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IPhone 4 - Which tariff


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Our Ipaq Rx5935 and payg phone were both stolen so now we can make a new, fresh start with our equipment

We are thinking of upgrading to the IPhone 4 on a contract.

It has a 5mp camera, supported by Groundspeak, Google maps, email, websites, it just seems ideal

 

We hardly used the phone. a £10 topup lasted 4 months so this part is unimportant and 20 emails in a month seems like hard work.

How much data download do we need for an afternoon caching once a week, most tarrifs seem to allow 500m or 1G but Three offer more for more money, up to 3G I think they said

 

Which provider are people using O2, Three, TMobile, Vodaphone, Virgin etc?.

Which Tariff are you on ?

How much data download is about 10 geocaches on a Sunday afternoon ?

Is this the best way to go ?

 

Kind regards

and thank you for your replies,

 

Allan

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Our Ipaq Rx5935 and payg phone were both stolen so now we can make a new, fresh start with our equipment

We are thinking of upgrading to the IPhone 4 on a contract.

It has a 5mp camera, supported by Groundspeak, Google maps, email, websites, it just seems ideal

 

We hardly used the phone. a £10 topup lasted 4 months so this part is unimportant and 20 emails in a month seems like hard work.

How much data download do we need for an afternoon caching once a week, most tarrifs seem to allow 500m or 1G but Three offer more for more money, up to 3G I think they said

 

Which provider are people using O2, Three, TMobile, Vodaphone, Virgin etc?.

Which Tariff are you on ?

How much data download is about 10 geocaches on a Sunday afternoon ?

Is this the best way to go ?

 

Kind regards

and thank you for your replies,

 

Allan

I don't know, but I would have thought 500MB should be enough just for that.

 

But if you are going to use this as your only GPSr you might consider that you can only download cache details if you are in mobile phone network coverage. This will depend on where you like to cache, but for me, I estimate that for over half the caches I find I'm NOT in network coverage.

 

Rgds, Andy

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Looking at your phone use i'd say an iphone 4 is a bit overkill , when you consider 24 month contracts at an average of £35/month thats an outlay of £840 plus probably aboyut £100 at the moment upfront cost on the iphone 4 so total cost of around £1k

 

Personally i'd consider an Oregon 450T ( which will allow full paperless caching for around the £260/£270 mark and a replacement PAYG phone, i've just got my youngest daughter an Asda mobile PAYG , they hang off the Vodafone network calls 8p per min ,texts 4p to any network, cheap as chips.

 

Worth a serious thought, plus gps in the iphone is not great.

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Thanks for your replies. We were looking at the Iphone because it would seem to have replaced everything we lost (camera, phone, laptop, ipaq,) in one small "package" which would make it easier for us regarding security in our motorhome. As you say, it is quite an outlay but we are weighing it up against replacing each individual item seperately. We do feel that we would get a separate tom-tom though.

 

Internet access is probably our main concern and we were not confident that the limits given by the phone providers would be enough.

 

Our geocaching is generally based in towns or within 4 miles of our motorhome base at that time, not generally too far off the beaten track!

 

Thanks

Allan

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Thanks for your replies. We were looking at the Iphone because it would seem to have replaced everything we lost (camera, phone, laptop, ipaq,) in one small "package" which would make it easier for us regarding security in our motorhome. As you say, it is quite an outlay but we are weighing it up against replacing each individual item seperately. We do feel that we would get a separate tom-tom though.

That's interesting, because apart from the phone, I think that the only thing that an iPhone WOULD completely replace is the TomTom :D .

 

The iPhone has nothing that even begins to compare in offline caching capability to MemoryMap + CacheMate on a WM machine that has a good quality GPSr, though it is good for getting online cache details, with the very big proviso that you are in network coverage.

 

The camera is nowhere near as good as a real camera.

 

And it's not a laptop replacement by a million miles.

 

But in an appropriate car mount, it is absolutely fine as a SatNav.

 

BTW, I do have an iPhone, though only a 3GS.

 

Rgds, Andy

Edited by Amberel
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If you want a phone have you considered looking at Android or Blackberrys rather than the iphone? Cheaper contracts are available and (IMHO) they are much better! The reviews of the iphone4 don't look that great. The issue with the ariels for a start........

 

I have an android phone and although it's a great little back up way of finding caches, I personally would hate to have a phone as my only GPS device as they are just not as accurate as a proper GPS whatever people claim. I think your money would be better spent on a unit such as a oregon - go for the 550 if you want a camera.

