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Published by CEoutlook July 21, 2016

Distributor CTB Wireless, which sells Bluetooth kits and wireless products to 12 volt stores, wants to return to the 90’s when the car stereo store was a place to buy a cellphone.

It’s offering car audio dealers a program to sell pre-paid wireless service through SIM cards so there’s no need to carry expensive phone inventory.  Dealers get a commission and residuals for each customer so it’s an extra revenue stream.

There’s almost no cost of entry as the SIM cards are inexpensive. “Ninety percent of pre-paid phone customers simply keep their old phone, said CTB Wireless’s Carl Bardakian.

CTB Wireless is selling Dunk Wireless service, which supports all four of the leading carriers.  Customers can come in with any of the leading types of cellphone plans and switch to Dunk with a 5 or 6-minute activation at your store, said Bardakian.

Another selling point for Dunk is that it doesn’t throttle your data service when you are a heavy user as do some of the carriers, said Bardakian.

Dunk is like Boost Mobile or Cricket in that it resells carrier cellphone service, usually at a cheaper rate, he said.

A third of the cellphone market was in pre-paid phones as of 2012, according to NPD.

“I go into Joe’s stereo shop.  I need new stereo speakers.  The customer says, ‘I see you sell Dunk Wireless. I’m paying $80 a month now,’” said Bardakian. “You say we have a plan for $30 or $50 and there’s no contract.  Then you port the number over and activate the phone.  It takes 5 or 6 minutes and there’s no charge backs,” he said.

CTB is also signing up reps for the service.

Retailers get digital art to promote the service and posters to hang in the store.

CTB, based in Pasadena, CA has been distributing car electronics and cellular products since 1998.

Dunk Wireless also offers corporate plans.

 

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By Pete Bigelow

Automakers are hyping voice-activated features as a means to preventing driver distractions and keeping drivers focused on the road. But a new report says hands-free technologies can distract drivers even if their eyes are on the road and hands are on the wheel, and these mental diversions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after a driver has completed a task.

Researchers from AAA discovered the residual effects of mental distraction while studying hands-free technologies offered in ten vehicles. The national organization said the results raised “new and unexpected concerns” about the proliferation of these hands-free features in new cars.

“The lasting effects of mental distractions pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving.”

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Thousands have died in car crashes involving cell phone use. New technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social media while driving – all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic. NSC wants empower you to put safety first and Take Back Your Drive.

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New York state legislators are considering a bill that would use roadside technology to help determine whether drivers involved in auto accidents had unlawfully been texting behind the wheel, Ars Technica reported.

The device, dubbed the “textalyzer,” is being developed by Cellebrite, an Israeli firm said that reportedly worked with the FBI to unlock an iPhone belonging to an assailant in December’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The bill would require drivers involved in accidents to submit their phones for testing to check whether they were texting at the time of the crash.

New York passed a law in 2001 prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving, and in 2009 the law was expanded to include all portable electronic devices. The bill claims that although New York law enforcement authorities have established “text stops” along all major highways where drivers can pull over to use their phones, car crashes are up 14 percent this year and fatalities are up 8 percent, “suggesting that the problem has not only gotten worse, but it is still greatly misunderstood.”

And officers struggle to enforce no-texting laws in part because it’s often impossible to determine whether a driver was using the phone at the time of an accident, the legislation continues.

Ars Technica reported that the textalyzer reportedly maintains the privacy of phone content such as conversations, contacts and app data in an effort to protect the driver’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy. A warrant could be required for further analysis to determine whether a driver was using a hands-free system.

The New York bill underscores the ever-increasing concerns around privacy and security surrounding the use of mobile phones, which generates a staggering amount of data. The recent standoff between Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice was an extremely high-profile example, but it’s far from the only one.

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Signal boosters are a clever way to make sure you have the best chance of getting a good connection on a cell phone even when geography or atmospheric conditions mean only weak network signals are available. A dual-frequency band works on both the frequency bands on which cell phones operate in a particular world region.

Signal Booster Basics

A cell phone signal booster is similar in concept to a signal booster for a TV with an antenna. It receives a cell phone signal in the same way as the cell phone itself, then performs two functions: amplifies the signal to make it stronger, and then rebroadcasts it at a frequency that isn’t being used by any other broadcaster or receiver in the immediate area. This rebroadcast signal thus becomes the strongest one available in your area, meaning your cell phone should pick it up and maintain it with fewer or no dropouts.

Cellular vs. PCS

Most cell phone networks and cell phones operate on frequencies within one of two bands, similar to the way AM and FM radio works in different frequency ranges. In the United States, the two cell phone ranges are 824 to 894 MHz and 1850 to 1990 MHz, known for simplicity as the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. They are sometimes also known as “cellular” and “PCS,” respectively, terms that date back to early analog cell phone networks.

Benefits

A signal booster that can work on dual-frequency bands has more options for finding a specific frequency that isn’t being used in your location. That in turn makes it more likely it can produce a rebroadcast signal that is strong enough to be picked up and held by your phone. Using dual frequencies may be of particular benefit if you are in a moving car, where the effects of other local signals may change quickly, and your signal booster can quickly switch to a different frequency.

International

Different parts of the world use different ranges of frequency for cell phone communications. For example, while North America uses the bands around 850 MHz and 1900 MHz, Europe, Africa and Asia use the bands around 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. Some cell phones are marked as being “multi-band” or “dual/tri/quad band,” which refers to their ability to work with multiple sets of frequencies and thus work in multiple regions of the world. This is not the same as a multi-frequency signal booster, which is designed to work in one region only. If you do need a signal booster that will work away from your home country, make sure to check the specific frequencies with which it works.