The week in tech: Google's HQ move, EE's 150Mbps network and Hailo vs Uber
Everything from high speed mobile networks to taxi warfare
This week has been a busy one for the technology industry with everything from superfast mobile network deployments to Christmas wearable predictions. Here Techworld gives a bitesized roundup of what you need to know on the week's major events.
1. Google staff don't know when they're moving office
Google maintains that it will build its new UK headquarters on a plot of land behind King's Cross Station in Central London but staff appeared to be in the dark as to when the move will happen when Techworld spoke to them this week.
Alina Dimofte, a member of Google’s media relations team, said: “We’re committed to the area. It’s totally happening - it’s just a matter of time now. I don’t think any building project has ever been delivered on time.”
3. UK lags behind when it comes to creating $1bn firms
The UK has created just three billion-dollar tech companies in the last decade, according to research produced by the Atomico venture capital group, which is headed by Skype co-founder, Niklas Zennström.
The majority of tech startups that have gone on to achieve a billion-dollar valuation in the past decade came from outside Silicon Valley, the study found.
4. UK mobile operator EE has a new superfast network
EE’s 4G customers in London will get a speed boost from today, the mobile phone operator has announced.
The increase in mobile internet speeds is being delivered as a result of EE switching on its 4G+ network in the capital.
Also known as LTE-Advanced (or LTE-A), the quicker network makes use of the 2.6GHz spectrum in order to deliver download speeds of up to 150Mbps, according to EE. Average speeds on the LTE-A network will be 60Mbps slower at 90Mbps.
Tech City UK, a quango established by prime minister David Cameron in 2010 in a bid to champion and support UK tech firms, is now accepting applications from the next group of high-growth tech companies that want to appear on the Future Fifty programme.
The Future Fifty programme was launched last October by chair Joanna Shields and chancellor George Osborne in a bid to catalyse growth, create jobs and deliver economic impact to the UK. One of its aims is to help the UK create firms that are a similar size to US heavyweights like Google and Facebook.
Samsung predicts over a million wearable devices will be purchased in the UK this Christmas as they start to break into the mainstream consciousness.
The consumer electronics giant, which is actively chasing the wearables market, predicts that wearables will account for £104.7 million in UK sales over the festive period, up 182 percent on Christmas 2013 and more than the anticipated wearables spend in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, who were also polled.
Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Google's Android OS, is leaving the company, Google confirmed yesterday.
Rubin is leaving to lead an incubator for hardware startups, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, and he'll be replaced at Google by James Kuffner, a research scientist and a member of Google's robotics group.