News - Updates, Rate Changes And Travel Tips

Telestial News

May 6, 2015

TRAVEL TRENDS 2015

It’s the time of year when people’s thoughts turn to what they want to do and where they want to go for the summer, and as always, we’re keen to find out just what that means. Surveys such as this one from provide a wealth of information and inspiration.

As always, world events have a huge influence on these factors and can be both beneficial and detrimental to the desires of travelers. For example, recent unrest and terrorist activities in Egypt and Tunisia respectively have led to a steep decline in the amount of holidaymakers who want to visit. The relaxation by the US government of embargoes against Cuba together with new travel options from the US, however, have made a huge difference – searches for travel information have increased 185% in the last quarter.

There is also a wealth of information about when people choose to take their vacations, and how long they plan on staying away. In North America, for example, an average stay of one week is the most popular choice, and usually takes place in August. For travelers from the Middle East or Africa, one week just is not enough, with 56% of those surveyed saying that they would be away for 14 days or more.

Despite the strength of the dollar compared to other currencies around the world this year, many US travelers are looking north of the border. Search queries for Canada have increased 45% on last year. This may partly be due to people looking to attend specific events, such as the Pan Am Games being held in Toronto, or the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Vancouver.

One travel trend that sadly doesn’t seem to be going anywhere is the tendency for phone operators to continue to charge sky-high rates on roaming fees. But we knew all about that one already.

April 16, 2015

SMARTPHONE DEPENDANCY – SOME SURPRISING FINDINGS

We knew that people were spending increasing amounts of time using their smartphones, but the fact that many Americans are wholly dependent on their smartphones for a high-speed internet connection came as a bit of a surprise. These are the findings of a new report by the Pew Institute.

For example, we did not know that of the 64% of Americans that use smartphones, 15% have limited access to any other form of internet. 10% have no broadband at home, and for 7%, their smartphone is their only access to data.

If you’re still in the mood for some facts and figures, don’t forget to check out CNet’s reaction to the results of Telestial’s survey.

April 7, 2015

Congratulations to our sweepstakes winners. All winners will receive their gift codes via e-mail in the coming days.

Grand Prize: Wesley P., CA

iTunes runners up: Sandra Rebecca M., TX; Lisa A., TN; Kathy T., NY; Lindsay S., WI

February 16, 2015

DUALLING SIMS

There’s a familiar trend for technological advances. Once an initial product is created, designers always try to ensure that subsequent iterations of that product are tighter, sleeker, more efficiently put together. Smaller, in other words. The first computers, for example, could have comfortably housed a family of four. Now, they’re small enough to fit inside a mouse. The first mobile phones were chunky, clunky pieces of kit that required long antennae. Now they fit comfortably into your pocket. And while the trend for ‘smaller and smaller’ continues (as with the burgeoning wearables market), most modern smartphones have stopped shrinking, and are in fact growing again. The latest iPhone, for example, is the company’s biggest to date.

The irony is that the smartphones are once again growing in size because we’ve made all the other stuff so much smaller. There’s no point in your phone being capable of high-definition video playback if the screen is too small for you to appreciate it. So while the handset may be skinnier (perhaps a little too thin at times), the screen size seems to be on the increase. This puts the humble SIM card in an awkward position. After all, it was because there was no room for a standard SIM that the Micro and eventually the Nano SIM were invented. Now, many modern smartphones have some extra space, enough for a second SIM slot.

A dual-SIM handset makes a lot of sense, for a number of reasons. All our phones have always been dual-SIM for the extra flexibility that it offers travelers. There’s space for your Telestial SIM and your regular SIM, so that any calls you get come straight through to you no matter which number you’ve given out. However, there are many other reasons for the sudden popularity of dual-SIM phones, as indicated in this report from OpenSignal.com. One of the strangest findings is that the sudden upswing in dual-SIM’s popularity is wholly unexpected: “What is clear is that dual SIM devices are a significant part of the mobile ecosystem, and despite building signal apps for years: this was news to us.

As can be seen from the top 20 dual-SIM using countries, signal strength is clearly an issue. In developing nations particularly, differing regions may still be serviced by different operators, and making calls to competitor companies could essentially mean roaming charges, only without the roaming. If you’re unable to make a call on one service, having another option right there in your handset already makes a great deal of sense.

Of course, why stop at just two SIMs? Why not three? Or four?

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