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Europe to abolish mobile roaming charges by 2017

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Woman lying on beach abroad while using her mobile phone

The European Union has reached a provisional deal to scrap mobile roaming charges across the 28 member states in mid-2017, in an attempt to boost growth and innovation across the region.

Most mobile operators currently charge extra fees for using a mobile phone to call, send text messages or access the internet in another EU country.

According to recent research by uSwitch.com, a fifth of UK holidaymakers have returned home from an European trip in the past year to find their bill was, on average, £61 higher than usual – amounting to £573 million collectively.

For the past seven years the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges operators can impose and reducing that limit each year.

Current charge caps are €0.19 per minute for calls, €0.06 per text message and €0.20 per megabyte of data. On 30 April 2016, these will go down to €0.05, €0.02 and €0.05 respectively.

Under the new agreement, mobile phone users travelling within the EU will pay the same price for calls, text messages and data as they do in their home country from 15 June 2017.

However, roaming providers will be able to apply a ‘fair use policy’ to prevent abusive use of roaming. This would include using roaming services for purposes other than periodic travel.

Although the removal of roaming charges could wipe two per cent off mobile operators’ revenues, the EU said that safeguards will be introduced to address the recovery of costs by operators.

The expected consolidation in the industry will also allow greater economies of scale for the high costs of building networks capable of handling ever-growing volumes of data.

Commenting on the news, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said the abolition of roaming charges would put an end to uncertainty about using mobiles abroad, and cut “bill shocks” off at the source.

“This long-awaited move to scrap EU mobile roaming charges would be a huge win for millions of travellers, especially those who have faced expensive charges for data roaming when their mobile hasn’t even left their suitcase,” he said.

While the announcement is potentially good news for travellers in Europe, this is not the first time the EU has promised to end roaming charges. Last year, the European Parliament voted to abolish roaming charges from 15 December 2015.

However, the move was delayed amid concerns about the impact on the overall telecoms market, and speculation that mobile operators would increase domestic tariffs to make up for the shortfall in roaming revenues.

“Let’s hope there’ll be no more backtracking after Europe’s mobile networks have had their say,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com.

“The ‘safeguards’ to address the recovery of costs by operators will have to be suitably robust to financially protect mobile customers and make sure bills don’t rise.”

Member states’ ambassadors will be debriefed on the new deal at the Permanent Representatives Committee on 30 June. The agreed text will then be presented for confirmation by member states later this year, according to the EU.

source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/11707837/Europe-to-abolish-mobile-roaming-charges-by-2017.html

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SanDisk’s 1TB microSD card is now available

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The definitive storage upgrade will cost you $449

SanDisk’s 1TB Extreme microSD card is the biggest capacity that it’s ever sold, and you can buy one… for $449.99.

As for where you can buy it right now, it’s available on SanDisk’s storeB&H Photo is also accepting orders for the memory card. Amazon has a product listing, though it’s currently unavailable in the US. You can purchase it through Amazon if you live in SpainGermany, or the UK. Per Tom’s Guide, though, depending on where you live, deliveries have been delayed up to three months at the time of writing.

SanDisk’s Extreme lineup of microSD cards advertise 160MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds, and its new high-capacity card follows suit. As such, it’s the better choice over SanDisk’s Ultra microSD card if you capture a lot of 4K video. File transfers and load times should be a little quicker, too. If you’re interested in getting one of these 1TB microSD cards, you should make sure that your device is compatible. Nintendo’s FAQ doesn’t put a cap on on card sizes accepted by the Switch, though Amazon’s Fire tablets top off at 256GB of microSD storage.

Owning the first-ever 1TB microSD card seems cool. But if that distinction isn’t as important to you as saving money is, there are a few smaller options that are at their best prices yet. Samsung’s 512GB microSD card costs $99.99 at Amazon. Alternatively, SanDisk’s Ultra 400GB microSD card is down to $56.99.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/15/18626729/sandisks-1tb-microsd-card-available-b-h-photo-amazon-price

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For 5G Nokia smartphones, HMD enters into a patent-licensing agreement with Qualcomm

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We know that HMD is one of the Android manufacturers supposed to bring a 5G smartphone in 2019. Now, HMD has entered into a patent-licensing agreement with Qualcomm that will allow it to bring its 5G smartphone to the market.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and HMD Global Oy today announced that HMD Global has entered into a direct worldwide license arrangement with Qualcomm to cover branded single-mode and multimode devices manufactured and marketed by HMD Global under the Nokia brand. Under the terms of the agreements, Qualcomm has granted HMD Global royalty-bearing patent licenses to develop, manufacture and sell branded 3G, 4G and 5G single-mode and multimode complete devices.

So, as mentioned in the paragraph taken from the press release Qualcomm has now granted HMD license to develop, manufacture and sell 5G smartphones.

We earlier covered a leak that claims a Nokia 9 PureView successor coming as the first 5G Nokia smartphone in 2019. We can’t vouch for the legitimacy of this leak but so far Snapdragon 855 is the processor that can support 5G and is available for production.

Source: https://nokiapoweruser.com/for-5g-nokia-smartphones-hmd-enters-into-a-patent-licensing-agreement-with-qualcomm/

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Amazon hints that it may return to the smartphone market after its $170 million Fire phone fiasco

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Amazon may yet return to the smartphone market, despite the high-profile flop that was the Fire phone. 

jeff bezos
jeff bezos
  • An Amazon executive told The Telegraph that it needs to create a “differentiated idea” to be able to return to the market.
  • Amazon’s first smartphone was a fiasco. The Amazon Fire phone was rolled out in 2014 and pulled a year later, resulting in a $170 million write off.
  • Analysts say that creating a smartphone today would facilitate the growth of its Amazon Alexa services.

Amazon’s first attempt at creating and selling its own smartphone was ultimately a flop but it’s not ruling the market out altogether.

Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon, told The Telegraph , that provided Amazon can create a “differentiated idea” for a smartphone, then it will make a second attempt at this.

“It’s a big market segment and it would be interesting,” he said. “We need to keep experimenting and the things we want to experiment with are the ones that are truly differentiated.”

He Limp: “The answer [to whether we’ll try another phone] is the same as to whether we’re going to build a personal computer. What we need to do in order to enter into something new is we have to have an idea to differentiate it.”

An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment to confirm whether this is already a work in progress.

Amazon launched its first Amazon Fire phone in 2014 , only to kill it a year later .

Amazon Fire Phone

BusinessInsiderAmazon Fire Phone

Just months after it was rolled out, the company admitted to taking a $170 million hit in its earnings because of the Fire phone and related supplier costs. It was also left with $83 million worth of unsold phones after it failed to take off, Fortune wrote at the time.

Limp initially blamed the phone’s flop on it being badly priced (its prices were later slashed ). But in comments since then, he has pinned its problems to the fact that Amazon didn’t create a product that was differentiated enough for customers. “It just didn’t resonate to the next level of masses,” he said in 2016 .

Last July , industry analysts began to speculate that Amazon could be developing smartphones once more after it dropped a hint in an earnings release. “We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,” Amazon said in the release.

“We suspect, though this is admittedly speculation, that Amazon will have to re-enter the phone market either directly or indirectly in order to drive Alexa adoption,” Benjamin Schachter, a technology analyst at Macquarie wrote in a note to clients at the time.

“We don’t see how Alexa can evolve to its fullest potential without being available prominently on the main device that so many people carry everywhere, the smartphone. It is hard to see how they don’t do this.”

Source: https://www.pulse.ng/bi/tech/amazon-hints-that-it-may-return-to-the-smartphone-market-after-its-dollar170-million/jlp4ffm

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