Tag Archives: mobile

new broadband plus free sim card calls with talktalk

5 Dec

london 3.54pm 7.4C cloudy monday 2016

today i just agreed on a new package for broadband and free calls on mobile with talktalk. it is £22.95 a month. includes the line rental.  for that i get unlimited broadband, plus 200mins of chat, unlimited text, 500MB of data. and they will refund the balance of the lump sum payment i made to pay the line rental, so i dont lose out. even factoring in the cheaper line rental i was paying before, £15 a month, as opposed to about £19 now, it still works out cheaper. and i get the free chat on mobile. 

i suppose it is the best i could get. though my previous package cannot be beat. it is free. haha. but i suppose it is not possible to get that again. i consider it a gift from talktalk. i actually contracted to pay £5 monthly for a broadband only package. a day later i wrote to ask if i can get it free, because i just read their advert saying they are giving it for free to new subscribers . and they kindly said they will give me a free discount. and it was a really great offer, because subsequently that monthly fee increased to £7, and then recently to £9 and it was all discounted so that i got it free for about 18months. really amazing.

this one they promise the price will be fixed for the duration of the 18month contract. that means it will expire june 2018. ah well, previously i only got broadband, no free calls on the mobile. this one includes free calls on the mobile and other things. and i get a new router too… maybe after that hacking of the router in the news recently, they must have decided they better give us a more secure router. but lets face it, whatever the price, i cannot do without broad band anymore. haha. i am in thrall to broadband now. i consider it indispensable now. they were clever to link it to the tv… with it we can get HD, (high definition) and that really makes a big difference to the viewing experience.

i have a friend who watches a lot of films, and is not on HD. he says he does not miss it. well, it is because he had not seen it. i think once he has experienced it he wont go back. but right now he gets to be able to record the films on his tv(his tv is still the old fashioned kind with the fat tube sticking out at the back) on his digital recorder. he says by doing so he is able to fast forward any adverts.

the HD tv wont allow him to record films on that digital recorder. or at least i dont think so. certainly my video recorder has long ago been thrown away because it cannot be used once we changed to digital tv. well,

it does bring home to me that i am living in the future. so depandant on wifi, and these electronic gadgets. it is wifi… that one has become a big game changer. it is hard to think of that time when we were perfectly happy to have no wifi signals. 

from the chrome blog

2 Dec

london 8.20am 12.7C cloud. wednesday

i thought this bit of news about chrome in android limiting images downloads into mobile phones to save data usage, is quite interesting. if it detects a slow download, it will stop images from downloading, and requires u to specifically click to allow it. 

it will sway me to buying an android phone because it uses chrome to browse and it has this mode. 

data usage is a big factor in mobile phones with a sim plan. for eg,   the new mobile sim that talktalk is giving to us has only 200MB of data. and if that is exceeded u can bet they will charge the earth for it. i wont be using it as i dont have a smartphone, but if i do, it would be a big factor in deciding to buy an android phone.

another interesting post by chrome , about security. 

and here is news of a $149 chromebook.


asda mobile

16 Oct

london 6.18am 11.7C friday 2015

i used to be with asda and quite happy with them, because they are also charging 8p/min for calls, and 4p/text. but for some reason, they sent me a text saying they are closing my sim (from april 2014) maybe because i did not make a call for ages. in those days my phone gives me free calls so i seldom have to use my mobile. and that might be the reason for them to shut me down.

anyway i lost that service which i had been with for years;  and went to lebara out off desperation, because i could not find another provider. i lost that too, because i forgot to top up, and even with £1 still left in the balance they shut me down completely, without any warning. they are very pricey, 15p/min and 19p /text. so maybe i am glad i lost that… even though i had a really nice easy number to remember. 

then my friend john told me of sainsburyformobile, and they were offering a double top up if i order online. i got it in march 2015;so i paid £10 and got £20 worth but now after 7months with them, they tell me they are closing down for good. and i googled asda mobile and found they still do it, and ordered a sim from them online. this morning i got an email from them saying the sim is on the way and …

As an extra thank you for joining, we’ve pre-loaded your SIM with 10 FREE minutes, 10 FREE texts and 10MB FREE data to help get you started. If you do have any questions before your SIM arrives, find useful information on our Welcome page or search our FAQs page for more support.

