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back to article Ofcom mulls dishing out a world of hertz for RFID tags, radio cars

A lot more short-range devices, including US-safe models, could be used in the UK, as Ofcom asks if anyone minds another 12MHz of spectrum being released for public use. Ofcom is consulting on whether two 4MHz chunks of spectrum should be opened for unlicensed use by short-range devices (SRDs), noting that if the MoD stumps up …

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Good News

I'll take anything going.

The 868 10% duty cycle is a killer, hopefully we'll get something a little more usable here.

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Anonymous Coward

"The current government with obsessed with Smart Meters, convinced that once we know our 1KW heater is consuming 1KW of energy we'll immediately turn it off"

Well put.

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Bronze badge

If you have the brains to have a smart meter, to monitor it regularly, to test all your appliances against it, and change your usage of such appliances because of what you find, you didn't need a smart meter at all. You just needed a cheap £10 plug-in power meter and/or maybe a slightly dearer one with magnetic clamps to test lighting rings etc. without electrocuting yourself.

Smart meters aren't for consumers. They are for the utilities. To combat fraud (though I doubt they are losing anything to the average home through that), to save on money on meter readers, and to start implementing their next great project - how to cut off the electricity to paying customers (which is one of those business plans that's really doomed to failure without 100% uptake and support from the customer).

If I wanted a pretty little graph of how much electricity I'm using, it would take about 10 minutes and things I have in the house already. Why that application requires dedicated spectrum, I have no idea. Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just piggyback on the GSM infrastructure like almost all of those embedded-type applications that need remote telemetry already do? Hell, I've built a GPS box for my car that talks over GSM, and it was literally cobbled together from my bits-box (old 3G modems and ancient PCMCIA GSM modems are very handy for that sort of thing), and my employer reboots their ADSL modems by text message from a similar setup I built.

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Bronze badge

Getting warmer

My smart meter is useless for finding ways to save energy. What works much better is going around the house with a handheld infrared thermometer. One big warm spot traced to an Onkyo slave amp that was consuming 150W in standby mode. Some wall warts were running hot enough to justify replacements. I also know where the insulation has fallen off from under the floor.

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Silver badge
Flame

Idiots

790 to 960 should be one band and with 862 to 872 as a guard band with SRDs permitted.

Uplink 790 to 862 and downlink 872 to 960

the 2MHz + 2MHz Duplex chunk 872 & 921 is used since about 2005 in various EU countries for an early 4G Mobile Internet system, including UK neighbour, Ireland.

Doesn't Ofcom talk to anyone?

Also the USA ISM licence free stuff is not suitable for this duplex chunk. It ALSO uses GSM channels now migrating to 3G. Originally this was allocated Europe wide as GSM Tetra and the next chunk above as GSM-R (Railways), so it's part of GSM band. GSM -R is hardly used (but used in UK, or was). EU agreed regulators could refarm the GSM Tetra (never happened, Current Tetra is 450MHz ish and different) as Mobile Data Cells on non-interference basis.

Ofcom (and Comreg) are a menace. We need a single democratically answerable Europe wide regulator that looks at the big picture of making Infrastructure efficient and suitable for consumer, not kowtowing to Gadget Makers and Mobile Operators.

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FAIL

Re: Idiots

Actually things are even worse than you say because Ofcom want to flog off the 2.7ghz to 3.1ghz band in the future. Rather unfortunately, a shedload of air traffic radars operate in this band and are rather crucial for air safety, but that does not seem to deter them.

Expect lots of screams of anguish in the future. Except maybe from the radar manufacturers.

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Devil

Smart Meters

No, no, no. They're not for the consumer to view how much they're consuming, but for the energy companies to watch for the heavy users and turn them off when it comes to imposing "smart" rolling blackouts that will be required from the latter part of this decade as we haven't yet started building the new generation of nuclear power plants.

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US Garage Doors

Most US garage door openers are on 315 MHz.

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WTF?

What on Earth is a

Fire Department?

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WTF?

RFID ??

Anyone else read that as "allowing RFID tags to communicate with marketers and other unscrupulous merchants"? I sincerely hope not! I don't want to be tracked in public, having the government do it via CCTV + ANPR is bad enough, but the private sector? get out.

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