Why a Cell Phone Can’t Replace a Landline

Over the last few years there has been a trend where more and more people have been abandoning their landlines. They have either been removing their mobile or business landline, or not bothering to have one installed when moving into a new home or business property. Indeed, for many it has become perceived wisdom to avoid a landline altogether in order to reduce bills, while removing something which is now seen as supplement to requirements; however, there are many reasons why this is not the case, and why businesses and home owners should consider their landline options carefully before making a decision. Even top business property investors have maintained their use of landlines whether at home or in lucrative developments, such as this Mukesh Valabhji project, and so the business world continues to show that there is still indeed merit in having a landline. But why are some people making the mistake of abandoning their landlines?

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Why Do People Get Rid of a Landline?

For many, the main argument is finance. By not having a landline, this decreases monthly bills, but it also minimises the chances of letting a bill get out of hand should a home phone be overused. Another reason is that most people already have a mobile phone, so they feel that a landline is overkill and simply not needed. Unfortunately, both of these claims are incorrect. This is usually a rash decision, and there are many reasons why someone should still pay for a landline in their property.

Essentially, there are two types of people who should still consider a landline:

  1. Homeowners
  2. Business Owners

Let’s now take a look at some of the reasons why both of these should look to maintain their landline or have one installed.

A Landline For Homeowners

For most, it will be in the home where they have experience of owning a landline. For nearly a hundred years this has been a stalwart of the modern house or apartment, but now seems redundant for the reasons given above to some. In reality, homeowners should seriously consider a landline because:

  • Savings: Contrary to what most believe, having a landline can actually save a homeowner money. If they have a TV and broadband provider, they may be able to get a package which will save on monthly payments when including a landline.
  • Reception: Mobile phone signal strength will vary depending on location and network. Even the best networks will sometimes experience outages, and for this reason a landline is always a great back up to have. It rarely goes down, most landlines are not badly affected by the weather, whereas mobile phones can be. If taking an important phone call it can be frustrating to experience such a problem with reception, a landline helps to negate this issue.
  • Quality: This is something which is not often stressed, but a landline tends to sound better than a mobile phone. This can be important when wanting to connect with someone on a personal level, or if anyone in the home has a hearing difficulty.
  • Emergencies: Whether it be an accident or an immediate health issue, mobile phones cannot always be relied upon. With a landline, emergency operators know exactly where a call is coming from, and even if the call cannot be completed they will send paramedics, police officers, or fire fighters depending on the situation. The landline is always on and is usually always in the one place even when cordless. This all makes it a far more reliable way to contact the emergency services, should such difficulties present themselves.
  • Internet Connection: While some companies offer an internet connection over satellite, these are never as fast or as reliable as a landline. The bottom line is that if a person wants a good internet connection, they need a landline.

A Landline for Business Owners

Many of the reasons given above also apply to business owners; but there are subsequent reasons which pertain to why they should consider having a landline. These include:

  • Professionalism: Having a landline provides a level of professionalism. Everyone has a mobile phone, but calling a landline presents the impression that a company has a place of business and is more legitimate.
  • Communication: In a larger office environment, especially across multiple floors, a landline is still a great way for people to communicate within and out-with a business. In fact it is still a leading way for businesses to organise their communications. Without this, communication can in fact be inefficient, with email rarely providing the relative nuance needed when co-worker interact.

Landlines are Still Important

It’s clear that landlines still have a lot to offer whether in the home or office. They provide a level of quality, reliability and effectiveness which cannot be rivalled by mobile devices. For this reason, home and/or business owners should consider the issue carefully if they are genuinely planning to remove their landlines. In doing so they may be negating an important method of communication.

Landlines have a long and important history, and it’s clear to see this is not going to change any time soon, as they hold particular advantages over cell phones. For the above mentioned reasons landlines are here to stay, and will remain a great option for businesses and homeowners for many. years to come.

