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Experience the New Kata M4s Smart Phone

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kata-finally-cracked-the-fast-response-4g-lte-mobile-phone-market-by-introducing-the-kata-m4s-1

Kata finally cracked the fast-response 4G/LTE mobile phone market by introducing the Kata M4s, one of the three good Kata smart phones I’ve ever handled. It looks like a winner, so far, and like most almost-a-phablet size, guys like me always go for the big versus the small.

MY KATA EXPERIENCE

The first was the Kata M1 which I bought second-hand from a friend more four years ago. I think it’s a 5.5-inch sized phone (or maybe a little bigger) with a whooping 4000+ mHa battery. It was an engineering unit and the battery gave up two years later; unreplaceable, it now sits as a relic to a good sub-P10,000 phone.

My second was the Kata i3, which I eventually gave to a friend of mine who needed a good, reliable phone. For a 3G device, it was one of the fast-response phones of Kata, even if I still opted for the bigger size. The status is “borrowed, not given.” I’m still sentimental with that phone though I won’t be using it anymore.

And then, we come to my newest Kata – the M4s. The first reaction was, “Oh! It responds fast compared to other Kata phones! I like this.” If you’ve handled many tier-2 smart phone brands (meaning not a Samsung and not an iPhone), especially the sub-P5,000 devices, you’ll really notice the sluggishness of response; it’s like tap-then-go-to-the-fridge-to-get-a-beer activity – well, sort of. The M1 and i3s were responded faster than most. The Kata M4s belongs to these fast response smart phones.

WHY I LIKE THE KATA M4S

I have the engineering unit of the Kata M4s which by definition is like a “Beta Test” device that Kata lent me. I’m not a die-hard techie who does hardware tests. My requirements are simple, and to simplify these, I decided to put in a table or worksheet format:

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Special mention are:

USB TYPE-C

I read that as far as Android-based phones are concerned, a USB Type-C connector is far better than your typical Micro USB version. For one, the latter can charge your phone up to 2.5 watts of power; the Type-C goes up to 100 watts. It’s reversible (don’t you hate it when it’s dark and you have to plug your phone? LOL!). It’s bi-directional, which means your phone can either send or receive power, something that can even charge your laptop which usually requires 60 watts. And the transfer rate is 5Gbps up to 10Gbps. Good choice, Kata!

FINGERPRINT SCANNER

The fingerprint scanner is also a nice touch, much like the iPhone 6s Plus I have. It makes it a little easier to get to the home screen (or whatever screen I left it) than having to tap in coded passwords. I haven’t had the chance to use it for other apps other than logging-in to my phone, but I’m sure the future of fingerprint scanners make the Kata M4s in tune with the times.

IT’S MADE OF GLASS

Though the front of any smart phone is made of clear glass, I’m surprised the back is also encased in glass. Wow! Which makes “the feel” of the Kata M4s a little on the heavy side but solid as a rock, so to speak. It’s like saying, “it’s not for the weak of heart”; “It’s not a dainty phone.” So, I like it.

However, they should have made it out of Gorilla Glass. It’s not; it’s simply glass-encased on top of its AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic LED) display. This means if you’re NOT the OCD type, it’s better to buy TWO clear, plastic films to protect both front and back of the phone from scratches, or any anti-scratches medium placed on top of the glass.

CURVED SIDES

I love that the Kata M4s curves on all sides, both faces, very much similar to the Samsung Edge; but not too much. The problem most people didn’t like about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was the accidental tapping of the phone when one holds the phone on its edge. I had friends return back the Edge for the normal S6. The Kata M4s (probably) also knew people’s experience on the S6 Edge and made sure the Kata M4s wasn’t as edgy as the S6. So, yeah – that’s cool!

PRICE

There’s no announcement of the retail price for the Kata M4s but I’m guessing it will be above P10,000 but lower than P15,000. It will be good if goes sub-P10,000.

CONTACT

You may contact Kata at (02) 706-5395 local 2900, e-mail them at info@katadigital.com or visit their website at www.katadigital.com.

Note: This is not a paid post.

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Powerbank Plus Bluetooth Mic and Speaker

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What is PowerPlay2?

In today’s world, one way people are living better lives is to stay connected with each other on the go. We rely on our mobile devices to keep going as long as we do.

With PowerPlay2, you can have the convenience of carrying power to keep your devices going wherever you go. It’s the ultimate accessory for all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Listen Better Anywhere

A compact and light-weight design allows you to place your speaker wherever you want – up to 33 feet away from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Wirelessly stream your music library from you iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android smartphone or laptop loud and clear, without earphones.

