Frost & Sullivan: MNOs to invest in IMS architecture to maintain competitiveness in Voice and Messaging

SINGAPORE, Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Over-the-top (OTT) players in Asia-Pacific (APAC) have been capturing market share in the voice and messaging market at the expense of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) by introducing competing services such as rich multimedia messaging and free international voice and video calling.

SINGAPORE, Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Over-the-top (OTT) players in Asia-Pacific (APAC) have been capturing market share in the voice and messaging market at the expense of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) by introducing competing services such as rich multimedia messaging and free international voice and video calling. In response, MNOs have been launching Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Rich Communication Services (RCS).

“Many developed and developing countries in APAC have already launched VoLTE networks. Roaming on VoLTE is common in developed countries such as South Korea and Japan; VoWiFi and RCS are relatively less common in the region,” noted Mr Jonathan Yap, Research Analyst, Telecoms and Payment Strategy, ICT Practice.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Developments in Voice and Messaging Services in Asia-Pacific, Forecast to 2023, examines the current trends in voice and messaging services in APAC. It also assesses the impact of OTT services on MNOs and analyzes new services for MNOs to offer to continue to grow and stay profitable. The report includes market forecasts of VoLTE and RCS within APAC, as well as predictions on the future of communication services.

For further information on this analysis, please visit: http://frost.ly/2w6

“To lower costs, 2G and 3G networks will eventually be phased out. Voice and messaging services would then have to be delivered solely via packet-switching over 4G networks. To prepare for this, MNOs should enhance their existing IPMultimedia Substation (IMS) architecture,” said Mr Yap.

“This also helps to future-proof MNOs, ensuring they are ready to offer Voice over 5G (Vo5G) and other 5G capabilities,” he said.

MNOs that seek to entrench themselves in the market will also be looking to explore growth and differentiation opportunities present in:

Offering mobile-first Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS): MNOs can distinguish themselves apart from typical UCaaS providers by supporting an integrated mobile experience through focusing on a smooth user experience. In line with the trends towards mobile-first they can position themselves as an ‘end-to-end native mobile’ UCaaS provider. Delivering Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC): CPaaS players have been creating omnichannel applications and services on top of existing MNO networks. MNOs can enter this space by providing WebRTC-based CPaaS to users, granting them greater flexibility in terms of data control and communication. Partnering with OTT participants: Through strategic partnerships with OTT players, MNOs are able to develop new customer relationships based off their partners’ existing customer networks, whilst providing valuable carrier grade infrastructure such as call center networks and billing systems.

Developments in Voice and Messaging Services in Asia-Pacific, Forecast to 2023 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Mobile & Wireless Communications Growth Partnership Service program.

About Frost & Sullivan

For over five decades, Frost & Sullivan has become world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. Contact us: Start the discussion.

Developments in Voice and Messaging Services in Asia-Pacific, Forecast to 2023
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Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror review: Alexa steps into the bathroom with this smart mirror – CNET

When you think of Kohler, you probably don’t think of the smart home. The 145-year old kitchen and bath fixture manufacturer is working to change that.

When you think of Kohler, you probably don’t think of the smart home. The 145-year old kitchen and bath fixture manufacturer is working to change that. Earlier this year, we took a look at Kohler’s Konnected line of products and how the company is bringing tech into our most private spaces. Front and center in Kohler’s campaign for tech-infused living is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror. It includes a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker and brings voice control into the bathroom.

For many people, the thought of inviting Alexa into the bathroom is downright creepy, and I understand that. Privacy concerns are at an all-time high, and most of us have at least one ax to grind with technology or the internet these days. Still, I can see the convenience of being able to ask for your favorite song from the shower or make a to-do list while shaving. The hands-free element of smart speakers and voice assistants is perhaps at its most practical in a bathroom or kitchen context. So I get where Kohler is going.

Still, there are big hurdles with this smart mirror — the price, for starters. At $1,200, it is expensive. It’s aimed at customers with deep pockets and a dedication to Alexa. It’s not a mirror for the rest of us. It also doesn’t work with Google Assistant or integrate with the smart home in any other way. If you’re ready to splurge, Kohler’s mirror is one fancy way to smarten your bathroom. Just know that its innovation doesn’t go too far beyond slapping an Alexa speaker onto a mirror with built-in lighting. A $50 Echo Dot ($50 at Amazon) would get you pretty close to the same experience with your existing vanity.

