back to article Thank Freeview for UK 4G by mid-2013 - NOT the iPhone 5 nor EE

Ofcom will clear radio frequencies allowing UK network operators to launch 4G mobile broadband months ahead of schedule - even though it hasn't moved the 4G licence auction. EE's monopoly on 4G coverage should end by June next year as a result of this, instead of the end of 2013 as first anticipated. This is thanks to phone-mast …

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I am dreading a repeat of the last mobile spectrum auction where the operators pay ridiculous sums, take years to roll out 'nG' and/or rape end users wallets in an effort to recoup costs... I hope I am wrong.

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Stop spouting the 3G auction crap

The 3G auction was 12 years ago and raised £35B, that's £1.85B per year. Compare that to the extra £5B a year the companies get from customers being on the wrong tariff.

Or put it another way, there are 81.6m mobile contracts in the UK, so you're paying £22.67 per year for the 3G spectrum.

Stop buying into the telco's propaganda!

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FAIL

"The 3G auction was 12 years ago and raised £35B, that's £1.85B per year. Compare that to the extra £5B a year the companies get from customers being on the wrong tariff.

Or put it another way, there are 81.6m mobile contracts in the UK, so you're paying £22.67 per year for the 3G spectrum."

You need a new calculator mate...

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Silver badge
FAIL

"You need a new calculator mate..."

No, he doesn't. £1.85bn divided by 81.6m is £22.67.

That said, I would doubt his cited figure of 81.6m mobile contracts as that's 33% more contracts than there are people. Of course some people will have both personal and business phones, but equally there are a lot of people who have a PAYG phone or have no mobile at all. Does anyone have a source for that number?

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HMB

Re: "You need a new calculator mate..."

Careful using that FAIL icon Jedit:

35 / 12 = 2.196666... (6 recurring).

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3G Auction crap?

@Mr Anonymous

Did you not try to buy a decent speed mobile data service from the mobile networks back then?

It was prohibitively expensive...

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FAIL

"35 / 12 = 2.196666... (6 recurring)."

Aya, I was looking at the wrong calculation. My bad.

it seems that FAIL is the only thing recurring in this thread, though, as even without a calculator I know that 35/12 is not 2.19666 - it's 2.91666.

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Re: "You need a new calculator mate..."

Ha, just hit Windows key + R and typed calc and nothing happened! I guess that's Linux for you.

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tfb
Boffin

Re: "35 / 12 = 2.196666... (6 recurring)."

And 35/12 is not even the right sum to do, since they need to cover interest. I can't do the sum in my head but at 5% a random online thing reckons about 3.8billion/year (320 million a month).

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HMB

Re: "35 / 12 = 2.196666... (6 recurring)."

Obviously none of us should be allowed to do sums :P

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Angel

Re: "You need a new calculator mate..."

The correct maths is then £35.74 a year or just under £3 a month. However you would expect the telecoms to make their money back over a period of less than 12 years, so assuming it was over a 5 year period thats £15 a month.

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Facepalm

Wait!

Lets just get 3G right before we move on......

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HMB

Re: Wait!

You mean lets spend money putting masts up with older technology that isn't as good?

Really?

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Re: Wait!

3g is rubbish, tmobile has a new download speed cap of 180kbs, uploading is still probaly 60kbs, the nation should get rid of analog radio and make everything DAB and make life alot easier control managing Hz

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Stop

Re: Wait!

“tmobile has a new download speed cap of 180kbs, uploading is still probaly 60kbs,”

Ermmmmm … ever considered that you might be on the wrong tariff? The most basic boosters (included in many tariffs) certainly used to have some speed caps, which disappear if you pay some money. I pay a fiver a month for more data, so I'm not on the most basic tariff, but only one "click" up from that. Speedtest just now shows 2.61Mb/s downstream, 2.33 up. At quieter times of day it's more like 8 down 4 up. This is on a standard pay-monthly with the "Internet Booster" or whatever it's called. And I have to stand in the right place ;)

T-mobile have never published anywhere what these caps are for each tariff though, which is extremely annoying. Still, as I say, the first-stage booster that I mention does not appear to be speed-capped.

So, go to a T-mobile shop, find somebody who knows what they're talking about (not always easy but the more senior people know their stuff in my experience!) and ask them to tell you which booster you have at the moment and perhaps consider paying a fiver to get a better one.

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Re: Wait!

these DUN settings make 3g roll, when using your cell as USB modem, bluetooth connections depend on the weather, http://i.imgur.com/Ys46H.png

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Re: Wait!

im on the perfect PAYG, I can go 8gb over the bandwidth limit and never had a nag, the 180kbs download speed started over the weekend, the upload and download speed was an even 60kbs for the past year

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Re: Wait!

