30/03/2007

Sony Computer Entertainment America Offers PSP(R)(PlayStation(R)Portable) Users T-Mobile(R) Hotspot Access

Sony Computer Entertainment America Offers PSP(R)(PlayStation(R)Portable) Users T-Mobile(R) Hotspot Access

Sony has announced a deal with T-Mobile so PSP users can access the Internet via T-Mobile hotspots. This requires firmware v3.3 for the PSP (now available) which also adds further functionality like full screen video.

The offer allows 6 months "free" WiFi access, then a special price plan for PSP users.

29/03/2007

Regulation of VoIP Services | Ofcom

Regulation of VoIP Services | Ofcom

Ofcom have today published initial regulations for VoIP providers.

The key points are: -

* If there is no 999 access the supplier must notify the user and get the user to SIGN to acknowledge it.

* If 999 services are not available there must be stickers/labels on hardware (or notices on software) which tell the user that they are not available.

* Ofcom wants everyone to offer 999 services. In doing so everyone will become PATS (public access telephony system). PATS means that they are compliant with various general conditions.

* Anyone offering a service in the UK is covered by the UK regulations whether operating from the UK or from a foreign country, however Ofcom does not have a solution for foreign operators who do not adhere to the regulations.

Anyone who is now PATS must accept porting requests immediately and can demand ports from any other PATS provider.

Ofcom is also going to consult on various other VoIP related issues in the coming months.

28/03/2007

71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz Self Coordinated Links | Ofcom

71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz Self Coordinated Links | Ofcom

Ofcom has made the 71-76 GHz paired with 81-86 GHz bands available for short range links. These paired bands are lightly licensed with a registration fee of £50 pa per link.

Anyone wishing to use equipment must first register the link (having obtained a license) in Ofcom's database. The license affords some measure of interference protection (though Ofcom will try not to get involved unless the interfering parties can not be contacted or resolve issues amongst themselves). A second link can not be registered if there is already a link in place. If a licensee complains of interference, Ofcom has the power to force a later (interfering) link to terminate operation.

The process of registration is currently manual, but this may change.

Though these bands have to potential to offer very high speed fixed links (there's 9GHz in each direction for a full-duplex operation) equipment is currently extremely expensive so it's unlikely to have widespread adoption. This is mainly due to exotic materials needing to be used as silicon does not function well (radio wise) above 10GHz.

There are also safety concerns as the radio waves are likely to be ionising.

However short-range point-to-point links can achieve multi-gigabit speeds suitable for LAN extension services.

27/03/2007

Adobe Creative Suite 3: Digit's in-depth guide

Digit Online

Adobe has announced what will be in the various CS3 packages.

The packages are: -

* Creative Suite 3 Design Standard. It includes InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, plus Acrobat 8 Professional which costs £760 plus VAT.

* The Design Premium bundle includes the above and the Extended version of Photoshop, and gains Dreamweaver and Flash Professional. It costs £1,199 plus VAT.

* Creative Suite 3 Web Standard is based around the ex-Macromedia core of Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Fireworks and Contribute. It costs £600 plus VAT.

* The Premium version includes the above and adds adds Photoshop Extended, Illustrator and Acrobat for £1,017 plus VAT.

* Creative Suite 3 Production Premium includes After Effects Professional, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, Encore, OnLocation, Ultra, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator and Flash Professional for £1,199 plus VAT.

* Creative Suite 3 Master Collection includes InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash Professional, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects Professional, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, Encore, OnLocation, Ultra, Acrobat, Bridge, Device Central CS3 for £1,675 plus VAT.

All Adobe software is version CS3 apart from Acrobat which is v8 (i.e. the currently released version).

The design and web versions will ship in April, Production Premium and Master Collection will ship late summer.

They'll run on MacOS X 10.4 (or higher) and XP and Vista. Some programs are Mac Intel only and some Windows only.

Community Audio Distribution Services (CADS): FAQs | Ofcom

Community Audio Distribution Services (CADS): FAQs | Ofcom

Ofcom has now made Community Audio Distribution Services (CADS) license exempt. CADS uses Citizen's Band Radio equipment and may be used to distribute live community events, such as religious services or council meetings. No commercial traffic/messages may be transmitted.

CB isn't as popular in the UK as in the US, but there are several tens of thousands of users.

BT OSS Separation | Ofcom

BT OSS Separation | Ofcom

As part of BT's agreement with Ofcom (when BT Openreach was set-up) they have to seperate their OSS (operational support systems) so Openreach have completely seperate systems. Ofcom are proposing an ammendment to Section 5 (separation of systems shared between Openreach and the rest of BT) of the Enterprise Act Undertakings given by BT to Ofcom.

