04 January 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Doro Releases the Anywhere SIM

Doro_PhoneEasy_508

Swedish company Doro has focussed on senior citizens as their primary market niche. They have developed a range of phones and services to meet the needs and demands of the older user. The company holds numerous international awards in recognition of its product designs and innovations and today is the global market leader in the category, telecom for seniors.

Doro’s PhoneEasy 508 handset will be sold as part of a bundle with their Anywhere SIM Lite for £30 which will include the handset, SIM card and a mandatory £60 top-up. The package offers a national roaming service which gives users access to the strongest cellular signal wherever they may be as it switches between EE, Vodafone and O2.

The PhoneEasy 508 is designed to be easy to use, but it also has life-saving applications like built-in emergency assistance features. The assistance feature sends SMS messages to up to 5 emergency numbers with a single press of the emergency button. The phone is extremely light with a dedicated torch and comfortably sized buttons. Another potentially life-saving feature is ICE (In Case of Emergency) which allows you to store all your medical information in one place for quick retrieval in case of emergency or trauma.

This is an attractive package for senior users with the benefit of good cell phone reception anywhere in the UK. Would you use it or recommend it to older friends and relatives?

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30 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Loophole in roaming rules allows new Anywhere SIM to use three major UK networks

anywhere sim

Don’t you just hate it when you fail to get even a single “bar” of mobile phone reception? Especially when a mate – on a different network and sitting right next to you – is happily texting away whilst you are left to silently curse your operator.

A new offering on the UK market called Anywhere SIM promises to eliminate this frustrating problem. A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Anywhere claims it turns so-called “notspots” into hot spots, due to its SIM cards’ ability to use any of the major UK networks. The special SIMs are programmed to automatically connect to the network with the strongest signal, just like a foreign SIM would.

The new firm is able to operate this way due to a roaming agreement its parent company, Manx Telecom Ltd, has with the UK mobile industry’s big three operators – Vodafone, O2 and EE. Because Manx is based on the Isle of Man, users on the UK mainland are technically roaming all the time, thus allowing them the pick of networks.

As the big three operators themselves have so far resisted pressure from the government to offer national roaming, Anywhere SIM and its clever sidestepping of the current roaming rules offers the best chance for UK mobile phone users to avoid notspots.

Pricing is straightforward, if rather expensive, with each of three available tariffs offering a flat rate for calls, text and data. Texts cost 5p, while calls and data will set you back between 5p and 10p per minute/megabyte. There’s a single, flat rate for roaming right across Europe.

The firm’s founder, Matthew Wright, told BBC News the new network appealed to people who had experienced coverage issues, such as those who live in rural locations.

“And those who travel a lot and experience notspots – for example people that spend a lot of time in caravans and those who pursue outdoor pursuits – cyclers, runners, walkers, anglers, there’s a long list that could benefit outside the big conurbations.”

What’s your thoughts on this new service? Is the flexibility worth the added cost? And how likely are you to use such a network?

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06 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Sainsbury’s suddenly axes network

sainsbury mobile closing copy

It has emerged that Mobile by Sainsbury’s currently has a shelf-life of fewer than three months. The supermarket juggernaut has quietly been banishing marketing materials from all of its 1000+ stores in preparation for the shocking shutdown. Current customers have only until 15th January next year to use up their existing credit and choose a new operator to port their number to.

According to an insider source, the reason for the sudden closure is a break-down in negotiations with their infrastructure provider, Vodafone. The network was always a joint-venture between the two companies and without any agreement between them, there is little option but to stop providing a service. At the moment it’s unclear whether Sainsbury’s approached any other providers to step in place of Vodafone to keep the network live. We’ve also not received comment on how financially successful it has been for Sainsbury’s as it might be assumed that they have been looking for a graceful exit strategy.

While there has been little warning to their customers, industry experts say that it’s not a surprising outcome. Vodafone have been reportedly looking to completely withdraw from providing services to piggybacking MVNOs such as Sainsbury’s and Talkmobile.

Sainsbury’s is the second biggest supermarket brand in the country and two of its arch-rivals, ASDA and Tesco are still running their virtual networks running on other carriers. It has to be said, that their offerings have seemed to be much more successful too. While Sainsbury’s will no longer be marketing their network in stores, several of their retail outlets will still be selling mobile phones and accessories.

If you’re an existing customer of the network, you should start thinking about changing to a new network, requesting a PAC and porting your phone number over. No services at all will be available from 15 January 2016.

Did you see this coming? Are you a Mobile by Sainsbury’s customer and if so, what’s your reaction? Do you think Sainsbury’s are acting fairly? And how many of you expecting this coming? Should Sainsbury’s have done anything differently after negotiations with Vodafone broke down?

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