Discus Systems PLC - IT Support Company in Birmingham West midlands
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 7th Nov 2012

Telecompaper - Sunday 4 November 2012

Consumers prefer to access mobile banking by native app (41%), according to Verve Mobile. Of consumers surveyed, 63 percent use a smartphone as their overwhelming platform choice for mobile banking and 73 percent want communications based on their financial profile. The top three mobile banking services used were transfers (63%), bill pay (62%) and alerts (40%). Location services most used, as it relates to mobile banking are ATM locator by current location (51%), branch locator (19%), ATM by zip code (19%) and branches filtered by services (12%). Of consumers surveyed 70 percent say expense and budget tracking are the most important mobile tools. The study was conducted across 3,500 mobile publishers that use the Verve advertising platform

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 2nd Nov 2012

What is the APN/Access Point Number for vodaphone
What is the APN/Access Point Number for orange
What is the APN/Access Point Number for 02/o2
What is the APN/Access Point Number for T-Mobile/Tmobile
What is the APN/Access Point Number for Three
What is the APN/Access Point Number for Tesco
What is the APN/Access Point Number for Virgin Mobile
What is the APN/Access Point Number for Vodafone
What is the APN/Access Point Number for ASDA
What is the APN/Access Point Number for EE/EverythingEverywhere

All settings are case sensitive!

APN: everywhere (case sensitive)
Username = eesecure
Password = secure

APN (contract): internet
APN (PAYG): pp.vodafone.co.uk
Username: web
Password: web

APN: orangeinternet
Username: leave blank
Password: leave blank

APN (contract): mobile.o2.co.uk
APN (PAYG): m-bb.o2.co.uk
Username: web
Password: web

APN: general.t-mobile.uk
Username: leave blank
Password: leave blank

APN: 3internet
Username: leave blank
Password: leave blank

Tesco Mobile (uses the O2 network)
APN: prepay.tesco-mobile.com
Username: tescowap
Password: password

Virgin Mobile (uses the T-Mobile network)
APN: goto.virginmobile.uk
Username: user
Password: leave blank

BT Mobile (uses the Vodafone network)
APN: btmobile2.bt.com
Username: bt
Password: bt

ASDA Mobile (uses the Vodafone network)
APN: asdamobiles.co.uk
Username: web
Password: web


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 31st Oct 2012

by Dan Worth -  30th October - 3V.Co.uk

The long wait for 4G networks in the UK came to an end on Tuesday after EE switched on its network for customers across 11 cities.

The move means any customers that have purchased a 4G-enabled smartphones, such as the iPhone 5, and have a 4G contract from EE can access the firm's high-speed network.

It represents a milestone moment in the UK's mobile history where, having led the market for 3G auctions and deployments in 2000, it has fallen far behind other nations such as the US and Germany for 4G services.

The rollout of 4G networks has been hampered over the years by in-fighting between the warring mobile operators and with telecoms regulator Ofcom and government over the auctions for the new services in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.

The auctions for these spectrums are still not set to take place until the start of 2013 but EE - formerly called Everything Everywhere and formed as the result of a merger between Orange and T-Mobile - has been able to convert its 2G spectrum at 1800MHz to 4G services.

It was given this right at the behest of Ofcom who then moved to appease rival operators O2 and Vodafone by bringing forward the auctions for the other spectrum holdings to early 2013 with the aim of having them live by spring of the year.

The 4G services from EE are touted as having up to five times greater speeds than 3G networks and when V3 had the chance to try the network out on Monday we saw speeds ranging from 20Mbit/s to 36Mbit/s, enabling us to download a 25MB app in six seconds.

You can see if you can access 4G services from EE via their coverage checker.


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Oct 2012

We are pleased to announce that we are now offering Mobile Phones, Data Services and Mobile Airtime Contracts directly as an Orange/T-Mobile partner.

Over the last few years mobile phones and devices have benefited from exponential growth and development such that they can now be considered as powerful hand-held computers. With facilities such as Email, Web Browsing, Remote Access and a myriad of productivity Apps, it seems that Mobile Tablet Devices may be set to replace laptops in the longer term.

At Discus we have found that more and more of our customers are requesting help and support integrating and using their mobile devices on their company networks and infrastructure. We felt that we would be better placed to service these requests by becoming a Mobile Device Reseller. Our product range will now include a full range of BlackBerry, Android and Apple phones and tablet devices connected on data and voice tariffs under the Orange and T-Mobile Brand Name.

In order to for us to give you a competitive quote all we need is a copy of your latest mobile bill. For more information call us free on 0800 880 3360 or if using a mobile device 01675 430080.


