Posts Tagged Vodafone

Vodafone and Visa form mPayments partnership

Vodafone and Visa have announced a worldwide partnership to enable consumers to pay for goods and services using their mobile phones, instead of with coins and banknotes.

Vodafone will work with Visa to develop a Vodafone-branded service, enabled by Visa’s prepay services. The service will initially be launched in Germany with an anticipated launch in the UK in the coming financial year.

Aside from its ‘member’ bank agreements this is the largest commercial partnership Visa has ever signed. Announcing the new partnership at Mobile World Congress , Vodafone’s Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao said: “The Vodafone mobile wallet represents the next stage of the smartphone revolution. It offers our customers the speed, simplicity and convenience of managing their everyday transactions with a single wave or tap of their smartphone.”

The customer’s mobile device will hold a Vodafone-branded ‘stored value’ account, with Visa’s systems managing payment processing. The platform will be open to a full range of industries, allowing financial institutions, retailers, transport, utility companies and more to offer payment services within an innovative new Vodafone mobile wallet.

In developed countries across Europe, North America and Australia, with a mature infrastructure for electronic payments, users of the Vodafone stored value account will be able to make purchases at the-point-of sale using Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled smartphones equipped with Visa’s ‘payWave’ service. By simply waving their NFC-equipped smartphone in front of a payment terminal, consumers will be able to make simple, every day purchases such as bus and train tickets, newspapers, magazines or a morning coffee. Consumers will also be able to make high value purchases securely using a passcode.

The service will offer comprehensive security, with NFC encryption and secure SIM card and payments industry technology. In addition to stored value accounts the ‘wallet’ will also hold loyalty scheme points and gift voucher credits, complementing and sometimes replacing a number of plastic cards in the customer’s wallet or purse.

The new relationship with Visa is part of Vodafone’s strategic mCommerce programme, which aims to deliver mPayments, mAdvertising, mCouponing and NFC mWallet in a consistent way across local markets.

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Vodafone Guardian – Vodafone’s new child protection app

Do you have kids or younger brothers and sisters with mobiles? If so, how well protected are they?

Today Vodafone has launched Vodafone Guardian, a free-to-download Android app which puts protecting young people from unwanted calls and texts, or misuse of the internet, firmly in the hands of parents and carers.

More sophisticated than standard content barring, the new app can be set up by choosing a specific age range, or features can be set individually. Children and parents can discuss specific preferences and program the mobile to control who can call or text, or to bar internet access at certain times of day. There is even a secure ‘vault’ facility for texts from unknown or blocked numbers.

Vodafone Guardian is password protected and any unauthorised change to the settings sends a text alert to the parent or carer. It also has features that allow older teenagers and adults to control who contacts them, without the need for a password.

Latest Ofcom research suggests 18% of 5 to 11 year olds now own a smartphone. Among 12 to 15 year olds, this rises to over one third. Social networking, emailing, sharing photos and watching videos via mobile brings clear benefits but isn’t without its risks. Vodafone’s new app gives people a way to manage these concerns, it’s easy to use and set up, and can be downloaded to most popular Android devices.

Customers can download Vodafone Guardian onto their kids’ phones from Android Market. Vodafone also have a  Digital Parenting app with useful info and tips about your child’s digital world.

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18/11/11 Vodafone outage in HP5 areas

We have had reports that Vodafone service has been affected in the HP5 postcode (and some surrounding areas). A large number of cell sites have been affected and some customers have reported a loss of voice and data coverage. The outage has a high priority and Vodafone engineers are on site working on the resolution.

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Vodafone gives rural mobile coverage a boost

Vodafone are calling for rural communities to get involved in trials of an ‘open’ version of the technology which powers their Vodafone Sure Signal boxes. This latest innovation could help provide vital local connectivity and mobile internet access. They have taken the ‘femtocell’ technology from Vodafone Sure Signal and turned it into a mini mobile phone mast that any Vodafone customer can use for calls and data.

These ‘open femto’ devices have the potential to offer rural areas an affordable way of getting 3G coverage, filling in network ‘not spots’ in small towns and villages. 12 new trials, which will start early in 2012, build on the experience Vodafone have gained from their successful ongoing pilot in East Garston, near Newbury. The extension of this pioneering work is an opportunity for other rural communities to get involved in improving mobile coverage where they live and benefit from the growing smartphone revolution.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey this morning welcomed news of the plans saying: “It is good to see Vodafone looking for innovative ways to bring mobile coverage to rural areas. I urge areas without mobile coverage to get involved and see if this trial is suitable for them.”
The East Garston trial began after the parish council and local MP asked for help to improve coverage. Working closely with the community, as well as BT and Alcatel-Lucent on the supporting infrastructure, ‘open femto’ devices have been installed in the local pub, outside the village hall, social club and post office and even in the roof of an old red telephone box! Early results have been encouraging and Vodafone will be trialling the use of femtocells on Openreach telephone poles in the village.
East Garston parish council clerk Alan Breadmore can really see the benefits locally: “The bar in the social club is open most evenings and I’m sure it’s helped boost their business because people now go down there in the evening to use their phones. There’s not a week goes by without someone tapping me on the shoulder when I’m walking through the village and asking when they’re going to get coverage in their area.”

Ofcom’s latest ‘State of the Communications Nation’ report published this week, also highlights the issue, saying that 3G coverage is very much “concentrated in urban areas” and that ‘not spots’ in outlying areas may be “technically and commercially challenging to resolve”. Vodafone is currently the only UK network offering an ‘open femto’ solution to tackle this problem for rural communities.

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