Feeds

back to article Sharp-elbowed BT dives into 4G spectrum auction

BT is among the bidders in the 4G auction, communications regulator Ofcom confirmed today. It's not just mobile operators that are jockeying to get their hands on the spectrum by June 2013. Managed network outfits and the nation's fixed line provider are also in the running. The auction process kicks off next month. Ofcom said …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

3G

The 4G reservce price is far short of 3G UK auctions raised £22.5 billion and sunk a lot of telecoms firms. Have things just become cheaper to do?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: 3G

"Cheaper to do"? Cost never entered into it, the 3G auctions were perceived as sink or swim by the industry, and they bid ludicrous amounts and then had to write the costs off. As such both this and the 3G auctions were little more than a multi-billion pound tax on mobile phone users. So far from helping roll out broadband and 4G, it will suck money out of the industry and consumer's pockets.

1
0
MJI
Silver badge

Dangerous

I think it is dangerous to sell off broadcast spectrum in this way

0
0

Re: Dangerous

It would help if you explain your reasoning

3
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Dangerous

Broadcast TV is still very popular, and its spectrum is getting sold off leaving less for TV. What happens when UHDTV requires spectrum and none is left?

1
2
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Dangerous

Does UHDTV need to be broadcast across hill & plain, blocking off the airwaves to true mobile applications?

How mobile will a 60" screen be?

Methinks that fibre will be the only way of delivering UHDTV bandwidth to those who actually want it and not to everyone else.

2
2
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Dangerous

But there is a perfectly fine working TV transmission system available, all of those transmitters. They do the job well and would continue to if the bandwidth did not get sold off.

1
0
Unhappy

Here we go again

After being virtually bankrupted because the company "had to have" a 3g license, you'd think BT management would have learned their lesson.

Unfortunately, the lesson was that you can take a multi-million pound golden parachute for yourself by ruining the company.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Here we go again

Well they kind of had to have a 3G licence. It's hard to see how O2 would have survived without one. That they couldn't actually afford it is clear, but not bidding would have meant shutting down O2.

1
1
Thumb Up

BT need this...

Having had a play with the a 4GEE mifi, BT NEED to be in the 4G arena in the next few years.

It absolutely killed my copper ADSL2+ Annex M connection for upload speed (6.5x quicker) and download was at least twice as fast. Plus, I could take it with me.

With no prospect of FTTx in my suburban area, if one of the new licence winners can come out with a sensible cost vs data allowance tariff, then I will be more than happy to move from copper to air. If one of the providers could offer say 100GB of 4G data at about £35pm, they'd win my business in a shot.

0
1
Bronze badge

Re: BT need this...

" If one of the providers could offer say 100GB of 4G data at about £35pm, they'd win my business in a shot."

and there in lies problem number 1.

4G is quick, so quick that on the cheapest tariff you can exhaust your monthly download limit in less than 5 minutes.

problem number 2 is that 4G is only quick currently because nobody is using it. If companies started selling 100GB 4G connections for £35 lots of people would have 4G connections using it for home broadband and all that shared bandwidth would quickly get eaten up.

2
0

At theoretical maximum data transfer rates, EE's cheapest data bundle could be used in 27 seconds. It's all pretty meaningless unless phone companies are willing to make it affordable.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

We're All In it Together????

"It's all pretty meaningless unless phone companies are willing to make it affordable."

Why stop there, let's make petrol £0.50 a litre, and cap gas bills at £250 per year. Beer should be no more than £2 per pint with free bar food, and train companies will run extra trains at no more that 10p per mile to make sure that no-one has to stand?

The mobile operators will have to spend upwards of £500M for a license, the same again for radio and core, and will have to pony up huge sums to VM and BT to backhaul all that data. All so that you can watch as much YouTube as you want on the bus home.

Then you'll likely go on-line and firstly object to to the council about the mobile mast that they want to put on the roadside near home, then go onto your Operator's website to complain that the coverage and throughput is no good where you live.

Base stations x spectrum equals a finite capacity. The more each user gets, the less users can be supported. If everyone with a mobile device used 100GB per month, then the few million people allowed to have mobile phones would each need to pay 50 times as much as today as the network infrastructure costs would be the same as for the current 80 million devices typically using 100MB to 10GB per month.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

I don't understand the comparison to EE's bundles - BT may well be bidding for spectrum to run a purely fixed wireless setup, where the number of customers per cell can be very tightly controlled and quality of service can be better guaranteed (and where the 2.6Ghz indoor coverage hurdle won't matter as it will be a properly installed outdoor setup, probably). As such I'd imagine that BT aren't going to try to give users a 500MB cap.

Just because EE are currently operating on a "we're the only ones with LTE right now so pay up" model doesn't mean that they will continue to do so or that the other bidders will do it.

Also this "it takes 27 seconds" crap is just rubbish. My electricity supply in to my house can only do 100 amps (according to the main fuse). I would never do that for prolonged periods as the meter's going to spin around faster than the Police Federation is right now.

My water pipe can provide more water than I'll need and if I was on a water meter I would not leave all the taps running 24/7 as it is wasteful and expensive. The point is that LTE will let you do things faster and with less change of suffering from congestion, it doesn't mean you should be able to torrent 24/7/365.

