Sky Movies is free this weekend as Sky are offering a free weekend pass to Sky Movies.
Sky subscribers are able to watch the Sky Movies channel “Sky Screen 1″ and “Sky Screen 1 HD” for no extra cost from 6pm today (Friday 30th October) until 6pm on Monday 2nd November.
The available free movies are:
The Incredible Hulk
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Lions For Lambs
The Game Plan
Breakfast At Tiffany’s
The Usual Suspects
Sleepless In Seattle
West Side Story
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
More details of the Free Sky Movies promotion can be viewed at www.freeweekend.skycreative.tv
The mobile broadband with free laptop deals are not perceived to offer value for money according to the latest set of results of a consumer survey!
Despite the popularity of mobile broadband never being greater and the flurry of mobile broadband with laptop deals that were available, a whopping 60% of those who took the study thought that the deals of these combined laptop & mobile broadband were too expensive! Only 15% of those polled thought that the combined deals offered value for money.
The disillusionment with the free laptop with mobile broadband deals has come because customers pay more each month for these deals than they do for just mobile broadband only deals which makes the words “free laptop” a bit of a sticking point.
It is all a case of how you look at the deals as to if you think they are good or bad. On one hand customers do invariably end up paying more each month for a “free laptop” mobile broadband deal such as the example below:
An example in case from O2 mobile broadband who do offer a “free laptop” mobile broadband deal:
- “Free” Samsung NC10 Mini-Laptop with 3GB mobile broadband data transfer on a 24 month contract – £29.38 per month
- O2 Mobile broadband only deal with 3GB mobile broadband data transfer – £14.69 (although currently for 4 months of this it is at £9.79).
So in this example, for the very same mobile broadband usage of 3GB per month there is almost £20 difference per month for taking the “free laptop” as apposed to just taking out the mobile broadband alone.
The other more positive way to look at this is that if you do not currently have a laptop and want one and are not in a position to buy one out right and would prefer to pay it in monthly installments then if you choose one of these deals then you are getting the option to get a brand new laptop which is in effect only costing you £20 per month. In the example above, the Samsung NH-10 is currently on sale at Dixons for £259.
The negative way to view the above is that it is clearly not exactly a “free laptop” as you are paying almost £20 per month extra for the same mobile broadband deal by having a “free laptop” added to it, if you work out the difference in price over the 2 years/24 months that the mobile broadband deal runs for you end up paying £470 more than you would for just standard mobile broadband which is £211 more than the laptop would cost to buy outright now.
As we have always said, you need to weigh up the options of these mobile broadband + laptop deals very carefully. If you can’t afford to buy a new laptop and are happy to pay £30 per month to have one and receive mobile broadband then this could be a convenient way for you to get yourself sorted, providing you are aware that in the long run you will be paying more.
If however you already have a laptop or can afford to buy one without needing to take one from the mobile broadband providers then over the course of the mobile broadband contract you are likely to save yourself a bit of money.
Virgin Media broadband subscribers increased to over 4 million in the last quarter due to an impressive 39,000 new subscribers to the fibre broadband provider.
Of their 4 million broadband subscribers 72% now have an up to 10Mb broadband package or faster which equates to 2.7 million. Year-on-year Virgin Media have increased those on 10Mb or faster broadband by 157%.
It is also good to see that customers are getting the most for their money when it comes to their communications services, with 60% of Virgin Media customers having broadband, TV and home phone bundles which help reduce the costs. 10% of their customers go the whole hog and take all 4 of the services from Virgin Media which in addition to the broadband, digital TV and home telephone also includes mobile phone.
The next quarter may also bring positive news from the fibre optic broadband provider, their 50Mb broadband had 20,000 subscribers at the end of the quarter, with Virgin reducing the price of the 50Mb broadband in September it is likely that they will get many more sign up to their fastest service. In September to October since the price reduction they have achieved over 40% of new subscribers to the 50Mb broadband as new customers and going to show that there is a big appetite for faster broadband speeds in the UK.
The UK is being called to tackle illegal downloading with the “three strikes” policy by Jean-Bernard Levy the CEO of a French Broadband provider and content maker, Vivendi.
He also says that if the UK do not clamp down then we will damage our economy because of it.
In France, a law has been passed that illegal downloaders will receive two warnings about their activity and if these warnings are ignored then they could have their Internet access cut off for up to a year.
In the UK, broadband providers such as BT Broadband and The Carphone Warehouse don’t believe that it is their job to police the Internet or their customers.
