Latest Commentary

Three's MMS pricing hike is a sign of changing market dynamics

Three UK advised customers to use Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber et al for sending MMS after announcing it would increase the charge for sending multimedia messages from 17.4 pence to 40 pence per MMS in June.

IoT disruption hard to pin down due to the sheer scale of the current and future market

The Internet of Things may be a headline-grabbing topic, but it is also challenging in terms of assessing which companies and technologies are causing disruption to established markets. Industries including cellular, automotive, hardware and software are all touched by IoT, and that's before you consider the growing range of technologies being touted as potential means of providing the actual connections themselves.

Three is no longer a magic number in EU telecoms

Unless you have, as the well-worn saying goes, been holidaying in Mars in recent days you will no doubt be aware that there is one unhappy businessman in Hong Kong. Li Ka-shing, the chairman of CK Hutchison, has been foiled in his attempt to create a new mobile monster after the European Commission decided to block his plan to buy O2 UK and merge it with Three UK.

Despite the cut in fees, Europe is still far from done with mobile roaming

The end of retail roaming fees in the EU will not end the debate over mobile roaming in general, with consumers and mobile service providers continuing to face their own challenges.

Operators focus on getting the balance right with mobile sub-brands

Orange continued to face pressure in the mid-market segment in the first quarter of 2016, but the company managed to retain many users through its Sosh sub- or secondary brand. Analysts noted that of of the 84,000 net additions at Sosh, 79,000 came from Orange.

UK operators show a half-hearted approach to 4G

Last week I commented on the problems that business users out in the field often face in the UK because of poor or non-existent 4G and even 3G coverage. This is far more than just a perception: a new report from Which? and OpenSignal said UK mobile users are only able to connect to 4G half of the time.

Outdoor 3G/4G coverage in Europe: still much to do

Vodafone has introduced a 30-day network guarantee that is says "gives you the freedom to experience the strength and quality of our network before you commit." While this signals the company's growing confidence that it is starting to resolve issues around mobile broadband connectivity, geographical outdoor mobile broadband coverage still remains a huge concern.

LPWANs: can proprietary and cellular technologies co-exist in this crowded battlefield?

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies dubbed low power wide area (LPWA) networks are deemed a critical element in the platforms that will in future support the burgeoning range of connected objects with long battery lives and low data rate requirements. How many of these various standards will exist in future? Will proprietary options eventually be pushed out by the cellular standards, or can a number of different standards continue to co-exist?

Patuano and Alierta: A tale of two CEOs

It seemed somehow fitting that the CEOs of two major European operators with what have been very strong ties quit their respective roles within days of each other. First, Marco Patuano of Telecom Italia resigned, with the operator this week confirming he is to be replaced by Flavio Cattaneo. Then Telefónica said long-standing CEO César Alierta is to step down after 16 years in this position. He is to be succeeded by José María Álvarez-Pallete.

Consumers apparently are asking for IoT, even though they may not know it

The average consumer in the developed world is undoubtedly far more tech-savvy these days, in part owing to the consumerisation and democratisation of technology. I must confess, however, that I find it hard to imagine today's average person calling up their car or home insurer and demanding the low-down on their IoT service range.