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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Internet Access on the road’

All Cell Phone Carriers Are Not Created Equal

Confused by all the offers from the major cell phone providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.)?

There’s a price war going on between the major carriers. Although price is a consideration in selecting a carrier, saving a few dollars should not be the major factor when signing a contract. Having an unlimited or discounted data or phone plan is useless if your service is poor.

First, you must determine which provider offers the best service in your area.  Are you frequently getting disconnected in the middle of a call?  How is the voice quality of the calls?

Second, you should check the signal strength in all parts of your home or office.  If you are a frequent traveler, how is the service on the road?  How about your second home? If you are moving to a new location, check with your neighbors. Find out what works for them and which provider (s) have poor reception. I have a client who recently moved a few blocks away and found the provider she was using in her old apartment did not work in her new building. Another client found that her provider only worked in a few rooms in her new building.

There are a number of discounted service providers offering deep discounted rates. However, the majority of them are using one of the major providers listed above. If you elect to go that route, check out who they are using before signing up.

Don’t be tempted to sign up with a provider because of a great deal or a pretty new phone offer. The name of the game is quality of service.

 

 

Do You Want Internet Access in the Subway?

AT&T pledges wireless in every NYC subway station

AT&T has agreed to provide wireless service to every underground subway station, making it the second carrier to make the commitment.

Currently, there is wireless service from every major carrier except Sprint in the initial 36 stations of the MTA’s plan to wire all 278 underground stations by 2017.

The second phase, which will be completed by the end of the summer, will increase the number of stations with wireless by 40, covering midtown Manhattan and Queens locations.

“The ability to make and receive phone calls underground is an important improvement for safety and security as well as convenience, and our customers will certainly appreciate it,” MTA chief Thomas Prendergast said in a statement.

To read the complete article Click Here

What do you think?

 

Starbucks Ups the Stakes in Battle Over Wireless Charging

Now you can give your phone a caffeine fix along with your latte. Not ready for prime-time yet, but definitely a great idea.

Starbucks Ups the Stakes in Battle Over Wireless Charging – Ina Fried – Mobile – AllThingsD.

Biggest problem facing mobile phone users – – – – your battery running out of juice.

What do you do to increase your battery life?

IS YOUR CHILD TRAVELING ABROAD THIS SUMMER?

The Internet has changed the rules for traveling.  Gone are the days when keeping in touch from abroad was both a challenge and expensive.  More college aged children are spending summers traveling and taking advantage of semester abroad programs.  The following are some of the  things parents and students must know before leaving home:

– What is the Internet situation where the student will be living?

– Does he/she have an International mobile phone?

– Do you and your child have a plan to reach each other in an emergency?

– Are both of you aware of the differences between phone and data services, domestically and overseas?

– Have you considered whether or not your child should rent a phone while traveling?

– Are you familiar with the rules surrounding Internet services abroad such as Skype, iChat, e-mail, and accessing the web?

A couple of years ago, my daughter spent 4 months in Spain.  Despite daily phone calls to and from the United States, my total phone bill for the time she was away was under $200.  If you need assistance understanding the rules of international travel and would like to know how our communication costs were kept in line, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at jblue@bluetutor.com

 

 

ARE YOU PART OF THE NEW MOBILE WORLD?

We are all spending more and more time on the road, whether for business or pleasure. The operative word now is “Mobile.”  Are you ready? To be a true “road warrior,” you must be able to:

 

– Select a mobile device (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad, etc.) based on your needs.

– Choose the right provider (Verizon. AT&T, Sprint, etc.)

– Understand the differences between “data” and phone plans.

– Understand the rules for accessing the internet while traveling.

– Use mobile apps for travel sites (hotels, flights, etc.) as well as information such as restaurants, weather, news, movies, online banking, stocks, etc.

– Control your telephone costs.

– Manage your e-mails.

– Text messaging.

– Access your contacts.

– Maintain your calendar.

– Set up reminders.

– Access your critical files.

– Store important personal information such as medications, emergency contacts, passwords, etc.

– Watch movies.

According to the most recent report issued by Ericsson, the number of worldwide mobile subscribers in 2011 was 6 billion. Within the next five years, the number will grow to close to 9 billion.