Design

Kohler’s Verdera Voice mirror is 33 inches tall and is available in three widths: 24, 30 or 40 inches. (We tested the 34-inch model.) The tri-fold design includes two thin outer panels that each house an embedded LED bar. With a depth of just two inches, the mirror doesn’t feel as bulky as some designs. These Alexa-enabled mirrors don’t come in a medicine-cabinet style, so anyone looking for included storage will be disappointed.

The light and visibility provided by the LED bars is great. This mirror is perfect for personal grooming and applying cosmetics, and the LEDs are dimmable via a touch control or the Kohler Konnect app, or by asking Alexa to dim the mirror to a specific brightness level percentage.

In addition to the two vertical LEDs, there is also a nightlight function and a motion sensor to activate the nightlight when someone steps in front of the mirror. It’s a nice touch and helpful for seeing your sink in the dark, but there isn’t really enough light to illuminate a bathroom floor and keep you from tripping.

Installation and smart mirror setup

Our Labs Manager, Steve Conaway, installed the Verdera Voice mirror in the CNET Smart Home above a pedestal sink. A well-illustrated guide with step-by-step instructions is included in the box and covers everything you need to know about mounting, wiring and centering the mirror. Once the mirror is installed, you’ll need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi and enable Alexa smarts through the Kohler Verdera skill. Instructions in the manual for this portion of the setup are pretty slim.

Download the Kohler Konnect app, select the device you’d like to add to your Wi-Fi network, join a proxy Wi-Fi created by the app, then return and log in to your actual network with its password. This is the same process used by many smart home manufacturers, and while it’s not difficult, it is tedious. The first time I tried setting up the mirror, I had a problem connecting the mirror to the Wi-Fi. Turns out the mirror’s pairing mode had timed out. There’s no mention of how to troubleshoot this in the instructions, but the easy fix is to press the rubber reset button behind the control module for six seconds to re-initiate its pairing mode. Once you’re connected through the Kohler Konnect app, you can enable the Kohler Verdera Alexa skill.

Alexa built in

Alexa’s smarts and the mirror’s speakers are both housed in a control module beneath the bottom edge. That’s also where dual, front-facing microphones listen for voice commands and where you’ll find touch controls to adjust volume and lighting levels. A separate blue light behind the module waves when Alexa hears her name and when she responds to your request, similar to the Amazon‘s Echo speakers.


Kohler’s first smart mirror puts Alexa in your bathroom
5 Photos

If you’re worried about waterproofing and audio speakers, Kohler has you covered. The embedded speakers sit in the rear of the control module, sealed in a watertight housing to maximize sound quality while protecting the speakers from moisture. Sound quality in the Verdera Voice mirror won’t knock your socks off, but it is entirely adequate for any normal-size bathroom and plays music clearly.

How to transfer files from your old Mac to your new Mac – CNET

Your old Mac might be such a mess that you want to start fresh with your new Mac and move over only a select group of files and folders. If you’ve lovingly cared for your old Mac, however, and want to bring over all or most of its files, apps, settings and accounts, you’ll want to turn to Apple’s Migration Assistant.

Your old Mac might be such a mess that you want to start fresh with your new Mac and move over only a select group of files and folders. If you’ve lovingly cared for your old Mac, however, and want to bring over all or most of its files, apps, settings and accounts, you’ll want to turn to Apple’s Migration Assistant.

This built-in utility lets you transfer data from your old Mac or a Time Machine backup to a new Mac. Let’s dig in and get you up and running with your new Mac — but with your old settings and files.

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Migration Assistant setup

Before you engage in any heavy lifting, it’s always a good idea to back up your Mac in case something goes sideways. You might also take a quick spin through your old Mac and delete anything you don’t want to bring with you.

With your old Mac freshly backed up, the next step is to make sure both Macs are up to date and running the latest version of MacOS. Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner, click About This Mac and then click the Software Update button to check for updates.

Next, in order to use Migration Assistant, your old Mac will need a name. To check that it has a name, go to System Preferences > Sharing and check the Computer Name field at the top.

