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May 28, 2015
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Ruckus Introduces CloudManager for Xclaim – 100 Percent Free Cloud …

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) announced today the availability of CloudManager for Xclaim, a 100 percent subscription-free cloud service to manage its Xclaim™ family of disruptively priced, cloud-ready, controller-free indoor and outdoor business-class WiFi access points (APs).

The Xclaim product line is a new line of entry-level enterprise WiFi products from Ruckus Wireless, aimed squarely at businesses requiring a cost-effective, industrial-strength solution that bridges the gap between poor performing and featureless consumer-grade products and more costly and sophisticated enterprise class solutions that often require dedicated in-house IT expertise.

CloudManager for Xclaim utilizes the power of the Amazon cloud to provide a global management service for Xclaim access points, delivering multiple business features and benefits including:

Remote Management – CloudManager can be accessed over any wired, WiFi or cellular Internet connection. From the office, at home, or on the road, secure access to full management of an Xclaim access point deployment is just a click away.

Multi-Site – Management of one or more locations is possible from a single login to the CloudManager service, regardless of whether a business owner has a single location with one or more Xclaim access points, or multiple locations with one or more access points at each location. CloudManager brings them all together on a single screen.

Scalability – CloudManager can support an unlimited number of Xclaim access points, either from a single location with one AP or up to thousands of locations with 100 or more APs per each location, with CloudManager providing easy management through a single pane of glass.

Analytics History Reporting – CloudManager stores one week of historical Xclaim access point data, which can be viewed in real-time at any moment.  In addition, CloudManager includes pre-configured management reports, which can be downloaded or emailed directly to third parties to facilitate records of week-by-week network performance.

Access via any Client – CloudManager uses a responsive web-browser interface, allowing access by the browser on any smartPhone, tablet, PC or Mac, with the user interface automatically adjusting to help optimally suit the client device type, designed to ensure maximum user flexibility for managing Xclaim access point deployments.

Backwards Compatibility – CloudManager will work with all existing deployments of Xclaim access points. Up to now, customers have managed their Xclaim access points with the free, downloadable Harmony for Xclaim app, a custom-developed Mobile application used exclusively with Xclaim access points, which works on both iOS and Android devices. Both existing and new customers can continue to use Harmony for Xclaim, or they can very easily convert to management in the cloud with CloudManager at no additional cost.

100 Percent Subscription-Free – Other than the cost of Xclaim APs, there are no other upfront costs, nor monthly, quarterly or annual recurring subscription fees. CloudManager is included in existing support forums and software upgrades for the Xclaim product line, both of which are also totally free for customers to access and utilize.

“CloudManager represents a major, strategic upgrade to our Xclaim portfolio,” said Biju Nair, VP and co-GM of the Xclaim product line. “We have had terrific feedback about the quality and performance of Xclaim access points since their launch last fall, and now CloudManager adds a significant boost to the management and control flexibility, something both our channel partners and customers have been craving for. We believe it will provide significant opportunities to further drive adoption in businesses looking for a robust, cost-effective, business-class WiFi solution.”

“The emerging cloud-managed wireless LAN delivery model is leading many enterprise network managers to evaluate if they can benefit from this architecture,” says Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure, IDC. “With an ever-growing list of requirements and applications for enterprise Networks, cloud-managed wireless LAN may be a strategic solution for some small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the distributed enterprise realm. Network managers in this space should consider cloud-managed WiFi models like CloudManager for Xclaim alongside the alternatives.”

Pricing and Availability

CloudManager for Xclaim is scheduled to be available by the end of June 2015. New or existing customers can request to join the open-beta program now by selecting the “join beta program” button on the Xclaim website, http://www.xclaimwireless.com. Xclaim products, including the Xclaim Xi-1 and Xi-2 802.11n indoor access points, the Xclaim Xi-3 802.11ac indoor access point, and the Xclaim Xo-1 802.11ac outdoor access point, are available through a global network of distribution partners and resellers spanning more than 120 countries.

For more news and information on the Xclaim product line, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT THE Xclaim PRODUCT LINE

Ruckus introduced the Xclaim product line in late 2014 to address the fast growing entry-level enterprise market. The business class Xclaim product line combines high performance Wi-Fi with incredible ease of use at an incredibly compelling price-point. For more information, visit http://www.xclaimwireless.com.

