Posts Tagged With: United States

Data Access in America

You may remember that last year I blogged about the costs associated with Data Access in Europe. Coming to America I knew that using my mobile wouldn’t be cheap; or at least that was my assumption before I travelled. I have, however, come up with some innovative solutions that have surprised me as to how cost effective communicating transatlantic can be.

1. O2 TuGo

My mobile phone contract in the UK is with O2, thanks to the new TuGo app I can make and receive calls and send text messages from anywhere in the world via wifi. They charge me as if I were using my handset in the UK so any call time or texts comes out of my contract minutes. If you haven’t found the app yet or want more information take a look at this website.

2. An American Sim Card

Fortunately I had remembered to ensure that both my iPad and Mobile phone were unlocked so I have been able to purchase American Sim Cards for the devices. This obviously makes data access significantly cheaper; unlimited data on my mobile phone costs around $3 per day.

What surprised me more though was that for an extra $10 I am able to make unlimited calls to UK landlines.

Both of the above solutions has made me realise how far behind we are in the UK in terms of data and calling plans on our mobile devices. I called O2 before travel and was told that using my phone abroad would cost more that £1 per minute to make calls and around £0.90 per minute to receive calls. It seems to me that there is something amiss here – why is it cost effective for American carriers to offer reasonable calling plans but not for UK carriers.

What is your experience of calling and using data from abroad?

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Categories: Customer Service, Mobile Phones, Technology, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future and Social Networks

Social networking is an interesting concept in todays society – I guess like most people who use the internet it’s become part of my everyday life. The question i’ve been asking myself recently though is why? It seems that once everyone you know is a friend on facebook it somehow looses it’s appeal – anyone else with me on that?

In the early days part of the fun was finding people who you knew or had known in the past. Now that this novelty has worn off is there a point to FaceBook? I certainly don’t update my status 20 times a day like I did when the site was first launched.

Part of the problem with social networking is that brands like FaceBook and Twitter seem to own the concept. I said FaceBook and Twitter as though this were the only form of social networking – and to many this really is the case. Most people have heard of those brands and have an account on those websites ….. how many other networks do you regularly use? Are you part of the “technorati” for example? Has “pinterest” grabbed your attention? is there room for another brand or is the market now saturated? Is it even possible that people are starting to get board of the concept and look for the next new thing?

It seems to me that the primary function of social networking is marketing and in my view this will be short lived as internet users will begin to turn their back on brands such as FaceBook as the appeal starts to wear off and they slowly become desensitised to the promotional adverts. The idea of sponsored stories which is currently common place on FaceBook is certainly clever but do people want to use a website that consistently asks them to engage with and “like” new things?

In many ways the social networking boom could be compared with the .com boom in the late 1990’s; the .com bubble eventually burst and maybe this will also be true of the social networking phenomenon. I’m not sure if the recent FaceBook stock market floatation can be seen as a true indicator of the future for social networks but it certainly does make you wonder if social media has peaked – controversial? Let me know your views.

Categories: Social, Technology | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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