Best Mobile Networks in UK

There are many mobile operators that offer 4G services. The three carriers accredited by consumers that have the best network services are EE (Everything Everywhere), O2 and Three mobile carrier. These three carriers not only have reliable 4G and 3G services but have also a wide spread coverage in the whole of the UK.

 

EE Mobile

This is the largest mobile network in the UK that incorporates T-Mobile and Orange networks. EE was the first mobile operator to carry the 4G network and up to date have the widest coverage in the UK and their average internet download speeds rival fixed lines. Some of the merits of using EE are:

  • Coverage. EE was the leading company to roll out 4G network in 2012. It’s estimated that more than 500 cities and towns have access to their 4G services. They have targets of having 98% network coverage before December 2015. This means that their customers will soon be able to access their services from anywhere in the UK.
  • Quick internet speeds. EE has average internet speeds of 18.4 mbps. This is quicker than the average UK speeds of 15.1mbps and is among the top 4 fastest 4G internet providers, the others being Vodafone, Three and O2. When the mobile carriers offers such fast speeds the consumer is able to perform data intensive tasks like seamlessly streaming videos on their devices.
  • All contracts come with unlimited texts. EE charges 12p for every text message but with every monthly package and SIM only options the carrier will offer you free unlimited texts.
  • Contracts are shareable. It’s possible to have multiple users on the same carrier to have one monthly bill.
  • Tethering. EE allows its users to be able to share their data with other devices. For example, it’s possible to share internet from your phone to your laptop and there is no limit on the data shared.

Some of the negatives of EE:

  • Availability. Although they have a roll out plan to service the whole of the UK there are still some places that don’t have access to 4G.
  • No Unlimited data plans. While EE is the fastest mobile provider for 4G it places a limit as to how much data you can utilize. For example there is a SIM package that limits 25GB worth of data per month.
  • Poor customer satisfaction. In 2014 the average customer satisfaction rating was only 68 % (the average customer satisfaction in the UK is 73%).
  • Uncompetitive pricing. EE is one of the most expensive mobile operator in the UK. They were expensive because they had the monopoly with 4G but now that other carriers have this services, they still haven’t reduced their prices.
  • Lack of extra addons. There is not much choice when it comes to additional services and complimentary products offered. With items like covers and phone accessories in general, customers have to often go elsewhere to satisfy their needs.

Three Mobile

Three mobile network launched its 4G services in 2013, a year later than EE. It has a small market share of the mobile service providers (12%). Some of the benefits by picking Three mobile carrier over other mobile operators are:

  • There is no limit on tethering and data. The fact that they have such a small market share of the mobile industry has forced them to be very competitive. One way they do this is by offering both unlimited data and tethering.
  • Similar pricing for 4G and 3G. Upgrading to 4G will be free of charge provided the device supports these services.
  • Alerts. The mobile carrier alerts its customers when they are low on data or minutes. The user won’t unnecessarily accrue extra bills without their knowledge.
  • Free roaming. It’s possible to use your devices in 16 specific countries without roaming charges.
  • Free charges in certain areas of London. In the underground stations visitors are allowed free internet usage. This is possible due to partnership with virgin mobile.

Here are some of the disadvantages:

  • 4G coverage is limited. There aren’t many towns that have access to 4G, only the major cities such as London have 4G coverage.
  • Slow internet speeds. Compared to their rivals Three has an average internet speeds of 5.2mbps and 10.7mbps for 3G and 4G respectively.
  • Bandwidth throttling. During peak hours of 3pm and midnight data is policed so that activities such video streaming are highly prioritized whilst file sharing services are slowed down so that there won’t be any congestion on the network.
  • Poor customer satisfaction. They have a customer satisfaction rating of 70% compared to the industry standard of 73%.
  • 24 month contracts. With every new purchase of a mobile phone, Three ties their customers to 2 year contracts.

O2 Mobile Operator

O2 formerly known as BT Cellnet is one of the four major 4G carriers. They only offer 24 month contracts for their mobile devices. They have a service known as O2 priority, this services allow its customers to be able to use loyalty schemes to purchase other services at a considerable discount. For example customers can buy cheap tickets for entertainment events. Other benefits include:

  • Excellent 4G coverage. As of now half of the UK population have access to O2 4G coverage. They are able to quickly load videos on the internet. Signal strength greatly depends on the specific area.
  • Tethering is free. It’s completely free to use a mobile device as a hotspot. Not many mobile operators offer such services.
  • Monthly tariffs are flexible. O2 offer 30-day SIM contracts for anyone who feels that the 12 to 24 month contracts are too long. The shorter contracts are a little costlier than the long ones but they offer great flexibility.
  • Customer service is very good. They have the best customer satisfaction ratings in the UK. Customers are very pleased with how easy it is to get useful information.
  • Perks. O2 has been able to keep its customers loyal by adding extra perks other than network coverage. O2 customers can purchase tickets for events 48 hours before the officially go on sale.

