MediaTek has released a new chip the MT6577 which combines an ARM Cortex-A9 dual CPU with their 3G/HSPA modem and a graphics subsystem based on Imagination Technologies' PowerVR Series5 SGX. This will allow 1080p encoding and playback at 15 or 30 frames per second (using a 1080 by 720 display) and supports an 8MP camera and can support a stereo camera too. The 40nm process silicon is being produced by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited) and MediaTek are already in talks with vendors and devices should be available by Q3 this year. MediaTek are already the largest supply of baseband units, but it's a high volume low margin business. This should add value, however this will enable smart phones to be produced in the $150 - $200 range while existing smart phones with similar specifications cost around the $500 mark. This puts MediaTek directly against Qualcomm and their Snapdragon cores.
Everything Everywhere (the combined Orange and T-Mobile mobile network operators) has been running a trial in Cumbria using LTE in it's existing 1800MHz spectrum. The trialists were made up of users from local businesses and they either used dongles or mobile routers. Speeds of up to 20Mb/s (download) were achieved, though this depended on the number of users per mast and distance from the mast. The area isn't well serviced by fixed line broadband which meant high speed mobile via mobile was a boon to users. EE have applied to Ofcom for a license variation to allow them to utilise LTE on their existing 1800MHz spectrum nationally and Ofcom have opened a consultation on whether to allow this. The other MNOs are objecting, though EE have to return some of that spectrum as part of their merger conditions.
Ofcom the Super regulator that covers telecoms, broadcasting, spectrum, media and the postal system has released details about Telecoms complaints in the period January through March 2012. This covers fixed line telephone, fixed broadband, mobile telephony and Pay TV services. Ofcom itself receives around 300 complaints per day, usually when a consumer can not resolve an issue with the relevant supplier. These reports are logged, while there are many more issues reported to the suppliers themselves that Ofcom never gets to hear of. Fixed line telephony: BT Retail, Sky, TalkTalk Group and Virgin Media of which TalkTalk had the highest number of complaints with Virgin Media receiving the least number of complaints. Most complaints related to billing and customer service issues. Fixed broadband: BT Retail, Sky, TalkTalk Group, Virgin Media and Orange Home. Again TalkTalk had the most complaints and Sky the least mainly about line faults and other service issues. Mobile telephony: 3UK, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile with Three getting most complaints and O2 least relating mainly to disputed charges and customer service issues. Pay TV services: Sky, BT Vision, and Virgin Media with Sky getting the least complaints and BT Vision the most mainly relating to their sales processes and problems with billing. The Ofcom summary can be found here.