Google launches Call Phone feature for Gmail

Google launches Call Phone feature for Gmail
(Telecompaper) Google has launched a feature enabling Gmail to receive or place Google Voice calls. Users can check the box next to Google Chat in their list of forwarding phones and when users receive calls on their Google Voice number, Gmail will notify users of the incoming call. The call can be taken or heard as the caller leaves a message, by the users from the computer. To make a call, users have to click the Call phone link in Gmail and enter any number or name from their address book. All calls made from Gmail will display the Google Voice phone number as the outbound caller ID and all international calls will use Google Voice calling credit and are offered at the same Google Voice rates. Google will launch this feature to US-based Gmail users over the next few days. Customers using Google Apps for school or business, will not be able use the feature just yet. Google is working on making the feature available more broadly.[Lees verder]

Apple to dominate tablet market through 2012 – study
(Telecompaper) Apple’s iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1 percent of global tablet shipments this year, with the remaining 25.9 percent consisting of a mix of older PC-type tablet products and competitive slates, according to a study by iSuppli. The iPad is unlikely to face a viable competitor until 2011, allowing the company to maintain a dominant share in the tablet market at least through 2012. Despite the arrival of the first real iPad competitors in 2011, Apple still will maintain a prevailing 70.4 percent share of shipments, says iSuppli. Even in 2012, the iPad will continue to control nearly two-thirds of shipments, at 61.7 percent, as the competition strives to develop ecosystems of tablet applications and content that can match up with those of Apple. There are presently numerous products identified by iSuppli as iPad competitors, such as Android- and Windows 7-based tablets from HP, Dell and Lenovo. However, none of these is a serious competitor to the iPad from a product perspective, iSuppli believes. A number of new tablet devices are expected, in addition to the ones in the market. Rumours are also prevalent regarding RIM after its recent purchase of the BlackPad domain name. iSuppli believes that the most interesting near-term iPad competition is likely to come from HP, which has the requisite experience in building PC-level devices, as well as access to a proprietary WebOS through the company’s Palm acquisition. Nonetheless, HP’s iPad challenger is unlikely to appear before 2011 and probably will include multiple products, including a tablet with significant creation features targeted at the enterprise market, in addition to one or more consumption-style devices targeted at consumers. Likewise, rumours have surfaced claiming that Google will release a Chrome OS tablet on 26 November. However, that seems unlikely, given that iSuppli sources indicate the initial Chrome OS does not have touch screen display support. Any touch-enabled Chrome-based device would be more likely to appear in 2011 or beyond. Even then, Google faces some significant challenges in premiering a new OS and migrating directly from smartphones to tablets, iSuppli said. More than likely, Google will take an interim step up to the smartbook market before jumping into the tablet fray with the Chrome OS.[Lees verder]

Western Europe PC market up 19.6% in Q2 to 15.6 mln units
(Telecompaper) PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 15.6 million units in Q2, a 19.6 percent increase from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner. In Q2, Acer moved to the first position in Western Europe with 3.696 million shipments as a result of strong growth in consumer PCs. Next were HP, Dell, Asus, and Toshiba. Asus and vendors outside the top five experienced strong growth, with Apple, Sony, Samsung and Lenovo all growing above 30 percent in the second quarter. PC shipments in the UK totaled 2.9 million units in Q2, a 15.1 percent increase compared with the same period in 2009. In the UK, Acer was first with 648,000 shipments, ahead of HP, Dell, Toshiba, and Samsung Electronics. PC shipments in France totaled 2.8 million units in the second quarter, an increase of 28.9 percent compared with the same period in 2009. In France, HP regained the no. 1 position from Acer with 740,000 shipments, while Acer grew less than the market average. Asus was the fastest-growing PC vendor of the top five in France, and as a result moved up to third place. The last positions of the top five were occupied by Dell and Toshiba. PC shipments in Germany totaled 2.8 million units in Q2, an increase of 22.9 percent compared with the same period in 2009. In Germany, Acer maintained its first position with 516,000 shipments, ahead of HP, Dell, Assus and Lenovo.[Lees verder]

Telenor, Opera to cooperate on mobile internet
(Telecompaper) Telenor Group and Opera Software have agreed on a non-exclusive global frame agreement aiming to stimulate rapid growth of mobile internet services across Telenor’s business units. Under the terms of the agreement, Telenor’s business units can co-brand, distribute and run the Opera Mini mobile browser across its mobile handset and subscriber portfolios. As a result, Telenor’s customers in all countries will be able to enjoy a fast, affordable and user-friendly mobile web experience on their favourite handset. Under the agreement, Opera Software and any of Telenor Group’s business units may develop a co-branded version of Opera Mini that is adapted to the local operator. As part of the agreement, Opera and Telenor will also work to further innovate and expand the scope of the mobile web. The first deployment of Opera Mini in the Telenor network is scheduled for September.

