£13,134.75 – That’s how much cash some people literally throw away

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According to new figures released today by home phone, broadband and mobile firm TalkTalk, some Brits are throwing away over £200 every year. Never mind austerity Britain, despite the squeeze of family budgets it seems we still inadvertently put cash in the bin, ruin bank notes in the wash and even simply throw away foreign currency we can’t be bothered to convert back into sterling.

As a nation the point where we lose the most amount of money with gift vouchers given by well-meaning family and friends. Some Brits throw away £60 a year on unspent vouchers which either expire before we can use them, or are forgotten about in a drawer – never to be spent.

Going on holiday also causes ‘money waste’ with some Brits failing to exchange currency back to Sterling after a trip abroad. On average we lose £61 a year in this way – meaning that as a nation we have hundreds of pounds in useless currency sitting at home. Men are the worst culprits and are the least likely to exchange unspent holiday money back into pounds.

Ensuring you check your pockets before putting on the laundry could prove to be wise. On average we lose £28 a year putting our hard earned cash into the washing machine. As a nation we also lose around £60 a year in other ways – covering everything from gambling, money falling out of our pockets and dropping cash on a night out.

TalkTalk unveiled these results to mark the fact that cash-strapped British families could be saving on average £154 a year if they simply switched from BT to TalkTalk for their telephone and internet services. In real terms this means Newcastle would be £15 million pounds better off as a city, Liverpool £29m more cash rich and London could be saving £289million across the city on an annual basis.

Other ways in which Brits have lost money in the past 12 months include;

Leaving cash in the cash machine

Leaving or dropping change in a shop and not picking it up again

Throwing money in cards in the bin was one of the most popular ways of losing money for 18 -25 year olds

One respondent mowed the lawn over their wallet shredding £50 in cash

Buying a clothing in a smaller size in the hope that they would lose weight and fit into the item

One survey participant lit a cigar with a burning £10 note

Tristia Clarke, Commercial Director at TalkTalk said, “We are amazed at how much money Brits are throwing away every year. Wasting money can go beyond losing or misplacing our hard earned cash. People also waste lots of money on utility bills, for example, people could save up to £154 a year switching from their current internet and phone provide to TalkTalk.”

 

 

Check the latest TalkTalk broadband deals here.

 

 

 

BT delivers capital wi-fi for London 2012

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BT, the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, today announced it is on track to meet its commitment to have 500,000 wi-fi hotspots across the capital in time for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company has also confirmed it will be the sole provider of public wi-fi on the Olympic Park.

BT already has more than 475,000 hotspots in Greater London made up of thousands of independent businesses and homes, plus outdoor hotspots across Westminster. More wi-fi access is good news for commuters who have been urged to work flexibly or remotely to ease congestion and keep London moving during the Games.

The Olympic Park will be the largest high density wi-fi venue deployment ever and will see more potential wi-fi users in any one place, than any other event before. BT Wi-fi will complement 3G networks and allow users to download and upload as much data as they like without the worry of going over their data allowance on their mobile contract.

BT is installing an extensive high-density, wi-fi infrastructure, with nearly 1,000 access points across nine Olympic venues including the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, Velodrome and all public areas of the Olympic Park in east London.

The capital is set to be buzzing this summer with millions of spectators travelling around London. Record numbers of people are expected to use handheld devices and smartphones to call, send emails, texts, tweets and use the internet on the move.

BT has cemented its position as the provider of the biggest wi-fi network in the UK, with over four million hotspots, adding more than 600,000 in the last 6 months.

Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, said: “This is fantastic news for the millions of visitors coming to the capital to enjoy this incredible summer of sport but even better news for London’s businesses who will continue to reap the benefits of this boost to the city’s ever expanding digital infrastructure long after the Games are over.”

Andy Baker, CEO, BT Wi-fi, said: “BT will bring the internet right to the fingertips of spectators and visitors across London, so getting online during this busy period will be even easier. With the UK’s largest wi-fi network, BT is proud to be giving users the best-possible experience. BT has a proven track record of delivering the large-scale, reliable communications that London will need this summer.”

Gerry Pennell, LOCOG Chief Information Officer, said: ‘The 2012 Games will be a truly digital Games and this enhanced wi-fi coverage is giving people additional opportunities to get online, keep in touch and share their experiences during this exciting time.”