Disadvantages include:

  • There are no unlimited data plans. O2 have 8GB per month data plans. This means that it’s not possible to watch films and play games online because you will run out of data.
  • 4G is pricier than 3G. Customers who want to use 4G will considerably pay more than if they were to use 3G.
  • Price hikes. It’s possible for your charges to increase mid-month whilst you are on a contract.
  • Not all of their handsets are 4G compatible.

These are the three best mobile operators in the UK that offer great service on their networks.

Phone Charging Innovations That’ll Keep You in Touch – For Longer

chargingOne area most phone manufacturers had fallen behind in innovation – until now – must be in the battery and phone charging technologies. With the mobile industry breaking new grounds and literary revolutionizing the regular phone, adding great new features, never-before thought of connectivity capabilities and fun ways to unwind on the go, the need for full batteries and fast phone charging technology has become synonymous with hardware-based phone performance ratings.

Big on Features, Poor on Battery Life

Smartphones have taken over the industry, and recent research findings estimate smartphone users to have past the 1 billion mark worldwide as of the year 2014. “Phablets”, the popular moniker for 5.5-inch and larger display smartphones, for example, are currently doing well across various global smartphone markets, especially in the South Asian region. However these large gadgets are more power-hungry than other smaller-display smart portables.

Tablets, the Apple-invented nickname for 7-inch and beyond display handsets, are even less generous on the battery. While an Apple iPad Air 2, or Samsung Mobile’s Galaxy S Tab tablet can now run seamlessly past the 24-hour mark, tablet users across the world have not always had it this good, and long.

Innovations in Phone Charging Technology

With smartphones running low, or completely out of power just when an important call or text message is due, it was inevitable that someone had to do something – or risk losing out on the highly competitive smartphone market. In the recent past a number of pioneering phone charging technology breakthroughs have caught our attention, and we hereby line them all up for checking below.

Wireless (Inductive) Charging

Now smartphone users no longer have to ferry cord chargers, look around for available power points, and hook up the gadget just in time to counter that familiar “Battery low! Your phone will switch off in 30 seconds” warning.

How it works: Power up without plugging in

According to telecommunications giant, Verizon Wireless, wireless phone charging technology is quiet simple. Cordless chargers emit an alternating current (AC) through a transmitter coil which then passes on a voltage into the receiver coil of the device. This happens in a charging pad that must be availed and plugged in a power source and the phone placed – the pad acting like a stationery port where the phone is hooked in place.

While some phones won’t need any more wireless charging accessories, and others (carrier models only) come wireless charging-enabled right out the box, others like Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 smartphone require an additional wireless charging back cover. Wireless charging accessories, like the technology itself, are now being availed by multiple vendors.

New wireless charging technology can:

  • Charge multiple devices full with a single charger
  • Devices can charge without having to be in direct contact with the charging pad, just within the charging area
  • Powerful, new wireless charging technology enables cordless charging across a room
  • Wireless phone charging capabilities are being integrated with the workings of a select few phone processors such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor

The pressure point about wireless charging is the slow charge rate of 5 Watts, but things might change. Starting 2015, Freescale, an innovative phone charging technology firm plans to introduce new, faster, 15 Watts wireless chargers. Tablet computer users might finally be able to utilize the technology seeing the slow charging encountered at the moment makes it a major flop to charge larger devices.

Power Banks (Battery Packs)

A bulging number of phone and tech firms are selling new phones complete with extra batteries – power banks.

These are larger and will even charge the phone to full charge twice or so before needing a charge themselves. Power banks currently use USB Power Delivery technology to power up devices at the hour of need. Compatible devices are connected to the large, external battery via the USB port and pull in 100 watts at a time till the battery capacity is fully replenished. Check out what power banks look like by clicking here.

Recently in the news, a Tritium Reactor, itself a large, cylindrical, metal-clad battery charger, can power up multiple devices before running out of power. In fact it can even charge a notebook, smartphone, and tablet computer full, all three of them a couple of times over courtesy of the three USB Power Delivery technology ports and 290 watt-hour fast charging rate.

Fast Phone Charging

One premier innovation in phone charging technology only requires a smartphone plugged in a power source for just 15 minutes, and the device will charge up to 60% of battery capacity. The science backing this development might be sophisticated for explaining in one sitting, but simply put, the charging port of a compatible device helps pass a considerably high voltage while protecting the device from excessive power input. Otherwise the high voltage might destroy both the battery calibration system, lithium ions and the phone itself.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone uses this technology. User reviews conclude the technology is real. Charging a smartphone device in the car just to keep the conversation going now receives a major boost. Users in a hurry to leave for a meeting, or other important engagement can rest easy knowing their device will get them past their engagement before needing some time at a charging port.

