It seems that with the stiff competition in the cellular phone market, a new model has to be something really special to warrant any attention. Motorola have introduced the T720i, a phone that seems to offer all the modern conveniences one can hope to expect from a cellular phone. ADAM MEGENS gets trigger happy with the new Moto camera-phone.
The battery, a 750 mAh Lilon has to be charged before you can cross start and collect $200. Other than that, you have to insert your SIM card, which can be easier said than done – the little metal clip that holds the SIM in place can be a little bit of a bugger to close without long nails. If you want to start sending candid snaps to all your buddies, make sure you get your service provider to set up MMS on your contract. Also, you must adjust your settings in order to be able to access the World Wide Web. This is no rocket-science though.
An attractive feature of the T720i is its ease of use. I think a big hang-up previous Motorola users had was that the phones required a bit of practice to get used to, however Motorola seemed to have worked hard to overcome this. Basic functions like making a call or selecting a name from the phone book are as simple as pie and the vast majority of functions do not require you to scramble through the instructions booklet irately.
Firstly, it is a phone, and a stunning one at that. Secondly, it has a camera that takes pictures you can send across the world. You can even personalise your phone and download fashionable stuff from the web and you can send messages, convert currencies, calculate brain-numbing arithmetic and so much more. I would say it delivers and then some.
Camera-phones are arriving on the market ten-a-penny these days. So you will unfortunately not be astounded by any features the T720i has to offer. Even Internet access is a rather passé feature on virtually current models. However because of its good looks and ease of use, after testing the phone for only a week I became rather attached to it.
The suggested retail price on the T720i is R2 500. This is by no means highway-robbery when considering the price of cellular phones at the moment. It seems even more reasonable when you take into account the price of a digital camera. My opinion is that the package is quite reasonable, but not as much a steal as the C350. But keep an eye out, as most service providers will probably be offering the T720i free with a new contract.nnFreud said that dreams are wishes, and if that is the case, I’ll be dreaming of a shiny new T720i tonight.
Getting London wired
Ruckus Wireless has been selected by Telef√≥nica UK, which operates the O2 brand, to supply high-capacity small cell products for high-speed wireless services being deployed throughout London.
Already deployed throughout the busiest, iconic areas in central London, such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Regent Street and Oxford Street, Ruckus SmartCell 8800s have initially been deployed to provide free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi to anyone.
Within a single, low-profile design, the SmartCell 8800 is the first carrier-grade, modular multi-radio system to integrate patented adaptive antenna array technology supporting multiple licensed and unlicensed radio technologies including: high-speed dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, small cell 3G/4G radios and 5GHz wireless backhaul. This gives Telef√≥nica UK the flexibility to easily and economically offer high-speed Wi-Fi and cellular services in specific locations when needed.
‚”For O2, it’s all about us providing customers with fast and reliable connectivity where they need it,‚” said Derek McManus, chief operating officer for Telef√≥nica UK. ‚”Our vision is for Wi-Fi to be simply another access layer to our mobile core. Customers don’t really care about the underlying technology: they care about getting connected, fast and reliably. The introduction of small cells helps us to support these requirements and completely complements our mobile strategy by letting us push capacity closer to users in locations where it makes the most sense.‚”
‚”In telecoms there is now a mad race to the lamppost, and the first one there wins,‚” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. ‚”A big barrier in small cell deployment is simply securing the physical locations with the requisite power and backhaul to support small cells. Once physical assets secured, it becomes important for operators to exploit them with as much technology as they can. This means multi-function, carrier-grade products that are simple deploy, unobtrusive and massively scalable. SmartCell is one of those products and O2 is one of those operators taking a lead in this race.‚”
After extensive evaluations of wireless suppliers, Telef√≥nica UK selected Ruckus and its SmartCell system. ‚”It all really boiled down to who had the best Wi-Fi for carriers and the most forward-thinking strategy to integrate Wi-Fi within existing and future cellular infrastructure,‚” said McManus.
‚”Such partnerships prove that industry players are starting to see the benefits Wi-Fi is bringing to their services,‚” adds Michael Fletcher sales director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa. ‚”We are likely to continue to see more industry players embracing this transformation globally, and hopefully locally as well as operators look for solutions to cater for their growing customer base.‚”
Beating the Backhaul Dilemma
‚”A major challenge with small cell deployments is how to reliably backhaul traffic from potentially thousands of small cell nodes without breaking the bank,‚” said Robert Joyce, chief radio engineer at Telef√≥nica UK.‚”
Telef√≥nica UK effectively eliminates this problem by meshing traffic over highly reliable 5GHz Wi-Fi mesh links between nodes using Ruckus Smart Mesh technology. Smart Mesh uses advanced self-organising network (SON) principles with Ruckus-patented adaptive antenna arrays (BeamFlex) and predictive channel management techniques (ChannelFly). Combined these technologies create highly resilient, high-speed Wi-Fi mesh backbone links between nodes that automatically adapt to changes in environmental conditions.
Thought by many to not be possible, Smart Mesh has demonstrated to deliver reliable backhaul for licensed cellular and unlicensed Wi-Fi traffic in both line of sight and non-line of site environments.
‚”Ruckus Smart Mesh technology is proving to offer a cost-effective, reliable and flexible alternative to conventional approaches,‚” said Joyce. ‚”With Smart Mesh, we are running fiber to just one of every five nodes. This has proven to be a huge benefit in reducing capital and operational expense with the added bonus of reducing the time to market.‚”
Big Improvements with Small Cells
Small cells represent a new architectural approach for injecting much needed capacity into service provider networks. Small cells are miniature base stations that combine licensed and unlicensed radio technology with wireless backhaul to deliver lower powered wireless signals much closer to mobile users. This results in better signal coverage, improved voice quality and higher data performance.
Small cells enable operators to provide a premium quality mobile signal where it was never previously economic, such as indoor environments and remote outdoor locations. They also enable operators to meet the burgeoning demand for mobile data, by multiplying the data capacity of the macro network at a fraction of the cost.
With the Ruckus SmartCell system, mobile operators gain a capacity boost from LTE small cells, cutting costs and complexity by co-locating and combining them with Wi-Fi access points, sharing site-lease agreements and backhaul. The integration of Wi-Fi and LTE small cells within the cellular core also helps operators optimize network utilization across the radio access network, providing a further improvement in performance, and creating a seamless experience for subscribers.
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Pre-paid data at 15c/MB
Cell C has announced the extension of its existing 15c/MB postpaid and prepaid data promotions until the end of October.
The company has also lowered the price of its entry-level 500MB data offer from R49 to R45 and while stocks last, this offer also includes a free 7.2Mbps speedstick.
‚”What our customers want is affordable, high quality data services. Our promotional data packages offer customers data at very competitive in- and out-of-bundle rates. Our in-bundle rate remains at the bottom 5 cents per MB*, and we have reduced our out of bundle rate from 39 cents to a much more competitive 15 cents per MB,‚” says Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig.
Knott-Craig says customers can expect more exciting announcements in the coming weeks.
Table of promotional pricing (prices include VAT):
500MB + 7.2Mbps speedstick
2GB SIM only
2GB + 7.2Mbps speedstick
Promotional postpaid offers are all on 24- month contracts only
24GB SIM only or 24GB SmartData Voucher
R1 999 once-off
R1 299 once-off
24GB + 21.6Mbps speedstick
R2 999 once-off
R1 999 once-off
The data on promotional prepaid offers are valid for 12 months (2GB every 30 days X 12)
* (applies to 2GB and 24GB)