Until a few months ago, having a cellphone, camera, PDA, web browser and mail client in one neat unit capable of fitting in your pocket was something to be dreamt about. Well not anymore as the new P800 by Sony/Ericsson is all that and more, writes SEAN BACHER.
Before you can start using the phone, you are going to have to plug it in and let the battery start charging. Once plugged in and switched on, you need to initialise the phone, that entails setting things like the date, the time, the time-zone, the country, the currency and many other parameters which might seem quite irrelevant at this point in time but which become quite useful at a later stage. You are now ready to make and receive calls, send SMSs and play games. However, if you’re a power user and want to connect to the Internet, check your e-mail and send MMS messages, you need to punch in various other settings, all of which are available from your service provider. You also need to install some software on your computer and plug in the data cable if you fancy synchronising your contacts and appointments.
The menu is quite easy to navigate and if you have bad eye-sight, you will be happy to know that you can increase the font size a couple of points. The P800 gives you the option of saving up to twenty quick-call contacts, but unlike other phones, you can actually view the names assigned to the various buttons.
It reminds you of upcoming appointments, sends and receives mail, stores all your contact info, lets you jot down quick notes and enables you to keep in touch with your secretary at the office. So in my eyes yes it definitely does deliver on its promise.
Well let’s work it out; your average phone with a colour screen and camera would set you back anywhere from R3 500 to R5 000, your average PDA would set you back an extra R2 000. That’s about seven thousand for two devices. Now for R8 600 you can get both those devices in one unit. Yes it might be a little more expensive, but if you have the money or are thinking of upgrading your contract I really do suggest you seriously consider getting the P800.
The Sony/Ericsson is currently available from all major cellular retail outlets. However if you want to find a stockist closest to you, contact Sony/Ericsson on (011) 844-2000.
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)