Ad
Ad
Ad
Tag

rival

Browsing

[ad_1]

Thanks to the launch of 5G, networks such as EE, Three and Vodafone are now offering some of the best download speeds in the UK but they are now being challenged by a new rival with a very big advantage. SMARTY has been offering budget SIM deals since 2017 but this service, which is powered by Three, has now announced that it’s finally launching its 5G platform for the very first time.

That means anyone with a compatible handset – such as the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, Pixel 6 or Galaxy S21 – will be able to get blisteringly quick downloads when away from their fixed-line broadband. In fact, 5G has the ability to whizz movies and music to devices at speeds in excess of 300Mbps.

Of course, 5G is nothing new with EE and Vodafone launching this new technology back in 2019.

Where SMARTY sets itself apart from these rivals is that it doesn’t require customers to sign up to lengthy contracts with those using the service able to leave at any time without facing a penalty.

That’s pretty unusual as most networks want users to sign up for at least 12 months and some deals even demand longer 24-month contracts.

SMARTY says that its users will get access to 5G at no extra cost and to celebrate the launch it has even unveiled some new money-saving discounts.

These offers include extra data for free which means you can get a total of 40GB (usually 30GB) for just £10 per month or a whopping 60GB (usually 50GB) for £15 per month.

All SMARTY SIMs come with unlimited data and calls plus, as we mentioned earlier, you can leave whenever you like.

If those deals don’t excite you and you’re happy to sign up for a long-term deal then there are plenty of other SIMs on the market that also offer full access to 5G.

For example, EE has its 160GB SIM for just £20 which also includes unlimited calls and texts.

If you want fully unlimited access to the web then Three or Vodafone are both good options.

Vodafone is currently offering its Unlimited Max plan for just £25 per month and Three has its all you can eat plan available for half price for the first six months meaning you pay just £10.

HERE ARE ALL OF THE BEST 5G SIM DEALS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW

SMARTY • 40GB of 5G data plus unlimited calls and texts – £10 per month
SEE THE DEAL HERE

EE • 160 GB of 5G data plus unlimited calls and texts – £20 per month
SEE THE DEAL HERE

VODAFONE • Unlimited data, calls and texts – £25 per month
SEE THE DEAL HERE

THREE • Unlimited data, calls and texts – From £10 per month
SEE THE DEAL HERE



[ad_2]

[ad_1]

A blockbuster upgrade could be coming to Plusnet customers that will make their broadband infinitely faster. Right now, this BT-owned firm only offers speeds up to a maximum of around 66Mbps. That’s not terrible but it’s well below what other firms such as Virgin Media, BT and Sky supply right now.

That’s because all of these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now offer Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology which means they can blast the web into living rooms at much quicker speeds as it don’t rely on ageing and far slower copper lines.

Although Plusnet does feature fibre internet it hasn’t fully switched over to this latest tech but that could be about to change.

According to the broadband experts at ISPreview, Plusnet will launch full FTTP broadband in 2022 and it should mean users are able to get much, much faster downloads.

For example, some BT customers can now get blisteringly quick 900Mbps speeds which will allow them to whizz a full HD movie to their TVs in around 40 seconds.

Sky also turned on its FTTP service late in 2020 with the firm currently offering 500Mbps speeds.

Virgin Media has always led the pack when it comes to fibre cables and last year it announced that all of its 15 million customers can now access its Gig1 plan which features speeds in excess of 1,000Mbps.

There’s no word on when Plusnet plans to launch its FTTP service although it has confirmed that users should expect more news very soon.

Speaking to ISPreview.co.uk, a Plusnet spokesperson said: “We are committed to delivering our customers value for money by focusing on reliable broadband and award winning service. We are excited to bring FTTP to our customers later this year. Full Fibre will offer our customers a game changing connection, giving them the benefit of our fastest speeds, our most reliable connection and all at the same great value you would expect from Plusnet.”

If you’re not bothered about those rapid internet speeds then Plusnet currently has a sale which is offering its standard broadband st much lower prices.

