Firefox OS might be in a distant fourth place (or further?) here domestically, but Mozilla sees plenty of value for it in emerging countries. Specifically? Senegal and Madagascar in Africa, where it recently partnered with French telecom Orange to launch the KLIF. And no, you aren't wrong, it's neither a flip-phone or a slider. Nor is it transparent. A Mozilla blog post says that the main idea with this 3G smartphone is to get more people online in places where they previously couldn't. It's the web outfit following through on a promise it made back at Mobile World Congress in Spain, and the Middle East is where we'll see the initiative pop up next.
Last night I stumbled across an old video from 1979 which showed something that was pretty amazing at the time. A truly portable phone.
It started me on a bit of a journey into the history of mobile phones, so here’s what I’ve dug out of the archives.
You were able to use a system before true mobile phones became commonplace. It was called the “Post Office Radiophone Service” here in the UK, and had been running since 1959. Here’s a typical bit of kit…
Image from QSL.net
It’s less of a phone and more of a walkie-talkie really. Even earlier, in the 1940’s, AT&T ran a Mobile Telephone Service. Although “cells” were being discussed in 1947, the systems at this time didn’t have any hand-over, so you stayed on one base station throughout the call and you needed an operator in-between. Using your “VHF radio” (for that’s what the 36kg subscriber equipment was), you’d contact the operator who would contact a land line and patch you through. Likewise, to receive a call someone would have to get hold of the operator and ask for your device. You can learn more on this BT page.
However, as the years passed they became more popular and more VHF channels were added. Despite this, demand was high and customers had to wait to place calls as channels were in use by others.
Fast-forward to 1979 and Margaret Thatcher has just become the Britain’s first female prime minister. A BBC TV programme called “Tomorrow’s World” regularly showed off the latest in tech and new inventions. Apart from shows like the “Gadget Show”, there’s not really anything like it on TV now, but here’s an experimental cordless mobile phone which could direct-dial into the standard land line network.
It was perhaps the first time anything like it had ever been seen. Imagine seeing this guy walking down the street in 1979 with a rotary phone to his ear. Would people have seen it as amazing or crazy? Sure, this was effectively just a standard phone plugged into the radio you saw above, but it was a sign of things to come. The next few years saw some really big changes..
Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, had been working on the “first handheld mobile phone” since around 1973 and it hit the market in 1983. It was a battery and a phone all in one and operated on the “1G” analogue cellular phone network. The first phone he created (the DynaTAC) had just a 20 minute talk-time but, at 1.1kg in weight, he admitted that this wasn’t really a problem “because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long”. Despite this, it was a major shift from the original car phones which needed about 12kg of kit in the boot.
The shift towards “2G” digital cellular networks didn’t really happen until the 90’s, with GSM here in Europe and CDMA in the USA. The larger “brick” phones started to shrink and, shown here in 1988 with Prince Charles, a new smaller phone made by Nils Martensson is demonstrated to the world..
Nils founded a company called Technophone Ltd, but it was then taken over by Nokia in 1991 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Is that it? Well, almost. We’re now finishing the era of 3G and pushing into 4G and beyond, but let’s wind back to 1922 for a moment because amazingly they were dabbling with mobile technology some 93 years ago.
Describing the clip below, Simon Atkins an Ex-Royal Signals officer, states..
The two ladies are using a small simple HF radio, probably a ‘Cat’s Whisker’ type. For it to work it needs to be earthed, which is why it’s connected to the fire hydrant. The antenna or aerial is the wire in the umbrella. On the receiving end the telephonist is using an HF radio and puts the microphone next to the record player. For the two ladies to hear she would be pressing the pressel switch.
So, if you didn’t mind carrying an umbrella and a big transmitter then earthing yourself to street furniture, you could indeed communicate (albeit with HF standard radio via an operator) with others….
If there’s anything you think I’ve missed here or something you feel we should include, do let me know.
Following a $533 million loss in a lawsuit a small Texas-based company leveled against it over patent violation, Apple is now facing new legal challenges.
As reported Friday, the Swedish telecommunications giant has unloaded legal barrage against the iPhone maker.
The move follows Apple’s refusal to re-sign a global licensing contract with Ericsson in mid-January. Bloomberg noted that Apple had been paying royalties for Ericsson’s patents related to mobile technologies, but the global license agreement expired last month and hasn’t been renewed since.... Read the rest of this post here
It has an ever-so-slightly faster CPU – a dual-core 1.3GHz CPU. It also has a better camera (8 megapixel instead of the 5 megapixel on the A5S) but, apart from a bigger screen (5″ 854 x 480) it’s the same 4GB on-board storage, 512MB RAM and VGA front cam.
A 1600mAh battery is powering this and it’s dual SIM but again, there’s no 4G. It’s cheap though, so…
Personally I wouldn’t mind a quick dabble with their higher-end phones – the Karbonn S6 and Karbonn Sparkle V, but hey, these are entry level and priced that way.
Karbonn Mobile A19
High tech smartphone that delivers without the price tag
LONDON, 12 January 2015: Karbonn Mobile has launched its third smartphone in the UK through Amazon.co.uk. The Karbonn Mobile A19 is Android at its best – offering a seamless smartphone experience for those who want to get the most out of their phone.
Running on Android 4.4 KitKat, the Karbonn Mobile A19 boasts a 1.3GHz dual core processor – making this device ideal for those who like to enjoy watching films, listening to music, playing games and browsing the internet. It is easy to customise with apps from Google Play, which can be smoothly accessed and switched between thanks to the phone’s highly responsive touch screen.
