Posts Tagged

carriers

I am sure you have seen the recent articles in many Android blogs concerning the fragmention of Android. It’s a topic that comes up time and time again, including on this site.

In this article I’ll explain what fragmentation is, for those who aren’t quite sure, and also why Android users needn’t be concerned by it. (more…)

In the past week, James Cull talked about his unlimited-but-not-really phone contract, while Connor Turnbull has expressed confusion over why people are so keen on BlackBerry Messenger when phone contracts usually provide more free SMSes then you’ll ever use.

Do you think you’re getting decent value for money with your current phone contract?

I pay £25/month for mine on a two-year contract, and I get 2,000 minutes of voice calls to any network, 5,000 minutes of voice calls to people on the same network, 5,000 texts (to any network), and 2400MB of data (though I think that’s actually increased recently). I also got my handset, an HTC Desire, for free — and this was back in early 2010, in the first month it was available in the UK.

So that’s costing me £600 in total over the length of the contract; considering that the handset alone cost over £400 at the time I got it (and is roughly £300 now), I feel that this is good value. I can think of it as paying about £10/month for the calls, texts, and data, which is roughly what a mobile broadband dongle would cost.

However, before that, I was paying £40/month to the same carrier for less goodies: 1,000 minutes, 3,000 texts, 1GB data. I’d got lazy and not bothered to call and switch to a new price plan after my old contract expired, and of course they weren’t going to call and ask if I wanted to pay less! Even so, this was a great price when I signed up for it about four years ago.

Thanks to services like Skype and Google Voice, we’re getting closer to the point where we can ditch voice calls and texts and use all the features of a phone with just a data plan, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m happy to keep paying the current prices for now; are you?

The carrier and the OS have an important relationship. For a phone to be a phone, it’s the carrier’s job to make sure the service is in tip-top condition, allowing you to make phone calls. However, sometimes the ambitions of the operating system go higher than the carrier’s capabilities or even their will. One feature that most carriers don’t like giving away for free is tethering.
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Call forwarding is the diversion of a call that Wikipedia defines as allowing “an incoming call to a called party, which would be otherwise unavailable, to be redirected to a mobile telephone or other telephone number where the desired called party is situated”. However, it’s a lot simpler than that sounds — basically, we’re talking about redirecting an incoming call to another phone number.

On Android, there are a couple of different ways that you can forward calls, including the ability to forward missed call information to an email address. This is especially useful if you left your phone at home before your commute to work, or if you just lost your phone but still want to keep on top of things. Let’s take a look at some applications to help in these situations. (more…)