Wind Mobile Hails Ottawa’s Move to Release More Spectrum to Foster Competition

by Istvan Fekete on December 19, 2014

The government has reiterated its commitment to bringing “more choice, lower prices and better service” to Canadians by unveiling its plans for next year: Ottawa will release an unprecedented amount of spectrum to telecom companies.

It starts with the AWS-3 spectrum auction scheduled for March 3, 2015. In this specific case, Industry Minister James Moore announced yesterday that the government will set aside 60% of the available spectrum to new entrants.

Another important step in fostering competition in the highly uncompetitive mobile market is that Ottawa will enable the use of the AWS-4 spectrum band so that a new competitor can offer better coverage in rural and remote areas.

Wind Mobile hailed the government’s announcement, since the country’s fourth-biggest carrier is in the hunt for more spectrum as it plans to expand its services and coverage nationwide.
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The Blackberry Classic: Function over Flash for Enterprise Clients

by Matt Klassen on December 19, 2014

As the name Blackberry Classic implies, the latest phone from the once great Canadian smartphone company is a retro throwback to better days and brighter times, when people loved the QWERTY keyboard and the world had just discovered fire (well maybe not that far back). But despite Blackberry’s desperation to recover the glory days of a bygone era, this old phone turned new may actually strike a chord with the market Blackberry is hoping to once again make an impact in: the enterprise sector.

While the release event for the Blackberry Classic had some of the same trimmings you would expect with any smartphone release, the subdued tone of the event, the glossing over of the Classic’s features, and the inordinate amount of time spent drumming of the smartphone’s enterprise software capabilities all meant one thing: this phone isn’t for you or I, it’s for that beleaguered IT professional looking to secure his company’s vulnerable network against BYOD vulnerabilities.

For those still scratching theirs heads about Blackberry’s latest retro product development though, let me say that the course moving forward from here is finally clear: transform the company from a device based manufacturer to a software and mobile services firm, attract an enterprise market mired in the BYOD security fiasco, and finally upgrade those users who are still clinging to their legacy Blackberry devices.

While such a strategy may not have the flash of an Apple release, there’s no question that once again Blackberry firmly has a destination in mind…whether this new direction will yield positive revenue results however, well that’s another question entirely.

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T-Mobile Data Stash Program Allows Customers to Roll Over Unused Monthly Data

by Istvan Fekete on December 18, 2014

As part of its “philosophical, principle-based attack on changing a stupid, broken arrogant industry” (T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere’s description of the US mobile market), T-Mobile has unveiled the next Un-carrier move: Data Stash. The program allows customers to roll over their monthly unused data and at the end of the month and gives them the ability to store their unused data without limit for up to 12 months.

Data Stash is included for every single new and existing T-Mobile customer – individual, family or business – on an eligible postpaid Simple Choice plan, buying extra high-speed data for their smartphone or tablet.
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Microsoft Breaks Down Language Barriers with Skype Translator

by Matt Klassen on December 18, 2014

There was a time in antiquity, the ancient epics tell us, that humanity was united under one common language. But seeing the disaster wrought from such homogeneity, God confused the languages of the human race, confounding their nefarious plans and creating a barrier aimed at inhibiting true global unity in perpetuity.

Now say what you will about such stories, there’s no question that even with advances in communication technology bringing the world closer together than ever before, the one longstanding barrier preventing a truly unified humanity has been language…until now that is.

Microsoft announced earlier this week the advent of a radical new way of overcoming the language barrier: unveiling the first phase of Skype Translator. Although Skype Translator will initially only work between English and Spanish, the new tool will allow for real time translation, converting the spoken word in ways reminiscent of the futuristic Universal Translator imagined in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek franchise, thus dismantling the final hurdle that stands in the way of establishing a global community.

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Wind Mobile Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary and Reaches 800,000 Subscribers

by Istvan Fekete on December 17, 2014

Wind Mobile has two reasons to celebrate: First, it challenged the Big 3 five years ago, and second, it has officially surpassed 800,000 active wireless subscribers and 1,400 network sites, maintaining its fourth spot in the Canadian mobile landscape.

MobileSyrup sat down with Pietro Cordova, the newly appointed Wind CEO, to discuss the past, present and future of the company. Looking back over the past couple years, Cordova says Wind’s vision is his own, since he has been very active in the company since he left Wind Italy to take the role of COO at Wind Canada.

“I have a number of very super qualified counterparts that are willing to challenge what I say, which is what it should be,” he said. “I would say that in the past 2.5 years I have been extremely active in a lot of the things that happened within the company. […] Most of the vision is my vision.”

During the past few months, Wind Mobile has undegone some important changes that have positively affected the carrier’s future. Cordova has only nice words about the new investors who have joined the company: They “are very interested in the company, which is a fantastic change for us”, he says.
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Tech and Telecom Giants Support Resistance to Government Data Collection Demands

by Matt Klassen on December 17, 2014

There’s nothing, it would seem, that creates allies among enemies as quickly as government intrusion. For the last year Microsoft has been embroiled in a legal battle with the U.S. government over the latter’s demands for information pertaining to at least one particular Microsoft user. In 2013, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis issued a warrant requiring Microsoft to deliver all data relevant to the subscriber in question, information hosted on a server inIreland, to theU.S. authorities. Microsoft subsequently refused.

While Microsoft would usually begrudgingly play along with such an information request, the problem this time is the information in question resides on a server in another country, calling into question the rights of the American government to said information.

It’s been an ongoing saga ever since, with Microsoft’s sworn enemies in the tech world banding together with the Redmond firm to voice their displeasure over how the American government apparently perceives the connection between the digital and physical worlds, arguing (correctly in my mind) that the U.S. has no jurisdiction over information stored in another country, even if it happens to be stored by an American company.

To that end, in what has become a rallying cry for the tech and telecom industries, this week Microsoft filed letters of support from a large number of allies, all stating that America should not and can not bypass national sovereignty to access digital information.

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T-Mobile’s John Legere to Host the Uncarrier 8.0 Event Today

by Istvan FeketeDecember 16, 2014

We are just a few weeks away from the end of the year, but T-Mobile has yet another thing to show to US mobile users: Today, president and CEO and outspoken leader John Legere will take center stage to unveil the carrier’s Uncarrier event. The nation’s fourth-largest wireless player is set to host an “Uncarrier [...]

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Xiaomi Forced to Halt Sales in India as Legal Troubles Begin

by Matt KlassenDecember 16, 2014

It looks like up-and-coming Chinese mobile handset maker Xiaomi may have had its meteoric rise to the top temporarily halted, as the company has been ordered to cease operations in India following a patent dispute claim from Ericsson. In the complaint, Ericsson argued that some Xiaomi handsets were employing as many as eight of its [...]

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Is Web Access a Basic Human Right?

by Jeff WienerDecember 16, 2014

The Internet is “less open” and “more unequal” than ever before, according to a report from the World Wide Web Foundation, with its annual web index suggesting that Internet users are at ever-increasing risk of online surveillance from the government, as laws to restrict such mass intrusions are weak or non-existent in 84% of countries, [...]

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Vodafone Plans to Re-Enter US Targeting Enterprise Customers

by Istvan FeketeDecember 15, 2014

Not so long ago, Vodafone officially exited the US mobile space by selling its share in Verizon. However, the US mobile market seems too lucrative to just leave, so the Vodafone Group has announced plans to re-enter through its Vodafone Americas subsidiary, operating as a mobile virtual network running across T-Mobile’s US network. The new [...]

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