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* Posts by flingback

21 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009

Wi-Fi hotspots, phone masts: Prepare to be assimilated by O2's Borg

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Re: Interesting idea....

You can program the UMA settings to favour using the WiFi (UMA/GAN) path or cellular. Once you've done that, it's just down to coverage.

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flingback
Meh

Re: UMA is excellent

UMA *is* excellent - you are correct, and it is sorely missed on the BlackBerry Z10 at the moment. When properly implemented it hands in and out seamlessly (which is an achievement in it's own right when you consider that no femtocell vendor can support hand-in at the moment) and vastly improves coverage where it is sparse for the cost of a WiFi access point. It's all in the customer's control, all voice/data/SMS/etc are carried over it, it is *truly* integrated into the cellular network (it's referred to as a Generic Access Network) and is easy to set-up.

Trouble is, that knowing the mobile community they won't take something that works and utilise it the way it should have been done in the first place, but instead will create some trite 'app' that works on non-UMA phones and have them working in a non-UMA haphazard manner. It won't support hand in and out (possibly unless it's VoIP based but that lends itself to some other interesting issues) and it will undoubtedly attract at least some negative publicity.

On the other hand, if UMA *is* used, it will pave the way to seamless coverage integration, something I am sure we'd all be happy to have.

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iOS 6.1 KNACKERED our mobile phone networks, claim Vodafone, Three

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FAIL

Actually I should correct myself - If a cell has 64 DCH's and all of them are in use for AUTD email, there is no further room for ANY phones to make/receive voice calls or perform DCH related activity! On reflection some of the HS channels might be still usable but it is definitely going to be a poorly cell.

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flingback

I very much doubt that there is any extra bandwidth involved. If I had to take a wild guess someone has disabled a channel in the modem firmware called CELL FACH, and due to the high amount of data to-ing and fro-ing from the AUTD MS Exchange Server the devices are using a more resource intensive CELL DCH channel. CELL FACH can be spread fairly well over hundreds of devices at a slower channel rate (perfect for email) but there are only a finite number of CELL DCH channels and they are dedicated to each specific user in a data/voice context. If a cell has 64 DCH's and all of them are in use for AUTD email, there is no further room for other iPhone 4S's, and no abilty to make/receive voice calls!

A colleague of mine has not been able to receive calls on Orange for most of the morning on his 6.1/4S, I suspect it's because his phone is too busy trying to hog a DCH for data! This certainly doesn't seem to be limited to vodafone though - their CN isn't *that* different to everyone elses, but they tend to have a shedload more corporate users.

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Femto fail: Vodafone's Sure Signal gets a bit shaky again

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Re: Problems

Ooops! I should have read the whole post. What we need for this is a guard band type licence in the 2100MHz band and a smart operator with multiple tier one interconnect...

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Happy

Re: Problems

vodafone are the only operator in the UK that *has* (in over 95% of the UK) dedicated an exclusive frequency to femtocells. O2 don't have any capacity to do this so their offering is colocated on one of their 2100 bearers, and EE will probably de-allocate one of their four bearers to do the same as vodafone (in time).

Suresignal is an excellent piece of kit but was a bit early to market and lazily implemented - for instance there's no hand-in. Also there should be a means to weight the point at which it hands-out to the macro network as in my house if I don't force the phone to UMTS only it hands-out to GSM where upon it goes all "boingy boingy" as an earlier reader commented!

These things are here to stay and will become even more prevalent in 4G!

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MPs: Border Agency's own staff don't trust airport-scanner tech

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Stop

Re: IRIS definitely worked

I am in total agreement here myself. IRIS is/was brilliant - and was only let down by people who were either not registered or who simply didn't follow the instructions. I have had hours of queuing saved by IRIS and rate it far better than the biometric crap they replaced it with.

When you consider the alternative - a mardy immigration official who, by and large, has the same attitude as the US Department of Border control (ie; go away, you're not welcome) I vote for technology every time. Has anyone actually seen the statistics as to how many "illegal" immigrants get through our airports versus the ports?

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RIM: BlackBerry sales to US gov still on the rise

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WTF?

Re: RIMarkably dense behaviour...

Why the hell would someone downvote this? Are you RIM management or someone equally as stupid?

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FAIL

RIMarkably dense behaviour...

I am trying to do a bespoke project for a group of customers that will guarantee RIM over 20,000 new handsets, along with infrastructure and continued similar growth for the next three years. To make this work I need access to a particular library that has been deprecated but I know is internally still in use at RIM. Despite repeated lobbying of their management and technical staff I just hit a wall - it is idiotic bureaucracy that could cost them dearly.

