PM Modi Could Use India’s Massive Phone Market to Boost ‘Make in India’

PM Modi Could Use India's Massive Phone Market to Boost 'Make in India'
HIGHLIGHTS
India overtook US to become world’s second-largest smartphone market
More of manufacturing jobs relating to smartphones will be generated
Apple has also been seeking to open its retail stores in the country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has struggled in his campaign to bring more manufacturing jobs to India. But he now has an alluring incentive for technology companies to build more plants in his country: the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world.

India currently contributes only about 6 percent of the value of phones sold in the country through local manufacturing or assembly, but that contribution could rise to more than 30 percent in the next five years, according to a joint study by Counterpoint Research and India’s leading management school, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. The government should use the surging domestic demand to draw manufacturers that will make higher-value components, such as batteries, cameras and semiconductors, the study said.

India overtook the US this year to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market by users and is projected to generate a billion smartphone sales in the next five years. Yet the value added through local manufacturing is paltry compared with other countries like China and South Korea, where 70 percent and 50 percent of the work is done domestically, according to the research. Modi, who has made the Make in India program a centerpiece of his economic policy, wants more of those jobs if his country is providing such a lucrative market.

“India can potentially be world leader in mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem and this has to be done in a phased manner,” said Aruna Sundararajan, secretary at India’s ministry of electronics and information technology. She said the government is sending close to 100 design engineers to Taiwan to learn about product design and customer needs.
Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Xiaomi Corp. have been stepping up their efforts in India as growth in the US, China and other markets slows. Apple CEO Tim Cook made his first trip to India in May and his company has been lobbying for the right to set up its own retail stores. Under current rules, companies such as Apple need to procure 30 percent of their components in India if they want to operate their own retail outlets.

The smartphones and feature phones sold in India over the next five years will together require more than $80 billion (roughly Rs. 5,45,002 crores) worth of components, up from the current $11 billion (roughly Rs. 74,937 crores). If the country can move up the value chain from simple assembly to more complex manufacturing, it could take the domestic contribution to 32 percent by 2020, the researchers said.

“The greater amount of localization and investment in R&D encouraged with good government policies will significantly boost the Indian economy and our global brand equity,” said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of the government think tank Niti Aayog, in a statement.
India is also encouraging local manufacturing of components by raising import levies on components and devices. Apple is still contemplating India’s retail requirements and has so far not committed to local manufacturing. However, Foxconn Technology Group, its leading manufacturing partner, has been exploring factories in India for Apple, according to local media.

The government’s next set of policy reforms will encourage greater local work to meet smartphone growth numbers, said Ajay Kumar, additional secretary at the ministry of electronics and information technology, in a release at the unveiling of the report. “The final goal is to cut down on the value of imports,” he said.

The country has made progress in attracting more assembly plants. Before the launch of Make in India, the country had only two phone assembly facilities and that number has now increased to about 50 facilities. Eighty percent of those are local companies and 10 percent are each Chinese and Taiwanese. The plants assemble phones for the world’s leading brands including Samsung and Huawei Technologies Co.

Counterpoint estimated that over 180 million mobile phones will be assembled in India in 2016, accounting for 67 percent of the total 267 million sold. This is a rise from 14 percent in 2014.

India is unlikely to challenge China as exporter of phones any time soon however, because the local market is growing so quickly. “Domestic demand in India should be enough to consume products manufactured there,” said Anthea Lai, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “India would pose no threat yet.”

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Make in India, Smartphones, Narendra Modi, Mobiles

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Photo Credit: Android Police
HIGHLIGHTS
Only screenshots received from iPhone 7 Plus are distorted
The issue does not crop up when screenshot is shared by Pixel with iPhone
Home screen screenshots are not distorted
After being plagued by Bluetooth pairing and LTE connectivity issues, Pixel phone users are now reporting another bug. According to user reports, screenshots sent from an iPhone 7 Plus to a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL phone are getting distorted automatically.

The distorted screenshot issue is being discussed on a Google Product forums page extensively, and users are reporting that only a screenshot received from an iPhone 7 Plus is affected. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s latest most expensive iPhone offering in the market. The issue appears when a screenshot is sent via hangouts or any other SMS/MMS app. Furthermore, sending a screenshot of the home screen does not cause any distortion, but a screenshot from within any app – be it first-party or third-party – gets distorted.

