Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

Does your company have a green policy? What can be done in mobile channel businesses, from manufacturers to dealers, to promote recycling, energy saving and anything else ‘green’? Also, how can green issues be used to push sales of mobile devices?


Bill Eyres, O2 head of corporate responsibility, environment and sustainability:

Yes, O2 has a green policy. It’s important to recognise, in this age of global warming and climate change, that experts believe our sector can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

For this reason, Telefonica O2 UK believes each operator should be responsible for getting their own house in order and we have been leading by example. Our environmental management system (EMS) has been running since 1999, and we’ve just implemented a new sustainability governance structure, designed to further drive all elements of sustainability into the core of our business operations.

The secret to improving the green performance of our sector is to take an approach

Bill Eyres

that addresses the entire lifecycle of telecoms. At O2 that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’ve completed a carbon map of our supply chain to identify areas where we can directly improve performance, including our own network, retail and office environments. It also enables us to see where we can influence and encourage suppliers on areas such as reduced transport impacts and improvements in packaging.

Perhaps the biggest area of impact for mobile phones is associated with device usage, so we are working together with producers and trade associations, such as the GSMA, to drive improvements in the energy performance tied to use, such as charging and standby power consumption. We are also supporting the GSMA initiative to harmonise on charger technology, which is directly related to our vision of no longer having to supply a new charger with a new handset.

At O2 we have had a dedicated recycling channel open to our consumers in all our markets. We are very much aware of the importance of encouraging a move up the ‘waste hierarchy’, and our recycling service puts a very strong emphasis on reuse whenever possible. This means that if you recycle your old phone via O2, it may get a second life in a developing market. If not, we ensure that it is recycled responsibly with materials recovery and safe disposal of waste.

We believe the increased emphasis on green policies within the sector will help drive sales for the mobile channel and, as the UK’s largest operator, we are determined to push these messages through the channel.


Charlo Carabott, Mazuma Mobile managing director:

Mazuma Mobile specialises in mobile phone reuse. As mobile phones in the UK are normally discarded years before they reach their end of life, we believe promoting reuse is key in preventing a huge waste problem in the years to come.

Most consumers are becoming environmentally conscious when purchasing. Although I do not believe being ‘green’ is the main motivator when purchasing a mobile phone, I do believe it’s a definite feel good, which will become increasingly important in the future.

The beauty of the Mazuma Mobile service is that we pay customers to be green. Our most popular recycled handset is the Nokia N95. We pay our customers £100 to recycle their N95. It’s a win-win for our customers. They make a decent amount of money and feel good about doing something positive for the environment.

Charlo Carabott, Mazuma Mobile

Marios Ktisti, Brightpoint GB commercial product manager:

Brightpoint GB is working with US-based Flipswap, which offers a fast, free and eco-friendly way to trade handsets, to enable resellers to offer a mobile recycling scheme to their customers. The system works through an online service with a simple interface. This shows the real time pricing and guaranteed trade-in values.

There are huge lists of handsets and each has a market value. These devices would then be sent back through the scheme and as long as the basic guidelines are followed, the reseller and customer will then receive their credit.

The device will have any data wiped, is repaired and refurbished, then resold into other countries. Throughout, the reseller will have a clear view of the transaction

Marios Ktisti

online. For resellers that sell mobile phones or are looking to sell them, it not only provides a value added, environmentally focused service, but also drives the existing business forward. By receiving a tariff for returned handsets for example, this can help to further subsidise the cost for a prospective customer thereby increasing the likelihood of a sale. This will also make the average B2B reseller much more competitive against the networks, whilst all along helping them to promote a green message.


Mark Loughran, Nokia UK managing director:

Securing the handset is critical as it is becoming the key tool for the mobile workforce. With the growth of employee-purchased devices, the IT department has less day to day control. And with more left to the consumer, a comprehensive, well understood and practical mobile security strategy is now as fundamental to the well being of the corporation as issuing badges to all employees. A complete understanding of this strategy includes several areas.

Although attacks against smartphone operating systems are not yet commonplace, they are growing in number. Antivirus and firewall applications go a long way toward preventing many common exploits.


