BT Announce 5G launch plans

BT Announce 5G launch plans
BT, who own EE, have announced their very own 5G service. It’ll of course use the EE masts and you’ll get the same coverage. Launching in the autumn, BT Plus customers will get the option to upgrade first.

As with EE, the BT 5G network will be available in the busiest parts of 16 cities by the end of the year – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, tells us…

We’re bringing together the best fibre and mobile connections to help keep our customers connected, both on the go and at home. Launching 5G for BT customers will give them the opportunity to experience the fastest mobile speeds in the busiest areas of the UK, and our BT Plus customers will have the first opportunity to sign up for 5G.

BT Plus is a converged fibre and mobile plan to ensure that you get reliable and redundant connectivity through their “Keep Connected Promise”. Som, if you have a fault with your home broadband, you’ll get free, unlimited data on your BT mobile. Not only that, but you’ll then get a free 4G Wi-Fi Mini Hub the next day. This will no doubt be upgraded to a 5G router soon enough.

Get more information on BT 5G here.

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Samsung announce Galaxy Note 10 launch date

Samsung announce Galaxy Note 10 launch date
It’s up to you, New York, New York. At least, it will be on August 7th. That’s when the new Samsung Galaxy Note will be launched and, as you can no doubt see by the invite, there’ll be the usual stylus / S Pen.

There’s rumours, and they could be backed up with this photo, that the S Pen itself will have a camera inside it. Either way, we’ll be covering the event live and you’ll be able to watch the live stream right here on your trusty Coolsmartphone.

Whilst the Galaxy Fold remains on hold, there’ll no doubt be quite a bit of interest in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Only a month to go until we find out more!

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Changing networks – Text to Switch Explained

Changing networks   Text to Switch Explained

Today marks the start of a new method of changing networks. For all too long people here in the UK have had to call the infamous “Retentions Team”. They will try lots of things to keep hold of you as a customer. Sometimes this process has a good end result, and you can come away with a far better deal. Indeed, our 2016 feature on switching networks has enabled many of you to come away with a better offering. However, for others the experience feels pressured, complicated and confusing. Many want to leave but end up staying because they either don’t want the fuss or see it as a long and complex process.

Now, though, you can circumvent the Retentions Team to an extent. It’s been over two years since we first reported on the new proposals to make switching networks easier, but now they’re live, so here’s how it all works.

It now takes a simple text message. All mobile networks MUST use the same “short codes”, so no matter which UK network you’re with, this is the process…

  • Text ‘INFO’ to 87075 – To find out if you are still in contract and have to pay exit charges.
  • Text ‘PAC’ to 65075 – To leave your current network and keep existing mobile number.
  • Text ‘STAC’ to 75075 – To leave your current network, dump your number and get a new one with your new provider.

With some networks, you’ll need to add your date of birth to the end of these messages. So if you’re requesting a PAC then you might need to send “PAC 061181” (if your date of birth is November 6th 1981) to 65075

Changing networks   Text to Switch Explained

What replies will you get? Here’s the info…

INFO to 87075

Your current network will respond with the outstanding balance on your account. You may also get information on contract termination charges and outstanding handset costs.

PAC to 65075

Your provider will respond with the PAC (Porting Authorisation Code). This will be delivered usually immediately but must happen within two business days. It’s valid for 30 days. You give this to your new service provider and they’ll magically transfer your number across. You don’t have to use it though.

STAC to 75075

You’ll get the STAC (Service Termination Authorisation Code) immediately but again, the provider has a limit of two business days to do this. Once you’ve got your STAC it’s valid for 30 days. Give this to your new provider and they will handle everything out from there. Again, there’s nothing to say that you have to use the code.

Mobile providers are now banned from charging for notice periods after the handover date, so no more paying for old and new contracts at the same time.

Changing networks   Text to Switch Explained

Other options

You don’t just need to text!

  1. You can call your provider. You’ll probably end up with the Retentions Team but they could do you a better deal.
  2. You can go through your online account management system where all networks must now offer a way of leaving via the web.

Don’t forget that even if you already have your PAC or STAC code  you don’t have to use it immediately or AT ALL. You have 30 days, but if you don’t do anything then your contract will remain as is.

Also, let’s be honest here, if you do request your PAC or STAC and get the code delivered, your existing provider may call you to try and convince you to stay if you’ve not used that code, and you could end up speaking to the Retentions Team anyway.

 

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giffgaff double the data for £20 and £25 goodybag customers

giffgaff double the data for £20 and £25 goodybag customers
There’s some new goodybags available from giffgaff now, and the network – which runs on the O2 masts – are announcing that the £20 goodybag will now come with double data.

Things kick off on July 3rd, so instead of 20GB, you’ll get 40GB on the £20 monthly goodybag. For the £25 one you’ll also get the same 40GB now, but it’ll be “Always On”, meaning that even if you hit 40GB, you’ll continue to get data – albeit at a reduced speed.

So to clarify, the £20 goodybag now delivers unlimited texts and minutes, and 40GB data. The £25 goodybag gets unlimited texts and minutes plus “Always On” data, which, if you hit 40GB, slows to 384kbps from 8am until midnight.

In addition there’s a maximum of 20GB data to use whilst roaming in the EU and selected destinations.

Head of Propositions, David Caton tells us..

