45 posts • joined Tuesday 3rd July 2007 11:22 GMT
The same party ran with this
Just to give you an idea of what this party ran with for the Lisbon Treaty campaign :
These appeared all over college campuses in Ireland on behalf of Young Fine Gael
So, I doubt her party will be too shocked.
It's not a scandal anyway
I haven't heard or seen any negative commentary in the Irish Media about her. If anything, she's likely to get loads of votes from normal individuals.
She'll just have upset a few old fogies at her party HQ, but they'll get over it :D
Great but, one question
Will British officials now stop posting highly sensitive information on unencrypted CD ROMs and leaving their unlocked laptops full of state secrets on commuter trains?
This whole thing strikes me as spin, spin and more spin and a bit case of putting the cart before the horse!
Google's European HQ is in Dublin
Google actually isn't a very good example of a company using low corporation tax in Ireland to avoid UK corporation tax levels. The company has very significant operations in Dublin, including most of its physical server farms serving the European market.
Their Dublin offices are their European HQ. It's not unreasonable for them to operate from there and pay tax there and treat their UK and other European offices as subsidiaries.
There are different taxation models across Europe, how do you decide which one is 'profiteering' and which one isn't.
Ireland charges 21.5% VAT which is driving vast number of people over the border into Northern Ireland to go shopping. It could be argued that the UK is 'profiteering'.
France charges way less tax on alcohol etc than the UK, which drives people over the channel to go on booze cruises, should the French be forced to increase their drink excise levels ?
The 12.5% corporation tax rate applies to ALL companies in Ireland, it's not just applied to foreign direct investment. My own small business only pays that level of tax.
There are advantages and disadvantages to basing a company anywhere in Europe, it's all swings and roundabouts.
The City of London, as a financial market, is only as big as it is (was) due to the advantageous taxation and regulatory environment that exists in the UK. Perhaps the UK should employ German or French regulations and taxation policies instead? Surely it's grossly unfair on Paris and Frankfurt ?!
Where does one draw the line ?!
If you really want to go after tax evasion, perhaps it's time to ask why the UK allows a situation to persist where the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands etc are basically blatant tax havens used for channeling vast amounts of money and hiding incomes, yet are British crown protectorates etc.
Also, if the newspaper in question wanted to attack Irish corporation tax rates, they could have looked at 'brass plate' operations, not a company that has a very seriously huge Irish-based European HQ.
It's driving me nuts!
I've had these services since I had a free trial with my iMac quite a few years ago. I found homepage genuinely useful for sharing files. It was possible to create a sharing page that was password protected and quite secure.
It's a shame that they're killing the service off, rather than just incrementally improving it.
This whole MobileMe thing is infuriating. One day, without warning, I suddenly realised that I was sending email from my address @me.com instead of @mac.com. That was the first I heard of it.
Their email system no longer supports aliases in the transparent way it used to, and there are a lot of other major changes too.
Finally, I find the MobileMe synchronization service for iPhone pretty shockingly bad. I set it up, and my entire contacts directory disappears when it attempts to synch.
I can't seem to find out how to get it back to normal.
Frankly, I think I will be changing over to google aps
What's new?! How is this a story?
iPhone has been available contract-free in Europe for sometime now. It's even available on prepay for a huge fee.
For example in Ireland, O2 offer :
iPhone 3G 8GB for €480 or the 16GB for €569 on prepay, there's no contract but it's locked to O2.
Where as they start at €49 on BillPay ( with an insane 18 month contract, 12 months has been the norm here.)
I still find iPhone customers are ripped off though, for example with O2 Ireland you cannot use various voice add ons which give you bundles of extra minutes to landlines / other O2 lines etc.
It's like you're penalised for owning an iPhone.
I am very sorry I fell for the hype and bought one, I'm stuck with this thing now for another 12 months.
Nice phone, but grossly over-hyped and over priced.
It's been around for some time in Ireland
Changing networks in Ireland typically takes about 1 hour absolute max. Usually, it's almost instantaneous.
