Vodafone have doubled their mobile broadband speed up to a theoretical maximum of 14.4 MB and makes Vodafone the first of the mobile broadband operators in the UK to offer the these speeds.
Although the maximum of 14.4 Mb is highly unlikely that users will be able to achieve these speeds Vodafone say that the maximum users are likely to receive is around 10.8 Mb with the typical mobile broadband speeds customers receive to be between 1-4 Mb.
The areas that will benefit from the speed increases are where there is the highest demand, so parts of London, Birmingham and Liverpool already have it available with other parts of the UK getting it on an ongoing basis.
Jeni Mundy, the Chief Technology Officer for Vodafone UK said:
“Customers trust us to deliver a mobile network that they can rely on – wherever they are and whether they are individuals, or a small, medium or large business. Today’s network upgrade means customers can be reassured we’re consistently enhancing the quality of our network in response to demand.”
The broadband speeds that we receive in the UK have us sat outside the top 30 of other developed countries!
The research was carried out by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) who also found that the USA is positions in 29th position with an average broadband speed of 5.1 Mb.
Other countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands have increased their average speeds to 12.8 Mb and 11 Mb respectively, however South Korea who top the list offer an average broadband speed of 20.4 Mb.
The roll out and introduction of next generation super fast broadband has started int he UK and these results who that it is well and truly needed if we are not to fall any further behind other developed countries.
You can test your own broadband speed with our free broadband speed test that will give you your download and upload speeds.
The mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is set to expand from mobile phones and into the mobile broadband market with a laptop.
The Nokia Booklet 3G weighs in at 1.25KG and is around 2cm in thickness and encased in an aluminium chassis (Nokia’s words), it has 3G/HSPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity integrated in it.
This mini laptop also has a 10 inch HD ready glass screen, it has a GPS device installed, a HDMI port so you can hook it up for HD video out, a camera that points towards you so you can use it for video calling or as a webcam and an SD card reader. The battery offers a very impressive 12 hours life and the laptop is powered by an Intel Atom processor.
Kai Oistamo, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Devices said:
We are in the business of connecting people and the Nokia Booklet 3G is a natural evolution for us. Nokia has a long and rich heritage in mobility and with the outstanding battery life, premium design and all day, always on connectivity, we will create something quite compelling. In doing so we will make the personal computer more social, more helpful and more personal.
September 2nd is when we will find out more details of spec and pricing for the Nokia Booklet 3G.
Broadband in the home has been transformed by Wi-Fi.
Wireless technology has become more popular in the last few years as prices have dropped and speeds have increased according to John Dunn, the editor of Techworld.
It’s a winner because it’s mature, cheap, and is used by PCs the world over. It has transformed the home networking market,
He did say the major drawback to Wi-Fi is the range that it is able to transmit as it’s limiting factor but it has still opened up the use of Internet around the home to not just to one specific location. Wimax is likely to be the next generation of wireless systems that will be able to transmit over much greater distances.
Laptops & netbooks are now increasingly coming with wireless technology installed into them which has helped drive the ever increasing need and demand for Wi-Fi.
Mobile networks have been using 3G technology as their answer to wireless Internet and we now have mobile broadband which has become hugely popular too.
Zen Internet has topped the charts as the best broadband provider from a survey of Which? members.
Zen scored 5 out of 5 for speed, reliability and service. Zen managed 3 out of 5 for value for money with prices being around £17.61 per month making it one of the more expensive options.
Overall it topped the charts with 87%. Close behind were O2 (85%), Utility Warehouse (81%) and BE Broadband (80%) who all scored above 80%.
However, BT, TalkTalk, Tiscali and Virgin Media all scored less than 60%, being as these are the big 4 broadband providers in the UK it does go to show that perhaps sometimes paying slightly more with a smaller company can yield better customer satisfaction. Zen are obviously building their business around the customer satisfaction stakes which can go a long way to keeping customers with them.
The 5 companies that faired the worst were AOL (31%), Karoo (38%), Pipex (36%), Orange (32%) and Tiscali (39%) that scored and showed that customers lacked the satisfaction with the service they received from these broadband providers.
The full Which report on the board can be viewed here.