Lastly, connect both computers to AC power.

Read more: How to erase your old MacBook before selling it

Start the migration

If your old Mac is running MacOS Sierra or later, you can connect your Macs wirelessly. Just make sure that Wi-Fi is turned on for each and that they are near one another and connected to the same network. (If you can’t connect them wirelessly, you can follow Apple’s instructions for using target disk mode and using a wired connection.)

With your two Macs lined up, open Migration Assistant on your new Mac. Just search for it or locate it in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. When Migration Assistant opens, click Continue, choose to transfer From a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk and then click Continue.

On your old Mac, open Migration Assistant, click Continue, choose to transfer To another Mac, and click Continue.

Now, go back to your new Mac, where you’ll be asked if you want to migrate from a Mac, Time Machine backup or startup disk. Choose From another Mac, click Continue and make sure the security code lines up on your Macs if you see one. The name of your old Mac will appear in the Migration Assistant window on your old Mac — select it and click Continue.

You will now see a list of items to transfer: Applications, your User Account, Other files and folders and Computer & Network Settings. Check off the items you want to bring with you to your new Mac. If your new user account has the same name as the user account on your old Mac, you’ll be asked to rename it or keep the name and have it replace the user account that you set up on your new Mac. Click Continue to begin the migration.


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Google calls Home Hub security claims ‘inaccurate’ – CNET

If you’re investing in a smart home, make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.

Jerry Gamblin, a popular hacker and self-professed security advocate, posted a blog onto his site detailing security vulnerabilities in the new Google Home Hub.

If you’re investing in a smart home, make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.

Jerry Gamblin, a popular hacker and self-professed security advocate, posted a blog onto his site detailing security vulnerabilities in the new Google Home Hub. The Home Hub is Google’s recently released smart display that combines the voice controlled functionality of a smart speaker with a touchscreen for watching videos or scrolling through recipes.

Gamblin tweeted out his findings:

Another of his tweets called the Home Hub’s security “dismal.” In short, Gamblin found that you could use pieces of the Home Hub’s code to remotely control the device and potentially put a user’s information at risk. Gamblin didn’t access specific user information in his hack, but he was able to remotely reboot the device, erase certain settings, and turn off notifications.


Everything the Google Home Hub can do
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Google has responded to Gamblin’s work. A spokesperson pointed out to CNET that by his own description, Gamblin is not a security expert. The spokesperson emphasized that “Despite what’s been claimed, there is no evidence that user information is at risk.”

Here is Google’s full statement on the issue:

“All Google Home devices are designed with user security and privacy top of mind and use a hardware-protected boot mechanism to ensure that only Google-authenticated code is used on the device. In addition, any communication carrying user information is authenticated and encrypted.

A recent claim about security on Google Home Hub is inaccurate. The APIs mentioned in this claim are used by mobile apps to configure the device and are only accessible when those apps and the Google Home device are on the same Wi-Fi network. Despite what’s been claimed, there is no evidence that user information is at risk.”

To access the code Gamblin used, you’d have to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Home Hub. Plenty of smart home devices would be vulnerable if a hacker gained access to your Wi-Fi network. Since you can make purchases and store calendar information with the Home Hub, it’s a good idea to secure your Wi-Fi.

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La primera Exposición Internacional de Importaciones de China se centra en la fabricación inteligente

Bajo el lema “New Era, Shared Future” (“Nueva era, futuro compartido”) y con el fin de apoyar el programa nacional “Made in China 2025″ (“Hecho en China 2025″), la Exposición dispondrá un área de exposiciones de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama para ofrecerles a las empresas de fabricación de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama líderes en el mundo con una plataforma en la que dar a conocer sus tecnologías avanzadas y cerrar acuerdos de cooperación.

Bajo el lema “New Era, Shared Future” (“Nueva era, futuro compartido”) y con el fin de apoyar el programa nacional “Made in China 2025” (“Hecho en China 2025”), la Exposición dispondrá un área de exposiciones de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama para ofrecerles a las empresas de fabricación de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama líderes en el mundo con una plataforma en la que dar a conocer sus tecnologías avanzadas y cerrar acuerdos de cooperación.

