/ Technology

Opinion: the mobile revolution

An array of old mobile phones

From clumsy ‘bricks’ to pocket-sized computers – Rory Cellan-Jones explores the rise of mobile phones through the years.

They’re the essential tools of modern living, the advanced computing devices we carry at all times – so why do I get all dewy-eyed about mobile phones? The thought struck me recently at the launch of the Mobile Phone Museum.

This online exhibition was promoted with an event in Soho, where partygoers could marvel at displays of handsets dating back to the 1980s, collected by the mobile analyst Ben Wood. The party echoed with cries of ‘Ooh I had that one!’ and ‘That was my first – it weighed a ton!’, as a wave of nostalgia washed over the prosecco-sipping crowd. For me, it brought back all sorts of memories.

Perhaps I’ve always found mobile phones so alluring because I was brought up in a home that didn’t even have a landline. My somewhat eccentric mother refused to have one in our flat, which meant trudging out to a nearby phone box if I wanted to make a call.

That made me all the more excited when in 1983, as a young BBC producer, I heard on the lunchtime news that Cellnet and Vodafone had been given licences to launch mobile phone networks. Wow, I thought, great news for millionaires, but I would never have a mobile phone.

The brick

But in 1987, by which time I was a reporter for the BBC in Cardiff, a correspondent from London came down for some big story. She pulled from her handbag the brick – the handset made famous by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street.

We local yokels stood slack-jawed with envy – some of us did have pagers or two-way radios in our cars, but imagine being able to make a call from anywhere! Eventually my wish came true and the BBC gave me a phone.

The mobile industry soon became my beat, and it was my professional duty as well as my personal pleasure to try out every new breakthrough. For years, most of those came from Nokia, the Finnish g ant whose handsets make up by far the biggest presence in Ben Wood’s collection.

From cameraphones to NFC

In 1999, I made my first trip to Nokia’s headquarters, overlooking a frozen lake outside Helsinki. There, I marvelled over the Communicator – a tiny computer you could put in your pocket – and was shown concept phones with colour screens.

The early 2000s proved especially exciting. I got my first BlackBerry, took terrible pictures with Nokia’s first cameraphone, and was part of a trial using NFC technology. Every month seemed to bring the launch of some groundbreaking device.

Unveiling the iPhone

It all culminated in January 2007 with the most dramatic product launch I’ve ever attended: Steve Jobs’ unveiling of the iPhone. Within a few years, Apple and then Google’s Android dominated the industry, with Nokia, BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets vanishing into irrelevance.

This resulted in a loss of excitement. We now have what Ben Wood calls a ‘sea of sameness’: hugely impressive phones that are all rectangular glass slabs. Each year, I find it harder to stay awake during Apple’s iPhone event, longing for Tim Cook to ring the changes by proclaiming ‘This is the second best phone we ever made.’

Still, maybe 20 years from now, the mobile museum will have another exhibition, and visitors with smart contact lenses or brain implants will laugh at those clumsy devices you had to carry with you to stay connected.

Innovation comes in waves, and you can bet that even now some upstart company is designing a future that could make Apple and Android irrelevant.

Comments

There will come a time when physical realities get in the way of this technology. Unless one wishes to have surgery -and who does? – there will be a need for an external device to make phone calls, receive texts, take photographs and access social media and the web (if that still exists). Thus we will always need a screen to see things and a speaker/ear plug to hear things. Miniaturisation of phones has ceased long ago and most are now bigger than they were in order to see screens in more detail. i pads have to be a certain size to be visible. The only development that might be possible would be a form of energy that uses the natural air to reproduce visual images around us. It will be a long time before we cease to hold an object in the hand to access the outer world.

My memories of early mobile technology recall people hanging around in town centres trying to get a signal from the Rabbit system. Barclays Bank was a major participant and most of their branches were equipped with a pattern of metal projections that functioned like an aerial/transmitter installation. I suspect the call was carried most, if not all, of the way by landline because, first, there were few other Rabbit users and, second, there was no guarantee that the called party was anywhere near a Barclays branch at the time of an incoming call. Estate agents and travelling salesmen were early adopters [and noted show-offs].

