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MOBILES

Low radiation boosts Sony Ericsson

A major survey of mobile phones has put Swedish – Japanese mobile phone manufacture Sony Ericsson on top with their T290i mobile phone. The TOC Development test, which measures radiation levels as well as user-friendliness and other factors, last month gave top marks to Sony Ericsson’s K700i and S700i models.

In this month’s test of five phones only two passed, the other being the 9090 by Qtek. Despit doing well with some of their phones, Sony Ericsson’s K300i was among one of the three phones that failed the test. The other two were the 3230 and the 7270 made by the Finnish mobile telephone producer Nokia.

The test are conducted by TOC Development so that customers know which phones have the lowest radiation and best quality of communications.

So, just how safe are these mobile phones?

“It’s not possible to give a clear answer regarding the effect on peoples health”, says Professor Yngve Hamnerius from at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. “Different studies give different results.”

Some researchers believe that the level of radiation emitted by mobile phones is too low to cause any harmful effects as the power is not sufficient to break any chemical bonds. However, some researchers consider that there is currently insufficient data to draw any conclusions, and as the effects of radiation can be random it can be difficult to test its effects.

“Unfortunately children where not part of the study. There is some apprehension that children can be extra sensitive to the radiation as their nervous system is still developing. And teenagers are high users of mobile phones”, says Hamnerius.

Experts recommend that mobile phone users err on the side of caution and minimize exposure to mobile phone radiation. This can be achieved by not using the phone more than necessary and by using a handsfree, as recommended by TOC Development.

Using a handsfree could reduce the amount of radiation absorbed by the head by as much as 50%, according to a report from a British on-line service. Also, using the phone on the left hand side of the head is better than the right side as the brain is smaller on the left side than the right side which means it is further away from the radiation source.

Andrew Wallace

Andrew Wallace is a freelance science and technology writer based in Sweden. He maintains a personal website.

SONY

Ericsson profits double on sale of Sony stake

The Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson posted Wednesday a first quarter net profit that was more than double the level recorded a year earlier, owing to a major one-off divestment.

Ericsson profits double on sale of Sony stake

The world leader in mobile telephone networks also said sales had fallen by four percent to 50.97 billion kronor ($7.6 billion), while operating profit excluding the sale of its half the joint venture Sony Ericsson was 56 percent lower at 2.8 billion.

Net profit leapt however by 116 percent to 8.8 billion kronor thanks to a 7.7 billion kronor contribution from the sale of a 50-percent stake in Sony Ericsson, a statement said.

Meanwhile, “sales of high-performance mobile broadband developed well in North America, Japan and Korea, while other regions such as Europe including Russia, parts of Middle East and India were weaker,” chief executive Hans Vestberg said.

Cheuvreux analyst Odon De Laporte highlighted an increase in Ericsson’s gross margin since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Gross margin is the percent of total sales that a company retains after taking into account the cost of their production and associated services.

“Sure, the report shows there is low activity, especially for the network division, but seeing the gross margin bouncing back is definitely a relief,” Laporte was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying.

Ericsson’s gross margin climbed to 33.3 percent in the first three months of the year, from 30.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, but remained below the 2011 first quarter level of 38.5 percent.

On February 16, Sony said it had finalised the acquisition of Ericsson’s share of their mobile telephone joint venture Sony Ericsson, which was renamed Sony Mobile Communications.

The transaction, which had a total value of 1.05 billion euros, included patents and licenses.

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