 

If you do opt for a phone 550mb download limit will be plenty - I have the same limit on my phone and I use it for internet browsing, as a satnav, for caching and downloading and uploading pictures. I have never even exceeded a quarter of the allowance so you'd really have to be giving it some to use the whole 500mb.

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I've recently updated to an iPhone 4, which is much improved on the 3G I had before.

It's pretty good for caching and the new Groundspeak app is also much improved.

 

Walking along with Google sat maps rolling under a small blue dot, showing your position exactly to the nearest bush or tree is an amazing experience!

 

Things are easiest with a phone signal, however, you can download PQs to the phone while you have a signal (or Wifi at McDs or at home etc) so you have the cache details with you when no signal.

 

I'm not a blinkered Apple fan, but I'm also not much of a techno wizard. The reason Apple are successful is they make products that are easy to use. For eg, I tried my partners work Blackberry the other day and trying to send an email was a mysterious and hard process! Those who don't seem to like Apple will point to various devices which already do what the iPhone does and more, and I'm sure they do. But why haven't they been as successful? 6 Billion customers (or whatever the numbers are!) probably aren't wrong. (Like me they might be stupid, but now they've got an easily usable device).

 

Anyway, re: tariffs. The cheapest option I worked out was to buy the phone myself and I'm now on an O2 Simplicity contract of £15 a month - unlimited texts, 300 mins of calls, std 500mb of data (which is a fair size and I don't anticipate getting anywhere near that limit). PAYG is a real bad idea with an iPhone as the data would eat up your limits even if you topped up at £15/month, so the Simplicity deal is much better.

 

The GPS in the new iphone is much more responsive and just as accurate as my Garmin Legend - we were using both today and they each were giving the same numbers as we neared the cache. The camera is also much much better, only distant views are not great. Closer shots are pretty good. Battery life is also much better.

 

I still like the absolute simplicity, and dedicated function of the Garmin Legend plus having a back-up to the phone is useful. I haven't tried setting a cache with the iPhone - the 3G wasn't good enough at all, but the new one might be. Certainly the accuracy today was very good. I think I'd still prefer to have a simple GPS around and especially if I was setting a cache.

 

Hope that helps. I certainly enjoy using my iPhone for caching and all the other things it can do. Do email me direct if you've got any more questions. :D

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Thanks Martlakes for your very helpful response to my query. I had looked at O2 as I am with them at the moment but 3 seems to be a better package right now. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to answer my original query. After reading your post I feel even more certain that for my needs at the moment the iphone 4 is the way for me to go. Thanks also for your offer of further help - I will take you up on this if I have any problems but from reading your post it is easy to use :D

 

I did find the ipaq RX5935 was a good device but was very time consuming to use. I had to bring down a PQ to my main computer, transfer it to a memory stick, load onto my laptop, transfer to gsak then to cachmate and memory map on the ipaq. Hopefully the iphone 4 will be a lot quicker.

 

Thanks again. Allan

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Here's a few numbers.

 

Loading the geocaching home page, at www.geocaching.com, will be between 500kb and 1mb; say 700kb

Then loading the page for the cache you're interested in, another 700kb

If you then want to see all the logs, that's another 700kb

 

That's assuimng that there's no pictures on the page. If there are, it'll be more.

 

Decrypting the hint, is zero download.

 

You can make that a lot less by accessing http://coord.info/GC12345, it avoids the first stage in the above, and gets you straight to the cache page, with 5 logs. Cost = 700kb.

 

So.

 

When I need to look at the cache page on geocaching.com, it's because I'm having trouble finding the cache, and I'll probably want to look at all the logs. So that'll be 1 mb to 3 mb. Call it 2mb.

 

If you need that for 5 caches in the course of a day, that's 10mb

 

If you do that 10 times in a month, than's 100mb. So, your 500 mb should be enough - of course, it depends on how many caches you look up. But it's useful to know how much each page access consumes; it isn't as small as you might expect. If you go out and do 50 caches in a day, and make two access on each one, that's 70mb. But you won't have many days like that.

 

The reason why it's so big, is that TPTB have designed this site for broadband users with large bandwidth allowance. There's also a WAP site, but that has a *lot* less info, so I don't use it. http://wap.geocaching.com/

 

Currently, there's nothing offered by TPTB in between those two options above that is designed for smartphones (that I know of). And if you're trying to use the site using a non-broadband modem (broadband isn't actually available to everyone), or if your mobile phone only offers gprs (my previous one was like that), then you're in for a *long* wait for each page load.