For prepay, you walk into a shop, they ring your phone to check that it really is your number. You sign a form, they enter some data onto their computer, hand you a new SIM. Shortly afterwards your phone receives an SMS welcoming you to a new network and your SIM goes inactive. Pop in new SIM, and you're switched!
For bill pay, same process, only difference is you have to bring a recent bill and be out of minimum contract. If you're within your minimum contract, the port over will often still happen, but you end up liable for early termination fees which get automatically charged as your 'port out' is an indication that you want to get out of the contract earlier than planned.
The whole process only takes a few minutes.
I fail to see why this can't be implemented all over Europe.
Still no SMS delivery reports?
I have an iPhone & while I welcome all the feature add one, I hope they haven't forgotten to add SMS delivery reports. Whole it's not a cutting edge, break through or exciting feature, I find the way the handset handles SMS messages very poorly thought through. Not everyone wants to manage their messages as if they were iChat conversations! If I wanted an IM client, I would install one! I just want an SMS client!! Surely it should have view options?
I really dearly miss my Sony Ericsson's ability to organize my text life!
Inbox, outbox, sent items and drafts and a cute little tick beside messages that were sucessfully delivered!
Call me old fashioned. Call me a bit of a stalker, but I really like to know when a message has been delivered!
It's actually not as simple as you'd think!
It's an easy enough mistake to occur when you look at European driving licenses, they're not all identically layouts.
I searched a few examples in google images just out of curiosity and there seems to be a few different versions around as well as pre-EU national versions in the recently joined member states, like Poland, which may still be valid.
The problem was that a particular version of the Polish License had those words printed where you'd expect to see a driver's name usually on the standardised EU version.
Also, the big pink papery book is still used by a few EU countries, I know a few french people who still seem to carry one, so it's definitely not unique to Ireland.
There was some fuss over rolling out credit card size licenses here as they wanted to wait until the Garda (Police) had rolled out its hand held computer programme (now almost complete). Any system rolled out will have to be trialled with those devices etc first. So, there was some sense in not rushing ahead with first generation chip cards.
Why is that site even getting any attention at all?
I always find it baffling that Americans make a lot of pronouncements about other countries, or comparisions between America and other countries without ever visting them or knowing anything about them!
While it's great that they're proud and self-confident, there is a lot of nonsensical rhetoric about how 'we're the greatest democracy', 'only in america do people (insert random thing that people in every liberal democracy take for granted)' ...
As for this stereotype, thankfully America has two very different sides to it. For the last 8 years we were treated to a dose of 'red neck, gun totin' America'. It seems the American public has finally seen sense and is once again prepared to engage with the rest of the planet again.
As for their gun laws too, they vary enormously from state-to-state. There is no absolute right to bear ANY arm in the US, just in the somewhat 'crazier' states.
Gun laws in states like Massachusetts aren't a hell of a lot more liberal than they are in most European countries (at least the ones that do allow you to have guns, and there are quite a few!)
Most states do not allow you to carry a consealed weapon either. You would really have to wonder about the ones that do!
The biggest problem is the reliance on IE for Windows Updates etc
Safari in Mac OS X can quite easily be changed from being the default browser when you install something else e.g. firefox. I've never noticed an issue where it will start to make itself default again.
IE in Windows however is so embedded into the system that you can't avoid it as it's used for software updates. I have never understood why Windows simply can't have something like Mac OS X where software updates are done by a stand-alone application. They really have no business being done by IE, which is known for massive security holes!
There are various other installation processes which seem to insist on using IE.
Also, Hotmail suddenly seems to only work with IE. I had terrible trouble using it with Firefox and with Google Chrome recently, yet it flies along on a Mac in Safari and in Firefox... strange?!
MSN Messenger also opens IE whether you like it or not if you click on any links that fire up a browser.
The other one that really annoys me is that Office 2007 ignores your choice of default email application and will open Outlook if you try to do email something as an attachment from inside word, excel etc
Yet, Office 2008 on Mac OS X will use Apple Mail or Thunderbird and not open MS Entourage (Outlook for Macs) if you do the same thing.
