21/10/2010

DBVu in line-up for Best Startup 2010

It's the time of year again when TechCrunch Europe host the Europas and DBVu have been nominated for a Best New Startup 2010 so please get voting.

It would be a great honour to get shortlisted.

20/10/2010

Ofcom liberalises the WTA

Ofcom the super regulator will changes to the Wireless Telegraphy Act to come into force on 1st November 2010 that will allow the following to be used in a license exempt manner: -

* Railway level-crossing radars at 24 GHz.

* Fixed Wireless Services (FWS) at 59.1 to 63.9 GHz.

* 900 and 1800 MHz Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) terminals.

The changes also liberalise the technical specifications for the following: -

* Short Range Devices (SRDs) below 30 MHz when operating underwater.

* High Density Fixed Satellite Services (HDFSS).

* SRDs covered by the Commission Decision of 30 June 2010 amending Decision 2006/771/EC on harmonisation of the radio spectrum for use by short-range devices (the SRD Decision).

Though railway enthusiasts may be happy that railway crossing radars no longer need a license, the interesting ones for the general public are that FWS at 59.1 to 63.9 GHz (60GHz) are now license exempt as are 900 and 1800 MHz UMTS (i.e. 3G) terminals.

FWS at 60GHz will allow for very high-speed short range wireless links which will be suitable for in-room transmissions e.g. video links from a set-top-box to a TV mounted on a wall without using wires. Equipment is also expected for connecting USB equipment over wireless.

The 3G terminals at 900/1800 MHz opens the way for refarming the 2G networks so that they can be used for 3G services. When Ofcom sort this out, it should increase 3G coverage and make life easier for everyone.

The full statement is available from Ofcom.

Ofcom reviews Alternative Dispute Resolution Schemes

Anyone offering a communication service is obliged to register with an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Service so that if consumers are not able to resolve a dispute with their provider, they have the option to take it further through an ADR.

Currently there are two approved ADRs who are CISAS and Otelo.

Ofcom is obliged to review how the ADRs on a regular basis, so is consulting on how they doing.

The consultation is available on Ofcom's site.

19/10/2010

Competition try to tear Canvas

Project Canvas, the joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva which will deliver TV channels through a set top box (which is connected to an aerial for receiving DTV and the Internet for IPTV) and is now known as Youview has been given the go-ahead by Ofcom.

Actually Ofcom has decided not to accept complaints from Virgin Media, IP Vision and 11 other parties including BSkyB.

Ofcom's reasons are that the IP TV market is still fledgeling and it's too soon to see if Youview will make a difference in the market, Youview should benefit consumers and if they do harm the competition will the harm outweigh the benefit and the alleged harm may not occur depending on the technical specifications of the system.

Youview has gone through many iterations and current traditional pap-per-view systems like Virgin and Sky have the most to lose if a generic IP TV system can be brought into play that utilises people's broadband to deliver high quality IP TV services. Both BT and TalkTalk are part of the project and will be delivering fibre-to-the-street cabinet/premises (FTTC/FTTP) services which will deliver 40Mb/s - 100Mb/s to the home, which is enough for HDTV, thus negating the need for people to buy satellite TV or cable TV.

The fill press release is available from Ofcom

18/10/2010

Ofcom consulting on advertising an "additional services license"

Anyone want a national license to use for carrying data? Well Ofcom are advertising one. It's part of the spectrum allocated to Classic FM and it's currently used by ITIS Holdings PLC to transmit traffic information for use by in-car navigation systems. The license will expire on 31st December 2011.

There are various complexities such as the license can be no longer than 6 years 1 month as it's inextricably linked to the Classic FM license for voice which will expire in Jan 2018.

Ofcom wants to hold an auction with cash bids.

More info can be found on the consultation site.

Ofcom updates Olympic Spectrum Plan

Ofcom the super regulator has updated it's plans for spectrum use for the London Olympic Games in 2012.

The main spectrum use will be for wireless cameras and due to recent negotiations with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) arrangements have been made for access to spectrum in the range 2700-3100 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz.

Private Mobile Radio (PMR), Talkback and Telemetry spectrum will be avilable through the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) or the Emergency and Public Safety Services (E&PSS) network operated by Airwave Solutions Ltd with 430-478 MHz being conserved for national use (the Torch procession requires spectrum across the UK).

Wireless microphones and in-ear monitors will use UHF Bands IV and V (470-862 MHz, channels 21 to 69) which includes the 800MHz band freed up by the the digital television switchover which should have completed by then.

Satellite News Gathering will have additional spectrum made available for use by Transportable Earth Station (TES) satellite uplinks in the frequency bands 5.925-7.075 GHz (referred to as "C band") and 27.5-27.8185 GHz, 28.4545-28.8265 GHz and 29.4625-30 GHz (collectively referred to as "Ka band").

The 2.6GHz band (2500-2690 MHz) which Ofcom wanted to make available for wireless cameras etc. has still not been decided as there has been arguments against this use that the commercials may not stack up and the spectrum could be used for other services (nationally for wireless broadband etc). That's a big chunk of spectrum that 3G operators would like to get their hands on (it was originally reserved for 3G use).

The Ofcom statement.