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back to article Ofcom fails to prevent release of cell locations

Ofcom has failed in its appeal against last September's ruling that information on cellphone base stations must be available to the public, in database form, though it remains to be seen if up-to-date information does become available. Last year the Information Commissioner ruled that in addition to the searchable map, …

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Dude, wait. What?

"idea that landowners would be able to find holes in coverage, and thus charge operators extra where they knew an additional site was needed"

Sooooooo, identifying an area where what you have for sale is scarce and then pricing it accordingly is bad now is it? Well, for Tmobile, anyway. As I have less than a fiver on me, will I be able to use this same argument to obtain 2 lobsters and a bottle of wine on the way home, d'you think?

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Mo

So

The tribunal has ruled that Ofcom has to hand over the information, but the operators are under no obligation to give it to Ofcom in the first place?

And this has been going on since 2005!?

I'm all for making Ofcom DTRT, but this is a bit rubbish, really.

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Watchdog my ass

Since when has Ofcom, the comms watchdog, become a lobbyist for the mobile communications industry? Surely it's much the same as knowing the locations of the TV masts, and that's all in the public domain.

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Re: Dude, wait. What?

To be fair to Tmobile, the practice what the preach. They have been providing a crap service at a high cost for years, because providing a good one at a high cost would be unfair.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Law

RE: As long as it's fair

I get your point, kinda half agree. But if I had kids, and wanted to move into a house in a rural area, I would want to know whether I had mobile phone signal... so this could actually work in the operators favour!

On the flip side, I wouldn't want the house directly under the damn thing, even if it is technically the safest place to be should said masts cause problems to help - purly on an eye-sore point of view!! But what it sounds like you are saying is because I wouldnt want to live anywhere near a huge load of pilons (constant humming/buzzing/EM nasty stuffs), I shouldn't be allowed to play my xbox?? But I like my xbox! :(

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Gold badge

The objections

"T-Mobile argued that radio waves have no mass and therefore aren't emissions."

So they've never heard of noise pollution, light pollution or gamma rays then?

"It was also argued that low-powered devices such as baby monitors and remote controls should be equally documented."

Well, a database of where the bleedin' TV remote has gone *now* would certainly be useful...

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Anonymous Coward

The facts

"T-Mobile argued that radio waves have no mass and therefore aren't emissions"

Last I checked, radio waves came under the heading of e-m (electro-magnetic) radiation, much like light. Now, all the physics books I know of talk about a duality where such waves can be classed as particles (electrons) (or not - just magnetic) and as such do have a mass. Some even point out that the electro field is perpendicular to the magnetic field, and both are perpendicular to the direction of travel.

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Anonymous Coward

@Sarev

"Since when has Ofcom, the comms watchdog, become a lobbyist for the mobile communications industry?"

Since it was set up?

Ah I see, you are probably one of the people who think that Ofcom is there for the consumer? You couldn't be more wrong. Ofcom really doesn't care much for consumers - it's there to regulate the industry, not to ensure customers don't get shafted (frankly Ofcom couldn't care less what happens to individual consumers).

Much like the FSA, Ofwat, Ofgem etc etc etc. They are all there to ensure "competition" - even when a retarded neanderthal could see there is NO competition (eg water).

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Anonymous Coward

How come the Swiss can do it!

So sad!!

If you want to know the details of the Swiss mobile mast locations they can be found here:-

http://www.funksender.ch/webgis/bakom.php

In German, French, Italian and English too.!!!!

The day when UK. Ofcom produces an interactive web site like that one will be long coming.

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They give out the bloody licences!

The answer from Ofcom is should be quite simple: if you don't tell us where it is, it's not licensed.

I have to tell Ofcom where my amateur radio station is located on pain of losing the licence; it's in the terms and conditions.

It's perfectly simple to do the same for the scummy toerags in the telcos. Be a laugh to see one of the execs getting banged-up for a breach of the Wireless Telegraphy Act.

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Anonymous Coward

What's in the box

The latest Openreach product

"The Street Access service can be used for applications that are based on Ethernet technology. For example, by adding their own Ethernet based devices to their Street Access circuits a Communications Provider (CP) can create a wireless network that offers the types of value-add services more commonly available at home or in the office."

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It's the economy, stupid

As far I know the Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) as they are officially known aren't individually licenced, the telcos' licence covers them to build and operate a radio network to provide mobile service as they see fit (apart from local planning) to serve a certain percentage of the population by a certain date.

Meanwhile, Ofcom and their paymasters, HM Treasury make money hand over fist so you really dont expect them to come down on the side of the consumer now do you?

No I don't believe mobiles are harmful but I think the public should have access to this information.

On most issues I think the EU should butt out but on this I think they should draft a directive to make disclosure of this information compulsory or the telcos' should be fined £2 million a day.

Our government is simply an EU glove puppet.

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Ooooh, T-Mobile is smarter than Einstein!

"T-Mobile argued that radio waves have no mass and therefore aren't emissions."

Einstein argued that mass and energy are equivalent - E == mc^2 ("Energy is equal to mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light").

Of course, if T-Mobile's masts emit (there's that word again) no radio waves, then there is no mass to consider.

So the solution is to order T-Mobile to immediately switch off every mast which has not been been mapped to the satisfaction of the Information Commissioner, effective on, say, 15th October of this year. *Then* they will not be emitting anything. Masts may be switched back on when the IC is satisfied with their mappings. This order to be in force immediately, and to be rescinded only *after* the review of the appeal.

Problem solved, one way or another.

Then the lying bastards at T-Mobile can start on the 1029 hours of work they were supposed to have already finished.

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Re: @Sarev

This misconception by the public that OfCom are there for the public is probably one of the best kept secrets in the country - they have simply taken on the public role by default (everyone else could justify not taking on the publics 'concerns').

Why is it a public body (OfCom) has no lines of complaint open in relation to their self other than going through a member of parliament?

I tried to complain against them once only to be advised I must direct my complaint through a member of parliament who must schedule floor time to actually formalise the complaint!!!! Now I may not be the brightest bulb in a an OfCom executive pack of bulbs but isn't this discouraging complaints and defeating the purpose?

My complaint was after Orange shafted me & OfCom simply said "But they shouldn't do that!" - 9 months on Orange had still shafted me & OfCom were still saying "But they shouldn't do that". Outstanding show of ignorance on the part of OfCom.

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Anonymous Coward

We could always find them ourselves

If we really needed to know where they were, we could always find them ourselves and make our own database, as we do for fixed and mobile speed camera sites. But where as that's useful to avoid the thieving bastards, the mast locations are only of interest to the paranoid, to try and claim compensation for their imaginary 'radiation' caused ailments. Of course the TV masts putting out megawatts are always ignored, as hypochondria soon seems to clear up when you threaten to take away their 42" plasma.

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