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Oct 2012

by Dan Worth - v3.co.uk - 22nd October 2012


BT and Virgin Media have both confirmed they are taking steps to try and stop Birmingham City Council (BCC) funding its own rollout of broadband services in the city.

The council is hoping to use funds from the £10m secured from the government as part of the super connected cities programme to team up with a provider to deliver services of 100Mbit/s and above to businesses in the city.

The plan was given European Commission (EC) approval earlier this year.

This has frustrated Virgin and BT who see it as unnecessary competition from the public sector when they are both looking to rollout their own networks offering high-speed services.

A spokesperson for BT confirmed to V3 it has applied to have the EC's decision annulled.

"This is an unusual step for us to take but we believe the decision was substantially flawed," they said.

"It would have discouraged commercial investment in high speed networks at precisely the time when such investment is required. It would also have set a dangerous precedent."

Virgin, meanwhile, said that while it supports any plans to bring fibre networks to areas not currently served with superfast services, it believes the plans from BCC are unnecessary and should not have been approved.

"It's disappointing that Birmingham City Council has put forward a scheme which is not in the interests of local people and we believe, as a result, the EC has made a decision based on inaccurate and misleading information which could waste public money," a company representative said.

However, the council hit back, calling their position "extremely disappointed".

It said the challenge threatened the creation of around 1,000 new jobs and was a necessary development to help small firms in the city access affordable broadband services.

"The city has worked in a very positive and collaborative way with them over the last few years to help inform and develop our business case and we are surprised that they have now chosen to appeal at such a late stage," said councillor James McKay.

"We have proven that it is an imperfect market and have presented to the EC a case that the majority of SMEs in Digbeth, Eastside and The Jewellery Quarter areas cannot receive affordable high speed broadband."

The furore is an embarrassing spat for the internet infrastructure community which is charged with ensuring the UK keeps pace with global rivals for broadband speeds and to ensure services of 25Mbit/s and above are available for 90 percent of the population by 2015.

The legal issues come as the government begins the push to have its new Growth and Infrastructure Bill adopted by parliament to reduce the redtape around broadband rollouts.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Oct 2012

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20124639 - 29th October 2012


Microsoft has formally launched the Windows Phone 8 operating system in a bid to reclaim smartphone market share.

It boasted that the system's internet browser, Internet Explorer 10, was the fastest on any mobile, and also suggested it offered the closest integration with video chat app Skype.

Microsoft had a 3.1% share of the handset system market in the April-to-June quarter, according to IDC.

The low figure has discouraged some developers from building apps for it.

HTC, Nokia and Samsung have all unveiled flagship WP8 devices over recent months, but had been unable to release them while they waited for Microsoft to sign off its software.

The handsets will now go on sale in Europe at the weekend and rollout worldwide during November.

"It can't be underestimated how important it is to Microsoft to get a successful handheld platform," Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, told the BBC.

"It's the fastest growing and most prolific sector - 800 million smartphones will be sold this year, within three years that number will be up to one billion annually. Nokia has also bet the ranch on this at a time when the market is dominated by Apple and Google's systems - and Microsoft is seen as being late to the party."

Kid's Corner

Kid's Corner is designed to make it safer to lend their handsets to their children

WP8 resembles the Windows 8 PC operating system released last week. Users navigate the interface by swiping through tiles which also display information pulled from the internet - for example weather conditions, Facebook status updates or recently received emails.

While its predecessor WP7.5 was based on the firm's ageing Windows Mobile platform, WP8 shares its kernel - or software core - with its PC equivalent, which should help make it easier to port programs between the two environments.

Much of the details of WP8 were announced at a previous event in June. But Microsoft had held a few features back until the San Francisco launch.

Kid's Corner is designed to make it safer to lend their handsets to their children These included the speed of Internet Explorer 10 which it said was up to seven times faster than the version on WP7.5 at handling webpages based on the commonly used Javascript language. In addition it has been designed to make use of devices' graphics processing units (GPUs) to render videos or animations written in the HTML5 computer language.

The firm also showed off Kid's Corner - a function designed for parents who give their handsets to their children to play with. It allows them to restrict access to a limited number of apps without giving access to email, phone call or text message functions.

Microsoft said a survey had suggested about two-thirds of smartphone-owning parents in the US had used the handsets to occupy their children while out shopping, visiting friends or some other activity.

Another new feature is Rooms which allows users to create an invitation-only environment in which members share their calendars, notes, photos and other material. The firm suggested it might be used to help families, sports teams and other community groups stay "in sync".

