Archive for the ‘applications’ Category
A Latvia-based company, Roamer, launched a worldwide PAYG SIM card shop for people who travel abroad.
Have you ever had problems to get a new local PAYG SIM card when travelling abroad? How to avoid all these alien instructions in crazy languages and country-based settings which are unique for every operator? These questions bothered the creators of Roamer, an app for saving on roaming. Basically, this application let’s people make and receive calls using their own regular number without any additional roaming costs. Moreover, if your friends also have Roamer then the call is completely for free. The problem is that it needs Wi-Fi connections to work. And unfortunately the Internet is not so widespread yet.
In order to go around the problem, Roamer introduced a new feature that allowed the customers to link any local SIM card with their regular number and call via Roamer just as they would do with their local number without access to the Internet. More importantly, if someone calls your everyday number you can pick it up using Roamer so there is no communication disruption. Roamer wanted also to help their customers get local pay as you go SIM cards so the company launched a new service: a worldwide PAYG SIM card shop. Now you can order local pay as you go SIM cards from more than 40 countries all around the world. The offer is still quite limited and the price for a prepaid SIM varies from 10 to 30 euros. For example, if you want to get a PAYG SIM card working in the UK, Roamer offers a Spanish Orange PAYG SIM card Go Europe, which works all over the EU. Not the best deal on the British PAYG market though. Nevertheless, Roamer promises the delivery in 15 days to any place in the world and you are not limited to their shop. They say that their shop functions only to help Roamer customers not to earn money and the prices reflect the shipment and packaging costs.
Roamer is definitely an app to watch as it soon may become as popular as WhatsApp, especially among frequent travellers. We support any European start-ups that help lower the mobile phone bill and increase competitiveness on the EU market.
Three UK Rescue is brought to customers in cooperation with Asurion. The idea is to provide extensive insurance policy that would meet all possible needs of Three’s customers. You could insure your phone against pet damage or flushing a phone in the toilet, as well as lending to friends and family. You can have your phone replaced internationally for 20 pounds extra. While domestic replacement should happen next day with the same model delivered(as long as the claim is not accepted during the weekend).
Three Rescue is also an application to increase customer protection. The app can back up your data, track your lost phone online, remotely set off a sound alarm if you lost your phone or even completely wipe the content of your phone.
Monthly premium can cost from as little as £2 for the most basic phone to £10 for state-of-the-art devices like iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S4.
Margie Waltasaari from Three UK said ‘Mobile phone insurance has a poor reputation due to slow processes, widespread cover exemptions and low service levels. We believe Three Rescue will address that through a combination of great service and the extra steps we take to help our customers to get their mobile lives back.’
CPW, a phone dealer, announced additional investment in their tariff comparison system called Pin Point.
The company decided to spend more money on the development of their tariff checker system Pin Point. It is a tablet-based solution that is available at Carphone Warehouse outlets. Thanks to it, customers are able to input their requirements and monthly allowance and the system will analyse the data and display tariffs available on the market. Pin Point has around 92,000 phones and tariffs both for PAYG SIM cards and PAYM ones in its database. Besides checking available tariffs the system shows mobile coverage available in customer’s area and tells what the value of trade-in phone will be.
Carphone Warehouse CPW believes that in-store system will better reflect their customer habits as research show that more than half of them prefers human interaction and advice from shop assistants rather than just interaction with a machine. In-store tariff checker, like Pin Point, combines the analytical powers of a computer with the human touch of shop assistants.
In the beginning the company invested 10 million pounds into system development and deployment in all their stores, as well as staff training. The money was spent on purchasing and installing devices in around 770 retail outlets and 3 million pounds went just on training. Now, they will spend another 10 million to make it work better and to ensure that the customers can benefit from it.
O2 customers can now use an application to have one SIM card in many devices.
