Travel Angel lands at Orange


Orange today announced two new additions to its existing portfolio of roaming initiatives, designed to offer customers an increased level of control over their usage and spend when using their handset abroad.

From today, Orange is introducing ‘Travel Angel’, a free smartphone app downloadable from the Android and BlackBerry app stores and available soon on Apple. The app will help customers to track their mobile phone usage abroad. It automatically detects the country or region a customer is in, and if a customer does not already have a roaming bundle, it will recommend the most relevant for the amount of data, calls or texts they want to use in that country. They can buy it immediately if they want to. The app also helps customers to track in real time the data and services they use so they can monitor their spend and usage. It also lets customers set notification alerts for how much data they have left in their bundle, so they don’t overspend.

Orange also developed a new weekly combined bundle earlier this month for customers travelling in the EU. The bundle offers a simple 3-in-1 solution incorporating calls, text and data into one affordable and easy to understand package. The seven day bundle will be available for just £15 until the 5th August, then £20 thereafter, and provides customers travelling within the EU with 50 minutes, 30MB and 100 texts.

The ‘Travel Angel’ app and new combined bundle compliment Orange’s existing roaming portfolio – which includes some of the most competitive roaming bundles on the market.commercial 4G network”.

Check the latest Orange deals here






O2 Gives London Free Wi Fi


Joining the London free Wi-Fi party in time for the Olympics, O2 is offering free wireless internet access to Londoners and the millions of tourists alike during the sporting event this summer.

As part of a deal with Westminster Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, O2 has installed “fast, free, reliable” hotspots across London’s West End.

Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square are among the first to get the free Wi-Fi with Covent Garden next on the list. So you can tweet, check your Facebook status, email and browse online on your smartphones merrily when out and about in these parts of central London.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free Wifi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintaining that reputation.”

Recently, Virgin Media unveiled free Wi-Fi at a number of Tube stations for those travelling on the London Underground during the Olympic Games. O2 plans to makes its Wi-Fi hotspots free both during and after the Games, unlike Virgin Media which will introduce a cost once the Olympic Games are over.

Gavin Franks, MD of O2 Wi-Fi said, “We are proud to announce that today, we can bring O2 Wifi to some of the busiest streets and squares of central London. We are now providing Londoners and visitors alike with fast, free, reliable wifi when visiting some of the busiest areas in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea.”

And O2 Wi-Fi is free for everyone, so even if you’re not with the network you’ll be able to enjoy the free internet connection when in London’s West End.



Check the availability and latest deals for o2 here





Three’s smartphone customers double their data use in less than a year



In less than a year Three’s four million contract mobile phone customers have more than doubled their monthly data use. This dramatic shift in consumer behaviour has seen the average amount of data used by contract customers each month soar to 1.1 gigabytes (GB). Average use last summer was just 450 megabytes (MB).
Three’s customers using iPhones and premium Android smartphones are already using almost 1.5GB per month. This is significantly more than the allowances of 1GB or less sold to 66% of the UK’s smartphone users on competing networks*.
Dave Dyson, chief executive officer, Three said: “With 95% of our smartphone customers using data on a daily basis, everyone is relying more than ever on their handset to do all the stuff they used to do on the internet at home or work. And there is no sign of this slowing down.
“Give consumers a combination of the right device, the right price plan and a mobile network built for the internet and you see a rapid behavioural shift. We are seeing more and more people using more and more data throughout the day.
“Price plans that remove the fear of going over a data limit enable demand to grow as consumers are free to discover just how much they can do on the move. Even I don’t understand how much data I use on a daily basis so it’s no surprise that having an all you can eat worry-free data package is proving to be so popular with our customers.”
Three offers all you can eat data on all of its tariffs with prices on Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly starting from as little as £13 per month.
Graham Baxter, chief operating officer at Three, who is responsible for Three’s network said: “Since 2008 we have invested over £1 billion in almost doubling the size of our network and boosting its capacity and quality in order to handle this data traffic explosion. Today we have an award-winning network and it’s the only network in the UK that’s built specifically for the mobile internet. We cover 98% of the UK’s population and it’s great to see that our customers are doing so much more of the things they enjoy on their smartphones.” 




Check the availability and latest deals for Three here




Google disputes Android botnet spam claim


Google has disputed claims that many Android phones have been infected with a virus that makes them churn out spam.

