Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–April 14, 2014

Comcast Is Looking To Use Wi-Fi Networks To Enter The Wireless Carrier Business
The cellular network business is one of the most competitive in the world, but it’s also one of the most lucrative, and it’s only growing. That being the case, it’s not surprising that American telecom giant Comcast may be looking into entering this hotly-contested market. According to a report on The Information, Comcast is hoping to use its huge userbase of home Internet customers to create a combination Wi-Fi and cellular network, competing directly with carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Story by Michael Crider for the Android Police.

How to Safely Sell or Recycle Unwanted Cell Phones and Tablets
While Americans are well educated on the benefits of recycling bottles, cans and paper, the same can’t be said of electronic devices. The proliferation of new cell phones and tablets has led to a growing glut of “e-waste” piling up in people’s homes, as well as a lack of understanding about what to do with broken, unwanted or outdated devices. According to a new survey, the nationwide network of automated electronics recycling kiosks, 57 percent of American device owners have idle cell phones in their homes, yet only 22 percent state they have previously recycled cell phones they no longer use. Story in The Wall Street Journal.

Kazakhstan Law Allows Government to Block Internet Sites, Internet or Cell Phones Without Warrant
An amendment to Kazakhstan’s internet law will allow officials to block internet access to networks without a court order. The Prosecutor General or Deputy Prosecutor General will have the authority to instruct an authorized body to shut off a network or means of communication or suspend service communications. This includes internet websites, internet connections and cellular phone connections. Story by Day Blakely Donaldson for the Liberty Voice.

Your Smartphone May Be Keeping You Up at Night
The University of Hertfordshire in the UK conducted a study that indicates smartphones may be negatively affecting the ability to sleep. “The blue light from these devices suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, so it’s important to avoid them before bed time.” In other words, using your phone before bed time may keep you up longer than you want to be. 78% of the adults and an astounding 90% of teenagers in the survey said they use their phones right before going to bed. Story by John Oldshue for SaveOnPhone.com.

60% of Kids in Japan Aged 10-17 Use Mobile Phones
In an annual survey, 59.5 percent of the children said they own mobile phones or smartphones, up 4.7 percentage points from the previous survey in fiscal 2012. Of them, users of smartphones, including those made for children, stand at 58.4 percent, a jump from 36 percent in the previous year, and a significant leap from 2.9 percent three years ago. Time spent on the Internet with mobile phones or smartphones on a weekday clocked in at 107.4 minutes on average, a sharp rise from 71 minutes in the fiscal 2010 survey. The average figure among smartphone users reached 132.6 minutes, while usage for normal cell phone users remained at 43.4 minutes. Story in the Japan News.

This Man Says He Can Speed Cell Data 1,000-Fold
Steve Perlman is ready to give you a personal cell phone signal that follows you from place to place, a signal that’s about 1,000 times faster than what you have today because you needn’t share it with anyone else. Perlman, the iconic Silicon Valley inventor best known for selling his web TV company to Microsoft for half a billion dollars, started work on this new-age cellular technology a decade ago. The project would involve installing entirely new wireless antennas atop buildings and towers across the country, as well as slipping new cards into our phones. Perlman says he’s already in discussions with some of the world’s largest wireless carriers and handset designers about the technology. Story by Cade Metz for Wired.

Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear Smartwatches Hit Stores
Friday marks the worldwide launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. The devices are available in 125 countries, including the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and most Asian markets. They are being sold by wireless network operators in the US, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and others. Most carriers are asking $200 for the GS5 with a contract, or about $26 per month via installment plans. The Galaxy S5 is a moderate upgrade to last year’s GS4. The design is a bit conservative, but the materials and build quality are improved. One standout feature is the phone’s IP67 rating, which means it’s water and dust-resistant: It can survive an afternoon at the beach, even if you drop it in the surf for a short time. Story by Eric Zeman for Information Week.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.