I think the EU's right on this. MS is still ignoring the rulings.
I use Vista, it's not TOO bad.
I use Vista on my laptop, admittedly it's quite a reasonable spec 2.4Ghz Core2Duo with 4GB of RAM, but I don't really find any issues with it. I prefer the interface to XP and haven't noticed any horrendous side effects.
Watch out for Dell in the UK too..
Given the way things are going for Dell, there's a strong possibility that they could also close their UK facilities too. They have centres in Glasgow (employs 810) and Bracknell (employs 1410). A review is currently taking place and is expected to be completed in 6 months!
Glasgow is unlikely to close as it only opened in 2005 and closure would result in the requirement to repay a load of grant aid.
Bracknell however, is expensive to run and it could be a fairly big hit to the local area if it closes.
The PC industry simply isn't viable at UK or Irish (or US or Western European) wage levels anymore. They're a generic product that is simply churned out at the cheapest price. That kind of large scale electronics manufacturing will go east.
I suspect someone's being paid off..
Some of these insane database proposals give me the distinct impression that someone's getting a back-hander.
1) Lack of popular support - nobody wants it
2) No cost-benefit analysis
3) No clear benefits
4) Anyone with half a brain would know that such a system will be a dismal failure and possibly a gross violation of personal privacy and human rights.
5) Fixation with contracting it out to private sector companies.
So why is it being pursued ? Makes no sense to me unless someone's gaining from it!
Maybe they can do it for phones too!
Can you imagine the reaction if BT were required to beep out "unacceptable" content during phone calls?
Or, your text messages arrived like "that andy is a total ****"
censored to protect!
Obviously we can all trust new labour not to abuse their powers it's not like they'd have MPs who expose their embarassibg cock ups arrested or have their offices, so I doubt they'd do anything to oppress free speech !
Shouldn't the British government be trying to fix the most monumental cockup in financial history rather than worrying about online content that they can't control anyway!
Sounds to me like the spin doctors needed a story ...
Bunch of useless .... Stop wasting tax payers' money on hot air & nonsense!!
Also perhaps someone should have a bit of a read about what the Internet is before they make idiots of themselves trying to regulate it!
How about regulating what you were supposed to be regulating : the banks & financial markets and stop pissing into the wind !!
DAB basically offers no advantages over FM radio with RDS & a good quality receiver. This is digital for the sake of digital.
I predict DAB will be wiped out once a European satellite radio service goes live. You'll pop a tiny antenna on your car roof, pay a small subscription & get access to thousands of station thematically organized etc
At least two companies are planning such service.
Most people are happy with an MP3 player, iPod, phone & fm radio!
Commercial FM stations are not going to spend money on DAB it's only heavily rolled out in the UK because the BBC sunk millions upon millions of licence fee payers' money into it. They don't have to worry about annoying things like commercial reality when they have vast pools of cash they don't have to earn to throw away on White elephants like DAB
Supermarket sells iPhone ... I should care? Why?
I have an iPhone, I'm even posting on an iPhone now but how is this news?
Supermarkets have been selling mobiles in Europe for years!
Would El Registerio report this story I'd it were about the equally revolutionary Nokia N96 or one of the new funky blackberries? Or the LG touch screen phones?
To me this is just giving Apple free publicity!
Also, stop calling it "the Jesus phone". It's become a r
It's a decent smartphone but does it really need every minor tweak to it's US distribution channels covered in huge detail from a strangely negative piss taking angle?
Accidental roaming is useful for 112
Most GSM carriers in Europe will accept a 112 call from any phone, even if the accounts invalid, or no roaming agreement exists! It means if you dial 112 in a low signal area a competing network or a foreign network you can't usually use may pick up the call!
Also 112 overrides GSM phones that are locked with a pin or even puk locked!
And if you dial 112 in the USA or elsewhere on a GSM handset you'll reach then local emergency number e.g. 911 it works I had to call the cops in Boston and used 112!!
