Vodafone’s HD Voice launch leaves O2 customers as the odd ones out

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HD Voice technology isn't particularly new -- in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it's joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren't aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you're talking to someone face-to-face. Today's launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today's launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone's living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.

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Via: CoolSmartphone

Source: Vodafone Blog

EE data still down

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On EE? Got data issues? Yeah, you’re not the only one. This evening, and for a number of hours now, data connectivity issues have continued to plague users.

The most recent update we have now is from the EE community section, and this is being given out to the Twitter questions.

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Issues seem to have begun around 6PM judging by the emails we’ve received. EE are currently getting swamped on Twitter with complaints about the outage, which seems to be across the UK.

Update – This now seems to have been fixed and data connectivity has returned.

Update 2 – As of Thursday morning it seems that problems are continuing. EE tell us that customers still have intermittent data connectivity ..
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Update 3 – EE now (09.40 on Thursday September 11th) state that the problem is resolved and that you should reboot if you’re still having issues.

EE data still down is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch doesn’t need a phone to get online or make calls

Samsung is taking the wraps off of yet another new smartwatch, but the Gear S (not Solo) has a twist: there's a 3G modem inside. While it may not be especially fast, that means that even when outside the range of a Bluetooth-connected phone or WiFi, it can still send and receive messages or make calls. It has a 2-inch AMOLED screen plus a dual-core 1GHz CPU inside along with GPS, heart rate and motion sensors, all powered by a 300mAh battery Samsung says can last up to two days. It runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, with pedestrian navigation available from from Nokia's HERE and support for Facebook. In the run up to IFA next week Samsung is also bringing the Gear Circle headset (yes, we also figured they'd save that name for a round watch) that pairs with a phone over Bluetooth, letting users hear notifications, use voice commands or listen to music through the earbuds.%Gallery-slideshow217933%

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Source: Samsung

O2 deliver free 4G access to some customers

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I’ve a couple of questions for you. Firstly, are you on O2? Do you have a package providing 1GB or more of data per month ? If so, you’re in luck, because O2 seem to be delivering access to their 4G network for free if you tick those two boxes.

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Our very own Philip Nowlan is only paying £17.45 per month for his two year deal and he’s just been informed by O2 that he will get access to their 4G network. If you’re wondering whether the 4G speeds have arrived near you, check out the O2 coverage checker.

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This is pretty good news, although if you’ve “only” got 1GB you could burn through it pretty quickly with that 4G technology.

O2 deliver free 4G access to some customers is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Three’s new advert promotes sharing silly stuff

If you are in the UK you should have seen the now famous pony in the Three advert called “Socks”. This has been visited over 8 million times on YouTube.

Then came Mabel, their PAYG Pug dog celebrating the launch of 3-2-1 plan on PAYG over Christmas time.

Now Three want to continue the trend and have turned to cats to get their message across about sharing silly stuff. You can even create your own video by using a webcam or upload a photo of yourself and some friends to share with everyone.

This comes on the back of our recent post with results showing nearly twice as many more cat photos are shared than ‘selfie’ photos every day.

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Here is the full press release just sent out explaining the reasoning behind the advert..

Three’s new advert promotes sharing silly stuff is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Three data issues hitting users

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We’re hearing from many of you that your mobile data connectivity on Three hasn’t been well this morning.  Symptoms seem to range from extremely slow data throughout all the way through to having no data connection at all.

Twitter is also alive with frustrated customers who are without a mobile data service.

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Three are currently stating that the issue is affecting “some” customers, but we’d love to hear from you if you’re having problems. Tell us where you are and how long it’s been giving you grief.

Update – Looks like everything is fixed now, and the outage was pretty brief.

Three data issues hitting users is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

We got 50Mbps on Three 4G. Expecting the same?

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Recently we showed an early peek into the Three 4G network. It was a test under almost lab conditions and we managed to get around 50Mbps download speeds on the all-new 4G network.

However, just like my home fibre connection, there’s a lot of factors that can alter speeds. Right now, in the middle of the day, I can easily get a download speed of around 35Mbps on my FTTC connection..

