All posts in “vodafone”

The best broadband deals in the UK for November

The Post Office is on the cheaper side of the broadband provider spectrum, offering similarly priced deals to the likes of Plusnet.
They also keep things simple with three unlimited standard deals: 11Mb average, 35Mb average and 63Mb average.
Like some other providers, you will need to take out Post Office line rental to access the broadband deals, but the cost isn’t massively affected. The Post Office provides inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines too. This little addition improves the value of the packages on offer.
Furthermore, if you are going for the long contract and a big commitment, then the Post Office offers some of the best deals around, rewarding your loyalty.
If you’re regularly downloading large files, or streaming movies and gaming, then you may want a tad more speed than the Post Office’s 35Mbps service can offer, especially if there are several devices on the go at the same time. But checking out the average speed of the  Unlimited Fibre Broadband Plus package should be assurance that the Post Office can provide more than enough for the average user.

Best deals

The best SIM only Vodafone deals from Mobiles.co.uk for those afraid of commitment

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Who wants to be hassled?
Who wants to be hassled?

Image: pexels

Hands up if you can’t handle commitment. You know who you are. For many, the thought of long-term commitment sends a shiver down the spine, whether that’s in the context of a relationship or choice of mobile phone contract.

There are currently a number of interesting Vodafone SIM only deals for those of you who value a hassle and commitment free lifestyle. 

You can make savings on your monthly bills with a SIM only deal from Vodafone. With shorter contracts and reduced line rental, you can enjoy monthly savings that add up. And in case you hadn’t heard, Vodafone are currently investing over £1 billion to ensure that their network is both strong and reliable, nationwide. There’s also a bunch of extra perks and benefits with a SIM only contract.

We have collected some of the best hassle-free SIM only deals for Vodafone from Mobiles.co.uk:

  • 40GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts —  £16.00 per month (£192 total cost over 1 year)

  • 18GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts — £10.50 per month (£126 total cost over 1 year)

  • 5GB data, 500 minutes, unlimited texts — £11.00 per month (£132 total cost over 1 year)

  • 1GB data, 1000 minutes, unlimited texts — £10.50 per month (£126 total cost over 1 year)

  • 250MB data, 250 minutes, unlimited texts — £13.00 per month (1 month rolling contract)

  • 500MB data, 500 minutes, unlimited texts — £15.50 per month (1 month rolling contract)

For the commitment-phobes out there, these are the best SIM only deals for Vodafone on Mobiles.co.uk.

Africa Roundup: African startup investments turn to fintech this winter season

Forty-seven and a half million dollars is a big commitment to African technology companies — even with the recent uptick in VC investment on the continent.

But for the Kenyan-based fintech firm Cellulant, whose digital payments platform processed 7 million transactions worth $350 million across 33 African countries in the last month alone, raising that amount in a series C round led by TPG Growth’s Rise Fund just makes sense.

In 2017, the company processed $2.7 billion in payments, said chief executive, Ken Njoroge.

Clients include the continent’s largest banks: Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, and Ecobank. Cellulant also has multiple revenue streams and is EBITDA positive, according to its CEO.

So what does an African technology company do with $47.5 million? “The round is to accelerate our growth of around 20 percent…north of 50 percent,” said Njoroge. “Most of the investment is to scale out our existing platform in Africa and build usage on our existing network.”

Founded in 2004, Cellulant offers Person-to-Business, B2B, and P2B services on its Mula and Tingg products. It’s also developing a blockchain based Agrikore product for agriculture related market activity.

On Africa’s digital payments potential, “We’ve built internal value models that estimate the size of the market at somewhere between $25BN and $40BN,” said Njoroge.

He differentiates Cellulant’s focus from Safaricom’s M-Pesa –one of Africa most recognized payment products — by transaction type and scope. “Kenya’s M-Pesa is optimized as a P2P platform in a few African countries. We’re optimized as a P2B platform and single pipe into multiple countries across Africa,” he said.

One of those countries is economic and population powerhouse Nigeria — where Cellulant offers both its Ting and Agrikore apps. Nigeria is also home to notable digital payment companies Paga and Interswitch, the latter of which has expanded across Africa and is considered a candidate for a public offering.

On a future Cellulant initial public offering, “it’s too early,” said Njoroge. But he doesn’t rule it out. “When you look at the size of the payments business, you could say we have fairly strong prospects to go in that direction.”

TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Nigerian investment startup Piggybank.ng closed $1.1M in seed funding and announced a new product — Smart Target, which offers a more secure and higher return option for Esusu or Ajo group savings clubs common across West Africa.

The financing was led by a $1 million commitment from LeadPath Nigeria, with Village Capital and Ventures Platform joining the round.

Founded in 2016, Piggybank.ng offers online savings plans — primarily to low and middle-income Nigerians — for deposits of small amounts on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis. There are no upfront fees.

Savers earn interest rates of between 6 to 10 percent, depending on the type and duration of investment, Piggybank.ng’s Somto Ifezue explained in this TechCrunch exclusive.