so i have gone full circle and gone back to asda. from their website, it looks really a very easy to use and to top up. they dont advertise even inside their supermarket stores. i wonder why, because with a captive customers in the store it would be real easy to let them know of this service. in the past they did, that is how i found out the first time i joined them, but after i lost that account, i never found anything in the asda stores about their mobile service.

i wonder if this mobile service is a new thing that they have revived from the previous one which they lost … maybe for the same reason that sainsbury lost it, vodaphone stopped carrying their service.

added 21.10.15 i see from my mobile that asda uses T-mobile, even though they say they are now with EE. so perhaps i lost my previous service with them when T mobile was bought over by EE. googling it i find EE bought Tmobile, and then Bt bought EE for £12.5billion.

asda uses EE, i cant remember if they used the same carrier when i was last with them. if it was a different carrier, it might explain why they terminated my account last time. they have 30 day bundles and it means u are not tied to a contract with them. i think that is really very useful. even though i dont have a smartphone so dont have need of it, but it is nice to know it is available.

the guardian got an article asking people how they live before they got a smartphone. well, i am still living that life. haha. i still access the internet via a chrome book, rather than a smartphone. i wonder if it is really that different.

added i saw this about payment using the mobile, and i think that will be a big feature in future. allready the tube and buses accept such payments, and we in london are used to it now. i myself of course is way behind the times. haha. but people like me will be the minority. we in the west think we are leaders in this, but i see from the chart that asia tops it all.

i am sure people reading this who are in asia must be wondering what the fuss is about, seeing they have been paying by mobile for ages and it is the normal thing to do there. is that so? or are there people like me in asia who still use cash? and it is only a few big spenders that are doing it and banging up the statistics. i mean for eg, do people in asia pay their public subways and metro lines with mobiles? or not? or is it not crucial, and they pay on ordinary purchases with their mobile so much that it dwarfs anything else. 

added1.02pm saturday 17.10.15 cloudy 12.8C. got my asda sim sent to me by post this morning. and i have activated it by sending a text to john who is also looking for a sim card as he is the one who told me of sainsburyformobile. i am glad they gave me some free minutes etc, so i can immediately use it. actually i dont know what my asda number is that they have given me,(oh wait, i see it, and it is a difficult number to remember.)  but it is not important because i shall be taking my old sainsbury number with me. i asked sainsbury to send me the PAC code and am waiting for it via text. it will take 2-24hrs to get it sent to me. it seems. 

sainsburybymobile is closing shop on 15 jan 2016

14 Oct

london 5.57pm 12.6C wednesday 2015

i was just wondering what to blog when i checked my mobile for messages and found one that sainsburys have sent me telling me ‘we’re sorry to let u know that unfortunately, mobile by sainsburys will no longer be available from 15 jan 2016’.

i only just joined them and now they tell me they are closing it. haha. such is life.

my friends will really get fed up of me because i only just recently told them of my new mobile phone. now i shall have to get a new provider and inform my friends again. unless i get a PAC code to port the number. i guess i should do it before 15jan 2016. and keep this number.

now i shall have to try to find another provider. perhaps i shall try tesco. but they dont have a pay as you go sim card. they have cards linked to smartphones but not to ordinary phones like mine, which just makes and receives calls and text.

it is just as well mine is a pay as i go tariff. imagine all the bother if it were a contract for a fixed amount of money every month. or if it were linked to a smart phone with all those call plans and data plans. sainsburys excuse for shutting down the service is because they could not agree with vodaphone . vodaphone ask for too much money to carry sainsburys service; that is what it means.

they mentioned to say they are sorry for all this they are giving me £5 on my nectar card.

no wonder i had that email i received saying i got 1000 nectar points. i thought it was a scam but that is the reason for suddenly getting these 1000 points.

before they added that 1000points, i only got 100 points in my nectar card.

it seems if i got any credit after 15jan 2016,( i got £17.57 now), in the pay as i go mobile card, they will refund it with nectar points, or a voucher… which i hope is money towards sainsburys supermarket. 

its possible they are finding it unprofitable to cater to people like me, who just want a call and text card. vodaphone charges 30p a minute for calls,14p per text; whereas sainsburys charges 8p a min. 4p per text. you can see such a price difference will mean they are undermining vodaphone, so i guess vodaphone must have woken up to it and realise they should not be supporting them to undercut their business without charging them much more to provide that service. hence what we get now, sainsburys pulling the rug from the whole thing.