(Also see:Google Pixel Phones Make Android’s Fragmentation Problem Worse)

The issue is said to only occur when a screenshot is shared by an iPhone 7 Plus user with a Pixel phone user, and not vice versa. This means screenshots sent through a Pixel phone to an iPhone 7 Plus user are received without any hiccups. Apart from Pixel phone users, some Nexus 6 users running on Android 7.1 Nougat have also taken to the forum to report the same issue. As Nexus 6 has not got the Android 7.1 Developer Preview yet, these phones might have presumably installed it via a custom ROM. However, this hints that there is some issue in how image processing is handled on Android 7.1 Nougat. There is no word on if Google intends to roll out a fix for this or not.

Just to recap, Pixel phones were earlier plagued with a connectivity issue particularly on the LTE band 4 frequency, which seems to have been fixed with the latest security patch rolled out last week. However, some users are still reporting that Bluetooth pairing issues with their cars through their Pixel phones.

Tags: iPhone 7 Plus Screenshot, Google Pixel Glitch, Google Pixel XL Screenshot, Mobiles, Android, Google

[“Source-Gadgets”]

15 Best Mobile Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users

15 Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users

Smartphones have changed the way we think about cell phones, because they are no longer just a communication device. A great example of this is mobile first businesses that rely on these devices to carry out almost every task in their organization. For these businesses, cell phone reception is extremely important. Whether the phone is being used on premises or outside of the office, a strong reception is critical to talk, conference, text as well as access data services, cloud applications and more.

With the right cell phone booster, any problems you might be experiencing because of a weak reception will be a thing of the past.

So why should you buy a cell phone booster?

Even though telecoms have done a good job of deploying cell phone towers to cover all of the areas in which they provide service, there are always pockets within these areas that have weak reception. Even if your business is located in area with excellent reception, you can also land in these pockets of low reception while commuting back and forth to work or taking a work-related business trip.

Weak reception also drains your battery because the phone is continually searching for the best, most reliable signal, and the longer it searches, the more power it uses. If you want to know what you should look for in a signal booster, click here. For a list of the best signal boosters for your phone, see the list below.

The Best Business Cell Phone Signal Boosters

weBoost EQO Cell Phone Signal Booster

weBoost is one of the most recognized brands in the market, and has a wide range of devices for multiple applications. The EQO is designed for quick and easy installation to enhance 4G LTE and 3G signals for homes, apartments or condos up to 1,200 sq. ft. It works on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Straight Talk and more at a cost of $349.99.

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost EQO Cell Phone Signal Booster

According to the company, it boosts cell signals up to 32 times and it comes with a 2-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Smoothtalker Mobile X1

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Smoothtalker Mobile X1

The Smoothtalker Mobile X1 has multiple configurations for buildings and vehicles of all sizes. The X1 50RV 50dB, with a list price of $395.99, is a high power RV/motorhome or large vehicle booster kit that does not require a physical connection to the cell phone or cellular data device. Once it is plugged in, it boosts the signal to all cell phones and cellular devices within range at the same time.

weBoost Drive 4G-S

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 4G-S

The Drive 4G-S is another booster for vehicles at a lower price point than the Smoothtalker — just 199.99. However, the lower price doesn’t compromise on quality and functionality, the company says. This is the most affordable 4G vehicle cell phone signal booster weBoost makes. It also boosts 4G LTE and 3G signals up to 32 times for a single person.

It works on all the major carriers and provides up to 2 hours additional talk time in weak-signal areas.

Surecall Fusion5s

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Surecall Fusion5s

The Fusion5s is a 2G, 3G and 4G LTE home signal booster, which according to the company is the first five-band cellular booster compliant with new FCC Certification standards. It controls all carrier frequencies independently and it covers 5 to 10 simultaneous users in a 6,000 square foot area. But it also carries a $849.99 price tag, so this might not be a choice for smaller more budget conscious businesses.

weBoost Drive 4G-X

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 4G-X

Many truck drivers are small business operators, and the Drive 4G-X is an OTR (over the road) signal booster that might suit them. The booster can work for up to four devices and costs  $499.99. It enhances 4G LTE and 3G signals up to 32 times for everyone in the vehicle works with all the major carriers.

The Drive 4G-X has an omni-directional antenna that boosts voice and data with the maximum FCC-allowance of 50 dB system gain. Because of this, the company says it gives drivers fewer dead zones or lost connections and faster downloads and uploads, as well as better audio quality.

