Latest DiscountVouchers.co.uk Survey Shows Mobiles Essential Tech Gadgets to Brits

Online voucher codes specialist DiscountVouchers.co.uk has polled its users to uncover what the most popular technological gadget is in the UK today. The money-saving website found that a staggering 88 percent of Brits say they can’t leave the house unless their mobile phone is in their possession.

The voucher codes website conducts research on a regular basis to gauge its users’ views on a wide range of topics. This week the site discovered that Brits are simply unable to function without their mobile phone.

Gerard Doyle, CEO of DiscountVouchers.co.uk, said: “It’s always interesting to find out what our users think about consumer issues, and this time our research focused on tech devices. It was quite amazing to find so many people won’t leave home without their mobiles these days!”

The top ten gadgets are: 1. Mobile phone. 2. MP3 player. 3. e-book. 4. Sat nav. 5. Laptop. 6. Digital Camera. 7. Tablet. 8. Headphones. 9. Nintendo DS. 10. None of these.

For more information on the latest online codes and vouchers visit www.discountvouchers.co.uk.

Compare Mobile Plans Supports ACMA Plan for Clarity of Comms Industry Terminology

Australian mobile users can look forward to less confusing mobile industry terminology if industry regulator Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) gets its way. The body has warned ISPs and mobile providers to clear up the various buzzwords they use such as ‘cap’ to help consumers enjoy more clarity of pricing plans.

ACMA is also targeting other industry terms in a bid to make consumers’ lives easier – the regulator wants to see a voluntary code of conduct in place to which ISPs will commit. Other industry terms are on the ACMA hitlist as it seeks to make the sector clearer and simpler for consumers.

‘Unlimited Plans’
Any companies which claim to offer ‘unlimited’ plans now need to clarify what they are supplying to subscribers. Many consumers remain confused about contractual details as small print often contains nuances about what is actually covered in their ‘unlimited’ contract, such as heavy charges for calling 1300 numbers.

ACMA wants all providers to remove the misleading word from promotional materials to help reassure consumers. In recent times some operators have taken steps to do this, including Vodafone removing ‘Infinite’ from plans and Amaysim including 1300 and 1800 numbers in Unlimited plans.

Sarah McDonald, spokesperson for Compare Mobile Plans, says: “We are really pleased to see ACMA taking this step, and it can only benefit consumers and the industry in general. Those providers which promise ‘Unlimited’ plans must deliver on that commitment or remove the term from their plans.”

Cap and Included Value
ACMA is also targeting misuse of the term ‘Cap’ in plans, unless providers are truly promoting plans which genuinely limit subscribers on what amounts they can spend on calls and data usage.

In its recent clarion call ACMA included a demand for providers to issue a ‘unit price’ for two-minute voice calls, unit prices per text and a standard cost for 1MB of data usage.

Flagfall
Visitors to Australia from outside the country regularly find themselves confused by the term ‘Flagfall’, which is linked to call connection charges – something which no longer exists in other western telecoms markets like the USA and Europe.

“There isn’t really any justification any longer for Australian ISPs to be charging for flagfall. This is another area where providers could help both the
industry and subscribers out by getting rid of it,” Sarah McDonald went on.

In recent times fledgling provider Amaysim took a stand and launched a range of no contract SIM only plans for Australian subscribers which don’t include any flagfall charges.

Included data
ACMA is also targeting included data contracts which can mislead consumers, in response to the high levels of smartphone penetration today enjoyed in Australia – the country is at 37% penetration right now.

“While ISPs and operators may find it easy to distinguish between ‘included data’ and ‘excess data’ plans, many consumers remain a bit baffled by them and need more clarity,” Sarah McDonald goes on. “Roaming charges is another area which consumers are still pretty puzzled by and they are fed up of getting charged huge sums simply for travelling – providers must address this.”

Comparing mobile phone plans
The variety of confusing industry terms around can make it hard to source and purchase the right subscription – but websites are here to help. Comparison specialists such as Compare Mobile Plans offer simple ways to calculate your needs and how much you want to spend on voice and data before signing up to a deal. The website carries all the latest offers from providers including Telstra, iPrimus, Westnet, InternodeTPG Internet and many more. Users can also compare the latest handsets and mobile devices on the site.

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Satellite and SES continue their growth path in Europe

SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) has announced that satellite has become the leading TV infrastructure in Europe, ahead of terrestrial and cable reception.

