The 4G smartphone for the price of a pint of milk: EE kickstarts superfast internet war
Mobile phone operator EE has kickstarted a superfast internet war by launching a 4G smartphone. The company has unveiled its budget Kestrel handset which it will give away free with a two-year contract, costing £13.99 a month. It claims the daily cost, of less than a 79p pint of milk, will ‘make a quality 4G experience accessible to all’. However, there are fears the move could place huge strains on the EE network, which last week was hit by a widespread signal outage blamed on ‘gremlins in the system’.
The next version of Android could be truly business-friendly
Android has a lot of market share, but it doesn’t have a big footprint in the corporate world; outside of special efforts like Samsung’s Knox, the OS isn’t well-suited to business demands. All that may change in the near future, though, as The Information‘s sources claim that the next major Android release will place a much stronger emphasis on office-grade security.
Telefonica, Akamai sign content delivery service
Akamai Technologies and Telefónica Global Solutions have announced a content distribution agreement through which the Spanish telco will add Akamai’s catalogue to its international offer. In addition, both companies have created an innovation committee through which they will develop new products together and explore future opportunities, especially with regard to mobile business.
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Office of Fair Trading: UK Gov IT deals lack effective competition
No. 10 Downing Street’s G-Cloud strategy has been dinged by Britain’s competition regulator, the Office of Fair Trading, for lacking effective competition on public-sector IT deals. An OFT report published on Tuesday identified what it called “key barriers” still standing in the way of new entrants challenging the big boys for a share of the £14bn public sector information and communications technology (ICT) market.
Labour calls for mandatory cyber breach reporting
The Labour Party has called for another UK defence review to consider creating a statutory requirement for firms to report serious cyber attacks. In the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government allocated £650m for UK cyber defences over a four-year period after cyber security was named as a top national security threat.
Spacious wants to help London startups find office space – counts former PM advisor Rohan Silva as chair
With recent talk of early-stage startups being squeezed out of the Old Street area of East London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ (or Tech City, to give it its UK Government sanctioned name), it’s no surprise to see a new startup crop up to help other startups in the city find suitable office space. Spacious, founded by Tushar Agarwal and Tom Watson last November as part of the Entrepreneur First programme, is an online marketplace for startup office space, initially targeting companies in London.
Facebook pays $2 billion for virtual reality firm Oculus
Facebook has paid $2 billion (£1.2 billion) for a startup working on virtual reality headsets that raised cash for product development on the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter. The prototype for the Oculus Rift was built by 19-year-old Californian student Palmer Luckey from scavenged parts in his parents’ garage. Currently the product is available as a kit for developers and a commercial version is still being refined. More than 75,000 orders have been placed for the $350 development kits.
YouView future to be secured by £100 million plus shareholder deal
YouView‘s backers are set to sign a £100 million plus deal to secure the future of the internet-based TV service with all seven partners, including the BBC, remaining on board as equal shareholders in the venture. Its partners – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva, BT and TalkTalk – are poised to sign a new multi-year shareholder agreement after protracted and at times fraught negotiations over the development and future strategic direction of the TV service.
Twitter ‘least effective customer service channel’ for UK brands
UK companies are struggling to deliver adequate customer service through the web, email, social media and web chat channels, with Twitter performance particularly patchy, according to new research. The study, from Eptica, indicates that only 39 per cent of companies were able to answer customer service questions asked through Twitter – despite 76 per cent of organisations now being contactable through this channel.