22/11/2007

UK Broadband application for licence variation | Ofcom

UK Broadband application for licence variation | Ofcom

Ofcom consulted on permitting a variation in UK Broadband's 3.5GHz license.

The variation asked that UK Broadband to allowed to: -

* use the license in a technology neutral manner (i.e. they can decide what technology to use).

* remove the limitation of only fixed terminals.

* increase the maximum in-band power level to +29dBW/MHz.

Ofcom are planning to grant the variation but limit mobile terminals to 5dBW/MHz and issue the new license as soon as is practical.

This may stimulate UK Broadband's growth, though they are still only offering limited coverage and limited areas.

21/11/2007

Skype make users change numbers

Introducing the 3 Skypephone

It seems users in the UK with 020 7 numbers are being forced to change them by mid December 2007, that's about 2 weeks.

When BT make changes they give about 2 years notice.

It seems the numbers allocated belong to Gamma Telecom, so has Skype had a falling out with them? Or did they change UK providers and they don't have a porting agreement with Gamma. Whatever the story is, users are not happy - especially users who have printed their SkypeIn details on business cards.

As Skype are not UK based, Ofcom who would normally stop things like this happening, cant really do much, though new EU regulations might change that as well as Ofcom regulations forcing anyone who operates in the UK to abide by UK regulations.

Upgrading Digital Terrestrial Television | Ofcom

Upgrading Digital Terrestrial Television | Ofcom

There are currently 6 DTT multiplexes and 3 are used for Public Service Broadcasting. Ofcom is planning to clear one of these mutliplexes (Multiplex B, licensed by Ofcom to BBC Free to View Ltd) by moving the existing programming to spare channels in other multiplexes.

Multiplex B will then utilise new standards DVB-T2 (instead of DVB-T which gives and improvement of about 30%) and MPEG4 (instead of MPEG2, a 50% saving in bandwidth).

This could be completed by late 2009/early 2010 in the Granada area while HD broadcasts could start by 2012, with the rest of the country as the digital switchover occurs.

Users could utilise their existing set-top-boxes to view existing channels, but the new channels would only be available to new boxes supporting the DVB-T2 and MPEG4 standards.

Ofcom proposes to invite organisations with Public Service Broadcaster status – principally the BBC, the Channel 3, 4 and 5 licensees and S4C – to set out how they would use the upgraded capacity on Multiplex B.

This is good news as it will allow HD broadcasts on a free-to-air platform. Unfortunately most users will need new STBs, Linux users will rejoice as platforms such as MythTV and other DTT systems can already decode MPEG4.

The consultation closes on 31/01/2008