back to article Ofcom tries to chop months off EE's 4G exclusive

Ofcom is asking Arqiva to shift Freeview out of the 4G spectrum bands ahead of time, in the hope of appeasing the mobile operators who are still livid about EE's exclusive. All the parties involved will be meeting today to discuss the matter, including the Ministry of Fun (who took over control of Ofcom last year) and the mobile …

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Retune Tuesday?

Why not follow the Microsoft model and schedule a retune for the first Tuesday of each month and be done with it?

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Joke

Re: Retune Tuesday?

Would that be frequent enough?

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Would it be too bad if we just got rid of QVC, The Jewellery Channel, Argos TV, etc to clear up some spectrum?

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Y'what?

Is there really an Argos TV? Words fail me about the sheer awfulness of such an idea.

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Bronze badge

larger cities?

Do Offcom really have such little understanding of how TV is transmitted?

Don't they realise that TV is transmitted in large groups of antennas each one covering at least one major city and all the surrounding towns, villages etc.

What qualifies as a major city? Most of the transmitters needing a retune are in Scotland and Wales it's only really Winter Hill that covers a few big cities.

Of course it should be easy to sort out if you simply do one a week rather than one a month.

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Flame

Ireland

In Ireland the upper part of TV band (800MHz digital Dividend) will be free from November 2012.

Unfortunately the Comreg auction plans are gross stupidity.

Of course actually 800 should be paired with GSM band to make one more efficient band with the current licence free 864MHz SRD gadgets in the middle of the duplex split guard band.

With current proposals the 800MHz and 900MHz bands will BOTH have an unused part in the middle, AND the gap at 862MHz to 876MHz ish..

Don't fool yourself. The Digital Dividend is a myth. A small short term licence revenue, a waste of a national resource and just something not much better than 3G at 1800MHz would be. The low frequency means you can't have small cells.

Large cells means poor capacity or poor speed.

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HMB

Re: Ireland

That's an interesting alternative take on low frequencies you have there that I hadn't given all that much thought on. Usually only building penetration comes up with these things.

Should we not be saving large cells for rural LTE then?

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Boffin

Re: Ireland

LTE is best suited to high density Urban and Suburban.

Depends what you want with your large rural cells.

If you want Mobile voice, then GSM (or even 3G might be better).

If you want Mobile Data, on a large lightly used cell not much to choose between LTE, 3G or even GSM's EDGE+

If you want Rural Broadband, then forget about ANY mobile solution, it won't be reliable, may not connect etc,

Mobile never ensures a connection or a QOS and has no real control over contention other than dropping connections or a poor cap.

Roof top fixed aerials and Cable Broadband over wireless will give reliable 800MHz Rural Broadband. With always on, contention decided at install time and guaranteed speed of 3Mbps to 20Mbps MINIMUM according to how much you spend. Cheaper than LTE and x8 to x16 more capacity per MHz! In use worldwide for years.

LTE is a solution for MOBILE data to complement fixed Broadband. It's not and won't ever be a Broadband solution and certainly not the best Rural Wireless solution unless you need MOBILITY.

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FAIL

Eh?

"The low frequency means you can't have small cells."

Or you could turn the power down....

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Digital Dividend

Actually with 3D, Ultra HD and all those stupid shopping channels we don't actually have TV spectrum to give up.

There is plenty of badly utilised Spectrum from 900 to 2500. So the Mobile operators will have

800

900

1800

2100

2500/2600

Will the consumer get genuinely better coverage, better prices, less dropped connections, guaranteed minimum 3Mbps? No.

Because the regulators are not insisting on enough masts and not insisting on a RAN on each band.

Also 800MHz LTE will interfere with Cable Broadband, Cable TV and Digital TV.

Spectrum management seems to be just a revenue raising exercise. That isn't why independent Regulators from the P&T ministries were created.

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Why can't they just decide what to retune and when? If I have to retune my mum's tv another ten times because GOD Tv is in the wrong channel I'll shove her set-top-box up Ofcom's antenna ...

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Spectrum re-jig

"The challenge for Arqiva is to work out a plan to shift multiplexes around the dial to get them into their ultimate home without interfering with the neighbours too much on the way."

Well since everyone is Ondigital then what's wrong with the BIG SWITCH now - everyone changes to their ultimate slot - one presumes there's an UNDO switch.

D.

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And just what is all this rush for?

Seems to me what we need is more 3G bandwidth. HSDPA is more than fast enough for most reasonable mobile requirements and you can at least also make voice calls (http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/02/feature_wtf_is_voice_over_lte_4g/) over 3G.

And without some major new backhaul, exactly what difference is it going to make end-to-end?

Surely this can't simply be the desire to make the "4G" symbol light up on shiny new iPhones?

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Re: And just what is all this rush for?

We need LTE because of bandwidth efficiency as much as speed, we have a finite amount of spectrum that is useful for mobiles and an ever-increasing demand. LTE is more efficient than 3G, therefore we need to use that instead.

The problem is in the radio spectrum space, not the backhaul.

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Re: And just what is all this rush for?

Interesting paper (though I can't immediately find corroboration) here suggesting actual spectral efficiency in deployed LTE networks is not nearly as high as predicted (perhaps 40% better than HSDPA), though I guess this is with first generation equipment:

http://rysavy.com/Articles/2011_10_13c_Rysavy_Citi_Comments.pdf

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The one easy thing that can be done, is to force EE to give 3 the spectrum they've sold them now. Which Ofcom should have insisted on before letting EE have a 4G monopoly. Even if they can't speed up the auction, or show any level of competence in getting that moving over the last few years, this would have been easy.

Admittedly it still wouldn't have stopped Vodafone and O2 suing... But would have suggested Ofcom weren't just rolling over so EE could tickle their belly.

What a shame the Conservatives didn't kill Ofcom. It was in their election manifesto. I can't remember why they didn't now. Was it the Lib Dems stopping them, or something else?

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Facepalm

O2 and Voda have only themselves to blame - if they hadn't threatened to sue so many times already, the auction would have been over by now and the DTV rearrangement would have been speeded up to match.

Of course their threats were nothing to do with already having their own refarming agreements in the bag.....

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You do have a good point. It was them that kept screwing up the auction, and now it's them loudly complaining about how long it's taking. So I've got little sympathy. Although I've not really read enough about the process to know whether it was Ofcom being incompetent, or the mobile companies being unreasonable. Or both...

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FAIL

they havn't got HSPA working yet

If VODA and o2 can’t get HSPA (which has a speed of 14 Mbit/s) working properly because of the lack of backbone infrastructure, how are they going to cope with 4g and all the extra piping that will need?

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