Category Archives: Landline

CompareBroadband.com.au Poll Finds Broadband Connection Important to House Hunters

A new survey carried out by leading broadband comparison site Compare Broadband (comparebroadband.com.au) has found that house hunters consider a reliable, fast home broadband connection to be high on their list of priorities.

The site polled users and found that 78 percent of 300 respondents factor broadband access into the equation when they are looking into renting or buying a new property.

Sarah McDonald, Compare Broadband spokesperson, commented: “We regularly field calls from people who want advice on installing a home broadband connection and we often advise them on the best provider such as SpinTel broadband on the website. Sometimes people find that they have unknowingly moved from a place where they had access to fast a range of broadband plans to a place where they have no broadband choices at all.”

“We’re able to advise people on mobile broadband packages in these cases, but for someone self-employed working from home for example it can be a problem. They prefer solid, reliable connectivity.”

As the National Broadband Network (NBN) goes on connecting all the regions of Australia, the variance between types of internet connectivity available could well increase. Some places will receive speeds of up to 100Mbps and others will remain tied to mobile broadband or basic ADSL.

Specialist comparison websites like Compare Broadband are able to screen regions and addresses for quality of ADSL connection on a preliminary basis – though this is not guarantee of service.

Tips for house hunters
1. An area’s name or reputation does not guarantee quality broadband connection.

2. Speak to previous tenants or occupiers about their own internet connection or provider.

3. Call Compare Broadband on 1300 764 000 or get online to source impartial advice on ISPs

4. Greenfield developments advertised as fibre optic ready can deliver broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 100Mbps.

5. NBN offers a map online to see which areas of the country are in line for next generation broadband rollout.

Via EPR Network
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Preparing Your Business For The Olympics

Unless you operate out of central London, it’s highly likely that any disruption to your business caused by the Games will be minimal, if non-existent. However, for many businesses based in and around Greater London, London 2012 presents a number of challenges – challenges that do have the potential to affect businesses across the country if left unchecked.

“We’ve experimented with a few scenarios to help us maintain our operations”, explains Chris Skarratt, co-founder of Silversun, a small TV production firm in Soho. “We know courier services will be disrupted, so we’ve invested in technology to send many of our projects securely online and upgraded our broadband capabilities to cope”. “We’ve also talked to staff about working from home or doing flexible hours – we’re just trying to cover all bases”, continues Skarratt.

They’re wise to be doing so. According to the British Council for Offices, fewer than 1 in 10 employees will be allowed to work from home during the Games. This statistic does not bode well with findings from recruitment specialist Badenoch & Clark, who have revealed that nearly 16% of staff will consider taking a ‘sickie’ to watch the Olympic torch relay that will be travelling around the UK throughout May and June, as well as the Games itself. As Matthew Wallace, head of workplace at BskyB, comments: “the Games should be acting as a catalyst to remind businesses of the benefits of working flexibly”.

The Games – in dates and numbers:

Olympic Games: 27th July – 12th August 2012
Paralympic Games: 29th August – 9th September 2012.
• £11bn price tag to host the Games
• 10,500 athletes and 8.8 million tickets issued
• 37 competition venues across the UK, 27 of which are in London
• 636 competition sessions across 26 sports
• 500,000 visitors to London everyday throughout the Games
• 24% temporary ‘Games Lanes’ to be created by sharing bus lanes
• 1% of London roads incorporated to form part of an Olympic Road Network
The organisers of London 2012 have produced a document to help businesses prepare for the Games. To make the most of this information, we’ve summarised the key considerations for your business below:
• A reduced workforce
How many of your employees have confirmed their holidays over the Games period? Worse still, they may consider ringing in sick. Introducing more flexible ways of working will limit disruption for your business – it may even increase productivity.

• Slower internet services
Some of your employees are working from home during the Games: will their internet service be fast enough if an increased number of people are accessing the internet? Ensure that if your employees are working remotely, they have the resources to work effectively.

• Slower mobile networks
Which business doesn’t operate without mobile phones these days? It’s worth noting that at times of peak demand, the networks could run slower, making it difficult to stay in touch and access information remotely. Plan to upload and download larger content, such as files or images, outside peak times.

