Tuesday, 24 January 2012

4G – Will mobile internet overtake home broadband?

Until recently consumers in rural areas in the UK (around 5% of the population) received very low quality and slow broadband service, as well as poor 3G reception on their mobile phones. Similarly, the mobile 3G network as a whole has not been as efficient as it should be. In addition, it is expected that the demand for mobile data in Europe will increase by more than 500% in the next five years.

A recent trial scheme has seen such rural consumers, and also consumers in East London, trialling new 4G broadband via specific dongles, in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable availability and roll out of the 4G network from 2013 onwards. Initial trials have shown that the 4G network is actually faster than normal home broadband speeds and Wi-Fi connections.

Are you happy with your current broadband speeds? Do you regularly use mobile internet? Let us know your thoughts on the matter.

Plum can review customers’ current broadband bills, to see where they can reduce costs, and advise on their broadband and mobile data usage. They can provide customers with both home and mobile broadband services and appropriate hardware. If you would like more information or advice on Plum’s hosting services, please contact us via email or phone (01616223500).

Related links

[+/-] Show Full Post...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Web domains to get customised suffixes

As of last Thursday, companies and individuals were able to apply to customise their web address suffix. This means that rather than using the traditional .com, .co.uk or .net suffices, they can create their own suffices, e.g. .bbc, .bt, .london.
Such customised suffices have both benefits and disadvantages. On the plus side, if companies are able to provide memorable URLs to consumers, there will be a lesser need to spend larger sums of money on paid search advertising. Also, if companies have previously missed out on specific .com or .co. uk domains they would be now to use new and more memorable suffices, such as .web.
On the other hand, such applications for a new web address suffix do not come cheaply as companies will have to pay approximately £120,000 to apply, and the whole process from applying to finally getting the new suffix could take up to a year and a half. The high costs could be seen as too high for many SMEs and non-for-profit organisations. Additionally, such organisations may fear that cyber squatters may try to obtain such suffices in order to commit fraud.
Plum can already provide customers with low cost hosting services, including domain name hosting, domain name registration (co.uk, .ltd.uk, .gov.uk, .sch.uk, .ac.uk, .com), domain name renewal, and email hosting. If you would like more information or advice on Plum’s hosting services, please contact us via email or phone (01616223500).
Related links:

[+/-] Show Full Post...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Increased demand for mobility and Unified Communications amongst SMEs

With recent advancements in mobile technology and more workers now working remotely; there has become a growing demand for these remote and mobile workers to have the ability to communicate with colleagues and customers, and access information, on the go. In other words, SMEs now need more mobility and Unified Communications (UC).

A recent report (IOD report: 2008) has found that 30% of workers rely on mobile communications for their job. Similarly, the lack of access to email on the move is costing UK businesses more than £7 billion per year.

To help this demand, Avaya last week released IP Office 8.0. This latest version provides SMEs the full utility of Avaya’s existing UC platform on mobile android devices. This means that, amongst other capabilities, users are able to manage conference calls, send and receive emails (through tie-ins with Microsoft Outlook), and manage call services straight from their smartphones. Essentially the new platform provides users with the full IP Office experience through their smartphones.

As an accredited business partner of Avaya, Plum provide a number of products and services to companies (including the IP Office platform and mobile devices), in order to allow for productive and effective remote and mobile working, effectively creating a virtual office. If you would like more information or advice on Plum’s hosting services, please contact us via email or phone (01616223500).

Related links:

[+/-] Show Full Post...

Friday, 6 January 2012

UK slow to take advantage of faster broadband

A recent report from Ofcom has found that only 4% of the UK’s homes are taking advantage of superfast FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) broadband services, with the majority over-using lower speed broadband instead due to lower costs and wider availability. As recently reported by the BBC, the current average broadband speed in the UK is 6.8 Mbps, whilst superfast broadband can provide 80-100 Mbps. Consequently, there appears a need for further investment in superfast broadband in order to make it more widely available to businesses.

Speeds can vary but Fibre to the Cabinet shows vast speed improvements for customers who are a long way from an exchange but near to a cabinet as the active parts are contained within the cabinet.

Are you happy with the broadband speed you currently have? Is it time for businesses to switch to the superfast FTTC broadband? Let us know your views on the topic.

Plum were one of the first companies to be offering FTTC in the Oldham area. Plum can manage orders for faster broadband and provide service now with ability to convert to fibre when available in the area. Customers can register or place orders now so they can go live as soon as possible.

Please visit the following news articles for further information:

[+/-] Show Full Post...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Customers call for further clarification from mobile phone operators

The last 12 months has seen a change in how mobile phone operators provide their data download usage services. It had previously been the case that unlimited data usage meant unlimited.

However, changes by operators earlier in the year meant that unlimited actually meant that customers had a cap on their data usage, e.g. 500MB or 1GB, and that customers would be charged for going over this limit. As reported in the Guardian, these changes have come about due to operators not having the capacity on their networks to support the ever-growing high data usage by customers. This lead to an increase in complaints to Ofcom earlier this year in relation to unexpected charges on bills, and a call for more clarity and transparency in data download limits and charges.

Such complaints have led to calls for changes to be made. Consequently, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has stated that operators can continue to use the word ‘umlimited’ in their advertising, as long as customers are made aware of download limits. However, others have seen this statement as unclear. As reported on the BBC recently, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith has stated the need for further clarification from advertisements on data limits and for customers to be given updates on their own data usage, e.g. notifications when they have almost reached their data cap.

Have you had any bad experiences with high charges or unexpected bill amounts? If so, let us know about them. Plum always aim to be transparent and clear when providing customers details of their data tariffs and usage. Where customers are looking to save money on their mobile data usage, Plum can offer an analysis of expenditure, check that customer has the correct tariff and recommend savings. In addition Plum can provide tariffs with all networks.

Please visit the following news articles for further information:

[+/-] Show Full Post...