La Exposición mostrará el estatus de China como una potencia mundial en fabricación, cuya producción representa el 20% del total mundial, así como el hecho de que es uno de los mercados de consumidores de equipos más grandes del mundo.

Asistirán expositores de una amplia variedad de campos: la inteligencia artificial, la automatización industrial y la robótica, las fábricas digitales, el Internet de las Cosas, los equipos de procesamiento y moldeo de materiales, las piezas para industrias, los dispositivos basados en las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación, los equipos de ahorro energético y de protección ambiental, los equipos basados en las nuevas energías, los equipos de tecnología aeroespacial, los equipos de transmisión de energía y de control tecnológico y la impresión 3D, entre otros. Muchos productos también tendrán su presentación mundial en la Exposición.

Con una superficie de 60.000 metros cuadrados, el área de exposiciones de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama contará con expositores procedentes de más de 60 empresas, la mayoría de Europa, Estados Unidos y Japón. Entre los expositores están ocho de las 10 principales empresas de herramientas mecánicas con las mejores ventas en el sector, y cuatro de las cinco empresas de herramientas de corte que encabezan la lista de ventas. Más de 10 equipos de herramientas mecánicas se presentarán por primera vez en China (Asia) o en el mundo. De acuerdo con las estadísticas de la Oficina Internacional de Importación y Exportación de China, la exposición de equipos inteligentes y de alta gama ha captado la atención generalizada de los compradores.

Las empresas tecnológicas líderes a escala mundial también están listas para presentar nuevos productos en la Exposición. Philips, por ejemplo, presentará un nuevo producto alimentado gracias a la tecnología de comunicación por luz visible. La tecnología puede hacer posible una conexión de banda ancha de alta velocidad de 30 megabits por segundo, lo que equivaldría a ver dos películas al mismo tiempo mientras se realizan videollamadas. En la actualidad, esta tecnología ha sido utilizada en algunos lugares en los que no es posible instalar wifi.

GF de Suiza presentará seis componentes de equipos innovadores, entre los que se incluyen un centro mecanizado de cinco ejes de alta precisión diseñado para producir piezas de precisión, y una luz láser femtosecond impulsada por la tecnología de procesamiento de micrones.

La Exposición también organiza una serie de actividades relevantes para los expositores y compradores, entre ellas foros de economía y comercio, reuniones conjuntas sobre negocios, seminarios sectoriales, presentación de nuevas tecnologías y productos, entre otros.

Acerca de la Exposición Internacional de Importación de China

La Exposición Internacional de Importaciones de China (CIIE), organizada por la oficina de Importaciones en China y por National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, el Centro Nacional de Exposiciones y Convenciones de Shanghái, está patrocinada conjuntamente por el Ministerio de Comercio de la República Popular de China y por el Gobierno Popular Municipal de Shanghái. Como la primera exposición de este tipo, cuenta con el respaldo de organizaciones internacionales como la OMC, la UNCTAD y la ONUDI.

Para obtener más información, visite: https://www.ciie.org/zbh/en/

Imagen – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/776794/China_International_Import_Expo.jpg

BT CTO: Convergence of fibre, 5G and Wi-Fi will create ‘one network to rule them all’

BT CTIO Howard Watson has reiterated the company’s vision of converged networks, placing 5G at the heart of smart infrastructure that can provide ubiquitous connectivity to all its consumer and business customers.

BT CTIO Howard Watson has reiterated the company’s vision of converged networks, placing 5G at the heart of smart infrastructure that can provide ubiquitous connectivity to all its consumer and business customers.

Ever since the £12.5 billion acquisition of EE in 2016, BT has worked to integrate its fibre, Wi-Fi and 4G networks into a single infrastructure, and recently launched its first converged products.

It sees convergence as a way of differentiating itself from the competition through new services and to make its existing networks more efficient at a time when traditional revenues are being squeezed.

Everything you need to know about 5GConverged vision

“[These] networks will be intelligently designed to cater for customers’ desire for an end to end

“For years, our industry has been dominated by dividing lines between fixed and wireless, copper and fibre, licensed and unlicensed, broadcast and unicast and hardware and software,” he told Broadband World Forum (BBWF) in Berlin.