The number of Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK that BT operates is set to double to 1 million in the next 6 months despite it taking 7 years for BT to reach 500,000 hotspots.
With the demand for Internet available wherever we are due to more and more laptops and primarily smart phones such as the iPhone and Blackberrys. BT is looking to tap into this demand as social networking has meant that people are Facebooking and Twittering all day long to communicate with friends.
Dave Hughes who is BT’s Retail director told the Times newspaper
The real revolution is the handheld device. People are perfectly happy to get these devices out of their pockets in the street to update their social networking sites or check their emails, which isn’t the case with laptop
BT will look to add the extra Wi-Fi hotspots via it’s BT Openzone network, they already have Wi-Fi hotspots installed into Starbucks and Caffe Nero along with hotels such as the Hilton, Ramada Jarvis and Thistle hotels.
BT Broadband customers can access the hotspots for free and those who are not are still able to access the network at a cost of 0.5p per minute.
69% of Brits do not review their broadband package on a yearly basis meaning that they could be missing out on making huge savings according to the results of a survey done by price comparison site MoneySupermarket.
11% of those who do not look at other packages regularly said it is simply because they can’t be bothered to switch which shows why broadband providers fight very aggressively to try and entice customers to them.
61% of broadband customers are happy with their broadband provider and as such are quite content to carry on using them, this is despite 78% thinking that they are probably not on the best deal that they could be.
The biggest savings can be made by bundling Broadband, TV and telephone services together, however 54% of us are still paying for each one separately. Bundling the three services together could save customers up to £320 per year.
Instant savings can be made, in the last few weeks alone we have seen BT Broadband, Virgin Media and BE Broadband all launch free 2 or 3 months broadband for any new customers.
BT is to upgrade the broadband speed of BT broadband customers for free. Currently BT customers on “up to” 8Mb deals will see their “up to” speed increased to 20Mb for those who are in enabled areas where ADSL2+ technology is installed.
Currently this will mean that around 10 million UK homes and business will benefit, this is around 40% of the population when the initial 549 exchanges that are ADSL2+ enabled are put to the higher broadband speeds. It is hoped that by March 2010 that around 55% of the UK population will be on the new faster 20Mb broadband speeds.
We also reported last week (Free iPlate for BT Broadband customers) about the “BT Broadband Accelerator”, also known as the iPlate, that BT are now offering to BT Broadband customers for free (just the cost of postage to pay – £1.20) that has shown that over 50% broadband speed increases can be achieved by fitting the device.
You can test to see what the maximum broadband speed you are likely to be able to receive is by entering your post code or telephone number on the checker on BT’s website available here.
You can also check what broadband speed you are receiving with our free broadband speed test.
Glasgow is going to have next generation super fast broadband sooner than expected which will be available to over 15,500 homes and business in the Cardonald, Crookston and Hillington parts of the city will be able to use the BT fibre broadband network that will deliver broadband speeds up to 40Mb.
Originally it was planned that early 2010 would be when the fibre broadband would be available but BT have brought this forward to Autumn 2009. They are installing 56 street cabinets and around 30 miles of fibre optic cable from the exchage to the cabinets (FTTC).
A BT spokesperson told ZDNet yesterday that the reason Glasgow has been brought forward is because of some of the issues they were facing in Muswell Hill that the cabinets were too big and unsightly for their neighbourhood, we are sure the residents in Glasgow who will start receiving the next generation broadband a few months sooner won’t be complaining!
The broadband tax that has been proposed in the Digital Britain report by Lord Carter, to be introduced to every fixed phone line in the UK may not get introduced.
The 50p per month/£6 per year levy is set to be put onto every fixed telephone line in the UK to help fund the roll out of next generation broadband (fibre broadband) services in the UK, the fees were set to raise around £150m a year.
The reason there is doubt as to if the levy will actually come to fruition is because the current communications minister who replaced Lord Carter, Stephen Timms, has said:
“If the question is, is the levy definitely going to be legislated for this side of the election, I can’t say for sure”
With the general election being next year and because the Conservatives who are against the levy are the favourites to replace Labour in government we could find that if the legislation for this has not gone through before the general election then it could well be dropped altogether.