ABOUT RUCKUS WIRELESS

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding Mobile Internet infrastructure market. The company offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor “Smart WiFi“ products to Mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises, and has approximately 52,000 end-customers worldwide. Ruckus technology addresses WiFi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the ever-increasing amount of traffic on wireless Networks due to accelerated adoption of Mobile devices such as smartPhones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-the-art wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, providing consistent and reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 WiFi. For more information, visit http://www.ruckuswireless.com.

Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, and Xclaim are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Media Contact
Mark Priscaro
Ruckus Wireless
mark.priscaro@ruckuswireless.com
+1 925-367-5505

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150522/218228LOGO

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Source: Ruckus Introduces CloudManager for Xclaim – 100 Percent Free Cloud Management for Business Class WiFi

May 28, 2015
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Why China Just Spent $2.3 Billion On America’s Hottest Startups

Five days before closing a planned $12 million funding round in June 2013, Thiru Arunachalam and Bala Krishnan, founders of remote control app maker Peel, received an unexpected phone call. TransLink Capital, one of Peel’s soon-to-be investors, asked them to consider taking an additional $1 million from a Chinese company called Alibaba Alibaba, a name they barely knew.

“Listen, this is too late in the game,” Arunachalam recalls saying, given that it was a Monday and he anxiously wanted to close the deal by Friday. “Let’s just leave them alone and move on.”

But their suitor would not be turned away. Within 48 hours Alibaba offered to put in $5 million–helping to pump the funding round up to $18.9 million–and sent over a two-page memo explaining its e-commerce business and ambitions in entertainment. By Thursday morning Hongping Zhang, managing director of Alibaba Capital Partners, showed up at Peel’s door in Mountain View, Calif. and wooed the two cofounders over a long lunch. That night, already Friday Beijing time, Alibaba shot over the cash.

“They were the last people to talk to us but ended up being the first to wire the money,” Arunachalam says. “They moved like a big startup.” Less than a year later Alibaba dropped another $50 million into Peel during its Series D round, helping to fund the company as its app grew to more than 100 million users.

This investment proved an early and tiny piece of the e-commerce giant’s recent spending spree on American startups, one that speaks volumes about a trend quietly reshaping the venture capital ecosystem. Alibaba and its two giant Chinese Internet rivals–search engine Baidu Baidu and gaming/messaging firm Tencent–a trio known as BAT, are pouring money into all manner of firms at every stage from seed to late rounds. Since 2012 we count more than 50 investments totaling $2.3 billion. In the past 18 months alone Alibaba has plowed more than $1 billion into just ten U.S. firms.

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Many of the investments are bizarre on the surface, smacking of dumb money rushing in late in the cycle and driving up valuations for everyone. Why would an e-commerce giant spend tens of millions of dollars on a startup like Peel that’s outside of its core business, not to mention its core country?

In a word: smartphones. The three BAT companies each monopolize a sphere of China’s desktop-style online behavior, but they risk falling behind in mobile. This is a problem in a country where tens of millions of people skip PCs entirely. Hence the landgrab–the Big Three don’t much care where the innovations on this new intertwined platform come from or, it seems, how much they have to shell out to secure them.

“In the online world, everybody has their own domain, but in mobile, everyone’s competing on everyone else’s turf,” says Jay Eum, cofounder of TransLink Capital, the venture capital firm that introduced Alibaba to Peel and has invested in two other Alibaba-backed startups, Quixey and Tango.

To some extent it’s similar to the concurrent multifront competition in the U.S. among Amazon, Google Google and Facebook, and each of the three Chinese companies brings its own style. Tencent is the most quiet about its investments, reflecting the low-profile personality of its billionaire founder, Ma Huateng. Baidu focuses on research investment as well as direct funding in startups, a hybrid style similar to that of its U.S. inspiration, Google. The company is sinking $300 million into an RD lab in Sunnyvale, Calif., the largest yet by any Chinese Internet company in California, run by Andrew Ng, cofounder of online educator Coursera and the man who set up Google’s deep learning project.

Meanwhile, Alibaba’s venture unit operates much like its largest outside shareholder, Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. “There’s always a strategic angle, but a certain level of investment returns is the bottom line,” says TransLink’s Eum. Alibaba’s Jack Ma saw how much SoftBank and Yahoo made from investing early in his firm–now he wants his own lottery ticket.