 

 

 [Lees verder]

Telia launches LTE services in Gothenburg
(Telecompaper) TeliaSonera’s Swedish subsidiary Telia has launched LTE services in Gothenburg. Nokia Siemens Networks has provided its radio equipment for the operator’s LTE roll out in the city. During the pre-launch tests performed by TeliaSonera and Nokia Siemens Networks, average downlink rates of 85-90 Mbps were measured, peaking at 100 Mbps, while in the uplink, 30 Mbps were measured. Nokia Siemens Networks is also supplying its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations under the two-year radio network contract. Nokia Siemens Networks has also provided its NetAct network management system to monitor, manage and optimise the operator’s multi-vendor network.[Lees verder]

Broadband prices fall, speeds increase in H1
(Telecompaper) Broadband prices remained somewhat stable during the recession, but have fallen in the past six months, according to a study by Analysys Mason which tracked more than 1,000 fixed broadband-based bundles in Europe and the US. The average price paid for a fixed broadband service bundle (a single-, double- or triple-play package) has declined by about EUR 5 between Q4 2009 and Q2 2010 to EUR 40.7 per month. By contrast, broadband access speeds have increased. Almost 20 percent of the tracked tariffs during Q2 offered downstream bandwidths of 30 Mbps or greater (although the proportion of subscribers that actually take these ultra-fast services is likely to be much lower than 20 percent). Consequently, the average price per Mbps has declined from EUR 7.5 in Q4 2009 to EUR 5.8 in Q2 2010. According to the researchers, competition from mobile broadband services contributed to the downward pressure on fixed broadband tariffs during H1. The premium that providers charge for mobile broadband services is also eroding, the researchers found. Prepaid mobile broadband services with usage caps of 3GB or more (which are sufficient for light users) now undercut entry-level fixed broadband service propositions in terms of price in most Western European countries. Over the six-month period to June, the median price of fixed broadband services, excluding voice and TV services, fell to EUR 25.9 (PPP) per month. When all service bundles are included, it fell to EUR 40.7, down from EUR 45.8 six months earlier.[Lees verder]

Virgin Mobile USA launches USD 40 unlimited plan
(Telecompaper) Virgin Mobile USA is launching a USD 40 unlimited mobile broadband plan for prepaid Broadband2Go users. The new offer replaces the previous USD 20, USD 40 and USD 60 plans, enabling consumers to access unlimited internet use at home or on-the-go for USD 40 per month. The USD 10 option remains for less frequent internet users. Virgin Mobile’s prepaid unlimited broadband will be available without a contract and includes the USD 40 plan which provides unlimited data and video download, web browsing and e-mails for one month. The USD 10 plan offers 100 MB data download, five hours of web browsing and 25 minutes of video with 10,000 e-mails for ten days. Customers who are currently signed up for the USD 20, USD 40 and USD 60 plans will be able to use up the data or time on their current plans. The next time users need Broadband2Go, they will have the choice of these two plans. Top-Up can still be handled online, with a Virgin Mobile top-up card, debit or credit card. The new plans will be available from 25 August online and will be rolled out at retail stores in the coming weeks.[Lees verder]

Five rejoins Project Canvas
(Telecompaper) UK TV broadcaster Five has rejoined Project Canvas following its recent takeover by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell company. It rejoins partners BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva. Desmond said that this was important to Channel Five’s future as having an open internet-connected TV platform fits closely with Five’s plans to bring new content and interactive services to viewers.[Lees verder]

LTE mobile broadband subscribers to exceed 300 mln by 2015
(Telecompaper) LTE mobile broadband subscribers are expected to exceed 300 million by 2015, according to a study by Juniper Research. Most of this growth will occur from 2012, but mobile operators are preparing as rapidly increasing data traffic from mobile apps and mobile internet usage forces them to react. LTE mobile networks will provide businesses and consumers with dramatically increased speeds and capacity to combat the effects of the mobile data traffic explosion such as network crashes. However, only 1 in every 20 global subscribers will benefit. Usage levels will be significantly higher in regions such as North America where it will be closer to 1 in 5 as major operators plan roll-outs in the next six months. The researchers’ extensive primary interview programme pinpointed several hurdles that LTE needs to overcome in order to succeed. For instance, LTE needs to avoid the mistakes of 3G and ensure that suitable devices are available when networks are launched. According to other findings, LTE’s main markets will be the developed nations of North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China, which together will account for 90 percent of the market by 2015. The researchers also found that the industry is looking for answers regarding new business models that will replace existing data plans.[Lees verder]

