Handset Insurance Programs

Know What you’re getting with Handset Insurance!

Handset protection programs seem to be available in some way shape or form through most of the North American carriers however each one is different and some are not as good as they may sound – so do your due diligence!

 

Before you decide to purchase an insurance or protection plan from any Cellular Phone carrier make sure that you read the fine print of what is covered and what is not , among the standard legal garble including incidents caused by Terrorists some plans also exclude things like – Abuse, misuse, or intentional acts as well as scratches or incidents that were caused by computer viruses leaving lots of  loop holes to refuse replacement.

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Travel Saver Options

Mobile Plan Management with Travel Saver Options

Business trips are nothing new, and have long been a part of how we do business.  Cell phones have become an integral part of our business too… but these two realities of business when combined have for too long been a huge expense with few options for relief.

 

Large company’s with fleets of employees travelling around the world on their behalf  have had to pay upwards of $4 per minute for using their phone when outside of their country. Bills for upwards of $1,500 would not be uncommon for making and receiving calls while travelling.

 

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Horror Story of the Week: Roaming Issues While Traveling Abroad

Roaming Mishaps While Traveling Abroad – What Now?

smartphone speed mobile management

In your company, there are likely several employees who have or will need to travel abroad for work-related reasons. In all likelihood, they will need to take their company cell phone in order to take calls, receive emails and continue on with regular business while they are gone. In terms of mobile device management, this is generally  an issue-free occurrence, but what do you do if this happens:

 

You have a user who is travelling abroad, and soon after they were scheduled to land,  you receive a frantic email from them. Their phone does not work.  They are not able to make or receive any calls from where they are, and they have to be on an important conference call shortly which they cannot miss. 

 

You give the carrier a call to see if everything seems good on their end, and the rep you speak with tells you [Read more…]

Flex Rate Plans

Which Mobile Plan is Best for Your New Employee?

When a new employee is issued a phone, you are often left guessing as to what their usage will be like.  Putting a user on a low usage plan when the user actually is a high volume consumer can result in HUGE charges for additional minutes.  I have seen bills where a new user was put on a 100 minute plan, then used 450 minutes.  These additional minutes were billed at $.35 / minute… that means the additional usage cost the company $122.50 on one month of billing.

 

If you are looking to set up a new user and are not sure what their usage will demand, consider one of the Flex Rate plans.   [Read more…]

Plans with No System Access Fee – Good thing or Bad thing?

Plans With No System Access Fee Under Fire

The debate over the system access fee being a government fee that was simply passed through to the government or another channel for the carrier to simply increase their revenue is as old as cell phones. However, the powers that be (you and me) have finally won the battle with many carriers in having plans that no longer encompass a system access fee, or have we?

At first glance that may be the way that it looks, but as many things go when it comes to telecom expense management, not everything is as it seems or for that matter is so cut and dry. Carol from our Analysis team explains; Clients would have to change to one of the new plans in order to see this charge dropped from billing. In most cases, a comparable new plan is only slightly more expensive (less than the former encompassing the SAF charge), but has increased OOB (out of bucket) and LD (long distance) charges.

 

 

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Telecom Expense Management for Small Businesses – Part 3

Single Point of Contact Support and Procurement

In part-3 of this 3 part series focusing on telecom expense management for small business, we look at single point of contact support and procurement. Dealing with the carriers can be especially challenging for small business as they are stuck between being treated like a consumer by the carriers, yet trying to run a company much like a mid size or larger business.

Therefore understanding how a single contact point where a small business can channel all of their communication needs can be extremely beneficial. Discover just a few ways outsourcing communication management support even for the small guy – is a good move.

 

 

 

 

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How to decide between a new Blackberry and the iPhone for your Business

This is a great question, especially with the growing popularity of the iPhone (even among enterprise) and the current market captured by the Blackberry. There are a couple of things to consider when making this important decision, whether you’re jumping ship or a newbie to the smart phone arena. I’ve divided the comparison into two categories, first functionality,
and second cost, certainly not in any order of importance as there is weight for both. But before we look at these two comparisons, why is it such an important decision? Well simply put, your phone has become a critical part of how you do business. With the added capabilities and features coming into play it is becoming even more important all the time.

Functionality:

So with functionality becoming increasingly important, this is where BlackBerry tends to be playing catch-up. Try a Google search on the two devices searching for applications and you quickly see a major short fall on BlackBerry. I find as a BlackBerry user myself looking to the iPhone or an Android as a potential solution to maximizing efficiency. That after all is what the functionality is for. To make my life more efficient, provide better service and give me more time to focus on other things. So as I dive into the applications on the BlackBerry to increase efficiency I am continuously

apple-iphone

running into brick walls. For example through my Google account I want to be able to access and sync my Gmail account. At best the Google application has many limitations. First syncing is not a true sync, such as draft emails don’t appear on my desktop until sent. The calendar function on the device is rudimentary at best. The ability to add a simple appointment for a specific time with details is impossible to date. Other functionalities such as Twitter applications put the device into cardiac arrest. Now with all this being said I am not looking for a device to tell me what tip I should leave, this I can handle. I’m speaking of everyday functions that keep me connected with my team, my customers, and on task. Unless I stay focused in my exchange environment (which is losing its attraction all the time) BlackBerry is losing its appeal.

