Businesses benefit from giving staff mobile phones


Companies that provide mobile phones for their staff are reaping significant commercial rewards, according to a new study.

In a survey of UK firms conducted by Juniper Research it was discovered that companies who give handsets to their staff find they enjoy greater productivity as well as cost savings.

Juniper forecasts that these tangible benefits are set to drive growth in the mobile enterprise solutions market in years to come to the extent that by 2014 it could be worth as much as £195 billion.

However, Andrew Kitson who authored the report, warned that a number of obstacles are still in place for companies who issue their employees with phones and said these were chiefly to do with policing usage.

He explained: “Enterprises need to be assured of total control over the devices their employees use. To do this, they need to limit the types and numbers of devices connecting to their networks.”

The market for business-focussed mobiles has grown exponentially in recent years with the arrival of high-power phones such as BlackBerrys and HTC handsets.




Mobile phone users vulnerable to identity theft


Millions of Britons are leaving themselves vulnerable to identity theft by not using passwords on their mobile phones, a new survey suggests.

In a poll of London commuters conducted by security firm Credant it was discovered that four in ten people do not use a password on their handset.

Credant calculates that were these results to be repeated nationwide around 4.2 million Britons would be at risk of identity theft.

PIN numbers and bank account details were among the sensitive information typically stored on smartphones, with 24 per cent and 16 per cent of the sample respectively admitting to using their phone for this purpose.

Meanwhile, 77 per cent of those polled said they kept work-related addresses and names on their phone.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security company Sophos, told BBC Online: “If you are ever going to store sensitive info on your mobile phone you must ensure it’s protected by a good password – or even better a pass-phrase.

“It shouldn’t be a simple word like password or a dictionary word, or something easy to guess if someone knows you. If there’s the option, you should encrypt the data on your phone as well. If nothing else you don’t want someone who steals your phone making phone calls.”





Ofcom to crack down on mobile phone mis-selling


The telecommunications regulator has unveiled a raft of new measures to tackle mis-selling of mobile phones, following a slew of consumer complaints.

Ofcom’s regulations are intended to crack down on cashback deals, whereby customers buy a handset upfront.

In theory, they are then refunded the money over the course of the contract.

However, in practice the use of deliberately obfuscated terms and conditions has meant that many consumers have not received their money back.

Furthermore, a number of these retailers went bust before the end of the contract, leaving customers out of pocket.

The new rules will also see the introduction of harsher penalties for companies found to be flaunting the rules.

These include the threat of a fine equivalent to 10 per cent of the firm’s revenue.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards told BBC Online: “Ofcom wants to stamp out mis-selling in the telecoms market so that consumers can get the best that competition brings.”

According to the regulator, in late 2007 some 700 complaints were being filed every month about cashback handset schemes.




Scientists invent mobile phone battery that can be charged in seconds


US scientists have developed a mobile phone battery that can be charged in a matter of seconds, in a development that could cut handsets’ energy use and make them much more convenient to use.

The new battery, which is the brainchild of scientists at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can be fully re-charged in around ten seconds.

Should the battery become standard in handsets, the days of charging a phone overnight could be gone forever and it could also usher in an era of smaller, lighter batteries.

This in turn could lead to the development of new handsets that are as slim as a credit card.

Meanwhile, the advent of an energy-saving battery could also help the mobile phone industry meet its environmental obligations.

Dr Gerard Ceder, who was the leading force behind developing the battery, said: “The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes.”

Mobile phone companies are currently under pressure from governments across the world to cut their environmental impact, with the result that many phones unveiled at a recent trade event included features such as automatic shut-off when the phone battery is full.





Half of world’s population owns a mobile phone


the majority of the world’s population now own a mobile phone, a new study has shown, as cheaper handsets continue to bring mobile communications within reach of consumers in the developing world.

According to a report conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), at the end of last year there were around 4.1 billion mobile subscriptions across the globe.

This represents six in ten of the entire population of the world and is up from a figure of just one billion in 2002.

The findings are indicative of how mobile phone manufacturers have targeted growth in non-core markets with cheaper, more accessible handsets.

As a result, among the most rapid take-up of mobile handsets has been in Africa where ownership has gone from just one in 50 people nine years ago to its current level of 28 per cent.

The ITU said: “There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular telephony. In contrast to the growth in the mobile sector, fixed telephony has experienced nearly no growth in the last decade.

“The spread of mobile cellular services and technologies has made great strides towards connecting the previously unconnected.”




£2m jewel-encrusted iPhone unveiled


The high-end, custom-made iPhone has been unveiled by Austrian jeweller Peter Aloisson, retailing for a cool £2 million.

The exclusive iPhone has been customised by Aloisson with a case of 18-carat yellow god, white and rose gold and incorporates a 6.6 carat diamond in its home button.

And the luxury feel doesn’t end there, with 138 diamonds also used along the white gold line across the phone.

Dubbed the Kings Button, it is available solely from Aloisson’s web site.

News of the launch of the limited-edition mobile phone from Aloisson follows a host of similar luxury upgrades to handsets from the company.

Among the mobile phones to have been given the bling treatment are the Nokia E65, Motorola KRZR, Sony Ericsson T68 and the Nokia E65.

The phones are not immediately available but are instead made by Aloisson on a by request basis.





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