Rolling out 4G Data Services in Three UK Cities

Mobile networks Vodafone and O2 are rolling out their first 4G data services in three UK cities
The networks will compete against EE, which has been the only company to offer “super-fast” mobile data in the UK since October 2012. Vodafone’s 4G will initially be limited to parts of London, while O2 will launch in London, Leeds and Bradford.

One analyst said this indicated the networks were “soft-pedalling” 4G and the UK could lag behind other nations.

Fourth-generation networks can provide data to smartphone users up to 10 times faster than standard 3G connections.

The US, Japan, Australia and South Korea have all widely adopted 4G, but mobile phone users in many parts of the UK may have to wait until the end of 2015 for comprehensive coverage.

EE was the first UK network to offer a 4G service, and now covers 105 towns and cities. The company’s early 4G launch prompted protests by rival providers, which claimed it gave the firm an unfair advantage.

But Steven Hartley, principal analyst at telecoms consultancy Ovum, accused Vodafone and O2 of taking a “very conservative approach” to 4G, at the expense of consumers. “The UK’s mobile networks are hedging their bets with 4G,” he told the BBC. “They are trying the same strategy they used when they rolled out 3G, which is to offer 4G as a premium service to consumers, in an effort to move them onto expensive phone tariffs.” Mr Hartley added that even EE “could have been more aggressive commercially” in their deployment of 4G.

A report earlier this month by industry regulator Ofcom found that UK consumers have a limited appetite for 4G, with almost a quarter of smartphone users saying they did not see the benefit of moving to the superfast network.

Three, the last major network to provide 4G, will launch its service in London, Birmingham and Manchester in December. The company said it would offer 4G to its existing customers at no extra cost, and would offer unlimited data packages, although full details of the roll-out are still to be announced.

The race to provide 4G services has been ongoing since October 2012, when Ofcom, the industry regulator, allowed EE to re-license some of its existing bandwidth to provide 4G.

After an auction in February, Ofcom sold spectrum space to O2, Vodafone, Three and BT.

The key difference between the 4G providers is the spectrum bands they bought for their services. Bands on the lower end of the spectrum offer further-reaching signals, but can support fewer individual data users, whereas higher spectrum bands can deliver data to more people data but have a shorter reach.

There are three spectrum bandwidths available to networks looking to provide 4G services:

  • The 800MHz band previously used for TV signals. This low frequency spectrum is best for providing long-distance 4G services, helping give access to the countryside, as well as offering superior indoor coverage.
  • The 1.8GHz band, previously used for 2G and 3G networks, but can be reassigned for 4G.
  • The 2.6GHz band, which had previously been used by operators of cord-free video cameras to send back footage of live events, including London’s Olympic Games. The high frequency can deliver faster speeds across smaller distances, making it best suited for densely populated cities.

EE built its 4G network by re-appropriating some of the 1.8GHz spectrum bandwidth previously used for its 2G and 3G services. It has since bought space on both the 800Mhz and 2.6Ghz bands.

Vodafone paid the most for its spectrum bands, buying part of the 800Mhz and 2.6GHz bands for just over £790m. O2 paid £550m for part of the 800MHz spectrum and Three paid £225m for other parts of the same band.

Both Vodafone and O2 are offering added extras such as football highlights and streaming music to try and lure customers to their 4G contracts. Stuart Orr, managing director of communications industry at Accenture, said these tactics showed 4G was not attractive enough as a standalone product. “The move by Vodafone to package Sky Sports and Spotify in with its new 4G offering shows that operators know they have to demonstrate what new 4G services mean immediately for consumers and why they should pay more,” he told the BBC.

All of the UK networks have pledged to widen their 4G offering within the next couple of years. O2 said it would roll out 4G in a further 10 cities by the end of the year, while Vodafone plans to be in a further 12. Three said its 4G would be available in 50 UK cities by the end of 2014.

Childrens Fitness. Get Kids Moving with Kidz R Fit

Childrens Fitness. Get Kids Moving with Kidz R Fit
When it comes to children’s health and fitness, it can often be hard to get a youngster to get up and move. They often think it’s going to be boring, time consuming and hard. You can get all of these ill-conceived notions out of their heads when you sign your child up for Kidz R Fit. These programs are not only health and fitness-centered, but they are fun as well. Kids will especially love how we connect fitness and dance to make physical education even more appealing.

