Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau also joining 'Feel At Home' program
Three has become the first major UK network operator to allow its customers to roam freely in the U.S. by adding the country to its "Feel At Home" program. The operator is also adding Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau to the list, bringing the total number of supported territories up to 11. Other Feel At Home countries include the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.
Feel At Home debuted in late August, and allows Three UK customers use the local network as if they were still in the UK at no extra cost. Their UK data allowance can be used, and calls and texts to UK numbers are handled in the same way too — though calls and texts to non-UK numbers are charged separately. Similarly, tethering is not allowed through Feel At Home.
The deal is open to all Three Pay As You Go, pay monthly, SIM-only, mobile broadband and business customers with roaming activated on their accounts.
The addition of the U.S. to the list is a significant step, as UK carriers often charge extremely high roaming rates to roam in states. The fact that the offer is open to PAYG customers also goes against the norm, as those on prepaid are often excluded from roaming deals.
Other operators have stepped up with more reasonable travel deals recently, but the prospect of unlimited roaming data in the U.S. is a new development for the UK market, and something that'll be of great interest to transatlantic travelers. More details in the presser after the break.
Source: Three Media Center
4G live for 'thousands' — but not all — customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham; staged rollout will bring LTE to 1.5 million by end of February
Without any sort of official announcement, British carrier Three's 4G LTE service has gone live for some customers in London, Birmingham and Manchester today. Based on tweets from Three's official Twitter account, "a few thousand" customers in these three cities have been given access to the new LTE service, and the operator has told Android Central that by the end of February 1.5 million customers with 4G devices will be able to use the network. That's the target timeframe for allowing anyone with a capable handset to use Three's 4G, but right now access seems to be determined by the luck of the draw.
The reason for this, Three tell us, is to ensure the smoothest possible rollout for its 4G network, though a side-effect of this staged rollout has been a stream of tweets from disgruntled Three subscribers. The carrier previously committed to a launch in London, Manchester and Birmingham in December, but made no mention of its plans to restrict this to a small number of customers at the get-go.
Three says it plans to clear up some of the confusion in a blog post in the near future. Naturally, we'll keep you posted as well. Meanwhile, if you're on Three in any of the launch cities, hit the comments and let us know if you've managed to get on the 4G network.
Apple and Samsung’s patent war might be the most famous in the mobile world, but it is Nokia’s attacks on HTC that have been the most brutal. As HTC continues to struggle with mediocre sales figures and other internal drama, Nokia has now delivered a pretty harsh blow with a new court ruling that will see the HTC One Mini banned from the UK on December 6th.
So why the ban on the HTC One Mini? Back in late October the High Court ruled that certain HTC devices infringed on a Nokia mobile network standard patent that deals with certain chips within the devices. As expected, Nokia sought to ban offending devices from sale, and the newest ruling grants the request.
It’s worth noting that Nokia is also fighting with HTC over the same patent violation in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Japan.
Although the HTC One was also in violation of the patent, Sir Richard David Arnold (the judge) said that he would hold off the ban of the company’s flagship device in order to give them time to appeal. The reason for this is that Arnold realized that a ban of both the One and One Mini would significantly damage the company. The damage from a One Mini ban is much easier for HTC to swallow.
I accept the damage which HTC will suffer if prevented from selling the One during this period will be both considerable and very difficult to quantify.
Sir Richard David Arnold
For HTC’s part, they have stated that they are pleased to see that the courts are holding off the ban of the HTC One and have already filed an urgent appeal to prevent the ban of the HTC One Mini. What do you think of the whole patent wars thing? Is Nokia justified here or do you think that the mobile patent wars has gotten out of hand? Let us know what you think in the comments!
HTC One also at risk of ban
A British judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling its One Mini handset in the UK from this Friday, Dec. 6, after finding that it infringed upon Nokia's patents. A report from Bloomberg states that the HTC One was also found to breach certain Nokia patents, but Judge Richard Arnold delayed any action against that product to give HTC the chance to appeal, as a sales ban of the flagship handset could "considerably" damage the company.
HTC had argued that the offending part was "a very small component" and thus didn't justify a sales ban.
Nokia says that it's also claiming financial compensation in the case, according to a statement given to Bloomberg, and that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the infringing products into the UK pending an appeal.
We've reached out to HTC for comment and we'll update this post with any official statement. In the meantime, UK buyers looking to pick up a One Mini would be advised to do so before Friday.
Update: And here's what HTC has to say:
“HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024 patent. Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions . As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”
Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep available through Play Movies & TV
Google Play's library of TV content continues to expand, with the arrival of five HBO shows for British audiences. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep are now available in the UK through Google Play Movies & TV on the web and on Android devices. Episodes are priced at the usual levels — £1.89 for SD, £2.49 for HD, with season costs varying per show.
All three seasons of Game of Thrones are available, as are all episodes of Girls and True Blood aired to date. Also included are the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire and the first season of Veep. The shows' arrival on Google Play in the UK comes a couple of months after a slightly different lineup of HBO broadcasting landed on the service in the U.S.
If you're in the UK, hit the source link to browse the available HBO content.
Source: Google Play
£129 off the RRP for LG's high-end handset
Despite being overshadowed (in some circles, at least) by the Nexus 5, LG's flagship G2 remains a great handset in its own right, recently earning a runner-up spot on our list of best Android phones. It's got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor found in the Nexus 5, with a larger 5.2-inch display, a more capacious 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel with optical image stabilization.
The G2 is now available at a sizeable discount on Amazon.co.uk, where it's priced at £359.99 including VAT — a pretty good deal considering most UK outlets still charge somewhere north of £400. The deal comes directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller, so there should be no worries about shipping issues.
For more on the G2, check out our review of the AT&T version, or hit up the link below to see Amazon's deal.
Thanks, Paul O'Brien!
Dual-SIM versions of high-end Android flagships rarely make it to the western markets, but the HTC One is an exception.
Hot on the heels of the champagne gold edition of the One, which it introduced in the UK on Monday, HTC revealed a version of the HTC One that comes with an additional SIM card slot and a microSD card slot. The phone can switch between two networks on the fly, and HTC’s Sense makes it easy to manage the two network connections (GSM and GSM/HSPA/WCDMA) and two sets of contacts.
The device does not support LTE, but besides that, nothing has changed in terms of specs compared to the original version of the One. Despite the removable back plate, the 2,300 mAh battery is not removable.
The microSD card slot enables the addition of up to 64GB of storage, double the internal capacity of the top version of the HTC One. Though few will probably notice the difference, the removable aluminum back-plate makes the HTC One Dual SIM 10 grams heavier and 1.1mm thicker than the original model.
The HTC One Dual SIM is now available for pre-order on HTC’s UK site for £495 ($809), and will become available from other retailers and carriers in the future.