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 Last Words Archives: 1 / 2001,  2 / 2001,  1 / 2002,  2 / 2002,  3 / 2002,  4 / 2002,  5 / 2002,  6 / 2002,
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Last Words, 7/2003 Archive

What is happening in the UK? Someone managed to send 1359 text messages after a warning text message that she had reached her call limit had been sent, and she is surprised about the high phone bill!

Westminster says prostitutes' mobile numbers should be barred. Now the Council and Scotland Yard are urging the mobile network operators to disconnect the numbers. Drug dealers, murderers and people who talk while driving still get to keep their phone numbers!

Rugby league stars in Leeds were jailed for drunken nightclub brawl over mobile phone. Closed-circuit television footage showed the drunken players punching each other and one of them kicking another in the head as he lay on the floor. Their club is maintaining that the players were "outstanding role models". Huh!

UK Government decided to ban GSM gateways, which provide an alternative method for passing calls from fixed lines to mobile phones. You can now expect increases in consumer prices and reduction in consumer choice.

Research in London and Mersey-side shows a shocking 20% of reported robberies are fake, many claiming for mobile phones which are not covered for loss but are for theft. I thought this was a common knowledge.
(30/07/03) [perm link]

NYP "Please press 1" Jane Barbe, whose voice was familiar to millions of telephone users across the country who ever dialed a wrong number or had to "Please listen to the following options" in a voice-mail system, died July 18 in Roswell, Ga.
(29/07/03) [perm link]

Customer Care Vodafone customer relations department had a bad day warning subscribers that unless they started using the service more frequently, they would be disconnected. Vodafone argued that the move would 'make room for new customers' and claimed that with 'extremely high demand for mobile phone numbers' there was 'only a limited number to go round'. (29/07/03) [perm link] Vodafone

MCI Spoofing SS7 New York Times writes about MCI WorldCom's federal fraud inquiry on fees for long-distance calls.

"The central element of MCI's scheme consisted of disguising long-distance calls as local calls to avoid paying special access tariffs to local carriers across the country. Those tariffs are the largest single source of MCI's costs for carrying calls and data transmissions."

"MCI was said to have routed domestic telephone traffic to Canada through a series of small companies with which MCI had contracts. The technicians said that the billing codes were altered and that the calls were transferred to AT&T lines into the United States so that AT&T would have to pay the tariffs."

In a lot of countries inter-carrier billing has been a source of many disputes, but this is absolutely amazing and still Worldcom still went bankrupt!
Slashdot discussion (27/07/03) [perm link]

Mobile Sports Phones 4u has linked up with SonyEricsson to launch the inaugural Mobile Phone Olympics to be held at the cult street sport event Sprite Urban Games, on Clapham Common, from July 25 to 27. This supreme test of mobile phone users' skills will be a four disciplined event designed by phones 4u examining all the major handset disciplines: Text Championships, MMS Messaging, Mobile Gaming and Mobile Phone Hurling. (25/07/03) [perm link] Urban games

washington times Driving study According to the latest study mobile phone use in a car is worse than drunken driving. (23/07/03) [perm link]

3G spending Both mobile network sales and courage are down!
(20/07/03) [perm link]

BWCS 80/20 Rule BWCS writes that DoCoMo has predicted that non-voice services will account for 80% of company revenues by 2011, compared to today's 20%. Now that is an ambitious, but also a visionary goal! Now mobiles networks are moving to be more data service centric, and at the same time a lot of personal computers are beginning to have voice over IP applications. This is like 15 years ago when pay TV started to go from satelite to cable and telephony from wireline to wireless. (17/07/03) [perm link]

Mobile donation Verizon Wireless, as part of its community service program, donated the telephones to the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse and set up several phone. Well done! (16/07/03) [perm link] news PoAC

the Inquirer USIM swapping Jim pointed out a while ago on IRC chat that people could easily take the USIM from UMTS phone and roam with it on their favorite GSM phone with low 3G prices. Other people have tested this too and Dr Tamseel has even a dedicated page for this. This would actually reduce your coverage area and of course your services, but at least you could use any GSM phone. The Inquirer has the story.
via Mobitopia (16/07/03) [perm link]

Mobile stupidity via MeFi (15/07/03) [perm link] joke

New York Times Phone manners Amtrak has introduced a quiet cars in their trains but everything is not going smoothly. Like in the movie theaters, there is always a one, who has to use the mobile phone. via techdirt (15/07/03) [perm link]

NEC e606 review Mobile Burn has a great review of the NEC e606 3G phone using Three network in Australia.