Not only will kids learn fitness, but they’ll build confidence and respect as well by learning the principles of dance. Kids have fun by learning movement, how their bodies work and fun choreography. Children learn the fundamentals all while in an energetic, heart-pumping session.

Kidz R Fit features the BoogieStarz package, which offers a multitude of dances to keep the variety alive. Kids can choose between Street dancing, Disco, Salsa and even Bollywood. Each style offers music to keep the kiddos motivated and interested. Not only are kids learning our exciting choreography, but they will even have the opportunity to create their own. This keeps them vested in fitness since they are taking a hands-on approach.

Fitness and dance for kids is designed to allow children to build stamina, improve cardio health and keep body weight at a healthy range. When children sign up for dance fitness classes, they will be able to develop their stamina over time. Their bodies will get used to the exercise, which they will be soon craving. They will love the healthy sense of well-being that they feel after an exciting session. The constant moving and dancing will help your child’s cardio health. Their cardiovascular system will feel the benefits as their bodies become stronger. They will be better able to cope with basically any physical stressors thrown their way.

When it comes to fitness, most people automatically think about losing weight. While losing weight is important, maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial. This is one of the biggest indicators to tell whether someone is at risk for obesity. A healthy weight is also a buffer against diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Kidz R Fit wants to get your child up and keep them up through specifically designed kids fitness and dancing. Your child will have fun, but more importantly, they will learn healthy tips that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle through life.

Business:             Kidz R Fit


Used & Refurbished Forklift Truckss – Nationwide Forklifts

Nationwide Used & Refurbished Forklifts
A forklift truck, sometimes referred to simply as a forklift, is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials. The primary purpose of a forklift truck is to efficiently and safely move cargo and merchandise throughout the logistical supply chain, from warehouse to transportation to stocking, the forklift has become a critical part of many businesses for inventory movement and management.

Forklift trucks can come in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the task they are intended to do provide. There are narrow aisle trucks, side loaders, sit-down units and reach trucks, forklifts will have heavy metal forks used to lift the cargo, each bale to be equipped with clamps, buckets and a variety of hoists, each designed to perform a specific task in a specific environment.

A long established company, Nationwide Forklifts have built a reputation as a specialist supplier of used or refurbished forklifts, they pride themselves on providing the correct type of fork trucks for each individual application at a price that matches a customer’s budget.

Also offering a hire fleet, and with over 250 fork trucks available throughout the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire, more and more companies are finding that Nationwide Forklifts can provide unrivalled service at a truly affordable price. Nationwide Forklifts have recently launched what must be the lowest 2.5 tonne counterbalance, fully maintained, contract hire rate available anywhere in the U.K. Call us now and put us to the test.

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality used forklift trucks and associated materials handling equipment. With an extensive stock, our centrally located premises in the North East of the UK we can offer forklifts form Toyota, Manitou, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, Komatsu and many more. And with prices from as little as £2,000 we hold a stock of LPG, diesel and electric forklift trucks of capacities 1.0 tonnes up to 5.0 tonnes and above you can be sure we can help you find the exact forklift truck to meet your needs – at a fraction of the cost of a new truck!

So when your business needs a forklift truck contact Nationwide Forklifts. Nationwide Forklifts delivers affordable forklift truck solutions throughout North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire. Whether you need a new fork truck or a used or refurbished forklift truck, purchase or hire, then they can provide the perfect solution for you.

Business:      Nationwide Forklift Trucks


Workless Households at Record Low

Workless Households at Record Low, says ONS
The proportion of UK households where no adult aged 16 to 64 is in work is at its lowest since comparable records began in 1996, official figures show. The Office for National Statistics said there were 3.5 million such households in the UK between April and June this year, about 17.1% of all households. This was down from 3.7 million, or 17.9%, a year earlier.

The highest percentage of workless households was in north-east England, at 23%.

The lowest was in south-east England, where 13% of households were in this category.

Workless households are defined as homes where no-one aged from 16 to 64 is in employment. This could be because they are looking for work, or they have chosen not to work, or they are unable to work.

People may choose not to work because of family commitments, early retirement or study. They may be unable to work because of sickness or disability.