Uniden U60

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Uniden U60

The U60 comes with a 60 Day satisfaction guarantee, 2-Year warranty and lifetime service and technical support. The support the company provides is for a device with an omnidirectional outdoor antenna to capture signals for all 3G and some 4G networks. It has a 2,000 sq. ft. capacity for your home or office and can handle up to 20 devices simultaneously. The boosters cost is $449.99.

Smoothtalker Stealth X2

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Smoothtalker Stealth X2

The Stealth X2 has an impressive 7,000 sq. ft. of coverage for less than $600 — a suggested price of $549.99 more specifically. The company says it is the highest powered 65 dB building booster on the market, providing boosts for locations that are 10 to 35 miles from the nearest cell towers.

The automatic oscillation control and network overload protection maintain maximum gain at all times using the 170 degree directional outside and inside antennas automatically.

SolidRF BuildingForce 4G-M

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SolidRF BuildingForce 4G-M

The BuildingForce 4G-M booster connects more than 25 mobile devices and works with all 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE signal networks in the US and Canada — impressive given its cost of just $349.99.  An automatic gain control feature ensures reliable coverage even with an intermittent incoming signal. If there is a strong outside signal, the booster covers up to 1,500 sq. ft, but with a medium or weak outside signal, it covers up to 800 and 200 sq. ft., respectively.

weBoost Connect 4G

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Connect 4G

The Connect 4G covers 5,000 sq. ft. and features a dynamic, self-adjusting gain control for each frequency band automatically. Like the other weBoost units, it works on all the major carriers with cellular signal improvement of up to 32 times. And the recommended price for the Connect 4G is $549.99.

SureCall EZ 4G LTE

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall EZ 4G LTE

The EZ 4G LTE has an indoor panel antenna with a five band manually adjustable signal booster. The plug and play feature makes it that much easier to install and use out of the box, the manufacturer says. It has a coverage area of up to 3,000 sq. ft., with support for CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+, EVDO, LTE and all cellular standards. But at $740.00 you’ll have to decide if features are something your business can afford.

SureCall EZ 4G

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall EZ 4G

If the indoor reception in your office is weak, this plug-and-play booster indoor unit covers an area of up to 2,000 sq. ft. It improves 4G LTE voice, data and text signals for all North American cell carriers without an external antenna. And at $298.06 it is a bit more affordable than some other options.

weBoost Connect 4G-X 7500 sq ft

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Connect 4G-X 7500 sq ft

This particular weBoost model covers up to 7,500 sq. ft. It amplifies cellular signals throughout a large workplace or home on all cellular-connected devices. The increased area capability also comes with all of the weBoost features, including 4G LTE and 3G signal improvement for all major carriers, a 2-year warranty, and 30 day money back guarantee. But at $899.97, you’ll need to decide whether you really need these heavy duty features.

weBoost Drive 3G-XR Marine Antenna Booster

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 3G-XR Marine Antenna Booster

If you are a small business running a day cruise on a ship, the weBoost Drive 3G-XR marine antenna booster can extend your service range up to 50 percent further than other boosters on the market. It achieves this capability by operating with the maximum output power allowed under current Federal Communications Commission regulations and supports all US and Canadian cell carriers all for a fairly reasonable cost — $399.99.

SureCall Fusion5X

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall Fusion5X

The Fusion5X has four inside antennas for maximum coverage, which can go as high as 20,000 sq. ft. The 5X provides the highest downlink allowed by the FCC, allowing it to turn strong outside signals into a wide area of coverage inside. It supports 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. But you’ll pay $1,699 for these features.

Wilson 463127 Pro

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Wilson 463127 Pro

This particular Wilson model covers an area of up to 50,000 sq. ft. inside of a building with a strong outside signal. It supports the 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks from most of the carriers in the United States and Canada.

According to the company, before it overloads it has the ability to boost an outside signal that is 10 db stronger than any other booster on the market, which can potentially increase an area of interior coverage up to 6x the size of any other booster. You’ll need to register for a Wilson Amplifiers account for pricing information on this one.

* * *
Since a good quality booster will cost you several hundred dollars, call the company and ask questions relevant to how you will be using the device. This should include support and warranty information for the device you are going to be buying. And as always, comparison shop online with different retailers and brands too get the best value.