Access is free for BT broadband customers and included in contracts for millions of Android, iOS and other smartphone devices through BT agreements with UK and international network providers. Customers should contact their provider for information. Pre-paid wi-fi vouchers will also be available to buy online for access at any of BT’s over four million UK hotspots including the Olympic Park.

BT made a commitment to boost the number of hotspots in London ahead of the Games last September. For more information visit www.bt.com/freewifi .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checkout the latest deals on BT broadband here.

EE and Stagecoach Partner to Transform Public Transport Ticketing

peoples-phone-ee-stagecoachTransport operator Stagecoach Group and the UK’s biggest communications company, Everything Everywhere, today announced plans to transform the way consumers use tickets to travel on public transport.

The two companies have unveiled the UK’s first Government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing, which could lead to a nationwide roll out across select bus and rail services in 2013.

The trial, already underway on the Stagecoach bus network in Cambridgeshire, enables a small cross section of bus users to receive, store and validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone. Everything Everywhere is providing each customer in the trial with a Quick Tap enabled mobile handset on its Orange mobile brand. Quick Tap is the umbrella name used for Orange’s NFC (Near-Field Communications) services, and the handsets used will feature the technology as well as a specially designed app, making them compatible with the local bus network’s smartcard readers. This will allow users to travel on Stagecoach buses across Cambridgeshire including the Cambridge Park & Ride and Guided Busway services.

The trial uses the Department of Transport’s preferred ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation) smart ticketing technology, and will monitor the levels of customer convenience the Quick Tap service provides, as well as for operational and technical efficiencies. The trial also contributes to the Government’s vision to deliver, along with transport operators and public sector bodies, the infrastructure to enable most public transport journeys to be undertaken using smart ticketing by December 2014.

Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing Officer, Everything Everywhere, said: “We’ve already started a new movement in the way we make payments and receive retail rewards on the high street, so this really is the next step – providing customers with additional simplicity and convenience to help improve their public transport experience.

“As Britain’s biggest communication company, we’re proud to be working with Stagecoach to help bring public transport ticketing into the 21st century and start a trend towards a future where ultimately the traditional paper and card tickets of today will eventually become a thing of the past”.

Stagecoach Group Finance Director Martin Griffiths, said: “This is an exciting technical trial which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK and we are pleased to be working with Everything Everywhere to explore the use of this new technology.

“Smart phones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people manage their busy lifestyles and are already used across many areas of life. We believe this technology can also make public transport easier and more convenient to use. Once this trial is complete, we will carry out a review of the findings and assess the potential to expand the scheme further for our passengers.”

As with contactless mobile payments, the security of customers details in the new Quick Tap transport ticketing service will be of paramount importance and the solution has been developed and rigorously tested to ensure customers’ ticket details and personal data will be protected and secure.

 

  

 

Check the latest EE deals here.

 

 

Online inflation ten times lower than high street

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Annual Retail Price Index (RPI) Inflation is currently running at around 3.5 per cent but if you do most of your shopping online it’s only around a tenth of that broadband firm TalkTalk has calculated. The annual Digital Rate of Inflation – (DRPI) the equivalent rate if you buy your household goods, food and clothing online rather than in-store – is just 0.3 per cent.

The Digital RPI has been created to track online costs as more consumers turn to the internet to shop. Nearly £1 in every £10 is now spent on goods bought online according to official statistics. The UK e-tail market grew 20 per cent in 2011 and is forecast to grow a further 20 per cent next year.

The research carried out for TalkTalk by The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) also shows:

Online prices growing by around 2.2 per cent between Q1 2007 and Q1 2012, averaging an annual rate of 0.4 per cent

In contrast, the In-store Price Comparator Index shows in-store prices rising by around 6.4 per cent over the same period, averaging 1.2 per cent annually

An analysis of historical online prices shows that DRPI is typically 4-5 percentage points lower per annum than in store prices

Consumers are twice as likely to spend money on household goods on the internet than in-store

Shehan Mohamed, economist at Cebr said: “As the UK continues to grapple with a double-dip recession, with a combination of high costs of living and a lack of pay increases putting pressure on household incomes, this research for TalkTalk shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you shop for certain goods online – food, clothing and household goods such as furniture, consumer electronics and white goods – then you will have a much lower rate of inflation than shopping on the high street. And we expect this trend to continue, with the DRPI running lower than the RPI over the next twelve months as energy prices remain elevated, disproportionately affecting high street businesses with relatively higher overhead costs.”