O2 TU Go is a new application, currently available only to Pay Monthly customers, that allows customers to use the same number (account) on up to 5 devices simultaneously. To use it you need to be an O2 customer and download the application (it is supported by iOS, Android and Windows). Then after logging in with your O2 phone number, you can text or call via the app as if you were using your phone. The recipients do not need to have this app installed; they will receive a normal call or a text message as if you were calling or texting from your mobile phone. This means that you can use your allowance on up to five devices at a time. What’s even better is that you don’t need to have mobile coverage as all the data transmission can be done via the Internet. The only time you need to have a signal is when you register in O2 TU Go for the first time.
At the first glance this application may have limited use, but if you think about it, sometimes it might be irreplaceable. For example, when you are in an area without mobile coverage or with low mobile coverage but a Wi-Fi broadband connection or when your phone’s battery is flat and you need to make that important call. It also creates an opportunity for customers who want to share the same number and use their monthly allowance together.
As with any new application, customers report some glitches and bugs but in general O2 TU Go works fine. If O2 customers will take up this application, the mobile provider will develop versions for business customers and PAYG SIM cards too.
O2 UK has upgraded its O2 Wallet service to allow customers to charge O2 PAYG accounts.
Mobile operators strive to enrich the mobile experience and make their customers’ lives easier. With this in mind, O2 UK enabled mobile top-ups via their O2 Wallet application. O2 Wallet is a supplementary service that allows O2 customers to use their mobile phone as a digital wallet. Initially you could only transfer money between different O2 Wallet users, but it was quickly developed to make purchases inside the world of O2 services. Now O2 has added a new capability – topping-up O2 PAYG SIM cards. You can add between £10 and £50 and you don’t need to be an O2 customer as it is enough if you are registered to O2 Wallet and have the application on your smartphone. If you want to start using O2 Wallet all you need to do is to text WALLET to 61202, then install the app and find the “Pay & Go Top Up” icon which will allow you to choose the number that you want to top-up and select the top-up amount.
O2 Wallet shows how mobile operators evolve to use modern technologies and offer their customers new and unique services. Definitely adding a neat top-up feature will make O2 Wallet more popular as it makes topping-up extremely simple and quick. O2 Money Managing Director has said that delivering value-adding experience is the new direction and in the future we will see more practical services based on O2 Wallet.
O2 Train Travel is a new application launched by O2. It’s live and available on Android, iOS and most BlackBerry devices, across all networks. The app enables to find the fastest train to any UK route, compare ticket prices, check timetables, buy train tickets and paying for them via O2 Wallet (or credit card), purchase mobile tickets on all available routes, reserve seats and booking tickets for multiple people, and all this without any fees or credit card charges.
By letting buy mobile-tickets (m-tickets) O2 Train Ticket helps people avoid queues because it sends train tickets directly to their mobile phones. The app also saves people’s time through the possibility to pay for multiple tickets in one single transaction, and make seat reservations on the go.
O2 carried out a research which showed that 46 per cent travelers in UK buy their ticket at the station, 80 per cent choose to buy tickets in advance and 62 per cent avoid train booking services charging a book fee. The research confirmed functionality and convenience of O2 Train Ticket application.
Managing Director at O2 Money, James Le Brocq, says that customers no longer use mobile phones only to make calls and send texts thus O2 wants to meet their needs and constantly improves its services. For example, last year they launched O2 Wallet enabling customers to pay with mobile money and now the launch of O2 Train Ticket application confirms company’s approach.
According to new British Telecom’s research 93 per cent of Brits are “mobile-phobes”. This kind of phobia develops while phone users are abroad. It means that using mobile in other country than UK arouses fear and results in reducing normal phone usage or ceasing it completely.
There are several reasons for which Brits abandon their mobile phone habits once they cross the borders of their country. First of all, 79 per cent have no idea of costs and thus they are anxious about expensive charges. 62 per cent don’t use mobiles or do it intermittently whereas 20 per cent don’t even dare to take mobiles while travelling abroad. 57 per cent of Brits answer only calls of the utmost urgency and 63 per cent reply only to the most important texts. On the other hand, 23 per cent never answer calls and 18 per cent never reply to texts.
Although being abroad Brits avoid using mobile phones, they still want to stay in touch with their friends and family (58%) but use text or e-mail (62%) instead of calling (25%). Among British people travelling abroad there are only 6 per cent who feel comfortable using mobile phones. If it was not for the fear of paying horrendous bills, the number of people who would choose to call would double and the number of those texting or e-mailing would fall by a third.