 

Personally, if I were designing this site, I'd have an alternative that omitted most of the stuff that is sent to users, and made each page load about 25kb - it would only take a couple of hours for me to code, and smartphone users would *love* it. Maybe I'd make it for premium members only, thus generating some extra revenue. But, I'm not designing this site :-)

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In experience, with an iPhone or an Android, 500mb is probably just about enough if you use the standard apps that come with it, do the odd bit of websurfing / facebook and pick up your email.

 

Once you start talking about additional caching apps / surfing, you're going to hit 1gb pretty quickly.

 

Do a search around the interweb. There's lots of android and iPhone owners who are complaining because the fair usage limits have been moved from 1gb to 500mb.

 

Alternatively, go with t-Mobile who offer 3gb per month (free) to Android and iPhone users (when they eventually get the iPhone 4)

Three (IIRC) offer 1gb. Orange, O2 and Vodafone are 500mb.

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Then loading the page for the cache you're interested in, another 700kb

 

That's interesting - sounds a lot.

 

Just done a quick test and I've downloaded 5 cache pages, inc one with a large pic as part of the page, and the total usage showing in the stats is now 861kb, = 172 per page. Most were loading at 90-130kb per page but the one with the pic bumped the average up.

 

Wifi is unlimited so it's only via the phone sig that it counts towards 500MB

 

I rarely visit the Geocaching website when in the field because I'm using the iPhone Geocaching App, which if I'm using a PQ, already has the info and can be used in 'Airplane' mode using no data if required. Out in the wilds and some corners of towns then you don't have a signal anyway!

 

As I said, I don't think the data limit will be a huge problem unless you try and watch videos on the go! :)

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For data usage a lot of the time you can get what you need from wap.geocaching.com which is text-only and therefore the download requirements are measured in kilobytes and not very many of them at that. Obviously if you want to see images associated with the caches you can't do it at all from the WAP site.

 

What I do is download my pocket queries, convert it into individual HTML files and then load that into my smartphone. Anything that will read HTML will work for that, which means you've got the cache pages available without having to download the whole thing from GC, which also means you get the cache pages even if you're outside network coverage.

 

I have no experience of the iPhone at all so can't comment whether it's any good. I would echo what someone already said about the total cost of ownership - if you're looking at 24 months @ £35/mo that adds up, and once you reach the end of the contract you keep paying that £35/mo until you find an alternative. So on that basis it seems like an expensive way to get a camera, GPS etc.

 

For comparison a 60CSx or Oregon (both very capable GPS units), plus a pocket camera like a Canon Powershot G11 (which will blow the iPhone camera out of the water), plus a PAYG phone, will probably still come in at less than the cost of two years of iPhone contract. If you're such a light user you're not using the minutes and texts you're paying for that would seem a better way to go. It also means that if your camera gets stolen you've still got a GPS etc - if your iPhone gets stolen you lose everything in one hit.

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I think you'll find you'll get a laptop in too for the £1000 it will cost over the lifetime.

 

Alternatively, you could try:

 

Dakota - £200 ish

Panasonic Lumix DMCFS42EBS - £69.99 (excellent value for under £70)

Half decent Celeron Laptop - Less than £300

 

That still leaves you over £400 for an entry level Android phone with built-in GPS for emergencies and some PAYG credit (get it on T-Mobile and you get 6 months unlimited interweb free apparently. It's £20 every 6 months after that)

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I rarely visit the Geocaching website when in the field because I'm using the iPhone Geocaching App, which if I'm using a PQ, already has the info and can be used in 'Airplane' mode using no data if required. Out in the wilds and some corners of towns then you don't have a signal anyway!

 

 

My wife has an iPhone. I have a Nokia 5800. We're both with Vodafone.

 

We've found that quite often, I have signal and she doesn't. We also find that at home; in some parts of the house, my Nokia will work, but her iPhone won't.

 

This has led to her carrying two phones when we're out caching. She likes the iPhone because of the apps, in particular she uses the pedometer app while we're walking (yes, I know it's easy to get a pedometer, and so does she, but ...). And she also carries an old JCB phone with very few features, because it works in areas where the iPhone doesn't.

 

So maybe that's why you don't have a signal when out in the wilds?

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Thanks for your replies. We were looking at the Iphone because it would seem to have replaced everything we lost (camera, phone, laptop, ipaq,) in one small "package" which would make it easier for us regarding security in our motorhome. As you say, it is quite an outlay but we are weighing it up against replacing each individual item seperately. We do feel that we would get a separate tom-tom though.

 

Internet access is probably our main concern and we were not confident that the limits given by the phone providers would be enough.

 

Our geocaching is generally based in towns or within 4 miles of our motorhome base at that time, not generally too far off the beaten track!