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The competition among the three plays out in ways that often don’t seem rational. Last December Baidu’s chief financial officer, Jennifer Li, right-hand woman to its billionaire CEO, Robin Li, helped lead Baidu’s roughly $200 million investment in Uber at a reported $41 billion valuation. A search engine buying into a car-hailing app doesn’t make a ton of sense on paper. No matter, says Li: “Mobile development in China is exploding. Baidu’s vision today is to connect people with services. Uber is an example of that.”

Plus, she needed to respond to her two rivals. As Uber set foot in China, Tencent and Alibaba were already backing two Uber clones, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, respectively. Now the Chinese can hail Uber on their phones through Baidu Maps. The search engine is also hoping to leverage Uber in Baidu Wallet’s uphill battle against Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Payment. Not to be outflanked, Tencent and Alibaba merged their ride-share shops, creating a near monopoly worth $8.75 billion. And the battle rages on.

Kevin Chou could do that math. The CEO of San Francisco-based mobile-gaming startup Kabam hit the road in China for his latest funding round last spring, hopeful for access to that market. “Entering China is a pretty complicated affair,” he says. “It operates in a very different fashion than any other market in the world because of such a strong presence of the major Chinese Internet players.” For the next few months the 35-year-old Chinese-American, who cofounded his company in downtown Mountain View above a dim sum restaurant, sought out the BAT trio, among others, and ended up with five term sheets. “It’s a lot of dinners, a lot of baijiu ,” grins Chou, referring to a potent Chinese liquor.

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By July Kabam had its number–a valuation that shot it past the $1 billion “unicorn” threshold–from Alibaba, which plunked down $120 million for just over a 10% stake, as well as instant credibility and relationships in China. “If you don’t know who you’re working with, you can really get yourself into trouble,” says Chou.

Alibaba, for its part, paid the premium with a clear eye on Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, which has $7.2 billion in revenue from online gaming alone last year. The deal came with an initial commitment by Kabam to launch ten games during the next three years through Alibaba, including ones related to Hollywood blockbuster movies like Lord of the Rings , Hunger Games and Fast and Furious . Expect Alibaba to leverage its investment by using its PayPal clone, Alipay, for mobile micropayments and by promoting Kabam through the Alibaba-backed video site Youku Tudou.

“While they care about the financial returns, the amount of money they put into Kabam is a rounding error,” says Chou. “They don’t stress out anytime when there’s a small problem.” Alibaba even organizes an annual “Ali-family” party for its portfolio companies with the hope of fostering synergies. San Mateo-based ShopRunner, which raised $206 million from Alibaba in 2013, was one of the first partners of Alipay’s ePass program, which enables U.S. retailers to sell directly to Chinese consumers. “It came up afterwards, after we started to understand more about each other,” CEO Scott Thompson says. “Now it’s obvious that there’s something else we can do together, and it’s likely to be a really interesting big business at some point.”

Such synergies (and enormous valuations) make the BAT troika today’s investors of choice. Silicon Valley used to look askance at money coming from a place where the central government blocks everything from Facebook to Gmail. “When Alibaba first invested, we took it with a huge grain of salt,” says Peel’s Krishnan. Now companies like Snapchat look eagerly to China–the disappearing-message app is reportedly raising $200 million from Alibaba, which again seems to be targeting Tencent, specifically its WeChat service. No matter that Snapchat is banned in China (or that Tencent also invested in a 2013 round).

“They’re playing a global game of domination on the Internet,” says Patrick Riley, founder and CEO of search engine Ark, for which Tencent participated in a $4.2 million seed round. “It goes entirely against the reputation, what the United States thinks of Chinese companies, which is just copy-paste.” With BAT leading the trend, other tech companies, from mobile giant Xiaomi to Baidu rival Qihoo, are following in their footsteps with smaller deals. With the right bets in Silicon Valley, Chinese companies can redeploy the U.S. startups’ technology and talent for their immediate next steps: expansion into other emerging economies such as India and Brazil. Eventually they’ll grab a piece in the saturated American market.

“Everyone is competing on everything,” says Kabam’s Chou. Advantage, entrepreneurs.