• Journey times across London
Your business may not be based in London, but are any of your suppliers? Getting across London to visit clients or attend meetings may require a little pre-planning: london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness

• Road network disruption
Don’t forget, 10 competition venues are outside London, with significant activity also taking place in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset; Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; and Hadleigh Farm, Essex. The Football competition is also being played in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

Via EPR Network
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Protect Your Business From The Unexpected With Moneypenny

Depressed economies. Worldwide rioting. Exploding PIP breast implants. Cursed cruise liners. And before you even think about consoling yourself with the thought that Spring is just around the corner, bear in mind that, apparently, we’re facing the worst drought for more than 30 years.

Yes, we do have a morbid fascination with all things doom and gloom (without doubt, fuelled by our overly accommodating media). Nonetheless, the fact remains: bad things do happen. And without fail, they will always, always happen at the worst time possible.

Planning for the unexpected is cynical. It’s tedious. And it’s potentially a huge waste of time. But for the occasions when the unexpected does occur, planning is essential. David Bruce, commercial product manager at Aviva comments: “Given the current climate, it’s understandable that business owners are focusing on the day-to-day aspects of their business. But that doesn’t mean they should ever take their eye off the business planning side of things.”

According to the Federation of Small Business, 80% of businesses affected by a major incident will close within 18 months. This alarming statistic is probably due to the fact majority of SMEs believe it would only take them one week (33%) or one month (31%) to return to normal trading after a major incident. The reality however, is very different. According to Aviva’s team of commercial specialists, a return to full normal trading can often take a business more than a year.

We started this discussion with our glass half empty, so let’s not get bogged down in the disheartening detail. Endeavoring to minimise disruption to your business makes good business sense. With a continuity plan in place, you’re more likely to be up and running quicker, and face fewer cost implications. In no time at all, your glass will be brimming, without a doom and gloom statistic in sight.

Top 10 business continuity tips for your business:

Depending on your business’ specific circumstances, here are some top tips to keep your company open for business, no matter what happens:

1. – Create a “battle box”. It should have the following in it:
– Copy of your continuity plan
– Copy of insurance policy (scan it in)
– Company statutory documents
– List of key advisers including bankers, lawyers etc.
– List of key staff and their contact details
– List of debtors and how to chase them
– List of suppliers
– Bank account details including key banking contacts
– Details of IT backup company (if appropriate)
– Company credit card
– Copies of computer software disks and license keys
– Back-up pay as you go phone(s).

This doesn’t have to be a physical box, though it can be (some elements such as backup CDs need to be kept off-site). The best option is to email the ‘soft’ contents of your box (i.e. computer files) to your home email address and also to other key members of staff.

2. Establish reciprocal relationships with your neighbours.
– Talk to companies, who you can agree to share office space, facilities etc. in a disaster. Ensuring you have access to a place you can operate in a calm and controlled way will get you through your disaster.

3. Determine what are the most important aspects to your business.
– Consider what would happen if you lost them. Then, determine simple and manageable contingency plans e.g. I must collect my cash. Always keep up-to-date copies of debtors list etc.

4. Make sure you know how to switch your telephone lines in a disaster.

An event as seemingly trivial as a gas leak in the street can mean your phones will ring off the hook – having telephone answering service support from an outsourced provider in place may worth considering.

5. Consider using laptops in your business and take them home at the end of each day.

This gives you inherent resilience with data off-site, but also and more importantly mobile communications.

6. Set up a call-cascading system so that you can communicate well in a disaster.

For example, you speak to three people and they each speak to three people etc. until the message is spread to everyone who needs to hear it.

7. Consider the day-to-day use of document management software.

Many software systems automatically store your emails and key documents off-site. This software is not as expensive as you might think.

8. Agree extended payments terms with your key suppliers in the event of a disaster.

Ensuring you are automatically granted extended payments terms will take the pressure off you, should the worst-case scenario ever occur.

9. Be ready to communicate in a disaster.

Particularly to employees, who will be worried about their jobs. Talk to them regularly. Their loyalty is everything in a disaster.

10. Keep your plan up-to-date!

Any plans or practices that you put in place will only be effective if they’re still accurate and everyone is aware of them.

As the UK’s leading telephone answering service, Moneypenny looks after calls for businesses of all shapes and sizes as well as offering virtual assistants support – from sole traders right up to multinational corporations. For larger companies, Moneypenny can either support an existing reception team or become their fully outsourced switchboard support service.

Via EPR Network
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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.

Via EPR Network
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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.

Via EPR Network
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Sophisticated VoIP Service and Provider Hosting

VoIP – the communication system, providing the transmission of voice signals over the Internet or any other IP-based networks. The signal is transmitted over a communication channel in a digital form and, as a rule, before sending the converted (compressed) in order to remove redundancy.