1
2
Bronze badge

"Also this "it takes 27 seconds" crap is just rubbish. My electricity supply in to my house can only do 100 amps (according to the main fuse). I would never do that for prolonged periods as the meter's going to spin around faster than the Police Federation is right now."

Sure you're not going to use 100A for prolonged periods or most likely ever but what if your electricity contact meant you could only use 180Wh of electricity per month? That would be your 27 seconds @ full whack and I reckon it's about enough to boil the kettle twice.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

"Sure you're not going to use 100A for prolonged periods or most likely ever but what if your electricity contact meant you could only use 180Wh of electricity per month? That would be your 27 seconds @ full whack and I reckon it's about enough to boil the kettle twice."

EE aren't doing that, though. They're giving you 500MB, 1GB or whatever as part of the monthly fee - then once you use it, you pay more (I don't know if EE is letting you buy bundles or if they're charging zillions per byte). They don't cut you off entirely.

My electricity supplier doesn't give me any electricity usage in exchange for a monthly fee - I pay for what I use, so a 100A draw @ 230-ish volts for a prolonged period of time is going to give me a hefty bill, but at least I can draw it if I want to. Just like if I wanted to max out my connection on LTE for hours I'd have to pay too.

If my electricity supplier *did* give me an allowance of kWh to use, I'd hope it was enough for a sensible amount of usage. I would argue that 500MB can be a sensible amount, even on 4G. You're not supposed to be torrenting or downloading huge files all of the time. I would not equate 500MB to boiling a couple of kettles. Having an LTE phone does not mean you will automatically need to download tens of gigabytes a month.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

". I would argue that 500MB can be a sensible amount, even on 4G"

500mb is not a sensible amount for the sole usage of an average household for a month - and remember this service is being touted as a replacement for fixed line in areas where BT cant be arsed to spend money. Historically Uk ISPs have loved to choke our usage with mean data allowances, and this half arsed idea will just further the broadband divide.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

"500mb is not a sensible amount for the sole usage of an average household for a month - and remember this service is being touted as a replacement for fixed line in areas where BT cant be arsed to spend money. Historically Uk ISPs have loved to choke our usage with mean data allowances, and this half arsed idea will just further the broadband divide."

The EE service is not touted as a home broadband replacement.

You may be confusing discussion of EE's data plans with BT's wish to bid for LTE spectrum. No one knows what spectrum BT wants, what it will do it with it (although rural fixed wireless is likely) or how it will charge for it. BT have realised that they need to innovate a bit more - with FTTC, FTTP, the 21CN ADSL products they're finally moving forward. So I can't see them enforcing 500MB data limits on people.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Erm, you'd probably buy a different package. Broadband isn't compulsory, if there's no package that meets your needs at a price you want to pay, don't buy it.

0
0
Headmaster

Useless for hosting too

Most Internet access offered by mobile companies is useless if you want to host any services at home or in the business, as they do not allow inbound connections. This is because end users are not given IP addresses outside the private ranges, the IP address of the phone/dongle will be private, usually 10.x.x.x address.. This means that you cannot host your own website or VPN server or game server or....

For home users this can be an inconvenience, but for business users it can be a deal breaker. Some times you just need a public IP address so you can access content/services hosted in-house and this is just not possible with any cellular access currently available.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Useless for hosting too

Are you sure about this?

I know for sure that T-mobile SIMs give public IP addresses. Running services on them would be a different matter entirely as the IP addresses change every time you reconnect.

0
0
Headmaster

Re: Useless for hosting too

I know for a fact that VF and O2 do, they're all NATted on the Internet side of the GGSN (sort of an edge router for the Radio Area Network) through a load balancer. The public IP will be one on the Internet router beside the Load Balancer.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Useless for hosting too

"I know for sure that T-mobile SIMs give public IP addresses. Running services on them would be a different matter entirely as the IP addresses change every time you reconnect."

3 do this too, at least when using the 3internet APN.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Useless for hosting too

My roller skates are useless on the motorway too.

If you want to run an Internet business, buy the proper tools. Buy proper business grade internet connectivity or run your service remotely in the cloud.

0
0
Holmes

Re: Useless for hosting too

Absolutely, I was responding to the idea that it might be used instead of fixed line connectivity and suggesting a possible problem, both for business and those who want to run their own Minecraft servers etc.

Mind those trucks, they'll not slow down for a rollerskaterist.........

0
0

Fantastic, another technology that BT can utterly and completely refuse to provide to my village. Yay.....

1
0
Anonymous Coward

If no-one wants to provide service to your village it probably means there's no money to be made from doing it. Companies like to make money and if one can't be bothered another will have a go. If no-one has a go, there's no money to be made.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

"Fantastic, another technology that BT can utterly and completely refuse to provide to my village. Yay...."

Except that it's quite likely that BT is going for a licence precisely to provide a service to the most rural areas where normal fibre services are impractical or not cost effective (not just unprofitable).

Can't see them rolling this out in towns, cities and villages where they can roll out something better instead.

This is very similar to Australia, which is building a fully publicly funded network. Most people are getting fibre to the home, but a small minority are getting LTE-based fixed wireless. It's a shame really that BT isn't doing more FTTP but at least something is happening. I don't see Virgin bothering.

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.