25/11/2006

Pico GSM cells, what's the fuss all about? | The Register

Pico GSM cells, what's the fuss all about? | The Register: "1781.7-1785MHz paired with 1876.7-1880MHz (known as the GSM Guard bands)1781.7-1785MHz paired with 1876.7-1880MHz (known as the GSM Guard bands)"

The GSM Guard bands were put in place as the seperate the GSM bands from the DECT bands. 20 years ago radio kit tended to bleed into neighbouring areas, so Ofcom reserved these chunks of 3.3MHz to ensure that there would be no interference with DECT.

Nowadays radio kit is much better and doesn't, so Ofcom auctioned off the spectrum and made £3.8m for the government in the process (peanuts compared to the £22bn they made on 3G, but it's some cash to pay for a tank in Iraq or something).

The major advantage is that all GSM phones will "listen" on those frequencies as their normal behaviour, so in theory easy to run a low power GSM network and use off-the-shelf phones. Of course there's more to it than that and the article goes on to explain that.

Ofcom flicks switch on iPod FM | The Register

Ofcom flicks switch on iPod FM | The Register

My article on legalising low power transmitters and other things.

21/11/2006

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets 2006/07 | Ofcom

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets 2006/07 | Ofcom

Ofcom are holding a consultation on the Wholesale Broadband Access (WBA) market. This is to ensure other players have equal access to WBA and can offer their own services.

This really affects BT and Kingston Communications (who are the sole comms provider in Hull) as they both have Significant Market Power (SMP) in various areas.

The consultation closes on 13/02/07.

Ofcom will publish their findings in mid 2007 and further review the situation.

Higher power limits for licence-exempt devices | Ofcom

Higher power limits for licence-exempt devices | Ofcom

Ofcom held a consultation to raise power limits in both the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands. There were 30 responses from a wide range of organisations.

Since broadband is now available (at speeds of at least 512Kb/s) in most of the UK and there are possible interference effects when raising the power of 2.4GHz in rural areas Ofcom has decided not to proceed with changing the 2.4Ghz limits.

In 5.8GHz there was general agreement that power limits could be raised, so Ofcom are planning to change the licensing so higher power limits can be used nationally (with the constraints that 5.8GHz is a lightly licensed band).

Ofcom also asked whether conducted power rather than radiated power levels should be used as the basis for regulation, there was a mixed response which went towards supporting this across Europe, so Ofcom will make any such changes through the European Regulatory regime.

20/11/2006

Digit news - Powerful Mac admin utility updated

Digit news - Powerful Mac admin utility updated

Though the utility looks nice, Xupport costs US$19.90. Onyx which does very similar functions if free.

O2 picocells to send mobile calls via LANs - 20 Nov 2006 - IT Week

O2 picocells to send mobile calls via LANs - 20 Nov 2006 - IT Week

It seems O2 are going to use their GSM Guard Band license to offer in-building GSM, using ADSL as backhaul.

They say they have a combined GSM/DSL router for less than Euro 100. They have a huge advantage against other Guard Band operators in that they can just plug into their own GSM network, without risk of interference to existing cells. Hand-off when outside the pico-cell will just work.

If they can really produce equipment this cheaply, then even normal ADSL will support a couple of voice calls (GSM uses a 13Kb/s codec and even after converting to VoIP may only use around 21Kb/s). Most ADSL upstream supports at least 256Kb/s, though it's contended.

It makes sense in offices, but could also attract home users, who get cheaper calls when using their own cell. As O2 recently bought Be (the local loop unbundler) they'll have a network to run the system over, though they have limited coverage at the moment.

Vodafone fesses to premium rate SMS overcharging | The Register

Vodafone fesses to premium rate SMS overcharging | The Register

Here's an article I wrote about Vodafone overcharging some Pay as You Talk customers for premium rate SMS.

Funny that The Metro has an almost identical article.