Voice and video calls through computer networks has become popular throughout the world since the beginning of the XXI century and is now widely used by private users and the corporate sector. The use of IP-telephony systems allows telecom operators to significantly reduce the cost of calls (especially international), and integrate telephony services with the Internet, to provide intelligent services.

VoIP technology realizes the problem and solutions that are using technology to implement PSTN will be more difficult or more expensive. Ability to transmit more than one telephone call within the high-speed telephone connection. Therefore, VoIP technology is used as a simple way to add extra phone line at home or office. Secure calls, with a standardized protocol (such as SRTP). Most of the difficulties to enable secure telephone connections to the traditional telephone lines, such as the digitization of the signal, digital signal transmission, have been solved in the framework of the technology VoIP. It is only necessary to produce a signal encryption and authentication for an existing data stream. Location independence. One need only an Internet connection to connect to your ISP VoIP. For example, call center operators with VoIP-phones can work from any office where there is available an effective fast and stable Internet connection. Available integration with other services via the Internet, including video calls, messaging and data during the conversation, audio conferencing, managing address book and receive information about available is to call other subscribers. Additional phone features – such as routing calls, pop, alternative GSM-roaming and implementation of IVR – easier and cheaper to implement and integrate. The fact that a call is in the same data network as the PC user opens the door to many new opportunities. Portability of telephone numbers (English Mobile number portability, MNP and LNP, Eng. Local Number Portability) – a service that allows its users to keep an existing phone number from one mobile operator to another. Ability to transfer phone numbers depends on the laws of the country. Challenges in IP-telephony system is considered the least cost call routing (LCR, Least Cost Routing system), which is based on the fact that checks the destination of each telephone call as soon as it is made within the network that gives the consumer the lowest price. Therefore, VoIP-solutions are also needed to manage the compatibility of mobile numbers of MNP when routing a voice call. In countries without a central database, such as the UK, it is sometimes necessary to send a request to the GSM-network on which network (which operator) owns the cell phone. Because VoIP is beginning to gain momentum in the market companies through the use of system features a minimal cost call routing, you must provide a certain level of reliability in the management of calls. One of the voip services and hostings are www.voipclub.biz and www.dataclub.biz.

Via EPR Network
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FA secures BT Partnership For St. George’s Park Development

BT has become the Official Communications Services Partner of St. George’s Park, the first of a select number of tiered blue-chip partners of The Football Association’s new National Football Centre, under development in Burton upon Trent.

In an exclusive five year, multi-million pound agreement, coaches, players and business users of St. George’s Park will all benefit from a state-of-the-art, bespoke, high-speed BT iNet voice and data network, plus BT Openzone Wi-Fi.

David Sheepshanks, Chairman of St. George’s Park, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome BT as a partner for the St. George’s Park development and their association with us is a ringing endorsement of its importance and its growing national identity.

“The buildings are taking shape at a rapid rate and you can now get a real sense of what an inspirational and special place it will be. St. George’s Park will be at the very centre of coach education and young player development and for The FA to be delivering its philosophy and agenda it needs the very best technology infrastructure and facilities. We look forward to working closely with BT.”

Graham Sutherland, managing director, BT Business, said: “We are very proud to support St. George’s Park and to help The FA develop the next generation of sporting greats. With the best communications technology at the heart of this project, English football can build a competitive advantage on the field.”

Rob Ray, Group Director of Digital & Information Technology at The Football Association, said: “St. George’s Park is designed to be cutting edge in every way and technology is a key component, making this partnership with BT all the more exciting. There is little doubt that they are best placed to deliver this expertise and we are delighted to be able to partner with them to enhance St. George’s Park’s status as a centre of sporting excellence.”

Close to one million visitors will use the St. George’s Park network over the term. Sponsorship rights have also been agreed.

BT is the Official Communications Services Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, title sponsor of the BT Paralympic World Cup, and also sponsors the charity Football Aid. Three of Britain’s national stadia – Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Stadium and Hampden Park – have BT-installed technology, and BT Vision’s entertainment service provides live matches from the Barclays Premier League and live action from The FA Cup with Budweiser and the Football League. BT has more than 60 years experience in sports content delivery, and its media and broadcast services support The FA Cup, Wimbledon and Rugby Union, among 3,500 headline events, each year.

