For Mobile Magazine, London
Mobile telecommunications that hop from one wireless device to another , creating their own networks as they go? Ferne Arfin discovers that the brave new world of parasitic networks may be just around the corner.
In the United States, the Cybiko (TM) terminal bills itself as a wireless "inter-tainment" computer for teens. As advertised, the terminal, which costs about £70 and features regular, free upgrades, works as a wireless pda, an email address, a wireless games terminal and a communicator for exchanging text messages with up to 100 friends. It does all this without charging for air time or network services because it creates its own networks along free, public bandwidths. But before you all rush out looking for one, you should know that, at the moment, the Cybiko terminal is marketed as a toy...
Don't Bank on it...
When The Bank of England sneezes, do whole industries reach for the Kleenex? Ferne Arfin discovers that mobile telecoms execs are putting a brave face on Bank warnings but keeping the vitamin C within reach.
The wireless industry is playing it cool following a Bank of England warning about telecom sector investment. If the industry is worried about the Bank's stance, most spokespersons aren't saying. But some insiders admit that any slowdown in bringing new technology to market could hurt retailers...
Too much too soon?
Mobile phones and wireless data devices are converging. Pocket sized devices heading for the market promise to deliver voice, data, video, music -- just about everything but a Chinese take-away. But, as Ferne Arfin discovers, some in the industry worry that the credibility of useful innovation is being endangered by over hype.
Within the next year to 18 months, a plethora of new devices are set to launch that will blur the distinction between mobile telephones and PDAs. Smartphone is a term being used to describe a voice-centric device which possesses data and Internet capabilities, while some are using the term Communicators for data-centric devices (basically PDAs) with some voice capabilities.
Very big claims are being made...but some experts suggest that while great things are on the way ... there is some danger of promising too much too soon...
For a UK Financial Website
How to read an Annual Report
Annual Reports: Going for the landmarks
Navigating an annual report can be daunting. But, since it's likely to be the most detailed map of a company that an individual investor can ever expect to see, it's worth learning how to winkle out useful information.
Profit & loss accounts, balance sheets and cash flow statements are required. Surprisingly little else is defined in British company law. Presentation is a matter of accountancy practice, developed over the years and regulated by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB). Though standards are geared to financial professionals, ordinary mortals just need to understand few key elements:
Profit and Loss Account
Cash Flow Statement
Finding your way around a P&L
Turnover is gross income before any of the costs of doing business are subtracted. What you're looking for is a trend. Companies have to show at least the previous year's figures. Some show three years history, some five. If turnover is static or falling, you should find that discussed elsewhere in the report.
Turnover, less costs produces net or retained profit. Some costs are real cash expenditures -- the cost of continuing operations, for example. Some can vary from year to year because of factors outside the company's control, like tax and interest. Others, such as goodwill amortisation, are non-cash items used for accounting and tax purposes. If one company acquires another for a premium over its share price, that's called goodwill and is written off over a period of years...