It's an excellent service
If you're in a border area and you don't have some kind of preferential roaming agreement that slows you to roam got free (they do exist most Irish networks, at least for billpay) then you absolutely need to turn off automatic network selection ! Otherwise your phone just hops ontovthe strongest signal. It can't tell that you don't want to roam and radiowaves don't respect international Borders. It's quite feasable to pick up a GSM signal well beyond a border, there's very little that can bed done to prevent that other than telling your phone to stay on a single network !
999, 911 etc can't be allocated because they are used for other purposes
You can't allocate 999 or 911 or any of the other local emergency codes on the fixed line phone systems across Europe because they clash with normal local telephone numbers ! There are numbers in most countries, including the Uk and ireland starting with 911 and plenty if countries around Europe have local numbers starting with 999 so they're unusable for any other purpose. It's different with mobiles as you have to press send, a land line will automatically connect you.
112 doesn't clash with any European numbering system so it works!
They need more work!
While the hybrids are pretty cool cars and generally well designed, I cannot see many people buying all-electric cars at this stage. They all look rather like they were designed by a vacuum cleaner manufacturer and still lack range and speed. They need to do a lot more to shake off the perception that they're one step up from a 1950s milk float!
Most of us are not going to buy a car simply to totter around the city centre, particularly since in the UK and Ireland we have adopted the urban sprawl model of town planning. So, most of us do have to drive long distances in cars and need access to motorways / high speed roads. If you're living and working in a city centre location, you'll probably end up using public transport or walking anyway!
Current all-electric vehicles can't really replace the existing car, we need something a little faster and sexier before people will switch over.
At present, hybrid technology seems like a decent solution. I've got a Prius and I really can't fault it, it's a pleasure to drive and has excellent acceleration. The difference between this and the EVs is that it's actually made by a real car maker i.e. Toyota. Despite all of the 'boo hybrid's are for carrot munchers' type reviews on the likes of Top Gear, I have to say the Prius can go up a hill with more va! va! voom! than any car I've ever driven, including those with vastly bigger engines. The combination of petrol engine + instant high traction power from the electric motor really gives them quite a surprising amount of ummph! It's also getting me a massive car tax reduction in Ireland as it's rated "A" for CO2 output and it's definitely using a lot less petrol than an equivalently sized car.
I'd go all-electric myself it they were a viable option, but unfortunately I'm not prepared to drive a washing machine crossed with a swatch watch...
Perhaps a hybrid with a rechargeable plug-in battery might be a way forward. So, you could drive predominantly using electricity only in urban areas and then use the 'traditional' hybrid mix at higher speeds or where a burst of acceleration is needed.
US Intelligence says lots of things...
The US is weird in this regard. I don't see any European Intelligence organisation producing reports saying the US will be bankrupt and floundering in 2025.
Frankly, I think this is some kind of a political spin story by Eurosceptics of some sort aimed to destabilise. Or, possibly aimed at Irish Lisbon treaty voters.
Please filter your press releases in future!
Seems a bit ridiculous
Under normal circumstances vista doesn't take ANYTHING like 15 minutes to boot. Perhaps the companies in question ought to upgrade their PCs rather than installing an OS that they can't actually run!
Eh, what about USB keys etc?
Well, if I do not encrypt my laptop hardrive, or hand it over to a 3rd party I am liable to be prosecuted and fined under Irish Data Protection legislation. On top of that, my clients could sue me for failing to comply with non-disclosure agreements.
I can see this being a HUGE problem for business travellers to Australia.
Also, why do they think that laptops are suddenly an issue? Isn't this just some kind of extreme paranoia ? I mean, someone could have horrendous images of child porn on a USB key on their key ring, on their iPod, on a flash card, on a camera, a mobile or virtually any other electronic device none of which can boot a Linux CD.
So, basically all they're going to do is annoying the hell out of the 99.999999% of passengers who happen to be using their laptop for legitimate normal purposes i.e. business, checking emails, uploading photos of their holiday in Australia.
It's complete madness and will have zero impact on the problem they're supposedly trying to address. It's a waste of tax payers money too.
Well, it'll cut down green house gasses!