Microsoft also made much of an "always-on" Skype experience.

This addresses one of the major flaws with its previous mobile system which had not allowed the video chat program to run in the background. That had meant that users of iOS and Android phones had been able to receive calls while using other apps, but WP7.5 devices had not - a notable omission bearing in mind Microsoft paid $8.5bn (£13.7bn) to buy Skype in 2011.

On WP8 Skype runs in the background even if the app is closed and the phone locked. It uses a similar method introduced in the full Windows 8 system to reduce its battery use by effectively being "asleep" until an incoming notification of a call wakes up the program.

Microsoft stressed the facility would also be available to other video chap apps including Tango and Qik so that its own program would not be given an unfair advantage.

Unfamiliar system

Despite the new features some analysts believe Microsoft could have an uphill struggle to lure customers away from Google's market-leading platform Android, and iOS which powers Apple's iPhones.

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones looks at what sets the Lumia 920 apart from rivals.
"Windows Phone as a platform still has very low awareness among consumers, and that's the biggest challenge," Francisco Jeronimo, mobile devices research manager at the consultants IDC, told the BBC.

"Apple still has a strong brand thanks to the advantage it gained by offering the best smartphone experience of its kind in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone. Android benefits from the fact it powers about 147 devices on the market in Western Europe.

"There are only about 8 to 10 handsets running Windows Phone and that makes it hard for it to stand out. It won't be until we see 20 to 30 devices and people relate it to the desktop system that consumers understand there is something going on."

WP8 runs software written for previous versions of the system. But Stuart Miles, founder of the gadget site Pocket-lint, said some consumers might be put off by the fact some apps - including the BBC's iPlayer - remained unavailable.

"Windows Phone 8 will encourage the release of more software, and some of the apps that are already there work well - but the problem is that I've been to several launches where the developers say that a release for the system is on their roadmap but is not a priority.

"So if you are a die-hard app fan you may be disappointed, but if you don't care so much about the latest third-party software then it is worth looking at."

Microsoft said they have 46 of the top 50 apps on the platform so far.

"That's huge progress for us," said Joe Belfiore, manager of the Windows Phone program.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Oct 2012

by Rosalie Marshall - v3.co.uk

29 Oct 2012

The first draft of the reformed ICT curriculum has been made publicly available by the British Computing Society (BCS) on its website.The Department for Education (DfE) instructed both the BCS and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to co-ordinate the draft document with the help of a small working party that included several school teachers, along with representatives from a number of education bodies, such as Vital and Naace.

Now the BCS and RAEng have asked for feedback from the wider education community.

"This initial draft is not in any way endorsed by DfE, and represents the expert advice of a working party that coordinated input from a range of stakeholders," said the BCS in a statement of disclosure on its website.

The BCS said after feedback had been received, it would be submitting a revised draft to the DfE at the end of November.

The draft document currently outlines the general skills school children should be required to possess between the ages of five to 16 (key stages one-four).

Designating around four to six bullet points per key stage, the document outlines a mix of IT, computer science and digital literacy skills students should be equipped with. However the document gives little specifics on how students should be taught such skills.

The BCS asks only for feedback on the wording of the bullet points, and does not invite teachers or members of the IT community to share their own views on how the ICT curriculum should be reformed.

"We welcome comments that provide concrete suggestions of changes to the wording of the draft. Eg ‘change X to Y', ‘add X to Y'. Please note due to time constraints we will focus on feedback that provides specific suggestions on the content of the document," said the BCS statement.

The decision by the BCS to make the draft document public comes following V3's launch of its Make IT Better campaign.

The Campaign, in partnership with the Corporate IT Forum, calls on the government to give the ICT curriculum reform process greater transparency and to include the views of more teachers, education advisors and IT professionals from the start.

As part of this campaign, V3 will soon publish regular accounts from teachers and IT professionals on what they want to see in the new ICT curriculum.

Many teaching professionals are frustrated their views will not be considered until the national consultation in spring next year, even though a draft for the new ICT curriculum is already well underway.

The worry is that changes to the draft during this late stage of consultation are likely to be limited with only tweaks occurring at most.

Last week the DfE held a roundtable meeting with key members of the IT industry and education sector to discuss the BCS and RAEng document. Those attending included Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, as well school inspection body Ofsted.

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Oct 2012

v3.co.uk - 29th October 2012

After many years of wrangling and in-fighting in the mobile industry the UK's first 4G network goes live on Tuesday, as EE switches the service on in several cities across the country including London.