The data shows that the number of workless households in the UK dropped by 182,000 over the year. This means that 4.9 million people aged 16 to 64 lived in workless households. The ONS said this was the first time the figure had dropped below five million since 2008. Some 14% of all children in the UK, or 1.6 million, were living in these households. About two-thirds of them were in single-parent households.

Mark Hoban, the Minister for Employment, said: “Helping people off benefits and into work is one of this government’s top priorities, so it is good news that the number of workless households has fallen by more than 425,000 since the coalition took office. “By reforming the welfare system to ensure that people are better off in work than on benefits, and through schemes such as the Work Programme and Youth Contract we are giving people the support they need to get a job and fulfil their aspirations of looking after themselves and their families.”

The proportion of workless households was at its highest in 1996, when comparable records began, when it stood at 20.9% in the UK. This fell steadily to 17.3% in 2006 before rising to 19.2% in 2010. It has fallen relatively sharply in the past three years.

CBI Survey; Rise in UK service Sector Activity & Confidence

CBI Survey; Rise in UK service Sector Activity & Confidence
Business activity and confidence in the UK service sector has grown strongly, according to the CBI’s latest survey. Business and professional services, which includes legal and accountancy firms, saw a particularly sharp turnaround in business volumes. Activity in consumer services – such as travel, food and drink – grew at its highest level since August 2007.

But the quarterly survey found that profitability at restaurants, hotels, and pubs fell despite better trading. This suggests that many firms are resisting passing on their rising costs to customers because of the continuing tough competitive environment. The survey by the employers’ group, which covered the three months to August, adds to recent data pointing to improvements in the UK economy.

Last week, revised official figures showed that the economy grew by 0.7% in the second quarter, better than previously thought. Services account for about three quarters of UK output, and the survey’s findings that activity and volumes are rising will be welcomed.

But the signs that margins and profitability are being squeezed underlines that problems remain, the CBI’s director of economics, Stephen Gifford, said.
“Consumer services firms are a bit more worried about the longer term, and have scaled back their investment and expansion plans,” he said. “Conditions remain tricky as households grapple with the prolonged squeeze on real incomes and business confidence remains vulnerable to any adverse developments in the global economy.”

The survey found that a balance of 15% of companies in consumer services saw business volumes grow, a level that has not been reached since August 2007. Confidence was also high, with a positive reading of 28%. However, fewer firms saw profitability increase than saw it decrease, giving a negative 15% reading – the worst since February last year, with a further fall expected over the next three months.

The business and professional services sector saw a positive volume growth reading of 20% – the best since November 2007, with optimism also up.


Gift Ideas for the Home & Garden

Gift Ideas for the Home & Garden
Furnishing your home can at times prove a quite difficult process. What type of look are you going for – for example modern or traditional, very popular at the moment. Many people will already have built up their furniture so will probably be focussing on the fixtures and fittings, the small but important decorative and functional things that help determine a home’s style.

You may simply feel your present home needs a little revamp or you are looking for some new items for the kitchen or bathroom. But why limit the ‘revamp’ to the home, why not turn your attentions to the garden. Some simple changes to the flower beds or the ornaments that you may have dotted around the garden can quickly change the feel of your garden. Simple changes such as new cushions for your garden seating or bird feeders can make a great difference without too much effort.

A great place to look for these types of items is the many online shopping websites which offer everything for the home and garden, including a diverse range of home & garden furniture sure to meet every taste. In fact online shops such as such as the Home and Gift shop offer a range of gift ideas for the home and garden, many of which you probably never knew existed.

You may be searching for that special something, perhaps to give as a gift to a friend or relative for a special occasion? For a special occasion a personalised gift may be a great idea or for those getting a little older a gift idea that will help make their life a little easier. For example a bathroom step or a garden kneeler. Whatever the reason, shopping for the home or garden has been made easy with the Internet. You are pretty much guaranteed to find whatever you need online at very competitive prices and ordering is typically easy, safe and quick.