BT wanting to cure the disease has launched a new free app – SmartTalk. It links smartphones to BT home calling plan and customers are able to take advantage of the inclusive call allowance in their calling plan. The app makes phone calls are billed as if customers were calling from their BT home phone. For example, five-minute call from Thailand on O2’s PAYG card standard rate would cost a total of £14.90 but using BT SmartTalk the call would be included in one’s home calling plan.
Smartphones have recently appeared to be useful not only for calling, writing messages and surfing the Internet. It is also not enough to pay with smartphones – soon, they will replace bank cards making it possible to withdraw money from cash machines. It is possible because PC/E Mobile Cash – app launched for Android and iOS – has been improved by Wincor Nixdorf who is also the first to integrate this service in Apple Passbook using Apple passes.
It is quite a simple process. Through the app bank customer receives QR code for the transaction. Then, the QR code is read in at cash machine. The app can also show the way to the nearest cash machine that supports Mobile Cash. Next, the customer selects the Mobile Cash function and from now on the transaction is controlled from customer’s smartphone. Additionally, a transaction PIN can be entered.
To enable customers to withdraw cash with smartphones, banks probably will have to carry out some small, but significant, enhancements. For example, they will have to add a barcode scanner to cash dispensers to read the QR code, or install client software on them to support the function.
As Stefan Wahle, Vice President of Software Solutions at Wincor Nixdorf, said: ‘Consumers are increasingly demanding innovative end user concepts – not just in payment processes with mobile wallets but also they will play a key role in interaction with cash machines in the future’. Then, the new concept of using smartphones is not surprising to be available worldwide with immediate effect for piloting by financial institutions.
O2 has put up TU Go app for all contract customers to download free. This application gives possibility to call, text or check voicemail using your O2 number on devices with internet connection. Currently the application works on Android OS, iOS and Windows 7 or better systems. To use this service you do not need any special logins, just your O2 number. The recipients will not be able to recognize whether you actually called them or texted from other device than your phone. The catch is that those calls and texts are not for free and you will be charged as if you were using a phone.
Sally Cowdry from O2 said that TU Go shows that O2 is following the latest technologies and want to enable customer to use their services on wider range of devices. Having said that O2 obviously also wants to compete with VoIP services like Skype or WhatsApp, that offer calls and text via the Internet. Operators have to deal with such services somehow as they are cutting their revenue.
As of March 1, O2 TU Go is only available to contract customers but the operator said that it plans to make this service available also to pay as you go SIM card users.
British Telecommunications launched a new smartphone application that will cut the cost of calls if you have a BT landline. BT SmartTalk, that’s the name of this application, allows you to use the allowance and rates of your landline when you have a wireless internet connection or 3G mobile coverage. The app simply links your calls with your BT home phone calling plan. Moreover, it’s not just for domestic usage. You can use BT SmartTalk when you are abroad and then all the calls made with this application will be charged for just as if you were sitting at your home and calling. BT claims that SmartTalk is not just for contract users but also for PAYG SIM card owners as allegedly BT’s rates are better than standard pay-as-you-go tariffs.
John Petter, director consumer MD at BT, said: ‘This is a really exciting breakthrough that means you can take your BT calling plan with you and continue saving money when you’re away from home, either in the UK or abroad.’
Even though it sounds great it has some limitations. First of all, it is a VoIP app, so to use it freely you need a WiFi connection or 3G mobile coverage. In the second case, you will pay your mobile operator for the data transfer, so it may not turn so cheap in the end. Anyways, one of the issues of VoIP is that you need fast Internet connection to support a good call quality. Additionally now there are only iPhone and Android BT SmartTalk versions, so not everyone can use it.
Having said that if you are a BT customer you can try it out and save some money. While whether BT SmartTalk will beat MVNO’s call rates is yet to be seen, we can safely say that with this app roaming will not so painfully expensive anymore and many people this summer should come back home without being hit by so called ‘bill shock’.