I have to disagree on one thing with the writer. When you buy a 3G phone, you don't only buy services, you buy the network. Network has its services, quality, coverage, customer support, developer support etc. Service are no good if you can't use those where you are. (14/07/03) [perm link]

New York Times Layoffs reversed: Verizon was ordered to rehire 2,300 workers in New York state who were laid off in December. Unions seem to have plenty of power. (13/07/03) [perm link]

Mosquito Repellent SK Telecom in Korea is selling phone users a new noise service that it says will repel mosquitoes. We have seen these before and according to studies they do not always work. Slashdot people suggested that it is actually the minor EM field generated when the phone rings, that flies hate. People also noted that most cell phone speakers are not rated above 20kHz! (11/07/03) [perm link] SK Telecom

aircell Mobiles Service in Airplanes: AirCell wins patent for cellphone in-flight calls technology. But is has already happened, airplanes are no longer a mobile phone free zone. (10/07/03) [perm link]

Mobile operators' revenge US wireless companies will charge users to keep the phone numbers and they are charging a lot! Here are the numbers:

  • AT&T Wireless Services claims that will cost them $50 million a year to support number portability.
  • AT&T Wireless Services has about mobile 22 million subscribers.
  • AT&T Wireless Services will charge $1.75 per month for number portability, emergency 911 services and number pooling.

    Now lets do the maths: It looks like AT&T Wireless Services will make about $462 million in extra fees, their costs is about $50 million so they will make $412 million extra on the number portability. And just couple of weeks ago most of the carries were opposing the number portability!

    On the other side of the spectrum is Verizon Wireless, which will not initially charge fees to customers and will review in November how to recoup costs, which it estimates at about 10 cents to 15 cents per customer per month. That sound like a fair deal to me.
    Via TechDirt Wireless   follow the earlier trail   (08/07/03) [perm link]
  • yahoo

    health news Mobile health study: The use of mobile phones may improve short-term memory for men but not for women, according to a UK study. It might be more difficult to improve women's memory as they seem to remember better anyway. Now we are all waiting for the next study that will prove that mobile phones may worsen short-term memory.
    Via (08/07/03) [perm link]

    Did you know? has interesting radio and telephone related predictions that missed the mark. (05/07/03) [perm link] did you know

    ananova Mobile crimes: 100 mobile phones seized in police raid and several arrests made in a mobile phone fraud case in the UK. The best news comes form China where a woman trapped the mobile phone thief by asking for a date! (04/07/03) [perm link]

    Mobile phone courtesy month: July is a National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in the US and they need it. Joanna L. Krotz, Dan Briody, Nextel and eBuyGuru have already adviced us how to behave., and are dedicated for good mobile manners, so we should know by now. You can even read the camera-phone dos and don'ts, so lets try to learn something here. (03/07/03) [perm link] wow-com

    Big 3G file:
    looooong file
    (03/07/03) [perm link]

    iht logo Roaming charges: IHT has a nice story about How to hold down cell phone charges abroad. I have always wondered why people don't complaining louder about high roaming charges! There is no good reason why these charges are so high:

  • When roaming, mobiles first try to find a "friendly network" in a roaming country which makes it quite cheap for both operators. This network is usually a sister company of the home network or another cooperating network, so even the "extra" international call leg is cheap. The calling party already pays for the airtime charge anyway, ex the US
  • There has been discussion over 10 years about the "optimal routing" network feature, where call is routed straight from a calling country to a called country without routing the call voice path through B-party's home country. This would be very nice when the calling party is not in the called party's country, like when you are traveling with your friend and calling him/her. This feature would be easy to implement as technology, call routes and roaming agreements are already in place. Network operators do not like this, because they would loose revenues, network vendors will not build this feature as nobody would buy it and the looser is, of course, the consumer.
  • In Europe country borders are coming down fast, all mobile networks are interconnected with backbones and application servers, and the single currency makes cross border billing/accounting easy, but roaming prices do not reflect these development

    So, contact your mobile operator and local MP, and make your opinion heard. And next time your wireless carriers or manufacturers interest group tells you they have consumers' best interest in mind, ask them about the "optimal routing" feature for roaming subscribers and you'll see how serious they are. (01/07/03) [perm link]

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