16/12/2005

Ofcom Website | Statement and notification extending the charge controls

Ofcom Website | Statement and notification extending the charge controls

Ofcom have extended the wholesale rate mobile operators can charge for temrination until March 07. O2 and Vodafone are set at 5.63ppm and Orange and T-Mobile at 6.51ppm.

Though this is good news, the rates are still high compared to retail deals that end-users can get directly from the operators themselves, it's one of the only industries where wholesale rates are higher than retail.

15/12/2005

Ofcom Website | Award of Available Spectrum - 1785 - 1805MHz

Ofcom Website | Award of Available Spectrum - 1785 - 1805MHz

Ofcom in association with ComReg (the Irish regulator) are proposing to make available a 20MHz piece of spectrum in the 1785 - 1805 MHz range. There will be one license awarded in Ireland and one in Northern Ireland. The consultation closes on March 2nd 2006.

There will be a sealed bid approach with Ireland's being offered first and shortly after Northern Ireland. Reserve price is 150,000 Euros and £50,000 respectively. The NI license will be fully tradable as soon as it's been won.

The spectrum may be used for any purpose, but must meet the radiated power and spectral masks defined by the regulators. Max radiated power (EIRP) is 56dBm per MHz so larger channels means higer power (i.e. if the spectrum is broken down to 1MHz channels then the max EIRP is 56dBm, while one 20MHz channel would allow 1120dBm).

Allows for reasonable links for short-distance mulitple channels or longer distances with smaller number of channels.


14/12/2005

Intel calls for IEEE to drop UWB - Network IT Week

Intel calls for IEEE to drop UWB - Network IT Week

Intel is trying to get the IEEE (a US based International standards body) to adopt their UWM standard known as WiMedia rather than the current approach which uses Direct Sequence-UWB.

UWB is suited for short-range wire replacement services allowing for data rates in the order of 500Mb/s, it does this by splitting the data up and encoding it on a large range of frequencies. As the power of the transmissions is so low, other non-UWB equipment just hears it as background noise and if there is interference on various frequencies the UWB kit will just ignore it as it can just re-constitute the data from other frequencies.

There has already been arguments in the UWB group with the Multi-Band OFDM Alliance (MBOA) giving up as using their technology as the basis for UWB.

Intel obviously have a vested interest in people using their technology, but they potentially may just be causing delays in what promises to revolutionise how devices "talk" to each other.

3G may beat WiMax to the punch - Network IT Week

3G may beat WiMax to the punch - Network IT Week

Though the mobile version of WiMAX has now been ratfied (802.16e) it will be a while before manufacturers have silicon supporting in, though companies like Intel have said they will produce chips next year - integrated on to laptop motherboards.

Unfortunately even though the standard may now be real and mobile WiMAX may become a reality in terms of hardware, there's still the question of what spectrum is available for people to use.

In the UK the only possible spectrum that could be used (currently) is 5.8GHz in Band B which will give limited bandwidth.

Even the licensed operators who have spectrum available in 3.4 and 3.5GHz are NOT (currently) allowed to offer mobile services over it and they can only offer permanent fixed links.

It wont be the technology that slows WiMAX but the regulatory hurdles.

13/12/2005

Microsoft and MCI jump on VoIP bandwagon - Network IT Week

Microsoft and MCI jump on VoIP bandwagon - Network IT Week

Microsoft and MCI have joined forces to offer a VoIP service to compete with Skype and such like.

Currently in beta and only available to US customers it's part of a new version of Messenger, Microsoft's IM client.

Users will be able to dial 220 countries, with prices starting at $.023 (at current rates, that's about 1.5p) per minute to the US, Canada, UK and Western Europe which is cheaper than Skype.

This is the start of a trend which is sounding the death-knoll for per minute charging, any Telco relying on voice minutes has a short lifetime to look forward to.