We’re always looking to give members the best value for their money. We’re happy to bring these goodybag updates to some of our most popular goodybags. We hope it means that our existing members are satisfied and that it gives potential new members another reason to choose giffgaff.

Get more detail at giffgaff.com

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Samsung Launches Third-Party Add-Ons for Bixby

Samsung just launched Bixby Marketplace, which lets users add third-party “capsules” to their Bixby Assistant. The Marketplace includes a variety of convenience-enhancing capsules such as Google Maps, Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR, and Yelp, across categories such as Productivity, Communication, Travel and transportation, Food and drink, Local, Music and audio, Shopping, and Business and finance. Installed capsules can be summoned by name to perform specific actions. Users can also customize Bixby with a “preferred capsule” for certain actions, so that “Get me a ride to San Francisco airport” will use the Lyft capsule, for example. The Marketplace lets users search for capsules by category, keyword, or developer, and includes a curated section of staff picks.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Firefox for Android Gaining Ad Tracking Protection

Mozilla has released a preview version of a completely revamped Firefox browser app for Android. Firefox Preview uses Mozilla’s own GeckoView web rendering engine instead of Google’s Blink. This enables Tracking Protection by default, which keeps advertisers and bad actors from tracking your activity across different web sites. Mozilla also promises speeds up to twice as fast. GeckoView and Tracking Protection debuted in the minimalist Focus browser app. Mozilla is now folding these features into its more full-featured Firefox browser. Firefox Preview also includes Collections, which lets users define a set of web sites to open at once, such as “morning routine” or “travel planning”. Firefox Preview is available now, and with the final version available as the Firefox app this fall.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Unlocking your iPhone and removing the iCloud lock too

Unlocking your iPhone and removing the iCloud lock too
A few months ago I told you my story about buying a reconditioned phone and generally saving a bit of cash in the process. It pinged back in my head following our earlier eBay sales story because there’s a number of places selling really cheap iPhones which are locked.

I linked to this eBay listing of an iPhone 7 for the crazy-cheap price of £149.99. Trouble is, it’s locked to one network.

Now, that’s no problem if you intend to use it on that network, but to get a deal like this when you want to use it on a different network? Well, you’re going to have problems.

Unlock it! Well yes, that’s the obvious choice. You can go ahead and release the lock which keeps it stuck to the network in question, but where to go? Who to trust?

Following my earlier story, a mate did exactly the same trick – buying a used phone and popping his own SIM card in. He was happy because his SIM-only contract meant that he was paying a much smaller amount per month, but he’d forgotten to check whether the phone he’d bought was locked, which is where I came in. In this instance, we used www.iphoneapprovedunlock.com because of the positive reviews on Trustpilot. The process took less than 24 hours and it was just a matter of selecting the model, the network (which shows as the “carrier” on their site) and then we just put the IMEI.

Unlocking your iPhone and removing the iCloud lock too

What’s also good is the fact that, in addition to iPhone Unlocking services, they also offer iCloud Unlocks too. This will remove the device from its previous iCloud account so that you can use the device normally. Also, if you’ve bought a phone and you don’t know which network it’s actually locked to (perhaps you found it in a drawer) then they offer a network check service to instantly find out which network your phone is locked to via that IMEI number.

There’s full order tracking and great support too.

So, even if you do buy yourself an iPhone from eBay which is locked, it’s now really easy to unlock it and get it going one whatever network you choose, giving you the freedom to shop around for the cheapest SIM-only deal and save yourself a stack of money in the process.

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Neneh Cherry. Buffalo Stance crash at Glastonbury.

Neneh Cherry. Buffalo Stance crash at Glastonbury.
Who’s looking good today?
Who’s looking good in every way?

Not this video screen, that’s for sure.

During the Neneh Cherry performance at Glasto this weekend, the laptop running the rear video screen decided to perform an untimely reboot. Strangely, the people responsible for the visuals had chosen a laptop with a legacy Intel Pentium CPU from 2008. A single-core E5300 CPU running at 2.6GHz.

The crowd also saw Windows XP, an Operating System from 18 years ago, struggle into life as the laptop bounced itself…

Interesting to think that most smartphones on the market today are more powerful than the laptop running the graphics for such a huge audience.

So you say you wanted money but you know it’s never funny, when your laptops worn through and there’s a rumble in your tummy….

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Huawei to emerge from the Trump Trade Termination

Huawei to emerge from the Trump Trade Termination
Story so far then, and Donald Trump declared a national emergency in May. It was designed to protect US networks from “foreign adversaries” and a list of banned foreign telecoms providers was put out. The list, though, only had one name – Huawei.

This was the President of the United States stating that a national emergency was warranted to “protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services”.

Pretty serious you’d think.

But no, in reality this is all part of business for Trump. Huawei and sub-brand Honor have been affected badly by this, with customer confidence withering and partners like ARM and Google closing their doors. In recent weeks the two brands have sought to reassure customers, with Huawei adding a full FAQ and Honor putting out this message.

However, following a meeting with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, things seem to be changing. Speaking from Osaka in Japan, President Trump has now said that US technology companies CAN resume selling their products to the Huawei.

Presumably, during the quick chat, something was said or done to allay those “security risks”. The US President also confirmed that the US will not impose new tariffs on Chinese imports for now. Talks will continue. Either way, it’s good news for Huawei, Honor and all their customers.

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