“At the end of the day, as BT CTIO, it is my job to create a network that will suit the needs of customers who [don’t care] about whether it’s mobile, fixed or wireless: it’s about how they get their connectivity as a whole.

“We buy smartphones to connect to mobile networks, yet up to 80 per cent of data consumed by those devices is transmitted via Wi-Fi. The future is about how multiple access technologies in fixed, can be collected into a converged, software driven infrastructure that customers want.

“[These] networks will be intelligently designed to cater for customers’ desire for an end to end integrated experience where their appetite or data isn’t constrained if they are on the move.”

The role of 5G

BT’s convergence vision centres on a single core network which will lower operational costs for BT and encourage an agnostic approach to technologies by eliminating the need to log in to different networks or manually switch.

There are also plans to upgrade BT’s nationwide Wi-Fi network and to launch a converged hardware portfolio that allows consumers to access the best possible signal – whether its wireless or cellular – intelligently.

BT is also upgrading its phone network to IP voice, moving as many mobile phone calls as possible to Voice over LTE (VoLTE)

5G is central to this vision, with EE launching the UK’s first 5G test network in Canary Wharf earlier this month.

“We’ll be prioritising 5G rollout in areas our customer need it most, rolling out faster speeds and higher capacity so we can handle more connections than ever before, added Watson.

Industry collaboration

He sees plenty of overlap between Wi-Fi 6 and 5G and hopes to be able to combine the strengths of the two standards in its converged network.

“Those of us who work at the 3GPPP and at the Wireless Broadband Alliance [standardisation bodies for 5G and Wi-Fi respectively], I urge them to work together,” he said. “Our labs are working hard to see how Wi-Fi 6 can act as a slice of 5G, enabling seamless connectivity.”

Network slicing is one the defining characteristics of 5G, enabling operators to partition infrastructure into several different virtual networks for specific applications. This means that a mobile network at a football stadium might have a slice for the public and another for emergency services.

“If we can deliver the right SLAs, latency and network monitoring then this has the power to transform how we use networks,” Watson declared, adding that BT Labs might be talking about trials at next year’s event.

“I feel like we’re at the start of a bold new era and as the BT CTIO and an engineer, I don’t think there’s ever been a more exciting time to be involved in the industry.”

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iPad Pro 2018 vs. iPad Pro 2017 vs. iPad 2018: Here’s what’s changed – CNET

Riding high on the launch of its iPhone XS and iPhone XR, Apple announced the much-anticipated iPad Pro 2018 today. There’s just one problem.

Riding high on the launch of its iPhone XS and iPhone XR, Apple announced the much-anticipated iPad Pro 2018 today. There’s just one problem. With two screen sizes, two connectivity options and four storage capacities, separating specs get confusing fast. Double that when you compare the new iPad Pros to last year’s models (which are no longer on sale) and to the regular iPad, which you can still buy.

Luckily, the chart below will help you break down what’s new and different.

The iPad Pro for 2018 is a notable upgrade that embraces a rounded-corner design, ditches the home button for Face ID (like the iPhone) and yanks out Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector port in favor of USB-C. That means you’ll be able to use the iPad Pro to easily connect to other devices, like a DSLR camera.


iPad Pro 2018: Feast your eyes on Apple’s big iPad update
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You’ll also be able to charge your phone using the iPad’s battery reserves, a feature within the USB-C standard. Notably, the iPad Pro for 2018 loses its headphone jack.

Editors’ note: Updated most recently at 2:19 a.m. PT with more details.

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GoPro Hero 7 Black vs Hero 6 Black vs Hero 5 Black: 8 key differences you need to know

GoPro has no shortage of competitors today, each vying for a bigger slice of the action camera pie, but it remains the brand that many associate when they think of capturing any kinds of thrills.

GoPro has no shortage of competitors today, each vying for a bigger slice of the action camera pie, but it remains the brand that many associate when they think of capturing any kinds of thrills.

Its wide range of suitable models is no doubt part of why this is: from its tiny budget Hero Session offering to the 360-degree-capturing delights of its Fusion model, there appears to be a camera for everyone.

The company’s Hero models are its most popular, with White, Silver and Black variants typically released at three different price points simultaneously. It’s the Black option that heads the triplet, with more powerful specs and an asking price to match, and the current option is the Hero7 Black. Look hard enough, though, and you can still find some of the older Hero5 Black and Hero6 Black models knocking around.