Problem Solving with Yahoo! Japan

Since its establishment, Yahoo! Japan has operated under the slogan of ‘users first’, placing the needs of consumers at the forefront of its philosophy. Through the provision of a wide variety of IT services for desktop and mobile, Yahoo! Japan acts as an engine for problem solving; recognising the social importance, convenience, public nature and potential of the internet and creating innovative solutions to consumer requirements with ever more enhanced services. The portal site continues to grow rapidly, introducing new added value services including news aggregation sites such as Yahoo! News and the online auction site YAHUOKU!, plus a range of further convenient problem-solving services for both individual and corporate users.

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Yahoo! Japan with SoftBank Capital

Yahoo! Japan is part of SoftBank Capital, which in turn is a part of the wider SoftBank Corp, a global leader in internet, broadband, fixed-line telecommunications and mobile communications that is headquartered in Tokyo. SoftBank Capital has a number of technology companies in its portfolio, providing each with the opportunity to gain strategic advantage within the Asian marketplace.

A new fund from SoftBank Capital, the SoftBank PrinceVille Fund, brings even more opportunity to the table. The $250 million fund will focus on bringing into the Asian market those innovative technology companies seeking expansion and offering products and services tailored to the growing mobile and technology market in Japan, China and Korea. Board member of the SoftBank PrinceVille Investments Mukesh Valabhji, a prominent investor in a wide variety of industries worldwide, is excited by this change of direction for SoftBank Capital, which has previously focused the majority of its funding on seed businesses. You can read an online profile of Mukesh Valabhji to find out more about the fund and other global investment opportunities.

SoftBank Capital has emphasised the fact that by affiliation with companies such as Yahoo! Japan, these businesses seeking expansion through the PrinceVille fund will be able to access local knowledge and additional strategic value to accelerate their market presence. It is expected that between 12 and 15 companies will be allocated $10 to $20 million from the fund, as well as gaining strategic advice and assistance from the wider SoftBank Group.

Users First

Yahoo! Japan acts primarily as an engine for solving problems through the internet. With the spread of smartphone and tablet usage, this potential for problem solving is now far greater than ever before, leaving Yahoo! Japan ideally placed to address the needs of business and individual customers anywhere and at any time. The role of Yahoo! Japan within society is therefore becoming increasingly important, creating the need for innovative new and enhanced services.

Yahoo! Japan is rising to the challenge in a number of ways, working to solve problems for ecommerce businesses, consumers and all other users in the fastest and most convenient way possible. Asia today represents a mature mobile market, with rising incomes across the board seeing consumers willing and able to spend on advanced technology. Businesses such as Yahoo! Japan, which offer vast problem-solving services to add value and convenience, are at the forefront of those companies beginning to monetise the millions of new customers in the Asian region.

Revitalising Ecommerce and Online Advertising

Over the past few years big changes have been made at Yahoo! Japan, revitalising both ecommerce and online advertising. From October 2013, Yahoo! Japan removed all monthly tenant fees in a new initiative for major services such as auctions and online shopping (YAHUOKU! and Yahoo! Shopping, for example). The results of this saw ten-fold growth in online shops; by September 2014 there were 190,000 shops and an expanded line-up of merchandise with more than 100 million items available. Under this new direction Yahoo! Japan expects to see further growth in the ecommerce sector as we move forward in 2015.

Since the end of 2013 a new strategy has also been put into place for online advertising. Yahoo! Japan is now able to utilise both the latest advertising and marketing technologies and big data to provide a more comprehensive solution to multi-device requirements and to the diversification of the needs of advertisers. Since introducing the new strategy, Yahoo! Japan has seen growth across the board of both advertising displays and advertising revenue, driven primarily by increased smartphone usage and also through improvements in matching accuracy and other factors. Businesses are able to access the benefits of the new strategy through Yahoo! Japan Display Ad Network (YDN).

