Telus Launches Cloud-Based MDM Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Canadian Businesses

by Istvan Fekete on August 28, 2014

As the BYOD (bring your own device) trend gets stronger, the demand for cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) solutions rises: business owners want to equip staff so they can work out of the office.

To answer that demand, Telus yesterday launched its second mobile device management solution, called MDM Made Easy. To bring that solution to life, Canada’s #2 carrier teamed up with VMware Inc. and Vox Mobile, and the result is a “turn-key MDM” tool that “drastically simplifies the support and enhances the security of mobile devices for small and medium-sized Canadian businesses.

MDM Made Easy allows businesses to deploy an MDM solution quickly and easily without the need to invest in infrastructure, eliminating the costs for on-premises hardware. Also, it ships with pre-configured user profiles that simplify enrolling, configuring, and updating devices, freeing the company’s IT resources.
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Huawei Turns Its Back on Tizen

by Matt Klassen on August 28, 2014

Although the name Huawei means very little to the North American mobile consumer (thanks to American regulators), the Chinese telecommunications firm is poised to challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple for global mobile dominance. With that in mind, perhaps its no surprise that despite pressure from carriers to develop Tizen-powered smartphones Huawei is steadfastly denying that it has any interest in Samsung’s pet OS project, with Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, explaining that his company has determined “Tizen has no chance to be successful.”

But try as he might to convince the world that Tizen has no future, one can almost see the puppet strings controlling Yu, evidenced by his laboured endorsement of Google and its Android operating system. “We have worries about Android being the only option, but we have no choice,” Yu told the Wall Street Journal. “We have a good collaboration with Google.”

I would guess, however, that Google is but one of many puppet masters attempting to control the Chinese telecom firm, as Huawei continues to face pressure from the Chinese government to embrace a home grown OS (rather than American Android or South Korean Tizen), as well as internal pressure to avoid embracing a direct competitor’s technology.

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Bell Increases LTE Network Speed by 45%, with Speeds as High as 150 Mpbs

by Istvan Fekete on August 27, 2014

Ahead of the highly anticipated iPhone 6 launch, which is said to incorporate a faster Qualcomm modem that supports a theoretical download speed of up to 150 Mbps, Bell has announced that it has bumped the 4G LTE network speed by up to 45%.

What this upgrade means is an increase from 75 Mpbs (expected average 12–25 Mpbs) to 110 Mpbs (14–36 Mpbs), with speeds as high as 150 Mpbs (expected average 18–40 Mbps) currently limited to unspecified locations.

“Bell is committed to bringing the world’s best wireless communications technologies to Canadians everywhere, and we’re proud to announce significantly faster mobile data speeds in more places.” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. “More than 4 in 5 Canadians can now access Bell’s 4G LTE service, and we’re growing coverage to over 98% of the population by the end of 2015 with our LTE rollouts to rural and remote locations across the country.”
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T-Mobile Responds to Sprint’s Increased Data Plans

by Matt Klassen on August 27, 2014

When Sprint adjusted its family bundle plans to add more data at standard industry price points, America’s third largest wireless provider was hoping to differentiate it from the market, giving consumers reason to pause before making a decision about their carrier. It looks like any differentiation Sprint was able to establish, however, lasted about one week, as T-Mobile has responded to Sprint’s aggressive new promotions with some added value options of its own.

T-Mobile’s latest plan, geared towards individuals unlike Sprint’s Family Bundle pack, is offering customers 2GB of data for $45/month, whereas the company previously offered only 500MB of data at that price point. T-Mobile now adds this promotion to its ongoing UnCarrier offerings, like removing overage charges, abolishing contracts and subsidies, and paying early termination fees from its competitors.

Although many are calling this tit-for-tat marketing strategy a price war among wireless carriers, the truth, as I’ve said before, is that price has very little to do with it. This, at its most basic, is a value war, with Sprint and T-Mobile both trying to offer consumers more bang for their mobile buck, adding more data at certain price points while leaving the prices generally intact, and in some cases, actually charging a little more for all this extra data.

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Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law now Official in California

by Istvan Fekete on August 26, 2014

Since yesterday, California has been the first state in the US to require smartphone manufacturers to implement and enable antitheft security features by default in every smartphone sold in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the so-called kill switch bill introduced by State Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.

The bill was first introduced in February and passed into state legislature earlier this month. The kill switch allows the smartphone owner to lock down a phone if it is stolen, making it inoperable.

Actually, California isn’t the first state to have such a kill switch bill: Minnesota passed a similar bill in May, but smartphone manufacturers aren’t required to enable the switch by default, an essential distinction between the two bills.
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Apple’s iWatch Facing Critical Delays

by Matt Klassen on August 26, 2014

Production issues are plaguing Apple’s latest creation, the rumoured iWatch smartwatch, financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported recently. Apple’s efforts to bring the so-called iWatch to market are presenting “a much higher level of difficulty for the company,” according to Kuo, who goes on to say that problems Apple is facing include component issues, system design, manufacturing delays, and software/hardware integration.

Due to these production issues Kuo concludes that the iWatch will likely be delayed, missing the lucrative pre-Christmas release date and perhaps not hitting store shelves until sometime in 2015; although admittedly there is no definitive evidence of this delay, or even confirmation that Apple is indeed producing a smartwatch at all.

But if Apple isn’t able to produce an iWatch in time for the holiday season it could impact the tech market in a number of ways: First, Wall Street could finally turn its back on Apple, and second, Apple’s competitors could use this as leverage to market their own products. But perhaps none of that matters, for Apple clearly still has the ability to shake-up a market, regardless of when it chooses to enter it, so long as the final product can capture the hearts (and wallets) of the masses.

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Successful Companies Need a Mobile-First Strategy

by Jeff WienerAugust 26, 2014

Increasingly consumers are transitioning towards a mobile-first lifestyle, abandoning not only traditional tethers like the home phones, but more recently ones like the desktop computer as well. This shift has created a new kind of consumer, one with real time access to information, purchasing, and unimaginable amounts of data. But if consumers are becoming mobile-first, [...]

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BlackBerry Uses iMessage Spam Reports to Push for BBM

by Istvan FeketeAugust 25, 2014

Apple introduced iMessage with iOS 5 back in 2011 as a great and easy way to send a text or multimedia message phone-to-phone without paying fees to your wireless carrier. Since then, security and anti-spam companies such as Cloudmark have kept an eye on the service, just to note that it is spam-free. Well, almost, [...]

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Navigating the Back-to-School Technology Craze

by Matt KlassenAugust 25, 2014

If you’re a parent or simply one who likes to watch TV you’ve no doubt noticed the commercials advertising back-to-school supplies; you know, the ones that have been playing since the day after school finished for the summer. Recently one particular commercial caught my eye, a Best Buy advertisement that featured a father giving his [...]

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Wind Mobile First to Cut Roaming Rates After Ottawa’s Push for Price Caps

by Istvan FeketeAugust 22, 2014

It looks like Ottawa’s push to lower domestic roaming charges in Canada has finally seen results: a wireless startup announced yesterday that it is lowering rates for voice, text, and data. Although the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission does not regulate the prices in the wireless industry, the government approved a law this spring that [...]

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