In the past choosing the right time of year, for example the January sales, to buy new things for your home or garden could potentially save you a lot of money. Many high street or retail park furniture stores have great sale prices at certain times and holidays throughout the year. If you’re not in a rush to furnish your home, try to wait for the best furniture stores to have a sale. However, it is now a well-accepted concept that to get the most out of your money as well as great furniture and fittings at the cheapest price, then the online shopping website is a great place to look. The modern internet allows the consumer to be able to choose from a far wider choice of shopping merchandise than is often available on the high street and for those living in smaller towns or more rural locations, online shopping has become not just a convenience but, in many cases, can be a life line.

Finding the right furniture and contents for a home can often prove a difficult and time consuming task. The choice in many large high street stores and out of town retail parks around the UK is often limited and replicated from store to store. Buying home furnishings and gifts for the home or garden online allows for a more diverse choice of styles and products from different sources including boutique and individual retailers. With a range of gift ideas for the home or garden including the kitchen, living area or bathroom, online stores such as the Home and Gift shop make shopping online a simple, safe and rewarding experience.

Home fixtures and furnishings are obviously a very personal statement and can say a lot about you and your home and garden. Add to this that many of us like to make our homes look a little different and by utilising the online shopping opportunities available, the consumer the chance to look much further afield than your usual high street furniture store. So whatever you are looking for, whether it be home furnishings or garden furniture, shopping online can open the door to a huge choice of styles, products and prices. The Home and Gift shop offers everything for the home including kitchen gifts, bedroom furnishings and much more.

Business:             The Home and Gift Shop



Getting Brides to your Business

Getting Brides to your Business in the Digital Age
For those who work in the wedding industry, either as a photographer, caterer, an invitation artist, wedding stationary supplier, florist or something else altogether, their primary aim will be to get more brides to their business. Fortunately, there will never be a shortage of brides, and couples are still continuing to tie the knot at venues all over the UK.

However, with incredible competition between businesses, marketing to brides has never been more important. These days, a company can’t rely on brides to simply find them in the Yellow Pages – those days are long gone. They need to take steps to market to brides effectively in order to win much needed business.

An Optimised Website
Of course, one of the key ways to market a business is to keep a website. With most brides now using online search engines to look for products and services for their weddings, it’s vital that a company has an online presence in order to attract custom. We’re living in a digital age and businesses should keep this in mind when deciding if they should invest in a website.

Using SEO, a website can be fully-optimised for the search engines, ensuring it is as visible as possible search results. As well as employing the principles of SEO, a business should ensure that its website is well designed, professional and provides brides with adequate information about your services. High-quality images will also help in marketing your services to modern brides.

A Detailed Blog
As well as a website, which should be a prerequisite when starting a business, a blog should also be strongly considered. Whatever aspect of the wedding industry a company works in, it’s worth them recognising that brides don’t only view a website to hire services – they use it to gather inspirational ideas for their weddings. To appeal to these brides, companies should keep a detailed and informative blog. Blogs are a great way to improve a company’s visibility in the search engines, especially if relevant keywords are integrated into the copy strategically.

Connect with Brides via Skype
The digital age allows businesses to connect with brides like never before. With Skype – a video calling and chatting giant with over 45 million users, it’s possible to chat with brides face to face to win business and schedule real life meetings. Skype has actually been around for approaching 10 years, but it has changed and advanced to the point where it is now an indispensable tool for businesses who want to connect easily with customers.

Brides enjoy chatting face to face about their needs and requirements, some of which can be very personal to them, and so Skype can be an essential marketing tool for any business in the wedding industry. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which were once considered little more than a joke by businesses only a couple of years ago should also be capitalised on when connecting with brides.

For more information on wedding invitations and other wedding stationary, visit the Made by Lauren personalised wedding stationary website. They offer a range of wedding stationery, invitations and signage, helping create memorable moments for every part of your wedding.

For more information on getting your wedding business onto the web, why not contact Direct Submit and ask about our low cost website & SEO options to help get you noticed.

Business:         Made by Lauren Personalised Wedding Stationary


UK has Lost ‘40%’ of its Banks & Building Societies

UK has Lost ‘40%’ of its Banks & Building Societies
Communities across the UK have lost more than 40% of their bank and building society branches since 1989, according to a new report. The study, by Nottingham University, found that nearly 7,500 branches closed between 1989 and 2012. However, it said that the rate of closure had been slower since the year 2000. The industry said fewer branches were now needed, as many customers had switched to phone or online banking.

