Vodafone and T-Mobile UK acquisition getting closer

Assuming there are no regulatory complaints, Vodafone may announce the acquisition of T-Mobile UK by next week. Deutsch Telecom may agree to the purchase if Vodafone swaps their Turkish network.

Ofcom recently released 3G coverage in the UK showing that O2 and Vodafone lagged behind 3, Orange and T-Mobile so a joint Vodafone/T-Mobile network would significantly increase their coverage and give them 40% of the UK market.

It is likely that other operators will shout unfair so the will be delays due to regulatory intervention.

Chrome OS the notebook challenger

Google has announced Chrome OS and new Linux based operating system with a the Chrome browser which will be targeted at netbooks.

Netbooks are already using Linux, but Google's entry into the fray will certainly threaten other Linux variants and make Microsoft's life more difficult. By owning the desktop, Google gain the user's entry to the Interweb, which makes Google apps easily available removing the reliance on desktop applications. Since Chrome supports Google GEARS, Google apps can continue to operate when the system is offline.

Google say Chrome and Android are different and come out of different teams. Android is optimised for mobile devices and has the issue of having a mobile stack to contend with while Chrome is optimised as a desktop system with the browser as the main driver.

It's likely that Google (with zero licensing costs) will be able to gain a large foothold reasonably quickly and drive users to their on-line apps which is the motivation for the OS.

It seems the industry also likes the effort and there seems to be widespread support from chip manufacturers like ARM, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments etc.

A Three-digit Number for Non-Emergency Healthcare Services | Ofcom

A Three-digit Number for Non-Emergency Healthcare Services | Ofcom

Ofcom is holding a consultation on the introduction of a 3 digit code, 111, for non-essential health care services.

A user dialing 111 will be directed to their local health service. The service is planned to be piloted in 2010 and rolled out nationally (in England) after that.

The consultation closes on 28 August 2009.


RIM doubles applications to 2000

RIM have doubled the number of apps in their App World to 2,000 which still compares poorly to Apple who have over 50,000.

Though App World is relatively easy to use it's not as easy (or pretty) as Apple app store.

RIM has declined to give figures on the number of downloads from App World.

Phorm given the boot

Following on the BT's announcement that they were delaying the implementation of Phorm the targeted advertising system, TalkTalk announced they were dropping it all together. Virgin Media is considering Phorm and other systems but has not yet decided on a system to install. Phorm's share price fell 20 201p on the news.

Phorm works by snooping users' traffic and working out what sites they visit, then delivering targeted ads to those users based on their viewing habits. Phorm purchase they advertising space on remote sites and insert their ads.

Phorm has been criticised from privacy groups and there has been a bit of a public backlash.

Phorm is now concentrating on other markets such as Korea where it says trials are going well.

UK users may breath a sigh of relief, at least for a while in terms of Phorm.

Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation | Ofcom

Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation | Ofcom

Ofcom have updated the Consumer Protection Test lists which consist of the "Under Assessment" and "Nu mber refusal" lists.

Ofcom will not issue numbers in the ranges which are considered premium rate services (070 personal numbers, 0871/2/3 special service higher rate numbers and 09 premium rate numbers), these are all governed by PhonePayPlus.

Any telephony provider should check these lists before allocating numbers and ensure that people or companies on the list are not obtaining number services through them.

The lists are available as Adobe PDF files from the Ofcom site.