No Signal Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Cell Phone Comparison Review: Samsung, HTC, Nokia and iPhone

20130917_161302

No-contract cell phone plans are common, but not widely talked about among business owners. Most of the time, you hear about the major carrier brands because they provide an “all you can eat” unlimited type plan and that appeals to the busy owner. However, those plans come with a hitch – you get a lower cost of entry, but overall higher cost.

In this cell phone comparison review, I take a fast look at six smartphones: Three from Boost Mobile, two from new kid on the block, Aio Wireless (owned by not-so-new-kid, AT&T) and one from Ting.

[From left to right: Samsung S4 from Ting; Samsung S3, HTC One, LG Optimus 7 from Boost Mobile; Nokia 720 Windows Phone and iPhone 5 from Aio Wireless.]

Four of the phones included in this cell phone comparison review are Android-based smartphones. Although they are running nearly the same operating system (OS), they are far from the same. Manufacturers decide to build their hardware for a specific version, let’s say Android 3.0, and then create an interface or skin that is unique to that particular device. The look and feel is mostly the same, but not entirely.

What May Not Be Obvious

In the no-contract cell phone world, you purchase your phone for cash. There is no subsidy from a major carrier here. There’s no long term contract (as the name implies) and usually no penalties if you decide to move to another plan or provider, depending on the phone. You pay on a month-to-month basis, and sometimes prepaying several months to a year ahead gets you a greater discount. Some of the no-contract providers have special offers, on a certain phone, that helps reduce the cost.

On the surface, all smartphones are relatively the same. Each of them is a powerful little computer that can do some or all of the tasks you might do on a laptop. In fact, I have used a Bluetooth keyboard with several of these to type out a document in Evernote as well as on the mobile version of Microsoft Word. I have built simple spreadsheets and recorded presentations.

As you can see in the image below, I have put the HTC One SV on a tablet stand along with a Kensington Bluetooth keyboard. The tablet stand is called the iSlider from Rain Design. I use it with a variety of mobile devices and find it works well and travels well. Some days, this is all I have in my bag. Sure, the screen is small, but it backs up to the cloud and I pull it up on my laptop when I’m back on my main machine.

cell phone comparison review

Now, to the cell phone and service reviews.

Cell Phone Comparison Review

Samsung S4

I wrote a review of Ting with the S3 and the company also sent me the S4 to review. Hands-down, this is the fastest, most powerful smartphone I have used and you can even hook your S4 and view it on a television.  I love their “Savings Calculator” to help consumers and business owners pick the options that work best.

I currently pay about $15/month for my base plan which includes 100 minutes, 100 Mb of data, and 100 texts ($3 for each option, then $6 for phone/line cost). Hard to beat. Loads of phones to choose from, including used ones and the ability to bring your own, if your existing phone works on Sprint.

Boost Mobile sent me test devices for the next three phones (pictured: white, red and black, in order). While the devices are awesome, it is the plan that really stands out. They offer what they call “shrinking payments” which allows you to reduce your bill by paying on time. You can get your bill down to $40/month for a pretty good unlimited plan.

Samsung S3

While this loaner is not mine, I have and use the S3 daily. I use the voice recorder constantly for dictating posts, but also love the powerful speaker capability on this phone. There’s a little sound “boost” option while in speakerphone mode that helps in noisy situations.

The S3 is not much different than the S4. Since I use both nearly every day (my wife owns an S4 that I mess with regularly), I only see small differences. As above, the S4 is faster. If I were purchasing another today, I would opt for the S3 because you get most of the goodness in a lower cost phone.

HTC One SV

A sweet, little phone that fits really nice in your hand. It has a slight velvet feel that gives it some grip. It is an Android-powered phone, but HTC has its own skin or theme that makes using it vary a bit from other Android phones and takes only a few minutes to get used to.

LG Optimus F7

Elegant and fast, I found this phone to offer the strongest and fastest data connection with better than average performance downloading files. That could be Sprint, but my Ting phone is on Sprint as well and the F7 was much faster.

Without getting too technical, I think LG has some advantages under the hood that Samsung hasn’t cracked yet on the data access part.

Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phone

Okay, full disclaimer: You have to love Windows 8 to love this phone. If you have been using another operating system, it will take a bit of learning to adapt to this interface. However, it did have some neat features that neither Android nor Apple had.

You can point your phone at a nearby street or neighborhood and it will display all the area businesses at a glance. You can then click through to see more about that business. The overall interface is slick, but it just takes a bit of getting used to. Other than that, it works like any other smartphone.