Approximately 84 million European households have satellite (Direct-to-Home, DTH) as their primary TV reception mode, an increase of 22 percent over the last four years. In the same period, terrestrial TV lost nearly 16 million homes, while cable TV lost over 2 million. IPTV – the TV distribution over tele-communication networks in IP format – has grown from a very low level to some 16 million households.

These are the results of the year-end Satellite Monitor that SES presents annually and that is based on primary research in 35 European and North African countries. The study is based on more than 62,000 interviews, conducted by leading market research institutes under the lead of TNS Infratest, Germany.

The main growth markets for satellite in 2011 were the UK, Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Italy. The main growth drivers are the development of digital reception and High Definition (HD). Satellite today is the leading digital infrastructure, reaching nearly 44 percent of all 186 million digital TV homes in Europe. The digitalisation rate of satellite is 97 percent, compared to 70 percent in terrestrial reception and 48 percent in cable.

The new study that SES presented today in London also shows that ASTRA is extending its position in the European markets. Around 142 million TV households are served by ASTRA, 7 million more than the year before and 25 million more than four years ago. More than half of the European TV homes (57 percent) receive their signals from ASTRA. 73 percent of all European satellite homes are ASTRA households, a total of 62 million. As a leader of digitalisation and High Definition (HD), ASTRA is also the leading HDTV platform in Europe. Over 23 million of the total 29 million satellite HD households in Europe are ASTRA households. The ASTRA Satellite System transmits 267 HD channels.

Worldwide, SES broadcasts more than 1200 HD channels on its fleet of 50 satellites and reaches 258 million TV households.

“This success confirms our view that satellite reception is the most attractive and future-proof mode for households to watch TV”, said Norbert Hölzle, Senior Vice President Commercial Europe, in London. “The trend in Germany, where satellite overtook cable for the first time in history, is confirmed in the UK as well as in Europe overall, where satellite outgrew the other reception modes. The number and variety of channels, the quality of the broadcast, and the large reach of satellite remain compelling arguments for households to decide for a satellite dish. The factual growth of satellite and ASTRA in the digital world confirms their leading role. It puts us in a strong position to compete with other networks and combine our strengths with DSL and broadband reception. The combination of both in the connected TV will be the best of all possible worlds for the TV viewer.”

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Lebara’s Leading Mega Plan Gets Additional Boost Of Free Data

Lebara Mobile, Australia’s leading telecoms operator for migrant communities, has launched its new and improved Mega Plan service, providing unlimited standard calls and SMS in Australia as well as 1GB of mobile internet at no extra cost. As before, the Mega Plan continues to include an amount of call credit for low-cost international calls.

“We believe this new Mega Plan offers the best value package for customers who make both national and international calls, as well as those who access the internet from their phones.” said Warren Hardy, managing director of Lebara Mobile in Australia. “With this offer Lebara Mobile is further bolstering its position as the number one provider of high quality, low cost mobile services for migrant communities in Australia.”

The Mega Plan gives customers 30 days access to unlimited calls to any standard fixed line or mobile number in Australia*, calls to 13xx and 18xx numbers, calls to/from voicemail and standard ‘free call’ numbers. Now with the addition of 1GB of mobile internet included at no extra cost, customers can surf the web, send emails, social network and more from their Android, iPhone or any other data-ready handset. As before, customers will also get $10 included call credit to use for international calls or international SMS, video calls, MMS or any additional data over their included 1GB.

Two other versions of The Mega Plan are also available, and both include unlimited standard calls and SMS, 1GB data and an amount of included call credit. To top-up during their 30-day access, customers can choose between two Mega Recharge values which gives them additional included credit for their extra international call and data needs.

After 30 days, customers can renew their Mega Plan, and any unused call credit will roll over – a feature which most other unlimited packages exclude.

The latest Lebara Mega Plan can be purchased from all Lebara Mobile retail partners including Allphones, Australia Post, 7-Eleven, Coles & Coles Express, Woolworths Supermarkets & Petrol, Dick Smith and independent retailers, or see online for special offers at www.lebara.com.au.

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SES And Samsung Unveil Africa’s First TV With Integrated Free-To-Air Satellite Receiver

SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) announced at the Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, that it is collaborating with Samsung to drive digital broadcasting via satellite in sub-Saharan Africa. Samsung will introduce an LED television with an integrated free-to-air satellite receiver, the Samsung LED TV Free Satellite, that will be distributed in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon in August 2012. Distribution to additional countries will follow.