$250 Million Fund by SoftBank PrinceVille Investments Helps Companies Expand into Asia

The PrinceVille Growth Fund from SoftBank Capital, which is the venture arm of the Japanese giant SoftBank Corp, announced a new $250 million fund in 2013 to help companies looking to expand into the Asian marketplace.

The fund will supply 12 to 15 companies with between $10 million and $20 million each for the purpose of driving this Asian expansion, with a core focus on those companies serving the key digital trends being seen in Asia such as human-machine interaction and mobile payments. These trends are not yet as mainstream in Europe, and the result of this is that many technology companies now focus on Asia as their primary target market for expansion before Europe. SoftBank claims that because of the extensive network of SoftBank Corp throughout Asia, SoftBank Capital is ideally placed to help drive expansion into Asia for a variety of companies.

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SoftBank PrinceVille Investments

As a board member of SoftBank PrinceVille Investments, Mukesh Valabhji is excited by the focus of the new fund, which it is hoped will identify some of the companies best placed to focus on new digital trends and build them up before there is too much local competition. Working with SoftBank, Valabhji has been inspired to invest further in new technology start-ups. Valabhji has an extensive portfolio of investments, including media and communications network Intelvision and a number of commercial and resort properties across the world. The Mukesh Valabhji blog – coming soon – will have further details of many exciting investment opportunities.

The PrinceVille Fund will not stray too far from typical SoftBank investments, focusing on technology companies specialising in social media, ecommerce, gaming, cloud computing, online advertising and mobile apps. Three new executives have been brought in to manage the PrinceVille Fund. One of these executives, Matt Krna, explained that the fund was designed to work with the growing number of companies looking at international expansion at a much earlier stage than ever before, and focusing primarily on the Asian markets before Europe.

SoftBank Capital

SoftBank Capital is the venture capital arm of SoftBank Corp, a Japanese wireless carrier with huge global reach. Among other notable achievements, SoftBank Corp was responsible for initially introducing the iPhone to the Japanese market. To date SoftBank has focused primarily on funding seed-stage companies and is now altering that focus with the new fund, which will concentrate on more mature or established companies looking to expand into Asia and in particular into Japan, Korea and China. Due to the already extended reach of SoftBank throughout these markets, the company claims to be the very best venture capital provider to work with for those seeking to break into them.

SoftBank Capital invests across all stages of company lifecycle, from start-up to growth and maturity, with a preference for businesses with (or looking to establish) a strong presence in the Asian and US markets. Assets include Yahoo! Japan, SoftBank Mobile, Sprint, GungHo Online Entertainment, Brightstar and Alibaba Group. As a worldwide ecommerce retailer, Alibaba Group will be providing local experience within Asian markets as well as additional strategic value.

The global telecommunications, internet and media conglomerate SoftBank Group has headquarters in Tokyo. SoftBank Capital assists SoftBank Group in identifying key strategic investments. Recent successful exits by SoftBank Capital include Huffington Post, Buddy Media, Pivot, ZipList, Hyperpublic and OMGPOP. SoftBank offers entrepreneurs a committed investment partner with a solid track record and strong network of industry connections, as well as a deep level of local knowledge within the Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets.

Asian Mobile and Technology Market

The Asian technology market currently offers myriad opportunities for companies seeking expansion, with strong demand creating growth. The mobile market in particular is highly mature and represents a huge opportunity for monetisation as rising incomes see consumers willing to spend more money on new technologies. Consumer spending on mobile and other technologies is rising at a far faster rate in Asia than in other markets, creating attractive opportunities for new and established companies in the field. The PrinceVille Fund offers exciting opportunities for those companies to gain a toehold in the Asian markets, with not only the requisite financial backing but also the support of a group of related companies such as Alibaba Group and Yahoo! Japan. This additional strategic support has the potential to accelerate the expansion of market presence for the companies benefiting from the fund.

