11/05/2007

Ofcom awards Northern Ireland spectrum licence to Personal Broadband UK Limited | Ofcom

Ofcom awards Northern Ireland spectrum licence to Personal Broadband UK Limited | Ofcom

Ofcom announced that Personal Broadband UK Limited has been awarded a Wireless Telegraphy Act Licence to use the 1785 MHz - 1805 MHz radio spectrum bands in Northern Ireland. This 20MHz block of spectrum is being released in a technology neutral and service basis.

The licence was auctioned through a sealed bid process on Wednesday 9 May. Personal Broadband UK Limited paid £352,000 for the licence, which was the amount bid by the unsuccessful bidder, Barablu Mobile Holding Limited. Personal Broadband UK Limited bid the higher amount of £501,001, securing the licence at the lower price according to the ‘second price rule’ of the auction.

On 27 April 2007 Personal Broadband UK Limited won the license for Ireland, so now they have both licenses (i.e. Ireland and Northern Ireland). This offers the opportunity for the development of services across the island of Ireland.

Ofcom’s research into the bands has identified a number of potential uses including:

* wireless broadband access

* mobile broadcast, such as wireless cameras for outside broadcasts

* video or closed-circuit television links

* extra capacity for the delivery of mobile services

This auction is part of a programme to release around 400 MHz of prime spectrum over the next few years, creating major opportunities for innovation in wireless services.

09/05/2007

BT charge ISPs for terminating users

Normally when a user gets ADSL, there are charges to set-up the line. That could be through BT Wholesale or via an LLU (local loop unbundling) operator. Those charges may be hidden by the ISP/etc or built in to the set-up charge.

If a user then migrates to another operator, that's fine too.

However if a user happens to cancel their PSTN service, say they move house, the ISP may be charged £33 for the "cease" request even though they've got no control of the user.

There must be a sensible rational behind it somewhere.

Xbox.com | Xbox News - Instant Messaging Comes to Xbox 360

Xbox.com | Xbox News - Instant Messaging Comes to Xbox 360

Xbox Live is being updated. There are a multitude of new features the main one being the inclusion of Windows Live Messenger, so users can chat with anyone on the Windows Live service.

Other updates include new video formats and support for progressive downloads. The system checks there is room on the disk before downloading something (and wont deduct points if it cant).

Though recent sales of the Xbox 360 have slowed down, Xbox Live is still much better than services from Sony or Nintendo (though that's bound to change over time). Microsoft are doing their best to stay in the lead.

The award of spectrum at 10, 28, 32 & 40 GHz | Ofcom

The award of spectrum at 10, 28, 32 & 40 GHz | Ofcom

Ofcom has released a report on the bands at 10GHz, 28GHz, 32GHz and 40GHz. The report shows there's very little interest in the 40GHz bands.

Broadcasters have a potential interest in 10GHz, while 10, 28 and 32 GHz could be used for fixed wireless broadband or backhaul or other similar technologies.

Broadcasters only require a single channel, while other applications would require 2 channels (paired bands) for duplex use.

Some of the report has been censored as it might influence the results of any auctions and/or processes.

10GHz was previously allocated (to THUS and NTL) but both gave the licenses back as they were not being used.

There have been auctions in 28GHz, but they weren't particularly successfull and only a few licensees are actually using their licenses.

NTL:Telewest Business up for sale?

VirginMedia which is a consumer focussed brand may dispose of NTL:Telewest Business, its business unit.

Though NTL:Telewest Business accounted for around £200m of VirginMedia's revenue it could be considered "non core". Allegedly there have been talks with Kingston Communications (the Hull based operator), but if that's true there have probably been talks with all the major players (C&W, Carphone Warehouse, THUS, etc).

The cash would allow VirginMedia to acquire content or produce more of its own channels which it's wanted to do for a while.