Someone needs to fire the top two tiers of management at RIM and make everyone else realise that if there isn't serious change and a willingness to embrace custom development then they are doomed. They will *never* be Apple or Google, and at this rate they won't be RIM for long. A truly sad tale of a successful company driven into the ground by it's board.

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Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

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WTF?

Fishy...

What time did they fire this cannon at for people to be asleep!! Surely during daylight hours (of which there are not many at this time of year) otherwise there wouldn't have been a lot to film, and during a work day. Something about this story is a bit fishy.

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RIM: 'Faulty switch took out faulty-switch-proof network'

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Paris Hilton

My God, it's amateur hour amongst El Reg's readers...

I am an avid BlackBerry user, and I have suffered considerably as a result of the last 72 hours worth of switch aggravation. However, I am also an engineer who designs routing protocols and hardware level circuits. It astounds me of the stupidity of many of the people who have been posting on these threads. Am I the only true technologist amongst you who really knows the USP of the BlackBerry network?

Let's get something straight; IPV4/IPV6 switching is pretty vanilla - there are many vendors who will provide equipment that will literally drop in when there is a failure, and provide failover at a millisecond's notice. However, this is not about IPV4/IPV6, this is about BlackBerry's proprietary PIN routing which is a layer 3+ tunnel that provides the peer-to-peer capability that BlackBerry has (and no one else does).

I agree that this should never have happened, and I am furious with the management at RIM for everything they are doing to ruin what was an excellent company with good business tools (including the "lets bury our heads in the sand" attitude for the first 48 hours). However, networks DO fail and if you think that this will never happen to Apple/Android/MS in the next five years then dream on. It has already happened many times - the difference is that you've not detected it yet because if your "push" email doesn't work instantly you forgive it because it's an Apple. If you looked carefully you'd see that you'd lost your reverse tunnel for five minutes. You can only plan for so much and occasionally something really does go so wrong that everything comes tumbling down like a stack of cards. What I am more amazed about is that BackBerry managed to de-queue millions of messages and emails in less than 6 hours when they finally caught and fixed the exact problem.

Cutting edge delivery technology comes at a cost. Personally, whilst I love my Galaxy S2 for controlling my home AV and looking at Google Skymaps, and my iPhone for flying my Parrot AR Drone, I absolutely refuse to run my business on anything else but a BlackBerry - the rest are sheer toys by comparison and those of you that carry two phones and are blatantly honest know just what i am talking about.

Cut BlackBerry some slack. Fire the management and put *real* enthusiasts in charge, make the development environment more open, halve the price of the Playbook and for God's sake get Android compatibility working quickly. RIM are not dead, yet... but things have to change.

Paris - because she's Queen of the Press Release and RIM need to learn from her!

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Google SHOCK! Snaps up Motorola phone biz for $12.5bn

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Stop

I guess there's always the chance...

...that by buying the Motorola IP portfolio Google may be able to support it's Android partners and prevent such shenanigans as Apple blocking Samsung from selling the 10.1" tab in Europe. Motorola have been around a long time and have excellence in radio design so maybe there is a quid pro-quo coming somewhere along the line.

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Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband

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Alert

Very simple cure for higher speed...

You've got two omni-directional antennas on each end, therefore you have two circular patterns of radiation. To be honest I am amazed that it works at all - it's pretty miraculous! With the right antennas you'll get a phenomenal improvement.

I'd suggest a Compact High Gain Directional Corner Antenna of the sort you'd find at somewhere like Maplin. It'll be the best £40 you've spend in a long time as this will make the receiver performance better and focus the transmitted signal into a beam. Point the two antennas at each other and voila. Also, for a tip, if the link is still in anyway flaky switch to 802.11B mode (not G) - it is more immune to interference and your wireless physical layer will spend less time resyncing and more time transferring your data.

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First tube station to get Wi-Fi next week

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Unhappy

@flingback

Should have added that those costs are realistically per platform and not per station! :)

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FAIL

WiFi? Really? Is that the most suitable technology?

The year is 2010 and we have some seriously powerful handsets and networking technology that would provide for a seamless service without logging in and pay-per-use for most activity.

My vote would be for an independent 3G/HSPA network to be set up on the underground that had inbound free roaming from the overground carriers (they still make money from the termination costs) and all outbound calls/SMS's earn a small fee (1p/min/msg?) that is re-billed to the host network. GPRS could be built in for free for non-www traffic (ie. email), and if people wanted browsing/streaming on the underground they could opt-in via reverse paid SMS with deals for weekly/monthly purchasing. There's all kinds of potential safety benefits in having a real network on the underground in terms of emergencies and crowd control.