Additional reporting by Ryan Mac and Alex Konrad.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook, or email me at lchen@forbes.com.

May 28, 2015
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Sony Xperia Z3+ (UK Sony Xperia Z4) UK release date, price and specification …

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price, specs and new features

The Sony Xperia Z4 smartphone is coming to the UK under the guise of Xperia Z3+, and you can pre-order it today. Here are all the details on the Sony Xperia Z3+ UK release date, price, specifications and new features. Also see Best smartphones 2015 and Best Android phones 2015.

Although the name suggests the device is merely a tweaked version of the Xperia Z3, which it is, the fact the almost identical Xperia Z4 has been announced for Japan. It’s quite a confusing message from Sony and leaves us wondering whether there will be a properly new generation of flagship this year at all.

The firm does admit that this is an ‘evolution to the Xperia Z3 family’ claiming that it’s called the Z4 in Japan because “consumers there crave flagship devices with the latest features as soon as they can be delivered”. Meanwhile, the Z3+ is ‘premium addition’ to the existing range.

Read our Sony Xperia Z3+ hands-on review.

Sony Xperia Z3+ UK release date and price: When is the Sony Xperia Z3+ coming out? Pre-order the Sony Xperia Z3+

The Z3+ has arrived later than expected after the firm happily stated it was comfortable with a six month refresh cycle (half that of most smartphone makers). That placed the Xperia Z3′s successor for an MWC 2015 launch in Barcelona but we got the Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia M4 Aqua instead.

Whatever is going on behind the scenes with Sony’s launch decisions, the Xperia Z3+ is what we’ve got and it will arrive in June.

Sony hasn’t announced pricing, stating merely that “pricing will reflect the premium quality of the phone”, but Mobile Fun is already taking pre-orders at £549 for the Black and White Sony Xperia Z3+. Mobile Fun is also offering a free tempered glass Olixar screen protector worth £12.99.

Sony Xperia Z3+ software

Sony Xperia Z3+ specs and new features

Much is the same when comparing the Xperia Z3+ to the flagship Xperia Z3. It still looks pretty much the same and has a 5.2in Full HD screen. The 20.7Mp camera remains, as does 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot.

So what’s changed? Well the device is thinner and lighter at 6.9mm (Sony says it’s the thinnest flagship Z device) and 144g and the waterproofing is still a key feature but the Micro USB is now capless making charging a lot easier. As a side note, the metal contacts normally found on the side for use with a docking station are now gone.

The main change hardware wise is a jump from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor to the newer Snapdragon 810 – which other vendors such as Samsung have shunned. This is a 64-bit octa-core chip with four A53 cores at 1.5GHz and four A57 cores at 2GHz. See: What’s the fastest smartphone 2015?

Although the camera is still 20.7Mp, Sony said Superior auto now recognises up to 52 different scenarios and there’s a new Gourmet mode especially for those snaps of your posh nosh. The Superior auto mode SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode is now available on the front camera, too.

In the audio department, Sony has added an LDAC (the ability to enjoy top quality tracks wirelessly) and AHC (Automatic Headset Compensation, providing personalised sound).

The battery in the Xperia Z3+ is smaller than the Z3 at 2900mAh (down from 3100mAh) but Sony still says that the device will last two days. The new quick charge accessory (not included) will supposedly give you a day of usage from just 45 minutes charging. There’s no wireless charging here.

Sony Xperia Z3+ full specifications:

•    Operating system: Android 5.0 Lollipop
•    Display: 5.2in Full HD (1080 x 1920), 428ppi
•    Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 64-bit, octa-core
•    Memory: 3GB RAM
•    Storage: 32GB internal, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
•    Cameras: 20.7Mp rear, 5Mp front
•    Connectivity: LTE Cat 6, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC
•    Battery: 2900mAh non-removable
•    Dimensions: 14 x 72 x 6.9mm, 144g
•    Colours: Black, White, Copper, Ice Green
•    SIM: Nano SIM

May 28, 2015
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Wells Fargo trainer, her financial literacy bus are on the move in Charlotte

Marsha Barnes says that when both her parents were laid off from their jobs of 20-plus years, neither one of them panicked.

That’s because their lifestyle of living below their means – from skipping call waiting for their home phone service, to clothes-shopping only from the sales rack – served them well, Barnes says.

