Mobile By Sainsbury’s Closure: What To Do Next & Alternative Deals

Mobile by Sainsbury’s will close on the 15th January 2016. We outline the best alternatives, how to transfer your phone number elsewhere and how to get a refund for unused credit.

Mobile By Sainsburys LogoIn a message posted to their website, Mobile By Sainsbury’s has announced that their service will be closing on the 15th January 2016. Customers should transfer their phone number to another network before the service closes on the 15th January. Remaining credit should also be used up (otherwise, you’re able to claim a refund for unused credit).

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the possible options for customers who are caught up in the Mobile by Sainsbury’s closure. We’ll discuss some of the best alternative networks and how you can keep your current phone number when moving to another network. We’ll also discuss the process of getting a refund for unused credit.

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OVIVO Mobile Shuts Down: Getting A PAC Code & Restoring Service

OVIVO Mobile, the ad-supported network, closed down on the 19th of March. Find out how to keep your phone number & how to restore your mobile phone service.

OVIVO MobileIn a sudden announcement yesterday evening, OVIVO Mobile, announced the closure of their mobile phone service. In a message posted on their website, they wrote:

We are very sad to announce that for reasons beyond our control, OVIVO Mobile is closing down on the evening of Wednesday 19th March 2014.

As of March 19th, coverage has been cut from OVIVO Mobile customers. This means anyone with an OVIVO Mobile SIM card won’t be able to make or receive phone calls. SMS and mobile internet access has also been disabled. OVIVO customers will need to follow the instructions below to restore their mobile service.

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The UK’s 4G Landscape: How The Networks Compare for Coverage & Speeds

Mobile networks in the UK are getting ready to launch 4G LTE. We look at how the networks will compare for coverage & speed.

4G LogoMobile networks in the UK have begun rolling out their 4G services. Both O2 and Vodafone are due to launch 4G at the end of this month. Meanwhile, Three will offer 4G towards the end of the year with no extra charge to any of their customers. For customers on Orange and T-Mobile, the buck has been passed to EE: the brand under which Everything Everwhere is offering their 4G services. EE has offered 4G since October of last year.

There are numerous benefits to having 4G mobile technology. Coverage should be improved, downloads should be faster and web browsing should become more reliable. The day-to-day experience of using a smartphone should also get better though most customers will find themselves paying a bit more.

In this article, we compare the UK’s 4G mobile networks. We’ll look at their 4G spectrum allocations and ask what this means for coverage, reliability and speed.

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250MB Mobile Internet: Enough data?

Many entry-level smartphone plans now offer 250MB data allowances. We investigate these plans and what you can do with them.

With the price of smartphones rapidly dropping, the UK’s major mobile phone networks are now offering a range of smartphones on entry-level plans with 250MB download allowances. These basic plans include Three’s “Essential Internet” tariffs and T-Mobile’s “Basic” data plan as well as a variety of entry-level plans from O2, Orange and Vodafone.

Whilst 250MB data plans are great for browsing the web, checking your e-mail and updating your Facebook/Twitter accounts, they’re not really suitable for downloading or streaming multimedia such as music and videos. The use of tethering, P2P applications such as BitTorrent and voice-over-IP applications such as Skype and Google Talk is also discouraged on these 250MB data plans. In this article, we explore 250MB data plans and investigate what they’re suitable for. We’ll also look at the restrictions that come with 250MB data plans and when you should consider opting for a larger data plan.

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Orange and T-Mobile launch “Smart Signal Sharing”

In the latest phase of the merging between T-Mobile and Orange’s mobile networks, customer’s handsets will now automatically select the strongest signal.

“Everything Everywhere” is the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile.

Since Orange and T-Mobile merged to form “Everything Everywhere” in 2010, the two networks have been working to gradually consolidate and to merge their mobile networks. The latest phase of this has seen the launch of “Smart Signal Sharing” whereby Orange and T-Mobile handsets will now automatically connect to the stronger of the two networks. Having launched quietly over the past few weeks, “Smart Signal Sharing” should lead to better coverage and improved battery life for both Orange and T-Mobile customers. However, teething issues have included the loss of internet connectivity for consumers whilst roaming.

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Orange and T-Mobile begin 3G network sharing

As of October 2011, Orange and T-Mobile are beginning to merge their 3G networks. Customers will be able to make phone calls, send text messages and browse the web on both networks.

“Everything Everywhere” is the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile.

At present, Orange customers and T-Mobile customers have access to each other’s 2G mobile phone networks through roaming. This means that when you don’t have any coverage from your home network, you’ll be able to roam onto the other network in order to make phone calls and send texts. From October 2011, this roaming arrangement is being enhanced with “seamless” roaming as well as the ability to roam for 3G services.