In fact, things start from just £21.95 per month making it one of the cheapest ISPs in the UK.



[ad_2]

[ad_1]

GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer arm could be thrust into a full-blown bidding war after rejecting three offers from Unilever at the end of last year

  • It is understood Unilever is preparing a fourth offer for the business 
  • Leading analyst says rival bids could emerge  
  • Bidding war could attract private equity firms
  • GSK boss Emma Walmsley is planning to list the consumer healthcare arm 










Sell off: GSK's Emma Walmsley (pictured) is planning to list the consumer healthcare arm

Sell off: GSK’s Emma Walmsley (pictured) is planning to list the consumer healthcare arm

GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer arm could be thrust into a full-blown bidding war after it rejected three offers from Unilever at the end of last year. 

It is understood Unilever is preparing a fourth offer for the business, which owns brands including Aquafresh toothpaste, and is being spun out from GSK this year. 

But a leading analyst said rival bids could emerge and other consumer healthcare firms would ‘do the numbers’. Bernstein’s Bruno Monteyne said Unilever should fix its own business and that the purchase is ‘a pretty bad idea’. 

He said a bidding war could attract private equity firms, but they may be turned off by the premium price after GSK rejected Unilever’s £50billion proposal. Analysts value the business at around £45billion. 

GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley is planning to list the consumer healthcare arm, which has annual sales of £9.6billion, in London, with GSK maintaining a stake. But she has come under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management to open a process to sell the unit. 

Private equity firms including Advent International, CVC Capital Partners and KKR have also eyed up the business. ‘Unilever is still in the running. You would expect other consumer health companies to do the numbers,’ said Monteyne. 

And he warned that Unilever, which makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap, would continue struggling with slow growth even if it buys GSK’s consumer arm. 

He said: ‘More than 80 per cent of Unilever would still be their old business. 

‘Buying a new business isn’t going to make it more likely you fix the other 80 per cent plus of your business.’ He added that GSK is growing slowly and it will be hard for Unilever to boost sales. 

‘They should stay focused on fixing their core business.’

Advertisement

[ad_2]

[ad_1]

But while the electric scooter might not borrow the top speed found on Bugatti’s cars, there are some trademark touches from the French firm to be found here.

First off, the electric scooter arrives with a digital dashboard display that shows key statistics as you ride. There’s also turn signals built-in, which will help anyone who wants to use the scooter to commute. And finally, the tail light projects the Bugatti logo onto the road behind you as you rumble along at 18.8mph.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on the release date or price for the Bugatti-designed electric scooter yet. In fact, there’s not even a finalised name yet. Stay tuned, as we’ll share more details about this all-electric vehicle when they become available. In the meantime, those who want an electric scooter would do better to look elsewhere.

It comes as legendary motorbike brand Harley Davidson revealed its first “affordable” electric bike, dubbed the Serial 1.



[ad_2]

[ad_1]

Hordes of rampaging wild monkeys have been terrorising a town in Thailand as they become hooked on sugary drinks while waffling down bananas.

The town of Lopburi, around 90 miles north of the capital Bangkok, is well-known for its monkey population which brings tourists from around the world, with locals even holding an annual festival to honour the primates. 

But since tourists began to return to Thailand after coronavirus restrictions were eased in November, Lopburi’s monkeys – whose numbers multiplied considerably during the pandemic – have enjoyed much greater access to sugar-filled snacks and drinks. 

Now, the streets of the city are ravaged by thousands of the sugar fuelled macaques, who compete violently for food and territory.

Footage taken on Tuesday shows dozens of animals roaming the streets, jumping on cars, climbing on humans and even stealing their food and belongings. 

The startling video shows locals handing out plastic tubes filled with sugar and syrup and the monkeys can be seen sucking them dry before going after a man handing out bananas.  

Their total lack of fear for humans means monkeys exhibit extremely bold behaviour, clambering across the windshields of moving vehicles and jumping all over bystanders in the street.