Apple iPhone 5

One of the downsides to some of the no-contract cell phone plan providers is they don’t get the newest phones first – those go to the major carriers with more subsidy dollars to spend. However, hats off to Aio for coming out of the gate with great new phones.

At the time they sent me the media loaner, the iPhone 5 was the newest phone from Apple. Of course, this is a powerful iPhone and you’re either a fan or you’re not. But you really cannot go wrong with an Apple product.

Aio Wireless phones are very affordable and the smartphone plans start at $55/month. They have a ‘bring your own phone’ option too, if you have an eligible existing phone that will work with one of their SIM cards.

No contract plans are not for everyone, but for those who don’t mind paying upfront for their phone, it is a great option. You can save a bundle on the monthly costs and justify moving from most major carrier contract plans.

What provider/plan are you currently using?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Nokia to Introduce a New Lumia Windows Phone With a Metal Case

lumia 925 windows phone

Nokia will release a new Lumia 925 Windows phone in June.  This phone will have a metal case and upgrades to its camera technology.

The Lumia 925 features the same software and technical specifications as its predecessor from Nokia, the Lumia 720. The most notable changes are how the phone looks and feels, and the quality of image it produces. The Verge.com’s Tom Warren writes that the Lumia 925 is made from aluminum on a polycarbonate base rather than the traditional  polycarbonate case common among Nokia phones.

The addition of aluminum on the frame and on the sides makes it lightweight.  But metal also makes this Windows Phone sturdy — an advantage if employees will use a phone outdoors or in rugged conditions.

Nokia has been focused lately on upgrading its photo and video capture capabilities (Nokia recently invested in a camera technologies company).   The Lumia 925 makes improvements on the previous model of Windows phone from the company.  An 8.7-megapixel camera accentuated by two LED flash lights adorns the rear of the phone. The camera is mounted inside a small hump on the rear of the phone.

At the time of the 925 release, Nokia announced an update to all Lumia phones, with the addition of Nokia Smart Camera. This camera software captures up to ten images at one time of a moving subject.

The camera upgrades should be welcome news to small business personnel who use smartphone images in their operations or post frequently to social networks. Nokia claims that its low-light images are betterthan similar ones taken using an iPhone 5.

Windows 8 An Advantage for Business Users

The Lumia 925 is a Windows 8 based smartphone. Warren calls this a weakness, but that depends on how you plan to use a phone.  Business owners may find the Windows 8 phone system to be an advantage.  The applications and overall look/feel will be familiar to those who use Windows 8 on their desktops. The IT department can provide enterprise-wide support.  And there’s integration with desktop Windows.

“We keep innovating,” Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices, said in a statement announcing the details of the Lumia 925. “We’re advancing experiences on the Nokia Lumia portfolio whether that means great new benefits for an existing Lumia owner, or bringing new showcase devices like the Nokia Lumia 925.”

The Lumia 925 Windows phone will be introduced in the U.S. through T-Mobile. A retail cost has not yet been established.


Lumia 925 Photo via Nokia

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Nokia Introduces 6 Inch Phone with Business Functionality

new 6 inch phone

Nokia’s new Lumia 1520 may be a big investment. The 6-inch phablet available in red, white, yellow, or black will have a suggested retail price of $749 and will be available soon. Nokia wants you to sign up to learn when the device will be available in stores.

But the phone/tablet hybrid seems to include considerable functionality for the price.

For example, the Lumia 1520’s full 1080p HD screen resolution and updated version of Windows Phone 8help take full advantage of the largest display on a Nokia phone yet. There is room for a third column of Live Tiles, the go-to spaces on Windows Phone for your most used apps, content and functions.

Here’s a quick overview of the device’s specs from TechBuffalo:




Nokia’s New 6 Inch Phone has Business Capabilities Too

The screen on the Lumia 1520 is large enough for you to run business apps like Microsoft Office, which is included with the new phone. At the Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi, Nokia CEO and soon-to-be head of Microsoft’s devices division Stephen Elop demonstrated running and editing an Excel spreadsheet on the new phablet.

The phone also offers considerable memory: 7 GB in the cloud via Microsoft’s SkyDrive and 32GB of internal memory extended to 64GB with added external memory.

The phone also has a 20MP Pure View camera has an enhanced sensor that Nokia says works well even in low-light settings.