With PowerPlay2, you have the convenience to carry the power that keeps your devices going wherever you go. The PowerPlay2 fits right in your pocket, purse, backpack, etc. Never have your favorite device run out of juice again, with a long-lasting backup battery that lets you carry the power everywhere you go. Now there’s no need to hunt for an electrical outlet to charge your devices. Take this with you when you travel or just to have as a backup.

Features & Benefits

  • Pump it up! Play Music wirelessly from your phone, tablet or computer
  • Talk it up! Take calls hands free anywhere
  • Charge it up! Charge your phone or tablet without an outlet

BUY NOW!

When you click the “BUY NOW” button below, you can pay using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Amex credit card, or pay “cash on delivery.”

Some things to remember before clicking “BUY NOW”:

  • On the first page, just SCROLL DOWN to select the products you want to buy. PowerPlay is the third product (on the right).
  • Click “ADD TO CART”.
  • Click “SHOPPING CART” link found at the top of the web page.
  • SCROLL DOWN and click CHECKOUT.
  • You can CHECKOUT as a GUEST, meaning you don’t have to register.

Is the Philippines Ready for CIPURSE™ and the OSPT™ Alliance

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When I first got the invite to attend the launch, presentation and workshop of the OSPT™ Alliance, I thought the first two letters represented “open source,” the development model that promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements. You see, I also work for a Filipino IT company GoAutoDial Inc. which develops and distributes an open source telephony software solution for small and medium enterprises, especially contact centers. But as it turned out, the OSPT™ Alliance is not about open source software. It is about open standards.

Akin to the likes of IEEE or ISO standards, OSPT™ or Open Standard for Public Transport is all about providing the standards, guidelines and specifications to help the transit fare collection community move towards the next generation of secure, cost-effective, and flexible fare collection solutions based on an open standard. As part of its mission, it developed the CIPURSE™ open standard for secure fare collection systems. It is a not-for-profit and vendor-neutral industry alliance supported by members from five continents covering the whole transport value chain and beyond.

Founded by smart card manufacturers Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) and Oberthur Technologies and chip suppliers Infineon Technologies AG, and INSIDE Secure S.A. (formerly INSIDE Contactless) in January 2010, the OSPT™ Alliance collectively defined the CIPURSE™ standard.

The CIPURSE™ Certification Program documentation can be downloaded by anyone and an FAQ page is accessible to know more about OSPT™ Alliance and CIPURSE™. The CIPURSE™ specification is available to full members, associate members and evaluators. The CIPURSE™ software development kit (SDK) gives you the tools that you need to begin developing transit solutions. Members and evaluators can purchase the SDK at the OSPT™ Alliance website. White papers, videos and presentation materials are also available.

So, who are using the CIPURSE™ standards?

Let me give you a synapse of the companies and organizations presented during the workshop at The Peninsula Manila last October 14, 2014.

Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 140 million mobile customers, has joined the OSPT™ Alliance as an Associate Member. It is the first mobile network operator to join the alliance, and will work with the other members to help broaden support for the CIPURSE™ open security standard by the ecosystem of mobile operators, enabling it to gain greater acceptance in that market. With its NFC-capable (near field communication) SkySIM CX SIM card, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is providing a key security component for Deutsche Telekom’s digital wallet, known as MyWallet. MyWallet can be used by all Deutsche Telekom mobile network customers with an NFC-capable smartphone. As a security partner, G&D is also supplying the MasterCard PayPass payment application to enable secure electronic payments to be made via the ClickandBuy International Ltd’s virtual credit card system as the first product in Deutsche Telekom’s digital wallet.

SCAL is a product of ATM of Barcelona and Smarting. During the last years, ATM of Barcelona and Smarting have been working closely to develop an abstraction layer that enables system terminals to work with different media types. This abstraction layer is called Secure Card Abstraction Layer (SCAL) and handles all media type technologies involved in the system. SCAL is the outcome of the work carried out by ATM of Barcelona and Smarting in synergy with numerous TO of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. The main challenge facing Barcelona (a big name which involves the City and the Metropolitan Area) was to prescribe the technology and the fare system for a myriad of different preexistences along with more than 70 transport operators (from big ones such metro or buses of Barcelona, main rail operator, tram, etc., to very little ones with just a handful of buses).

São Paulo Transporte, the municipal body which manages the operation of São Paulo city’s bus lines and Brazil’s largest transport operator, joined OSPT™ Alliance this year as an Associate Member. It currently has 13 million active cards in São Paulo and intends over the next few months to start developing new systems of SAM Cards which will incorporate the CIPURSE™ standard.

