If you’ve been on pins and needles waiting for HD voice calls to become the norm, the wait is apparently almost over. The Washington Post reports that the FCC voted to begin rolling out a trial program for fiber-optic telephone networks later this year. According to the report, phone carriers will set up the trials in designated test areas all over the U.S. as the FCC prepares for a full-scale transition to Internet Protocol networks in the future. Interestingly, that may also eventually lead to the death of traditional phone numbers. More →
According to the largest review of its kind, the British Health Protection Agency says there is no clear evidence that radiation from mobile phones poses a health threat, The Guardian reported on Thursday. Scientists found no convincing proof that radio waves from mobile phones cause brain tumors or any other type of cancer. They did caution that it was “important” to watch for signs of rising cancer cases, however, because they had too little information to assess the risk beyond 15 years of mobile usage. The study was conducted by the Health Protection Agency’s independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR). More →
The Federal Communications Commission on Monday determined that T-Mobile must pay a fine of $819,000 for “willfully and repeatedly” failing to comply with rules regarding hearing-aid compatible handsets. According to the FCC, the carrier violated the rules during 2009 and 2010. The Hearing Aid Compatibility Order requires each carrier to have at least 10 handsets, or 50% of all devices, that support acoustic coupling and 7 phones, or 33% of all devices, with inductive coupling. T-Mobile may reduce or negate the proposed fine by proving to the FCC that it did not violate the rule, or that it didn’t violate it as severely as the FCC alleges. More →
According to a purported leaked T-Mobile document obtained by TmoNews, the carrier will offer an unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling add-on for $10 a month starting April 4th. “Beginning April 4th, T-Mobile will offer Unlimited Any Mobile, a $10 per month subscriber-level feature that includes unlimited calling to any domestic mobile number, including Puerto Rico, regardless of carrier,” the document reads. The carrier claims that 80% of calls made on its network are to mobile numbers, making such an add-on appealing to subscribers looking to save money. The feature will be available as an add-on for existing customers, and it will not require a new contract. Unlimited out-of-network mobile calling is nothing new; Sprint bundles a similar offering with its unlimited everything plans and AT&T has an add-on as well. A screen capture of the purported T-Mobile document follows below. More →
Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, Apple has passed LG to become the world’s third largest cell phone vendor by volume, according to new estimates from market research firm IDC. The worldwide mobile phone market grew 6.1% year-over-year in the fourth quarter as the feature phone market continued to decline to its lowest growth rate in two years. Vendors shipped 427.4 million phones in the fourth quarter compared to 402.8 million units in the same quarter last year. Nokia and Samsung remained the top and No.2 vendors, respectively, though Nokia’s phone shipments slid 7.9% while shipments of Samsung handsets grew 17.6% compared to the same quarter in 2010. Read on for more More →
Best Buy on Friday reported weaker than expected revenue for the five weeks ended December 31st, 2011. The company noted $8.4 billion in revenue, which was flat compared to the same period last year but included a comparable store sales decline of 1.2%. The company’s international segment generated $1.9 billion in revenue, a 1.7% decrease and a 4.3% drop off in store sales. Its domestic segment generated $6.5 billion in revenue, which was up 0.4% from the same period last year but it also represented a 0.4% drop in store sales. Read on for more. More →
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop once again addressed rumors of a possible sale of Nokia’s phone business. Rumors emerged on Wednesday suggesting Samsung was preparing to bid on Nokia’s cell phone division, but Elop addressed them on Thursday while speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Elop insisted that the rumors are “completely groundless.” The CEO continued, “Nokia is not for sale.” While Elop has been steady with his message, there is of course wiggle room in his choice of words. Neither the initial report suggesting a deal had been struck with Microsoft nor the subsequent Samsung rumor suggested that Nokia, as a company, was up for sale. Instead, these reports — at least one of which is well-sourced — suggest Nokia may be shopping a portion of its business; specifically, the cell phone division, which has been spiraling downward as Nokia’s market share diminishes rapidly. More →
Google is on stage and just announced that the next major Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, will launch in Q4 of this year. It will combine the tablet and smartphone operating systems into one joint OS that will support all devices. Google bills it as “One OS everywhere, state of the art UI, advanced app framework, open source.” The universal OS will be able to adapt to the specific form factor of the device it’s running on, and also includes new features like face-tracking and camera enhancements, among other things.
Intel gathered by blog Android Central indicates that Sprint and Google will make their Google Voice partnership ready for prime time on April 26th. The venture, which was announced last month, will allow Sprint customers to seamlessly integrate their current wireless number with Google’s Voice service. Calls and texts sent from your mobile device will be logged by Google Voice’s online system, and calls can be made from the browser using the service’s VoIP feature. International calls made from linked mobile devices will automatically route through Google Voice — which offers deep discounting on international voice traffic. The feature has been available in beta for the last few weeks, but it looks like the two companies are finally ready to let everyone in on the fun. More →
The CTIA Wireless conference is just around the corner, and in preparation for the three day extravaganza, the Wireless Association is starting to make its final preparations for the event. Part of these preparations include listing the finalists for conference awards, and the “Phones/Smartphones” category has yielded some interesting information. The first three finalists include the HTC ThunderBolt, Motorola ATRIX 4G, and LG Revolution. The final two candidates included on the list are two, unnamed LG handsets simply listed as “LG Mobile Phones.” What could these mysterious handsets be? PCMag, the discoverer of the mysterious device listings, suspects that one of the devices could be T-Mobile’s version of the Optimus 2X — the unannounced but expected Optimus G2X. If we had to venture a guess as to what the second device might be: we would assume that it is a version of the company’s dual-core Optiums 3D handset we saw at Mobile World Congress. Which carrier the handset will land on is, however, anyones guess. BGR will be roaming the halls of the Orange County Convention Center to bring you all the CTIA news as it breaks, be sure to keep your browser locked here during the week of the 21st! More →
Yesterday, we told you about an issue being experience by Samsung Windows Phone owners that was causing a recently released update to fail — or in the worst cases render a handset unusable. Late last night, Microsoft took to the web to explain exactly what it’s discovered about the missteps of its first Windows Phone update.
“90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully,” writes Microsoft’s Michael Stroh. “Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons—a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space.”
Mr. Stroh goes on to concede that the update has not gone perfectly, and that a “technical issue” with the update process “impacts a small number” of Samsung devices. But he reinforces that Microsoft is “committed to learning from our first update and improving the process.”
The article concludes with a handful of frequently asked questions. If you want to know more about the Redmond company’s first Windows Phone update, hit the read link and have a look for yourself. More →
Yup, we’ll definitely be ordering one of these the moment they become available. The two man company that is Satarii is working on an accessory designed to put the camcorder on your mobile phone, iPod touch, and small Flip-style camcorder on a swivel, literally. The Star accessory is a glorified tripod with a motorized base that can rotate 360-degrees — following a specially designed marker placed on your person — automatically tracking your movements in real-time. Clip the marker to your clothing or stick it in your pocket and watch as the base pivots left and right to shadow your every move. While it is difficult of verbally explain, it is amazing to see in action. Hit the jump, a video demo of the product is waiting for you. More →
Looking to get your main squeeze a new smartphone for Valentine’s Day? You may want to give T-Mobile a look. The nation’s fourth largest wireless provider will be pricing every phone in its lineup, including smartphones, at $0 on February 11th and 12th. The offer is good at T-Mobile retail locations and a new two-year agreement must be signed. Not a bad deal. Anyone interested? Hit the jump for the full press release. More →