The report also found that areas of high unemployment in the UK had lost bank branches at a faster rate than other areas. Between 1995 and 2012, regions defined as “traditional manufacturing” and “built-up” areas lost 39% of their branch network. By contrast, areas characterised as “middle England” lost far fewer branches.

Overall, manufacturing and inner city areas have lost branches more than three times as fast as suburbs and small towns, the study says.

The report’s author, Shaun French, said he was particularly concerned about the effect of bank closures on poorer communities. “Branches in less affluent areas have continued to disappear at an alarming rate,” he said. And he warned that fewer banks in areas of low incomes could drive people into the hands of payday or doorstep lenders. He said he had particular concerns “for people on lower incomes, who may approach more predatory forms of institutions in the absence of a bank”.

But, as the report recognises, the decline in branch numbers in recent years has been much slower than in the 1990s. The industry body, the British Bankers Association (BBA), estimates a 7.4% decline in branch numbers between 2006 and 2012. That amounts to 800 closures over six years.

The BBA said that decisions to close a branch were taken only after all other options, such as reducing staff hours, had been considered. It said that technological advances had reduced the demand for branch visits.

“That change is only going to increase with innovations such as smartphone apps and internet banking, which ultimately means that fewer people now need to go into a branch on a regular basis,” said a BBA spokesman.

But some people, including the Campaign for Community Banking, worry that a new round of closures could be just beginning.

This week, HSBC appeared to resume its closure programme after a strategic re-think. It announced the names of five rural branches that are to close, with a further 20 closures expected by October.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which includes Nat West, has closed 60 branches this year, including 39 at Ulster Bank. Santander has closed 45, while Barclays has shut 16.

The incoming boss of RBS, Ross McEwan, has said that the state-owned bank has 10% too many branches, prompting worries that more will close. “It’s the lull before the storm,” said Derek French of the Campaign for Community Banking. “We are concerned that we are going to see another take-off in branch closures,” he told the BBC.

Planning a Wedding – What Wedding Stationary Do You Need?

Planning a Wedding –  What Wedding Stationary Do You Need?
When planning a wedding, couples seem to spend a lot of time focussed on certain aspects of the big day, such choosing the perfect dress or picking a stunning venue. Whilst these are certainly important aspects of a wedding, few allow themselves enough time to choose the right wedding stationary. Rather than choosing something at the last minute, couples should look around to find the stationary worthy of their special day.

Wedding stationary doesn’t just include those all-important invitations but depending on how formal a couple wants their wedding to be, can include save-the-date cards, reply cards and envelopes, reception and map cards (if the reception is at a separate venue), place cards for the reception tables and even thank-you cards and envelopes. Of course, not of all of these are essential and those chosen will depend on personal preferences.

 What Wedding Stationary Do You Need?
Planning a wedding can be a long and time-consuming process – one which can turn many brides into super-organised ‘bridezillas’ who can think about nothing else than planning the perfect wedding day. With this in mind, it’s surprising that many brides dedicate very little time to choosing the best wedding stationary for their big day. Wedding stationary encompasses a range of items, including wedding invitations, save the date cards, thank-you cards and even name cards for the reception tables, although not all of these are essential.

The wrong stationary for the occasion can ensure that it isn’t in keeping with the rest of the wedding, effectively sticking out like a sore thumb. After so much meticulous planning for months before, no bride wants their special day spoilt by ill thought out wedding stationary! For brides who want to ensure that their day is perfect in every way, taking time to choose the best stationary is crucial.

Stand Out Wedding Stationary
Even for those shy, retiring brides, chances are they are still looking for something unique to make their wedding stand out. It’s their special day and they will want to it be remembered for all the right reasons! With this in mind, choosing stand out wedding stationary designed to make a wedding stand out from the crowd is a great idea.

There are many ways to make stationary stand out and many are very simple, including choosing a striking signature colour. Brides may want to experiment with the latest design trends such laser cutting or unusual typography in order to create the ultimate stand out stationary. Striking stationary isn’t too difficult to find if you use a specialist supplier of wedding stationary.