The population of the United states is 315 million. There are over 325 million cell phones in use in the US. Smartphones (iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, etc) now represent over 50% of all mobile phone sales.

I can make you a true “road warrior.” To set up a free consultation, I can be reached by phone at 917-921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com.

 

UNDERSTANDING VERIZON’S NEW WIRELESS PLAN

On June 28th, Verizon Wireless will introduce a new wireless data plan. The rationale for the change (which will be followed by other providers) is for them to cash in on the ever increasing demand for data services on mobile devices such as smartphones (iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries) and smaller laptops.  While the news services are offering varying opinions and explanations, here are some basic things you should know about the new plan:

– The new plan only applies to smartphones and computer tablets, not iPads,

– The plan is not mandatory, current Verizon customers are not obligated to revise their existing plans.

–  Based on how you use your smartphone, you can actually save money by switching to the new plan. People who are heavy data users (e-mails, Internet browsing, streaming videos, etc.) should consider the new plan.

Below is a summary of the Plan:

– There is no tiered pricing for telephone calls. Presently, 450 minutes costs $39.95 per month and the price escalates for additional minutes.  Under this new plan, the only choice will be unlimited minutes and free text messaging for $40 per phone.  This is a substantial savings for anyone on a plan for more minutes or an unlimited plan.

– The new data plan starts at 2GBs for $60 and goes as high as 10GBs for $100 per month, based on your usage. If you have a family plan with several phones, the data plan is shared with each of the lines.  It is possible to have up to 10 mobile devices share the same plan. The present cost for 2GBs of data is $30 PER PHONE and rises for more data.  According to the leading providers, most people use less than 2GBs per month unless they stream a lot of videos and music from the Internet.

– If you change to the new plan, and are presently on an unlimited data plan, you will lose it.

As I have indicated in the past, there is never a standard answer when it comes to one’s technology needs.  If you are currently a Verizon customer, I suggest you call them for an evaluation of your present plan and discuss whether or not a change will save you money.

If you need a further explanation of Verizon’s new plan, or have any other technology questions, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my NEW white paper, “TIPS ON BECOMING A TRUE MOBILE WARRIOR”

THE NEW IMPROVED MAGICJACK

MagicJack, the popular (VOIP) internet based phone system has recently introduced a new program that allows you to make and receive phone calls without your computer being turned on.

For those of you who are not familiar with MagicJack, the system lets you make free telephone calls to anywhere in the United States, regardless of  your location, whether you are in the US or abroad.

How does it work?  When you sign up, you select a phone  number with your local area code (in New York, either 917,646, or 347).  What this means is when you plug your MagicJack into your computer, you are calling through the Internet making it possible to make what appears to be a local call within the US,  MagicJack is a tiny device that is plugged into one of the USB slots in your computer.  The device costs $39.99 with an annual fee of $19.99.  Not only that, but when you purchase a MagicJack, you get the first year for free – no monthly charges. You can purchase one at places like Best Buy or online at magicjack.com.

With its new enhanced program called MagicJack Plus ( at a slightly higher rate), you no longer need a computer. No more having to keep your computer on at all times. You can use any phone, stationary or portable and simply plug it into your new phone jack in the MagicJack PLUS which can be plugged into the wall now.  The MagicJack Plus device is than plugged into your router.  If you want to reduce your telephone costs, you can now “port” over your existing home phone number to MagicJack Plus and take your home phone number wherever you go.

If you have any questions regarding MagicJack or any other technology issues, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my NEW white paper, “TIPS ON BECOMING A TRUE MOBILE WARRIOR”

IS THE “NEW” iPAD FOR YOU?

The big news in the tech world this past week has been the launch of the “New” iPad. This third generation iPad has received a great deal of press both before and after the launch.

The first question you must ask yourself is whether or not a tablet is for you. The iPad is still the number one ranked and best selling tablet. If you already own one, then you must evaluate the merits of upgrading to the “latest and greatest.”  For those of you who have never owned one, the major issue is to determine whether a tablet will address your technology needs, whether for personal or professional purposes.

