Useful Tips

General

Who is who in our Island telecommunications?

Airtel-Vodafone

Airtel-Vodafone is a mobile network provider in Jersey and Guernsey, and is a partnership between Bharti Airtel and Vodafone.

HomeNet

HomeNet (formerly known as Newtel Solutions / Jersey Cable) is an indepedent privately owned telecommunications company operating in both Jersey and Guernsey.

Jersey Telecoms (JT)

JT Group Limited (doing business as JT) is the parent company of several subsidiaries including Jersey Telecom Limited and Wave Telecom Limited. Jersey Telecom is the former monopoly operator in the Bailiwick of Jersey.

Sure

Sure, a trading brand of Batelco, is a telecommunications company in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, the Falkland Islands, St. Helena, Ascension Island, and the British Indian Ocean Territory. Sure is the largest tri-island mobile operator across the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Apps & Age Restrictions

Like movies, apps have age restrictions to ensure content is safe and appropriate for our children. This information is displayed clearly on the app before it is downloaded; making the age rating one of the first things users see when deciding to download.

Also check to see if the App requires ‘In-App’ purchases as this can quickly add up unwanted costs. Make sure you are fully informed before you download.

However in some circumstances, like watching movies, you may decide to let your child download an app above their age limit. If you find yourself in this difficult position, always...

  • Check the content of the app thoroughly- is it suitable?
  • Does it allow social interactions with others? Is your child is prepared for this - remember our stranger danger and cyber bullying messages
  • Can you set your own settings? Perhaps set these up together with your child, make sure you limit profiles carefully, selecting private wherever possible.
  • To find out more visit the CEOP’s website which is full of useful information and links.

Broadband

What can I do to improve my broadband experience?

There are many factors that can have an adverse impact on the speed of your connection; a problem with your service provider’s network itself is only one. If you feel that you are not getting the broadband speed that you are subscribing to you should first use a speed test to measure how your connection is performing. You can compare this to the service speed to which you have subscribed.

Here are some tips for improving your broadband experience

  1. UPDATE your web browser or try a new one.
  2. LIMIT the number of devices in your home – the more devices you have online at once the more likely they are to slow each other down.
  3. PLUG IN using an Ethernet cable as wireless connections can be up to 30% slower than wired connections.
  4. CONSIDER timing periods of heavy usage (like downloading movies) for less busy periods, for example overnight.
  5. SECURE your wireless network so you are not unknowingly sharing your connection with others.
  6. SCAN your computer for viruses and keep your anti-virus software up to date.
  7. CHECK your router - it can be affected by interference from other household items such as TVs, cordless phones, baby monitors and microwaves. Ideally your router should have a clear space of at least a metre round it.
  8. LIMIT the number of applications that automatically start running when you log on - these can slow down your connection without you even realising they are running.
  9. TRY A NEW DEVICE - Many devices have capped Wi-Fi speed limits and older devices may struggle to deliver faster broadband services. Borrow a device from a friend, log it onto your wireless network and see if your experience improves.

If, after trying these tips you do not experience faster Broadband contact your broadband provider for more help.

Things to consider

  • Performing a speed test consumes a very large amount of data (speed tests work by simulating the download and upload of very large files in order to calculate speed). Be wary of performing too many speed tests as they will count towards your data consumption total for the month.
  • A download speed of between 15-20 Mbps is more than sufficient for the majority of use cases and an increase of 5-10 Mbps above this is negligible for most people.
  • For the average user, a consistent download speed of 5 Mbps is sufficient enough to stream video. For a high profile user, 20 Mbps is typically more than sufficient.

Telecom Bundles

What are bundles?

Bundles include a mix of mobile; fixed line and broadband services. Having a bundle will in most cases require you to sign a contract for at least a year; or perhaps longer.

Breaking a contract if you subsequently find that the service is not suitable or does not really give you what you wanted, may be expensive. The information below considers only bundles associated with contracts and not Pay As You Go offers, which will be considered separately.

The main bundle types include:

  • Mobile Bundles
  • Mobile Smartphone Bundles
  • Fixed Line Bundles
  • Multi-Service Bundles

Telecommunications providers regularly review products and update information.

It is imperative that you consider carefully the correct package for you, check prices carefully keep abreast of Terms and Conditions; ask your supplier for direct web based links to the information, especially any relevant small print.

Mobile Bundles - What types of bundles are offered?

All mobile networks offer a number of bundles to suit users with different needs. Some users have simple mobile phones while others have “smart phones” which enable users to access the Internet and email over mobile broadband services. These bundles will include a mixture of features such as an inclusive number of call minutes, a number of texts and a certain amount of Internet data usage.

Fixed line networks generally offer bundles that may include a number of local calls or calls to the UK or international calls, generally measured in minutes of calling time. Some bundles may include a mixture of local, UK calls and international calls.

