EU to Scrap Roaming Fees in 2017

As part of the European Union’s plan to overhaul its telecoms market to encourage growth and innovation, the continent has agreed to scrap mobile roaming charges across 28 countries by June of 2017. The EU recently reached this preliminary deal after 12 hours of talks with lawmakers. “Under the agreement, roaming surcharges in the European Union will be abolished as of 15 June 2017,” said Latvia, which holds the rotating EU presidency. The EU intends to order telecom operators to treat all Internet traffic equally. To address the controversial issue of net neutrality, blocking of any traffic would only be

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Koodo Discontinues Sale of HTC One M9 Smartphone

Due to what it describes as “lackluster sales,” Koodo Mobile, one of Canada’s major carriers, has reportedly decided to stop selling the HTC One M9. Koodo was one of the smartphone’s first carriers when it was released in Canada this past April. Although most reviews of the One M9 have been positive, HTC has had trouble selling it. Despite some improvements to the M8 model, most have said its camera is actually inferior to its predecessor. The main criticism of the device is that it is not different enough from other models to warrant a purchase. Other theories suggest HTC

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Apple Loses Lawsuit in Taiwan

A Taiwanese court has ruled against Apple in a lawsuit that could potentially set a concerning precedent for the iPhone maker. Apple was accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices by forcing carriers in the country to assign pricing on its iPhones. This covers the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and 5S models. The case has been ongoing since 2013, when it was first brought up by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (FTC). The Commission said that Apple was acting unfairly by forcing the country’s three major carriers to comply with its own pricing and associated plans. In the final ruling, Apple

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Verizon Buys AOL for $4.4 Billion

In a push for digital content, Verizon Communications Inc. is set to buy AOL Inc. for $4.4 billion. The deal will give the biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. access to AOL’s mobile video platform and content. Verizon’s offer of $50 per share represents the need for telecom companies to diversify their offerings, as more and more customers are watching videos and accessing other content on their mobile phones. AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong estimates that 80 percent of media consumption will be on mobile devices in the near future. “…If we are going to lead, we need to lead

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Nexpaq Modular Case Adds New Features to Your Smartphone

Nexpaq, a California-based tech company, wants to extend the life of your phone with their new modular smartphone case. Instead of replacing your entire phone next time an upgraded feature is released, Nexpaq thinks you should just add it to your phone case. The case can be fitted to both iOS and Android handsets, and has attachable modules that slide into a slot in the case that can be easily swapped. The company says there are 12 modules available including a battery, amplified speaker, LED flashlight, SD card reader, temperature, humidity and air quality sensors, USB flash memory module, backup

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Facebook Adds Video Calling to Messenger App

Facebook’s Messenger app has added free video calling for its 600 million mobile users, giving Facetime, Skype and Hangouts a run for their money. Users of the Messenger app on iOS and Android devices will now have a video icon in the top right corner of their screen, allowing them to make video and voice calls with other users. Video calling was already made available on desktops earlier this year, but adding this feature to Facebook’s mobile messaging app allows the service to be accessed more frequently by more people. “Adding (video calling) to Messenger instead of the main Facebook

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Gemalto Denies Encryption Key Hack

Gemalto – the largest SIM card manufacturer on the planet – has denied reports claiming the NSA had the ability to capture and store the encryption keys that protect SIM cards. The company has denied the breach and explained that 3G and 4G networks were unaffected. Recent reports stated that any phone using a Gemalto SIM card was at risk of having its encryption keys stolen, claiming the NSA and GCHQ have been able to decrypt cell phone signals mid-air or remotely implant malware on hardware. Having access to these encryption keys would result in global privacy ramifications, as Gemalto

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Otterbox to Double iPhone Battery Life

Otterbox, the company known for its indestructible iPhone cases, promises its latest product will double the life of the iPhone 6. The company’s new Resurgence case comes packed with 2600mAh of battery power to charge your phone, and automatically turns itself off once the device reaches 100 percent. The iPhone inside can still be charged conventionally, for optimal convenience. Along with this comes the usual Otterbox longevity – a case made of a polycarbonate material that is extremely resilient. When tested, the case protected against drops on all faces, edges and corners from a height of four feet. The price

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More Canadians Accessing the Internet from Mobile Devices

Canadians now spend half of their Internet hours on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized our ability to access the web. As of August, there are 27.8 million Canadian adults who have access to the Internet. The majority of hours during the day are spent on PCs, while mobile device use peaks during the evening. Both the U.S and Canada follow this trend of spending time streaming video, scrolling through social media and reading the news. A study conducted by ComScore shows the average Canadian adult spends 39 hours a month on the internet on their PCs alone. With

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DataWind Launches Tablet with Free Internet

Budget web access company and device maker DataWind has released its newest tablet, the UbiSlate 7Ci, which will come bundled with a year of free U.S. Internet browsing. It is the latest device in its line of what the company calls “the world’s most affordable tablets.” The UbiSlate 7Ci is an Android tablet that comes with a dual core 1.2 GHz processor and features dual cameras — front VGA and rear at 2MP — for $37.99. “We’re focused on driving the cost further down so that affordability is no longer a barrier to internet access,” Suneet Singh Tuli, president and

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