BYOD: BES to manage Android & iOS devices

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has not been overlooked by BlackBerry-maker RIM. RIM is moving to multi-platform mobile device management with its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion technology. The system can be used to manage smartphones and tablets running not only the BlackBerry OS but also Android and iOS.

RIM has acknowledged that there is a growing diversity of devices in enterprises due to employees demand to use their device of choice. This is an important move as RIM has a substantial corporate user base, with more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies provisioning BlackBerry devices. IT departments reluctance to extend support to multiple devices can now be addressed by using the same BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) technology they are familiar with.

BES Administrators can now manage multiple device types using a single web-based console. It provides asset and configuration management, security policy definition, remote lock and wipe, connectivity management and scalability.

IT departments now have the management capabilities to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organisations.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be available in March2012.

Int Voice and Data costs

Travelling this December?

We have had many requests for a simple explanation of mobile operators international voice & data costs. Ensure you know what you will be charged before leaving on your next trip to avoid “bill shock” when you return.

The MTN and Vodacom’s roaming rates for calls, SMS and data are given below. It is free it receive an SMS when abroad, however MMS are charged as per a previous post and normally based on data costs.

MTN                      Local       Int.        Receive    Send      Data

                              Call          Call       Call            SMS       (PerMB)

Africa                     R 5.00      R 7.00     R 4.00        R 2.00      R 104.00

Asia                        R 8.25      R 25.50   R 4.00        R 3.50      R 140.00

Europe                  R 8.00       R 23.50   R 4.00        R 2.75      R 108.00

Oceania                 R 7.50       R 23.50   R 4.00        R 2.75      R 160.00

South America       R 8.25       R 38.00    R 4.00       R 2.75      R 120.00

North America       R 11.00     R 20.00    R 4.00       R 3.00      R 140.00

Local Africa**         R 3.00      R 5.00      Free            R 1.50       R 10.00

Exclusions*            R 9.50      R 25.50     R 4.00       R 2.75       R 104.00

* Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe

**Botswana (Mascom), Zambia, Swaziland, Rwanda and Uganda.

Vodacom          Local    Int.        Receive   Send     Data

                             Call       Call        Call          SMS       (PerMB)

Neighbours         R 6.00    R 6.00    R 6.00       R 2.75     R 51.20

Sub-Sahara         R 8.00    R 10.00  R 6.00       R 2.75     R 102.40

Rest of World     R 8.00    R 23.00   R 6.00      R 2.75     R 128.00

Saver rates reduce call costs by 10% and data to R17.50 but only if the user roams on a Vodafone partner network in supported countries.

While voice costs are high, our finding indicate that data costs normally account for 80% of a roaming bill!

Beware also alternative VoIP based voice services (like Viber, Skype etc. ) that may use the mobile data network to communicate – these data costs can be far higher for “voice” than using native mobile roaming voice services.

The average user will consume around 20MB per day for occasional laptop / tablet /phone daily web browsing or emails. However, engaging in online activities such as social media, file downloading or online streaming may result in substantially higher data usage. 20MB at an average of R100 /MB (as per the above) will result in a daily cost of R2000!

Public WiFi puts SA users in danger

InSites Consulting (April-May 2011) indicated that almost half of the users worldwide connect to the Internet using portable devices as the primary connection device, notebooks being the most popular (41%), followed by netbooks (3%), smartphones (2%) and tablets (1%).

South Africans are warned to exercise caution when accessing WiFi in spaces such as airports, as increasing numbers of local users risk having sensitive personal information captured.

Logging in to check bank balances, online shopping or sending e-mails all mean computers have to send login information across the network – which is a goldmine that scammers look for.

“Sitting in an airport is the ideal time to grab your laptop and send out a couple e-mails using a free WiFi hotspot,” says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET Southern Africa. “You connect and send, and are off on your way. What you don’t know is that the free Wi-Fi may come with a price: your login credentials and network traffic being sniffed and captured before sending them along to the real WiFi hotspot, and your information stolen en route, undetected.”

Hotspots with unrecognisable names or ones that closely resembles the name of the official one should raise immediate flags of awareness. Be especially wary of “unsecured” hotspots, where you don’t need to enter a password to gain access, says Van Vlaanderen.