I have one, but have little use for a mobile phone. I manage pretty well without using it so would not regard it as an “essential tool”. I certainly wouldn’t be lost without it.

I bought my first mobile phone for use when away from home, so that I would not be dependent on finding a phone box that worked in a rural area. After a few years it was replaced with one that only needed charged once a week (honestly – it was a Nokia 3510i, used infrequently).

My main reason for buying a smartphone was for tethering, so I did not have to carry a mobile router so that I could use a laptop online away from home, without relying on free WiFi and the risk of spam.

Nowadays I see a mobile as a versatile tool like a Swiss Army penknife but whereas the tools in penknife are not all good, there are some very good mobile apps that can easily be added and removed. Whereas the cost of mobile calls was high when I first had a phone, now the cost of using a mobile is very reasonable. Tethering is still important for me and when my power was off recently and the landline router out of action I was able to carry on using my laptop online thanks to the smartphone.

Some days I don’t use my mobile at all, I don’t have hundreds of apps, and I don’t feel the need for the latest model, but it’s an important tool for me.

Power cuts . . . that’s where you have the advantage, Wavechange. When these happen we have to look for the handle to wind up the gramophone.

My grandmother had one of those. It was a Dulcetto with a colourful parrot under the lid. I don’t know what happened to it or the gramophone records, including Harry Lauder singing ‘Keep right on to the end of the road’.

That would work during a power cut, just like a smartphone.

Power cuts. The base station on my landline will work if the power goes off, handy because the mobile signal here isn’t very good, and I’ve devised a UPS using a 12V battery for the router so at least i can have some contact with the outside world via the laptop.

I use my phone daily to record my Covid status on the Zoe App. I use it on the boat for a reliable internet connection and I occasionally use it to find information. Typing messages here on it is laborious. Just now and then it rings and I wonder what is going on. I have taken a few photographs with it, but not that many. I don’t buy things on it and I don’t bank with it. My old phone had a pay as you go Sim that cost £2 for every 50MB of data I used. Consequently it never went near the internet. I now have 30GB of data per month ( and use very little of it so am wasting £5 monthly for the rest of the contract) and this allows me to use the internet as I wish. It is this feature that makes it most useful. Calls, texts and photos come second and all these are infrequent. I use the landline at home.

That’s a lot more data than I have Vynor. It’s easy to tether a laptop to your mobile when away from home, which has to be better than typing on a phone screen.

I don’t know why some people like to exchange a series of text messages but when they do I send my texts from the laptop.

One thing I really hate and resent is how mobile phone manufacturers have now stopped fitting decent cameras to the more basic easy-to-use phones and instead only fit them to so-called “smart” phones, possibly as a way of trying to force us all to buy the wretched complex things. I’ve taken some great pictures with basic phones in the past but the cameras only give appalling results because they’re such poor quality.

Mobile phones are just a successful marketing ploy, in the mould of “Build it and they will come” most mobile use is social networking and game play, things which have existed for ever. The fact that the exhibition showed so many old phones is that you were been “sold” the latest feature again and again obliging you to upgrade to the latest handset, just the same way all technology tries to convince you to upgrade.Most household appliances and even cars are “upgraded” long before they become uneconomic to repair simply because we have all been sold the consumer dream. None of this nonsense is really necessary and certainly is not “life changing” Please just accept you enjoy buying into the consumer lifestyle and not try to justify it as essential. Yes the first truly mobile phones freed us up from waiting for an essential call on a landline but all the add ons and upgrades since are just capitalist consumerism at its most competitive because someone somewhere wants to make money out of our obsessions

Ann Milner says:
18 March 2022

I took some stunning close up photos with my Nokia N95 in ‘macro’ mode. I have not found any of my subsequent ‘smartphones’ that take close ups as good. Nokia phones used to be 1st class. I also (in the late 90’s) could use my Nokia phone to link via infrared to my laptop and then use the phone as a modem to link to the internet. Since the company was taken over, the phones have been rubbished. Such a pity. BTW, my 1st phone was a Nokia ‘Banana’ phone. I now have a supposedly very good Samsung (Galaxy A71) that the Which review stated took excellent photos – it doesn’t take as good a close up as that Nokia (N95) which I am looking at bringing back into play.

