Ofcom Website | 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz

Ofcom Website | 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz

Want to run a GSM network in the UK, there are between 7 and 12 licenses available. They're only low power licenses (200mW) and there are only 16 channels, but that would suit someone who wants to offer localised or in-building services. The license doesn't specify what services are to be offered, they don't even have to be GSM so it could be used for broadband (as long as GSM spectral masks are maintained).

A deposit of £25,000 has to be transferred into Ofcom's account on the 21st of March between 10am and 5.30 and an intent to bid HAND delivered to Ofcom also on that date. Ofcom will then release the names of the intended bidders.

About 3 weeks later a sealed bid process takes place, whereby a bidder can put an ammount in for any of the 7 to 12 licenses and at some point later Ofcom release the winners.

Losers get their deposits back (without interest).

So far interest seems low, but that could be just a ploy so bidding remains low and there's no competition for licenses, it also mean people are just keeping their cards close to their chests and next Weds there's going to be a lot of bidders exposed.

Ofcom Website | Ofcom completes Universal Service Review

Ofcom Website | Ofcom completes Universal Service Review

A company having Univeral Service Obligations generally has significant market power which in the UK applies to Kingston Communications (who runs telephony services in the Hull area) and BT Group (elsewhere in the UK).

USO relate to providing phone boxes, telephone lines, low cost schemes for consumers on low incomes etc. Not much has changed and USO still apply, and will be funded by BT and Kingston.

Ofcom Website | Ofcom targets competitive Next Generation Networks

Ofcom Website | Ofcom targets competitive Next Generation Networks:

NGN UK will be led by Peter Black as Executive Chairman, in addition to his ongoing role overseeing the independent Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator and Local Loop Unbundling. Eight companies have already committed to NGN UK. These include: BT Group plc; Cable & Wireless; Easynet; Kingston Communications; NTL; Thus; Vodafone; Wanadoo UK.

NGNs are where traditional telephony networks are replaced by IP networks and voice transported as VoIP. This will change the face of telephony in the UK. However there are major issues, like how do you hand-over calls to another telephony operator.

BT is the biggest player and first encumbant to completely move their network to IP as part of their 21st Century Network (21CN) roll-out. Without control, everyone will once again become a BT reseller, which is why NGN UK has been set-up.

Whether they have the teeth to effective curb BT's ambitious plans is to be seen.

Digit news - PlayStation 3 delayed until November

Digit news - PlayStation 3 delayed until November

Sony have delayed the launch of the PS3 (PlayStation 3) until November. This could be more related to software being available for the platform as the Cell chip seems to be going well.

Unfortunately writing software for the Cell chip and it's 8 CPU cores isn't easy (to use all 8 of them in a co-operative manner). Tools are being written that will help programmers and do the hard work of optimising the code for the Cell, but they are still in early stages of development.

It's likely early games wont maximuse core use and gamers will have to wait a while before they do.

Cell isn't just being used in the PS3 though as it has the capability to be a CPU work horse so will find its way into HD TV's, DVD players etc. It's the other uses which are likely to stimulate tool design which will then filter to the games designers.

Digit news - Google buys SketchUp maker

Digit news - Google buys SketchUp maker

Google has bought a company that makes 3D software, though at present there are no plans to change their pricing model (SketchUp sells for about £285). The product seems to be geared for the lower to mid range of the 3D market, and has import and export capabilities for most of the common 3D (and 2D) pacakges, including Google Earth.

Maybe in the future Google will make it free?