“he magic happens through a proxy technology, which intercepts your Wi-Fi communication, captures and stores a copy locally on the scammer’s laptop, then sending your information on to a ‘real’ WiFi hotspot. This will slow down your traffic a little, but with congested networks, it is often hard to tell if your traffic’s being snooped, or if there are just many users logging in at the same time.”

He also advises users that, whenever they shop online, log in to check a bank balance or catch up on e-mails, the computer has to send the login information across the network – which is where the danger comes in.

“If criminals get their hands on the information, they have all the time in the world to work on decrypting it, and you may notice fraudulent account activity days or even weeks later,” says Van Vlaanderen. “Use caution and pay attention to details when using public WiFi.

Roaming? use Voicemail 2SMS or 2email

International travellers – don’t clock up expensive bills listening to voicemail when abroad!

Missed calls that are diverted to your Voicemail are billed as two international calls: one to your phone and the second for diverting to your Voicemail (back in South Africa)! Accessing your Voicemail while abroad (even short codes like 121) is also not free and is charged as an international roaming call to South Africa. Vodacom customers in Europe pay R23/min while Vodacom Passport customers’ are only slightly better off as calls to South Africa incur a once-off connection fee (R17.50) plus the per unit peak, non-Vodacom, mobile rate applicable to their contract – or at least R20 for the first minute! MTN costs are similar for using the international mailbox number, however customers can elect to have their voicemail call them back and pay roaming receiving call charges. However all are expensive options.

Vodacom Voicemail 2 SMS allows you to receive your English voicemail messages in the form of text messages. Messages are delivered via SMS but you can still dial into the voicemail service on 121 to listen to messages if needed. Receiving an SMS when abroad is free. Use Voicemail 2 SMS to receive & screen Voicemail but ensure you have diverted all incoming calls to Voicemail by setting up an unconditional divert – use **21*082131 (last 7 digits of your mobile number # and dial.) or use your phone’s menu. There is no limit to the number of messages converted in a month and the service is fairly priced – subscription fee of R35.00 (incl. VAT) per month applies. Simply SMS ‘MAIL’ to 31118 or contact your Service Provider.

Alternative providers such as Voicecloud offer other Voicemail 2 email options ( if translation is problematic! Voicecloud offer voicemail messages sent to your email as audio mp3 files ($9.95pm), automatic transcription (50-60% accuracy for $19.95) or human assisted (99% accuracy for $29.95). All are emails and require data bandwidth to download.

Using MTN’s free iMail web service, you can read your messages on the web or set up your VoiceMail messages to be sent to you as an MMS or an email attachment. Unconditional divert to voicemail can be done by entering +27 83 14 (last nine (9) digits of your mobile number). Again, a low cost data connection is required to prevent data roaming cost shocks on your mobile – audio files and MMS both use cellular data, so a low cost (Wi-Fi) connection is essential.

A separate mobile Roaming Contract?

By 1 July 2014, consumers may be able to choose a different roaming contract from their domestic contract, without changing their number or SIM!

Neelie Kroes, European Commission VP for the Digital Agenda outlined plans for “profound structural changes” to the European roaming market. Clearly frustrated at the lack of progress in the mobile industry in eliminating what she termed “roaming rip offs”, Kroes said that the Commission has been forced to move beyond price caps to focus on fostering increasing competition in the market, by making “profound structural changes”.

The proposed changes will need to be agreed by the European Council and Parliament, but are intended to reduce the difference between roaming and national tariffs to zero by 2015. This proposal will make it easier for alternative providers to offer competitive services. This proposal would give mobile operators the right to use other operators’ networks in the EU at regulated wholesale prices, and so encourage more operators to compete. More importantly, it will allow consumers to roam at acceptable rates by signing up with another roaming provider.

The GSMA is however not in total agreement as it believes It would be counter-productive to combine stringent price caps with structural measures to foster competition in the market.

To stay updated on this important development follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Need a pad, but not THAT pad?

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 10.1” R365 per monthx24 on MTN Broadband 2GB (2GB Data PM), features:

  • Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb
  • 10.1” Multi-touchscreen Display
  • HSPA & WiFi Connectivity
  • 32GB Onboard Memory

Why is this so good…..

The Galaxy tab is the iPads nemesis – equally good without being tied into the iTunes store and Apple ecosystem.

Also, looking at FNB’s current offer of a iPad2 for R200pm (excludes data), you have the same deal, effectively with 2GB of data for R165pm – 8c/MB!

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