Some networks offer bundles that as well as including mobile calls, texts and Internet access also include a fixed line bundle and/or a fixed line broadband offer.

How do I select a mobile bundle?

The sort of bundle that you need will depend on the way that you use your mobile telephone. Some people like to talk others like to text. Bundles can be purchased either with a mobile handset or, if you already have a handset, as a simple SIM only bundle, which are cheaper.

Choose your bundle according to your usage of the bundle minutes.

If you make calls to landlines and mobiles outside Jersey then take a bundle that includes those destinations. 

Bundles that include handsets are more expensive and in general the more features that a mobile phone has, the more the bundle will cost with such a phone. You may be tempted with the offer of a ‘free’ feature-rich handsets.

The more expensive the phone, the more the monthly cost for the bundle that will include that phone. For example a top end mobile may cost £500-£600 and thus you may need to subscribe for two years to the top tariff to get it ‘free’. You will need to research thoroughly the costs of separate handsets versus a bundle contract including the handset.

Please be aware that the included call minutes do not include the so-called non-geographic number ranges operated in the UK. These are identified by numbers beginning 08XX or 09XX which are often advertised as help lines or special services such as catalogue ordering or information services. From mobile phones even calls to Freephone (0800) numbers are charged.

Mobile Bundles for Smart Phones

Most mobile telephones today are Smart Phones which have more functionality than older mobile handsets and are designed for use with a mobile broadband service. Consequently, mobile operators have designed bundles that include access to the broadband service of the network that your phone is with.

It is only worth subscribing to a broadband package if you intend to use broadband for access to email and social network sites. Without a broadband subscription or “add-on” as the network operators call them, accessing the Internet can be expensive.

Fixed Line Bundles

Currently JT and Sure are the only operators that offer full fixed line bundles. Remember that regardless of the bundle offer, you will always need to pay fixed line rental. 

International calls vary considerably in price so unless you make calls to destinations on the JT popular list then you will probably not benefit from a bundle.  Furthermore, some mobile operators also offer very competitive pricing to some popular destinations too, and that may fit better with your lifestyle. And remember, you may also be able to use services such as Skype to speak to your friends and family abroad.

Remember that all calls to non-geographic lines are not included in any of the above bundled call packages. On fixed line telephones all Freephone (0800) calls are free but calls to other 08XX and 09XX will be charged at the standard rates.

Least Cost Routing Option

An alternative to mobile, fixed or International bundles, Sure has its Least Cost Routing offer called Suredial. This is a service that requires an additional ‘smartbox’ connected between your telephone and the fixed line connection. This then reroutes your outgoing calls via the Sure fixed network which claims to offer all calls cheaper than JT. The smartbox is provided free with this service; you only pay for calls.

 

Fixed Wireless Landline

An alternative to a full landline is available in Jersey from Airtel-Vodafone which currently offers local landline (01534) numbers via their wireless network using a wireless portable handset.

This option allows users to make and receive calls with an 01534 prefix at call rates starting from only 1p per minute. It is a service that can, for example, be used by small businesses that want to advertise an 01534 prefix. The service comes with a handset that looks like a traditional fixed handset, but it is totally portable island wide. If necessary, the user can divert all calls to a mobile number during time away from the office.

Mobile

Pay-as-you-go versus Contract - what is right for you?

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG)

Easier to control your spend - top up your credit and use it when you need too with no worries about out of bundle charges. Check out the top up packages offered by the operators

Contract

Constant service - no worries about running out of credit. Contracts come with a variety of bundles, i.e. inclusive minutes, text and data - understand what you are getting as part of your bundle. Ask about shared plans where you can other people onto your account for a monthly fee to share your minutes, text and data - great for families with children. Longer contracts will often give a better pricing. Better worldwide roaming footprint than PAYG - particularly for data.

Roaming - what should you consider?

If you are taking your phone abroad you will be charged roaming rates, so make sure you consider the following: Ask you provider amount roaming bolt-ons that can bring your roaming costs down when travelling abroad. Understand the rates you will be charged when roaming abroad. Many of the latest smartphones will automatically update apps and software which uses a lot of data - make sure you understand the settings in your phone regarding data usage before you go away. Remember, we do not benefit from EU data roaming caps.

How to choose your mobile phone handset

If you are thinking of buying a new mobile phone, here’s some top tips you need to think about.

JT, Sure and Airtel-Vodafone all offer PAYG and monthly plans (12 or 24 months) and a huge selection of additional bolt-ons, e.g. extra call minutes, text messages or data and some even offer free calls to the UK, Poland and Portugal and some offer free incoming calls when roaming in EU.

In addition, each provider offers around 50 different types of handsets for sale, so the choice of which plan to go for, which tariff and which phone can seem a little daunting.

