About two weeks ago I found out that EE’s 4G service had been introduced to my area. I decided to visit their website to find out how and when I could get it. I entered my postcode on the checker page and was informed that 4G was now available in my area but not in my street. Looking at the map showed that the signal literally ended in the next street!
I had a look round the site and they seemed to be offering the first month FREE with a mobile broadband SIM Only plan. I decided to place an order to see if the service would actually work thinking that if it didn’t, I could simply leave within the 30 day free trial without charge.
The SIM came around 3 to 4 days later and I popped it in to my 4G device. Nothing! I wasn’t shocked as their site did say it wasn’t available in my street. I walked outside to see if that would make any difference and it did. I got 1 bar and managed to achieve around 12Mbps using the speedtest app which I thought was quite good considering I only had 1 bar.
I walked back in the house and the signal swiftly dropped off. My test was complete and I decided that as it would not work in the house, I might as well cancel.
I left it until the next day and telephoned EE’s customer service number to explain that I was on the trial and that the signal would not work in my home. The gentleman at the other agreed that there was no signal in my area and put a request through to cancel the account. He told me that he could see the SIM card had only been activated the day before and that there would be no charge on the account due to the 30 day free trial.
Fast forward a week later and I received a bill on my door mat this morning. Initially I thought it was just a letter to confirm that my account had been cancelled. It did state that the account had been cancelled, but shockingly also contained a charge under ‘Early Termination Fee’ of £11.64.
I’m actually on the phone to EE as we speak. In fact I’ve been on over 19 minutes waiting for someone to answer the call. I just wanted to make people aware that these companies are very crafty nowadays with wording and small print, so do be careful if your looking at taking out one of these “Free Trials”.
On another note, I did a search on Google to see if anyone else had suffered this problem with EE and these appears to be worse stories than mine of people taking out 30 day trial contracts and then being placed on to a 24 month contract at the end of it. See this thread at MoneySavingExpert for more details of customer misery.
Fancy taking a step back in time? Well National Geographic have posted a video of the world’s first commercial cell phone call being made from a car in Chicago.
The call was made on October 13th 1983 by Bob Barnett, who was president of regional telecom, Ameritech. The call was made from a parking lot of Soldier Field in Chicago. Interestingly, the call was to Alexander Graham Bell’s great-grandson who was in Germany.
The surrounding press watched in amazement as the call was routed via the new wireless network to Germany and all from the comfort of a car. They were also given the chance to try the new technology for themselves.
It’s hard to imagine, that in the space of a few decades, the technology that AT&T said would never reach more than a million customers, dominates our daily lives and now has more than 6 billion subscriptions worldwide.
Could you imagine a world without your beloved smartphone and instant access to your daily feeds and social networks? No it doesn’t bear thinking about!
EE, the UK’s first 4G network has today announced plans to double the speeds and capacity of it’s 4G network in ten UK cities. Testing for the speed increase has produced lab speeds of 130Mbps and real-world speeds of 80Mbps, although average network speeds for 4GEE customers is likely to be around the 20Mbps mark.
EE is achieving the new network capacity and speeds by doubling the amount of 1800MHz spectrum bandwidth it allocates to 4G, from 10MHz to 20MHz. EE is also forecasting that the amount of mobile data it carries will grow by up to 750% in the next three years, making it even more important that it carries out such upgrades to it’s network.
Who is getting it?
The new 4G capability will roll out to ten existing 4G cities by summer – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. Trials of the new technology in Cardiff are have already seen headline speeds reach 80Mbps plus. Once switched on, the improvements will be automatically available in those cities within existing plans to new and current 4GEE customers on all 4G smartphones, tablets and dongles.
A new Kickstarter project is giving backers the chance to back a new project which gives you a MicroSD Reader which when you insert a microSD Card in to it, plugs in to your Android device’s microUSB port and provides extra storage up to 64GB.
You’ll need to pledge $12 to back the project and this provides you with your own Mini MicroSD Reader with world-wide delivery by July 2013.
HMV has today been sold for £50m in a deal which will protect 141 stores and around 2500 jobs. The music chain has been bought by restructuring experts Hilco, which already own HMV Canada. The deal will see 141 stores continue trading, including 25 which had been slated for closure, which leaves 80 stores that will remain closed.
The UK chain will be led by Ian Topping, formerly chief executive of the South African retail group Steinhoff. Topping has stated that he plans to take HMV back to it’s roots by refocusing on music and visual rather than offering devices like tablets.
Personally, I think they need to refocus the complete business model, as the current model in the UK simply cannot work in this day and age. We are seeing more and more high street stores close and I doubt just going back to being a music store will help them, as surely the decision to start selling tech in the first place was to help them make money due to lower music sales.
What changes would you make to HMV to ensure it’s future survival?
Facebook has today taken wraps of it’s new service ‘Facebook Home’. It’s not an app but more a suite of apps and home screen replacement, a little like what you would expect from a third party launcher.
Interestingly, Facebook Home will only be available on Android Smartphones initially. When asked if it would be available on iOS devices, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t count it out, but noted that such a feature would require cooperation.
Facebook Home will be available from April 12th to download on Google Play and will initially support the following phones: Galaxy S III, S 4, the HTC One, One X+ and the Note II. More devices will follow including support for Android Tablets.
The app/suite looks amazing and by the looks of it will make the Facebook on Android experience one of the best. The Facebook for Android app has always had bad press for being cumbersome and not very useful but this looks to change.
Have a look at the videos below for an exciting look at how Facebook Home will integrate with your existing Android Smartphone.