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25 May 2015 ~ 7 Comments

Tello interview (part 2)


If you haven’t already seen it, check out the first part of our interview with tello, a new network hoping to shake up the MVNO market.

How much do you know about the ecosystem of the UK mobile phone market? What lessons do you feel will be most useful from your experience in overseas markets and how would you characterise your particular approach over here?

Since our experience in the telecom field is pretty vast, a big part of our database consists of UK customers. We already conducted several market surveys in order to expand our understanding and approach over the UK. Plus, we constantly work to apply our existing knowledge and experience in the complex MVNO market from the UK.

So why in particularly did you choose to work with Hutchison-Whampoa in the UK?

Our criteria for selecting a partner were pretty simple. We were looking for a flexible and reliable partner. We chose Three Mobile because they offer a great quality service at a very competitive pricing. Plus another aspect that played a significant role when selecting the network was their data speed, because we care about future trends and customer needs.

Why do you think so many people are stuck on expensive PAYG plans when there are so many cheap alternatives available now? What’s the main thing holding people back from switching?

The answer to your question lies in the human psychology area and I think can be summed up in a few simple but powerful words like: loyalty, ease of use, convenience.

What matters: price over quality? Why do people choose a more expensive provider when they can switch to a new cheaper one? We think customers are the key, they lead the way, their behavior leads providers to new products, services and ways to do and conduct business. What is 100% true is that a happy customer is a loyal customer.

So the word “stuck” can actually be easily replaced with “happy”.

Still, we think more and more people would be eager to try something new if they’d realize the savings on the long run, or if they’d know that portability is risk-free and it is backed up by OFCOM.

That’s a good way of looking at it! And human psychology is definitely a big part. But where do you see the network in five years?

Our five-year plan definitely revolves around the word: international expansion. By the end of this year, we’ll launch tello on the US market so our focus and attention is channeled towards this project.

Thanks for your time, Silvana and good luck with the new venture!

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20 May 2015 ~ 8 Comments

Top 5 value-for-money smartphones

top 5 value for money

Everyone knows about the latest and greatest superpowered smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Apple iPhone 5S and the HTC One M8. They pack in the latest technology and the most features and are really at the cutting edge of modern industrial design. However, despite the high performance, they have a price tag to match.

Not everyone can afford £1000+ on a new mobile phone and commitment to a contract of two years or more. Furthermore, anyone following technology knows that early adopters pay over the odds and sometimes even subsidise other consumers for the right to boast that they a device at the bleeding edge of tech.

Smarter customers often look for bargains instead of obsessing over the very best. By going for a phone that’s a generation or two behind the curve, you not only get a product with amazing performance but you also save a lot of money. Simply, it’s the best way to maximise the bang for your buck. And it’s pretty clear that nowadays, even a phone that came out two years ago offers a blisteringly fast user experience, the same solid build quality and more features than you’d probably ever use. If you want better value for money, you can still get amazing performance – after all, most phones today offer better tech specs than laptops and digital cameras from just a few years ago.

We now have bargain smartphones available that refuse to compromise on performance. Today we’re rounding up the top five phones that offer the best value. These handsets are all less than half the price of a new Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5S but still keep up with the latest games and apps. In our opinion, they are easily the best value for money smartphones you can currently get. Have a look for yourself!

Nokia Lumia 520

Only £79.84

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Smooth, stylish and smart, the new Lumia 520 is packed with great features it’s hard to live without. Windows Mobile has massively improved recently and on top of that, there’s no denying that Nokia, with all their experience, make stunning-looking devices.

At an incredible pricepoint of under £80, it’s hard to argue with the Lumia 520. Anything else this cheap without a contract will be sluggish and unresponsive in comparison.

It also boasts a super-sharp 4″ screen, crystal call quality and many other perks such as a physical shutter button and digital lenses.

If you don’t mind a Windows Phone device, there is absolutely nothing that comes close to the price/quality ratio of the Nokia Lumia 520.

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Lenovo A820

Only £109.22

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lenovo a820

When looking at Chinese phones like the Lenovo A820, the main selling points is just how much phone you’re getting for your money. It has 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor but still costs just over 100 quid. If you don’t have hundreds and hundreds of pounds to spend on your mobile phone but still want all the bells and whistles of a smartphone, this is a great choice to go for.

We’ve already written a full in-depth review of the Lenovo A820 but to summarise, the highlights of this handset are the power saving features, the long-lasting removable 2000 mAh power cell, the amazing dual-SIM ports and the fact it comes with a quad core processor.

This handset is incredibly cheap for the hardware you’re getting and it offers incomparable value compared to almost any phone available on British high streets.

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Moto G

Was £159.99 Now only £149.99

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moto g

Yes, you read it right. The Moto G is a Android KitKat 4G smartphone that only costs £150! It boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, boatloads of RAM and much more besides.