BT joins a growing list of commercial partners, headed by Lead Partner Umbro, as well as Hilton Worldwide. Construction of St George’s Park is already well underway and the centre is on-track to open in the summer of 2012.

Via EPR Network
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Google to Turn Mobile Phones Into Wallets

The latest launch from the search giant aims to use a mobile phone to pay for everyday purchases, and heralds a new age for telecommunications, say Just Call.

Earlier this month it was announced that Google had launched Google Wallet, their very own mobile payment system that enables the user to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone. Currently being advertised as a new payment method to rival credit and debit cards, Google Wallet has been successfully trialled in New York and San Francisco since May this year, and could open up a whole new world to mobile phone users, say cheap call provider Just Call.

A spokesperson for Just Call comments: “Google Wallet is obviously a huge step forward for mobile phones, as until recently they could obviously only be used for the purposes of communication, such as by making phone calls and sending text and emails. However, the advent of Google Wallet means that users will soon be able to pay using their mobile phones, thanks to Near Field Communications (NFC) which means that when a special chip inside the phone is tapped against a reader at a till it will pay the amount, which is just extraordinary.”

While Google Wallet is to be marketed in the US only, the pre-paid Google Wallet card will be able to work internationally from the launch, and it can also be used at any of the 300,000 retailers in the US and elsewhere that accept MasterCard PayPass. But while the launch of this product has been limited to the US, Just Call are confident that this new technology will catch on and become a new method of payment around the world.

The spokesperson for Just Call continues: “While Google Wallet has only been launched in the US so far, it would seem that the trials in New York and San Fransisco, where around 1000 Google, Mastercard, and Macy’s employees used this payment method, were very successful. At present, Google Wallet can be downloaded as an app from a phone network in the US, and will work on a Nexus S phone, which runs on Google’s Android system.

However, we believe that in a few years this type of technology will be used all over the world, and change the mobile phone industry as we know it, so as well as being able to make international calls to anywhere in the world, users will be able to pay for purchases too, which is a really exciting prospect.”

Via EPR Network
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BT’s Accessibility Range Offers Comfort To Mature Phone Users

With colder months beckoning, leading telecommunications provider BT has pointed out the importance of accessible phones for those with limited physical, oral and aural capabilities – particularly the elderly.

Using the telephone to stay in touch with family, friends and the wider world is something that many of us take for granted, but it is not always simple for those who are hard of hearing or struggle to press small buttons.

BT’s Paragon, Converse and Big Button telephone ranges are designed with this in mind, with an array of special features to assist users who are entirely or partially blind or deaf; or who have problems with mobility, dexterity or speech.

BT shop Executive, Caroline Hodgson said: “Many older people suffer with one or more of these difficulties and some of them worsen with cold weather, particularly dexterity. During autumn and winter it is especially important that people are able to maintain contact with loved ones and essential resources.

“A landline handset such as the Big Button 100 has large, widely-spaced buttons, easy volume controls and an inductive coupler so that the user can attach a hearing aid. It also has a handset that is easy to grip. Details like this are indispensible for many people.”

A similarly ergonomic telephone is the BT Converse 2200, which can be used hands-free or with a headset if needed. It can also be wall-mounted for ease of use and is more energy-efficient than many other phones, meaning more capacity for other essentials such as heating bills.

Consumers can also choose models such as the BT Freestyle 710, which is cordless and light; or the BT Paragon 550, which offers an easy answerphone facility and a speaker phone replay option for extra clarity.

Along with the Big Button, Converse and Paragon ranges, the Relate 2100 is suitable for those with a learning disability or mental impairment; and all phones can be used with accessories such as loud indoor ringers and baby monitors, for extra peace of mind.

More information about phones for the elderly and easy to use phones can be found on BT Shop’s website.

Via EPR Network
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New Survey Finds Teens are Addicted to Their Smartphones

A survey conducted by Ofcom has revealed that a number of teenagers and adults under 30 have admitted that they are addicted to using their smartphone handsets, which shows that people are becoming more reliant on telecommunications to stay in touch with the people that matter, say Just Call.

A new report published by Ofcom has revealed that 60% of teenage smartphone users admitted that they are “highly” addicted to their mobile phone, compared to 37% of adults. The survey, which questioned 2,073 adults and 521 children also revealed that the smarphone is one of the most popular methods of communication in society today, and people are using it in almost every place or situation, say Just Call.