What’s the current roaming arrangement between Orange and T-Mobile?

Orange and T-Mobile first turned on non-seamless 2G roaming in October 2010. Non-seamless roaming meant that Orange customers could connect to the T-Mobile 2G network and T-Mobile customers could connect to the Orange 2G network. When roaming, download speeds are limited to about 80kbit/sec and it isn’t possible to switch networks mid-call. Hence an Orange customer who begins a phone call on the Orange network but loses signal from Orange wouldn’t have their call automatically switched over to T-Mobile: the call would drop instead. Under non-seamless roaming, your mobile phone will also select your home network over the roaming network whenever possible (even if coverage is much better on the roaming network).

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IFA 2011: The road to 4G (LTE) and high-speed mobile broadband connections

In the UK, we’ve got to wait until 2014 ultra-fast 4G mobile broadband connections. We’re at the IFA in Berlin to see whether LTE and 4G is worth the hype.

In the UK, all of our major networks currently use a technology called HSDPA (3.5G) to provide mobile internet to your phone. It’s an advanced version of the third-generation technologies (3G) first deployed in 2003. HSDPA offers download speeds which can theoretically go as high as 7.2Mbit/s, though average speeds are closer to 1.5Mbit/s.

Whilst the UK awaits the launch of HSPA+ later this year (3.75G, another third generation technology which can offer download speeds of up to 21Mbit/s), the rest of the world is already moving onto a fourth-generation technology called LTE (Long Term Evolution).

I’m here at the IFA in Berlin, Germany to try out a LTE mobile broadband service in Germany. I’ve spoken to representatives from Vodafone Germany who’ve been running a LTE/4G service for about a year ago now (since November 2010). Whilst it’s not available nationwide yet, it’s alive and kicking in Berlin. I’ve also looked at LTE price plans and tested a range of LTE-enabled devices.

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HSPA+ technology promises download speeds up to 21Mbit/s for UK mobile users

The UK’s major mobile operators are getting ready to launch HSPA+. It means faster downloads on your phone and mobile broadband connection.

The UK’s mobile phone networks are getting ready to launch HSPA+: an upgraded 3G service which offers faster downloads and uploads. Also called “evolved HSPA”, HSPA+ technology promises to offer download speeds up to 3 times faster than what is currently offered on today’s 3G mobile networks. With download speeds of up to 21Mbit/s, you’ll be able to access the HSPA+ networks from a capable mobile phone or mobile broadband dongle.

What download speeds will HSPA+ offer?

It’s worth noting that 21Mbit/s is a theoretical maximum – in practice most people are unlikely to get anywhere near that. At present, the UK’s mobile phone networks use HSDPA technology which has a theoretical maximum download speed of 7.2Mbit/s. The average download speed experienced by consumers on HSDPA is actually only 1.5Mbit/s. With the upgrades to HSPA+, Vodafone expect the average download speed to rise to around 4Mbit/s with download speeds of around 13Mbit/s in “good conditions”.

Technology Theoretical Max. Download Speed Average Download Speed
HSDPA 7.2Mbit/s 1.5Mbit/s
HSPA+ 21Mbit/s ~4Mbit/s

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Changing, Upgrading or Downgrading your Tariff whilst Mid-Contract

If your tariff is no longer suitable for you, you may still be able to change it mid-contract to add extra features or to cut your phone bill.

24 months can be a long time to hold a mobile phone contract: you never know what’ll happen and how your phone usage might change over that time. If you’re currently stuck in an unsuitable mobile phone contract, you may still be able to change it mid-contract. Of particular note O2, Orange and Three will allow you to downgrade your mobile phone contract to a cheaper deal: something which should instantly shave about £60/year from your phone bill. In this article, we look at your options for changing your mobile tariff whilst still being mid-contract.

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Orange and Three offer “HD Voice” phone calls for improved call quality

Customers of Orange and Three can now experience higher quality “wideband” phone calls providing they use compatible phones.

If you’re an Orange or Three customer, you’re now able to experience “high definition voice calls” between two “HD Voice” enabled handsets. “HD Voice” phone transmit sounds with a much larger range of frequencies than standard phone calls (50Hz-7kHz for “HD Voice” calls compared to 300Hz-3.4kHz for standard calls) making it easier to distinguish who is speaking on the phone and determine exactly what they’re saying.

Why is a large frequency range important in audio?

The human voice is made up of a range of frequencies between 80Hz and 14kHz (1kHz = 1000Hz). When we listen to other people speaking or listen to music, our ears combine these different frequencies together and interpret them as sounds or voices. When certain frequencies are missing from what we hear, we sometimes experience difficulties in understand what is being said or who is saying it.

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