On 4 July, Microsoft researcher Terry Zink claimed to have discovered evidence of Android phones being enrolled into a botnet.

Botnets typically use infected PCs as spam generators but Mr Zink said he found evidence that Android smartphones were being used in the same way.

In a statement, Google said there was no evidence to support Mr Zink’s claim.

The search giant’s investigation suggested the junk messages originated on PCs but the spammers sending them formatted them to look like they came from Android smartphones.

“Our analysis suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to try to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they’re using,” said Google.

By taking this step, said Google, the junk mail would have a better chance of defeating spam filters and ensure that messages reached inboxes.

If the spam were coming from a botnet made up of Android phones, it would be the first ever.

Mobile security specialist Lookout also questioned Mr Zink’s initial claim. In a blogpost, head of the firm Kevin Mahaffey said it was possible that the spam was originating from lots of Android phones infected with a malicious program.

However, he said, Lookout’s investigation had also uncovered some serious issues with the Yahoo mail app for Android that suggested it was a risk for all users of it. Lookout had told Yahoo about the problems which were now being worked on.

In a follow-up to his original post, Mr Zink agreed that it was not proven that Android phones had been compromised.

He added that it was “entirely possible” that the spammers had faked the message formatting to make it look like it originated on a phone.

However, he added, there was no doubt that the number of malicious programs written for Android was on the increase. Given that he said: “The reason these messages appear to come from Android devices is because they did come from Android devices.”

Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, also posted more information about the case. He said that although Sophos did not have a sample of the malware sending the spam in question there was evidence to suggest it came from smartphones.

Sophos could find no hint that the formatting on the messages was faked, he said, and some elements of what it had seen would be impossible to spoof.

In addition, he said, much of the spam was coming from net addresses owned by mobile operators.



Man smashes up mobile phone shop in bizarre rampage

An unhappy customer smashed up a city centre mobile phone shop during an apparent row over a refund for a mobile phone contract.
An unhappy customer smashed up a city centre mobile phone shop during an apparent row over a refund for a mobile phone contract.
Shocked shoppers filmed Jason Codner, 42, from Salford, on their phones as he methodically ripped out wall fixtures and set off fire extinguishers at the T-Mobile store in Manchester city centre. The footage, which later appeared on YouTube, shows the middle-aged man destroying the shop displays as staff watch in disbelief. 

Dressed in a checked shirt and jeans, the man pulls stock from the walls and overturns tables. 

The havoc continues for several minutes until one member of staff makes a call from his mobile phone and shopping centre security staff arrive at the store shortly afterwards.

Five burly police officers turn up seconds later and the man smiles and tells them he is OK. Police then arrest him and lead him away, after telling a huge crowd of bystanders to move on. One YouTube user joked: ‘I hope he didn’t smash his phone up for that all important last call!’ Another wrote: ‘I think he went over his call allowance! He dealt T-Mobile Manchester style!’
A spokesman for T-Mobile – whose slogan is Life is for Sharing – said the firm was aware of the video footage and was investigating the incident.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said they were aware of Saturday’s incident and that Jason Codner, from Salford, had been charged with criminal damage and public order offences. He is due to appear at Salford and Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 30 July. 
A police spokesman said: ‘At 4.25pm on Saturday 30 June 2012, police were called to T Mobile store on Market Street in Manchester City Centre to reports of an aggressive customer. ‘A 42-year-old man got into a verbal altercation with members of staff and started to damage items in the store. it appears he didn’t get the response he wanted after a conversation about his mobile phone contract.’
One shopper said: ‘The footage is unreal and we couldn’t believe how much damage had been caused. ‘He must have been seriously angry about something to go on such a rampage. Normally disgruntled shoppers would have just an exchange of words with a member of a staff about a product but this guy took it to a whole new level.’  
A T-Mobile spokesman said there were seven staff members and several other customers in the shop at the time of the incident but all managed to escape without injury. They added: ‘The incident which occurred at the Manchester Market Street store was of course very upsetting for our staff.  ‘During the incident, all customers and staff were taken outside of the store as quickly as possible and the police were called immediately to handle the incident.  The customer’s dispute was in relation to a refund that we were not able to give – as it was clearly outside of the stated terms and conditions.  We are currently assessing the damage, and will be re-opening the store as soon as possible. We will of course continue to work to ensure the safety – of both our staff and our customers – is of paramount importance at all times.’