Category Archives: mobiles

Gusti

Just back from Indonesia, things are going really well there. Missed my flight on the way home, the traffic is TERRIBLE, but below is the man who can sort it, next time, I’ll mention it!

This is a picture of yours truly with my favourite supliers and The Minister of Environment: Gusti Muhammad Hatta:

Ola from MWC!

BARCELONA was brilliant – and I’ve got the blisters to prove it.

The Mobile World Congress was host to 1300 companies  – I tried very hard to get round to all of them, to spread the PMB Word, but probably only managed a fraction of that!

The mobile ecosystem is in the midst of an unprecedented wave of transformation. As business models adapt, new verticals and players emerge. Technology evolves, perceptions shift, and lives are improved. We are constantly looking at opportunities to expand and strengthen our business, and we certainly weren’t disappointed this year.

A big hello and welcome to our new partners in Pakistan and South Africa. We’re hoping to be out there visiting you in the next couple of months.

A big thank you to Kate Hamilton from Myriad, for her fabulous organisation…

Off to Uganda this week:

I’ll be spending time with one of our favourite clients – he even named his son after me, and you can’t say fairer than that!

Cape Town

Stunning South Africa – view from my room!

I’ve just got back from an amazing telecoms conference in SA. Africa Com was a vibrant and positive meeting of global companies, and PMB was thrilled to be there. We went away with loads of enquiries, and orders in the ether.

The Xumii social networking was enthusiastically received and we presented on a loop to very keen potential clients. We also had a lot of interest shown in our new android handsets.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the number of internet users in South Africa is just over 4 million, which puts it at number 49 in the World League Table. Incidentally the CIA World Factbook website is definitely worth a visit – https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook

In case you’re interested, this is the top 10 according to the CIA. No surprise to see China with nearly 300 million users! I included Indonesia as number 11 in the Table with an incredible 30 million users. And a mention must go to the Christmas Islands at number 216 on the list, with 464 users. Not sure how much networking would be needed there!

1 China
298,000,000
2008
2 United States
231,000,000
2008
3 Japan
90,910,000
2008
4 India
81,000,000
2008
5 Brazil
64,948,000
2008
6 Germany
61,973,000
2008
7 United Kingdom
48,755,000
2008
8 Russia
45,250,000
2008
9 France
42,912,000
2008
10 Korea, South
37,476,000
2008
11 Indonesia
30,000,000
2008

I changed my plans to dash back from SA to watch my son play in the rugby county trials. Only to discover on reaching the Airport, that he had broken his elbow! MUPPET.

And from Muppet to Booby, this Abbotts Booby nests solely on Christmas Island and is an endangered species.

Mmmm, endangered boobies.

Indonesia again…

I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to Indonesia. It’s a real hotbed there for PMB, lots of new clients in the pipeline, and a chance to look at some innovative products as well.

Bali was amazing, especially the Nirvana Golf Club, we had a fantastic weekend there thanks to the generosity of my Sim card suppliers who arranged the trip as a surprise.

The Social Networking Solution – Xumii – has created a real storm in Indonesia and we are in advanced talks with a major operator in Jakarta, we are hopeful it will be launched shortly.  http://www.xumii.com/

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly enjoyed a great weekend despite the huge amount of rainfall whilst we were there. A bit like Manchester – but warmer! Oh, and a few more palm trees!

Sims are doing great guns. We are increasing month on month sales to Indonesia and Uganda and we are about to break the market in Kenya. As far as we are concerned we are still the cheapest available. Without compromising on quality or lead times.

I shall be in Capetown in November showcasing our new products at the AfricaCom 2010. Especially our new low-cost Android model available at under $150. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Every why has a wherefore…

Saturday night found us on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, enjoying a picnic by moonlight at Storrs Hall.

