US News

Cellhire’s Olympic success honoured by UK Carrier O2

Matt Bennett, Cellhire's UK Managing DirectorDuring the London 2012 Olympic Games, Cellhire provided O2 solutions for over 22,500 business customers for use throughout the Olympic and Paralympic events. The ‘Innovation Award’ was presented to Cellhire for their outstanding contribution to O2’s Olympic Strategy and the collaborative way that Cellhire worked with their organization and customers in the UK, Spain and throughout the world. It is the first time an award of this nature has been presented by O2 to one of its partners.

David Plumb, General Manager for Enterprise at Telefonica O2 UK says, “Working in collaboration with our partners is a key strategy within the O2 business channel. There is no better example of this than the outstanding way that Cellhire worked with Telefónica O2 over the summer. The feedback directly from customers showed that Cellhire remain the world leaders in the mobile rental market with outstanding customer service.”

Key customers involved in the overall success included:

  • Olympic Teams from Britain, USA, Canada, Holland, Brazil, France, Spain, Argentina, Slovakia, Australia and Japan teams.
  • Paralympic Teams from Britain, USA, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Slovakia.
  • Media customers from the BBC, BskyB, Reuters, Press Association, Xinhua, Bell, NBC and many more international TV and Radio journalists from USA, Canada, Germany, Spain,  Japan, China, Brazil, Australia and South Africa.
  • Many major Olympics sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa, BP, Adidas, Thomas Cook, BMW, Samsung, Dow, Lloyds TSB, Cadburys and BT.
  • Enterprise Companies such as Arriva, First Group, Transport for London, Co-op, Serco, BAA.

Matt Bennett, Cellhire’s UK Managing Director said, “The Olympics has dominated a large part of 2012 and whilst we are very pleased with the business outcome, as were our customers, it was a real privilege to be recognized by our network partner with an award for Innovation, the first award of its kind in O2’s history”.

Working in collaboration with the O2 team and using the O2 network, Cellhire was able to create a wide range of voice and data tariffs for clients, all supported by 24/7 customer service and technical support.

Cellhire also worked very closely with other parts of Telefonica and were able to provide solutions to Telefonica’s key customers in Spain, Germany, China, USA and South America.

US News

Olympic success for Cellhire Push To Talk

Mobile Tornado push-to-talk

Cellhire partnered with Mobile Tornado during the London 2012 Olympic Games, to provide an instant communications solution to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

Cellhire provided a Push To Talk (PTT) mobile telecoms service that enabling LOCOG to keep in contact with their key teams for transport to the Olympic teams, Olympic Committee’s and IOC members as they traveled to and from venues throughout the UK. The technology allows the establishment of half-duplex voice links where one person speaks and the other person listens. The Push To Talk technology uses traditional mobile phone networks allowing instant two way conversations between individuals and groups at the touch of a button.

Using the O2 network, the Cellhire PTT service powered by Mobile Tornado was deployed to key members of LOCOG staff and enabled them to keep in constant contact. The ‘one-to-one’ and ‘one-to-many’ communications offered by Cellhire and Mobile Tornado worked flawlessly throughout the event, giving LOCOG staff on the ground an unprecedented level of communication. The PTT service was used at sailing events in Weymouth, the rowing in Eton Dorney and many other Olympic events throughout the UK, including nationwide football venues and the Olympic stadium in East London.

A spokesperson for LOCOG said, “The Cellhire Push-to-Talk product and the corresponding service levels provided by Cellhire during the London Olympics were of an excellent standard and helped contribute to the seamless running of the Games.”

Cellhire PTT is available on short term and long term contracts within the UK and globally as a full-service rental solution for major events and large-scale corporate use.

US News

Cellhire leads the way in European data roaming

European Data Roaming

Cellhire has made large reductions in its data pricing portfolio including MiFi data plans and iPhone SIM card rentals, prices have been reduced in some cases by up to 65%.

To help customers select the right data solution for them, Cellhire has built an interactive wizard on its website. Customers simply select the region of the world that they want to travel to and their choice of a MiFi device or a USB modem.

MiFi travel routers allow customers to connect up to five devices to the internet through the one connection. Any device with WiFi capability can connect to a MiFi device including iPhone, iPad, smartphones and laptops.

A customer renting a MiFi travel router along with a 10GB bundle for Germany for example pay the equivalent of just $2.80 per day and many of Cellhire’s data products don’t have any charges for using more that your allowance. Online suppliers of similar products charge upwards of $15 per day making Cellhire great value for rentals of five days and above.

Reduced data products cover the whole globe from US solutions to European and Asian solutions. To view the full range of MiFi data products please visit our European data roaming section and our range of iPhone SIM card rentals can be found here.