A spokesperson for Just Call comments: “The results of this survey by Ofcom are really very interesting, because they show just how often people are choosing to use their mobile phones. Ofcom has revealed that 27% of adults and 47% of teenagers in the UK have a smartphone, and 59% of smartphone owners received them over the past year. But what’s really exciting is the study found that while 80% of those surveyed have their phone all day, everyday, 47% of those questioned admitted to using their smartphone when they were using the toilet, which is extraordinary.”

In addition to the increasing use of smartphones in everyday life, with 81% of smartphone users admitting to making more calls and sending more texts compared to 53% of regular mobile phone users, the survey also identified how technology was beginning to change the way that people communicated and and spent their free time. With 30% of teenage respondents stating that they spent less time playing video games, compared to 23% saying that they didn’t watch as much TV as they used to.

The spokesperson at Just Call continues: “The impact of the smartphone has been considerable over the last few years, and since 2005, they have grown in popularity, use, style and efficiency, giving them a £3.7 million stake of the mobile phone market by December 2010. In fact, the survey also found that smartphone users were much more likely to take personal calls during work hours, and to also engage in work-related calls when they were at home. While this may sound a little surprising, the fact that smartphones have become so popular shows that people are looking for gadgets that can help make everyday lives a little bit easier, and if a phone can help find a new restaurant or unearth great deals on international calls, then the rise of smartphone use can only be a good thing.”

Via EPR Network
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BT and Heineken Partner To Offer Wi-Fi To London Pubs

Drinkers at nearly 100 London pubs and bars are to get fast Wi-Fi, following a new BT and Heineken partnership with plans to extend the wireless internet service to a further 200 pubs across the UK by the end of 2012.

Through Wi-Fi, customers can access a special area of the internet, the Heineken Hub, for which the UK’s newest newspaper, i, the quality daily and sister paper to The Independent, is supplying exclusive content.

Customers can get online quickly with any wireless PC, tablet or mobile phone at any of the Wi-Fi hotspots and will also receive exclusive, location-specific content including the best stories from news, views, features, business, culture and sports. It is the first time this content has been available online and it will be updated daily.

The pubs boost BT’s hotspot numbers to more than three million – the largest network in the UK. More than 200,000 sites have been added in the last three months.

Rick Lawrence, Marketing Manager at Heineken UK said: “The partnership with BT reinforces the brand’s reputation as a leading player in the development of technology. The Wi-Fi initiative will provide excellent exposure for Heineken among its key target audience and build greater affinity between the brand and its consumers.”

Chris Bruce, CEO, BT Openzone, said: “Using Wi-Fi to deliver free and exclusive content, Heineken is engaging and exciting pub goers and will undoubtedly increase business. It’s an exciting time to be involved in hospitality marketing.”

Wi-Fi access is completely free to over five million BT Broadband customers, plus users of iPads, iPhones, iTouch, Android, Samsung and Blackberry devices and smartphones through other BT partnership agreements.

In further developments to the UK’s largest Wi-Fi network, BT has also added Wi-Fi access at John Lennon Liverpool, Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield and Teesside regional airports.

BT Wi-Fi is also available at 13 Shepherd Neame hotels in Kent, Starbucks, major hotel chains including Thistle, Guoman and Ramada Jarvis, Welcome Break and Roadchef Costa motorway service areas, Network Rail stations, airports and thousands of homes and independent businesses.

BT also extended its relationship with Hilton in June to provide a fully managed suite of Wi-Fi internet services to more than 17,000 bedrooms, public areas and meeting and conference spaces in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Via EPR Network
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BT Shop’s Joy At Which? Best Buy Status For Cordless Phones

BT Shop has expressed its pride in being Which?’s current Best Buy choice for cordless phones, with the Synergy 6500 range, Studio 4100 Plus range and Freestyle 710 range all highlighted for praise.

Consumer magazine Which? has long been renowned for its careful analysis and reviews of goods and services in many different markets and is respected as a leading independent authority.

Every year, the publication awards Best Buy status to the products it judges to have earned the highest results in comparative testing.

BT Shop Executive Caroline Hodgson said: “We are delighted to be the current holders of Which?’s Best Buy accolade for our three cordless phone ranges. It is a great honour, as the judgement and advice of Which? has been trusted by consumers for decades.

“We know how rigorous Which?’s procedures are and so we’re very pleased that they have recognised our dedication to quality and providing the best possible service to our customers.”