Jean-Bernard Levy told a British government sponsored forum on creative industries:
At Vivendi, we are in the content business, we are in the telecom business and there is no internal debate,”
“The priority is not to grow … traffic on the ISPs. The priority is that creators, people who develop content, should find a way (to be rewarded).”
Back in June the Digital Britain report done by Lord Carter it was suggested that repeat offenders should have their broadband speed reduced although no Lord Mandelson is looking at taking this further with temporary disconnection of broadband services for these offenders.
The 50p per month broadband tax that is to be used to help fund next generation fibre optic broadband in the UK has been criticised by The Conservatives who say that it will fail to deliver high speed broadband to every home.
Jeremy Hunt, the shadow Culture Secretary and Nick Herber, the shadow Environment Secretary wrote a column in the Daily Telegraph:
“The incentive for operators to invest is destroyed as everyone focuses not on consumers but how to get more state handout.
The tax has been earmarked to encourage investment in modern fibre optic networks – but telecom operators will have no incentive to make any investment of their own if there is the chance to tap into subsidy.”
They belive that the technology providers will just want handouts from the giovernment to help fund the new technology instead of investing in it themselves.
The continuing growth and popularity of mobile broadband and people using their mobile phones to access the Internet is set to send mobile data transfer to rise 25 fold by 2012!
The problem for the mobile operators is that in the same period of time the revenues from those using the services is only expected to double and that they need to act now to avoid data traffic jams in the future through the hugely increased usage!
Smartphones have been a huge driving factor is users using their mobile phones to access the Internet, with iPhones and Blackberrys some of the most popular phones being sold today. There has already been a boom in the take up of mobile broadband but this is likely to not have as widespread use as connecting to the Internet via mobile phones.
Towards the end of 2010 we are due to see the launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G, that should offer far greater mobile network capacity and faster speeds but until this is fully launched we are unlikely to know how well it is going to be able to cope with the huge increase in demand for mobile Internet.
3 Mobile broadband customers could well soon see that their mobile broadband deal will also entitle them to premium access of Spotify, the music streaming service.
There is already a plan between 3 Mobile and Spotify to allow the Spotify music service to be available to customers who sign up for a contract with the HTC Hero mobile phone.
Charlotte Blanchard, the director of Products and Services at 3 Mobile said:
“This partnership continues our commitment to bring popular Internet services to our customers.
Over time our deal with Spotify will extend across a range of our products including mobile broadband.”
Spotify Mobile will initially be available only on the HTC Hero. For £35 a month over 24 months and an upfront fee of £99, the package includes;
- Unlimited Spotify Premium for mobile and PC for 24months (worth £240)
- 750 minutes to other mobiles
- Unlimited texts
- Unlimited 3 -to – 3 calls
- Unlimited email, internet browsing and Facebook®
- Free Skype™-to –Skype calls
The Shadow Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that if the Torries get in then they would scrap plans for the 50p per month “broadband tax” that is set to be charged to all land line telephones.
The £6 per year tax is to help fund next-generation fibre broadband in the UK but many believe that the £175 million it would raise per year is no way near enough.
If Labour do manage to rush through with their plans for the broadband tax that were detailed in the Digital Britain Report before the next general election (that the Conservative Party are favourite to win) then it would make it more difficult for the Tories to have this proposal stopped.
From July next year everyone in Finland will be legally entitled to a minimum broadband speed of 1Mb.
The Finnish government are to make Finland the first country in the world to have a minimum broadband speed as a legal requirement. What is more is that they have said that this is just an intermediary step before they roll out 100Mb fibre broadband by 2015.
The 5 million population of Finland already has a 95% connection rate to some form of Internet and it is clear to see that the Finnish government see how important the Internet is as a human right.
It has been estimated that broadband customers are paying nearly £6 million per year calling broadband support help lines.
The survey was done by uSwitch and survey 12,000 broadband customers. It found that on average the average support calls lasted 17 minutes with 6 minutes of that being spent on hold waiting to be dealt with.
O2 Broadband customers wait on average 2 minutes on hold while TalkTalk customers wait a staggeringly long 12 minutes on average before they get to speak to support.
More interesting statistics from these support calls are that the support lines charge between 0p up to £1.75 per call and broadband problems needing around 2 telephone calls to get the problem sorted with only 41% of the broadband problems been sorted first time.
Customers of Orange and Tiscali are the least satisfied with the technical support that they receive.
The main reasons for broadband technical support calls are:
- Network connection problems (37%)
- Service interruptions (18%)
- Wireless router problems (17%)
- Set-up problems (8%)
- Issues with speed (6%)
- Other/don’t know (14%)