 

Thanks

Allan

 

What we actually lost. The phone was an 3510i worth about £2, Laptop cost £400 but was 4 years old, Ipaq rx5935 £80 from ebay Tv dongle £40 but as old as the laptop, laptop case and a few cheap memorysticks amongst other things. Paswords have all been changed, and a friends house and car keys have all been sorted. Of course these are not replacement costs. let alone all the hassle. A new computer will not run all our existing software so second user stuff is probably the only way to go - added to that, motorhome security is a problem

 

We have already got a replacement tomtom from ebay.

It seems that the photographers say we need a dedicated camera, and the Geocachers say we need the best upto date Gps that there is. I thought that the Iphone would cover all this. As we also do Family History and run a website it seems that a replacment Laptop is needed.

 

So! I did not like the Ipaq it was unreliable, always a pain to upload, not accurate and most of the time using 1-50,000 maps not all that clear. When we started geocaching we used printed Google Satellite maps from Geocaching.com which were always very clear and accurate, if unfortunately out of date and not from the area where we were going at the time when Mrs allan01273 changes her mind :D How can we see these Satellite maps when we are out in the field, get the most up to date logs and then log our finds? My thought was the Iphone, perhaps you have other suggestions.

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LAST POST

 

We have now done the shopping and this is the way we have chosen

 

Tomtom 910 for navigating in the motorhome it was from ebay and only £80

 

HTC Desire Android phone, on payg for use as a phone, 5mb camera (the lense is highly reccomended) and geocaching with Google maps and gps. Perhaps using GeoBeagle when (if) we can get it working

 

Compaq computer, win7 (pain in the a**)

 

"3" mifi. Its a mobile wifi that connects 5 devices to the internet when there is no free wifi. It gives 15 gb per month for £15

 

Of course there was the expense of these 4 items, but there are no shops in the cemetary and you can't take it with you so you may as well spend it. :)

 

Thank you all for your replies and advice which did bring important issues to our mind.

 

Allan

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LAST POST

 

We have now done the shopping and this is the way we have chosen

 

Tomtom 910 for navigating in the motorhome it was from ebay and only £80

 

HTC Desire Android phone, on payg for use as a phone, 5mb camera (the lense is highly reccomended) and geocaching with Google maps and gps. Perhaps using GeoBeagle when (if) we can get it working

 

Compaq computer, win7 (pain in the a**)

 

"3" mifi. Its a mobile wifi that connects 5 devices to the internet when there is no free wifi. It gives 15 gb per month for £15

 

Of course there was the expense of these 4 items, but there are no shops in the cemetary and you can't take it with you so you may as well spend it. :o

 

Thank you all for your replies and advice which did bring important issues to our mind.

 

Allan

 

Sounds like a good choice.

 

My only change would have been to get a Samsung Galaxy S on contract for £20 a month.

It has the option to be used as a Wireless Access Point (the same as the MiFi) and includes 300 minutes, 300 texts and 3gb interweb.

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I'd have been inclined to look into a mobile dongle from Vodafone instead. The one I have is PAYG and £15/GB but as long as you connect at least once every six months there's no limit to how long you can keep your prepaid data allowance.

 

When I was using it regularly I reckoned on about 50-60MB per day (business days only), so on that basis I'd have been paying £15/mo or so. For light users it seems to make more sense than a contract.

 

If you're going to use that 15GB/month then it looks like a very good deal.

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I'd have been inclined to look into a mobile dongle from Vodafone instead. The one I have is PAYG and £15/GB but as long as you connect at least once every six months there's no limit to how long you can keep your prepaid data allowance.

 

When I was using it regularly I reckoned on about 50-60MB per day (business days only), so on that basis I'd have been paying £15/mo or so. For light users it seems to make more sense than a contract.

 

If you're going to use that 15GB/month then it looks like a very good deal.

I have one of those that I use with my laptop when there's no WiFi available. I put £30 credit on to it last October and still have over £20 left.

A couple of things to consider... You need to be in an area where there's a 3G service as trying to connect via GPRS is so slow as to be unuseable. Don't use it abroad... It's over £9 per day (charged the first instant you connect each day). Data transfer speeds vary a lot depending on how busy the cell is and you rarely get the quoted 2Mbit/sec. Having said all that, it's useful when there's nothing else available.

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I'd have been inclined to look into a mobile dongle from Vodafone instead. The one I have is PAYG and £15/GB but as long as you connect at least once every six months there's no limit to how long you can keep your prepaid data allowance.

 

When I was using it regularly I reckoned on about 50-60MB per day (business days only), so on that basis I'd have been paying £15/mo or so. For light users it seems to make more sense than a contract.

