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Operators want to cap charges on stolen mobiles

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Operators' joint initiative will protect consumers against high bills for unauthorised calls

Operators’ joint initiative will protect consumers against high bills for unauthorised calls

The UK government in cooperation with major operators announced their initiative to introduce £100 cap in order to safeguard consumers from horrendous bills.

EE, O2, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone are the first major mobile providers that decided to sign a new Code of Practice prepared by Mobile Broadband Group (MBG) and endorsed by the British government. Among many new protection policies in the Code, the most exciting is the introduction of so-called “liability cap” which protects pay monthly customers from being faced with shock bills. The operators established that the cap will be set at £100 so that their customers will not pay more than that if their phone was lost or stolen. The requirement is that customers have to report the incident to the police and their operator within 24 hours.

If you have a PAYG SIM card, you won’t lose much money due to your phone being misused by criminals. In the worst case scenario, you will lose money equal to the value of your phone plus your credit, which probably is never more than 30 quids. Pay monthly customers have much more to lose. National Mobile Phone Crime Unit reports that there are roughly 300,000 mobile phones reported as stolen each year. Some consumers supposedly received bills as high as £23,000 for unauthorised calls made by criminals. Citizen Advice Bureau estimates that in a period of 11 months (from April 2014 to February 2015) thieves were responsible for £140,000 of loss just for the bills on stolen mobile phones.  The new liability cap will give contract customers some peace of mind as they won’t have to worry about the mobile charges that thieves can run up.

Among the members of MBG, only Three UK has introduced such a cap so far. Other operators promised to do so this year. EE said that their cap will be rolled out in the upcoming weeks, Virgin announced it to happen on July 1, Vodafone will follow others this summer, while O2 gave itself a deadline of September 2015.  However, outside the MBG there is one operator that has already thought about the issue.  It is Tesco Mobile which have even lower cap of just £50.

Nevertheless, the official statistics show how big problem stolen mobile phones is. Remember that normally the operator will probably hold you responsible for any charges incurred before informing them and it’s up to them whether they will reduce the bill as a gesture of good will. Even though being robbed of your phone shouldn’t be a likely situation we can see how PAYG SIM cards are superior to PAYM ones in such a case, but thankfully the “liability cap” will protect customers against receiving a shocking bill.

Written by adm

March 26th, 2015 at 5:08 pm

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Vodafone’s 4G mobile coverage available to half of Brits

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What's more important content or speed?  4g mobile

What’s more important content or speed? 4g mobile coverage

Slow expansion of 4G mobile network is not seen as a problem in Vodafone as they believe that content and reliability are the key.

Vodafone’s CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp informed that his network can provide 4G mobile services to roughly 50 percent of the British society. This is not a great achievement as all other 4G operators reached that milestone last year and they are their 4G customer base is much higher. Mr Hoencamp sees it differently. In his blog, he said that the roll out speed is not as important as the winning factors are network reliability and the content rather than providing the best speed possible.

Vodafone’s CEO has also said that for his company what is important is to have strong network and expand mobile coverage gradually. Vodafone’s low frequency spectrum is also much better for providing good indoor mobile coverage which for Vodafone may be the competitive advantage. Hoencamp emphasized his argument by showing that Vodafone doesn’t focus on providing the highest speeds possible like EE but on giving people meaningful content like their deal with Sky Sports on Spotify that’s include in some contract variants.  He also adds that “people tend to take technology for granted, so we need to make it seamless and easy for people to use, and worry free, so that they can forget about it”. This explains that Vodafone’s approach is either to provide consistent mobile coverage across each particular area or not provide it at all.

To sum up, Hoencamp believes that people don’t really care what 4G is but they want to see how 4G can make their mobile phone experience better and how it will benefit them in a deeper sense not just by giving them faster download speed.

Written by adm

January 20th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Vodafone’s 4G roaming to be available in 40 countries

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4G roaming at Vodafone now available in 40 countries

4G roaming at Vodafone now available in 40 countries

Vodafone plans to add another 17 countries to its 4G roaming mobile coverage by the end of this year.