The battery is great and the two cameras produce snaps of amazingly good quality. Perhaps best of all in the impressive curved 4.5″ screen coated with Gorilla Glass. The casing is even water-resistant!

LTE 4G, HD display, Quad-Core Speed Android 4.4 KitKat and all for less than £150. A bargain!

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Nexus 5

Only £260.00

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nexus 5

The Nexus 5 surely needs no introduction. Built by LG, the Google-branded Android handset comes with an 8 MP OIS camera featuring HDR+ and Photo Sphere‚ a 4.95″ Full HD IPS Display, fast 4G LTE and a 2‚300 mAh battery.

The phone has a nice matt rubberised back and feels great to hold. Compared to high end competitors like the iPhone 5S, you get a bigger, better quality screen and the Nexus is just as blisteringly fast.

The Nexus 5 is outstanding and comes at an incredible price for a well-specced product that just exudes quality.

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Was £489.00 Now only £275.79

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lg g2

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can still get great value for your cash. The LG G2 blows away most of its competition with a 2.26Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM, 13 megapixel OIS camera and a 5.2″ full HD display.

On top of that it boasts a massive battery to keep it going all day and genuinely useful software features such as tracking zoom, Knockon and Capture PLus.

The phone is gorgeous to look at with the bezel-less screen and amazing build quality throughout. The display density is 424 ppi and the colour reproduction is clear and vivid. Overall, the LG G2 is a great handset and an utter bargain at this price.

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18 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Tello interview (part 1)


tello is the latest newcomer to the MVNO party in the UK having launched at the end of October last year. It’s formed through a partnership between KeepCalling and x‑Mobility.

KeepCalling is a US telecoms company with offices in Romania and Bolivia. It started off small back in 2002 reselling phone cards before expanding into monthly mobile plans and international virtual numbers. It now runs over 70 websites turns over about £30 million in yearly profits.

x‑Mobility is a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator. Basically, what this means is it acts as an intermediary between Three Mobile and the various virtual networks than run on its service.

We got together with their Managing Director, Silvana Tatu to ask a few questions about the new network.

Hi Silvana, thanks for chatting with us. First of all can you explain a little more about the genesis of the company and the ideas behind it?

tello is a brand designed by KeepCalling, a telecom company based in the US, Atlanta who’s been in the telecom business since 2002. From the beginning, KeepCalling’s mission has been to bring family and friends closer together and offer them affordable means of communication.

In 2014, KeepCalling created tello having the same goal in mind: offer a clean, high quality mobile service for UK users with a fair and simple billing mechanism. And top of that, tello was designed as a solution to cover long distance calling needs for expats in the UK, businessmen, or any other person living in the UK who needs a SIM to call abroad, make local calls and surf the web.

And can you tell us a bit about the management team and their background?

KeepCalling’s management team is represented by a group of young and ambitious specialists who gathered a wide experience in the telecom market. The knowledge acquired while doing business in the US for the past 13 years was a very useful prerequisite when deciding to expand our business to the UK.

You seem to have a good understanding of the international/expat market. How are you positioning your offerings to suit these customers best and how true is it that you’re a specialist network for international mobile use?

It’s true that we cater our services and offers to meet our customers’ needs. What’s unique about us and what differentiates us from others is that we really put our customers, their traditions, their culture and language first. Customers can read, visit and buy our products from our websites in their native language. They see familiar images from their homeland, they receive customized emails based on their culture. Basically, their entire online experience from an ad they see on Google, to ordering a product on our website is customized to match their cultural background.

As far as being “a specialist network for international mobile use”, we are honored. It’s true that we have a lot of experience and that we know our customers, so I guess we could say we’re a specialist in this field.

Could you describe the brand in three words?

Friendly, fair, responsive.

Great! But who do you see as your closest competitor?

Our services are addressed to both UK citizens & expats, therefore we have a lot of competition. The UK MVNO market especially is a very competitive one, with many operators offering great deals on international and national calls, text and data. Basically, all UK current providers can be considered our competitors.

So having said that and with our common understanding that the MVNO market is incredibly saturated and competitive, what’s your one USP?

It’s true, as I mentioned before, the UK market is a very competitive one, but competition is good. It pushes your limits and makes you better than you can ever imagined.

Our USP would be “Say hello with your new tello SIM: clean, fair, no hidden fees or overcharges”

What’s the uptake been like so far? What are your growth plans and forecasts?

Even if tello is a new MVNO on the UK market, our online presence is getting stronger and stronger with every day that passes. We are currently analyzing different possibilities to expand our marketing strategy and grow our business.

Stay tuned for the second part of our Tello interview with Silvana coming next Monday…

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