The Evolution of the Cellphone

Not really that new, but a big push is indicated here: $5,000? Put It On My Cell

In the beginning, the cell phone was a phone — handy for making calls but little else. Then manufacturers added cameras, e-mail, music, and even television to their phones, making the gadgets an essential part of daily routines. Now, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc. wants to entrench the once-humble cell phone even deeper into consumer lifestyles by turning it into an electronic wallet. After introducing handsets last year that double as debit cards — allowing users to pay for small purchases such as soda or coffee from vending machines and convenience stores — the company this year plans to make those phones full-fledged credit cards.

Here Comes a New Fed Telecom Bill (updated)

Since there’s no way that the telcos are really going to go municipality by municipality: Verizon, SBC Lose To Cable In Texas TV Battle

Verizon and SBC are betting that consumers will shun cable TV companies and buy television service from phone companies. But first, the telcos must win over state legislators.

They lost a round in Texas over the weekend when a bill stalled that would have allowed them to get a statewide television franchise instead of having to obtain franchises from each individual municipality.

The defeat makes an aggressive push from the regional Bells for new federal telecom regulation more likely.

Related: SBC Is Everybody’s Friend In Washington

Telco giant SBC may have lost an unusual home-court lobbying battle last weekend, but don’t expect that trend to continue, especially at the national regulatory level. Why? Because SBC gives generously to anyone and everyone in political office, something that probably doesn’t get ignored when it comes time to craft new telecom regulations.

The fact that SBC spends big bucks on both sides of the aisle isn’t necessarily news; but following a link on the National Journal’s home page that lists “who’s donating?,” you can proceed to Federal Election Commission contribution figures for the latest election cycle — and find SBC on top in telecom giving, with just over $500,000 in political contributions.

Microsoft Blinks?

We’ll see: Microsoft meets Brussels deadline: “US software giant Microsoft says it has met a deadline to submit a response to the EU’s landmark antitrust ruling.”

US software giant Microsoft has met a 1 June deadline for responding to a landmark European Union antitrust ruling against the company.

“We have submitted proposals and we are awaiting a response from the EU Commission,” a spokesman said.