Latest Commentary

Did your smartphone ruin your summer break?

Holidays are not really the same as they used to be. Now that so many of us are connected all of the time, it is increasingly difficult to switch off. What we don't know yet is the impact that this "always on-ness" will have on our future wellbeing because of our inability to ever completely "get away from it all".

The curious tale of the smartphone kill switch

In February this year a report revealed that so-called "kill switches" on smartphones were having a marked impact on thefts in New York, London and San Franciso. While the U.S. mobile industry has galvanised itself to a certain extent to ensure that smartphones sold in the country come with such technology, apart from London Mayor Boris Johnson Europe seems to have been fairly quite on the issue.

Europe's fragile mobile market continues to show improving trends

In May, a selection of quarterly results from some of Europe's largest operators indicated that the tide might be turning in the region's mobile sector. Now, as results for the April-June period start to emerge, the omens still look good as some operators report a return to revenue growth for the first time in some years.

Europe's MVNOs fight back

MVNOs are waking up to the fact that changes in Europe's telecoms landscape presents them with both challenges and opportunities. They are anxious to ensure that their access rights are not affected by the arrival of cross-border services and the abolition of data roaming charges, for example. On the other hand, they appear to regard consolidation as a good thing.

'Free' roaming and other mobile publicity stunts

Never one to hide its light under a bushel, Free Mobile has made the most of "publicity opportunism" to highlight a "new" roaming plan that is just an extension of an existing deal.It's hardly the first mobile operator to attempt to dress up a service.

In France's mobile market, will 4 become 3?

Although Bouygues Group responded with a resounding "non" to Altice's offer for Bouygues Telecom, there is a persistent belief that consolidation in France remains inevitable. That is the view of CCS Insight, which said in a recent research note that it would be "unsurprised" if Altice made an improved offer, while Free Mobile's parent Iliad--owned by the equally ambitious and equally canny French billionaire Xavier Niel--should also not be ruled out.

Coming to terms with the Uber effect

Burning tyres on roads; blocking traffic; causing mayhem--all typical reactions by taxi drivers to the UberPop service. However, innovative apps like Uber are opening up new opportunities in traditional industries that are now impossible to ignore.

Closing the mobile gender gap

Today, more than 3 billion people in low- and middle-income countries do not own mobile phones, and 1.7 billion of them are estimated to be women, according to the GSMA's 2015 report on Connected Women. Women on average are 14 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone than men, which translates into 200 million fewer women than men owning mobile phones.

Getting in a sweat over wearables

Yang Yong, Huawei's VP of product management for mobile broadband and home product line, this week gave a hint of some of the daily challenges that confront manufacturers of smart wearable devices, with comfort inow a big part of the equation. However, while there is growing clarity over how wearables will evolve in future, there is still considerable disparity in market forecasts, with different companies are still adopting different approaches to how wearables are categorised.

Do mobile operators have the ability to 'disrupt'?

After gently castigating the industry for failing to come up with some of the most inventive developments in recent years--from Facebook through to Instagram and other services that make good use of telecoms networks--Bharti Airtel's global CIO tried to incentivise tmobile operators to become the "disruptors" in the developing world.