Tristia Clarke, Commercial Director at TalkTalk said: “With such a huge difference between RPI and DRPI, people who don’t have internet access at home are really missing out financially at a time when household budgets are being pushed to their limits.”

According to statistics released last week by the Office of National Statistics more than eight million UK adults have never used the internet.

“As the UK’s leading value for money providers of broadband, we are committed to helping to bridge the digital divide and to bring affordable broadband to more people,” said Tristia Clarke.

“Over the last 12 months we have invested in over 450 local communities to bring them affordable internet access and we have recently helped found Go ON UK, a new charity which aims to make sure every individual experiences the wide range of benefits that the internet had to offer”

Cutting down your utilities bills is just one way families can make a real difference to their household budgets – TalkTalk Essentials phone and broadband currently costs from only £3.25 per month plus line rental from £9.50 per month.

 

Check the latest TalkTalk broadband deals here.

 

 

 

Post Office drops BT as phone and broadband partner

The Post Office has dropped BT as the networks services provider for its home phone and broadband services.
 
The Post Office has dropped BT as the networks services provider for its home phone and broadband services.
 
Instead, it has signed a five-year contract with IT services provider Fujistu, which will act as service integrator to a number of subcontractors. TalkTalk will provide the network infrastructure itself; Capita will provide customer services, and specialist services provider MDS will support customer billing. IT and telecommunicaitons service provider Fujitsu will handle the migration, both of the network infrastructure and the supporting applications.
 
“The agreement provides the best solution for its increasing number of home phone and broadband users, as well as providing the best commercial opportunity for the Post Office,” the organisation said in a statement.
 
The Post Office has resold BT Wholesale phone and broadband services since 2007, when it signed a four-year deal worth £750 million. It currently serves around 500,000 customers in the UK.
 
The financial terms of Fujitsu’s side of the new deal were not disclosed, but TechMarketView’s Anthony Miller estimates that the contract could “easily be worth £500 million”.
 
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, TalkTalk said it anticipated “an aggregate revenue over the 5-year term in excess of £100 million” from the contract. Miller remarked that added that Fujitsu’s role in the deal “goes way beyond its ‘traditional’ infrastructure services support homeland”.
 
“As prime contractor, Fujitsu will be overseeing the entire migration process, both of the network and of the applications,” he wrote. “This is…a great result for Fujitsu UK&I CEO, Duncan Tait and his team.” Tait explained the structure of the project to Information Age. “It will be our guys in exchanges around the country moving [customers] from the incumbent [network to ours],” he said. “What [the Post Office] gets with us is one company accountable for the service end to end. What TalkTalk brings is the expertise about building services on top of a core infrastructure network.”
 
TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding said the deal was “in line with our long term strategy for leveraging the scale of our network and growing TalkTalk Business”.
 
 

Huawei seeks EU help on InterDigital patent fee dispute

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China’s Huawei has filed a competition complaint against US firm InterDigital with European Union regulators.
 
Telecoms equipment maker Huawei accuses InterDigital of “abusing” its position and demanding “exploitative” fees to use its patented technology, said to be essential to 3G in mobile devices.
 
It added that such moves were against the EU rules which require holders to licence their patents fairly. InterDigital said it was “committed” to those rules.
 
Huawei said in a statement : “InterDigital is seeking to leverage its declared 3G standard essential patents to force Huawei to conclude a discriminatory, unfair and exploitative license.
 
“InterDigital’s demand manifestly breaches the policies of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute calling for fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing practices by technology patent holders.”
 
InterDigital, which is based in Philadelphia, owns more than 19,500 mobile communications patents and patent applications.
 
The Chinese firm said that InterDigital had been trying to take advantage of the dominant position it enjoys in the sector and despite negotiations the two firms had not been able to reach an agreement. However, InterDigital said that it had been following the rules set by regulators while dealing with various companies across the globe.
 