will tesco also stop providing such pay as you go sim cards to people like me who just want calls and text? i think so. when i look into tesco, i see only sim cards with data plans and free mins at £10 a month. no pay as you go sim cards at all.

here is a bbc news report of it.

added 15.10.15 thursday. i used to have asda sim card, but they told me it is being discontinued. but i went into their website and found they will do sim cards. so i ordered it online just now and they acknowledged it and say they will be sending me a sim card. i shall see if they really send me one, and if i can get onto their pay as i go tariff. if i can it would mean i have gone full circle and returned to asda. i think if i dont use the card they will kick me out. this time i shall be using the card as my home phone dont have any free calls anymore. 

my new sainsbury mobile sim card has arrived

12 Mar


I am rather excited at getting it. i applied on sunday and today thursday it arrived. by the way, all sim cards are free, or should be. there is no need to buy one as they all give them free. 

i immediately activated it and tried to top up, but it was not successful. i managed to register my debit card number but it wont take my order to put in £10.

so i used their option to talk to a real person who had a strong scottish accent which i found quite difficult to understand. talk about not being able to understand a person from india . haha. anyway he was able to put the credit in and i am all set.

the first thing i did was to send a text message to john, to tell him and for him to save my new number.

the new number is quite difficult to remember. i am trying to put in some meaning to it so that it is easy for me to remember, but i cannot find any way to do it. but in a way it is not really that important to remember it, as i can always put the number in my address book inside the phone, and access it that way.

added. 28.3.15 after this length of time, i have found a way to memorise the number and find it quite easy now. so i wont bother to retrieve that old number i had even though it is really easy to remember. 

with this new sim card, they have a top up card, that i have linked to my debit card number, so from now on it is easy to go to any sainsbury branch or even on the phone and top up using that card. that would be rather useful, though if i lose that card, or if someone gets hold of it, they could top up my phone . that can only happen if someone robs my flat and find the card and my phone. ah well i suppose there is no need to think of all the possibilities of fraud… haha.  that £10 top up and with the free double top up offer, bringing it to £20 will last me a long time.

that £5 which i put in the lebara mobile lasted me 1 year. so maybe it will be 4yrs before i need to add any more to this one. 

well, i feel so modern now. like i have entered the mainstream of 21st century living. haha. even though it is not really… i mean it is only a sim card for goodness sake. not even a smartphone one. but i think i can get an inkling of what those who do get the smartphone must feel. haha.

i found out i used a wrong number when i sent that text to john. so have to send him another text message using his correct mobile number. the first number was his friend, keith, who lives in spain now. i bet keith will be real puzzled to receive my text message. haha.

 ah well, it is not really necessary as i could send him my new phone number by email. but it is rather nice to be using the phone. haha.  i wonder if we can chat free seeing he is using the same sainsbury phone provider. there is nothing in the brochure that say we can , so maybe they dont provide that free service. it would be nice if we can chat free.

though we could chat free now if we want using our landline. or at least i could, as i get free calls to national lines after 7pm on weekdays and all day weekends. 

added. 28.3.13. i was in camberwell and near the bus stop is a shop with advertising for lebara and lycamobile sim cards. and it is 1p/min to call nigeria, or india. and free to call another lebara card in uk. that is quite a nice advantage for people who live in those areas and come to uk for whatever reason. the disadvantage of those cards is that it is very expensive to call or text other mobiles in uk. 15p/min. 

added. 10.4.15 friday. 9.17am. i was supposed to have £10 added to my balance in the sim card, but when it was not added i called the mobile operator yesterday, and enquired about it, and the amount was added there and then. so now i got £19.12 credit on the card. i have used 82p over this period. this should last me some time. must remember to make at least one call after 6months or the mobile company can take away the number. 

double top up from sainsburys mobile sim card

9 Mar

double top up.

london monday 2015

follow the link, and this offer of double top up is valid only for top ups made this month, to end of 31st march. it came at just the right time for me.

i asked john, my friend from poole who his mobile provider is, and he said he uses sainsburys. i was surprised that sainsbury do mobile sim cards but i googled them, and sure enough they do and it seems this month they have a promotion, they will double any top up u put in this month. that is great as i have been looking for a new mobile provider ever since lebara cut me off when i had still £1 left of credit. they just deactivated the sim card. it was a nice number too, but it seems i have lost that number.

the lebara txt and call costs are not cheap.

sainsburys are 4p for text and 8p/min for calls which is really good. and is the cheapest in the market i should think.

so i have ordered my sim card from them, you have to do it online. i go to sainsburys supermarket but never seen any such mobile deals there. funny why they dont sell it in their supermarkets. i would like if they do, then i can just top up from them. but it seems to get the double top up promotion i have to order it online.  and lets see how it goes shall we?

what is whatsapp?