Thanks to Vodafone’s Europe Zone and World Traveller deals, the customers may use their standard contract allowance when travelling outside the UK. It comes with a daily fee of £3 for Europe and £5 for the rest of the world. The deal is limited to a specific number of countries in which Vodafone has signed appropriate deals for 4G mobile coverage.

Now Vodafone announced that in time for Christmas and New Year, it will extend its deals to 17 new countries which means that customers will be able to use their British allowance in 40 foreign countries. New destinations that will offer 4G mobile coverage for Vodafone consumers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Fiji, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Apart from the possibility to use contract minutes, texts and data bundles abroad, Vodafone contract customers will not be charged for receiving texts or calls and they will pay the Europe Zone or World Traveller deals only for the days they use mobiles abroad.

Vodafone’s timing is not a coincidence as roughly four million Brits go abroad during the Christmas and New Year period, so some of them might actually benefit from new countries being included in the Europe Zone and World Traveller deals still in 2014.

Written by adm

December 24th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Talk Talk moves to O2 network

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Is O2's mobile coverage a better choice for Talk Talk?

Is O2’s mobile coverage a better choice for Talk Talk?

An unexpected decision will result in Talk Talk customers taking advantage of O2 mobile coverage

Talk Talk is a well-established telecoms provider, the second to offer quadruple play service (TV, fixed line, broadband, mobile), which offered mobile services as MVNO. Since its beginnings in 2010, the company piggybacked on Vodafone’s mobile network.  This provider doesn’t have a strong position on the mobile services market and is much more known for its fixed line and broadband services. However, Talk Talk boasts having around 350,000 mobile phone customers (both contract SIM cards and PAYG SIM cards).

Pundits were surprised to hear that Talk Talk made a decision to change their network partner from Vodafone to O2. This was unexpected as for some time the rumours said that the MVNO will be sold to Vodafone. Nevertheless, the announcement dispersed that rumour as Talk Talk enters into a “multi-year” partnership with O2 which will share its 2G, 3G and 4G network. Thanks to this Talk Talk will have better mobile coverage (at least 4G one) and will now have to look to O2 mobile coverage checker to see where they have signal.

The mobile provider wants to capitalize on the trend to offer quadruple play services and the move to O2 is in their opinion beneficial to their growth in that sector.  Obviously, Vodafone is disappointed by this turn of events. Their spokesperson said that their four-year long cooperation had been good but they understand the decision.

If you are a Talk Talk customer or think about switching over, then first you should check their current mobile coverage through our website.

Written by adm

November 20th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Superfast roaming in 23 countries at Vodafone

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Are you going to use 4G abroad? Superfast roaming

Are you going to use 4G abroad?

Vodafone extends its 4G roaming to next 19 destinations around the world

On October 14, Vodafone announced that they decided to expand their superfast 4G roaming service to new countries around the globe. If you recall, Vodafone introduced 4G roaming in four European countries: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain in May. To support huge data usage overseas, Vodafone also launched two services earlier this year. They are EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller. Both of them allow Vodafone customers to use their UK allowance and tariff while being abroad for a fixed daily fee. For Europe, that fee is £3, while for the WorldTraveller, it is £5. It should be noted that “world” is limited to 9 countries: Australia, Egypt, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, USA and Brazil. The last one is available to the end of this month.

The rules for both EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller state that you will be charged on the days you use your phone and for the purpose of this deal a day starts at midnight and finishes at 23:59 local time. This means that if you start using roaming at 10 p.m on one day and finish at 1 a.m. the next day, you will be charged for 2 days of usage. Additionally, WorldTraveller is limited to contract customers, however, you can use EuroTraveller with PAYG SIM cards. In fact, EuroTraveller is even better deal for pay as you go customers because it also comes with 100MB free data.

Now Vodafone enlarges its 4G roaming capabilities to 19 new countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA. Unfortunately, it only includes 3 countries that are covered by WorldTraveller, but still it is better than nothing.