All this technology is here, today - and comparatively inexpensive (the hardware is less than £5k/station for 3G and you could even throw in a 2G cell for under a grand as well!). We make such devices and all this is possible with relative ease. The only obstruction is the way the incumbents make everything take so long, and the reluctance from the bureaucrats to actually make a decision of any kind. WiFi is a lousy choice because it excludes convenience and the majority of handsets.

/rant :)

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700,000 Saudi BlackBerrys go silent noisy

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FAIL

Baffled by this a little...

There's something a little odd going on with this which I really don't get.

The significant difference between BlackBerry's and all other GPRS connected devices is that BlackBerry have their own dedicated APN's on the mobile networks which allows them to reach all devices via an IP address. Conventional APN's cannot offer a managed IP address, so the device relies on setting up an outbound tunnel that all the data is then reversed down.

So, once you've got your connection established, you need to establish security, exchange your credentials, and away you go. RIM uses all manner of fairly well established options here (3DES, RSA, etc.) and this is the "unbreakable" bit that's being complained of as it's from the device to the server (on a corporate device this lives at the company's IT HQ and generally connects to their Exchange Server). However, if I use my Apple or Android device and make an OMA/HTTPS connection to the same Exchange Server (ours is set up to do both BB and OMA/HTTPS), establish credentials and can then receive push email via a reverse push.

The bit I am confused about is that if my memory serves me correctly, properly certificated HTTPS is meant to be ultra-secure which is why it's used for credit card and banking transactions. This puts it in a similar league to RIM's security, so why hasn't HTTPS been disabled, or has it? If not, then all the bad people can simply change to iPhones and go about their business with impunity.

Then... there's always Skype!

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AOL sales drop by a quarter, reports billion dollar loss

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FAIL

The CD's were only the beginning...

Does anyone remember the fun and games to be had uninstalling AOL? In the Windows 95 days, I must have thrown away a good few weeks of my life "fixing" PC's that had slowed to the point of being fit for doorstops thanks to AOL's "low level drivers". What a great day it was when they finally decided that Dial Up Networking could work for them after all!

Good riddance (in advance) AOL. You took Compuserve (which wasn't half bad) and bastardised it into that mess you're still trying to tout today. Shame on you!

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Vodafone shocks data users with roaming price rise

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Grenade

@Jamie

It used to be £25 per 250MB per day. If you went over, if I recall correctly it went up in £25 chunks. It also had to be on a partner network and was part of the initial great drive to get everyone on vodafone passport.

I also think it was fair, although they should have charged a monthly access fee for that then they could charge a lesser amount for people who casually browse (clearly the target of their latest plan). vodafone has been the network of choice for a lot of business, but I can see this changing as others are now as competitive...

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Unhappy

This has got to be a joke...

The last I heard, the regulators were hammering the networks for their overly expensive roaming charges. This looks to me like a method of passing the buck from SMS/Voice to Data and thus maintaining their high revenues whilst screwing the customer and sticking two fingers up at OFCOM.

There is clearly something wrong with this. I use data a lot when roaming and have seen the charges escalate dramatically in the past two years from 250MB/day for £25 to this latest nonsense. I wouldn't even mind paying a bolt on fee which is charged per month whether I roam or not but this latest rise is going to make me move my £4k's a month of business elsewhere.

With all due respect, screw you Vodafone the way you think it's fair to screw us!

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BT names more exchanges for early fibre upgrades

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Flame

What a surprise...

If you overlay the exchanges that are going FTTC in this latest spat over fibre cabled areas you'll find some big overlap. Seems BT are not interested in new customers, moreover seducing people fed up with Virgin.

I have 8MB to the exchange and it's rock solid, however, my rural exchange with it's 1500 school kids and lack of 21CN means it's all but useless in the evening. Would be nice to see up core upgrades!!!

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Orange introduces mini-SIM

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Paris Hilton

@Crazy Operations Guy...

Yes, but even the CDMA standard which Verizon uses has evolved to include a SIM slot for the simple reason it offers device portability. If your Verizon phone breaks, hard luck... if my 3G BlackBerry breaks at least I can use the basic phone functionality in one of several one phones I have kicking around (or steal the wife's!).

Paris, because she's never stuck without her phone (must be 3GSM!)

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