20 Feb


update 24.2.14 looks like whatsapp is going to add voice. now that would be a killer app. 

update 23.2.14 i have been puzzled about smart phones, because there are so many different brands. they are all v expensive, that is the one thing they all have in common. anyway i read today in this article that mozilla is introducing a cheap smartphone for $25 for the developing countries. in that article it says ‘feature’ phones are used in developing countries as a cheaper alternative to smart phones. i have never heard of ‘feature’ phones. but this cheap smart phone might be one for me, if it comes to europe. I have noticed that these cheaper versions are not sold in europe, so that we have to go to a developing country to buy it. just  like i have to go to malaysia to buy the cheap nokia that i am using now. cannot find that cheap nokia here in london. 

added. 23.2.14 this link in quartz says zuckerberg of facebook is trying to make data cheaper. getting a cheap smart phone is half the story. getting data is expensive.  this link shows nokia asha 230 new smartphone for £37 . it also contains a video about the phone, but stay on and let it run and u can see them reporting on a lot of other gadgets in the show. 

update 22.2.14 when i read all this about messages, i thought will that make all the mobile phone companies obsolete? i dont think so. none of these apps take over from phone calls. and people will still like talking to each other instead of having to type the messages. txt messaging is a cumbersome way to communicate if u want immediate response. so for now the phone companies can still make money by selling call plans that will include free txt and broadband downloads. 

you could argue that there is skype and voip, (whatever that is, even though i know it stands for voice over IP) IP i presume stands of internet provider. but they are not easy to use or the sound is not clear and plagued by fades out and interference. this happened the last time i used it, but that was years ago, and maybe it has improved. Once that gets improved, it will be the end of phone companies as we know it.  mobile companies will not be able to make money and going bankrupt. when u can talk to people via skype and the internet using VOIP? and it is free via free wifi.

But G3 or G4 will still be needed to transmit the mobile signals, and so i predict that facebook may well buy a mobile company that has a G3 or G4 license. (Added. i think this one wont be necessary. with the spread of wifi available for free everywhere, it should be easy to get onto the internet without a mobile connection, at least in cities.) 

I have been getting emails  from them relaying some users sending me text messages and it has been happening for some time. i dont know how they got my email address. i have always thought they were a mobile phone service, but it seems people can send messages to computers too. As usual, i dont read the messages and  just blocked the message. But now i read that facebook had bought them for $19billion. well that certainly will make everyone sit up and take notice. it did me. Well, next time i get a message from them, i shall take more notice and read it. 

added. i had another look at the messages sent to my email and realise it is not from whatsapp. it is a scam email. so i was right to just block and delete them without opening it. i suppose i would be opening them if i had whatsapp on my mobile. not the first time i am glad i dont subscribe or use these apps or whatever, (paypal is another that i get lots of scam messages from but i have never used paypal so i know not to open them). 

What is whatsapp exactly? one of the links to the article about the purchase by facebook gave a link to their blog. it says it is a app that allows people to send txt messages to each other without having to pay for it. and u just pay $1 a year for the app. no wonder people get it. haha. it says they never send any messages themselves , have no advertising, and is purely a medium to relay other peoples messages. I wonder if it works the other way, that i can send messages via it from my laptop to mobile phones. AT the moment, i can send emails and those people who have mobile phones on broadband can access their emails. but i cannot send my messge directly to their mobiles as a text message. 

I have a feeling i am not the target customer. i use my mobile only for when I am going to a place to meet people. otherwise i switch it off. i got a simcard pay-as-you-go, and the cost for txt is as much as a voice call, so it is really much easier to just call someone if I am late or they are late.

Added. this link shows that whatsapp could be used in non-smart phones too. but the phone must be able to access the internet which i thought is what smart phone means. so what are these non smart phones that can access the internet? i guess i shall have to wait maybe 5 or so years later when everyone is on it by then.