The startup generates returns for small-scale savers (primarily) through investment in Nigerian government securities, such as bonds and treasury bills.

Piggybank.ng generates revenue through asset management and from the float its balances generate at partner banks.

The Lagos based startup will use its $1.1M in new seed funding for “license acquisition and product development,” according to company COO Odunayo Eweniyi.

Piggybank.ng looks to grow clients across younger Nigerians and the country’s informal saving groups and has taken preliminary steps to launch in other African countries.

Lead investor and LeadPath Nigeria founder Olumide Soyombo was attracted to Piggybank.ng as an acquisition target.

“The banks have been slow to try new things in this savings space. Piggybank is coming in…and filling a particular need, so they are in a very acquisitive space.”

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

More Africa Related Stories @TechCrunch

African Tech Around the Net

5G needs a “new mindset” towards Internet rules, telcos warn


Carriers have kicked off the world’s biggest mobile phone tradeshow with calls for an “investment friendly framework” to fund rollouts of next-gen 5G network technology and level the playing field with Internet giants.

“We need a new mindset,” argued Telefonica CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete López, giving the first keynote of the morning here at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona.

López went on to call for a “digital bill of rights” and for the industry to engage with ethical debates over the impact of connected technologies, including in areas such as privacy and machine ethics.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao also urged the “same rules for Internet players”, arguing that Facebook Messenger makes the tech giant “the biggest telco in the world” — yet one he said has “practically no obligation” in terms of the access it must provide to different groups of users.

“All of this much finish. We need to be treated all the same,” he added in a thinly veiled warning to governments eyeing 5G and thinking how they might reap the benefits of next-gen network investment to power efficiencies in their own service delivery.

The unspoken ‘if’ being — if you want us to make the big investments needed to build out 5G networks.

Colao also complained that spectrum is too expensive and said licenses should be granted for longer than 25 years — not shorter, as he said is currently being considered in Europe.

Discussions on public shared networks should be “parked”, he said ticking another item off his regulatory wish-list, and any public subsidy for 5G rollouts should be “neutral”.

If lawmakers adopted this approach the deployment of 5G and fiber would be a given, he claimed.

During the keynotes, several telco execs took time out to describe beneficial applications that could be enabled by 5G. Colao talked about a connected ambulance being able to be “the first step of the hospital”, for example.

And NTT docomo’s president and CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa also talked up 5G-enabled telehealth solutions supporting remote diagnostics when specialist doctors can’t see patients in person.

Yoshizawa also talked about 5G enabling construction machinery to be operated remotely from a control centre, rather than with a human driver in the cab. Which made for the slightly disconcerting vision of a visibly driverless digger carving up the landscape.

“Many businesses will need a large amount of video on the uplink,” he noted.

But while there was talk of 5G’s potential societal (and business) benefits, Colao had come to play Cassandra for the flip side: Warning about the risk of a growing technophobia undermining the case for 5G rollouts by eroding trust and support.

He also raised the “digital dominance” of tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, noting growing concerns over how “big and powerful” these companies are, and over societally damaging problems like fake news.

Although he argued the real problem for telcos is people are becoming worried that AI technologies “empowered by broadband” might damage jobs and skills.

“We have to make it an opportunity to create more jobs — more expert jobs and mitigate this techno fear,” he warned.

Connected technologies risk “increasing inequality and decreasing social cohesion”, he added — suggesting too that such concerns have the potential to fuel damaging populism.

“We need as a industry to engage, to ensure we build better future for people and a better deal for citizens,” he said.

His suggestion for 5G purveyors to win friends and wider societal backing is to tie rollouts tightly to local needs.

And he called for the creation of regulation-free regions where 5G experiments can become practical examples showing what’s possible — pointing to Vodafone’s 5G trials in Milan as the kind of consortium of local partners needed to “test the future” but in a way that keeps communities of users engaged and on side with the benefits.

The Milan trial is a public private partnership involving 38 partners including universities and startups, he noted. “This should be the model,” he continued. “A locally managed innovation process so that local citizens can see the benefits.”

Regulation-free innovation areas would also be a way to attract startups to tackle local problems — and entrepreneurs are needed to play a key role in ensuring 5G gets associated with a “better future” for society as a whole.

“We need to start looking at technology not as an enabler of problems but as a way to improve the deal of citizens,” he added.

A running list of every company backed by the $93B SoftBank Vision Fund

When SoftBank announced the first close of its $93 billion Vision Fund back in May, it was hard to understand how the company would even manage to deploy so much capital in an already saturated ecosystem. Two months have passed and we’re starting to get a taste of the strategy of the fund — bet big and bet often and you just might be able to influence who wins and loses in the technology industry.

It’s far too early to evaluate the viability of such a fund. This is the first time such a fund has been raised and there is zero precedent for the manner in which the capital is being deployed. But, for starters, it seemed like a good idea to keep a running list of all Vision Fund investments for reference. We will update this list on a regular basis as more deals are made public.