Locals say there are even rival gangs that mark their territory – resulting in clashes when the animals meet. 

Hordes of rampaging wild monkeys have been terrorising a town in Thailand as they become hooked on sugary drinks while waffling down bananas

Hordes of rampaging wild monkeys have been terrorising a town in Thailand as they become hooked on sugary drinks while waffling down bananas

A monkey is seen slurping from a plastic tube filled with syrup handed out by a local.  The monkeys multiplied considerably during the pandemic and their constant diet of sugary snacks has made them hyperactive and more eager to breed

A monkey is seen slurping from a plastic tube filled with syrup handed out by a local.  The monkeys multiplied considerably during the pandemic and their constant diet of sugary snacks has made them hyperactive and more eager to breed

Since tourists began to return to Thailand after coronavirus restrictions were eased in November, Lopburi's monkeys - whose numbers multiplied considerably during the pandemic - have enjoyed much greater access to sugar-filled snacks and drinks, as well as their staple bananas

Since tourists began to return to Thailand after coronavirus restrictions were eased in November, Lopburi’s monkeys – whose numbers multiplied considerably during the pandemic – have enjoyed much greater access to sugar-filled snacks and drinks, as well as their staple bananas

The monkeys' lack of fear for humans has seen them clamber all over bystanders and in some cases fight to steal food and belongings. A woman is seen standing outside of a shop, looking on disapprovingly as a monkey grips her head

The monkeys’ lack of fear for humans has seen them clamber all over bystanders and in some cases fight to steal food and belongings. A woman is seen standing outside of a shop, looking on disapprovingly as a monkey grips her head

Their total lack of fear for humans means monkeys exhibit extremely bold behaviour, clambering across the windshields of moving vehicles and jumping all over bystanders in the street

Their total lack of fear for humans means monkeys exhibit extremely bold behaviour, clambering across the windshields of moving vehicles and jumping all over bystanders in the street

Government officials have tried to control the wild monkey population in recent years but have been unable to curb the numbers as the animals continue to multiply. 

Large numbers of monkeys were sterilised in 2020 as part of a government programme after their numbers spiralled out of control during the pandemic.

Wildlife department officers lured the animals into cages with fruit and take them to a clinic where they were anaesthetised, sterilised and left with a tattoo to mark their neutering – but the authorities simply can’t keep up.

The coronavirus lockdowns gave the macaques even more space to roam freely around the city and the surrounding area, and with well-meaning locals keeping them fed in the absence of tourists, the population exploded. 

Environmental officer Narongporn Daudduem said the department has a long-term plan to build a sanctuary in another part of the city but plans are likely be met with resistance from some of the residents who don’t want the primates living near them.

‘We need to do a survey of the people living in the area first,’ said Narongporn Daudduem from the wildlife department.

‘It’s like dumping garbage in front of their houses and asking them if they’re happy or not.’

Supakarn Kaewchot, a government veterinarian, said: ‘The monkeys are so used to having tourists feed them and the city provides no space for them to fend for themselves.

‘With the tourists gone, they’ve been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive. They’re invading buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes.’

A marauding macaque who has invaded a local shop grips a juice carton in its teeth. The fearless species rules the streets around the Prang Sam Yod temple in the centre of Lopburi, patrolling the tops of walls and brazenly ripping the rubber seals from car doors

A marauding macaque who has invaded a local shop grips a juice carton in its teeth. The fearless species rules the streets around the Prang Sam Yod temple in the centre of Lopburi, patrolling the tops of walls and brazenly ripping the rubber seals from car doors

A troop of macaques invades a shop. People have sought to appease them with junk food, but the sugary diet has frenzied them and caused them to breed more quickly

A troop of macaques invades a shop. People have sought to appease them with junk food, but the sugary diet has frenzied them and caused them to breed more quickly

In March 2020, the monkeys began taking over abandoned properties in the city amid the pandemic. A cinema that has long been derelict now acts as their base, and even contains a burial ground in a projection room - with anyone who enters attacked

