03/04/2014

Microsoft gives Windows Phone away

Microsoft, who aren't known for giving away anything for free, have decided to drop licensing fees for Windows Phone 8 (for devices with displaces less than 9 inches). Though it only has about 3% of the phone market, that's still quite a big hit to cope with as current fees are around $5 - $15 per phone, though that's estimated to be less than $1bn per year.

Of course Microsoft do get a nice revenue stream from Android licensees as they still have to pay royalties to Microsoft for their mobile patents.

This might just tip the balance and get more handset manufacturers to switch to Windows Phone and though Microsoft won't get direct revenue for the OS, they will get revenue from the add-on services such as Office 365 which users are encouraged to sign-up to.

Ada Lovelace the future of schools

Ben Southworth has launched the website for the Ada Lovelace Academy which wants to train the next generation of entrepreneurs in Hackney, giving them the skills to succeed in the new digital age.

The Academy is looking for a home and will teach children aged 16 - 19, hopefully opening in 2015.

The skills on offer will be: -

  • Design & Digital Comms
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Latest Technologies
  • A sense of community
Ben has already been involved with education designing courses for both General Assembly and Decoded. He spent a year with Government being the Deputy CEO of TCIO (or as it known now as TechCityUK) and now is on several boards.

This is a great initiative and anyone wanting to help should contact Ben. It's also possible to donate on the site itself.

02/04/2014

Ofcom statement on utilising 870 to 876 MHz and 915 to 921 MHz for SRDs

Ofcom, the Super regulator, has made a statement allowing the use of short range devices to use the spectrum in 870 to 876 MHz and 915 to 921 MHz.

The spectrum will be made available in a license exempt manner and Ofcom expect to publish the technical requirements in April 2014, though there may be changes to allow higher power and duty cycles (suitable for use as network relay point for Internet of Things devices) which will be published later in the year which should allow implementation in Q4 2014.

The main objection seems to come fem the railway industry as these bands may interfere with proposed railway GSM systems (E-GSM-R) though they are not in use at this time. The UK met office also uses potentially conflicting frequencies for wind profiling radars. Ofcom will monitor the situation.

The full statement is on-line as a PDF

01/04/2014

Ofcom proposing upping power on 1800MHz bands

Ofcom, the Super regulator, who look after radio spectrum is proposing to allow increasing the transmit power on the 1800MHz PCN band. Ofcom varied the original licenses so the band could be used for UMTS, LTE and WiMAX services. The new variation would allow a 3dB to 65 dBm per carrier for 3G and 3dB to 65dBm on the 5MHz channels for LTE and WiMAX.

EE Limited (“EE”), Hutchison 3G UK Limited (“H3G”), Telefonica UK Limited (“Telefonica”) and Vodafone Limited (“Vodafone”) have all requested that their 1800 MHz licences be amended in this way.

Ofcom's preliminary verdict is to allow these variations, however the results of the consultation will be taken into consideration.

Any stakeholders may respond to the consultation on-line.