The BT Synergy 6500 range is available in single, twin, trio and quad sets, depending on the number of handsets required by a household. Its primary features include digital answering with a 30-minute capacity for recordings, a 250-entry phone book and text messaging; while its clever design means that extra handsets can be added without installing more phone sockets.

Models in the BT Studio 4100 Plus range use a low energy power supply and are each equipped with a clock, alarm and five different ringer melodies; while BT Freestyle 710 phones have big buttons for easy use and are compatible with digital hearing aids.

Which?’s cordless phone reviews are produced using a wide range of diverse criteria, including tests for durability, the loudness of the ear piece and sound quality. Which?’s experts also assess reception, maximum range, ease of use, battery life, power consumption, versatility and features of each model.

Via EPR Network
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Firstnumber Welcomes The Proposals To Cut EU Mobile ‘Roaming’ Prices

The recent proposal of cuts being made to mobile phone roaming charges while in the EU has been widely acclaimed by Firstnumber, a service provider that offer cheap international calls from anywhere in the UK.

The proposal made by the European Commission is aimed at reducing mobile phone costs when making calls, sending texts and browsing the internet anywhere in the EU. With the intention of making it the same price as it costs when at home. The EC have stated that it costs roughly £2 per megabyte to download when abroad without any current maximum cap set. To make a call it is currently 31p per minute and 10p per minute to receive a call.

The proposed plans if agreed the will come into force in 2014, and set a maximum cap to data charges set at 45p for data per megabyte. Calling will be reduced to 22p when making a call and 9p when receiving a call per minute.

A spokes from Firstnumber has stated that “this proposal is long over due and consumers have been charged at an unreasonable rate for too long. These plans help match what consumers expect to pay and will hopefully increase competition and choice within the market, whilst helping to create better offers for consumers.”

The Firstnumber spokesperson also went on to suggested it’s important that cheap international calls are made even more readily available to everyone and that it doesn’t stop with this proposal.

The proposal includes the recommendation that mobile customers will be able to opt for a separate cheaper mobile contract that will allow for cheaper roaming costs and will use the same number and SIM card.

Firstnumber advises all users before going on holiday to remember the following tips that may help you from being caught out – Start by using Wi-Fi wherever possible, as there will be many hotspots within all major cities, secondly, try short texts to help stay in touch and forget about worrying for every minute on the phone. Lastly, check before leaving for a holiday with the phone operator and make sure of all the data charges and price to call.

For more information on Firstnumber visit http://www.firstnumber.co.uk.

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BT Launches New Range Of Cameras In Time For Summer

One of the UK’s leading online electronics and technology retailers BT Shop has announced the release of a new range of camcorders and cameras in time for the summer holiday season.

With schools around the country preparing to break up in the next few days and people everywhere counting down until their own summer holiday, BT Shop has ensured that everyone will be able to afford to keep a record of their time in the sun.

The company’s range of digital cameras and camcorders are made by some of the most trusted names in the industry – the likes of Pentax, Kodak and Samsung. All the models on offer have a huge variety of shooting options to choose from, but are also simple for novices to use. So whether you’re a budding David Bailey or just prefer to point and click, there is sure to be a model to suit your needs.

The Kodak EASYSHARE C143 silver digital camera has proved extremely popular with people looking for a simple way to take pictures and capture memories forever. Its 2GB SD card will ensure that you won’t run out of space in a hurry, while the camera’s Easyshare technology means it is possible to upload your pictures to the internet within seconds.

Caroline Hodgson, Executive at BT Shop, said: “Everyone wants to be able to capture great images when they’re on holiday and with our range of digital cameras and digital camcorders, taking fantastic photos has never been easier. There is a large range available to choose from and like all products at BT Shop, everything is competitively priced.”

For photographers who like to get active, the Fuji FinePix XP30 is sure to appeal. With its rugged build, 14.2-megapixel resolution and five times wide zoom, it is able to perform in the most demanding conditions and provide fantastic shots every time.

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BT’s Accessibility Phones Make It Easier For You To Stay Connected

BT’s most useful range of home phones can help you to dial more easily, improve the volume of your calls and know exactly who is calling before you even pick up the handset.

Landline handsets in the Big Button, Converse, Freestyle and Paragon ranges are carefully designed to assist you with hearing or sight difficulties, and allow you the freedom to control how you communicate with people.