“It was more of an inconvenience to them, rather than an emergency,” recalls Barnes, who is 39 and a Lancaster, S.C., native. “That’s a huge difference.”

Their lifelong habits motivated Barnes to pursue her passion in personal finance. In November, the corporate trainer for Wells Fargo launched The Finance Bar, a mobile personal finance hub based in a retrofitted school bus. Barnes says Charlotte’s food-truck boom provided inspiration for the business model.

She drives her “financial literacy bus” around town, consulting with clients on budgeting and saving strategies. Barnes also has an online club – with members as distant as Guam – through which she helps clients build healthy financial habits.

Her business model caught the attention of CharlotteBusinessResources.com, a website managed by the city of Charlotte and other organizations. Last week, Barnes was named the winner of the group’s custom app giveaway contest, hosted with the help of CGR Creative. (The contest was part of Charlotte Small Business Month this May.)

Barnes says she is not a financial adviser, but a personal finance consultant who helps people with the basics: “‘Why is credit important? Why shouldn’t I use my credit card all the time? Why is savings important?’ I just wanted to bring that to the forefront.”

She shares her story on why she and her family invested personal funds to launch a business that she hopes will help people realize that “even if you’re in debt, the sun will shine again.” Her story has been edited for clarity and brevity.

‘Terrified of the pink slip’: I’ve been in the finance business for at least 12 years. Prior to launching The Finance Bar in November 2014, I had a nonprofit, Financial Empowerment Charlotte. I realized there was really a need in our community for education around personal finances in general.

For many people, around 2005, getting laid off was a blow for them. It completely changed their lives. Seeing people being terrified of the pink slip, and the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, that bothered me.

No storefront: Charlotte is a huge banking city. I didn’t know what the response would be if I set up a brick-and-mortar shop. I didn’t want to lose money. For many spaces that I looked at, the space would cost approximately $2,000 a month. My bus was less than $5,000. I have commercial insurance for the vehicle, and rental space to keep the bus. The comparison is a lot less expensive for a mobile operation.

Husband takes the wheel: I found the bus on Craigslist. I purchased it from a pilot out in Lake Norman. It’s a 1988 International bus, just like a school bus, just not as long as a regular-sized bus. My husband, Roy, drove it straight to the mechanic. I was scared.

I met with an interior designer, Quin Gwinn Interiors in Charlotte. Another individual I met on Craigslist, a carpenter, did all the woodwork. (Barnes said she spent $3,500 on the bus and about $20,000 in renovations).

‘Bar’ in the business name: Inside of the bus, it’s really set up like a bar. There’s an area for coffee, tea and water. Colors inside are yellow, black, white, coral and some sprinkles of green – that signifies money for me. There’s a laptop at every workstation. Bar stools are yellow, and I have a mini-couch toward the back exit, also yellow. Money is such a sensitive subject for people, and yellow is such a happy color.

The cheapest session is $30, none goes beyond $55. Sessions range from creating a budget, to how to read a credit report, to understanding what a credit report is, to managing debt.

I also have a members club. It’s a $10 monthly membership fee. They get a workbook, a session, and they receive challenges throughout the month. That’s spread from Charlotte to Guam. I have no idea how they even found it.

Library parking lot: When people book a session, I usually work with the local libraries and ask [if I can] park in their parking lot. They’ve always been receptive. I try to have appointments on Saturday. I’ll park the bus in the lot and meet with the client. If it’s during the week, I’ll get in my car.

I participated in Career Day for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students. Any student that wanted to could get on the bus and see inside.

(Barnes said she plans to park The Finance Bar bus next at the South End Saturday on June 6.)

New app on the way: I launched my own app called The Finance Bar: Expense Manager.

With the Charlotte Business Resources app, I think I want to use it for college students, something that would benefit them. Some people have tuition debt. You’re kind of stuck. It’s almost like you’re lost as soon as you leave school.

Hitting the road: South End Saturdays is my start. We have Speed Street, Southern Women’s Show, For Sisters Only, CIAA. I have never been to any of them and met someone talking about personal finance, except for big banks. I want to change that. I take people’s personal finances personally.