Cost:

Once we get by the sticker shock of the hardware pricing – realizing these devices are so much more than just a phone – these devices are going to give me back time and efficiency, then we have the cost of operation to consider. This is where we see a big difference through our telecom cost audit and mobile management services on Tele-Watch. There is no doubt that these same wonderful applications that are increasing efficiencies are also driving up data costs to the carrier and soon if not already to the end clients. The iPhone in techy terms – is a pig – that’s a technical term. Now with talk of carriers taking away unlimited data in the US, and none really available (when you read the fine print) in Canada, this is a major concern. With BlackBerry costs fairly fixed and their data usage light, I at least know my costs and they are consistent.

With BlackBerry racing to catch up on applications, I will hold temporarily and see if the applications I need to be more efficient evolve soon. I hope this is not a wish unanswered.

Where do you stand on the iPhone and BlackBerry battle and has it worked out for you?

All about Internet Sticks

Mobile carriers across the US and Canada are pushing “internet sticks” – USB modems that provide access over their data networks – as a major new product. In Canada, all three major carriers (Bell, Rogers and Telus) provide internet access via the stick. Rogers’ “Rocket Mobile” is probably the best known promotion in Canada – but does it and other internet sticks stand up to a rigorous wireless cost audit?

Using an internet stick provides the same quality access as using the internet on a 3G+ cell phone for a laptop or netbook. Many of the hardware limitations of an iPhone or Blackberry that cause slow web browsing won’t be present. This means you can enjoy fair to good speeds on major carrier networks. Installation is simple on Windows PCs and Macs – just plug the stick into your USB port.

Internet Stick Pricing

Most providers give you the stick for free on plans with commitments of at least two years. Canadian carriers offer two types of plans based on fixed or flexible tiered data usage. On a fixed plan you’ll use a set data transfer limit – go above the limit, and you’ll pay per-volume charges on the excess. This can increase your bill dramatically, so take care to track your usage and unplug your stick when you’re not using it. A tiered plan kicks you to different fixed rates – higher than fixed data charges for the same rates – depending on the amount of data transfer.

Remember that as the modem uses your carrier’s network, its regional service quality is the same as for your smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.). If you have a plan with roaming data service and this connects you to a third party network you may be in for additional charges, so be careful when you travel.

Generally speaking, the fixed plan is a better bargain if your internet usage doesn’t change much from month to month, but if it goes up and down quite a bit tiered plans are a better idea. Both types of plans usually range from $30 to $60 dollars per month plus system access fee (budget carrier brands that claim “no system access fee” push prices  up by the amount the fee would cost anyway).

Controlling Your Costs

If you go with an internet stick its cost effectiveness primarily depends on knowing your usage. If your usage patterns outside of Wi-Fi hot spots (where it’s unnecessary) are close to a particular data plan’s limit without going over too often it may make sense, but if you’re just at the lower limit of a package the cost per bit transferred can be rather expensive. Contact us with information about your usage and we’ll see about finding the right plan for you.

Save on Data Costs with Tethering — While You Still Can

In Canada, Rogers is pushing its Rocket Stick wireless internet service pretty hard. But you won’t hear much about another service that could save you money while providing similar advantages. I’m talking about internet tethering.

Tethering is the act of using your mobile phone as a modem. This allows you to hook it up to a laptop so that you can take advantage of wireless high speed internet on the go, much as you would with an internet stick.That means that instead of having separate plans for your phone and internet stick (and paying for the internet stick on short term plans) you’d be able to take it all from one data plan . . . except that you can’t, because carriers don’t want you to.

Tethering capability is actually built into most Internet-ready wireless hardware, but carriers typically block, reduce or levy extra charges for this function.  Out of the big three Canadian carriers, Bell and Telus both charge outrageous overage on tethering no matter your data plan, as their conditions specifically exclude it.

Rogers does support tethering — but it sure looks like they don’t want to. Rogers data plans of 1 GB or greater either automatically support tethering, or can get it enabled with a phone call, but this only applies to data plans subscribed to from June 19, 2009 to December 31st of this year. That means if you want tethering you need to act now.

For GILL Technologies customers in Canada tethering is a simple two process. Just Call ClientCare to request Rogers’ tethering Add-On and we’ll set it up for you, along with any data plan you need. Next, call again or ask us to call you) and we’ll walk you through setting up tethering step by step.

The Canadian iPhone Monopoly Ends – but Don’t Expect Better Pricing

The big news in Canadian mobile telecom this week is the end of Rogers’ monopoly over the iPhone. In about a month all three major Canadian providers (Bell and Telus join Rogers) will offer it, begging the question: Is it going to get any less expensive?

Good question. In a sane wireless industry competition over such a popular product would rapidly drive costs down, but the reality might be disappointing. Telus, Bell and Rogers have a history of “competing without competing” – that is, rearranging their mobile contracts to give the appearance of serious competition without actually providing a clear advantage one way or the other. Remember, this is an industry where all three big providers decided to charge you for incoming text messages despite the excellent margins they already enjoy, even though one of them refusing to do so would have given it a significant boost in popularity.

So to be brutally honest, don’t expect to be able to shop around for a better iPhone deal – but you might be able to find a better deal for you. Instead of significant savings, iPhone users will probably win more freedom to purchase plans that suit them better. Shop around for plan features like voice and data that suit your needs, but expect to pay comparable prices no matter the carrier. Rogers’ data plans are so infamously expensive that you may get a bargain there, but carriers are probably taking a very close look at AT&T’s problems dealing with high iPhone data usage on its own networks.

Ultimately, finding the best iPhone deal will require you to monitor your own usage carefully. If you’re using one as part of a business fleet we have the tools to track your voice, data and other service usage with remarkable precision – and if the new carriers inspire you to upgrade to an iPhone, we can get you the hardware the tech support to do it smoothly. Contact us to start the process.