Caroline Hodgson, BT Shop Executive says: “Our most popular phone, the Big Button 100, lives up to its name with large, generously-spaced buttons. It also has straightforward volume controls and can be used with a hearing aid, via an inductive coupler. It is recommended for people with impairments to their sight, hearing, speech, mobility and dexterity; and also those who are uncomfortable with technology.”

The Converse, Freestyle and Paragon phones can also be used with a hearing aid – and each has its own additional set of useful features, depending on your requirements.

For example, the Converse 2200 can also be used hands-free or with a headset; uses less energy than most types of phone; and can be mounted on a wall for easy access. Alternatively, the Paragon 550 is equipped with an answerphone which operates via the handset or a speaker option. Other models include the Converse 2300 and the Paragon 650, which have additional capabilities such as speed dialling and text messaging.

The Freestyle 710 and 750 are light, cordless models, allowing them to be used in different rooms of the home while still retaining many of the features that make BT’s traditional corded phones so useful, including hearing aid compatibility.

If you visit BT’s website, you can find out a lot more about accessibility phones and disability phones.

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BT Home Hub 3 Makes A Strong Connection With Sleek New Look

The new BT Home Hub 3 combines a glossy new design with superb practical benefits, including a powerful signal range, high-level energy efficiency and the ability to seek out the best BT connection available.

Like previous Home Hub models, the BT Home Hub 3 connects devices around the home, providing a central focus for a household’s landline, mobile phone, wireless networking, broadband internet and television services. It operates either using a wireless signal or wires, depending on the preference of each user.

However, the new BT Home Hub 3 boasts BT’s best ever wireless signal. Known as‘smart wireless’, the system detects and automatically selects the strongest channel available.

Caroline Hodgson, BT Shop Executive says: “Once connected, BT’s latest Hub constantly monitors the signal for interference or other problems – and, if it detects any issues, it will switch to a preferable channel. The Hub uses wireless‘N’ technology, which reflects wireless signals around rooms and improves overall coverage in your home.”

The BT Home Hub 3 also has superb energy efficiency properties, including the ability to automatically switch to ‘low power’ mode when not connected. Full power is always restored if it reconnects or is prompted by internet traffic.

Like the Home Hub v2.0, the Hub 3 looks stylish in smooth black, but in a much more compact form. With the added benefits of protective Wi-Fi security and easy setup with help from an accessible user guide, the BT Home Hub 3 is the perfect choice for helping your household work in harmony.

The BT Home Hub 3 retails at £91.90 with the Infinity Welcome Pack or ADSL Welcome Pack.

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Firstnumber Celebrates Armed Forces Day With Special Rates on Calls to Afghanistan and Iraq

First Number, a leading provider of cheap international calls from the UK, is celebrating Armed Forces Day by offering users special deals on calls to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the 25th of June, friends and family of men and women in the armed forces can get in touch for just 20p per minute to an Afghani landline, or 4p per minute to an Iraqi landline. Firstnumber is also offering special rates for calls made to mobiles, with both Afghani and Iraqi mobile rates set at 25p per minute.

The deal enables friends and family to keep in touch with members of the armed forces, as well as to show their support for service men and women abroad.

Users can stay up to date with deals like the Armed Forces Day call offer, simply by signing up for Firstnumber’s RSS feed. The provider’s website also features a cheap international call toolbar – offering users the best of their site, hand-picked links, a Google-powered search box, and more – as well as various social networking options. Customers can become fans on Facebook, or follow Firstnumber on Twitter – both of which will update users regularly on special offers, regular updates, and new cheap landline and mobile access numbers.

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Two-year Old Accidentally Leaks News Of A Plot To Lock Out Protesters When Playing With Phone, Firstnumber Advises Parental Caution

Following news that a two-year-old girl accidentally leaked plans to lock out dock workers in Australia, cheap call provider Firstnumber advises parents to keep their mobiles to themselves.

Shipping company Patrick Stevedores has been caught planning to lock wharfs in Australia out of the docks, thanks to the curiosity of a two-year-old.

The revelation has caused relationships between opposing sides of a long running disagreement between dock workers, with some saying the dispute could reignite disagreements first aired in 1998. According to the Herald Sun, this could put the jobs of hundreds of Melbourne workers at risk.

News of the potential lock out was accidentally leaked after the lead negotiator, Mick O’Leary, was found to have left an inflammatory voicemail on the mobile phone of his union counterpart. However, O’Leary was not aware he was being recorded at the time, and the message was left accidentally when his two-year-old niece dialled the number of Garry Keane while playing with his phone.