Having 4G mobile coverage in more countries is definitely a strong advantage for Vodafone as customers will not have to slow down when they fly abroad and will still be able to use the Internet at high speeds. This shows how important development of new network is important for operators and their customers. Vodafone promises that it is not the end and they will keep adding more 4G destinations in the future.

 

 

Written by adm

October 24th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Phones 4U won’t refund iPhone 6 pre-orders

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Have you lost money on iPhone 6 deposit too? 4u

Have you lost money on iPhone 6 deposit too?

Today, consumers were informed that Phones 4U will not return them any money put for the newest iPhone.

Last week one of the biggest mobile phones retailers, Phones4U informed about its bankruptcy. This led to worries about the future of their employees and Phones4U customers. The staff was shocked and devastated by the news. As a result 1,700 jobs were axed and over 350 stores are to be closed. It could have been worse by some telecoms companies stepped in and acquired came in to help and purchased some of the shops and saved some jobs.  EE, Vodafone and Dixons Carphone took control of over 400 stores and retained a bit over 2,000 staff.

Even though the company is under administration, their representatives assured customers that any money put up for the newest Apple phone will be returned. This position has just dramatically changed as the administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers, informed past customers that they should not wait for their deposits to be refunded. Basically, it means there is no money left to be redistributed to creditors. PwC suggested customers who paid the deposits via credit card to try to get back the money through the card issuer; however, all claims will be ranked as an unsecured claim, which in reality means customers have little or no chance of seeing their money.  The same goes for customers who were looking forward to cashback or free gifts – all these agreements are cancelled.

It is yet unknown what kind of money Phones4U collected from their customers as a deposit for iPhone 6.

Written by adm

September 28th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

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Scotland’s independence may result in higher phone bills

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Scotland’s independence

Scotland’s independence?

Some British operators informed that if Scotland votes for independence this week, Scots may end up paying more for telecommunication services.

The operators that penned the letter, i.e. BT, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, EE and Three UK, assured their customers that the results of the Scottish independence referendum won’t affect the continuity of the business and telecoms service will continue to be provided.  This commitment, however, doesn’t mean that the current status quo will be kept. Mobile providers expressed their concerns related to how the industry would be regulated if Scots vote “Yes” this Thursday. Such factors as mobile spectrum or EU regulatory framework were listed as potential problematic issues.

The letter looks like a short warning that if Scotland became independent, there are so many unknowns that those operators may have to modify their service. Presumably they would have to increase their PAYG and PAYM tariffs to break even. The letter signatories backed their concerns by saying that Scotland has “demanding topography and relatively low population density” and apparently this may lead to higher “industry costs”.

Nevertheless, British operators don’t want to get involved in politics and they “pledged” that they would try to do their best to keep on providing their services in independent Scotland and stay committed to their customers and employees.

The upcoming referendum may mean a lot of changes for the British society and as telecommunication services are integral part of it, they wouldn’t be unaffected. For operators, independent Scotland would be a new market to compete for and as usual in such cases the consumers should benefit the most from it.

Written by adm

September 17th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

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Vodafone kicks off with 4G for PAYG SIM cards

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Vodafone goes live with 4G PAYG SIM cards

Vodafone goes live with 4G PAYG SIM cards

Vodafone PAYG SIM card users will be able to choose one of three add-ons to experience 4G speeds at reasonable prices.

One year after Vodafone launched its 4G network for contract customers it rolled out 4G for pay as you go.  The operator’s 4G customer base has risen to over 1 million during the last year and the company wants to tap into the PAYG market to expand further.

Vodafone PAYG SIM card customers can choose one of three Freedom Freebees to experience 4G speeds. The price of these add-ons is £20, £30 and £40. The cheapest one comes with 2GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts. The medium one gives you 4GB of data and unlimited airtime and text messages. The difference between the £30 bundle and the £40 one is that the latter provides 6GB of data. That’s not the only thing that 4G Freedom Freebees have to offer. Both the £30 and the £40 freebee offer Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV for free. Customers should know about this so called entertainment package from Vodafone’s contract deals. Sadly Netflix has been excluded from the package for PAYG SIM card customers.

