06/08/2013

Ofcom consults on changing local number dialling in 5 areas

Ofcom, the Super regulator, is holding a consultation on how local numbers must be dialled in 5 areas which are running out of local numbers.

The areas affected are Aberdeen (01224), Bradford (01274), Brighton (01273), Middlesbrough (01642) and Milton Keynes (01908). In these areas, the full number (including the area code) will have to be dialled - which will allow around 200,000 new numbers to be made available in these areas, which should satisfy demand for at least 10 years.

The change means the affected areas will use closing local dialling and will allow numbers starting with 0 to be issued i.e. for Aberdeen numbers will be able to be allocated like 01224 0XXXXX and 01224 1XXXXX. If the area code 01224 was not included there could be clashes with numbers starting with 0 or 1 such as 100 for operator assistance or 118xxx directory enquiry services.

The consultation closes on September 13th 2013 and the change is expected to come into force in October 2014.

Ofcom's statement is available here and stakeholders may respond on-line.

05/08/2013

Ofcom trials DAB based on open source software

Ofcom, the Super regulator that looks after radio spectrum management and broadcasting amongst other things has reported on a trial that used open source software to run a digital audio broadcast (DAB) transmission.

The trial was based in Brighton and used Linux software and an software defined radio (SDR) to broadcast DAB signals in the Brighton area, though the trial was only low power (the output of the SDR was set to 5mW) a signal could be received over 7Km away. There was also no detectable interference to the BBC local DAB multiplex which was around 3Km away from the trial transmitter.

The trial was carried out privately under Non-Operational Test and Development licence issued by Ofcom.

The full report is here, Ofcom doesn't endorse any software or hardware used, but the report contains references to all the hardware and software used.

Initially the trial was conducted using 2 laptops, but the software was integrated on to a single (rack mount) PC running xubuntu. It would also be possible to run at least some of the software (multiplexor etc) on a RaspberryPi.

Maybe this will lead the way for other Ofcom 'approved' trials such as running lower power GSM networks also using open source software.