ITSO Ltd, the organization responsible for the UK national specification for smart ticketing, joined OSPT™ Alliance last year. The CEO of ITSO during that time mentioned that by working with the OSPT™ Alliance, ITSO will be better able to supply its members with a more diverse set of card products, including AES-based products, which is a solution the OSPT™ Alliance can deliver off the shelf in the form of CIPURSE™. ITSO Ltd. is the non-profit distributing organization that oversees the ITSO Specification for smart ticketing in the UK. ITSO helps its members to set up and run ITSO-compliant smart ticketing schemes, tests and certifies smart ticketing equipment to ensure it meets the ITSO standards and ensures the ITSO Specification is up to date and fit for purpose. ITSO operates the ITSO Security Management System (ISMS), a secure key management and distribution system specifically developed to enable ITSO-compliant smart ticketing systems to be set up.

EMONEY GROUP, a builder and operator of modern digital ecosystems for transport and municipal services in the Netherlands, joined the OSPT™ Alliance also last year. Based in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, EMONEY GROUP is an international company that designs, builds and operates modern digital ecosystems for transport and municipal services, meeting global and local consumer needs and program owners’ expectations by delivering compelling value propositions to all parties concerned: local government institutions, public services, technology providers and service operators. It intends to help create an open framework for new, standards-based automated fare collection solutions, and lending its support to the CIPURSE™ open security standard, which they are adopting as a key component of public transportation and other applications.

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. They developed the cards are based on a CIPURSE™-compatible contactless security controller which are now being used in different projects in Brazil. These cards provide a convenient and cashless way to pay for services such as taxi rides or use health care. The Infineon security controller used is the only worldwide solution to support both the open CIPURSE™ standard as well as existing Mifare Classic-compatible systems enabling a smooth migration to future-proof CIPURSE™ systems. For this reason, the chip card industry awarded Infineon with the Sesames Award 2012 for the most innovative product in the transport category.

Oberthur Technologies, a global provider of digital security solutions for the mobility space, has unveiled that PEARL, its embedded secure element (SE), has been CIPURSE™-certified. As a member of the OSPT™ Alliance, Oberthur supports this open standard designed for transport authorities but also open to city services. With PEARL by Oberthur and CIPURSE™ present in the next generation of smartphones, end-users are set to be able to get on and off the train, tram or bus by waving their phone in front of a contactless terminal. Present in the payment, telecommunications and identity markets, Oberthur Technologies provides end-to-end solutions in the smart transactions, mobile financial services, machine-to-machine, digital identity and transport and access control fields. With approximately 50 sales offices across 5 continents and 10 facilities, OT’s international network serves clients in 140 countries.

Can Philippine companies and organizations join the OSPT™ Alliance and use the CIPURSE™ standards? Of course! Some of the participants, from banks to telecommunications, information technology and card manufacturers, to name a few, were actually surprised having not heard of the alliance and open standards in mobility and mobile services, and transit fare collection. Though we are a nation of reinventing the wheel all the time – transit cards, expressway toll systems, rewards cards and many more are almost all unique to each company and do not conform to any single standard, I hope this opens the floodgates for Filipino companies involved in mobility and mobile services, as well as transit fare collections and many other similar applications. Joining a global alliance and using a single standard may wheel the country towards are more secure, cost-effective, flexible and interchangeable fare collection solution for all to use.

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References:

OSTP Alliance website – www.osptalliance.org
Infineon Technologies AG – www.infineon.com
ITSO Ltd. – www.itso.org.uk
Contactless Intelligence – www.contactlessintelligence.com
ATM of Barcelona and Smarting – www.smarting.es
The Paypers – www.thepaypers.com

Title photo from Contactless Intelligence.

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Laurent Cremer, Executive Director for the OSPT™ Alliance, presided over the workshop as its host and moderator. (Photo by Ron Villagonzalo of www.wahpinas.com).


There were more than 60 participants who attended the workshop, many of which were vice presidents and C-level officers. (Photo above and two more below by the author.)


OSPT™ Alliance raffled off the new iPhone 6. Awarding the winner, Rudy Harder of AFCS Inc., are Laurent Cremer (left) and Arabelle Jimenez (right), Consultant and Event Manager for OSPT Alliance Manila Workshop.


Cocktails were served at the Lobby Terrace of The Peninsula Manila after the workshop. Seen here in the photo above are (L-R): Laurent Cremer of OSPT Alliance, Christian Senly of EMoney Ventures, Arabelle Jimenez of OSPT Alliance, Yannick Le Goff of Oberthur Technologies, and Bruno Vergnes of EMoney Group.

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Business & The Economy, ICT, News & Articles, Transportation

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Globe Project Wonderful Yields Wonderful Results

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I was privileged to be invited in another of Globe’s event, this time, introducing the collaboration of Globe with the online music giant Spotify. It was hosted by no other than Andi Manzano and Rikki Flores, online stars themselves and mainstay hosts of top FM radio Magic 89.9. I said hello to Andi during her break and talked about, oh well, anything under the stars. She’s still up to her blogging activity besides being a radio deejay, event host and newly wed.