Google launches Call Phone feature for Gmail
(Telecompaper) Google has launched a feature enabling Gmail to receive or place Google Voice calls. Users can check the box next to Google Chat in their list of forwarding phones and when users receive calls on their Google Voice number, Gmail will notify users of the incoming call. The call can be taken or heard as the caller leaves a message, by the users from the computer. To make a call, users have to click the Call phone link in Gmail and enter any number or name from their address book. All calls made from Gmail will display the Google Voice phone number as the outbound caller ID and all international calls will use Google Voice calling credit and are offered at the same Google Voice rates. Google will launch this feature to US-based Gmail users over the next few days. Customers using Google Apps for school or business, will not be able use the feature just yet. Google is working on making the feature available more broadly.[Lees verder]

Apple to dominate tablet market through 2012 – study
(Telecompaper) Apple’s iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1 percent of global tablet shipments this year, with the remaining 25.9 percent consisting of a mix of older PC-type tablet products and competitive slates, according to a study by iSuppli. The iPad is unlikely to face a viable competitor until 2011, allowing the company to maintain a dominant share in the tablet market at least through 2012. Despite the arrival of the first real iPad competitors in 2011, Apple still will maintain a prevailing 70.4 percent share of shipments, says iSuppli. Even in 2012, the iPad will continue to control nearly two-thirds of shipments, at 61.7 percent, as the competition strives to develop ecosystems of tablet applications and content that can match up with those of Apple. There are presently numerous products identified by iSuppli as iPad competitors, such as Android- and Windows 7-based tablets from HP, Dell and Lenovo. However, none of these is a serious competitor to the iPad from a product perspective, iSuppli believes. A number of new tablet devices are expected, in addition to the ones in the market. Rumours are also prevalent regarding RIM after its recent purchase of the BlackPad domain name. iSuppli believes that the most interesting near-term iPad competition is likely to come from HP, which has the requisite experience in building PC-level devices, as well as access to a proprietary WebOS through the company’s Palm acquisition. Nonetheless, HP’s iPad challenger is unlikely to appear before 2011 and probably will include multiple products, including a tablet with significant creation features targeted at the enterprise market, in addition to one or more consumption-style devices targeted at consumers. Likewise, rumours have surfaced claiming that Google will release a Chrome OS tablet on 26 November. However, that seems unlikely, given that iSuppli sources indicate the initial Chrome OS does not have touch screen display support. Any touch-enabled Chrome-based device would be more likely to appear in 2011 or beyond. Even then, Google faces some significant challenges in premiering a new OS and migrating directly from smartphones to tablets, iSuppli said. More than likely, Google will take an interim step up to the smartbook market before jumping into the tablet fray with the Chrome OS.[Lees verder]

Western Europe PC market up 19.6% in Q2 to 15.6 mln units
(Telecompaper) PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 15.6 million units in Q2, a 19.6 percent increase from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner. In Q2, Acer moved to the first position in Western Europe with 3.696 million shipments as a result of strong growth in consumer PCs. Next were HP, Dell, Asus, and Toshiba. Asus and vendors outside the top five experienced strong growth, with Apple, Sony, Samsung and Lenovo all growing above 30 percent in the second quarter. PC shipments in the UK totaled 2.9 million units in Q2, a 15.1 percent increase compared with the same period in 2009. In the UK, Acer was first with 648,000 shipments, ahead of HP, Dell, Toshiba, and Samsung Electronics. PC shipments in France totaled 2.8 million units in the second quarter, an increase of 28.9 percent compared with the same period in 2009. In France, HP regained the no. 1 position from Acer with 740,000 shipments, while Acer grew less than the market average. Asus was the fastest-growing PC vendor of the top five in France, and as a result moved up to third place. The last positions of the top five were occupied by Dell and Toshiba. PC shipments in Germany totaled 2.8 million units in Q2, an increase of 22.9 percent compared with the same period in 2009. In Germany, Acer maintained its first position with 516,000 shipments, ahead of HP, Dell, Assus and Lenovo.[Lees verder]

Telenor, Opera to cooperate on mobile internet
(Telecompaper) Telenor Group and Opera Software have agreed on a non-exclusive global frame agreement aiming to stimulate rapid growth of mobile internet services across Telenor’s business units. Under the terms of the agreement, Telenor’s business units can co-brand, distribute and run the Opera Mini mobile browser across its mobile handset and subscriber portfolios. As a result, Telenor’s customers in all countries will be able to enjoy a fast, affordable and user-friendly mobile web experience on their favourite handset. Under the agreement, Opera Software and any of Telenor Group’s business units may develop a co-branded version of Opera Mini that is adapted to the local operator. As part of the agreement, Opera and Telenor will also work to further innovate and expand the scope of the mobile web. The first deployment of Opera Mini in the Telenor network is scheduled for September.

