Voipfone - The Future Of Communication

E.T. Roam Home

E.T. on his mobileThe UK government issues guidance to people traveling to Europe for such things as the need for visas, taking pets, currency, medical insurance and so on and has now added warnings that the guarantee of free mobile roaming across the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein will end from 01 January 2021. This, they say, “marks the end of the Brexit transition period.”

Mobile roaming: free roaming may end
From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.
Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.  A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.  Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.

From now until the end of the year the betting is that UK mobile operators will continue to apply the ‘roam like at home’ regulation in the EU. The implication is that thereafter all bets are off.

After EU regulation ends and unless the EU and UK reach a new deal it’ll be competition between the mobile operators that decides who get charged for what and where.

At the moment Three is saying that nothing will change

Vodafone said it currently had no plans to change

EE said: “Our customers enjoy inclusive roaming in Europe and we have no plans to change this based on the Brexit outcome.”

And O2 said: “We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe….”

And it’s pretty much the same story from the third party operators Sky, Virgin Tesco etc

Of course “no plans to change” doesn’t mean that they won’t decide that planning to change would be a good move. What they don’t say is what the EU operators are planning. It’s all very well saying that the UK won’t change but if EU operators decided to charge more for access to their networks then UK operators would try to recover those costs. If there’s no deal between the EU and the EU then operators are free to charge as they like.

The way it used to work is on the very old principle of ‘you get what you give’ in that traffic between two operators will be roughly equal so why make things complicated?

Jolly Green Giant

Renewables powering servers Microsoft green-bombed the world last month by announcing that not only will it go carbon neutral by 2025, it will go carbon negative too – by 2050 -eventually removing all the carbon it’s put into the environment since it began in 1975.

This got the green lobby to announce that they were pleased. Almost happy. Very nearly smiled. ‘Pleased’ is not an emotion that the green lobby has much experience of and achieving this may be a bigger achievement than actually removing the carbon.

“It’s a hat trick of sustainability leadership,” gushed Elizabeth Sturcken from the Environmental Defence Fund.

And cynicism aside for a moment, this is a really positive development. Microsoft call it a “moonshot”. They’re investing £1 billion in designing clean technologies and devising schemes to remove carbon from the environment.

They’ve even made a graph.

All this has rather left Amazon’s pledge to go carbon neutral by 2040 looking a bit lame and the UK’s Church of England’s announcement that they’re going to be carbon neutral by 2045, just 5 years before the UK in total doesn’t look like much of an effort.

As a bit of a by-the-way, from my extensive research – by reading the first wiki article that came up on Google – did you know that data centres expend 98% of their energy input in heat? No, neither did I, but now that I do, I’d say that’s where I’d start work if I was Microsoft and Amazon.

Meanwhile, as I write, President Trump is on a carbon positive aeroplane on his way to Davos to explain to the world’s most privileged (ie wealthy) people that he’s right and the global scientific community is wrong to be worried about climate change. His heroic environmental leadership has today abolished Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation allowing farmers and industry to pollute rivers and wetlands unrestrained.

As another by-the-way, the BBC is now calling climate change “climate crisis” and other news media are beginning to call it the “climate emergency”, which, as Australia burns and as the Met Office and NASA tell us that the 10 years to the end of 2019 have been the warmest decade on record, seems increasingly appropriate.

So what am I doing about it? Well, I suppose, not much more than most – developing a recycling fetish, insulating my house and running a fuel efficient car seems to be the most I’ve actually managed so far. I can’t see me becoming vegan anytime soon.

As for Voipfone, well we use those 2% efficient data centres – although we’ve bought the most efficient servers we can find – and in the next few years our research and development effort will reduce our need for them by a factor of 20.

In other ways though we do do our bit. Our entire operation is paperless. With the exception of delivering hardware to customers, we never need to physically mail our customers or suppliers. As we do no advertising, we don’t send junk mail.

Most importantly, as we have no offices, we impact the environment far less than we would if we were a traditional business with employees travelled to and fro every day. Less commuting to and from work means a much reduced carbon footprint and far less personal stress.

“Personal travel accounts for around a quarter of all damage individuals do to the environment, including climate change effects.” Directgov

“Teleworkers reduce their mileage between 48- 77 per cent on teleworking days”. Department for Transport

Just a thought, why not use our technology to do more working from home days yourself?

Every little helps.



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