In March 2020, the monkeys began taking over abandoned properties in the city amid the pandemic. A cinema that has long been derelict now acts as their base, and even contains a burial ground in a projection room – with anyone who enters attacked

A macaque pulls at a sign warning people not to feed the monkeys, advice that some locals have been ignoring in an attempt to stop them fighting

A macaque pulls at a sign warning people not to feed the monkeys, advice that some locals have been ignoring in an attempt to stop them fighting

Lopburi is home to some 6,000 macaques which were a major tourist draw before lockdown stopped visitors from coming - but have now turned into a menace for locals

Lopburi is home to some 6,000 macaques which were a major tourist draw before lockdown stopped visitors from coming – but have now turned into a menace for locals

Though the city of Lopburi is famous for its monkey population and many of the locals are grateful for the tourist exposure they bring, there have been several incidents in recent years in which the animals have wreaked havoc.  

In March 2020, the monkeys engaged in an astonishing mass brawl over scraps of food as Thailand was plunged into lockdown, with the sudden drop in tourism – and consequently availability of food – made the macaques violent and erratic.

Locals took to feeding the macaques with cheap fast-food to prevent the violent clashes, but this only gave the monkeys more energy and caused them to breed even faster. 

Entire blocks of the city quickly became off-limits to humans as the primates took over and defended their territory violently, with one abandoned cinema serving as the macaques’ base and cemetery. 

Dead monkeys were laid to rest by their peers in the cinema’s projection room, and at the time locals said that anyone who attempted to enter was attacked.

A sign put up to warn tourists about the monkeys now serves as a grim reminder to locals who have been left to deal with the increasingly violent animals after visitors stopped coming during the pandemic

A sign put up to warn tourists about the monkeys now serves as a grim reminder to locals who have been left to deal with the increasingly violent animals after visitors stopped coming during the pandemic

Locals eating on the street in June 2020 are watched over by longtailed macaques which have been left hungry after tourists vanished

Locals eating on the street in June 2020 are watched over by longtailed macaques which have been left hungry after tourists vanished

Violent clashes between two rival gangs in March 2020 blocked the road for around four minutes as people were forced to wait in their cars. Local took to feeding the monkeys to break up the clashes, but this exacerbated the problem, giving the monkeys more energy to fight and breed

Violent clashes between two rival gangs in March 2020 blocked the road for around four minutes as people were forced to wait in their cars. Local took to feeding the monkeys to break up the clashes, but this exacerbated the problem, giving the monkeys more energy to fight and breed

Footage shows how the two rival troops then faced-off at the busy junction while terrified motorists waited in their cars for more than four minutes

Footage shows how the two rival troops then faced-off at the busy junction while terrified motorists waited in their cars for more than four minutes

Lockdowns have stopped the tourists from coming which means the monkeys are running short on supplies, turning them violent and leaving locals struggling to keep control

Lockdowns have stopped the tourists from coming which means the monkeys are running short on supplies, turning them violent and leaving locals struggling to keep control

Meanwhile, in February last year dozens of monkeys took over a school’s swimming pool and rummaged through the bins in search of food.

During coronavirus lockdowns, the macaques began to enter deserted buildings and ruins to shelter and begin breeding. 

But over time, they became more bold and started to invade both public and private venues such as shops, restaurants, cinemas and schools, sometimes with hordes of the creatures overrunning the premises.

Many congregate around an ancient Buddhist temple but they have also taken over a cinema – forcing the previous owner to move out and close the business.

‘The more they eat, the more energy they have… so they breed more,’ says Pramot Ketampai, who manages the Prang Sam Yod temple’s surrounding shrines. 