University of Sheffield’s Spray-on Technology

Announcing their new find early August 2014, Professor David Lidzey explains how their perovskite absorber works, and tops out regularly used organic absorbers.

He says the best certified inefficiencies recorded for organic solar cells read up to 10%. Their new innovation, Professor Lidzey explains, can sum up to as high as 19%, just 6% shy of the most preferred type – silicon at 25% efficiency.

solar phone chargerSolar Charging Panels on Smartphone Screens

In 2013, a section of the media reported new-found Apple patents documents that were supposed to point to an advanced battery and phone charging technology that might meet mainstream development soon. The patents labeled under Apple’s name indicated that soon smartphones might utilize the large screens mounted on them to collect, bank or promptly use the solar energy to run programs.

The patent document reads in part that solar panels installed on phones would act as both “an integrated sensor and solar assembly”. Electrodes installed on device panels would act both as capacitive sensors and for collecting solar energy. This multitasking feature is being referred to as dual-mode: “Solar power/Optical mode” and “Capacitive sensing mode.”

Soon holding a smartphone out in broad daylight will power up the device a couple of minutes, if not hours longer.

Also noteworthy is the discharge technology most 2012 and newer smartphones have strapped on for protecting against overcharging. And with an increasing number of smartphone users swapping their internet dongles (modems) for smartphone USB tethering to share their mobile internet connection to larger computing devices, the need for protecting phones against the damage that constant charging might wreck sinks in.

These are just a tip of the innovations in phone charging technology iceberg. More power-saving means are being developed by the day and may as well be released for consumer electronics use. These include a super fast, 30-seconds zero to full charge technology that is currently being improved on, and slated for a full launch starting sometime in 2016.

Competition in Mobile Phone Industry

Thanks to the advent of new technology, the manner in which humans communicate has changed for good. In the past, pigeons were used as messengers, soon after the telephone came into existence but today wireless communication in the form of mobile phones dominate the market. A decade ago, mobile phones weren’t what they are now, they were bulky and expensive, which is why they were out of the reach of the common people. Today, mobile phones are not just lightweight and portable but they also come with extremely reasonable price tags, which is why there is so much demand for these everywhere.

The reason why there is so much cut-throat competition in the mobile phone industry is because of the fact that mobile phones hold such an important place in the lives of people. A cell phone is the first choice gadget for everybody, be it a young teenager, an adult or an elderly person. While they are a necessity these days instead of a luxury, the higher end models double up as status symbols. With so much demand, there is no doubt that phone manufacturing companies would vie with one another in order to capture the largest share in the market and to have dominance over the other competitor brands.

There is intense competition in the mobile phone industry. Although there is no shortage of mobile phone manufacturers in the market, there are plenty of brands in the pipeline. Every mobile phone brand or company is trying to outdo the other by coming up with handsets that are cutting edge and would add value to the lives of people. Due to the fact that so many new models are entering the market, the older phones are becoming obsolete faster than ever. After all, the customers today do not settle for anything less and they would invest in only those mobiles that allow them to get the best bang for their buck.

In order to understand the competitiveness of the industry better, one has to first understand the factors that determine the preferences of the buyers when it comes to mobile phones. These factors are enumerated and elaborated upon as follows:

  • The desire to have mobile phones that are user-friendly or easy to operate and of good quality
  • Basic features of a phone, for obvious reasons
  • Add-on features such as net surfing, mp3 player, FM radio, games, superior camera, etc
  • A good brand name
  • Good after-sale service
  • The ‘X-factor’ which makes the phone all the more desirable

The strong competition in the mobile phone industry provides a lot of vigour for all industry players, be it local companies or multinational ones, new entrants or existing players. This fierce competition threatens to put pressure on the pricing, which is why all these brands are bringing down their profit margins in order to survive in the highly competitive industry. Since the market share increases at a fast pace, it is only obvious that phone companies would want to have a firm foothold in this highly lucrative market.

In order for a company to do well in the industry, it has to excel at certain core areas. The top three core areas are branding, marketing and pricing. When these three areas are taken care of properly, the brand enjoys a good time in the industry. However, these aren’t the only areas that manufacturers need to pay attention to, there are other core areas too that are immensely significant. These are technology, forward integration, research and development. Of course, a company having good liquidity also enjoys a definite advantage in the industry when the competition is cut-throat.

Considering the fact that there is so much competition, the new kids on the block have to work doubly hard in order to make a substantial entry into the market. These newbie companies should focus on delivering high quality handsets at affordable prices that are capable of delivering what they promise. Of course these handsets should also have some distinctive differences that would make people choose them over products manufactured by the other reputable names.