UK News

Cellhire’s Olympic success honoured by O2

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, Cellhire and its O2 Rentals division 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 organisation 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 recognised 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.

UK News

Olympic success for Cellhire Push To Talk

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, York-based telecoms company Cellhire partnered with Mobile Tornado 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 enabled LOCOG to keep in contact with their key teams tasked with transporting the Olympic teams, Committee’s and IOC members to and from venues throughout the UK. Push To Talk technology allows the establishment of half-duplex voice links where one person speaks and the other person listens. The technology uses traditional mobile phone networks allowing instant two way conversations between individuals and groups at the touch of a button.

The Cellhire PTT service powered by Mobile Tornado was deployed to key members of LOCOG staff and enabled them to keep in constant contact using the O2 data network. The instant communication on a ‘one-to-one’ and ‘one-to-many’ scale offered by Cellhire and Mobile Tornado worked flawlessly throughout the event and gave 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.”

UK News

Cellhire opens new office in Moscow, Russia

Cellhire, the international wireless solutions specialist, has added another major office location to its global network. The new Russian office adds to Cellhire’s presence in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Japan and China. Cellhire’s continued growth and expansion has been supported in 2012 by success at the London Olympics. The Cellhire Group provided over 20,000 connections to businesses, sports teams and the world’s media travelling to London for the Games.

Cellhire Russia will offer both corporate and consumer telecoms solutions to the region, including 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.

The Moscow location will enable the Company to drive eastern European business development in nations such as Ukraine, Poland and Turkey as well as increasing its client base in Russia. Cellhire Russia LLC will be located in the Business Centre Capital Plaza, 4th Lesnoy Pereulok, Moscow.

A presence in Russia enables Cellhire to offer local communications to sports teams and media groups as they prepare for high profile events in the region, including the World Athletics Championships and the G20 Summit in 2013 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

A unique agreement with Russian mobile operator MegaFon has enabled Cellhire to offer very competitive rates in the region whilst maintaining its high standards of customer service. Cellhire’s global customer base will now be supported by the new Moscow office, which will deliver unrivalled levels of international telecoms service for upcoming global events in the region and to multinationals based in Russia.

UK News

Cellhire has a record breaking summer

Cellhire, the York based short term mobile communications specialist, has delivered a record breaking number of connections over the summer as many businesses and sports teams travel to London.

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.

UK News

Cellhire and Mobile Tornado partnership delivers instant communications technology

Cellhire, the world leader in short term communications solutions for major global events, has partnered with Mobile Tornado, the market leader in convergent, instant communications to deliver Push to Talk technology.

Mobile Tornado’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.

Matt Bennett, Managing Director of Cellhire says, “We’re delighted to be able to offer this innovative technology to our customers. We think this will be incredibly useful for our customers especially during the busy summer we have ahead where traditional walkie-talkie frequencies are limited or unavailable”.

The partnership with Cellhire makes this technology available as a fully serviced rental solution for major events and large-scale corporate use.

Jeremy Fenn, Managing Director at Mobile Tornado said, “We are extremely proud and pleased to announce our partnership with Cellhire. Enterprises throughout the world are demanding ever-increasing efficiencies from their workforce and our Instant Communication solutions provide a more effective way to communicate”.

Mobile Tornado’s solution delivers instant, efficient and effective communication and allows users to know the availability status of all the phones in their group. Cellhire have been offering rental solutions since 1987 and the new Push-To-Talk technology marries up with an existing fleet of smartphones, mobile phones, USB modems and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

UK 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 travellers.

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.

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
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UK News

Cellhire launches SIMsmart prepaid

Cellhire, the global provider of mobile telecoms solutions, has launched SIMsmart prepaid, satisfying the need of travellers visiting countries in Europe. SIMsmart is a contract free, prepaid SIM card that can be used in over 190 countries around the world and offers the lowest call rates available online.

Over 10 million Americans visited Europe in 2011 and traditionally a multi-stop trip would be extremely expensive roaming with a US phone. Standard roaming rates can be as high as £0.99p per minute; in contrast SIMsmart prepaid offer call rates from Europe to the US from as low as £0.08p.

SIMsmart prepaid will work in most phones offering travellers cost effective options for calling country to country and calling home. SIMsmart prepaid works all over the world but has particularly competitive rates in Europe.

Tim Williams, Chairman and CEO of Cellhire, the 25 year old telecoms company behind SIMsmart prepaid says “We recognized that lots of travellers were visiting multiple European countries and in need of an easy, prepaid solution to keep in touch. Most US phones don’t work or are very expensive to use in Europe so we decided to offer outstanding value handsets with great value call rates.”

The SIMsmart prepaid offer differs from any other travel phone because it is unique in its low call rates and its provision of direct connections and carrier-grade call quality. All active SIM cards also benefit from free email support for life.

Part of the Cellhire group of companies, SIMsmart prepaid is a thoroughbred company conceived as a result of Cellhire’s global presence and unique worldwide relationship with over 100 networks across the globe.