Is this really necessary?
They are slowly strangling the airline industry with endless pointless pain for passengers.
Frankly, if this were to be come a normal element of travel. I won't be flying anymore. I've already pretty much stopped flying to the USA as I find being treated like a criminal when I am simply going somewhere to spend money as a tourist or do business pretty damn offensive.
The entire security procedure seems to be based on the fact that people are treated like scum and all of their rights are nullified.
Something has to change, or the entire airline industry's going to collapse.
Will she also ban international pre-pay roaming?
So, basically for the average joe soap this is going to be another pain in the ass bit of bureaucracy. It's going to cost UK telcos money to do and generally be annoying.
But, for the determined terrorist / criminal or whoever wants to actually bypass it. They just go on line / hop over to the nearest country which hasn't been silly enough to elect a dictatorship and buy a prepay sim without ID and use it in the UK while roaming.
I mean, you can do this in the Republic of Ireland, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Most of Eastern Europe, the USA, etc
Even if she managed to convince her EU counterparts to implement similar rules, I can't see many Eastern European and other countries all universally following.
So, she'd have no option but to bar international roaming. Since this is generally reciprocal, it would mean
a) Loss of revenue (big revenue) to UK operators for roaming calls in the UK
b) UK prepay customers being barred from using overseas networks as UK companies would lose roaming agreements.
So, it's clearly a win-win situation for the British public! Back to using payphones while you're in Spain on your holidays then!
21CN is all spin!
I don't really see what the big fuss is about BT's 21CN it's just a fairly standard "next generation network". Other telcos all over Europe and all over the world are rolling out similar infrastructure and not making a huge song and dance about it.
Unbundled ISPs in the UK and Ireland are already using '21CN' type technologies and have been since their launch.
From what I can see 21CN is entirely a marketing campaign. The upgrades to infrastructure are nothing particularly special.
Cost Benefit Analysis ? Anyone?
Do Governments ever do a cost benefit analysis on schemes like these?
What exactly does this hope to achieve ?
It seems to me that Governments, particularly in the UK and USA have gone to great lengths to irritate as many air passengers as possible.
I mean what's next? Full body cavity search and microchip implanted into the brain for all passengers who are flying in on a charter from Ibiza.
Frankly, I think all these anti-terror / security measures are just making people's lives misery for no good reason. The securicracy has gone mad and is spending vast amount of OUR money to annoy US !!!!
This is a very dangerous road..
Nobody doubts for a moment that child abuse is indeed a very serious crime, but you can't just remove the very basis of the legal system: innocent until proven guilty at a whim to suit a single crime and media-driven paranoia.
There are lots of very serious and very dangerous crimes. For example, murder is not particularly nice, yet murderers are innocent until proven guilty.
How long will it be until this 'soft information' extends to other areas and you find that employers / potential employers have all sorts of totally unnecessary information at their finger tips. Perhaps your health or mental health records. The fact that you didn't pay a parking ticket on time could indicate that you're unreliable.
It's just like the various anti-terror laws in the US, UK and elsewhere that have just ridden over basic and fundemental civil rights in the name of keeping us all safe. Membership of certain organisations.. your sexual orientation ... etc etc
We have to get back to basics when it comes to law and the legal system. Every step that undermines our rights is another step into an abyss.
People fought very hard and even died for these legal rights in the past. Let's not throw them away to protect ourselves from a few nut job terrorists and a handful of potential pervs.
There are lots of other ways of keeping ourselves safe!!
I'm starting to wonder if security companies are paying politicians or senior civil servants to get them to invest vast amounts of tax payers money in these plainly stupid systems that achieve nothing other than like some IT company's pockets.
I mean this stuff is only a small step away from requiring implanted RFID tags or something.
It's really gone too far.
There is never any cost benefit analysis, just lash huge amounts of money into invasive systems that scan people / monitor people which are being used simply because they exist.
I really can't see any benefits. They're spending vast amounts of OUR money to make our lives miserable everytime we want to go through an airport.
A couple of terrorists attacks and they basically roll back all of our civil liberties. In that case, the terrorists have won!!