It was fantastic. I’m not a big fan of the theatre, and had to be persuaded that I was going to enjoy myself – ‘you WILL enjoy this Eli’ – but this was great. The Globe Theatre put on Comedy of Errors, and we sat on the lawn of the hotel,  on deck chairs, quaffing champagne, watching the chaos unfold. And it didn’t rain!

http://www.skyarts.co.uk/video/video-sky-arts-at-shakespeares-globe-on-tour/

It was really good to be away for the weekend. This year is staycation time at Casa Lederwerg, which sounds good in principal, but has been hopeless in practice, as the great British public attempts to holiday in the great British weather.

Back to Monday morning now and work mode – the last trip to Indonesia is paying dividends, three more orders are in the pipeline – USSD solutions are really taking off there, and we have been inundated with requests for quotes.

Mobiles are currently being shipped to Africa, and I have several new clients in East and Central Africa interested in our products, so a trip over there will be on the cards very soon.

Indonesia

I’m in Indonesia, celebrating – clinching a deal with a client here re social networking software… At least, I’d like to be celebrating, but of course it’s Ramadan, so we’re raising a glass of diet Coke to the future of PMB in Jakarta. Exciting stuff. I feel like I’ve just given birth, having nursed this deal for the past several months. In fact, I’m hoping it’s a multiple birth, there’s definitely something else in the pipeline…

Indonesia is such a vibrant country, the opportunities here are endless, I  just wish they could sort the traffic problems out. Maybe it’s something you just get used to…

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence after Japan’s surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. Indonesia’s first free parliamentary election after decades of repressive rule took place in 1999. Indonesia is now the world’s third-largest democracy, the world’s largest archipelagic state, and home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for past human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling avian influenza. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low intensity armed resistance by the separatist Free Papua Movement.

RV or not RV

We’re back from our Winnebago Adventure! It was great – camping for wimps. That’s me.

Hot and cold water, a proper bed and Sky TV. What more could you ask for? The site we chose was fab – just a five minute walk from St Andrews. In fact it was a golf course – St Michael’s – the M&S of camping? Sorry about that, but they were very organised and good value for money with a marquee set up for hot breakfasts and bbqs, and lots of Dutch, we love caravans and tents do the Dutch.

We played lots of golf with very friendly Scottish folk, and spent Sunday at the Open, which although not a thrilling finish, was a wonderful spectacle… would certainly recommend it!

Hello to all our friends in Mozambique, the latest customers to take advantage of our most popular handsets. We’ve also got more than a few hot leads in South America, especially with regard to some new Android handsets we have available.

And it won’t be long before we can offer our own version of the iPad:

The Indian government has unveiled the prototype of an iPad-like touch-screen laptop, with a price tag of $35 (£23), which it hopes to roll out next year. Aimed at students, the tablet supports web browsing, video conferencing and word processing, say developers. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said a manufacturer was being sought for the gadget, which was developed by India’s top IT colleges.

Catching my breath

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks to be honest. Moving house was a nightmare. We seemed to be thoroughly organised, but it still seemed like chaos! We sent half a tonne of rubbish to the tip and another half a tonne to the local charity shops, and we still have several tonnes surplus to requirement. It does seem to be true that the bigger the space you have the more you fill it.

Minimalist is the new mantra.

Actually I thought ‘Winning Ugly’ was my new mantra.

Because there has been the small matter of a little football competition taking place over the last few weeks which I may have cast my eye over once or twice in between packing boxes… By the way I hear Oxo are making a new product. The packaging is white with a red cross and they’re calling it the laughing stock. England were awful, ‘Losing Ugly’ seemed to be their strap line.

Good job the Oranje were there to save the day for the beautiful game. Well, until the final that was. When it all went very pear shaped. I have to agree with Johan Cruyff who called it ‘anti-football’…

“This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style… If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they lost.”

Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Nine yellow cards, and they were lucky not to be playing with nine men!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8812484.stm

Apparently a trait that the Dutch are well known for is their cleanliness. Mmm, not in this case!

Business continues to improve. Orders for sim cards are strong. And we have just road-tested some fab low-cost handsets that have been very well received. If you would like to have a look, I’d strongly recommend getting in touch, they are selling like hot cakes.

I’m off to The Open today with my son. So I’ll blog from St Andrews, I’m taking my clubs and lots of waterproofs, I didn’t qualify this year, but you just never know!!