3G is fine for most people with mobile phones, Maybe people who got pads or use dongles may need a bit more speed, but most phones and services work fine with 3G.

i like my analogue radio, so why should I give that up just so people can get faster speed that they don't need?

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Re: Wait!

As I understand the technology, until the operators start using VOIP, you can't make Voice Calls on an LTE network. There's a special "fall-back" to 3G procedure that allows you to do that. Thus you still need 3G alongside LTE.

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Re: Wait!

3g is fine for most normal desktop use, you cannot watch hd movies, downloading iso's tale 10hrs, its all better then 1mb landline adsl connection

DAB is just the same as analog radio except every .0 on the dial can be a fully tuned station without having to find the stereo and strongest hz

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Is it just me?

With the recent announcement that the West Coast Mainline deal wasn't done properly etc, even though we have had weeks of "fair and robust process - blah blah blah"

How does essentially giving 4g capability to EE network before the bidding process has started stack up?

Horse and Bolt spring to mind.

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Unhappy

Re: Is it just me?

Its the same as the BB for rural areas....2 companies bidding, BT & Fujitsu, johny forreigner put on bad boys list by UK government so only our boys can get the work......

Oh and please don't look to see if BT give any donations to the Torys as that would not be valid at all............yeh right.

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MJI
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WCML

First Group are not competent to do it, look what happened to the East Coast Main Line when they bid way over the odds.

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Re: WCML

It was National Express that ballsed up the East Coast Mainline, not First Group, was it not?

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Re: Is it just me?

it doesn't. this government is, in my opinion, inept and corrupt and will not get re-elected. not only that, let's hope they've put the nail in the coffin for any future tory administrations for the next 20 years.

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MJI
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Re: WCML

Whoops!

Well they are both bus companies and I was sure it was First group!!!!

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Re: WCML

And of course Virgin are so much better than First Group. The trains are always clean and always have plenty of room and are never late and they have never promised services they can't deliver.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it just me?

Unfortunately the only alternative is an equally inept and corrupt government which leans in the other direction.

The only solution to the constant swinging from a right-wing inept, corrupt government to a left-wing inept, corrupt government is to outlaw party politics altogether and have MPs chosen at random from the electoral register like doing jury service.

That way, when they inevitably bugger things up they at least have the excuse of not being at all qualified to do the job. This is very different to how it is now where politicians claim to be qualified when in fact they don't have any more clue than Joe Public. At least a random selection of the population is likely to be more honest.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it just me?

I'll add to that, anyone who WANTS to be a politician/MP/whatever, should be barred for life from such a post.

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Devil

but.......but......but......

The iPhone is magic and revolutionary.....

It much be the iPhone 5 that magically pushed the UK public to the revolutionary understanding of digital TV......

We must use the rest of the money left over for a campaign to educate the public about this so they can all worship at their nearest Apple church........

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"... the breakthrough is painted as a government victory ..."

Politicians claim credit for the efforts of other people. _That_ is to be expected.

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Anonymous Coward

what should "we" spend the dosh on?

As we, the citizens, and technically the owners of this money have full power over how to spend it...

ok, move on, nothing to see here.

while our masters, [selected by us] in charge of managing said dosh, are, no doubt, going to spend it wisely. I dread to think... new spying equipment? half a bucket of paint for this luvely eurofighter (one of)? Propping a bank or two? Well, don't you worry your little head about it, we'll think of something useful ;)

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So: broadcasting == bad, streaming == good?

The bandwidth that was previously used to broadcast TV content to millions is now being sold for 4G use ... so that it can be used to stream TV (amongst other uses - minor uses?) to ... who, exactly?

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MJI
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Keep it for HDTV

Stuff 4G we want better HDTV

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Mmm...

My phone contract expires in July 2013.

Nice.

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Meh

I'm just hoping they have decent bandwidth as right now the only network i've used that has speeds is Three, I can't even get enough data allowance on Vodafone to watch a few iplayer shows, on three i can drive down the motorways of England with my kids sharing my phones hotspot while both of them are watching iplayer or you tube or something!

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Strawman much?

Who, exactly, is claiming that we ever had the iPhone 5 to thank for anything to do with 4G rollout?

The author doesn't say, and the only two places the word 'iPhone' even appears is in the headline, and one sentence in the article which simply repeats the refutation, but against who or what is never made clear.

Strange that.

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Mushroom

Re: Strawman much?

It's almost as if the author of this article put in the word 'iPhone' to bump up the number of page views.

Wait, how could I be so cynical? The Reg would never stoop to The Inq tactics.

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Re: Strawman much?

