In April 2007, following a student software development project from Kenya, Safaricom launched a new mobile phone based payment and money transfer service, known as M-Pesa. The service allows users to deposit money into an account stored on their cell phones, to send balances using SMS technology to other users (including sellers of goods and services), and to redeem deposits for regular money. Users are charged a small fee for sending and withdrawing money using the service. M-Pesa has spread quickly, and has become the most successful mobile phone based financial service in the developing world. By 2012, a stock of about 17 million M-Pesa accounts had been registered in Kenya.
The initial work of developing the product was given to a product and technology development company known as Sagentia. Development and second line support responsibilities were transferred to IBM in September of 2009, to where most of the original Sagentia team transferred.
It sounds a lot more sophisticated than anything we’ve got here! Especially, as it works on the humblest of Nokia mobile phones!
It’s developments like this, that will empower individuals and kill off the unnecessary wunch, that some still call bankers.
Years ago, I met the guy, who had project managed the installation of the telephone system on the Channel Tunnel. It wasn’t as simple as you’d have thought. I remember one problem he outlined in particular.
Say you are an engineer, customs officer or whatever, employed by the Tunnel and because you are French, you live in France, but your major place of work is on the British side. You want to make a phone call to your wife, husband or partner, to say that because of a problem, you’ll be late home for supper. Obviously, the same problem would apply to British employees working in France.
So is your call home a local call, which it would be if you lived and worked in the same country or an international call, which of course would be at a higher rate.
The solution was to make for telephonic purposes, the Channel Tunnel, its own country.
The guy who managed the installation was British, but he had a French-speaking mother, so BT probably made a good choice, as to who managed the installation of a rather complicated project.
According to this article in the Metro, if you use your mobile phone on top of the White Cliffs of Dover, you may get charged as if you’re in France.
Landlord of the Coastguard pub and restaurant on the beach Nigel Wydymus, 53, said: ‘We are a little telecommunications enclave of France here.
‘It did not cause a huge amount of trouble for a few years with mobile phones because you got a message saying welcome to France but since smartphones have come in it’s more of a problem.
No-one has checked, but I wonder if you’re on the French side under the cliffs there, you might find the British signal is your phones preferred choice.
i do remember, when I would fly back in my Cessna from France, I was quite surprised at how far beyond the French coast, I could pick up a UK signal. Not that I made a call, as I probably needed two hands to fly the plane, but some of my passengers did. And of course that was well before smart phones.
W all hate those callers trying to sort out our non-existent PPI problems. If I get one, I give them the number of the mini-cab firm, that fills up my letter-box with junk, as obviously they deserve each other.
according to The Times and The Telegraph, they are even calling the emergency line in the lift at Secure Trust Bank. Here’s the story in the Telegraph.
A double award-winner at last year’s Brits, Ed Sheeran suddenly went white with fear at this year’s show.
“I’ve lost my phone,” he said, panic building as he patted down the pockets on his suit.
“It’s not locked. It has the whole of my new record on it. And it has quite a few phone numbers that shouldn’t be released.
“That’s not good, is it?”
I suppose many will excuse him, as he is from Suffolk, a county that the locals often pair with silly. But generally, they are just using it as self-promotion.
I don’t like devices that have a low battery life. It’s one of the reasons, I stick to my Nokia 6310i, although I’m not using it at the moment, as it needs to go to the menders, due to a touch of plastic fatigue.
But I’m quite happy with the battery life of my Samsung Tab, that I take a lot of places.
So I was rather confirmed in my prejudices against Apple products, when I read this article by the respected Rory Cellan-Jones on the BBC’s web site. This is the first two paragraphs.
Is there a problem with the latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system, and is it threatening to cause wider damage to mobile and corporate networks? I’m not entirely sure – because Apple itself is being typically uncooperative with anyone inquiring about it.
iPhone users, corporate IT departments and at least one mobile network are reporting problems following the iOS 6.1 update released late last month. It has apparently caused batteries on some iPhones to drain rapidly by repeatedly contacting the mobile network.
But as usual, Apple are being economical with the truth. So nothing changes!
When I booked my ticket on Virgin Trains yesterday, I got them to text me the details.
It was a two stage process, which as they had my mobile phone number seemed a bit pointless, unless they were harvesting it to make sure, they’d got the right one to send me marketing spam.
But on the phone I use, it was useless as you can’t read the stupid eight digit reference number from the message and type it into the machine at the same time, as it’s not the first line of the message, which is where it should be. You’re of course half-way through typing it in and the display of the phone switches itself off too.
It would be so much better, if you could say which reference number you wanted, when you booked. That way, you wouldn’t need to write it down. But I suppose they wouldn’t get your mobile phone number.
In the end, I did send the phone a message of my own from my computer with the reference number. But this new phone, unlike my superb Nokia 6310i, only shows messages in the Inbox, by who sent them and not by the first line, if it doesn’t recognise the number.
Such is Nokia’s ten years of product improvement!
I suppose I could write the number down, but I haven’t for years, as I could always handle it with the Nokia 6310i!
To be fair to Virgin Trains, they’re probably no better or worse than all the other companies.
As I was alone on the Emirates Air-Line yesterday, I called a friend in The Netherlands.
I don’t suppose, I’m the only person, who’s done that. But try doing that in a tunnel under the Thames.
I’ve recently bought a Samsung Tab 2 7. This is the seven inch screen or the small one.
I can keep it in my pocket and use it to send e-mails and surf the Internet. I checked my Zopa and bank details on Saturday and even entered a small post to this blog.
I’ve only a wi-fi version, which proved excellent on the train on Saturday. But then we are seeing more and more free wi-fi hotspots in pubs and cafes everywhere.
So quite frankly, I’ll stick to my Nokia 6310i for phone calls and text messages.
Who needs a smart phone?
One of my Nokia 6310i’s has packed up again. So I thought I’d buy a cheap Pay-as-you-Go phone that will take my contract sim.
It’s the phone on the left, with the one that failed on the right. It cost me just £10 rom the O2 shop at the Angel.
Incidentally, the one in the middle had been in the drawer for something like six months. I pulled it out, fitted the sim and it worked immediately. There was even a little bit of charge left in the battery.
As the lady in the shop said, those old phones have wonderful batteries.