Buying a new mobile phone and deciding which one to go for and deciding whether to go on a Pay As You Go Plan (“PAYG”) or a Monthly contract, can be a daunting and complex matter. This 7 Step Guide will hopefully guide you through the process, to help you choose the right phone and right tariff, suited to your own particular needs.

We have identified 7 steps to assist you with your research and purchase decision.

  1. What type of mobile user are you?
  2. Check your usage
  3. Which type of phone do you require?
  4. Decide what your budget is
  5. Compare tariffs
  6. Check Mobile Signal Coverage
  7. Read the terms & conditions

Step 1: What type of mobile user are you?

Your first step is to decide which type of mobile user you are?

  • Are you a heavy, medium or light user?
  • Do you mostly call local, national or international numbers?
  • Do you make more calls or do you text more?
  • Do you access the Internet a lot whilst on the move? i.e. websites and social media

The answers to these questions will indicate which plan you should go on. If you're just an occasional mobile user, maybe a PAYG plan is best suited to you. On the other hand, heavy users will most benefit from contract plans that offer the maximum amount of call minutes, text messages and data.

Step 2: Check your usage

The next step is to check your usage by checking your existing mobile phone bills, say over the past 3 months, or alternatively, if you have not got your recent bills to hand, your provider should be able to tell you. This will give you a good idea of how many call minutes, text messages and data you use.

If you are on a monthly plan for example and exceed your monthly minutes, text or data allowance, you could be paying a lot more than you think. Don’t forget, check whether you can be flexible in changing your plan at any time you like or if your contract has expired or is nearing expiry.

Mention to your provider that you are considering switching. Just by asking them directly, you're letting them know that you might switch. Comparing and switching only takes a few minutes and you can take or port your number with you. Just make sure you know what you’re paying at the moment, and the basic details of your phone usage.

A Pay-As- You Go phone option maybe attractive if you are buying a first mobile phone for someone as this will be easier to keep an eye on costs as there is no monthly contract and gives good basic usage costs on which to make future mobile choices. (Section 5 for additional information)

Step 3: Which type of phone do you require?

Your first decision is whether to go for a conventional mobile phone or a smart phone, which meets your needs and budget. If you mainly need voice and text-messaging capability, and perhaps a music player and camera, then you’re perhaps best off choosing a conventional phone.

If however, you need frequent access and high-speed access to the internet, to shop and bank online, check e-mails, access social media sites, multimedia, games, travel, news, weather, references, etc., then a Smart phone is perhaps your best option.

The iPhone, Nokia Lumia, HTC, Sony Experia, Blackberry and Samsung Galaxy are all examples of popular Smart phones – i.e. phones that act like mini mobile computers as well as essential phone functions.

Most new Smart phones should be able to support 4G, but be sure to check this first with the provider.

A 4G system, in addition to the usual voice and other services of 3G, provides mobile broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with wireless modems, to other smartphones and other mobile devices, is up to 10 times faster than 3G. You will soon be able to access the web, make internet telephone calls, download movies in minutes, watch TV, access social media – all whilst being on the move.

Step 4: Decide what your budget is

If you’re on a tight budget, and have limited use for making mobile calls, you may be much better off by choosing to go on a PAYG plan. Heavy users will more than likely be better off with a Monthly Plan, and the exact plan you choose is all dependent on your available budget and the amount of use you require.

Step 5: Compare tariffs

PAYG

If you’re a light user and opt for a PAYG plan, you will need to buy a phone. With PAYG, you purchase credit in advance of service use. There’s no monthly contracts or complicated agreements. From just single figures you just top up your phone with credit as and when you need it. This means you’re in total control of where your money goes. If there is no available credit then access to the requested service is denied by the mobile phone network. Users are able to top up their credit at any time using a variety of payment mechanisms.

Advantages of pay as you go

Opting for a PAYG deal as opposed to a pay monthly phone contract has many advantages.

For starters, it’s the ideal option for first time mobile phone users such as teenagers or the elderly. Rather than diving into a phone contract which could result in you paying too much for a package of minutes, texts and data that you don’t want or need, a PAYG deal gives you the chance to get to grips with how you use your phone. If in time you decide you’re ready to upgrade to a phone contract, simply opt for a SIM only deal and you can hold onto your own handset whilst still keeping the payments low.

In the same way, a PAYG phone also allows you to cap your monthly spending, which is great for those who like to keep a keen eye on their bank balance. Unlike pay monthly contracts, a pay as you go deal won’t let you run over your allotted tariff. Once your credit’s gone, it’s gone!

Another advantage of a pay as you go phones includes the fact that they are flexible. So if you’re planning on going away for two weeks and leaving your phone behind, you don’t have to waste money by paying for a contract that you haven’t even used!

Be aware that if you do not use your PAYG credit within a specified period of time, as per your network provider should tell you, it expires and you will lose it!