However, in order for protection to be useful, it is vital that there be a mechanism in place to update and control security related applications. Mobile device management technology enables IT departments and operators to implement these upgrades over the air. Furthermore, the same platform used to install and update security applications can be used to enforce enterprise policies on application usage and data access. This provides a means of controlling malware vectors.

Another hacker approach relies on human weaknesses rather than device or software flaws. Phishing and spoofing are just two examples that often involve tricking the user to give over control of the device or information, including account details or passwords. Social engineering exploits can impact users of mobile devices just as easily as PC and laptop users, and, given less sophisticated displays and often divided attention given to mobile devices, the threat is only more real. Proper ‘hygiene’ is a must when mobile browsing, sending email or using any applications that ask for personal information. Training users to never give up passwords, even to support staff, goes a long way.

Once information is on the device, it must be protected. This can be best accomplished by defence in depth, starting with control over physical access to the device, continuing with strong passwords, setting the device to lock, and ending with encryption of data.

Good practice on all these levels will leave the device fairly secure, even in the midst of user perception that certain controls are inconvenient. However, even in cases where good hygiene is followed, a device being lost or stolen is cause for concern. Security policies should be set, encryption and VPN clients can be managed, and in the worst case scenario, the device can be locked or even wiped over the air.


James Liddiard, Brightpoint GB network manager:

As the processing power and storage capacity of mobile devices increase, so does the amount of data stored on them and range of applications they can be used for, including remote access to email and corporate intranets.

If an unsecured device is lost or stolen, then all of the information could not only be potentially accessible to the new owner of that device, but sensitive corporate data could even be amended.

A limited amount of device security is standard; the ability to automatically lock after a set period of inactivity and require a password to unlock again, for example, but the

James Liddiard

goal is the ability to define and enforce a common security policy, regardless of the device platform or the mobile operator used.

Brightpoint has unique expertise in this growing industry thanks to unrivalled understanding of and familiarity with the various device platforms available today, the protocols available for remote device administration, as well as the different solutions on offer.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 includes several device management features for the Windows Mobile 6.1 platform, enabling the central definition of policies enforcing password usage as well as controlling use of the camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, removable storage, modem functionality, email, web browsing and third party applications. Devices can also be remotely ‘killed’ should they be lost or stolen.

Microsoft System Centre Mobile Device Manager extends this functionality by enabling ‘enrollment’ of mobile devices into the active directory domain and managing their security settings via group policy.

BlackBerry has long enabled the control of virtually any aspect of connected devices at a very granular level, from password usage to disabling hardware functionality as well as blocking specific websites and data services.

With the release of IBM Lotus Notes Traveller 8.5, security policies can now be enforced and both Windows Mobile and Symbian devices ‘killed’ from the Lotus Domino server. For a means of automatically enforcing security policies on devices, delivering document and application packages, controlling hardware and software functionality as well as reporting on the applications installed and their usage, then Sybase’s Afaria product will almost certainly fulfil all requirements.

Leveraging OMA-CP technology, Afaria has the ability to remotely configure devices via SMS messages, requiring that that device simply have a live SIM for it to be configured with all the required security and internet connection details automatically before it is then allowed to download the Afaria client which can then perform more detailed configuration.

This is a burgeoning industry which is moving very quickly indeed. Other products that are definitely worth evaluating are Perlego and Fromdistance.


Carabott, Mazuma Mobile:

As mobile devices become more sophisticated, storing more data, the importance of deleting that data when selling or passing on that handset becomes more important.

However, if you have ever tried deleting data from a handset, you will know that in most cases finding out how to do delete the data takes longer then actually deleting it. Most user manuals are not much help either.

I feel that manufacturers should make deleting data easier for the consumer by always having an ‘erase all data’ option and making it easy to find.

Mazuma Mobile operates the only mobile data delete tool in Europe, which allows customers to obtain free step by step data delete instructions for most makes and models, empowering our customers and ensuring total peace of mind that their personal data is erased before selling their handset.

The following two tabs change content below.