Archive for the ‘cell’ tag
Reliance Communications Partners With Twitter To Offer Free, Unlimited Access To The Service In India
For those in the United States and other locations that are lucky enough to be able to purchase huge data packages for their smartphone, thinking about deciding to “tweet or not to tweet” based on the cost that it could incur is a foreign concept, pun intended. For cell customers in India, it’s a very real situation, and Reliance Communications has partnered with Twitter to bring free, unlimited access to the social network to its prepaid GSM subscribers.
This is yet another example of how important Twitter has become in our daily lives and how integral the communication platform is to locations all over the world. The service be be bundled with live cricket match updates, the most popular sport in the country.
A customized version of the Twitter app has been created, reminding customers that they’re getting free access thanks to Reliance Mobile. If someone taps a link to an outside site, they will be reminded that doing so might incur extra charges.
Reliance is the first operator to partner with Twitter in India, and its Chief Revenue Officer of Wireless, Nilanjan Mukherjee had this to share:
We are delighted to be the first operator to partner with Twitter in India on Twitter Access and offer the first of its kind unlimited Twitter access on our superior network. Our partnership with Twitter in India further strengthens our offering on the social media platform and is in line with our continuous efforts to offer innovative products with incredible affordability for our customers.
Since prepaid cell phones are prominent in countries like India, signing deals like this make the services more attractive. Back to how important cricket is to India’s culture, though. Mukherjee feels like this announcement could cause a “significant shift” of cricket fans to move over to Reliance.
That’s knowing your customers.
[Photo credit: Flickr]
I no longer have a landline. In fact, I haven’t for years, and that means I am part of a growing segment of the US population, and one with interesting political impact. It turns out that cell-only Americans are more likely to be, according to John Harwood’s inquiry in today’s NY Times,
disproportionately urban, African-American, on either the high or low end of the economic ladder, and Democratic.
And, as this ‘telographic’ group grows (yes, I said telographic), most of the conventional polls are under-representing them, as the NY Times piece shows:
Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, and Peter Hart, his Democratic counterpart, who conduct the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, proved the point in their latest poll, conducted July 18-22, when they increased the proportion of respondents who rely exclusively on cellphones to 30 percent from 25 percent. To home in on them, the pollsters ended calls answered on cellphones if the respondents said they also had land lines.
Their findings affirmed arguments that “cell only” Americans have significantly different, and more Democratic, political views than those with land lines. Over all, the poll showedMr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by 49 percent to 43 percent — providing a confidence-boosting talking point for Democrats and provoking sharp criticism from Republicans.
Scott Rasmussen, who owns an independent polling firm, approaches the “cell only” problem differently, as he must by law. His Rasmussen Reports conducts surveys through automated dialing, which under Federal Communications Commission rules is permitted for land lines but not cellphones.
So in Mr. Rasmussen’s polls, online interviews account for 15 percent to 20 percent of each survey, which he figures helps him reach the same kinds of voters, especially younger ones, in the “cell only” category. The result he reported the morning of July 25, a few hours after the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was released, was strikingly different: Mr. Romney had 47 percent, and Mr. Obama 44 percent.
So, with around 1/3 of the population without landlines, I bet that there is a skew in the polls. On the other hand, it’s known that older folks — with land lines — are more likely to actually vote in elections. Still, we have to take these polls with a large grain of salt, obviously.
Judging from the latest data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, U.S. cell phone users are at risk of turning into cranks. In this survey, the vast majority of cell owners complain about dropped calls (72%), unwanted sales and marketing calls (68%), text message spam (69%) and slow download speeds (77%). Smartphone owners, it’s worth noting, reported more problems with dropped calls, unwanted text messages and slow download speeds than other cell owners.
Among all cell owners, 6% complained that they have to deal with dropped calls several times a day and another 6% said their calls drop at least once per day. A lucky 26% of respondents, however, told Pew that they never experience dropped calls.
It’s also interesting how many U.S. cell phone owners still have to deal with unwanted calls from telemarketers and spam texts. As the Pew report notes, there are a number of legal restrictions that apply to both of these activities. Judging from this data, though, it seems many unscrupulous telemarketers and text message spammers happily ignore many of these restrictions.
As for the report’s numbers on download speeds, 21% of respondents said they experience slow download speeds at least once per day. The study, however, asked respondents whether they regularly experience “slow download speeds that prevent things from loading as quickly as [they] would like them to.” We all probably want our download speeds to be higher and for everything to download as quickly as we would like it to. Given the way the question was phrased, it’s hard to decipher whether this number reflects users legitimately complaining about getting slower speeds than advertised and or just users who would like their carrier’s networks (and phones) to be faster.
Verizon has been slapped with a $1.25 million fine for charging customers to use their cell phones as a mobile Internet hotspot, and has declared that it must allow tethering for free. Google must also reinstate tethering applications from its Android store, which Verizon had asked them to remove. This is especially great news considering more Android devices (and perhaps the next iPhone) are 4G compatible, making mobile Internet nearly universal for Verizon customers. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T customers should prepare to be gripped by overwhelming jealousy, as it only applies to Verizon.
“Today’s action demonstrates that compliance with FCC obligations is not optional,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in a statement. “The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked.”
We’re unsure how quickly this policy will be implemented, so if you’re a Verizon mobile hotspot user, and you fall under the non-unlimited data plans that this ruling applies to, let us know when Verizon stops charging you for the service.
Dale pulls a prank on Danica and reveals “her” cellphone number in the ad. But if you actually call the number, you get a message from Danica reminding you to visit the website, and asks fans to leave a message on how to get Dale back. Which, even if not turned into a new ad, it’s still pretty engaging.