What phones can I get on Pay As You Go?

You might be won over with the idea of a PAYG deal, but what mobile phones are on offer if you go down this route?

If you’re a technophobe you can always opt for an ultra-basic feature phone, which is simple to use, and above all, cheap to buy! Alternatively, if you want a slice of the pay as you go action without compromising on the handset, you can always pick up the latest iPhone, Samsung, HTC, Nokia or Sony flagship to fit in with the crowds.

This allows for a full mix and match option.

Monthly Plans

If you’re a medium to heavier user, a monthly plan might be your best option. The main benefit of entering into a monthly plan is that you usually get either a phone set with no-upfront costs or with a smaller amount paid up-front (or heavily subsidised phone) at the start of the contract, but you will be paying for it over the life of the contract.

In general, the more expensive the phone (e.g. up-to-date smart phones), the more you will pay. Each mobile operator’s service offerings will differ so it’s best to check first before deciding which suits you best. You may wish to consider a handset finance option on phones as this separates the handset costs from the minutes, text and data bundle

You will need to work out what each operator’s package includes and excludes covering call minutes, text messages and data. When you select your handset you need to establish how the data works – the volume of both inbound and outbound data as this impacts on your data usage.

Step 6: Check Mobile Signal Coverage

Check out signal availability in the area where you live; you could ask friends and family or the mobile operator themselves you to show you on-line if their network coverage is adequate for where you live.

Step 7: Read the terms & conditions

You should make sure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of your preferred option.

Step 8: Tell us how easy you found the process of comparing tariffs?

We would like to know how easy it was to compare tariff information. Telephone us on 611161 or email on jcc@jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je

Mobile Phone Check List

Step 1: What type of mobile user are you?

  • Are you a heavy, medium or light user?
  • Do you mostly call local, national or international numbers?
  • Do you make more calls or do you text more?
  • Do you access the Internet a lot whilst on the move? i.e. websites and social media

Step 2: Check your usage

  • Note down the costs and details of 6 monthly bills; did you exceed or under use your limits?

Step 3: Which type of phone do you require?

  • Smart or not smart?

Step 4: Decide what your budget is

  • Work out what you can afford and how you will be paying for your mobile.

Step 5: Compare tariffs

  • Research the 4 Jersey mobile providers.
  • 1. Airtel-Vodafone: Tel - 07829 700121, http://airtel-vodafone.com
  • 2. Jersey Telecom: Tel - 882882, http://www.jtglobal.com
  • 3. Sure: Tel - 0808 10 15 247, https://web.sure.com/jersey
  • 4. HomeNet (Newtel): Tel - 506488, http://www.newtel.je
  • Each provider has a high street shop for you to visit and meet the staff.

Step 6: Check Mobile Signal Coverage

  • Research with friends and family or ask the network providers to show you their coverage.

Step 7: Read the terms & conditions

  • You need to read what you are signing up to and make sure you understand it.

4G Q&A

The way you consume data has changed with 4G. Based on feedback from Airtel-Vodafone customers here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about 4G data usage. Use these to help you get the most out of this vastly improved internet experience, whilst avoiding increased data charges on your account at the same time.

What is 4G and why do I need it?

4G lets you connect to the internet more quickly, more reliably and while you are on the move.

What will I need to use 4G?

  • A 4G handset or device
  • A 4G plan
  • 4G coverage in your area

Will I automatically receive 4G if I have a 4G enabled handset?

Yes you will automatically receive 4G if you have a 4G enabled handset without the need to manually enter an APN address

Does 4G use more data?

Technically no, but data is consumed a lot quicker on 4G. The amount you use depends on what you are doing online. For example downloads, uploads and streaming use more data than social media browsing. Your experience will be quicker so you will do more in less time and because you are doing more in less time, that means you could using more data in a month that you used to used on a 3G network.

Does the same apply to 3G?

Some 3G networks have also been upgraded to may also use more data than before

Does the handset affect he amount of data I use?

Factors such as the resolution of your handset screen can affect your 4G consumption. For example, if your screen has a 4K display, you will use more data when streaming 4K videos.

What type of activities use a lot of data?

Downloads, uploads and streaming use more data than social media browsing, for example. Turning off things like push notifications can avoid unnecessary data usage. Speed tests are heavy on data usage and the faster the speed the more data will be used.

Should I turn off automatic updates?

Updates such as new software can consume a lot of data. Turning off automatic updates in your settings means you will be asked when a new update is available, how much data it will use, allowing you to make the choice.

Example data use for 100GB:

  • Use Facebook as much as you like
  • Listen to more then 2000 hours of music on Spotify premium
  • Over 4000 hours of online gaming
  • Read and reply to over 50000 emails
  • Watch over 2500 clips in YouTube
  • Watch over 70 high definition movies on Netflix