In the controversial three minute recording, O’Leary can be heard detailing a plan to take on dock workers. The incident has prompted Firstnumber, international call experts, to issue a reminder to parents. “There are few things as tempting to young children as phones, especially of the mobile variety. There’s something about the shape, size and the air of the forbidden that makes them magnets for small hands.

“Smartphones have only increased the appeal, and many parents are happy to hand over their gadgets for the sake of a few peaceful minutes. However, these phones aren’t made for children.”

Following the discovery of the message, which suggests that Patrick will lock dock workers out for a month beginning at the start of June, union officials have spoken out about the tactics employed by the lead negotiator and the shipping company.

O’Leary, who was once himself an official of the Maritime Union of Australia has attracted criticism from the organization. Responding to claims that Patrick was planning to reignite the worst of the 1998 dispute, a spokesperson for the company claimed that O’Leary was not speaking for the company, and that he had exceeding his authority.

Patrick now claims a ‘lock out’ is a last resort. However, the damage to its and O’Leary’s reputation may already be done opines cheap mobile call providers Firstnumber. A spokesperson elaborated: “It’s an unfortunate situation for Mr O’Leary to find himself in. Obviously his plans were not meant to be shared, and we have no way of knowing how accurate his message was.

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BT Business Direct Advises Mobile Businesses to Embrace 3G Products for Connectivity on the Move

UK business technology provider, BT Business Direct, has been promoting the use of 3G mobile broadband accessories to help travelling workers remain productive and in touch around the clock.

With signal reception constantly being developed and expanded, BT Business Direct recommends that small and large businesses alike investigate how this technology could help them increase their productivity.

Neil Hale, Category Manager at BT Business Direct commented, “3G speeds that most mobile networks now operate at have helped make many things possible when out of the office that many travelling employees traditionally had to return to base to do, such as sending bulky emails or updating databases.

“3G products such as mobile broadband dongles are not only an essential piece of business kit, they are now included in many laptop purchases or actually built into the computer itself.

Neil also added, “There are even products that allow you to to share a 3G connection with colleagues or other Wi-Fi devices, this should interest businesses as it may mean that they can reduce their number of mobile internet contracts and further cut costs by removing the need to pay for sometimes costly offsite Wi-Fi facilities. Here at BT Business Direct we stock a wide range of 3G products that businesses would be wise to invest in if they need fast anywhere, anytime internet access.

Companies can also get in touch with an advisor to discuss how 3G and other essential mobile computing equipment could benefit their business, getting honest answers and recommendations on the latest and most advanced business technology products.

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Firstnumber.co.uk offers Brits an affordable way to keep in touch with friends and family in Thailand during Thai new year

A UK based cheap international call provider has pledged to help people living in Britain keep in touch with family members and friends in Thailand as the country begins its new year celebrations.

Www.Firstnumber.co.uk currently offers over 250 access codes that allow consumers to make cheap international calls at a heavily discounted rate; Thailand is just one of the countries serviced by the company.

Traditionally celebrated from the 13th – 15th of April, the Songkran festival now features week-long street parties and water fights.

Celebrations in the northern city of Chiang Mai run for most of the month and are extremely popular amongst travellers and tourists looking to immerse themselves in Thai culture as well as finding a rather unconventional way to cool down from the intense heat.

Firstnumber.co.uk spokesperson Andy Steele hopes the service – which allows callers to dial landlines and mobiles for just 1p a minute – http://www.firstnumber.co.uk/en/cheap-international-calls/cheap-calls-to/thailand/ – will allow individuals based in Britain to wish loved ones a happy new year.

“Songkran is a really exciting time of year to visit Thailand, not just for the great weather but for the party atmosphere that runs from north to south for most of April.

“Needless to say, Thailand is a particularly popular destination for tourists during April and it’s understandable that family and friends will want to keep in touch with loved ones during their travels or perhaps wish Thai residents a happy new year too.”

Firstnumber’s service is currently one of the cheapest on the market by offering more generously discounted calls than many of its competitors with calls to landlines and mobiles both priced at 1p a minute.

Firstnumber works by providing callers with a discount code with is placed at the start of the number they wish to call. The code then applies the discount to the call from the offset, allowing callers to save tens of pounds in comparison to a standard BT line.

In celebration of Songkran, Firstnumber have put together a Thai-inspired feature – http://www.firstnumber.co.uk/en/news/say-suk-san-wan-songkran-happy-songkran-day-thai-n/

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