Getting up to speed

Marsha Barnes said when she launched The Finance Bar mobile bus, she pulled out her business books from her undergrad and graduate studies at Montreat College to learn how to run her venture. Here’s what else she does:

▪ She joined the online Female Entrepreneur Association. “It is very helpful in understanding a lot of what goes into building a business and growing a business.”

▪ She reads business books and magazines, including Inc., Black Enterprise and Entrepreneur. “That’s what I do in my downtime, trying to get better and keeping myself knowledgeable in operating a business.”

▪ She practices what she teaches. “I am a budgeting fanatic,” Barnes said. “For a year, I didn’t vacation. … I didn’t go shopping for an entire year. Those are sacrifices I made before I even launched.”

May 28, 2015
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4G – explained

4G is type of communications technology. It stands for ‘fourth generation’, and it’s the successor to 3G, which is what mobile phones, tablets and wireless dongles currently use to access the internet and transfer data.

There’s a big speed increase with 4G – at about 12-15 Mbps, it’s around five times faster than 3G. This means web pages appear on the screen faster, you can download apps, music and movies more quickly, and video calls are smoother.

Eventually 4G will reach more areas than 3G, meaning more people will be able to access superfast mobile internet, including those in rural areas.

Do I really need 4G?

With 4G, everyday activities like browsing the internet and sending and receiving emails on a mobile phone or tablet are much quicker.

But the most significant difference is with features that use more data.

With 4G you can stream videos without waiting for the next sequence to load (buffering), providing more stable access to services like BBC iPlayer and YouTube. You’ll also be able to download HD movies within minutes, while mapping services like Google Maps will load much faster.

Faster speeds will also create a smoother experience with cloud services that require a constant internet connection, such as Microsoft Office 365. Video chat services like Facetime and Skype will also work more smoothly.

If you primarily use your phone for making calls and sending texts, however, then it’s probably not worth opting for a 4G tariff.

Will 4G work all around the country?

In 2012, communications regulator Ofcom auctioned off the UK’s 4G spectrum (airwaves). During the auction, Ofcom stipulated there must be 98% coverage across the whole of the UK, so no matter where you are you should eventually be able to get 4G.

To see if you can get BT’s 4G, head to the 4G coverage checker and enter your postcode or the name of your town. It will then tell you how well served you are by 4G, 3G and 2G services.

Will rural areas get 4G?

One of the most appealing things about 4G is that it will finally bring fast internet to rural areas that may have previously experienced slower speeds.

Rural coverage will ramp up over the next 12 months. Remote areas will benefit from 4G speeds of 8-12 Mbps, bringing superfast internet to remote homes and businesses.

How do I get 4G?

In order to get 4G, you need a 4G-compatible device and access to a 4G network.

Many new handsets such as the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One include 4G antennas, as do most of the latest tablets. However, the majority of older and cheaper handsets only support 3G – so check online or in-store.

The next step is to get a 4G SIM. BT offers a range of SIM-only deals, starting at just £5 a month. You can see them all here.

Is it expensive?

Not at all. In fact, BT offers 4G at no extra cost, unlike some rival networks who charge a premium.

When considering a 4G tariff it’s important to consider how much data you need. You will use more data using a 4G network than a 3G network – especially if you take advantage of faster speeds to download apps and stream video.

To avoid going over your data allowance – and avoid being charged extra – make sure you get a plan with more data than your current tariff.

BT’s plans start at just £5 a month. That will give you 500MB of data – which is enough for basic browsing and streaming the odd video clip – 200 minutes and unlimited text messages. It’s perfect if you want to dip your toe in the 4G waters.

The next step up offers 2GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts, and costs £12 a month. An absolute bargain, especially if you’ll be downloading plenty of apps, videos and games.

The final option is for power users – it gives you a whopping 20GB of data, plus unlimited texts and minutes, and all for just £20 a month. Ideal if you use your phone a lot and don’t want to worry about going over your monthly allowance.

Can I use my current phone to access the web as normal?

Yes. 4G networks run alongside the existing 3G networks, so current 3G mobile phones will continue to work as normal. If you get a 4G phone and there is no 4G network in your area then it will use a 3G network instead.

3G network speeds are getting faster, especially on newer phones, so you might be happy remaining on a 3G network.

Finally, one thing to be aware of is battery consumption. 4G devours battery and you may find you need to swap to 3G on occasion to help your phone last longer.