Its like a DNS server
The Irish porting system works a little like a DNS server on the internet.
When you dial a mobile number, a server checks which network it's assigned to and routes it appropriately.
So, porting a number's relatively easy.
Think of the phone number as a URL
The switch is like a DNS server
and your phone is the resolved hidden IP address.
It's not even hours its minutes
Porting numbers in Ireland can take anything from 0 to 60 minutes. The port's usually complete within 15 minutes of the process being requested.
It's just a matter of dropping into a mobile phone store, proving the phone is yours if it's prepay (typically they ring you and verify the caller ID).
Port details put in and it all happens very soon afterwards!
Nothing new here!
They've been shipping digital telephone exchanges in containers since the early 1980s. They're fully air conditioned containers full of racks of electronics. Drop them in and hook them up to fiber etc and voila!
No reason why a data centre couldn't be packed the same way. It's not all that different.
The move to reduce voice call rates was great. However, we need to start seeing some serious reductions in EU roaming rates for 3G data. Some of the charges applied are insane and completely unjustifiable.
It's quite damaging to EU business if an EU business person who is travelling around Europe is paying vastly over the odds for data whilst roaming, often tens of times more than a US business person using similar services while roaming within the USA.
In a lot of cases I know people who received enormous roaming bills for their blackberry and as a result no longer use it while abroad. That can't be good for business.
It's also a bit like the WAP charges that were in place when mobile data first launched. These were so ridiculously high that it put people off using mobile data for years and retarded the whole market. It was only when sensible data packages arrived in the last couple of years that mobile data took off.
From what I can see mobile operators are just gouging customers and ripping them off when they step outside their own home market.
@Beachhutman : There are no interbank charges for using your debit card, credit card or making interbank transfers *within* the Eurozone. However, if you use a UK card to withdraw cash / pay for something in the Eurozone charges still apply as you're converting currency. So, for example an Irish card used in France or Germany operates just like it does at home. But, a UK card may incur charges as it's converting back to UK£.
The ECB (European Central Bank) outlawed such charges a few years ago and are in the process of creating the SEPA (Single European Payment Area) to remove any technical barriers that exist. Most of these are already ironed out.
They're much more than a UK operation!
Just to point out that the Carphone Warehouse is not just a UK operation. Its retail business would give Best Buy a huge foothold in most of the EU.
Carphone Warehouse operates as the Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Republic of Ireland and as "Phone House" in many other EU countries.
Irish Cable and Sky Digital Customers get BBC, but pay
BBC 1, 2 (and the BBC Digital channels) are carried on UPC cable and MMDS in the Republic of Ireland but a substantial part of the cable subscription fee goes to BBC in the form of royalties.
Sky Digital Ireland also carries BBC 1, 2 etc officially in the EPG. They also pay a chunk of the sky digital subscription to BBC.
Licence fees are not unique to the UK are pretty much standard practice across most of Europe, the prices vary and the UK's licence fee is only in the middle of the scale. Some of the Scandinavian countries and Austria in particular have really steep fees >£200 a year!!
The majority of EU countries use a combination of TV Licence fee + advertising to fund public service television.
If BBC's available free-to-air on satellite there's very little they can do to prevent people from picking it up and redistributing it. It may be a copyright violation to re-distribute it without permission, but they cannot prevent people from viewing it if they transmit it in the clear anyway. It's just 'overspill'.
€ (euro) and £ (sterling) prices
You're also forgetting that the iPod price will have fluctuated significantly as the £ has plummeted in value against the Euro in recent months yet the price hasn't changed in the UK or Eurozone countries.
The US$ has ABSOLUTELY noise dived in relation to the Euro in recent months, again the prices in the US haven't really reflected that nor have the EU prices.
Often suppliers don't change their prices that quickly in response to currency fluctuations.
It's not just apple who does this!
It's the one thing that I find absolutely painful about using Windows. The installers will all allow various software companies to basically hijack your system. Real player is one of the worst offenders. Anytime it's installed unless you very carefully uncheck all the correct boxes it makes itself the default player for all sorts of things you don't want it to be.
iTunes does the same, Quicktime etc.