US News

Cellhire opens new office in Moscow, Russia

Cellhire has added another major office to its global network with the introduction of a new office based in Moscow, Russia. The new Russian office adds to the international wireless solutions specialist’s presence in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Japan and China. Cellhire’s growth and expansion has been supported in 2012 by success at the London Olympics. Over 20,000 connections were provided to businesses, sports teams and the world’s media traveling to London for the Games with service being delivered and supported by Cellhire UK and its offices around the world.

Both corporate and consumer telecoms solutions will be offered to the region by the new Moscow office. Cellhire Russia will deliver local support, with a product portfolio of local and international voice, data and smartphone solutions. Prepaid products are available for those travelling to and from Russia with competitive services offered for both Europe and the rest of the world.

Eastern European business development in nations such as Ukraine, Poland and Turkey will be driven by the opening of the new office in Moscow while increasing a growing client base within Russia. Cellhire Russia LLC will be located in the Business Centre Capital Plaza, 4th Lesnoy Pereulok, Moscow.

A Russian presence enables Cellhire to offer local communications to sports teams and media groups that are preparing to attend high profile events in the region, including the World Athletics Championships and the G20 Summit in 2013 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

MegaFon and Cellhire have a unique agreement enabling Cellhire to offer very competitive rates in the region while delivering unrivalled standards of customer service. The new Moscow office is now part of Cellhire’s support network for global customers and will deliver unrivalled levels of international telecoms service for upcoming events in the region and to multinationals based in Russia.

US News

Cellhire launches international iPhone SIM card rental

International iPhone SIM Card

iPhones are great in your home country but take one abroad and you must instantly reach for the ‘Data Roaming Off’ button to avoid nasty bill shock. To keep key features like email, web browsing and social media turned on whilst abroad, Cellhire has launched a new range of International iPhone SIM cards designed for use in countries such as the UK, France and Germany.

Cellhire’s international iPhone SIM cards include an iPhone SIM for France, Germany and the UK. Bundles include both voice and data allowances enabling users to turn data roaming on when traveling abroad and unlock the full potential of their iPhone, keeping their own apps, contacts and personal information in their pocket when abroad.

The bundle allowances range from 1GB up to 5GB, enabling downloads and the use of apps and access to everyday features like Facebook and Twitter that would otherwise have to be disabled to avoid large roaming bills.

A user roaming in Germany for example using 5GB of data with an AT&T or Verizon SIM card would pay $1,170 and $1,250 respectively whereas Cellhire offers 5GB of data in Germany for $89 a saving of up to 92% on data alone. There has been considerable debate in Europe over excessive roaming rates to the extent that the EU has introduced legislation to prevent ‘bill shock’ for those using smartphones abroad.

The new international iPhone SIM card range brings a unique offer to the telecoms market place, providing iPhone users with a comprehensive, low cost solution to get the most from their device when traveling abroad.

For those users wanting to take more than one device abroad, Cellhire also supplies travel routers including Mifi devices to allow up to five WiFi devices to connect to the internet over one mobile data connection. Cellhire’s Mifi travel routers have a range of SIM cards for coverage across the world.

US News

Cellhire has a record breaking summer

business-man-medals

Cellhire’s worldwide office locations in York, London, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Washington, Tokyo, Paris, Munich and Moscow have put the company in a unique position to offer mobile solutions to a large number of international clients that are UK bound this summer. Customers are by no means limited to Cellhire’s office locations however; indeed the net was cast as far as Australia and Brazil.

High profile customers include large organising committees in the UK and sixteen international sports committees reaching from Argentina to New Zealand, plus more than twenty teams attending the games including France, Germany and Great Britain as well as a number of key event sponsors. The high levels of support delivered by Cellhire’s worldwide offices have proved a resounding success in what has been an unprecedented global logistics operation for the company.

Matt Bennett, Cellhire MD said, ‘We’re delighted with our level of sales for this summer’s games, it really is a credit to our international teams to have generated so much UK bound business from all areas of the globe. Our clients coming to London have had our whole range of communications solutions at their disposal from smartphones and mobile internet devices to satellite phones to your regular everyday mobile phone.’

Bespoke tariffs, daily billing and preloading address books and applications on to devices have been some of the key components of Cellhire’s comprehensive service wrap this summer. Significant investments in equipment, infrastructure and billing capabilities during 2012 enabled Cellhire to offer on-site support and contingency stock within London and extended office hours to provide 24/7 support during the games’ peak times.

Cellhire has recently introduced a new product to ease the pressure on the limited number of traditional walkie-talkie frequencies available in the London area. Cellhire’s Push-to-Talk technology allows the establishment of half-duplex voice links where one person speaks and the other listens, on a one to one or one to many basis. The technology uses traditional mobile phone networks allowing instant two way conversations between individuals and groups at the touch of a button.

US News

Global tracking with Cellhire and Vismo

Mike Bowers, Senior Director of Health and Safety at People to People Ambassador Programs, shares his thoughts and experience on educational travel and how Cellhire and Vismo have helped to improve the organisation and safety of travelers.