A Budget Option

If the Lumia 1520 is still too expensive for your business budget, Nokia also unveiled a lower cost option this week. The Lumia 1320 Windows Phone offers comparative specs at less than half the price.

Features include:

  • A 6-inch, 720p HD screen.
  • A less powerful rear-mounted 5MP camera.
  • Ability to run Microsoft Office.
  • A recommended retail price of $339.

Could either of these phones function as your mobile office?

Image: Nokia

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

15 Best Mobile Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users

15 Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users

martphones have changed the way we think about cell phones, because they are no longer just a communication device. A great example of this is mobile first businesses that rely on these devices to carry out almost every task in their organization. For these businesses, cell phone reception is extremely important. Whether the phone is being used on premises or outside of the office, a strong reception is critical to talk, conference, text as well as access data services, cloud applications and more.

With the right cell phone booster, any problems you might be experiencing because of a weak reception will be a thing of the past.

So why should you buy a cell phone booster?

Even though telecoms have done a good job of deploying cell phone towers to cover all of the areas in which they provide service, there are always pockets within these areas that have weak reception. Even if your business is located in area with excellent reception, you can also land in these pockets of low reception while commuting back and forth to work or taking a work-related business trip.

Weak reception also drains your battery because the phone is continually searching for the best, most reliable signal, and the longer it searches, the more power it uses. If you want to know what you should look for in a signal booster, click here. For a list of the best signal boosters for your phone, see the list below.

The Best Business Cell Phone Signal Boosters

weBoost EQO Cell Phone Signal Booster

weBoost is one of the most recognized brands in the market, and has a wide range of devices for multiple applications. The EQO is designed for quick and easy installation to enhance 4G LTE and 3G signals for homes, apartments or condos up to 1,200 sq. ft. It works on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Straight Talk and more at a cost of $349.99.

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost EQO Cell Phone Signal Booster

According to the company, it boosts cell signals up to 32 times and it comes with a 2-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Smoothtalker Mobile X1

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Smoothtalker Mobile X1

The Smoothtalker Mobile X1 has multiple configurations for buildings and vehicles of all sizes. The X1 50RV 50dB, with a list price of $395.99, is a high power RV/motorhome or large vehicle booster kit that does not require a physical connection to the cell phone or cellular data device. Once it is plugged in, it boosts the signal to all cell phones and cellular devices within range at the same time.

weBoost Drive 4G-S

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 4G-S

The Drive 4G-S is another booster for vehicles at a lower price point than the Smoothtalker — just 199.99. However, the lower price doesn’t compromise on quality and functionality, the company says. This is the most affordable 4G vehicle cell phone signal booster weBoost makes. It also boosts 4G LTE and 3G signals up to 32 times for a single person.

It works on all the major carriers and provides up to 2 hours additional talk time in weak-signal areas.

Surecall Fusion5s

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Surecall Fusion5s

The Fusion5s is a 2G, 3G and 4G LTE home signal booster, which according to the company is the first five-band cellular booster compliant with new FCC Certification standards. It controls all carrier frequencies independently and it covers 5 to 10 simultaneous users in a 6,000 square foot area. But it also carries a $849.99 price tag, so this might not be a choice for smaller more budget conscious businesses.

weBoost Drive 4G-X

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 4G-X

Many truck drivers are small business operators, and the Drive 4G-X is an OTR (over the road) signal booster that might suit them. The booster can work for up to four devices and costs  $499.99. It enhances 4G LTE and 3G signals up to 32 times for everyone in the vehicle works with all the major carriers.

The Drive 4G-X has an omni-directional antenna that boosts voice and data with the maximum FCC-allowance of 50 dB system gain. Because of this, the company says it gives drivers fewer dead zones or lost connections and faster downloads and uploads, as well as better audio quality.

Uniden U60

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Uniden U60

The U60 comes with a 60 Day satisfaction guarantee, 2-Year warranty and lifetime service and technical support. The support the company provides is for a device with an omnidirectional outdoor antenna to capture signals for all 3G and some 4G networks. It has a 2,000 sq. ft. capacity for your home or office and can handle up to 20 devices simultaneously. The boosters cost is $449.99.

Smoothtalker Stealth X2

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Smoothtalker Stealth X2

The Stealth X2 has an impressive 7,000 sq. ft. of coverage for less than $600 — a suggested price of $549.99 more specifically. The company says it is the highest powered 65 dB building booster on the market, providing boosts for locations that are 10 to 35 miles from the nearest cell towers.