I really think it's about time that these software companies were forced to play fair rather than sneaking in software that we don't necessarily want.
It's all very well for relatively savvy users, like most of the people who are posting here. But, if you're relatively computer illiterate and only just about manage to open Word and type a letter or check you e-mail it can be a totally bewildering nightmare.
I mean, the majority of computer users don't even know how to uninstall things which is how they end up with 18 tool bars in internet explorer, yahoo buttons and various other things from otherwise reputable companies.
Microsoft itself is very well versed in installing things people don't want and didn't ask for too. I mean just look at what happens if you install MSN Messenger! Getting rid of it is a complete nightmare, even on a Mac it will install itself to automatically start when you log in and put itself on your dock. Same with Skype and many others.
Installing software should be very transparent and easy to follow. These methods of sneaking software into systems is basically using the same tactics as a virus. It's totally unacceptable. Shame on apple and shame on all the other supposedly reputable software vendors who do the same thing!
All you're doing is praying on those who can't actually remove your stupid software!
Japan uses totally different 2G technology
It's worth noting that Japan doesn't and never has used GSM. They had a uniquely Japanese 2G technology called PDC. This is a TDMA based technology.
It's arguably a poor relation of GSM in many ways as it has various reception problems due to its use of quite low powered signals (this was to allow smaller, lighter handsets) and is completely incapable of roaming outside Japan. It also does not have any 2.5G data service like EDGE.
Japan launched FOMA in 2001 which is an entirely 3G network based on UMTS. This is fully compatible with '3GSM' i.e. 3G UMTS services used in Europe and other GSM countries.
FOMA phones use a USIM, same as 3G phones in Europe which has also given Japanese phone users seamless roaming on 2G GSM when they're abroad. This is a HUGE step forward for business users.
UMTS maintained all of the nice features of GSM i.e. the roaming, the modularity, the SIM cards, SMS messaging, picture messaging and open universal standards. The Japanese came on board when UMTS i.e. FOMA/3GSM was being developed.
Also, 3G handsets in Europe are fully backwards compatible with 2G GSM networks, so we have not had any need for "force" people to move over to 3G.
In Japan, the move from 2G to 3G was much less smooth. You could compare it to the move from Analogue to Digital in Europe.
People basically had to move as the 2G system wasn't quite up to it and the network operators were no longer developing it.
We sometimes forget GSM (when properly rolled out i.e. not the way it is in much of the US!) is a fantastic, rock solid system that provides excellent sound quality and reception.
So, perhaps 3G/UMTS is less unattractive to Japanese subscribers.
Why not just have the post office open every letter and parcel too?
I suppose they could also ask the post office to open, and scan every letter and parcel just in case the end user or sender (who would have to provide passport / photo ID and finger prints to post the letter) might write something dangerous or send a photocopied item of literature which could be subject to copyright...
Or, heaven forbid, a CD-R
Industry has never touched to France to quite the same extent??
I have to reply to that comment...
France has a huge industrial sector, quite comparable with the UK and it's been that way since the industrial revolution. It's just a case that most of us don't go on holiday to the industrial areas and business centres. Would you like to spend a summer in Lille ?
The South and West of France have a much more relaxed, slow pace of life relative to the rest of the country.
As long as it doesn't mess up 900Mhz GSM !
It would definitely improve coverage outside urban areas for 3GSM (3G), however, I wonder would it mean that 2G GSM coverage would be reduced.
In Ireland, like many EU countries, there's a mix of 900mhz and 1800mhz in use, they're not mutually exclusive. The networks use 900mhz as their core GSM frequency and 1800Mhz in densely populated areas to give extra capacity.
In the UK they seem to have been assigned exclusively to different operators.
In less densely populated areas, it's quite possible that 900Mhz would have enough capacity to support both GSM and 3GSM. I wouldn't like to see 'classic' GSM reception being damaged in urban areas though to promote a switchover to 3G !!
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