Whilst I thankfully haven't heard anyone claim that, just you wait. An Apple device will get credited for everything - we've seen this for smartphones to software. I've seen people saying we should thank them for increasing 3G data allowances, even though 3G was available on phones years earlier. Or the idea that other companies only released Android tablets because of Apple. It really wouldn't surprise me for UK Apple fans to note that 4G came "around" the same time as iphone 5, therefore Apple are to be thanked for being "first" or "popularising" it.

Whilst this may seem a straw man, it's good to have the facts put right, *before* myths start spreading.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Strawman much?

Good points - it mostly stems from rivals reporting that "Ofcom and the iPhone 5 solved the UK's 4G competition crisis" (that's one actual headline from this morning).

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strawman much?

Hazarding a guess, perhaps it was Apple's representative in the UK - the Guardian.

I finally went off the Guardian when it started to fill up with Apple adverts disguised as journalism.

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Stop

iPhone 5 not compatible with UK 800MHz band

The iPhone 5 will not work on 800MHz (LTE Band 20) which the UK will use. So you will all have to go out and buy the iPhone 5S or failing that the iPhone 6.

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Re: iPhone 5 not compatible with UK 800MHz band

Presumably the iPhone 5 supports LTE at 1800MHz though, so should work on the EE network.

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There are two bands to be auctioned: 2600MHz (Band 7) and 800MHz (Band 20). 800MHz has required the switch-off of analogue television etc etc, and what is discussed in this article is true of that band.

However, at the moment, 800MHz is the less useful of the two bands. It is going to be available pan-Europe, but there are very few networks using it *yet*. It is never going to be used in most places outside the US, because 850MHz (Band 5) is already deployed in a great many places outside Europe, and the two bands overlap and so cannot both be deployed in the same place.

The story of 2600MHz is much worse. This was originally known as the "3G relief band" and the spectrum was cleared a long time ago. The original thought was that 2100MHz (Band 1) was going to be filled to capacity with 3G services by around 2005, and 2600MHz would then be deployed for additional 3G capacity. As 3G was not in fact being used to capacity in 2005, there was no hurry to auction the spectrum, and for various reasons Ofcom have still not managed it. Now that 3G spectrum is in fact crowded, everyone wants to build LTE rather than more 3G. 2600MHz has been allocated in a lot of other places though, and there are lots LTE networks in place using it, and there is lots of hardware supporting it - far more than for 800MHz at present. If everyone in the UK had 2600MHz allocations they would happily be running LTE on it now. Undoubtedly they would want to use the 800MHz for additional capacity and coverage (especially in rural areas) later, but things wouldn't be quite as pressing.

It's the delay on getting 2600MHz available that is the real scandal.

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2600Mhz....

Not much bloody use indoors or in rural environments (ditto 2.1GHz)

They're right to rollout at 800Mhz first. Higher frequencies are best used for urban infill later on.

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Re: 2600Mhz....

Yes, but there was no way at all that 800MHz was going to be available until analogue TV was switched off. The 2600MHz band was cleared and ready to go. All it required was for the spectrum to be made available by the regulator and the operators allowed to use it. This should have happened in about 2008. 800MHz probably would have been better at the same time, but something on 2600MHz would have been a great deal better than nothing at all.

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Facepalm

What about the Freeview interference issue?

You know, the one that has been well publicised in the past, about the 800Mhz UK 4G band being likely to interfere with digital TV reception in the neighbouring TV band below (or was it above?). IIRC it was only to be an issue certain Freeview regions that use the nearby band, and in certain households where there is a local mobile mast likely to win over the further away TV transmitter etc.

The one that they said the auction winners would have to pay into a fund to help manage the issues for and provider free aerial filters (that will apparently not work on multi-room aerial runs with loft amps?). The one where they think offering the discerning license fee payer a free Freesat install is somehow supposed to make everything fair, even for households that may have spent hundreds of pounds getting Freeview around the house with multiple HD PVR's.

I’m posting here to ask because I really don’t know what this news means. Because not a single media piece on this in the last 48 hours has mentioned this issue. Have I got my bands and frequencies mixed up? Has the issue gone away? Or have Ofcom just halved the time available to setup and roll out a mitigation programme?

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800 MHz

There is a real risk to many fringe area Freeview users that co channel interference will make for much reduced TV signal quality.

The wide band tuner input circuitry of the TV receiver will amplify the 4G along with the TV signal and there will be in some cases a condition in which the TV signal is effectively jammed by 4G, in particular those unfortunate enough to have had to invest in mast top amplifierswho are going to have to fork out for mast top band reject filters to reduce the effects of the stronger 4G signals which will be used for longer range applications, probably in rural low population density areas.

If they put a mast up near you expect problems.

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4G will be awesome

We'll all be able to exceed our download caps in seconds rather than minutes.

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