The Yiddish for finger is ‘toe’.

‘I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.’

En route back from Jakarta I stopped over in Dubai. That place is incredible. Like something from Metropolis. It changes so rapidly, I can’t believe the difference in just over 12 months. It is SciFi with a pulse.

Anyway, I was able to catch up with an old friend I used to play hockey with. I haven’t seen Henny for over 30 years – hadn’t changed a bit. Which obviously isn’t true. Because that would be weird. And I’m 3 stone heavier!

Off to chase up an order for our latest low-cost phone now, we’ve had loads of interest in these, so lots of samples flying out to Africa and Indonesia. Not sure about the bike charger though. Think I might need a bit more padding on my bike seat.

A friend is cycling from John O’ Groats to Land’s End for charity. That’s 874 miles and far too much chafing to think about. Rather him than me.

On Yer Bike

Phew, I’m knackered. Just been on my bike round the block.

All in the name of PMB, the things I do. It’s all about the newest low-cost hand sets. Powered by bike!

‘The charger can be fitted into any phone with a 2 mm charger jack, uses a dynamo to generate electricity from the movement of the wheels, bicycles are the most widespread means of transport in many markets around the world, so this is just one more benefit to be gained from an activity people are already doing, to begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometres per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10 minute journey at 10 kmh produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time.

The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate.’

It was interesting whilst I was in Jakarta to note the lack of Apple gadgetry at all the meetings I attended. The dish of the day was most certainly the Blackberry. Which is great, because we have the most amazing range of qwerty keyboard handsets , which are flying out at the moment. (website has more details http://www.pmbgroupltd.com/pmbproductshands.html)

Ten reasons not to buy an iPhone – as seen in The Telegraph yesterday:

1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge. If the iPhone weren’t made by Apple, networks would have had to start giving it away on £30 a month tariffs years ago.

2) It’s anti-technology: When the iPhone launched it was cutting edge – now as other manufacturers announce, for instance, that you can use their phones as shareable wifi hot spots, Apple says no. Not because of some spurious “user experience” argument, but because of economics. When will they learn that it’s customers – supply and demand – that should dictate feature availability?

3) No Flash: The iPhone, the phone that promised to put the web into everybody’s pockets, can’t even show you most of it, because it can’t handle Flash graphics. Google Android can, in the latest version (OS 2.2), and it’s going to be available free on a lot of budget tariffs.

4) No multitasking: Tried instant messaging on an iPhone? Oh yes, you have to open the app to see if you’ve got a message. Genius. If Apple announces multitasking next it will be an improvement – but there’ll be no apology for the way it’s treated customers in the past, and no guarantee it won’t behave similarly shoddily in the future.

5) Its battery life is terrible: This isn’t a problem unique to Apple, but look at phones by companies such as HTC – multitasking, better cameras, better screens, all draining their batteries far more – and yet the iPhone, with its undemanding technology, still only offers equal performance.

6) Developing apps for it is costing you money: The special version of the BBC iPlayer, of Natwest Phone Banking, of Eon’s meter reader – developing all of these came out of money that could have been channelled away from a self-important minority and towards more generally useful ideas.

7) It comes with offensively bad headphones: Sit next to somebody using the original iPhone or iPod headphones and you can hear everything they can. It’s another example of Apple charging premium prices, but delivering a dressed up, budget product.

8) It’s not very well designed: Use the iPhone as a phone and it’s not got great reception, nor is it particularly comfortable to use for long periods. It’s a computer that happens to have a phone bolted on – jack of two trades, but master of neither.

9) It charges for satnav: In an age when Nokia and Google Android provide completely free mapping and satnav facilities, the cheapest way you can turn your overpriced iPhone into a satnav is with a £19.99 app. Bargain.

10) Those iPod docks are holding back better technologies: As every hotel increasingly thinks it should provide iPod docks, the momentum behind this technology is only growing. But if it wasn’t for the iPod and iPhone’s ubiquity, there’d be more wifi radios, more new technologies and a range of different options, competing and driving innovation.