The automatic oscillation control and network overload protection maintain maximum gain at all times using the 170 degree directional outside and inside antennas automatically.

SolidRF BuildingForce 4G-M

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SolidRF BuildingForce 4G-M

The BuildingForce 4G-M booster connects more than 25 mobile devices and works with all 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE signal networks in the US and Canada — impressive given its cost of just $349.99.  An automatic gain control feature ensures reliable coverage even with an intermittent incoming signal. If there is a strong outside signal, the booster covers up to 1,500 sq. ft, but with a medium or weak outside signal, it covers up to 800 and 200 sq. ft., respectively.

weBoost Connect 4G

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Connect 4G

The Connect 4G covers 5,000 sq. ft. and features a dynamic, self-adjusting gain control for each frequency band automatically. Like the other weBoost units, it works on all the major carriers with cellular signal improvement of up to 32 times. And the recommended price for the Connect 4G is $549.99.

SureCall EZ 4G LTE

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall EZ 4G LTE

The EZ 4G LTE has an indoor panel antenna with a five band manually adjustable signal booster. The plug and play feature makes it that much easier to install and use out of the box, the manufacturer says. It has a coverage area of up to 3,000 sq. ft., with support for CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+, EVDO, LTE and all cellular standards. But at $740.00 you’ll have to decide if features are something your business can afford.

SureCall EZ 4G

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall EZ 4G

If the indoor reception in your office is weak, this plug-and-play booster indoor unit covers an area of up to 2,000 sq. ft. It improves 4G LTE voice, data and text signals for all North American cell carriers without an external antenna. And at $298.06 it is a bit more affordable than some other options.

weBoost Connect 4G-X 7500 sq ft

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Connect 4G-X 7500 sq ft

This particular weBoost model covers up to 7,500 sq. ft. It amplifies cellular signals throughout a large workplace or home on all cellular-connected devices. The increased area capability also comes with all of the weBoost features, including 4G LTE and 3G signal improvement for all major carriers, a 2-year warranty, and 30 day money back guarantee. But at $899.97, you’ll need to decide whether you really need these heavy duty features.

weBoost Drive 3G-XR Marine Antenna Booster

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - weBoost Drive 3G-XR Marine Antenna Booster

If you are a small business running a day cruise on a ship, the weBoost Drive 3G-XR marine antenna booster can extend your service range up to 50 percent further than other boosters on the market. It achieves this capability by operating with the maximum output power allowed under current Federal Communications Commission regulations and supports all US and Canadian cell carriers all for a fairly reasonable cost — $399.99.

SureCall Fusion5X

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - SureCall Fusion5X

The Fusion5X has four inside antennas for maximum coverage, which can go as high as 20,000 sq. ft. The 5X provides the highest downlink allowed by the FCC, allowing it to turn strong outside signals into a wide area of coverage inside. It supports 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. But you’ll pay $1,699 for these features.

Wilson 463127 Pro

Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Business Users - Wilson 463127 Pro

This particular Wilson model covers an area of up to 50,000 sq. ft. inside of a building with a strong outside signal. It supports the 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks from most of the carriers in the United States and Canada.

According to the company, before it overloads it has the ability to boost an outside signal that is 10 db stronger than any other booster on the market, which can potentially increase an area of interior coverage up to 6x the size of any other booster. You’ll need to register for a Wilson Amplifiers account for pricing information on this one.

* * *
Since a good quality booster will cost you several hundred dollars, call the company and ask questions relevant to how you will be using the device. This should include support and warranty information for the device you are going to be buying. And as always, comparison shop online with different retailers and brands too get the best value.

No Signal Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

$50 Amazon Phone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile — But With Lots of Ads and Clutter

50 Dollar Amazon Blu Smartphone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile -- But With Lots of Ads and Clutter

The number one seller in the unlocked cell phones category on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the $50 Blu R1 HD, which is sold out as of this posting.

This is an Amazon phone made by Blu, a US based company that offers the phone for $100, but with Amazon Prime you only pay half the price. For this subsidy, Amazon has tweaked the operating system to load the entire suite of Amazon apps. So if you don’t have a notification, you will see ads on your lock screen.

If you are a small business looking for a phone you can give to your entire staff, this may be an option. The ads don’t get in the way when the screen is active, because they only show up as notifications, just like any other message. As far as sending emails, texting and other communications, it has the necessary hardware to make it possible. This includes 3G/4G LTE bands to access the fastest networks and WiFi.

