Archive: December, 2009
Nokia N97 Cell phone Review
The wait is over, the widely anticipated flagship cell phone for Nokia, the Nokia N97, is now available in Canada as of December 10 th,2009 exclusive to Bell and just in time for the Christmas Holidays. For the smart phone lovers what this means is yet another device that you can dare to compare or simply add to your wish list or Santa list which ever will make it a reality.
The device specification sheet reads like a must have list: 5-megapixel camera, tri-band HSPA, WiFi and Bluetooth, Qwerty keyboard and tilt touch screen, GP and MP3 Player, all features which are comparable to most smartphones in the market today. Also, the Nokia N97 cell phone makes use of a large 3.5 inch touch-display and can be used as a pure touch phone in many instances which rivals the Apple iPhone. It is also similar in size to the iPhone and Blackberry family of phones. But the question is does the Nokia N97 live up to the hype? Read the rest of this entry »
#1. Understand your needs
What do you really use your cell phone for? Unlimited anything always seems attractive, however, “unlimited” typically comes with a hefty price tag. I happen to have an unlimited data plan – a relic by today’s standards – but I only use 25MB of data per month. So what do I with it? Well, I check and respond to emails repeatedly when on the road. I can’t say I enjoy typing emails on my phone so I keep it short; however, I do approximately 150 emails per month. I don’t do a whole lot of web browsing from my device, in part because the experience isn’t the greatest, (HTC S720 – Slider Keyboard) but I do browse the web as more of a necessity. For example to win an argument or prove a point – I Google It -, to find a location or the contact information of a business or to get updated scores of games. The cell phone market usually communicates data plans in gigabytes (GB), so to put it differently I use 0.025 GB of data per month. So if I had a 1GB data plan I would be able to do 40 times as much as I do per month all things being equal. The biggest culprit we hear off when it comes to exceeding one’s data plan is watching videos from YouTube on your cellphone. That is the fastest way to run up a huge bill if you aren’t careful, so some common sense is required. Know where you stand in terms of data usage, check out this table to learn more about what you can do with the various data plans.
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Everything you need to know about cell phone features.
The cell phone industry can be very confusing and that’s why we put together this glossary about everything cellphone related, so that you can better understand what all of the bells and whistles mean – in simple terms.
It’s Not Just Green it’s Clean
Last thursday as I was putting out my recycling box by the curbside, reading the news on the climate change summit printed on recycled paper, drinking my orange juice from the recycled carton, while my laundry was being washed in eco-friendly cold water detergent in my energystar rated washing machine, I recieved a call from a charity company about recycling old clothes, but was thinking about my to do list of places I needed to drive to in my low emission vehicle, to pick up some eco-materials to make the house more energy efficient when all of a sudden the phone rang again and it came to me. In my consciousness to make all things around me environmentally friendly as much as I could I realized that the device closest to me was not….until now! Read the rest of this entry »
Globalive a National Player
In a rather unexpected decision Ottawa via Industry Ministry Tony Clement, rejected the CRTC ruling that Globalive Wireless was offside regarding its foreign ownership stake. Foreign ownership rules require telecommunication companies to have majority ownership that is Canadian and requires that its board reflects this representation.
Globalive had earlier adjusted its equity stake and board representation to reflect this fact. As a result of this they were given the green light by Industry Canada to go ahead but this was subsequently blocked by the CRTC. From the CRTC’s perspective, this notion of “Controlling Fact” meaning who truly controls the organisation is a subjective interpretation. Since Globalive’s partner Orascom Holdings had a significant equity and debt stake in the company, it can wield more control that the makeup of the company would suggest. While this may be so, the legal requirement in terms of ownership makeup was held up by Globalive. Not to mention that each of the incumbent wireless carriers have a significant debt and equity holding from foreign holders. The main difference however, is that for the incumbents there isn’t a single investment with a majority holding in equity and debt and this is the source of conflict. Does Orascom have enough say to control Globalive Wireless or Wind Mobile? You decide.
Regardless of these facts, Wind Mobile can now enter the market as early as next week. But look for them to be full fledged in Q1 2010 given the time lost it would almost impossible to get ready for the holiday season, but anything is possible. Nonetheless, this decision makes the most political sense. Canada wants a shakeup in the wireless industry and Globalive is the only true national player that can do this, they’ve already hired over 800 employees – many of whom have been using their spare time doing random acts of kindness and helping out in the community – they’ve already built most of the network (with the exception of Quebec) and they’ve already paid over 400 million for spectrum licenses. Quite a hefty investment if you ask me. So it’s only natural that Ottawa given the state of the economy and the precedence set by Industry Canada to overturn the CRTC ruling. Let’s face it who will want to have 800 employees back on the streets in this economy.
So Canadians you can now expect a few things. A shakeup of the wireless oligopoly, more competitive offers as Wind comes out with its unlimited bucket plans similar to MetroPC in the US. And a more aggressive incumbent response, largely from their flanker brands like Fido, Koodo, Solo and Virgin. But it will be an interesting ride.
On December 3, 2009, Virgin Mobile Canada released their Broadband2Go internet stick data storage unit that lets surfers control their costs and pay for web access only when they need it. Attractively priced at $149 CAN the unit delivers fast speeds on the largest 3G network, and it’s free to use in every Starbucks in Canada. Broadband2Go is available at Virgin Mobile stores and Future Shop (and online).
Activation is easy at virginmobile.ca. It’s here web surfers can manage their service going forward by topping up only when they need it, right from a credit card, or they can set up automatic payments so they’re always good to go. To kick off the launch, Virgin Mobile’s special intro offer gives new users their first month (or 1GB) at no charge if you activate online. After that, top-ups are just $45 for 1GB or for 1 month of use, whichever comes first.
Also worth mentioning, if you get a separate microSD™ card, the stick doubles as a flash drive with microSD reader for up to 8 GB of extra portable memory.
Want to get one for free? Join the Virgin Mobile Canada on Facebook fan page, or follow them on Twitter @virginmobilecan. Readers should keep your eyes open here and look for opportunities – there are going to be some giveaways in the weeks ahead of Christmas.