June 30, 2009
Vodafone are to launch a new six month mobile broadband contract which will likely be popular with those who don’t want to be tied to any contracts such as the 12, 18 or 24 month contracts like many deals require users to sign up to.
The 6 month contract will cost mobile broadband users £15 per month and they will receive 3Gb data transfer, for each additional Gb of data required they will be charged at £15.
The USB mobile broadband dongle will cost £29 which on the 12 month or longer deals is free. The advertised maximum speed that the Vodafone mobile broadband dongle can achieve is a reported 7.2Mb, although the actual speed is likely going to be not that close to this speed and more likely to be up to around 2Mb.
The dongle is also going to have an expansion slot for Micro SD cards so that it can double as a memory stick to store up to 4Gb of data.
Mobile broadband roaming charges have always been pricey so Three have reduced their roaming charges for mobile broadband down to £1.25 per MB making them the cheapest for roaming charges of the UK mobile broadband operators.
The new rates come in effect from today and makes Three mobile broadband 25p per MB cheaper that T-Mobile who are their closest priced rival. Virgin Mobile charge a staggering £5 per MB according to Three.
The full comparison of roaming charges when abroad as compiled by Three is below and is correct at the time it was put together.
The new prices are not a short term offer for the summer months but are going to be available throughout the year in all EU roaming territories.
The EU has announced a wholesale cap on the charges that other providers can charge each other in the 27 EU member states, making a cap of 1 Euro (around 85p at today’s rate) per MB. This is designed to help try and keep roaming charges down amongst the mobile providers.
It is likely now that we will see the other mobile broadband providers also reducing their rates now these new EU roaming charge caps have been introduced.
June 29, 2009
O2 Mobile broadband customers are now able to use BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots due to a deal done between O2 and BT Openzone.
Currently O2 mobile broadband customers have access to around 7,500 wi-fi hotspots and this deal will mean customers have around 3,000 more available to them which includes all Starbucks after BT Openzone beat T-Mobile to be their new Wi-Fi supplier.
For customers to receive these extra Wi-Fi hotspot locations will require them to upgrade their Connection Manager software which at the moment is only available to Microsoft Windows users.
The new Connection Manager will also have other features such as a data counter that will log how much data transfer users use so they can keep on track of where they are up to with their monthly data allowance and be sent reminders when they have used up 75%, 90% and 100% of their allocated data.
Existing O2 mobile broadband customers can make use of this now and new customers will receive access from the end of July.
June 22, 2009
Wireless hotspots are to be enabled into Cashbox ATM machine locations it has been announced today.
Cashbox and BT have agreed a 5 year deal that will see the sites of the Cahbox ATM machines become Wi-Fi hotspots that will allow BT Openzone users be able to connect to the Internet.
Initially 10 of the Cashbox locations will be enabled and with 2500 Cashbox locations around the UK there is plenty of extra room for more to be enabled and utilised.
The initial 10 locations are Tiger Tiger sites in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, and Digress, The Wall, Agenda, Abacus, Livery and Alibi bar restaurants in the City of London.
BT Broadband customers who receive free Wi-Fi minutes each month and also O2 iPhone users have access to over 3000 BT Openzone hotspots included in their contracts and so these extra locations will also become available to them to use.
Owners of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS handsets are able to get around the charges that O2 Mobile charge to turn their phone into a mobile broadband modem dongle.
The website benm.at has available some software that will allows access to the tethering service meaning that the iPhone can be used as a mobile broadband modem with the 3Gb data transfer limit for free.
O2 say that this is against their Terms of Service and will disconnect any user they find doing this without paying for the Bolt On.
O2 are the only provider in the UK that can sell the iPhone and charge £14.68 per month to users to be able to turn their phone into a wireless mobile broadband modem that has 3Gb data transfer per month.
Currently iPhone users who download the iPhone 3.0 update are able to get around O2 mobile broadband charges to use their Internet connection for free.
June 19, 2009
Be Broadband have denied claims that they have been blocking BitTorrent tracker sites such as Pirate Bay and Mininova and instead say that it has been caused by routing issues.