The integrated satellite receiver will allow consumers to receive free-to-air television channels without the need for an additional set top box as the LED TV will be directly connected with the satellite dish. In preparation for the launch, SES and Samsung will jointly arrange training sessions with distribution partners and installers to ensure the proper connection of the TV device to the satellite dish. Both partners will also run a joint marketing campaign in June 2012.

As a leader in the free-to-air digital TV market, SES delivers more than 60 free-to-air channels in more than 40 African countries. The launch of the new Samsung LED TV Free Satellite coincides with more channels becoming available in Africa.

“This collaboration is the first of its kind and will drive digitalization in Africa,” said Christoph Limmer, SES’s Senior Director of Marketing Development and Marketing in Africa. “Today, one out of three households in Africa has a TV set but less than 10 million homes receive content in digital format. Our cooperation will not only help to improve access to digital content for African consumers but it will also encourage African broadcasters to launch more content. In servicing more than 40 African countries, we are well aware of the huge demand for more and higher quality TV services. The opportunity lies in providing an increasingly sophisticated African viewership with a significantly increased number of TV channels – a first for many African countries.”

“The Samsung LED TV Free Satellite is our contribution to the continent’s efforts to ‘go digital’, providing African consumers with greater choice and broadcasters with the opportunity to grow the region’s media industry,” said Dae Hee Kim, Regional Product Manager at Samsung Africa.

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Help Spot and Avoid a Fake Mobile Phone for WCRD 2012

On World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 2012, consumers worldwide are reminded that they have the power to make the right choice and avoid fake or knock off mobile phones.

“People can inadvertently purchase a fake or sub-standard phone, through no fault of their own, by trying to find a cheaper price for a phone – especially on the internet,” said Michael Milligan, Secretary General of the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF).

“Everyone wants to be able to buy a product at a good price. But unscrupulous suppliers are exploiting that desire for a bargain to sell products that are not what they claim, or that are just poor quality and perhaps even dangerous. To help consumers identify and avoid these fake or knock-off phones, genuine manufacturers have created the www.spotafakephone.com website.”

Most fake phones are counterfeit copies of genuine handsets, which steal intellectual property such as designs, technologies and trademarks to deliberately deceive consumers. Fake phones are also produced without government approval, safety testing or certification and are sold illegally on the world’s black markets.

“The global black market for fake handsets has grown rapidly over the past few years and is estimated to be in excess of 200 million devices every year,” Mr Milligan said.

“With counterfeiters imitating all facets of a phones appearance, including labeling, design and packaging, it can be hard to spot whether a phone is fake or genuine, so the mobile industry developed this website to help consumers identify fakes and make the right choice.”

“Often it is the sub-standard components, low quality manufacturing and poor performance that impact on consumers after they have already purchased a fake, especially in the area of consumer safety, and usually the consumer has no recourse with the supplier.”

“Another important benefit of buying a genuine phone is that original manufacturers stand behind the quality of their own products and provide important product warranties to consumers should problems arise after purchase.” Mr Milligan said

Consumers can do their part in helping to identify, report and avoid fake or knock off phones by going to: www.spotafakephone.com.

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SES renames ASTRA Broadband Services to SES Broadband Services

SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) has announced that it has renamed its satellite internet subsidiary ASTRA Broadband Services as SES Broadband Services. Its successful satellite internet service ASTRA2Connect is renamed as SES Broadband.

The new names are in line with SES’ new Corporate Identity and its consistent use for all SES companies. SES Broadband Services provides high-speed broadband via satellite for individuals, businesses and communities.

Patrick Biewer, Managing Director of SES Broadband Services, said: “With its fleet investment, SES has laid the foundation for future growth. The new corporate identity supports SES’ ambitious goals. These include a unified service offering to customers across the globe. Leveraging on SES’ global presence and access to its entire fleet, we are convinced that the new names will strengthen our market position and benefit the expansion of our business into new and exciting regions.”

SES Broadband was introduced in 2007 and represents Europe’s largest satellite broadband network with more than 80,000 subscribers. Marketed via distribution partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the service offers a unique opportunity to individuals, businesses and communities to access the internet independent from any terrestrial infrastructure. The service is technically available across the entire fleet of SES and able to support Triple Play services combining broadband access with Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony and TV reception.

SES Broadband Services will exhibit at Information and Communication Technology trade fair CeBIT in Hannover, 6-10 March 2012 at the BITKOM Broadband World stand in hall 13.

About SES:
SES is a world-leading satellite operator with a fleet of 50 geostationary satellites. SES satellite communications service broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators and business and governmental organisations worldwide.

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