring investment bank UBS AG to explore exit strategies, and going so far as to consider floating O2’s shares for public sale. Hutchison are being helped by Moelis & Co to pursue possible deals within the UK.

All parties involved, including Moelis & Co and UBS AG, have declined to comment on the potential sale.

Source: Bloomberg

LG Announced Fireweb Phone Running On Firefox OS

LG Electronics’ new smartphone based on Firefox OS offers slightly better hardware specs than competing products. Firefox OS is built around applications written in HTML5. Mozilla Foundation is pitching it as a better option for low-end smartphones, and devices running it will compete head-to-head with cheap Android smartphones and with devices from other platforms such as Nokia’s Asha.

The smartphone has a 4-inch display with a 480 x 320 pixel resolution and is powered by a 1GHz chip from Qualcomm. It also has 2GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera. That compares to the ZTE Open and to Alcatel One Touch’s Fire, both of which have 3.5-inch screens and 3.2-megapixel cameras.

The phone will come with version 1.1 of Firefox OS, which Mozilla launched earlier this month. The upgrade improves application load times and has smoother scrolling, Mozilla said at the time. It also includes new features such as MMS messaging and enhancements to email, contacts management and calendar.

Telefonica will also launch devices with Firefox OS in Peru, Uruguay and Mexico in the next couple of days, it said. The operator already sells smartphones with the OS in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela which have exceeded expectations, as a spokesman said via email.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PCWorld.

Huawei W1 on Sale With O2-UK from 7th March

Huawei are not a company that one would typically jump straight towards when looking for a new phone, but the company has today announced that they will be launching the W1, an entry-level smartphone that runs on the Windows Mobile platform. The handset will be available both online and in stores on both PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) and Pay Monthly contracts from as little as £13.50 per month or for £119.99 on PAYG SIM deals.

By utilising the popular Windows Mobile interface, Huawei aims to give users a phone that is easy to use and ideal for novice users to smartphones. The iconic tile based layout will be displayed on a 4-inch 480×800 IPS screen, powered by a combination of a dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm CPU and an Adreno 305 GPU. The phone will also feature a 1950mAh battery, supposedly giving it the best standby time see to date when compared to other handsets in its class and it also offers up a 5 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash and a 4GB memory which can be expnded to 32GB through the microSD slot on the side of the phone.

The W1 will be available solely in ‘Electric Blue’ to start as shipments roll out, however there will also be an ‘Electric Pink’ variant that will become available as well from the 18th March. Huawei are keen to push the W1 right into the heart of the markets and they plan to have an extensive advertising campaign across the UK media to promote the newcomer to the entry-level markets.

Windows Phone 8, offers users a simple to use tile based animated home screen that seamlessly integrates with their other Windows 8 devices such as tablets and PCs giving a unrivalled experience in its class where users can customise all their devices as one with real-time updates and give easy access to information, entertainment and updates in the news and social worlds.

A white handset is also in production, but at this moment, only the blue and pink models will be available to buy, ideal for the teenage generation where an inexpensive smart-phone with a bit of colour and style is key.