V3 was given the chance to try out the new network in one of the firm's stores in London a day before the launch. We put the service through its paces, testing it out by running videos, opening web pages and downloading apps.

We were left impressed by what we saw, with two speeds tests - one an iPhone 5 and on one an HTC One X - returning speeds of 19Mbit/s (below) and 36Mbit/s respectively while a 25MB app (Angry Birds) was downloaded in roughly six seconds.


Of course the network is currently free of customers also accessing the service, so these results may be somewhat skewed, but the ability to hit speeds as high as 36Mbit/s on a mobile network is noteworthy and could well entice many to the service.

Unless of course pricing puts them off. The cost of the service was announced last week starting at £30 a month for SMBs and £36 a month for consumers offering a data allowance of 500MB, rising to a whopping £56 for 8GB of data.

The firm took some criticism for this pricing structure, with many saying the capabilities of 4G will make users consume more data than 3G and so an entry point of 500MB data use was too low.

Nevertheless, with almost six months head-start over rivals O2 and Vodafone the firm can no doubt afford to set the prices it believes consumers will pay, although its rivals are already doing their best to undermine EE's 4G launch.

Vodafone used the issue of in-building coverage to puncture EE’s boasts, explaining that it is planning on using the 800MHz spectrum for its 4G services, which should offer better coverage than EE’s which sits in the 1800MHz range.

However, as were testing out the service in a glass-fronted store a few yards from the high-street we couldn’t really say if this will prove an issue or not.

29 Oct 2012

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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 25th Oct 2012

With Discus Insight you can identify exactly who your website visitors are, and what they are looking for. Our system combines multiple data sources to provide the company names, websites, email and postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers of businesses that have visited your site, as well as key contacts such as directors or decision makers.

Make your online marketing spend work harder
Maintaining a quality web presence costs money, whether it's through engaging top quality designers, search engine marketing or SEO, web traffic doesn't come cheap, and is only getting more expensive. Discus Insight lets you capture potential leads that may have otherwise gone elsewhere, getting more for your money out of your budget.

Improved conversion rates save time and money
Why waste time cold calling contact lists who have no express interest in what you have to offer – with Discus Insight, potential customers have already visited your website, know who you are, and have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. Qualified sales leads provided by Discus Insight offer better conversion rates, resulting in a greater return on investment for your online marketing and sales efforts.

Organise and prioritise incoming leads
Want to be kept in the know whenever new contacts appear? No problem - schedule e-mail reports directly from the system to deliver the latest contacts to your inbox weekly or monthly - it's your choice.












Please give us a call for more information - 0800 880 3360 or email u2us@discus.co.uk


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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 24th Oct 2012

Huffington Post UK - 23rd October 2012

 The UK's first 4G data network has released its pricing structure ahead of its launch next week.

EE will launch on Tuesday 30 October, and will be operated by the same network which runs Orange and T-Mobile.

It promises download speeds of an average of 12 mb/s, or five times as fast as 3G connections.

But customers will have to pay a premium for the new service, and the prices have some commentators on Twitter disappointed.

And since 4G is designed to allow quicker access to video and audio content in particular, some customers could see either their their monthly data limits, or their budgets, squeezed for some time to come.

Other networks will launch their own 4G services once an auction for spectrum is completed early in 2013.

But until then EE is the only choice, with prices for the next-generation service starting from £36 per month for 500 mb of data, with unlimited calls and text messages, for 24 months.

For more data, the prices rise to: £41 (1GB), £46 (3GB), £51 (5GB) and £56 (8GB).

The network will also offer heavy discounts on its range of 4G handsets, including the iPhone 5, which is offered for just £19.99 on the highest 8GB tariff compared to £29.99 for the Galaxy S3 on the same rate.

The service is launching initially in 10 cities around the UK, but plans to have 98% of the population covered by 2014.

The cities initially included will be London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Glasgow (and parts of Southampton). By Christmas Belfast, Derby, Hull, Nottingham and Newcastle will also be connected.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said that the new tariffs had been designed with "value" in mind.

He said: "We're proud to be leading the way and pioneering the roll out of 4G in the UK. With our new brand and unique 4G and fibre services, we will deliver consumers and businesses across the country next-generation services and a superior level of support.


"Our new plans have been developed to offer our customers everything they have been asking for - superfast performance, choice and value - as well as a fresh approach to pricing and customer service that offers accessibility, flexibility and guidance every step of the way."

But on Twitter the reaction was more negative, with some complaining that the inclusion of services such as two-for-one cinema tickets masked a higher-than-expected cost for data.


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