Sprint Interested in Radioshack

For decades, RadioShack has been one of America’s most enduring, recognisable and reputable electronics retailers. As of February 2015, however, it is looking increasingly likely that the firm will be filling for bankruptcy, with the Sprint mobile network showing interest in buying what remains after the insolvency event with focus on its property portfolio. Sprint itself is renowned for its investment experts, such as can be found on this Mukesh Valabhji Google profile, and so there is every possibility that this endeavour could prove lucrative for all involved. And yet, while RadioShack itself may be nearing the end of the road, it is hoped that with Sprint’s involvement that at least something of the former electronics giant will endure, although what that will be is pure speculation at this time.

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Radioshack: An American Icon

There are few brands in America which can boast the same fame and iconic status of RadioShack. Formed in 1921 by brothers Milton and Theodore Deutschmann, the company was originally intended to provide electrical equipment for amateur radio and electronics enthusiasts. Beginning with just one humble storefront in Boston, by 1939 RadioShack began to move away from the amateur market towards providing quality electronics at an affordable price to the general population, who were now truly invested in the electronics revolution.

The next step in the company’s ascendancy was to produce its own products, which was a major milestone in its development as a recognisable brand. In the 1960s, after an initial mail-order catalogue business and through over-extending itself with nine retail properties, the company began to struggle financially.

In order to rectify its delicate financial situation, RadioShack was bought over by another popular company, Tandy, in 1962. Thus began the company’s true climb to the top, with new investment and expansion to countries such as Australia and the UK. Along with Tandy’s successful computer manufacturing business during the 70s and 80s, in 1970 the company procured Allied Radio, a similar business which in the end had to be sold off due to concerns that Tandy was monopolising the industry.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, the company maintained its standing as a popular brand and producer of electronics goods; however, in 2004 concerns about RadioShack’s profits were raised and in 2005 it reported that its earnings had fallen by 62% in its first quarter.

In 2012, the company was given a credit rating of “junk status” by Moody’s Investors Service, heralding a chain of events which have led to this once mighty cornerstone of the American electronics industry being taken off of the stock exchange and in danger of bankruptcy.

In January, 2015, RadioShack instructed its employees to begin clearance sales to sell its remaining stock.

RadioShack: The Importance of Brand Recognition

What remains of RadioShack will be determined entirely by its debts and the insolvency procedure. That being said, the brand name alone still holds many fond memories for families and electronics consumers. This is an important asset which may be useful to a company wishing to purchase it. It is entirely possible, and plausible, that a business with the correct infrastructure could use RadioShack’s assets to great success, bolstering their own interests and turning a profit in the process.

Another asset which should not be overlooked is the large number of RadioShack retail properties which are currently owned by the company. These properties, many of which will be in prime locations, could be rented out as commercial retail or office space; they could also be used by a company’s existing brands to simply re-position their retail locations, gaining advantage over competitors due to the number of shops put in place and their locational desirability from a retail perspective.

There is of course the question of existing stock, but most of this will probably be cleared during a firesale. The main assets which businesses will be interested in are the RadioShack brand and the physical storefronts.

Sprint in Talks to Buy Assets

The Sprint Corporation has been part of the SoftBank Group since July 2013 and has established itself as a leading competitor as a mobile network provider. With a self-professed desire to meet the needs of its subscribers via mobile network coverage and the sale of a range of mobile devices to be used in tandem, the Sprint network is a brand with a strong reputation having been rated as the most improved company across 47 industries in the US by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and being included on the DSJI (Dow Jones Sustainability Index) for North America for three years running.

It has been reported that Sprint are interested in securing at least 50% of RadioShack’s retail leases with a further suggestion that some stores might retain the RadioShack brand name in conjunction with Sprint. As a leading provider of mobile devices, alongside its network coverage, Sprint is perfectly situated to purchase RadioShack’s existing stores while combining both companies’ abilities to supply electronics goods to the general public.

It is hoped by some that the RadioShack brand will survive in one form or another, as it has been a company which generations of Americans have used for decades, and one which might just have some life left in it yet.