I wonder if it would be practical to try and get an older model basic mobile phone just to use it’s camera, that’s if I can find one for a sensible price, and which works, as so many older electronic items have become insanely valuable and are going for extortionate prices. Just look at the old japanese “ghetto blasters” on ebay which are now going for thousands, who would’ve thought they would have shot up so much in price so rapidly? Yet you can still get loads of old bakelite valve radios from the late 40’s/early 50’s for far cheaper prices. And there’s the risk of old digital tech being infected with malware.

Paul Moynagh says:
23 February 2022

Even a portable smartphone needs electricity at some time to charge it. During recent Storm Arwen in Scotland I had a 7 day power cut. Fortunately was able to access a neighbours petrol fuelled generator to do this; and to boil a kettle for my thermos.

A powerbank is a useful accessory and even a small one is enough to charge a phone once.

You were one of many who were unlucky during recent storms, Phil. Every time there is severe weather people suffer power cuts and I hope that our power network will be made more resilient before fossil fuels are phased out.

Can charge the phone from the car.

That’s fine if you are driving but the power sockets go off when the engine is turned off on most modern cars.

There are benefits in having a landline [so long as it is not dependent on overhead cables across country].

Having to go seven days without electricity is unacceptable in my view.

I keep an old Nokia phone in the car for emergency use. I have to make an occasional call to keep the number active because it would be cut off if not. used for six months. This Conversation has reminded me to do this and I still have £8.11 of the £10 PAYG credit left from 2014. The phone is on charge and then will go back in the car.

PAYG credit often expires after 30 days even if unused and I do not know which companies now offer what I have. I am with Tesco Mobile but I do not know if I would be able top up the credit without it expiring in 30 days.

They’re designed that way so that you don’t flatten your starting battery by forgetting stuff that’s plugged in, which you’d most likely only find out about when you try and start it to go to work in the morning only to then find it won’t turn over anywhere near fast enough…and if it’s an automatic you couldn’t bump start it either. And you don’t want to have to lift the bonnet and try connecting a boost starter when it’s freezing cold and there’s a blizzard or driving wind and rain etc.

Yes, and safety is given as another reason. In the days when the sockets remained live I fitted a battery charger with a cigarette lighter plug so that my elderly parents could top up the battery without lifting the bonnet when the car was in the garage.

I’ve just checked my car and the lighter socket charges my phone when the ignition is off. I would doubt that the drain on the battery would drain it sufficiently to prevent it starting the engine unless it was already in a poor state.

Many cars also have USB connection that I assume will remain live and can be used to charge a phone.

I like having a landline. Apart from communication when the power goes off so many people have that number and not my mobile.

I have two old Nokias as spares, both on Tesco PAYG. I don’t remember the last time I topped them up and rarely use them; they still connect and, as far as I can see, can be unused for 6 months without a problem.

”Having to go seven days without electricity is unacceptable in my view.”. It is a problem to know how best to deal with the consequences of what are still unusual events. Putting all cables underground is not going to happen for a very long time, chopping down all trees in the vicinity is not acceptable, so we can perhaps address two issues.

One is to provide extra supply routes so that users can be fed from a ring, so if one part gets severed the other remains live. Sounds, for remote areas, impractical. The other is to simply repair faults more quickly. That requires a lot more equipment and skilled labour that does not exist, just to deal with rare events. A bit like snow clearing – it can bring parts of the country to a standstill, and if only we had a lot more snow ploughs (and operators) – but for those rare events it does not make economic sense.