Ever wonder what those mysterious government service fees on your cell phone bill go to fund? Part of it goes toward a newly launched $415 million plan to provide 400,000 rural netizens with some broadband goodness. The Connect America Fund, a Obama administration-supported plan for universal broadband, is part of a larger $4.5 billion mission to connect 19 million homes to bit-torrent streaming speeds by 2020. As with any major government rollout, the project is dogged by bureaucracy and industry backlash, but is nonetheless moving forward.
Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society,” writes the FCC, arguing that public money will go toward expanding an essential part of the economy, ultimately resulting in more revenue for the federal government.
Not everyone is thrilled with the plan: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Chris Nelson says the government’s project has halted private sector plans for his state, “Rural phone companies are completing their broadband infrastructure expenditures this year but are making very, very few plans for next year and literally nothing the year beyond that because of the uncertainty the order has caused,” Nelson said to Businessweek.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski argues that Connect America will make expansion more evenly distribute. “What our programs do is level the playing field so that an investor can look at a rural landscape and say, ‘OK with a lower population density and this investment from the federal government, now I can make a business work in rural South Dakota,’” Genachowski said.
The FCC had planned on augmenting the fund with some private-sector cash from the big telco players, but Verizon and AT&T have politely declined part of the $300 million pot. Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said the decision was made “in order to focus resources and capital on our own wireline and wireless broadband deployment plans.”
Regardless, the plan is still moving forward. Readers can play with an interactive map from the FCC below:
[Photo Credit: Telegraph]
Nationwide Insurance’s new ad features a call to action you don’t see very often: Danica Patrick’s cell phone number. In the spot (which Nationwide won't let us embed, so you'll have to view it on YouTube), fellow racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. is seen holding up a sign that says “Danica’s Cell: 480-388-0988” and then giving her a “call me” gesture. She’s actually been married seven years, but fanboys can dream. (And Dale’s obviously not big on the institution, anyway.) Yes, yes, of course the number’s fake. But like a lot of curious viewers out there, I decided to give it a call. Danica’s supposed voicemail mentions the ad and reminds you to visit the insurer’s JoinTheNation.com site. But she also invites callers to leave a message, hinting that you might even shape one of the future ads: “If you’d rather leave me a message with your thoughts on how I could get Dale back, that’d be great. If I like your idea, I might just personally return your call.”
Google has been tight-lipped on the reasons for its acquisition of handset maker Motorola, other than the buyout would “supercharge Android.” However, the Internet giant apparently had more plans than to load up on patents.
Motorola’s intellectual property comprised less than half of Google’s purchase price — $5.5 billion of the overall $12.4 billion — Google told analysts Tuesday.
A number of companies, including Google have seen patents as a shield against legal attacks from Apple and others. But Motorola’s collection of mobile technology patents appear not to be the overwhelming value for the Schaumburg, IL-based cell phone maker. Indeed, since the acquisition cleared federal antitrust scrutiny in May, Motorola has added $233 million in operating losses for its new parent, offset somewhat by $1.25 billion in added revenue.
But if Google has a reason for buying Motorola beyond patents, it did not discuss it with analysts interested in the Mountain View, Calif. firm’s earnings. The most descriptive comment came from finance chief Patrick Pichette. “Clearly, everybody should expect some changes at Motorola,” he said during the conference call reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Google also told federal regulators Tuesday the Motorola takeover contributed $2.9 billion in cash, $2.6 billion from “synergies expected to arise from the acquisition,” $730 million from customer relationships, and $670 million from assorted assets.
The real value of Motorola’s patent portfolio comes when it can safely lead Android devices through a minefield of legal threats surrounding its nebulous hardware history. As smartphones and computers collide in the marketplace, having a distinct background as a cell phone manufacturer, rather than software creator, could give Google and all of its Android allies the cover so far lacking.
The makers of the Tawkon app assert that mobile devices are most dangerous when the cell phone’s antenna is closest to the base station. The app alerts users when they are in the danger zone. If you love checking for earthquakes online or diagnosing yourself on WebMD, this app is for you. But Boog pointed out that much like cell phone radiation, smoking was once considered harmless.
In other news, more than one million people signed a petition to save a website that converts YouTube videos into mp3 files. We talked about past attempts from media companies to stop users from getting free content, like the suit against Aereo for streaming live TV to smartphones.
Press play below to listen. The show was hosted by GalleyCat editor Jason Boog. Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email. Image by prapass via Shutterstock. Music by Kevin MacLeod.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
After its recent lessons on the legality of cell phone hacking, News Crop is looking to do some teaching of its own.
To do this, the company has finally given a name to the education unit it launched almost two years ago: Amplify. At the division’s center is the Amplify tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab-esque slab targeted at students from kindergarten to the twelfth grade.
Designed to be a student’s centralized education hub, the Amplify tablet has a pretty robust feature set: More than just textbooks, it offers games, simulations, and even a curated library tailored to each student.
Teachers are also offered a wide variety of tools, as the Amplify tablet allows them to offer realtime feedback to students as well as group students according to their progress.
News Corp aims to begin testing the Amplify tablet with students during the upcoming school year.
At Amplify’s helm will be former New York City school Chancellor Joel Klein, who joined News Corp back in 2010. Soon after, Klein led the internal investigation into the News of the World phone hacking scandal — a controversy that tore him away from his education duties for months.
The Amplify announcement comes less than a month after News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch announced that he was splitting his company into two parts — publishing and entertainment. While the newly branded education sector is hardly a money-maker just yet, it will be interesting to see what comes of its efforts over the next few years.
Below is a video showcasing the Amplify tablet and its features.
Filed under: mobile