But I’m digressing. Going back to the event, Globe Telecom’s Project Wonderful consists of three things:

  • Nation-building,
  • Culture-building and
  • Brand-building.

All told, its campaign has yielded a 9% growth in the first quarter of 2014 in revenue and income, and that in its thrust to create a wonderful world.

Spotify is a collaboration of Globe with the world’s biggest music platform. Being a music-over-the-web geek myself, I’d rather listen to web radio than have to decide what playlist to create and listen to. Spotify hits the spot for people like me, letting the platform decide the playlist based on my mood. This brings Spotify to the smartphone with Globe’s consumable mobile internet data plan GoSURF available to prepaid, postpaid and Tattoo-prepaid, an on-the-go service with free access to Spotify.

GoUNLI20 gives prepaid customers unlimited calls to Globe and TM customers, 15MB of data, and 20 texts to all networks for P20 a day.

With the popularity of Samsung Galaxy S5 gaining ground in the Philippines (CNet reports 11 million S5 phones sold since its April launch), Globe is offering the S5 for as low as P1,699 a month with its mySUPERPLAN, complete with a five-month subscription to Spotify Premium. There’s also a Galaxy Forever Plan 1599, Plan 1999 and Plan 2499 for those who want to get the latest Samsung Galaxy S every year.

The broadband brand Tattoo gets a kick with a Fiber-Fast home broadband connection ranging from 10 Mbps up to 150 Mbps available through Tattoo Platinum. Too bad my current condominium in Bonifacio Global City can only accommodate up to 3 Mbps. So, not all locations can avail of that high-speed connectivity. I wonder when I can get 150 Mbps at home?

Being a small business advocate, I’d rather focus on Globe’s myBusiness solutions built for small and medium enterprises (or SMEs), specifically their CCTV product and Globe Charge, an innovative smartphone-based point-of-sale (POS) device you attach to your mobile phone. And Globe partnered with Google to offer Google Apps for Business. I’m not sure how that’s done since the latter is available to anyone in the world in Google’s website. It’s probably a billing intergration thing but I’m just guessing.

Going international, Globe also offers local numbers in select countries for overseas and migrant Filipinos (or OFWs) so that they can call their in-country number that gets routed to their family in the Philippines. I believe they’ve established that kind of service in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Spain, Japan and South Korea. Adding to this, the Globe International Business Group that is handling this service is actually using my company’s cloud-based call center telephony solution to outsource telemarketing to small Filipino call centers calling the overseas and migrant Filipinos in the countries where the service exists. Yay!

I was surprised to see my good friend Jun Leido at last Wednesday’s event of Globe. It turns out, he is Globe’s consultant and liaison for the nation-building project of the telecom giant as the Presidential Assistance for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR)-appointed development sponsor in Aklan. Jun’s job, now a month old, is to faciliate and fast-track Globe’s projects in Aklan as part of the PARR initiative. Jun and I met years ago in the call center industry when he worked for an American-owned call center at the Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga. From then on, he went on to work for various local government units (LGU) and from time to time only touched base with him through SMS, e-mail or Facebook. I wish him and Globe all the best in their endeavor to help Aklan. Way to go, Jun!

Culture-building is a unique thing that Globe is undertaking. I already believe Globe to be the best in telecom customer service, having had experiences with all the telecom companies in the country, besides being recognized by Telecom Asia as the best Asian telecom carrier which also recognized its Google Free Zone campaign as the most innovative telecom project. Now, they have an initiative called Project DNA (Deliver the Next Act), a mindset concentrated in providing a genuine, more caring, and wonderful customer experience. Hats off to Globe for not having to rest on their laurels and continuing to go above their par.

Speaking of awards, here are a few more: Best Network-based Solution for Servicing Customers Award in the 19th Annual Global Mobile Awards and the New Consumer Product of the Year in the first Asia Pacific Stevie Awards, both for Globe’s GoSakto: Create Your Own promo. It also garnered the Customer Service Leader of the Year, a Gold Stevie for its Twitter support channel @talk2Globe, Bronze Stevie for New Consumer Service of the Year for its international service Globe Seafarer, a bronze award for Innovation in Customer Service–Telecommunications, gold for Best Use of Technology in Customer Service–Telecommunications, three international Gold Quill awards, Anvil Award of Excellence, a Merit Award for its crisis and disaster communications social media campaign, and the Integrated Communication Category in the ASEAN Corporate Sustainability Summit and Awards 2014.

I guess there’s more to life in Globe than just mobile phone signal and service. I recently encountered my most gad-awful customer service experience in a competing mobile carrier that my procrastination of moving from a prepaid Globe service to a postpaid one is now a decision of the type of phone. I just hope I decide more quickly; or would you think Globe should give me a discount for writing this? Hehe.

Photos by @raffypekson.

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