02/12/2005

Ofcom Website | Local loop unbundling: setting the fully unbundled rental charge ceiling and minor amendment to SMP conditions FA6 and FB6

Ofcom Website | Local loop unbundling: setting the fully unbundled rental charge ceiling and minor amendment to SMP conditions FA6 and FB6

Ofcom has capped BT's charges for a fully unbundled line to £81.69 from Jan 1st 2006. This puts it in line with WLR (wholesale line rental) charges.

This should stimulate LLU operators to offer a fully unbundled service (rather than the shared metallic path option whereby BT retain the voice element). BT will no longer have the opportunity to geta b lue-bill through the door and market their services to customers.

Microsoft launches anti-virus service - IT Week

Microsoft launches anti-virus service - IT Week

The other security companies must be worried about their future. Microsoft has announced Windows One Care Live Security beta which supports anti-virus and anti-spyware offerings, firewall, remote back-up etc.

It's currently free, but there's likely to be a charge later.

It's all part of their Live offering which centrally hosts MS services, including Office offerings and Communications options.

The service is currently only for consumers, but an enterprise version is expected later.

Skype adds video with Skype 2.0 - IT Week

Skype adds video with Skype 2.0 - IT Week

Skype has released Skype v2 (beta) which introduces video capability as well as supporting moods and indicating the time zone of the person you're trying to call.

Though video calling can be useful, mainly it's a gimmick and uses more bandwidth.

If they're using the same P2P methods for video as well as audio, then anyone on non-NATed connections will get even more of their bandwidth used as they become a super-node for other users who are NAT'ed or behind agressive firewalls.

Gmail adds virus scanning - IT Week

Gmail adds virus scanning - IT Week

Google Mail now check for infected attachments and stop people downloading them if it cant remove them (as well as checking outgoing attachments too).

Though Email is an important part of an office environment it's not the only part. Google have done a deal with Sun and point users at OpenOffice for an alternative to Microsoft products. However they surely must be looking at offering a hosted version of the suite.

In the past Sun has shown hosted versions of StarOffice, which utilise computing power in the browser much like Google do with Google Earth and other AJAX applications, but they also had versions which just used the browser as a rendering engine suitable for PDAs etc.

The software looked the same whatever platform it ran on and though files could be stored locally, they were best placed on the server (that run the application).

It wouldn't be suprising if Sun re-vitalised those efforts which would allow Google to offer a fully hosted Office environment.

01/12/2005

Digit LIVE news - Sky reports mobile TV success

Digit LIVE news - Sky reports mobile TV success

TV on your mobile phone? It seems it's taking off. Sky have done a deal with Vodafone so customers can access Sky content through their !Live service.

Currently it's free, which is probably why so many people are using it, however when Vodafone charge £5 per month per Sky package (there's 3 of them), then things might change.

Digit LIVE news - Sony updates PSP, adds RSS support

Digit LIVE news - Sony updates PSP, adds RSS support

Adding RSS feeds allows the PSP to be used to subscribe to news feeds/blogs and such like. This is another step in making the PSP the portable media hub of choice.

When the Xbox 360 is launched tomorrow with PSP support they'll make a great combination.

29/11/2005

Ofcom Website | European experts back a more flexible approach to spectrum management

Ofcom Website | European experts back a more flexible approach to spectrum management

The European Union's expert group on spectrum - the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) - adopted an Opinion calling for a more flexible approach to spectrum management on 23 November.

This is a good decision and should speed up the way spectrum can be allocated across Europe and allow new and innovative services to be launched including mobile, broadcasting, fixed wireless and other electronic comms services.

3 no longer considered to have SMP

In 2004 Ofcom ruled that 3 the UK mobile 3G network (Hutchison 3G UK Limited) had SMP or significant market power. SMP means Ofcom can regulate the company and put conditions on it's operation and even make it offer services to 3rd parties (BT have to and have a wholesale and retail operation).

3 appealed the decision and today CAT (Competition Appeal Tribunal) ruled that this was not the case. It is the first time a UK operator has successfully appealed an SMP ruling.

This shouldn't affect things for customers, but should mean 3 can concentrate on services rather than worrying about having to appease the regulator and even opening up its network to other operators.

28/11/2005

Digit LIVE news - Tivo to bring TV to iPod and PSP

Digit LIVE news - Tivo to bring TV to iPod and PSP

Tivo are planning to extend their Tivo ToGo service (which already supports watching TV on your PC that's been stored on the Tivo) to the portable media players including the video iPod and PSP.

They'll watermark the content with the Tivo subscriber details so that illegally distributed content can be traced to the originating system but the studios with be watching them intently and if Tivo get things wrong, they're sure to be lawsuits.

Tivo are set to test the service in the next few weeks and make it available to all users early next year.

Digit LIVE news - Microsoft 'losing money on Xbox 360'

Digit LIVE news - Microsoft 'losing money on Xbox 360'

The cost of an Xbox core is thought to be around $310 while it's selling for $299.99 (in the US) and the Xbox 360 Premium costs around $525 while it sells for $399.99, Microsoft have denied the losses saying they make a (small) ammount per sale.

Even if they do make a loss on the consoles themselves, games are very high margin as the actual sale consists of DVD dupplication, a manual and packaging. Even after software development costs have been taken out, the games soon pay for themselves (and make huge profits for popular games).

Though Sony have dominated the console market in recent years, the Xbox 360 is a truely powerful machine which is much easier to program than the PS3. Taking advantage of the PS3 Cell multi-core processor will be very difficult.

MS are trying to be at least somewhat open with the 360 and want it to be the media hub in the house and if they get that right they have got the chance really make a difference.

Ofcom Website | Auction of spectrum 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz - Information memorandum

Ofcom Website | Auction of spectrum 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz - Information memorandum

Ofcom has released the final documents for the auction of what was known as the GSM guard-bands. There will be anywhere between 7 and 12 depending on how the auction goes.

Though only allowing 16 channels of GSM voice, they can actually be used for anything as long as the radio equipment meets the Ofcom output regulations, so they could be used for wireless broadband.

Ofcom have even made provision for upping the power levels for specific sites (they state areas such as tunnels, basements and airports) [with the agreement of other licensees] which might give a clue to who will bid for some of the licenses.

If a licensee rolls out a GSM service, they'll have to get some kind of roaming or issue their own phones/SIMs which might not prove cost-effective, though for areas where current GSM service is not available they could target specific niche markets.

AMD chips may soon power Dell PCs - IT Week

AMD chips may soon power Dell PCs - IT Week

Dell has been an Intel advocate for a long time, even in the face of cheaper processors from AMD, now that seems to be about to change.

Romours abound that Dell is looking a AMD chips for (consumer) workstations as they offer a better bang for the buck which might increase Dell's weakening profit margins. AMD also have a very good reputation especially for x64 bit chips and now with x2 dual core chips.