The Be Broadband twitter page (http://twitter.com/BeBroadband) had a couple of updates:
On the access to torrent site issue: only certain IPs are experiencing connectivity issues to these sites. Our network team is investigating
Just spoken to the team who said it is a routing issue on the network. Be haven’t done anything to intentionally block access…
Apparently the problem is not that BE Broadband are blocking the sites but there is a problem affecting some IP ranges with some of the networks based in Scandinavia which is where many Torrent sites are hosted and that it is not only Torrent sites that have been affected.
Many believed that with the detailing of anti-piracy in the Digital Britain report earlier in the week that this was a move by Be to start acting to block illegal content.
The sites are expected to be back available once the issue is fixed. Be are owned by O2 broadband.
June 18, 2009
The UK is now the sixth largest broadband nation in the world with nearly 17.7 million broadband users by the end of the first quarter 2009 with France only just pipping the UK in to fifth place as they hit the 18 million mark according to the results released by the Broadband Forum and Point-Topic.com.
From the same period last year the UK had 16.3 million broadband users which has increased by about 1.34 million to 17.7 million.
China and America are a long way in front of everyone else, with China having 88 million broadband lines closely followed by the USA with 83 million lines, Japan were in third spot with 30.6 million broadband lines.
The full table of top 10 countries with broadband lines can be seen below:
|| 2009 Q1
Despite the face that it is not until you hit fourth spot with Germany that there is a European country we still find that Western Europe has the largest number of broadband subscribers with 108 million, South and East Asia were on 99 million.
The total number of broadband lines worldwide came to 429.2 million with the top 10 countries in the list above accounting for 310 million of these.
The market share in terms of how users are getting their broadband still shows that currently DSL technology is leading the way with around 65% of users, Cable broadband has about 21% and Fibre has over 12%. Wireless and other technologies make up less 2.5%.
What we look forward to seeing over the coming years is the increase in fibre broadband which will likely result in the DSL technology reducing as more and more switch to next generation high speed Internet access.
Mobile Broadband is to be made available to the whole of the UK rail network by 2012 was another of the plans that was in the Digital Britain Report.
The London 2012 Olympic Games are being said to be the most digital games yet and this is the proposed time when Britain’s rail network, including the London underground, should have reliable phone and broadband available.
Currently when traveling on the rail network in the UK there is patchy coverage at best with frequent loss of signal and the London Underground fairing worse with usually no signal available at all.
The government has called on the mobile broadband providers to come to them with a solution of how they can work to make a reliable mobile broadband network on the rail networks over here.
This is not the first time that talks about installing mobile broadband onto the London Underground have been discussed, only in March this year were the latest discussions but they were dismissed due to the current financial state of the country at the moment.
June 17, 2009
A new national tax is to be levied onto all fixed telephone lines in the country to help pay for the the universal roll out of next generation broadband across the UK it was announced in the Digital Britain Report yesterday.
A charge of £6 per year, or 50p per month, is to be charged to every fixed line telephone and will raise funds of up to £175 million per year that will then be used to subsidise the cost of extending next generation fibre broadband Internet access to the areas of the country where it is not currently planned to be rolled out to as it is not financially viable for the broadband providers to pay for this themselves. There is currently around 30% of the country that will benefit from this investment that live in rural areas that would be missed out from receiving fibre broadband initially.
This is going to be a yearly charge and it is expected that by 2017 all areas will have next generation fibre broadband installed and available to them.
The report also confirmed the government want a minimum 2Mb broadband across the country for everyone by 2012 which is what we have been under the impression would have been announced. This is to be funded in a number of different ways which includes using the £200 million surplus left over from the Digital Switch Over Help Scheme.
The full 245 page Digital Britain final report can be read at www.culture.gov.uk
June 16, 2009
Older Posts »
Be Broadband are running an incentive for those who join the broadband provider by 3oth June of £24 worth of Amazon gift certificates.
To get your hands on these Amazon gift certificates all you need to do is join Be Broadband on any of their deals (Be Value, Be Unlimited or Be Pro) and take a 12 month contract.
When signing up users need to enter “24Offer” to receive their gift certificates.
Any students who are thinking of joining Be Broadband should check out the 3 months free Student broadband offer that is also currently running.