Outside the Box Wedding Stationary
Brides who wants their wedding to be utterly unique will want to think outside of the box when it comes to choosing wedding stationary. Choosing off the cuff wedding stationary will certainly make an impact as well as reflect a couple’s personalities. One quirky idea for brides looking for a unique way to send a ‘Save the Date’ to guests without opting for something utterly ordinary is to order specially designed ‘Save the Date’ tea towels!

Brides who are after a DIY wedding will want to create their own invitations. It’s not just cost-effective but it’s a really fun way of creating bespoke wedding invitations distinct to a bride’s big day. Some brides hand-write little letters on pretty paper – it costs next to nothing and is unique as well as a great way of giving invitations that personal touch.

Quirky copy can also make a huge impact and can set invitations aside from those with more humdrum wording. So for brides organising a DIY wedding, purchasing some pretty paper and thinking up some truly unique exclusive copy personal to them as a couple can be a great idea.

For more information on wedding invitations and other wedding stationary, visit the Made by Lauren personalised wedding stationary website. They offer a range of wedding stationery, invitations and signage, helping create memorable moments for every part of your wedding.

Business:         Made by Lauren Personalised Wedding Stationary


What is sound and what is being measured?

What is sound and what is being measured?
Various sound sources, such as a large heat pump, located in a room emits sound power, which is expressed in Watts. The sound power emitted radiates away from the source, causing fluctuations in the air pressure similar to ripples across water in a pond.

Using a sound level meter the pressure fluctuations can be measured. As the sound pressure levels will vary around the room – due to the specific acoustic characteristics of the room, such as size and shape. The sound pressure level measured at different positions will differ, even if the sound power level emitted by the noise source remains fairly constant.

Sound pressure levels v sound power levels
Through the dB Scale the sound pressure level of 0 dB is the threshold of human hearing and sound pressure level of 120 dB is the threshold of pain. The human ear is frequency dependent, i.e. it’s more sensitive at certain frequencies, so a weighting system is used where the A-weighted sound pressure level is an approximation as to how the human ear perceives sound, expressed in dB(A).

Noise Impact Assessments

Planning noise assessment surveys has become an important part of the planning process on many new developments. Air Pressure Testing can undertake noise surveys for the following:

  • PPG 24 Noise Survey – Excess noise can affect noise sensitive developments near to existing sources of noise, mainly relating to traffic sources under PPG24. Where the noise levels are shown as NEC category B and above, APT Acoustics will look for noise reduction measures to be put in place that will achieve the “good” internal noise level criteria in bedrooms and living rooms set out in BS8233:1999.
  • BS4142 Noise Surveys Industrial noise that may affect existing residential property under BS4142:1997. Where possible the noise from the industrial source should not exceed the existing background level of noise. Where this is not possible, the Environmental Protection Team may accept that it could exceed above the background level of noise of 3 dB(A), although full justification will be needed of why the lower noise level cannot be achieved. Noise sources that have a tonal or low frequency element should be assessed carefully to ensure they are not prominent above the existing background level of noise.

Noise Exposure Categories
For clarification the noise exposure categories, which the local planning authority would determine are:

  • NEC A. Noise need not be considered as a determining factor in granting planning. The noise level at the high end of the category should not be regarded as a desirable level.
  • NEC B. Noise should be taken into account when determining planning applications and, where appropriate, conditions imposed to ensure an adequate level of protection against noise.
  • NEC C. Planning permission should not normally be granted. Where it is considered that permission should be given, for example because there are no alternative quieter sites available, conditions should be imposed to ensure a commensurate level of protection against noise.
  • NEC D. Planning permission should normally be refused.

WE Can Provide Simple Design measures to control Noise Disturbance.
The layout, orientation and screening of building design should be considered before sound insulation design. Some simple measures that can be adopted are:

  • Position and orientate the development to minimise noise disturbance, i.e. minimise windows on the elevation facing traffic.
  • Where possible avoid placing bedrooms next to kitchens, living rooms or bathrooms in adjacent properties.

Where possible avoid placing bedrooms next to stairwells, entrance halls or lift shafts

  • Ideally no windows should face a busy road, railway or commercial activity. If this is not possible, only windows of non-habitable rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms should face a noise source.

We hope this information has helped you to better understand the acoustic requirements your development. If you would like more advice on your noise assessment, please contact us now at:

Business:             Air Pressure Testing