Moreover, Vodafone wants to let their customers try out 4G by giving each customer unlimited 4G data when they get a 4G Freedom Freebee for the first time. Thanks to this, people can assess how much data they use while surfing with ultra-high speeds.

Vodafone recommends three 4G handsets to pair with their PAYG SIM cards: HTC Desire 610, Nokia Lumia 635 and their branded phone Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo. HTC is the most powerful and obviously the most expensive of these as, on PAYG, it costs £140. Lumia is a comparable smartphone and costs £120; however Vodafone’s Smart 4 Turbo is the cheapest 4G entry-level phone and while it does not have the best specifications it costs just under £80.

Vodafone’s 4G mobile coverage is not the best around but still there are 304 towns and cities covered by the network. The coverage is expanding gradually and hopefully in near future it will encompass the whole country. This did not stop Vodafone from amassing a significant customer base and now they seem to have hopes to lure prepay customers too.

Written by adm

September 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 am

Results of call quality tests make EE the winner

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Ofcom inspects quality of calls

Ofcom inspects quality of calls

Ofcom announced that EE offers the best quality of calls in the UK, followed closely by O2
British telecommunications watchdog looked into the quality of service provided by mobile operators. Their study is related to a plan to improve mobile coverage in the UK. Ofcom compiled data provided by such operators as EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, as well as Rootmetrics’ findings and consumers’ opinions.
The overall result says that 76% of consumer are satisfied by call quality provided by their operators, however, people from rural and remote areas are less happy about their mobile services than urban dwellers. Deeper look into quality of calls showed that EE has the highest percentage of calls completed successfully (97%). The second best was O2 with 95.3%, which was followed by Three and Vodafone with 94.5% and 92.6% respectively. In general that shows how high the quality of service provided by British mobile operators are. But yet again there were significant differences between urban and rural areas. This shows that while the quality is exceptional in towns and cities, operators still need to work on mobile coverage in remote areas.
Consumer research conducted by Ofcom on mobile reception led to similar conclusions. Most people don’t experience any problems with mobile coverage, while around one-third said that they have troubles with mobile coverage at least once a week. That figure goes up in the countryside.
Analysed mobile operators have more than 90% 3G mobile coverage which is in line with Ofcom’s regulations. They still intend to improve it to 100% but they also promised to bring 4G mobile coverage up to the same standard. Ofcom is currently working with the Government on expanding mobile coverage in remote areas, so it seems all stakeholders are involved in providing even fuller mobile coverage in the UK.

Written by adm

August 23rd, 2014 at 10:25 pm

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Vodafone finishes its 4G calls trails

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Can 4G voice calls make the difference?

Can 4G voice calls make the difference?

Vodafone tested 4G voice calls for their roughly 1-million big 4G customer base.

The newest mobile technology 4G has been the focus of attention for last few years, however, all the time people turned their attention to superfast data transmission. Apart from data, 4G can also offer a new quality of standard in terms of voice calls. Vodafone set out to test how this would work out. The trail was conducted in a historical place of Newbury, Berkshire, which is also famous for being the place where first ever mobile phone call was received almost 30 years ago.

In order to check their 4G network, Vodafone decided to use Voice over LTE technology to carry their calls. The operator reported that the test was completed successfully and their early assumptions are that 4G will not only ensure a more reliable and clearer voice calls but also reduce connection speed and power consumption. The first three advantages don’t seem to be alluring as we all can experience good quality of calls right now, but saving battery life is something desirable by all smartphone users. This suggested power savings are a result of not having to switch from 4G data to 3G voice calls. Additionally, 4G can make the use of radio resources more efficient, which in a nutshell means less power needed to achieve the same results. This hasn’t been fully investigated yet, so we don’t know if that power saving can have a significant impact on smartphone battery life.

Vodafone went forward with their trails despite the fact that their current 4G mobile coverage covers only around 40% population. While they are still looking into commercial application of Voice over LTE, their competition has already planned to roll it out. EE wants to offer 4G voice calls somewhere in 2015.

Written by adm

August 15th, 2014 at 11:08 am

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