All three models share many commonalities, such as 4K video, 10m/33ft waterproofing without a case and Voice Control, together with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so what exactly do you gain by going for the newer versions? We drill into the spec sheets of all three to find out.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: processor

GoPro didn’t give the processing engine inside Hero5 Black any particular name, but the Hero6 Black was notable for being the first to feature a fresh ‘GP1’ processing engine.

This engine, which also continued to the Hero7 Black, provides additional features, better stabilisation than on the Hero5 Black and superior image quality too, which we’ll look at more closely below. It also brought with it Global Tone Mapping for video to deliver up to two extra stops of dynamic range in high-contrast scenes, which, in turn, helped to boost color accuracy.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: stabilisation

One thing that has consistently improved with every successive Hero model is image stabilisation.

In the Hero6 Black this came courtesy of the GP1 engine, and we found this to have a noticeable advantages over the system inside the Hero5 Black. The Hero7 Black, meanwhile, ramped things up even further, being the first model to offer HyperSmooth, which the company describes as gimbal-like stabilisation.

As we discovered in our review, this system is very effective at smoothing out bumps and knocks when travelling over rough terrain. It can be called upon when shooting right up to the maximum 4K/60p option, and on some of the other settings where it’s not available a more standard stabilisation option is available in its place.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: video recording

The biggest change between the Hero 5 Black and Hero 6 Black concerns their respective top frame rates when shooting 4K footage. While the Hero 5 Black tops out at 30fps, the Hero 6 Black powers on to deliver 60fps shooting at 4K. The Hero 5 Black does still offer frame rates beyond 30fps, but this comes at the cost of resolution.

Another difference between the models is down to the compression formats available. The Hero 5 Black only offers the H.264 (MPEG-4) codec, while the Hero 6 Black and Hero 7 Black offer both H.264 and H.265 (HVEC) flavours, thanks to the GP1 engine. H.265 is a newer and more efficient format, which has the result of you being able to squeeze more footage onto your card.

While the Hero 5 Black manages 240fps shooting at 720p, and 120fps capture at 1080p, the Hero 6 Black and Hero 7 Black are capable of 240fps at 1080p resolution. The latter model also adds an 8x Super Slow-mo option that slows down footage captured at these settings when playing it back in camera.

The Hero7 Black adds a handful off extra sweeteners to further separate it from its forebears

The Hero7 Black adds a handful off extra sweeteners to further separate it from its forebears. TimeWarp video provides stabilised hyperlapse-style results without you needing a tripod, with footage sped up to a maximum 30x, while another extra addition is the Short Clips feature, which restricts footage to either 15- or 30-second clips, disciplining you into capturing only the finest moments of your adventures.

Audio capture is also said to have been improved on the newer Hero 7 Black, partly thanks to a redesigned microphone membrane.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: Image capture

Each of the three models is capable of capturing 12MP stills, either in single-shot or 30fps burst modes, and each can also be set to a time-lapse mode. Each can also capture raw files in addition to JPEGs.

Where they differ is with the secondary capture options. The WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) option found on the Hero5 Black transformed into the HDR (High Dynamic Range) option on the Hero6 Black and Hero7 Black, taking advantage of the GP1 engine to better image quality under high-contrast conditions.

The most recent Hero7 Black also combined its HDR option with multi-frame noise reduction and local tone mapping into a single SuperPhoto mode. This uses scene analysis to work out which of these technologies (if any) to deploy when it senses they could be of use, saving you from having to manually call upon individual options.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: Wi-Fi

One common criticism of the Hero line has been the time it takes to offload footage wirelessly from camera to smart device, so this is one area where it’s focused. The inclusion of 5GHz Wi-fi on the Hero6 Black delivered a 3x speed advantage over the Hero5 Black, and this was maintained for the newer Hero7 Black.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: Touch zoom

The Hero 6 Black and Hero 7 Black each offer a Touch Zoom option, which allows the user to swipe their finger up and down the side of the rear touchscreen to gradually zoom into the scene, whether they’re shooting videos or images. While quality suffers as you zoom, it does at least provide a way to frame images at more standard focal lengths when the default option is a little too wide.