The Karbonn Mobile A19 has an attractive curved design with clean edges and a 5” capacitive multi touch screen that brings video and content to life on the move. The 8MP rear camera takes crisp and clear images and clever technology automatically adjusts the exposure ensuring every photograph is top quality. It also has a front camera, which can be used for video calling and of course taking ‘selfies’.
Deborshi Sarkar, Head of Sales at Karbonn Mobile, commented on the launch: “We have seen great success with our UK launches to date, so we’re excited to offer the Karbonn Mobile A19 to further expand our portfolio. This phone is made for people who want to push their phone to the limit – getting the most from every feature. It’s an affordable smartphone that doesn’t scrimp on spec.”
The Karbonn Mobile A19 is available in blue or white priced at £89.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
– Android 4.4 KitKat
– 1.3GHz dual core processor
– 5” Capacitive multi touch screen
– 4GB ROM, 512 RAM
– Micro SD up to 32GB
– 1600mAh battery capacity
– 4hrs talk time
– 250hrs standby time
– 8MP rear camera
Verizon may not be releasing its first LTE-only phones until 2016, but it's already preparing for the day when its legacy CDMA and EV-DO networks ride into the sunset. Wireless tracker Milan Milanovic has discovered that the carrier is now using LTE data in Cleveland and Manhattan on 1,900MHz frequencies that were previously reserved for EV-DO (3G) service. Don't expect more bandwidth in your neck of the woods just yet, though. Verizon tells GigaOM that this is just a test -- it's not yet ready to make an official transition.
HD Voice technology isn't particularly new -- in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it's joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren't aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you're talking to someone face-to-face. Today's launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today's launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone's living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.
Samsung is taking the wraps off of yet another new smartwatch, but the Gear S (not Solo) has a twist: there's a 3G modem inside. While it may not be especially fast, that means that even when outside the range of a Bluetooth-connected phone or WiFi, it can still send and receive messages or make calls. It has a 2-inch AMOLED screen plus a dual-core 1GHz CPU inside along with GPS, heart rate and motion sensors, all powered by a 300mAh battery Samsung says can last up to two days. It runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, with pedestrian navigation available from from Nokia's HERE and support for Facebook. In the run up to IFA next week Samsung is also bringing the Gear Circle headset (yes, we also figured they'd save that name for a round watch) that pairs with a phone over Bluetooth, letting users hear notifications, use voice commands or listen to music through the earbuds.%Gallery-slideshow217933%
I’ve a couple of questions for you. Firstly, are you on O2? Do you have a package providing 1GB or more of data per month ? If so, you’re in luck, because O2 seem to be delivering access to their 4G network for free if you tick those two boxes.
Our very own Philip Nowlan is only paying £17.45 per month for his two year deal and he’s just been informed by O2 that he will get access to their 4G network. If you’re wondering whether the 4G speeds have arrived near you, check out the O2 coverage checker.
This is pretty good news, although if you’ve “only” got 1GB you could burn through it pretty quickly with that 4G technology.
If you are in the UK you should have seen the now famous pony in the Three advert called “Socks”. This has been visited over 8 million times on YouTube.
Then came Mabel, their PAYG Pug dog celebrating the launch of 3-2-1 plan on PAYG over Christmas time.
Now Three want to continue the trend and have turned to cats to get their message across about sharing silly stuff. You can even create your own video by using a webcam or upload a photo of yourself and some friends to share with everyone.
This comes on the back of our recent post with results showing nearly twice as many more cat photos are shared than ‘selfie’ photos every day.
Here is the full press release just sent out explaining the reasoning behind the advert..
Paws for thought: Three unveils new TV ad celebrating the nation’s love for sharing silly stuff.
Three’s new advertising campaign launches today, celebrating the power of sharing silly stuff with the special ones in your life, even if they aren’t human.
The new ad is set to Starship’s eighties power anthem, ‘We Built This City’, and turns a shared moment between a young girl and her adorably cute pet kitten into an epic and emotion-filled journey that sees the duo belt out a powerful rendition of the song whilst tearing up the cul-de-sac on a pink tricycle.
Last year the mobile network’s 2013 viral sensation #DancePonyDance became a global hit, with more than 8.3million hits on YouTube. This year Three is hoping that it has got the formula right once again and you become immersed in a world of fun.
You can also create your own 80s inspired content via an innovative web-based app hosted at www.SingItKitty.co.uk, allowing you to star in your very own version of the ad. The app uses clever face-morphing technology that seamlessly portrays fans and their friends singing along to the music. People can then share the hilarious results on social media using the #SingItKitty hashtag.
The #SingItKitty campaign continues to encourage the UK to share silly stuff, from funny memes or selfies, to cute animal pictures. Brits love to share content that will make you smile and bring people closer together. Recent research from Three reveals people in the UK share 3.8 million online photos and videos of funny and cute cats every day.
Tom Malleschitz, marketing director at Three, commented
“Last year we were blown away with the runaway success of our moonwalking pony, Socks. As the network built for the internet we understand people’s behaviour online and know that cute, silly, or unexpected images and videos are what make people tick. We are very excited to launch this advert and hope it will simply bring a smile to your face when you watch it. And the app is an experience that you automatically want to share with friends and family because it’s just straightforward fun!”
The 60 second ad campaign launches today on This Morning on ITV1 along with premier scheduling throughout the weekend, including spots during Take Me Out and the new series of The Only Way is Essex. It was created by leading London advertising agency, Wieden & Kennedy London who were also behind the #DancePonyDance advert. Three’s new ad was directed by acclaimed filmmakers, Traktor.