If you do live in an area where power cuts are likely to take longer to repair then an immediate way to protect against them would be, for those households that are able, to have emergency generators and gas bottles for heating and cooking, and for community centres, the village hall maybe, to also be equipped to provide a temporary sanctuary.

This doesn’t address the unacceptable bit, I admit, but seems to go some way to relieve the consequences.

The power socket in my car remains live with the engine off. I’ve a solar charger I plug in when the car is not in use and I leave the dashcam running when the car is left in a public car park. It’d have to be a pretty hefty item to drain the battery.

These are among the good reasons that are given for having a permanently live socket, Phil. Some owners fit an additional socket that is permanently live.

” the power sockets go off when the engine is turned off on most modern cars”. Looking at various cars online, that does not seem to be the case?

malcolm r says: Today 10:59

I like having a landline. Apart from communication when the power goes off so many people have that number and not my mobile.

Not, however, for much longer. When we acquired our ultra-fast broadband, we were informed one consequence of this was discontinuation of the copper wire ‘phone service.

Now, the ‘phone over fibre is remarkably clear and free of little irritations, but if we suffer a mains outage that’s it. Lacking any sort of mobile coverage it’ll certainly be a quiet few days.

Ian is referring to VOIP, which we should all benefit from by 2025. VOIP has been widely used for non-domestic telephony for years. I look forward to it because although my home is less than 25 years old I have intermittent problems with landline calls. Rather than plugging into a master socket, internal wiring for landline phones will plug into the broadband router.

To keep a router working during a power cut an uninterruptible power supply is needed unless the router has an internal battery, and many users of desktop computers already use them to provide protection against data loss and corruption. Laptop computers do not need a UPS as long as the internal battery is serviceable.

Yes, Ian, the “self- powered” landline service will be terminated in 2025. Time to invest in a solar-powered phone charger perhaps https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/gadgets-tech/phones-accessories/best-solar-charger-battery-b1871460.html

That would seem to fit the (very big) bill. I’m looking at a new phone – nice selection here https://wealthygorilla.com/most-expensive-phones/ – so that looks like an appropriate solution.

One benefit of the switch from copper to digital will be a much greater ability to deal with phone scams https://www.which.co.uk/news/2022/02/bogus-caller-id-to-be-blocked-in-bid-to-thwart-scammers/

I can see that VoIP is going to be a problem for those that don’t have a mobile phone for emergency calls. Since Covid-19 lockdown and working from home, I have a 1500W UPS that I use with a petrol generator to keep my DSL modem router and laptop going, along with a DECT phone, essential lighting, fridge, freezer and microwave.

During storm Eunice we were without power from Friday lunchtime until 1am Saturday. I had settled down to watch a Netflix film at about 8pm, and half way through we lost Internet. The modem was still powered up, but it seems that the BT Openreach equipment failed after just 9 hours. Not good enough … .

I had an extended power cut before I moved to my present home and my landline phone failed. Usually it and my mobile phone continue to work in shorter power cuts.

When I have a power cut that lasts longer than five or ten minutes I receive a text message indicating when the power is likely to be restored. During the recent storms I have had text messages warning that I might lose power but that only happened once (and without warning) when I lost power for an hour.

I can understand that all domestic phones can be connected to the broadband router so that the voice signal can be carried over the internet, but the router still has to be connected to the telecom network. Since our broadband router is at the end of a copper cable running from a pole in the street I am intrigued to know what changes are necessary for the conversion of landlines to VOIP. Is 2025 the start date for a conversion process or is it all due to be completed by then?

The BT pole serves about fifteen properties. It is nearly one hundred years old and has an attractive onion-shaped finial on top. As Crusader says, replacing all such lines with fibre to the premises would be a massive civil engineering operation.

The move to VOIP is supposed to be completed by 2025. For homes like mine with fibre to the premises (FTTP) and a suitable router the only change needed will be at the exchange and to plug the internal phones into the router rather than the master socket.