As indicated in previous posts, the tablet has proven to be an ideal substitute to the much heavier laptop computer for the road warrior. Tablets are excellent for communication (email, messaging, skype, etc) and getting information (news, weather, restaurants, movies, games, etc).  For those of you that do a lot of writing, there are many keyboards on the market that make typing much easier than the touch pad. However, despite publicity to the contrary, it does not replace a computer since there are many functions that require a computer.

During the past few months, I have introduced the iPad to several clients who have never used a computer.  Tablets have proven to be the ideal solution to techno-phobics who had previously been reluctant to embrace technology.   The larger screen and easy access to “apps” has changed their world.

If you have been considering your first tablet purchase, take some time to sit down and write down your technology needs. There are many options to choose from, the iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc.

As for those of you considering an upgrade, the new iPad offers a faster processor, high resolution screen, 4G wireless service, and a far better camera than the earlier models.

However, like many new products, there are several issues that have surfaced that must be considered before you decide to upgrade.

The iPad offers two ways of accessing the Internet. The popular choice is the faster wireless 4G network, at this time provided by both Verizon and AT&T. The monthly charge for this service is based on the amount of data used. The other, and free method, is any wi-fi network, such as set up in your home, hotels, some airports and coffee shops (Starbucks). Try steaming movies through the 4G wireless network and you will find that your data costs will skyrocket. An article in today’s Wall Street Journal, http://on.wsj.com/GBIDcO, offers a full explanation of what to expect if you use the 4G wireless network and the costs associated with it.

Other reports indicate the new iPad might have a overheating issue, which Apple is looking into.

If you need help determining whether the new iPad is for you as a new purchase or whether you should consider the upgrade, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

ARE YOU CONFUSED BY AT&T’S PLAN TO REDUCE YOUR DATA SPEED?

On the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal, http://on.wsj.com/wlmlws, AT&T announced their latest attempt to control their costs for providing broadband services.  They are planning to reduce the speed of your data service on your mobile device once you have surpassed your monthly purchased data limit.

With the growing popularity of mobile devices (smartphones such as the iPhone and the Android) as well as the iPad, the appetite for broadband services has surged.  Last year, over 50% of all cell phone purchases were smartphones, whether new users or upgrades.

Most consumers don’t understand their data plans.   Cell providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) offer “tiered data plans” based on data usage.  What this means is that it is important to know your data usage and determine which plan is right for you.  This information is available by simply contacting your provider. Streaming video from sites like Netflix will use up a lot of your data allotment.

The problem with this program is that, as their customer, you are being penalized for their inability to keep up with the demand for broadband services.  Why not make sure their customers understand their data plans and make sure that they are subscribing to a program based on their usage?  This is done for your calling plans without the risk of diminishing service once you have surpassed your purchased minutes.

Let’s hope that their competitors don’t follow this strategy.  I called my provider, found out my average monthly usage and purchased a plan that was right for me.  I suggest you do the same.

If you need help understanding your data plan, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com. Feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.

 

 

IS YOUR NEXT FLIGHT WITH AN AIRLINE OFFERING INTERNET ACCESS?

airplaneAccording to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, airlines are racing to include Internet access on their flights.  By 2013, the expectation is that more than 50% of passenger planes will be equipped with wi-fi.  The following is a summary of the current situation and some projections.

1.  About a third of all US passenger planes are now offering Internet access

2.  Currently, 3 out of the top 4 airlines (American, Delta, and Southwest) offer the service on many of their flights.  While United has lagged behind, their expectation is that they will be completing a deal shortly and expect to have all their planes connected within the next couple of years.

3.  The services include e-mail and Internet access which, according to a number of surveys, appears to be the greatest interest of most fliers at the present time.

4.  As for the future, airlines are expected to offer streaming services such as live news and sports along with movies and TV shows.  These services will probably be fee based.  This week, Delta starting offering  movies ($4.00 each) and TV shows ($1.00) on a limited number of their passenger planes.

As indicated in past blogs, we have become a mobile society, with Internet access available in hotels, coffee shops, airline terminals and now in the air.  Isn’t it time for you to make sure you have the right technology to support your needs on both a personal and business level?

If you have any questions about this or other technology issues, do not hesitate to contact me at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com.  If you are in career transition, feel free to click here to receive my free white paper on Technology Tips on setting up a home office and becoming a true road warrior.


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