BT have to: -

* Physically separate Openreach OSS from the rest of BT by 30th June 2010

* Design all new Openreach systems to be separate from the rest of BT

* In the interim, until full physical separation is achieved, deliver a logically separate OSS capability for certain product groups according to binding milestones

* Review regularly with Ofcom a roadmap for achieving physical separation

Ofcom have also set-out interim measures for milestones up to the 2010 completion.

The consultation closes on 11/05/2007.

Procedures for the Management of Satellite Filings | Ofcom

Procedures for the Management of Satellite Filings | Ofcom

Ofcom's document describes the procedures that must be followed by companies or other organisations located in the United Kingdom (UK), British Overseas Territories, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, wishing to submit applications through the UK for the management and processing of satellite filings. It includes details of coordination and registration, in order to achieve international recognition under the ITU procedures.

Not very exciting, but an important document for anyone wishing to use satellite services.

Ofcom announces new price controls on mobile operators

Ofcom has lowed the termination charges for mobile operators. O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone will now only be able to charge 5.1p per minute, while 3 will be able to charge 5.9p. It's the first time 3 have had termination charge controls.

BT has complained that the charges are still too high and the operators are subsidising their 3G licenses will termination revenue and that Ofcom has been pressurised by the operators. The EU has mandated that termination charges should be lowered and will look closely at Ofcom's business models to ensure that the pricing they set is realistic, if they feel Ofcom has favoured the operators the EU may force them to further lower termination charges.

This will take place from April 1st.

More importantly Ofcom are also going to hold a consultation into mobile number porting (MNP), currently mobile numbers can only be ported between the above "big 5" operators. There is a lot of industry interest in this as VoIP services come into play (mobile VoIP over wireless services) and also groups like the low power GSM (guard band) operators want porting, currently these types of players can not access the MNP systems.

Inquiry into premium rate telecoms services in television programmes | Ofcom

Inquiry into premium rate telecoms services in television programmes | Ofcom

Ofcom is holding an enquiry into premium rate services (PRS) in TV programs.

They will then publish results to ensure consumer confidence is restored.

Any PRS is already goverened by ICSTIS codes, but this is likely to expose some dubious practices by TV companies who use PRS for revenue generation.

Market investigation into the pay TV industry | Ofcom

Market investigation into the pay TV industry | Ofcom

Ofcom has received a submission from BT, Setanta, Top Up TV, and Virgin Media to investigate the pay TV industry and to consider whether they should be investigated by the Competition Commission under the Enterprise Act 2002.

Ofcom Consumer Panel and the National Consumer Council have also expressed concerned about BSkyB removing channels on Virgin Media's platform.

Sky have a virtual monopoly on a huge ammount of content and other payers want equal access. Sky will probably lose out in the long term, but in the meantime lots of Virgin Media customers are likely to migrate to Sky to gain access to prime shows like Lost, 24, BattleStar Galactica etc. Sky are even offering promotional pricing to attract cable customers. Virgin Media are not cash rich and losing droves of customers could put them in a very dangerous position in terms of city expectations.

Variation of UK Broadband Limited Wireless TelegraphyAct Licences

Last week Ofcom agreed to merge UK Broadband's 3 seperate 3.4GHz licenses into 1 national license. UK Broadband is owned by PCCW the Hong Kong company.

UK Broadband won 13 of the 15 regional 3.4GHz licenses, then acquired the other 2 and now these seperate licenses (which all the the same conditions etc, apart from region) will become a single license.

UK Broadband have also asked for the licenses to become technology neutral (as per Ofcom recent policy in-line with EU policy) and to change the conditions (which is likely to be to allow mobile/nomadic use - currently the license only allows fixed links).

Having a national license in the middle of the usable WiMAX spectrum range is a very valuable commodity, though PCCW may not have the resource to roll-out a national service (backhaul is extremely expensive), but as a single national license they could sell it on to another operator (like BT) who want to roll out mobility solutions (and high speed broadband to rural areas).

26/03/2007

Symbian announces Symbian OS v9.5

Symbian announces Symbian OS v9.5

Symbian has released Symbian OS 9.5, this has their POSIX interface and a SQL database built-in. It also has improvements for memory management and processors meaning applications will run faster and more efficiently.

Symbian have also announced support for the new ® Cortex™-A8 processor currently running on Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) OMAP3430 application processor which can offer around 3 times the performance of current processors.

It will take a while for both the OS and devices based on the new CPU to appear though.