Although the proportion of FTTP users is growing it seems that VOIP will also be delivered over copper cable if necessary: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/08/openreach-list-next-86-uk-areas-for-copper-phone-to-fibre-switch-tranche-5.html I am not aware of a deadline to move all homes to FTTP but this is certainly the intention.

John Ward says: Today 09:51

I can understand that all domestic phones can be connected to the broadband router. Since our broadband router is at the end of a copper cable running from a pole in the street I am intrigued to know what changes are necessary for the conversion of landlines to VOIP. Is 2025 the start date for a conversion process or is it all due to be completed by then?

It al seems to be connected to the move towards full fibre. “13.7 million now have 1GBps-capable broadband, provided by full-fibre or the latest coaxial cable networks.” but many haven’t upgraded to full fibre, which means copper still plays a major part.

In that respect our case is interesting. Our road has been cabled with full fibre, but the ‘main road’ across the end of our lane hasn’t. I suspect we got the full fibre because I made something of a fuss about not having it. But rural / remote areas are going to be the problem; with no mobile masts around loss of power will mean we’re truly on our own. Could be interesting times ahead.

I’m on fibre to the cabinet and copper to the house. As I understand it, the move to VOIP simply requires an internet connection, not the very high speed that fttp offers so no need to worry about the copper bit?

Ian – I recall you said you were unable to use WiFi calling. Has this changed following the upgrade of your broadband service?

WiFi calling is a service that allows mobile phones to automatically connect via a nearby broadband router rather than via the mobile network. It is useful for those with poor mobile coverage and should extend the operating time between phone charges because mobiles use more battery power if the mobile network signal is weak. The main mobile networks provide WiFi calling but not all of the service providers that make use of these networks.

One of our ‘phones can, now, but the other provider hasn’t yet enabled it.

malcolm r says: Today 11:11

I’m on fibre to the cabinet and copper to the house. As I understand it, the move to VOIP simply requires an internet connection, not the very high speed that fttp offers so no need to worry about the copper bit?

The way I read it and the way t was explained to me by the BT chap who fitted it was that it required a complete fibre optic connection.

Thanks Ian. This commercial site gives an indication of which mobile operators offer WiFi calling: https://www.4g.co.uk/news/ee-o2-three-and-vodafone-which-networks-offer-wi-fi-calling/ One of the criticisms of the very popular Giffgaff service is that it does not yet offer this feature. I forgot to mention that a reasonably modern smartphone is needed to use WiFi calling.

It will be interesting to know how the December 2025 deadline for introducing VOIP will be achieved if FTTP is mandatory. I cannot see that happening.

There is useful information on the transition to VoIP for landline services on the Ofcom website –
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2021/upgrading-landlines-to-digital-technology

In respect of service provision during a power failure it says –
Unlike traditional phones, a phone connected to a broadband router will not work in a power cut, as the router gets its power from the mains. If you rely on your landline — for example, you don’t have a mobile phone, you’re unable to use a mobile phone or you don’t have mobile signal inside your home — your provider must make sure you are able to contact the emergency services during a power cut. This could be in the form of battery back-up so your landline will continue to work, or giving you a basic mobile phone to use in this situation.

As with all the other information I have seen, Ofcom seems to gloss over the issue of the physical connection of the home to the fibre network. This is bound to affect millions of properties so my view is that well into the next decade homes like ours are still going to be dependent on a length of copper cable flapping away in the wind between the eaves of our house and a thirty-foot pole three doors along [from where it goes underground, still in copper, to the cabinet about 200 metres away].

We could have fibre to the premises [FTTP] if we signed up to Virgin Media and reactivated the cable connection used by the previous owners but that might also involve some civil engineering that we would have to pay for.

A little more information, and some FAQ’s, are available here –
https://www.futureofvoice.co.uk/faqs/

You are right that Ofcom has not yet provided information about what will happen for those customers who are dependent on copper wiring, John. The majority of customers still do not have access to FTTP or may not be using it because they are happy with a cheaper service. I am surprised that with the supposed migration of all customers to VOIP less than four years away we have yet to be told what will be involved.