 

If you're going to use that 15GB/month then it looks like a very good deal.

I have one of those that I use with my laptop when there's no WiFi available. I put £30 credit on to it last October and still have over £20 left.

A couple of things to consider... You need to be in an area where there's a 3G service as trying to connect via GPRS is so slow as to be unuseable. Don't use it abroad... It's over £9 per day (charged the first instant you connect each day). Data transfer speeds vary a lot depending on how busy the cell is and you rarely get the quoted 2Mbit/sec. Having said all that, it's useful when there's nothing else available.

 

GPRS is slow enough to be a last resort - I wouldn't call it unusable but it's certainly not great. If you're wanting to download anything of any substance then it is all but unusable unless you're VERY patient. But the same applies whichever network we're talking about - GPRS is going to be GPRS regardless of the carrier.

 

In city areas I've seen download speeds fast enough to leave me entirely satisfied. I forget the exact figures although in excess of 1MB/sec certainly wasn't unusual. You're probably right about using it abroad - I always thought it just wouldn't work at all but such heavy prices are far from unusual.

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That's interesting with Vodafone.

 

I have a sim-only PAYG thingy and I have used it in the past for emergencies.

 

However, it only offers me a £7.50 for 30 days internet tariff.

 

How do I go about getting a tariff like above? I don't need the dongle because the one I have is already unlocked.

 

You'll probably have to buy a new dongle, when I bought mine (December 08) they were £40 and came with $15 of credit. You might be able to get a SIM only deal with your existing dongle but you'd need to ask at a Vodafone shop.

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I spend half my life abroad and can agree about using your UK Sim Data is not cost effective BUT...

 

If you get a local Sim you can get some great deals, in the most unlikely places...

 

I have used skype on a data tariff that cost me £5 a month for unlimited internet... Worth the investment in a local sim even for a short stay...

 

Worth considering...

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Which is nonsense the iPhone 4 GPS is fine. Take it from someone who uses one for caching all the time.

As for data remember that if you use th iPhone app then you will be downloading far less than you would by accessing the website plus you can download cache details including sat maps when you are on wifi to save downloading them at the cache location.

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Was out using the iPhone4 today in woodland and it performed excellently! From experience I'd say it was better than my Garmin Venture under the trees. Managed to find a tricky micro that's proved hard for several folk. Only had a the phone a while and I'm very impressed with it. Much much better than my old 3G.

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That's interesting with Vodafone.

 

How do I go about getting a tariff like above? I don't need the dongle because the one I have is already unlocked.

 

Go to the Vodaphone website and buy the dongle for £29.99.

I did this back in May and Vodaphone threw in £15 of credit for free!

 

I don't think that option is available any more. The pay-as-you-go dongle offered now is £20 and has a credit limit of 30 days which means it will cost you 15 quids a month if you use it regularly. The one I bought a year ago cost £29.99 including £15 credit and there was no time limit on the credit, provided you use it at least once every 6 months. It was an ideal solution for someone who only needs mobile broadband on the odd occasion.

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That's interesting with Vodafone.

 

How do I go about getting a tariff like above? I don't need the dongle because the one I have is already unlocked.

 

Go to the Vodaphone website and buy the dongle for £29.99.

I did this back in May and Vodaphone threw in £15 of credit for free!

 

I don't think that option is available any more. The pay-as-you-go dongle offered now is £20 and has a credit limit of 30 days which means it will cost you 15 quids a month if you use it regularly. The one I bought a year ago cost £29.99 including £15 credit and there was no time limit on the credit, provided you use it at least once every 6 months. It was an ideal solution for someone who only needs mobile broadband on the odd occasion.

 

If that's the case they've trashed one of the best things they did in ages, IMO.

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Back to the origonal post.

 

I purchased an HTC Desire and a myfi dongle from "3" for caching, phone, camera and video.

 

Today we did 9 caches along Worthing seafront. No DNF's, each one was easy to find using satmap and clue. We did not have to download 500 pocketquerys and then upload them to something else, and no paper so that is great, except the battery life is not brilliant. We went back to the campervan and logged them on the laptop as I still find the Desire onscreen keypad difficult to use.The programme app that we use is CGeo I tried Geobeagle but couldn't make it work (something to do with sdcard not ready). CGeo works fine.

 

I have uploaded a few videos to Youtube, they are not brilliant but better than some that I have seen, you can have a laugh at my feeble efforts using allan01273.

 

I will have to think what to use when we go to France. Probably McDonalds and free wifi

 

Problem solved

 

Allan

Edited by allan01273
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