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Sky Mobile allows customers to share spare data with others
by Paul Hill
Sky has announced that its mobile customers can now share their spare data with others who may need it. Sky Mobile customers only need to add a free Sky Mobile SIM to their account which they can then share with friends or family. The gift SIM can be topped up using spare Piggybank data.
With more people staying home and using their Wi-Fi connections, they’re building up more of their data than usual and accumulating an average 69GB in their Piggybank. To help customers use this data, Sky Mobile is letting them share it. The new gift SIMs will be free for 12 months but afterwards, the company will begin charging £5 per month to use them or customers can cancel.
Commenting on the offer, which is only available until February 25, Managing Director of Sky Mobile Paul Sweeney said:
To take advantage of the offer, head to sky.com/sharemysparedata and add a free SIM to your basket. When it arrives, follow the instructions on the packet to activate it. Afterward, you can use the My Sky App to add data from your Sky Piggybank to the new SIM which friends and family can take advantage of.
Sky Broadband announces new FTTP broadband packages
by Paul Hill
Sky Broadband has announced that it’s launching Sky Broadband Ultrafast and Sky Broadband Superfast, both using Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) which the company has been rolling out to homes around the country. Over three million homes currently have access to the new technology but it’ll become available to 31,000 homes each week and 7.3 million homes by March 2021.
New and existing customers in the supported areas will get an average download speed of 145Mbps and an upload speed of 27Mbps. The firm said this will eliminate buffering on streaming content and easily support multiple devices using the Wi-Fi at any one time.
Commenting on the new FTTP packages, Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions, Sky Broadband said:
Sky Broadband Superfast is available for £27 per month on an 18-month contract and gives customers a download speed of around 59Mbps. Sky Broadband Ultrafast is available for £35 per month on an 18-month contract and comes with an average download speed of 145Mbps. If you’re interested in the new packages, head over to Sky Broadband’s website.
UK: Broadband customers set to save money after Ofcom review
by Paul Hill
Broadband customers in the United Kingdom are set to benefit after the regulator Ofcom asked providers to reduce costs for out-of-contract customers. The regulator said that it agreed with BT, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media back in September to reduce prices for vulnerable out-of-contract customers. It has now secured commitments from EE, Plusnet, and Sky to do the same.
In addition, EE and Plusnet have joined BT, Sky, and TalkTalk in deciding to give all existing customers access to the prices that they offer to new customers. Ofcom estimates that the pricing changes will save out-of-contract customers a total of £270 million each year. Individually, vulnerable customers that have fallen out of their contract could save an average of £70 per year.
The new measures build on a rule change that was introduced in February where broadband providers were obliged to let customers know that their current contract was coming to an end. This information gives customers a reminder to take action and avoid the automatic price rise at the end of the contract. Typically, a contract lasts 12, 18, or 24 months so it can be difficult remembering when you entered the contract and when you should switch. This results in people paying the initial heightened bill before changing providers.
Despite the positive changes that have come from Ofcom’s actions, the regulator still thinks that providers can improve further. Ofcom said that there ought to be better identification of vulnerable customers, better support for vulnerable customers who have been out-of-contract for a long time, and additional help for those who are struggling to pay their bills.
Roku brings ad-supported version of The Roku Channel to the UK
by João Carrasqueira
It's been well over two years since Roku launched The Roku Channel, offering a wide range of video content for free, supported by ads. Since then, the channel has expanded, adding live news and some premium channels offering additional paid content, but it has remained exclusive to users in the United States. That is, until today.
Roku has announced that it's bringing The Roku Channel to customers in the UK in Roku players, Roku TV, NOW TV devices, and Sky Q boxes, and it's available starting today. The newly-launched channel will only offer free ad-supported content for now, counting over 10,000 TV episodes, movies, and documentaries.
Commenting on the launch, Rob Holmes, vice president of programming at Roku, said:
The content on The Roku Channel in the UK comes from over 40 partners including All3Media International and EndemolShine group, plus some Hollywood content from studios such as Lionsgate and Sony Pictures Television. More partners are expected to be added over time. Movies available include Les Miserables, Get Carter, and The Wicker Man. British TV series like Homes Under the Hammer and The Commander are also available.
In therms of features, The Roku Channel offers personalized recommendations and search capabilities to help users find what they're looking for, including a section dedicated to content for children. The content in this section is "hand-picked" to ensure it's suitable for kids, and it also features a character row to make it easier to find content focused on a specific character.
Sony announces new Xperia L4 with 21:9 6.2” display
by Paul Hill
Sony has announced its Xperia L4, a new entry-level model in its range of entertainment-oriented smartphones. The new device comes with a 6.2” 21:9 wide display making it ideal for viewing TV shows and movies.
To make full use of the slender display, Sony includes its multi-window UI allowing you to launch two apps at the same time. It said both of these windows will be in “easy-viewing sizes” despite being displayed at the same time. Additionally, Side sense will give you quick access to all of your favourite apps.
With it being an entertainment-focused device, Sony was keen to highlight which cameras ship with the Xperia L4. The new device is the first in the L series to feature a triple camera; it includes a 13MP main lens, 5MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth lens. By including the extra lenses, you can take wide and ultra-wide shots, ideal for capturing landscapes. The front camera is 8MP and supports Display Flash, HDR photo, and Portrait Selfie.
In terms of storage, the Xperia L4 comes with 3GB RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable with microSDXC support up to 512GB. It includes Dual SIM support (Nano SIM), runs Android 9 Pie, is powered by a Mediatek MT6762 CPU, and has quite a big 3,580mAh battery that supports USB Power Delivery fast charging.
It supports 2G, 3G, and 4G connectivity, has a USB Type-C port, and supports NFC so that you can make payments with the phone. Bluetooth 5.0 support comes with the device as well as the ability to connect to GPS and GLONASS satellites ensuring better location accuracy in built-up areas where getting a line-of-sight with the satellites may be difficult.
The Xperia L4 is available in Black and Blue and will start shipping in select markets from Spring 2020. The phone’s product page is online already if you’d like to take a closer look.