 

 

 [Lees verder]

Telia launches LTE services in Gothenburg
(Telecompaper) TeliaSonera’s Swedish subsidiary Telia has launched LTE services in Gothenburg. Nokia Siemens Networks has provided its radio equipment for the operator’s LTE roll out in the city. During the pre-launch tests performed by TeliaSonera and Nokia Siemens Networks, average downlink rates of 85-90 Mbps were measured, peaking at 100 Mbps, while in the uplink, 30 Mbps were measured. Nokia Siemens Networks is also supplying its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations under the two-year radio network contract. Nokia Siemens Networks has also provided its NetAct network management system to monitor, manage and optimise the operator’s multi-vendor network.[Lees verder]

Broadband prices fall, speeds increase in H1
(Telecompaper) Broadband prices remained somewhat stable during the recession, but have fallen in the past six months, according to a study by Analysys Mason which tracked more than 1,000 fixed broadband-based bundles in Europe and the US. The average price paid for a fixed broadband service bundle (a single-, double- or triple-play package) has declined by about EUR 5 between Q4 2009 and Q2 2010 to EUR 40.7 per month. By contrast, broadband access speeds have increased. Almost 20 percent of the tracked tariffs during Q2 offered downstream bandwidths of 30 Mbps or greater (although the proportion of subscribers that actually take these ultra-fast services is likely to be much lower than 20 percent). Consequently, the average price per Mbps has declined from EUR 7.5 in Q4 2009 to EUR 5.8 in Q2 2010. According to the researchers, competition from mobile broadband services contributed to the downward pressure on fixed broadband tariffs during H1. The premium that providers charge for mobile broadband services is also eroding, the researchers found. Prepaid mobile broadband services with usage caps of 3GB or more (which are sufficient for light users) now undercut entry-level fixed broadband service propositions in terms of price in most Western European countries. Over the six-month period to June, the median price of fixed broadband services, excluding voice and TV services, fell to EUR 25.9 (PPP) per month. When all service bundles are included, it fell to EUR 40.7, down from EUR 45.8 six months earlier.[Lees verder]

Virgin Mobile USA launches USD 40 unlimited plan
(Telecompaper) Virgin Mobile USA is launching a USD 40 unlimited mobile broadband plan for prepaid Broadband2Go users. The new offer replaces the previous USD 20, USD 40 and USD 60 plans, enabling consumers to access unlimited internet use at home or on-the-go for USD 40 per month. The USD 10 option remains for less frequent internet users. Virgin Mobile’s prepaid unlimited broadband will be available without a contract and includes the USD 40 plan which provides unlimited data and video download, web browsing and e-mails for one month. The USD 10 plan offers 100 MB data download, five hours of web browsing and 25 minutes of video with 10,000 e-mails for ten days. Customers who are currently signed up for the USD 20, USD 40 and USD 60 plans will be able to use up the data or time on their current plans. The next time users need Broadband2Go, they will have the choice of these two plans. Top-Up can still be handled online, with a Virgin Mobile top-up card, debit or credit card. The new plans will be available from 25 August online and will be rolled out at retail stores in the coming weeks.[Lees verder]

Five rejoins Project Canvas
(Telecompaper) UK TV broadcaster Five has rejoined Project Canvas following its recent takeover by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell company. It rejoins partners BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva. Desmond said that this was important to Channel Five’s future as having an open internet-connected TV platform fits closely with Five’s plans to bring new content and interactive services to viewers.[Lees verder]

LTE mobile broadband subscribers to exceed 300 mln by 2015
(Telecompaper) LTE mobile broadband subscribers are expected to exceed 300 million by 2015, according to a study by Juniper Research. Most of this growth will occur from 2012, but mobile operators are preparing as rapidly increasing data traffic from mobile apps and mobile internet usage forces them to react. LTE mobile networks will provide businesses and consumers with dramatically increased speeds and capacity to combat the effects of the mobile data traffic explosion such as network crashes. However, only 1 in every 20 global subscribers will benefit. Usage levels will be significantly higher in regions such as North America where it will be closer to 1 in 5 as major operators plan roll-outs in the next six months. The researchers’ extensive primary interview programme pinpointed several hurdles that LTE needs to overcome in order to succeed. For instance, LTE needs to avoid the mistakes of 3G and ensure that suitable devices are available when networks are launched. According to other findings, LTE’s main markets will be the developed nations of North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China, which together will account for 90 percent of the market by 2015. The researchers also found that the industry is looking for answers regarding new business models that will replace existing data plans.[Lees verder]