Despite being equipped with a touchscreen, Touch Zoom was only came to the line with the Hero 6 Black, although it’s still possible to zoom to pre-determined points by touching the screen.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: Livestreaming

The Hero 7 Black is alone in offering the option to livestream footage to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo platforms among others, with footage saved onto the camera’s microSDHC/SDXC memory card at the same time.

GoPro Hero7 Black vs Hero6 Black vs Hero5 Black: Vertical shooting

A smaller change on the most recent Hero7 Black is vertical shooting. The camera’s UI flips to portrait orientation when you have the camera positioned that way and saves images vertically, making it easier to embed into Instagram Stories and on other mobile-specific outputs.

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Published:October 31, 2018Caption:Photo:Nick Miotke/Roadshow

In-car technologies include touchscreen infotainment with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as wireless phone charging and a color head-up display.

Published:October 31, 2018Caption:Photo:Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The best SIM-only plans in Australia (Updated November 2018)

A SIM-only plan is a mobile phone contract that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but doesn’t come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation means SIM-only plans can be much cheaper than general mobile phone plans which makes them ideal if you already have a handset or are eyeing up a SIM-free phone.

A SIM-only plan is a mobile phone contract that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but doesn’t come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation means SIM-only plans can be much cheaper than general mobile phone plans which makes them ideal if you already have a handset or are eyeing up a SIM-free phone.

To make things easy for you, we’ve gone through and combed through all of Australia’s available SIM-only plans to picks the ones we think offer the most bang for your buck. Our choices start from $16 per month for a basic plan, but we’ve also looked at more expensive plans at $40 and $60, and there are some great options for power users who need loads of data.

Discover our picks for the best outright mobile phones on the planet

Below, you’ll find the very best SIM-only plans in Australia as of November 2018. Whether you’re after the cheapest plan possible, want to dig out the best-value big data SIM plan or just want an all-round great deal but don’t know how much to spend, you should find a recommendation here that suits your needs.

Best SIM-only plans for under $25 a month

Belong | No contracts | 5GB data | Unlimited national calls and text | Unused data rollover | $25 per month | Telstra 4G & 3G Network

Hate contracts but love data? Belong’s Regular 5GB Plan might be for you. You get unlimited talk and text within Australia, as well as 5GB of monthly data — all on Telstra’s 4G and 3G network. Plus, any data you don’t use during the month will rollover to the next month.

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Amaysim | No contracts | 2.5GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $20 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

With its new SIM-only, pay-as-you-go plans, Amaysim is offering terrific value when it comes to data, talk and text. $20 will get you 2.5GB of data, unlimited national talk and text, all on the Optus 4G Network.

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Vaya | No contracts | 3GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts | $24 per month | Optus 4G Network

A plan that offers terrific value, Vaya’s Unlimited 3GB plan offers unlimited national calls and texts with 3GB of data for just $24 per month. Best of all, there are no contracts involved, so your minimum cost is the initial monthly payment.

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Best SIM-only plans for under $40 a month

Amaysim | No contracts | 15GB data | Unlimited national calls (international calls included) | Unlimited texts | $40 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

A fantastic package on a pay-as-you-go plans, Amaysim is offering 15GB data, plus unlimited national talk and text. You’ll also get unlimited international calls to 10 specific countries, and 300 minutes to a further 22 countries. Amazing value for only $40 per 28 days.

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Think Mobile | 12-month contract | 20GB data (12 month plan only) | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited national and international texts |$30 per month | Vodafone 4G Network (available areas)

If you’re willing to go on a 12-month contract, Think Mobile’s Ultimate $30 Plan is exceptional value. Those who choose the 12-month option will get 20GB of monthly data, unlimited national calls, unlimited national and international texts — all for only $30 per month. Minimum cost $360 over 12 months.

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Optus | 12-month contract | 10GB + 5GB bonus data | $300 international calls (select countries) | Unlimited national texts | $40 per month | Optus 4G Network

While this plan does require you to sign up to a 12-month contract, there’s plenty of value included here for just $40 per month. You get 15GB of total monthly data (10GB + 5GB bonus when you sign up or recontract), as well as data-free streaming through selected apps, with an Optus Sports subscription also included. Minimum cost $480 over 12 months.

