Research reveals that businesses operating online are thriving despite the difficult economic climate, according to a study by the Technology, Media and Telecoms division of Barclays. Half the participants divulged that they have produced double digit growth in the last three years.
The study suggested that the online sector it growing 57 times faster than the UK economy. The online businesses surveyed experienced an average of 11.4% compound annual growth over the last three years, with the UK economy growing just 0.2% in the same period.
64% of online businesses are optimistic about their own growth prospects for the year ahead, while 48% state that they are optimistic about the UK economy in 2013.
More than a third (35%) name a rise in competition in their sector as the biggest threat they face this year, a surprisingly low number if you consider that more and more businesses are moving into online trading.
The Barclays research also explores online companies’ relationship with mobile sales, and the attitudes towards this area of the market.
64% of online businesses in the UK believe a mobile strategy is an important factor in their 2013 business success, yet almost the same percentage (60%) admit they are yet to plan and implement this. Online businesses that have developed mobile sites or apps generated 27.8% of their revenues from mobile in 2012.
It’s clear that businesses should be taking advantage of trends such as mobile sites and apps in order to harness the growing market. Do you have a mobile website? Share your experience below.
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The survey questioned 2,000 families about what technology they and their family possessed. 1 in 10 parents feeling that it is “appropriate for children as young as four years old” to have access to mobile phone services.
The growing reach of smartphones was also confirmed, with 10% children under the age of ten already possessing an iPhone or a similar internet capable handset.
According to the BBC, most parents believe that 10 was a suitable age for children to have their own phone, with the majority (69%) saying they allowed their child to have a mobile phone to keep in touch with them when they are out.
In terms of secure internet usage, just under half (49%) said they blocked access to certain sites, while the remainder admitted they do not controls their child’s access to the web. This comes at a time when the government is considering mandatory internet filters for children, with the Bailey review due in 2015.
Social networking habits were also covered. Almost one in ten children of primary school age had a social networking account. Alarmingly the age at which children are eligible to have a Facebook or MySpace account is thirteen. A quarter of parents added that their child had an active email account.
However the survey did shed some positive light on computer literacy with a large percentage of under 10s able to makes calls, while one in five can competently text, one in twenty can draft and send an email and 10 per cent can easily go online. More than a quarter of youngsters can take photos or videos and play on applications.
If you require more guidance on how children use technology then you can visit, The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) website thinkuknow.
(Image by Bex Ross)
We take our mobile phones for granted; having the ability to talk to anyone at anytime anywhere we feel like is the norm. However according to national mathematical group Billmonitor, 75% of mobile users are overpaying around £200 a year, because their contracts do not provide them with the right amount of services they need.
The researchers claim that these ‘misjudged’ contracts cost UK mobile phone users an astonishing £4.8 billion a year. The study noted that over half of people are on a tariff that is too large, typically using just a quarter of their monthly allowance. It also found that a third of customers currently on the wrong tariff are on too small a tariff, paying inflated charges for use over their allowance.
So how can users ensure they get the deal that is right for their usage? Under-users and over-payers can opt for a pay-as-you-go style contract where they pay for exactly what they use. This typically is an unattractive offering as the monthly cost is not as consistent as a bundled contract, while the calls, texts and data will be slightly higher.
However there is another way.
Gradwell Mobile provide a mobile solution for businesses, giving them a landline on the move. This means you can free yourself from the burden of high mobile call charges, while still having the convenience of using a mobile device.
For those who want the simplicity of a contract. There are flexible options that can be tailored to your specific needs, with the addition of various minute and data bundles. That is not all, unlike traditional mobile contracts that are 18 or 24 months long, Gradwell Mobile comes has a 3 month minimum contract, with a simple monthly rolling commitment after that.
Full details of our mobile offers can be found here. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 800 123 for more information on how Gradwell Mobile can save you money on your phone calls.
(Image By Nathan Reed )
Traditional phone services are suffering from large declines, with recent Ofcom reports showing a fall of over 1 million fixed line subscribers during 2009-2010. But what could be driving this move away from the faithful fixed line market? The main problem with traditional PSTN services is that users are tied to a physical location and struggle to get the real flexibility required by today’s hyper-mobile users.
The best example that highlights the way globalisation of today’s workforce is driving increases in the VoIP market is that of Poland. The Institute for Public Policy Research reports that around 1 million Polish workers are currently in the UK alone. Contacting families and relatives abroad is arguably a key concern for any expatriate, but the costs involved of using traditional PSTN and mobile phone lines are expensive and can serve as a significant barrier.
To counteract this, the transient Polish workforce have taken to using VoIP, with the Ofcom study showing that 35% of Polish people used their PC to make calls via the internet.
The flexibility of VoIP services allows them to significantly reduce the cost of calling home. Calls to landline are reduced to as little as 1.5p per minute, but it gets even cheaper with the ability to make VoIP to VoIP calls for free! For example two people Gradwell VoIP customers can call each other for free, using a computer, a VoIP phone on their desk or an App on a smartphone.
Such is the level of uptake and savings compared to traditional methods the popular site Money Saving Expert now recommends VoIP as the easiest and cheapest way to make international calls.
For more information on how to take advantage of VoIP to reduce your phone costs contact a member of our sales team on 01225 800 808 or email email@example.com
(Image by Horia Varlan)
A recent study by network measurement firm Epitiro, analysed over a million tests over around 14,000 connections in the UK, Spain and Italy and found that average WiFi users suffered a 30% drop in speed.
For services that require consistent and reliable broadband, such as business VoIP, a drop of this amount is unacceptable. VoIP calls can be particularly affected by large speed losses from a WiFi connection, especially if connecting via a low-grade, poorly positioned wireless router. With that in mind, VoIP users are always advised to use a fixed connection where possible.
But a 30% drop is not as big a problem for normal data usage by smartphone, tablet or laptop users, as they’re able to strike a compromise between broadband speeds and the freedom of a wireless device. As Iain Wood from Epitiro said: “People are voting with their feet and trading speed for the benefits of mobility”
But for normal data usage, WiFi is a great convenience, so what can be done to reduce the speed losses?
Firstly, ensure you have a high quality router. There are a variety of different types and brands of router. Ensuring you choose one with the current technologies, such wireless N, can boost your speed and signal. Secondly, the positioning of the router can be just as important as the quality. Make sure your wireless network is free from interference from electrical devices, such as microwaves and televisions. Also, place your router in a central position, as opposed to in the corner, for the best possible coverage in your office.
With these simple steps taken care of, you’ve ensured that you’re keeping your WiFi speed loss to a minimum.
To see how your business can get the most out of it’s broadband, and for further information on internet technologies, contact our sales team on 01225 800 808 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image by Thomas Edwards)