23/08/2012

Everything Everywhere sells spectrum to Three (but they cant use it)

Everything Everywhere (EE) the combined company made up to Orange and T-Mobile has sold off some of their 1800MHz spectrum to Three UK (3). The terms of the deal have not been specified.

EE has 2 x 60 MHz bands in 1800MHz and they were forced to relinquish some of this spectrum by the European Competition Commission (2 x 15 MHz chunks) and they have no done this by selling it to 3.

However there's a twist as 3 won't actually get hold of the spectrum until 2013 (which is pretty much the maximum time frame the Competition Commission allowed), which gives EE a whole year to offer 4G (LTE) services in the 1800MHz band and be a UK monopoly for 4G services (Ofcom granted EE a license variation to allow 4G services in EE's 1800MHz band earlier this week).

All of the other mobile network operators have cried foul play as they have to wait for spectrum to become available in 800MHz and 2.6GHz as part of the digital dividend, but Ofcom won't auction the spectrum until 2013 and it's not expected to be available until at least the end of 2013.

By offering LTE services it's likely devices such as the iPhone 5 and other smartphones and tablets will be able to use these frequencies as they're already used in Australia and some Asia Pacific countries. Though UK Broadband is also offering LTE on their spectrum, it's in a band that's not commonly used for LTE and they are having specific devices made to use it.

22/08/2012

Amazon now offer Glacial storage

Amazon have announced their Glacier storage system that competes with traditional off-line storage such as tapes. Storage can cost as little as $0.01 per MB per month (so about $10 per TB) and though archival is relatively quick, retrieval can take 4 or 5 hours. Amazon expect users to utilise their notification service so that retrieval jobs are run in the background and users will be notified when the job has been completed. This should be extremely compelling for companies who want to archive data but don't want to invest in network attached storage or slow tape backup solutions. Users should note other charges will be added such as data transfer charges (which can quickly add up).

CS Odessa adds AWS components to Concept Draw Pro/Office

CS Odessa produce a drawing package that is compatible with Microsoft's Visio called Concept Draw Pro (also included in Concept Draw Office which also contains Concept Draw Project and Mindmap). As part of these packages they provide network diagrams and now have released a compete set of Amazon Web Services components allowing users to design and document their AWS configurations. The pack will cost $29 but is available free for a while for registered users of Concept Draw Pro or Office.

Everything Everywhere is allowed to offer LTE services

Everything Everywhere the merged efforts of Orange and T-Mobile have been allowed by Ofcom to operate LTE (Long Term Evolution) or 4G services in its 1800MHz spectrum.

All of the other Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) didn't want EE to be able to do this, but Ofcom have decided that it's in the public interest for them to do so, even though it may give EE a short-term competitive advantage. O2 have published their disappointment in this result.

EE currently have 2 x 60 MHz bands in 1800MHz though under the agreement with the competition commission they have to divest 2 x 15 MHz as part of its merger (leaving them with 2 x 45 MHz). Ofcom have allowed EE to utilise LTE on the full bands, not just the bands that EE will retain after the digital divide auctions expected next year (Ofcom will auction the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands and EE's spectrum will become available as part of this).

It is rumoured that devices such as the iPhone 5 will be able to use LTE services in this band, so EE will be the only UK operator that allows full use of the iPhone's data capabilities.

Ofcom has also published a statement on the interference of LTE in the 800MHz bands which could affect TV services in the future, though their testing has shown that actual interference should be minimal for real use scenarios.

Ofcom's full statement is here.