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Best SIM-only plans for under $60 a month

Amaysim | No contracts | 20GB data | Unlimited national calls (international calls included) | Unlimited texts | $50 per 28 days | Optus 4G Network

Another terrific pay-as-you-go plans from Amaysim gives you 250GB data, plus unlimited national talk and text. You’ll also get unlimited international calls to 10 specific countries, and 300 minutes to a further 22 countries. Unbeatable value at $50 per 28 days.

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Optus | 12-month contracts | 30GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts |$50 per month | Optus 4G Network

Offering a huge amount of data at an appealing price, Optus $50 SIM only plan on a 12-month contact is great value for power users. You get a whopping 30GB of monthly data, unlimited talk and text, data-free streaming of certain apps and an Optus Sports subscription (if that kind of thing excites you),

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Optus | 12-month contracts | 50GB data | Unlimited national calls | Unlimited texts |$60 per month | Optus 4G Network

A whopping good deal from Optus that’s heavy on the data, you get 50GB of data per month, as well as unlimited talk and text, data-free streaming from certain apps and an Optus Sports subscription – all for just a tenner more than the previous deal. You’ll need to go on a 12-month contract, though, which carries a minimum cost of $720 over the year.

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Should I go SIM-only?

If you a) want to save some money; b) don’t want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c) both of the above, then going SIM-only is well worth considering. In fact, you’re probably in one of two situations if your thoughts are turning to a SIM-only mobile plan:

You’re coming to the end of your contract and your network is calling you a million times a day to get you to upgrade. Well if your phone is dying a death or you just fancy a change, head to our best mobile phones deal page to see what bargains are lurking, but otherwise going SIM only on your current phone is a no-brainer. You’ll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can stick to a rolling 30 day contract so that if your circumstances change, you can get out of the arrangement tout suite.

It’s time for a shiny new smartphone and you want to get the best value humanly possible. You’ll have to find a few hundred bucks up front for the handset (be sure to check our SIM free comparison chart) but box clever and you’ll end up paying less over the next 24 months (see below). Plus, if you’re a commitment-phobe, most SIM-only plans don’t require you to sign up for two years like you would with a normal contract.What SIM card size do I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It’s been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM (15 x 25mm) has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you’ve bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro (12 x 15mm) or nano (8.8 x 12.3mm) SIM – the iPhone 5 was Apple’s first mobile with a nano SIM, while Samsung began using the smallest size in its Galaxy S6.

Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer’s website to see what size you require. And if you’re simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you’ll get one of each size.

What contract length should I get?

Unlike with a contract, there’s a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM-only plan will last. Two year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility. You can often get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you can effectively hand pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so.

How much data do I need?

Because you can change your plan up more regularly than a normal, lengthier contract, it’s less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you’re thinking of grabbing a 12-monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we’ll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you.

Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you’ve been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you’re still unsure, check out our guidance:

0-1GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM only plans could be a blessing or a curse. If you’re putting it in a rarely used phone that will scarcely be away from wi-fi then you’re quids in. But if you end up with one because your head’s turned by the incredible price, then you could end up paying more if you continually go over your allowance.2-3GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 2GB and 3GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to check the football scores and scroll Facebook away from the wi-fi without danger.4-8GB If you can’t leave the house without having a music streaming service like Spotify pouring into your ears, then it might be worth paying for some extra GBs of data.10-16GB This is a significant amount of data and some networks offer it for a very appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts, watching social media videos, or all three is your thing – you should be covered.20-30GB Only smartphone junkies that need regular (and hefty) data fixes need bother with this avalanche of GBs. You’ll be able to rinse Netflix, Spotify and online games without too much fear of topping out.Do I need unlimited calls and texts?

Call it practicality, call it greediness, call it what you want – it’s human nature to want ‘unlimited’ anything if offered. But you should think genuinely about whether you really need it in a world where the likes of WhatsApp and Skype let you call and text for free over wi-fi or 4G. If you decide that a few thousand monthly minutes and texts should do you, then you could shave off some cash from your bill.

The SIM-only plans on this page are checked regularly, so make sure you visit often if you want to get the most up-to-date information on the plans that are currently available!