Mike also sits on the SYTA Board of Directors. For more information, visit www.syta.org

At People to People Ambassador Programs, technology plays a central role in our safety strategy, which is my sole focus as the organization’s senior director of health and safety — a position unique in the educational travel business. Indeed, technological advancements enhance safety on all of our programs, every travel day of the year.

vismo-device-pin

Technology in student educational travel

The intersection between technology and safety is familiar to me. After 29 years in the airline industry, you could say that safety and the tools that surround it are in my blood. In 2008, I joined People to People Ambassador Programs, and after four fantastic travel seasons, I applaud the organization for having the insight and vision to prioritize the health of our travelers. Every year, we send thousands of students across the world for life-changing adventures, and we do so safely.

2009: Finding the right tools

Soon after joining the company, I became fixated on knowing the location of every delegation around the globe at all times (a delegation is comprised of roughly 40 students, four or more leaders, and a manager). In 2008, each delegation was equipped with an international phone to call the program office in the event a problem surfaced. The vendor providing this service was Cellhire, based in Dallas, Texas. Cellhire is a collection of innovative partners that I have grown to love and respect over the years. I met with their team and laid out my dreams for tracking students around the world. By the spring of 2009, we were ready to launch the first iteration of a tracking device. That year we increased the number of phones on each delegation to two — as with any safety protocol, you always want to have a redundancy system. If one phone malfunctioned, we had a backup. That summer we implemented our new, tracking-capable phone on 78 delegations and the results were amazing. My computer screen looked like something out of a James Bond movie. Picture a spinning globe, with little flags crawling around each one of our destination countries, easily viewed in great detail. With the help of Google Earth, I could zoom within two feet of the delegation leader’s exact location at all times.

2010: A full rollout of GPS tracking

The next year, we extended GPS equipped phones to every delegation. Each group had one Blackberry phone with the Find-Me application (the GPS feature) and one standard Nokia phone as a backup. In the event a student had to visit a medical clinic, the GPS phone always stayed with the delegation and the standard phone went with the leader who accompanied and stayed with the sick student. That season we even offered parents the option to rent one of these state-of-the-art phones for their student or pay a nominal fee and track their child’s delegation on the Internet using the leader’s phone, much like I was able to do in my office. Imagine the peace-of-mind that provided!

2011: Continued advancements

Once you have something as cool as this, every year you want to make it even more impressive. Our company consistently evolves with the technology field. In 2011, Cellhire added a panic button to the phone. The leader or student carrying the phone can simply push a button and an alert call goes out to Cellhire, me, and a duty officer who is at the People to People Ambassador Program office 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, once the button is pressed, the phone records 20 seconds of all sounds going on around the phone. This recording is then sent to the same three locations. Of course, each alert is validated with the delegation right away. In the event they can’t be reached, the recording can give us some insight into what may be happening. If the recording sounds like the delegation is in the middle of a limbo party and the button was pressed accidentally, our stress level might drop but we still make direct contact to clear the alert. In the event we hear sounds that suggest the person is in duress, we can immediately dispatch emergency services to the exact longitude and latitude where the phone is currently located. The GPS phone provides us with that information at the touch of a button.

In 2011, Cellhire changed the name of the service from Find-Me to VISMO. VISMO stands for “visual-mobile” which better reflects their current product and its benefits.

2012: The jump to social media

This season we asked ourselves, “How do we continue to stay on the cutting edge of safety technology?” The answer: web access and social media capabilities.

We understand the current debate in the educational community on social media and its usage. But, we also know the value that it brings to our parents — who want to have the opportunity to share what their children are experiencing — and be able to feel some connection to their children who are far way.

By embracing this new tool, teachers and leaders can post updates on the program’s Facebook page and parents can follow the exciting activities their kids are experiencing. In fact, we have decided to upgrade our phones and equip the back-up with GPS, unlimited data, and streaming internet as well. We envision our leaders making the phones available for those students who may not have access to a phone on program so they can send emails and Facebook messages. A true “value add” for our students and their families.

A few years ago we introduced GEO fencing on our phones, but as of yet we haven’t fully employed the technology. At some point in the future, when every student has a trackable device on their person, whether a cell phone or a GPS locator built into their name tag, we will be able to set a GEO fence around the delegation. If any student walks outside of that pre-determined ring, the leader and program office would be notified. This feature would prevent the “Wanderers” as we call them from getting off track from the rest of the group.

We can’t wait for what’s around the corner.

At People to People Ambassador Programs, we will continue to maximize the incredible benefits of the latest technology to keep our students safe. Additionally, we will continue to share what we’ve learned to make all education travel as safe as it is enriching.

I wish you all safe travels and a healthy life!

The article below is written by Mike Bowers and can be found here.