For those who are dependent on landline phones in a power cut or simply prefer to use them, then an uninterruptible power supply will automatically take over in event of a power cut. I suspect that we will see routers incorporating battery backup becoming available and these could suit those who are happy with short-term protection, say up to an hour.

I would prefer to have FTTP as we had in our previous [new-build] house but I am disinclined to pay for it as the present BT service is adequate and satisfactory.

I should imagine that any houses built before 2000, and not in an area served by broadband cable from around 1990 onwards, will still have a copper landline from the cabinet. Satellite TV effectively knocked out cable television which had a very low uptake rate relative to the installed provision and the massive investment made in cabling urban areas.

I have asked Ofcom whether fttp is essential when the transition takes place or whether it will work with copper. I wait to hear.

The date (2025) seems to be set when Openreach’s commitment to providing fibre everywhere is completed.

Providing back up power to allow the phone to work, for a limited time, in a power cut is part of Ofcom’s requirement.

Here is an article that summarises my understanding that battery backup will be provided only if essential for vulnerable customers: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/12/solutions-for-battery-backup-of-fibre-broadband-and-voip-phone.html Anyone else can buy an uninterruptible power supply, much as desktop computer users do if they want to avoid data loss and corruption from even short power cuts.

There is no way that the roll-out of FTTP will be completed by the end of 2025 so many users will be using VOIP via copper cables.

What Ofcom say is:
”If you rely on your landline – for example, you don’t have a mobile phone, you’re unable to use a mobile phone or you don’t have mobile signal inside your home – your provider must make sure you are able to contact the emergency services during a power cut. This could be in the form of battery back-up so your landline will continue to work, or giving you a basic mobile phone to use in this situation.

This website https://www.futureofvoice.co.uk/faqs/ says, in FAQs:
Will my phone connection be over fibre?
Not necessarily. Your broadband may still be over a copper wire but your phone will use IP technology to make and receive phone calls over your broadband connection”

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2022/01/openreach-publish-next-113-uk-fttp-broadband-rollout-areas.html

John wrote: “I should imagine that any houses built before 2000, and not in an area served by broadband cable from around 1990 onwards, will still have a copper landline from the cabinet. Satellite TV effectively knocked out cable television which had a very low uptake rate relative to the installed provision and the massive investment made in cabling urban areas.”

My house was built in the late 90s and FTTP was installed in 2016, going straight from copper to fibre with no fibre to the cabinet in between. Unfortunately my phone still uses the copper phone line. 🙁 Since there was underground ducting it did not take long to install the fibre.

I see that Which? has some information about protection of vulnerable users of VOIP services if they do not have a mobile phone: “BT is supplying vulnerable customers with a battery backup that will ensure digital phone services will work for an additional hour if an outage occurs. Virgin Media’s solution for those who need it is a device with its own battery that allows the landline phone to connect to mobile phone services. ” https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/broadband/article/digital-voice-and-the-landline-phone-switch-off-what-it-means-for-you-aPSOH8k1i6Vv#do-digital-voice-services-work-if-theres-a-power-cut

John had already quoted this information, and before your earlier post. I was drawing attention to the fact that Which? has already provided useful information, as it often does. It must be a major task keeping the Which? website up to date and I’m very glad we have it.

Ofcom’s information was just a little more specific, including people who could not use a mobile phone and those who had a mobile but no reliable signal in their home; not just vulnerable users.

Earlier it was suggested we had to have fttp, but Which? and ispreview tell us it is not ncessary.

Yes — I did quote that in full in my earlier post: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/mobile-phone-opinion-rory-cellan-jones/#comment-1647558

I also referenced with a link that Ofcom have clarified that FTTP might not necessarily be provided but that the internet protocol technology would enable the broadband connexion to carry incoming and outgoing calls.

John, you did indeed but since then it was said “It will be interesting to know how the December 2025 deadline for introducing VOIP will be achieved if FTTP is mandatory. I cannot see that happening.“and that ““BT is supplying vulnerable customers with a battery backup” which were worth clarifying for later readers.

