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Branded handsets M

obile virtual network operator Lebara, which focuses on migrant communities in seven

European countries and in Australia, has formed a global handset alliance with Nokia – the fi rst such deal for a migrant MVNO.

Nokia will supply a range of Lebara-branded

handsets featuring variant software which will enable a Lebara network lock and access to Lebara data services in each country. T e fi rst of these handsets will appear in Tesco stores in the UK, priced from £24.99, including a £10 call credit.

Extreme speeds for the latest applications – radio chip by Toshiba

Wireless touch-and-get M

ass production is to begin during the Spring of a single-chip radio device from Toshiba supporting the TransferJet standard

– a close-proximity wireless technology devised to support high-speed data transfer between digital devices such as smartphones, tablet or notebook computers and cameras. Users will be able to initiate a transfer simply by selecting the

data fi le to be transferred on the screen of a mobile device and then ‘touching’ the receiving device with the mobile device. Announced by Sony in 2008, the TransferJet specifi cation offers a

maximum effective throughput of 375 Mbit/s across a span of one inch or so. This short range avoids the need for any setting up by the user, who can simply ‘touch and get’. A bandwidth of 560 Mbit/s is used, centred on 4.48 GHz. In the future, TransferJet applications will be supported by NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.

Toshiba is one of more than 50 companies which are members of the TransferJet consortium.

In brief

M2M: Everything Everywhere, which operates Orange and T-Mobile services in the UK, has formed a partnership with Raco Wireless, a machine-to-machine specialist in the USA. It will enable Raco Wireless customers to launch M2M applications quickly and easily in Europe. “By working in partnership we are able to provide businesses with a one-stop shop for international M2M capabilities”, said Matt Overton, of Everything Everywhere. Telematics: Telefónica, parent company of O2

, and Masternaut are to

jointly market telematics-enabled fl eet management services. These, say the companies, can bring fuel savings of up to 20 per cent through infl uencing drivers’ behaviour. Masternaut will supply fl eet management services, applications, platforms and technical support, while Telefónica will provide commercial network, including pre- and post-sales support. Endowment: test equipment manufacturer Aerofl ex has donated equipment worth almost £1 million to endow a new Wireless Broadband Laboratory for Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications. It will play a leading role in the development of the next generation of wireless broadband networks and user equipment. Jammers: Ofcom has warned of a forthcoming GPS jamming exercise near RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria. The exercise will take place on weekdays between November 28 and December 9 inclusive, with multiple jammers radiating a total power up to 10W EIRP. Notices of future exercises will be posted in the Stakeholders section of Ofcom’s website.


Wireless healthcare: among the fi rst companies to collaborate with Vodafone Group at its new research centre in Silicon Valley, California, is Los Angeles-based NantWorks. The partners will explore mobile data development with a particular focus on healthcare services, to deliver patient care remotely. Vodafone’s lab offers US technology companies a fast track into proof-of-concept trials across its global network. Data transfer: the NFC Forum, a non-profi t industry association devoted to Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, has published its 16th specifi cation, the Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol (SNEP). SNEP is an application-level protocol suitable for sending or receiving messages between two NFC-enabled devices. Suggested applications include simplifi ed transfer of contact information such as business cards. The specifi cation is available to the public for download at no charge. BYOD: British fi rms risk losing out on signifi cant productivity gains through ignoring the growing ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) to work phenomenon, according to a survey of businesses and employees across the UK by research fi rm Vanson Bourne. The vast majority (78 per cent) of employees regarded their personal devices as superior to those provided by their employer. If they could use their own devices for work, they estimated that they would be at least seven per cent more productive, and in many cases far more. Femtocells: French mobile operator SFR is to offer femtocells to all its 10 million-plus 3G customers. The €49 cost will be refunded on activation.

LAND mobile October 2011

• Nokia, which has been struggling since failing to ride the smartphone boom, has announced more economies. It will close a factory in Romania by the end of this year and shed a further 3500 employees. Its future smartphones will be based on Windows platforms, through a partnership with Microsoft.

Calling migrants: a Nokia phone from Lebara BlackBerry recovers

Three days of service disruption for BlackBerry phone and tablet users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Latin America were traced to a cascade of equipment failures which began with a core switch in Slough. In a Web message to users, Michael Lazaridis, founder of Research in Motion, said: “Since launching BlackBerry in 1999 it’s been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world. We did not deliver on that goal this week, not even close. I apologize for the service outages this week. We have let many of you down.“

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