However, this evening that could all change. Three seem to be pretty honest about all this and, despite us getting 50Mbps download speeds in London, they’re actively telling customers to expect a lot less. Outside, when signals are bouncing around buildings and you’re on the bus a few miles from the local transmitter, things alter drastically. Plus the fact that other people will be using that same connection.

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So, what speeds are Three telling you to expect on their 4G network? Well, here’s the image that Three are using to explain it. We’ve mentioned this a bit before and it’s worth pointing out that, in the US, HSDPA is marketed as 4G. Dual Channel HSDPA (DC-HSDPA) would, by that logic, be 4.5G. Confused? Heck, you’re not the only one. That’s why I’m quite glad that here in the UK 4G is LTE. It’s 4G, not some sort of souped-up 3G.

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So if we got 50Mbps download on Three 4G why are Three are telling you to expect 14Mbps?

Seems mad doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got two phones here and both are reporting DC-HSDPA connections. They should get pretty rapid download speeds in theory. One is on Three and one is on O2. Both have low signal and both are getting just over 1Mbps on the various speed test sites.

So, perhaps they’re right. Sure, you’ll probably get much faster speeds, but expect 14Mbps and get a bit more if you’re lucky. Don’t expect 50Mbps though.

As part of our testing, we wanted to get outside the “lab” conditions and onto the street. We’ve been lucky enough to get a 4G SIM from Three and, although we’ll be one of just a few people using the network, we’ll be giving it a full trial this weekend.

Stay tuned to see how Three 4G performs out in the streets of London, right here on Coolsmartphone.

We got 50Mbps on Three 4G. Expecting the same? is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Verizon says data-hungry users hamper LTE network quality in big cities

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When was the last time you heard a major United States wireless carrier admit that its network is facing pressure to meet the needs of its users? That’s exactly what Fran Shammo, Verizon’s chief financial officer, said in response to reports that its LTE network is folding under pressure in major cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

The network strain results in some users in metropolitan areas seeing their data throughput dropping to slower 3G speeds. Verizon blames its deteriorating network quality on “capacity constraints.”

The company has promised to allocate more resources toward fixing the network in high-congestion areas so that these slowdowns dissipate by the end of the year…(...)
Read the rest of Verizon says data-hungry users hamper LTE network quality in big cities


"Verizon says data-hungry users hamper LTE network quality in big cities" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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OFCOM raps Vodafone’s knuckles

When the 3G licences were dished out way back in 2000, the networks agreed that they would cover 80% of the UK population, this was then raised to 90% in 2010. The deadline for reaching this target was June 2013, however whilst o2, Three and EE managed this OFCOM found Vodafone missed the target by 1.4%. Vodafone have promised to rectify this by the end of 2013 and will be reassessed by OFCOM in January 2014, in the meantime they will be rolling out 3G to more masts than they originally planned.

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Whilst OFCOM have the power to fine the network for missing the target, it has so far decided not to take any enforcement action against the company, although this may change if the target is also misssed in January. A spokesman for Vodafone had this to say ”Our 3G licence includes an obligation to cover 90% of the population and Ofcom is fully aware of our plans to ensure compliance by the end of this year. Our network investment stands at more than £900m this year alone and we remain on track to deliver indoor coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G to 98% of the population by 2015, two years ahead of the regulator’s deadline.”

Source: MobileToday

OFCOM raps Vodafone’s knuckles is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Vodafone announce iPad Air pricing and availability

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Voda have stepped up with their pricing for the newly-announced iPad Air. Here in the UK the “iPad Air with WiFi + Cellular” will be on offer from £28 a month, with a £129 upfront cost.

Although the iPad Air is available now, you’ll have to wait a little longer for the iPad mini version. That’ll be available later this month and again has both “WiFi + Cellular” connectivity, which of course means that you can get online through the Vodafone 3G or 4G network.

Further details can be found below, or you can visit their website to get more details on the pricing and packages that are available to you.

Vodafone announce iPad Air pricing and availability is original content from Coolsmartphone.com