“Our long and successful track record of licensing more than 50 companies throughout the mobile industry is proof of that commitment, and of our ability to reach mutually agreeable terms for such licenses,” Lawrence Shay, President of InterDigital’s patent holding subsidiaries said in a statement .
 
This is not the first time that the two firms have been involved in a patent-related dispute.
 
Last year, InterDigital lodged a complaint against Huawei, along with another Chinese phone maker ZTE and Finland’s Nokia, accusing them of infringing seven of its patents.

 

Firm fined over Angry Birds scam

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A firm has been fined £50,000 over smartphone apps which tricked people into receiving premium rate text messages. More than 1,000 people were hit with unexpected bills after downloading fake versions of popular games like Angry Birds.

Industry watchdog PhonepayPlus says malicious apps are a “growing threat”.

A Latvian firm has been ordered to pay the fine, the first of its kind, and refund another £28,000 to mobile users.

Several apps appeared in Google’s Android Market (now known as Google Play) last November.

They were designed to look like free versions of games like Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed and Cut The Rope.

When people downloaded the trick apps they wouldn’t open.

Instead they received three SMS messages costing £5 each, although the texts were hidden so people had no idea what had happened until they checked their bills.

It happened to John Gladstone from Southampton. The 31-year-old engineer bought his first smartphone just before Christmas.

“I was full of excitement,” he said. “I opened the box and downloaded every app that I could see on the Android market which had good reviews or if I recognised the name.”

He only realised he’d been conned when his phone provider told him he’d been sending premium messages.

“I’m always quite careful with my phone,” he said. “I never use it for internet banking, but I didn’t count on the fact that there’s another way people can get your money.”

Nitin Lachani researches threats for PhonepayPlus and says it is a constant battle to keep up with the scammers.

“It is hectic,” he said. “These guys are coming up with more and more sophisticated malware. There is a wider issue here. There is malware out there which can gain total access to your phone. A cyber criminal could then deliver apps to your phone which could tap into your phone calls, your messages. You’ve got to be think that phones are like computers and there is a massive link to your phone bill or potentially your credit card.”

This scam only affected Android users. Google does not check applications before they appear on its app store, Google Play. Rivals Apple and Blackberry both review apps before they are made available to download.

Google says apps which violate its policies will always be removed from Google Play, as happened in this case.

 

Mums feel the pressure as they juggle twelve ‘jobs’

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New report reveals the rise of the multitasking SMARTmum. 

From cooking to consultancy, medicine to maths, British mums are holding down a whopping 12 jobs at a time, doing more work at home on a daily basis than the majority of us do a week.

And it’s not just at home that mum is working hard, with two thirds (64%) of mums juggling their 12 ‘mum’ roles alongside full or part time work according to the Tesco Mobile Family Matters Index.

Dubbed the ‘SMARTmum’, for running so many different tasks at once, the mums of Britain are taking on the role of everything from stock controller to travel agent and family PA to party planner, according to the report commissioned to mark the launch of Tesco Mobile Family perks.

Whilst mum takes on a dozen roles a day, in most British households, dad sticks to the traditional tasks of handyman (66%) and sports coach (50%).

Both mum and dad take turns to play taxi driver, sharing a 50/50 responsibility for ferrying around the kids.

But, SMARTmums are feeling under pressure to keep the household plates spinning. A substantial 76% admitted they need help to manage the household and almost all – 94% – said they feel the household chores are never-ending.

Dr Katherine Rake, Chief Executive of the Family and Parenting Institute comments: “Mums today not only work longer hours both at work and within the home, but are also the lynchpin of family life and the hub for family communication. Parents today are under pressure from all sorts of angles, so whist they should be celebrated for their multitasking magnitude, they always appreciate support in balancing work, life, childcare and managing the family finances.”

A mother’s work is never done – the many jobs of a SMARTmum:

Cleaner (82% of households)
Nurse (80%)
Stock controller (77%)
Chef (76%)
Household PA (76%)
Party organiser (75%)
Counsellor (73%)
Teacher (70%)
Relationship expert (69%)
Tour guide (61%)
Travel agent (60%)
Accountant (59%)

*Research was conducted by Vision Critical on a sample of 2001 parents and grandparents of behalf of Tesco Mobile, June 2