A monkey pulls a rubber strip off the roof of a car in Lopburi - an incident that residents say is becoming more frequent now there are no tourists to occupy them

A monkey pulls a rubber strip off the roof of a car in Lopburi – an incident that residents say is becoming more frequent now there are no tourists to occupy them

A macaque sits on top of a statue close to Lopburi's main temple, another tourists attraction where they used to collect food

A macaque sits on top of a statue close to Lopburi’s main temple, another tourists attraction where they used to collect food

Domestic tourists walk around a shrine that is typically thronging with monkeys who were thrown fruit by the visitors, but the stream of food dried up in the early days of the pandemic until locals began to feed them

Domestic tourists walk around a shrine that is typically thronging with monkeys who were thrown fruit by the visitors, but the stream of food dried up in the early days of the pandemic until locals began to feed them

No one in Lopburi seems to remember a time without the monkeys, with some speculating that the urban creep into nearby forest drew the simians into the city.

However, there are some locals who, despite having to take measures to ward the primates away from their homes and businesses, enjoy their company.

Taweesak Srisaguan, a shop owner in Lopburi who uses stuffed animals as a deterrent to the unwanted monkey visitors, says that despite his daily joust with the creatures, he will miss them if they are moved.

‘I’m used to seeing them walking around, playing on the street,’ he says.

‘If they’re all gone, I’d definitely be lonely.’ 

[ad_2]

[ad_1]

Path cleared for Martin Gilbert-led AssetCo’s R&M takeover as Premier Miton drops out of race for asset manager

  • Premier Miton said there are ‘insufficient commercial merits’ to make an offer
  • Mr Gilbert’s AssetCo has until 5pm on 18 January to make a firm offer 
  • There is no guarantee that a firm offer will be made, R&M said 










The bidding war for boutique asset manager River & Mercantile has come to end after Premier Miton Group removed itself from contention, leaving City veteran Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo as the remaining suitor for the firm.

Having announced it was considering a bid for R&M in November, Premier Miton ended speculation of a takeover on Thursday as it informed investors it has ‘withdrawn from discussions’. 

In a statement, R&M said ‘discussions remain ongoing’ with AssetCo, which doubled its stake in the firm last year, but cautioned ‘there can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made’.

Martin Gilbert's (pictured) AssetCo is now the only firm in contention to launch a takeover of River & Mercantile

Martin Gilbert’s (pictured) AssetCo is now the only firm in contention to launch a takeover of River & Mercantile 

Mike O’Shea, chief executive of Premier Miton, explained that his firm had found ‘insufficient commercial merits for our shareholders to make a formal proposal for the acquisition’ of R&M.

However, he did not rule out future merger and acquisition activity, adding that Premier Miton would be ‘exploring tactical and strategic opportunities that can further strengthen our business and accelerate our growth’.

Mr Gilbert’s takeover vehicle AssetCo will now have until 5pm on 18 January to make a firm offer for R&M after the deadline for the potential deal was extended in late December.

AssetCo secured three acquisitions last year – including the takeover of Edinburgh investment house Saracen Fund Managers – and raised £25million from investors.

Asset managers are bulking-up to fight off rivals running cheaper passive, or index-tracking, funds.

Mr Gilbert, a 66-year-old father of three, is both chairman of Asset Co and deputy chairman of R&M.

He is also chairman of Revolut, Toscafund and Scottish Golf, and senior non-executive director at Glencore.

Mr Gilbert has recused himself from the R&M board for the purposes of talks relating to the potential bid.

The latest swoop comes nearly four decades after Mr Gilbert set up Aberdeen Asset Management.

He built it into a giant with more than £300billion of savings on its books before merging it with Standard Life in 2017.

He stepped down in 2019 and took control of stock market-listed cash shell AssetCo.

AssetCo, which currently holds five million R&M shares, representing approximately 5.85 per cent of its voting rights, has previously said the two companies ‘are highly complementary’ and a combination of the pair ‘would create significant value for the combined group’s clients, portfolio managers, employees and shareholders’.

For its part, R&M’s board said on Thursday it was focused on completing the sale of its solutions business to Schroders, implementing the planned return of £180million to shareholders and ‘developing…into a specialist asset manager’.

It added: ‘The board has committed to providing shareholders with a broad update on its post-sale strategic plan in the Spring.’

Advertisement



[ad_2]