50 Dollar Amazon Blu Smartphone Specs

By now you are probably wondering, what can you possibly get for $50? The answer is enough to let you carry out many of the functions of premium phones, albeit at different levels.

  • Processor – 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor,
  • Display – 5.0” HD 1280X720 with 294ppi,
  • Storage/Memory – 16GB with 2GB RAM and 8 with 1GB RAM, optional MicroSD with up to 64GB,
  • Camera – 8MP for the main camera and 5MP Front with LED Flash,
  • Battery – 2500 mAh,
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Hotspot, Micro USB v2.0 and
  • Unlocked for AT&T and T-Mobile with dual-SIM slots.

As far as the body and design, the device has a curved display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a metal trim.

In short, this $50 smartphone by all accounts it more than delivers when it comes to the communications functions. So the only question about whether this could make a good inexpensive business phone is whether you find Amazon apps and ads too distracting.

Image: Blu

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Mobile Phone Production in India May Reach 500 Million in 2 Years: DoT

Mobile Phone Production in India May Reach 500 Million in 2 Years: DoT

Mobile Phone Production in India May Reach 500 Million in 2 Years: DoT
Mobile phone manufacturing in the country may reach 500 million units in coming two years on the back of good base of talent and an incentive policy, a top Department of Telecom (DoT) official said Sunday.

This year, India produced 100 million phones as compared to 45 million last year.

“The number of phones being manufactured was 10 million sometime back (which increased) to 45 million last year and 100 million this year. The time has come when we will reach 500 million, may be in 2 years,” Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said in New Delhi.

(Also see: Mobile Phone Production in India Reaches 100 Million)

He was speaking on the second day of a seminar on Telecom and Broadcasting theme – ART (Adjudication, Regulation, Telecommunication) of Convergence, TDSAT.

He added that apart from phones, the differential tariff is helping domestic manufacturers to get into other areas like medical electronics, consumer electronics as well as broadband equipment, set up boxes.

“Today with base of talent and incentive policy, India is becoming a global hub for manufacturing of phones and specially low-end phones,” he added.

The government is making efforts to reduce imports of electronic products and meet requirement of domestic market through indigenous production.
The government has received proposals worth Rs. 1.13 lakh crore in the electronics manufacturing segment from major brands under the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS).

M-SIPS has been extended till July 2020, which was earlier valid till July 2017. The scheme offers capital subsidies to large investments in electronics manufacturing and system design.

The Secretary also said that making high-speed broadband available to individuals in rural areas is a priority of the government.

According to a survey, he said, while Internet users may have touched 400 million, broadband users are in the range of 40-50 million and growing very slowly in rural areas.

“May be 7 percent people in rural areas use Internet.

More importantly, it’s the issue of digital divide. We have only 14 percent rural households which are digitally literate…this needs to change,” he said.

Tags: DoT, Mobiles, Telecom

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Messenger Lite Takes Up Less Phone Space for Tech Challenged Areas

young-mobile-users-in-kenya

Small businesses and others seeking a better way to communicate with customers or partners in tech challenged areas should rejoice.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has launched lighter version of its Android Messenger app. The new bare-bones Messenger app is designed for people in areas with slow internet connections as well as for older phones with less powerful processors and less memory.

Introducing the Facebook Messenger Lite App

The new Facebook Messenger Lite allows you to send stickers, photos, links and text to anyone using Messenger or Messenger Lite.

“More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability,” said the Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite Tom Mulcahy in a blog post. “With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to.”

Tom also adds that the app is fast and easy to download as it’s under 10MB.

Like Facebook Messenger, Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo, but with reversed colors. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background while for Facebook Messenger, the bolt is white with a blue chat bubble background.

The new Messenger Lite is already rolling out to people in Malaysia, Kenya, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Tom says that they will soon be rolling the app in other countries in the coming months.

This should come as good news for businesses that use Messenger as a means to communicate with their clients. You can now be able to upload real-time photos and links regardless of the Internet speeds or the speed of your phone.

While Facebook is quite clear on what you can do with the “Lite” version, they are not so clear on what you will not get but don’t get surprised if you can’t find features certain features.

Facebook also doesn’t disclose whether there will be a similar app for iOS. They are, however, clear that they chose markets with a “prevalence of basic Android smartphones.”

Young Mobile Users in Kenya Photo Via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]