This is what happens when essential clarification has to be dragged from several sources before we can knowledgably comment! It doesn’t always emerge in the correct order and threads become confusing as various points are discussed and explained. Also, the VoIP issue was a branch line going away from the main Conversation which had probably reached its natural termination. I certainly now have a better understanding of the transition process although I still doubt it will be complete by 31 December 2025.

Putting all the power and phone lines underground is ok here in theory, seeing as we’re not so earthquake prone, unlike some nations, but unfortunately it would be far too insanely expensive as it would mean hiring thousands of navvies to dig miles of big new trenches all over the nation, plus underground cable, especially power cable would have to be not only heavily insulated but also it would have to be of much larger cross sectional area so loads more expensive non ferrous metal would be needed, plus for safety it would also have to be armoured. Whereas running it over ground on poles and towers etc. means much thinner wires can be used as they’re in the open air and then power cables at least don’t need insulation or armour as they’re out of easy reach.

The first mobile phone I got was a Sony j5e back in 1998 G2 technology. The battery lasted about 2 -3 days if you turned it off a 9.00PM . Most of the time it was off because I only knew a few people with mobile phones and the cost of call were extortionate. so I dint turn it on until 9.30 AM and most off the time it was off. Then I did buy an Apple J5S 64 MB and even with a case battery extender you had to charge it even day. I did turn it on early and leave it on most of the day. The price of the calls were expensive so I was on pay as you go. Then I found all mobile phone providers robbed G4 Technology at the end of the month even if you had not made any calls they took the entire amount of money you had put in the time. One company I took out a pay as you go with an initial £30.00 Credit “GONE” So I didn’t use it at all and stuck with my original contact which was pay as you go with Tesco,
good signal in the house and 3 minutes of calls per week. The Apple phone I found the size of the touch screen was poor and difficult to navigate. My dexterity was getting bad due to MS. I should have invested in a Nokia or similar technology because so called Smart Phones are no use when you are developing MS. So I just stuck with my first phone. Then Covid and lockdown. My son wanted to buy a new mobile, so he sold me his 1 year old Sony Xperia 1 for £450 and I spend another £50 on a large memory chip. Apple phones you are stuck with what you buy and cant upgrade. The Sony now had 512 MB. Because we were with BT I thought it wise to take out a contact with them and insisted they record the call and keep a copy. I was now considerably more disabled with my MS had gone up a notch on the MS scale. The contact was for unlimited calls texts for £59 Per month I had assumed that my Tescos number would give me a good signal in the house it would be with BT. No such luck. That was just over 2 years ago and I am still in dispute with them.
So new G4 Smart phone and could only make calls using WhatsApp over the internet and in the the next two years I only left the house once of a hospital appointment when an ambulance carried my wheelchair out. No wheelchair ramp in my house my Disabled Facilities Grant got cancelled. So this year because the two year contact came to an end I took out a contact with o2 for £10 per month and an identical deal unlimited. So I saw the new Apple G13 Pro Max I got it with half a TB of storage and I can now phone my neighbours and get calls from my GP and Neurologist and other health care officials. For some reason BT started to allow us free calls to mobiles from our landline and we don’t have to ring off after 60 minutes. Not that our calls ever are apart from two consumer helplines. Worst one 1Hour & 45 minutes. So I am now very happy. But at least calls are now by majority are FaceTime and not WhatsApp. My neighbour next door had gone to Jamaica and his daughter had put all the details on my Sony Phone. The calls to Jamaica at 10.30 PM were only voice and the broke up. Now they are FaceTime Video so it just as it was when he used to pop over for a chat and e can smile at each other. So happy Bunny apart from BT who I still have a dispute with. Bill first month £202.94 Bill second month £2 50.15. Bill last month £127.41. Ongoing dispute last managers made note “Same” so why were we put on pay as you go. Will have to pursue it with Which or Ofcom. MS does not make life easy.