14/02/2007

Ofcom introduces UK-wide 03 numbers | Ofcom

Ofcom introduces UK-wide 03 numbers | Ofcom

In March this year (2007) Ofcom will introduce a range of numbers starting with 03. These are non-geographic numbers, but they are charged at local rate (like 01 or 02 numbers).

Initially they will be available to public bodies and not-for-profit services, some number ranges will be reserved so 08 numbers will be able to be mapped across (i.e. numbers starting 08 now will be able to migrate to 03).

A major advantage of 03 numbers is that they can be included in price plans (mobile or fixed), so no more extra charges for dialing some kind of service line.

Operators will also not be allowed to offer revenue share on these numbers (i.e. where the operator pays a small percentage of the call revenue to the business operating the service).

Ofcom is also planning to cease 070 "personal numbering" allocations from the end of 2007, as people utilise these for scams as customers assume they are mobile numbers (when in fact their rates are much higher). In July any 070 charging more than 20p per minute will have to pre-announce their charges to the dialer.

These require changes to General Condition 17 (of the Communications Act) so Ofcom is holding a consultation until 14th March 2007.

Disputes between T-Mobile and BT and BT and each of Hutchison 3G Ltd, Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd and Vodafone Ltd relating to call termination rates | Ofcom

Disputes between T-Mobile and BT and BT and each of Hutchison 3G Ltd, Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd and Vodafone Ltd relating to call termination rates | Ofcom

BT, being the UK encumbant, handles a large ammount of UK termination - especially for foreign operators. They offer what's known as blended rates, which mean they will offer fixed charges for geographic, non geographic and mobile ranges even if invidual charges differ (i.e. there are differences say between mobile carrier termination charges).

Now operators want to charge BT higher rates as they say they have higher charges incurred to deliver 3G calls compared to 2G (GSM) calls and BT are disputing this with Ofcom.

The MNOs (mobile network operators) are very wary of termination as they see this as a cash cow, currently it's considerably cheaper to get retail bundles of mobile minutes than wholesale, so fixed to network charges sustain a lot of their margin.

They have been very wary of the new low power GSM "Guard Band" licensees - even though Ofcom consider them fully fledged GSM networks. Some even refusing to switch their number blocks (even though they are allocated by Ofcom), though that situation seems to be changing. Mobile operators who want to offer say WiFi mobile services are not having such luck.

Another issue is number portability, currently the number porting system is run by the MNOs and only available to the MNOs. Anyone wishing to participate in MNP (mobile number porting) has to get permission from all existing MNOs and anyone has the power of veto. So far they are not accepting number porting from anyone else. Ofcom seem to be taking a positive view on this (in that the MNOs will have to allow other operators), but it could take a while.

The MNOs want to keep control of their customers and networks and new entrants could pose a huge issue for them and they're scared.

If new entrants can offer flexible, innovative services then the MNOs should be worried.

Draft 2.0 802.11n moves forward - FierceWifi-Wifi news, WiMAX news, muni WiFi & wireless broadband news

Draft 2.0 802.11n moves forward - FierceWifi-Wifi news, WiMAX news, muni WiFi & wireless broadband news

The move towards a full 802.11n specification moves forward with Draft 2.0 of the standard.

It still has to get 75% of the vote (of around 600 members of the SIG).

Compatability is a major part of the spec, so it can co-exist with 802.11b/g networks.

Although it's a step in the right direction, the final specification isn't expected until October 2008.

12/02/2007

AMD extends GEODE range

AMD acquired the Geode processor from National Semiconductor and they've been pushing it as an embedded x86 processor. A new version is faster but still only spits out 1.5W which means it can be used fanless.

They've also made improvements to other lines to allow them to be embedded to such as the Opteron CPU.

AMD wants to be a leader in that market and take some of the dominance away from ARM and other vendors.

First look at Windows Mobile 6

Digit Online

What Digit seem to have missed is the added technology features, but maybe Microsoft didn't show them.

A friend installed a version of Windows Mobile 6 on his MDA (HTC Universal), it now supports USB slave functionality (i.e. it appears as a disk) and USB host functionality (i.e. disks can be attached to it).

A neat feature is the WiFi access point mode. What this means is that phone (GPRS/3G) can be used as a wireless modem and the WiFi in the unit which is usually in client mode turned into AP mode, so other systems can access connectivity through WM6.

WM6 also has a bigger memory model and can handle more processes.