back to article Mobes will save the world - just give us some spectrum!

Every World Congress - GSM World Congress, 3GSM World Congress and now Mobile World Congress - has seen rising attendances, but this year it's a little more echoey in there. GSMA CEO Rob Conway’s keynote tried to make the best of it by saying that only the elite of the mobile world had come this year. Big company attendances …


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"The stats to back this up looked at how 100m Europeans are beyond the reach of fixed broadband. Mobile costs ten per cent of putting in fixed broadband, and people on broadband are six times more productive. By building more mobile infrastructure, we can build our way out of recession."

Only if you compare digging with only enough masts for 100kbps at peak time.

Even LTE will only deliver under 400kbps per person with 20 people on sector.

There are lots of smart ways to deliver Broadband. Mobile isn't one of them and isn't cheap.

£200 a Gigabyte if you are over the usually 1/2 to 1/5th size real broadband Cap.

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The banking industry deserves to die the slow, painful death it is undergoing. That's not to say the people who were foolish enough to lash themselves part and parcel to it deserve the same fate, but 20m more certainly don't deserve to be tied to the mast of a rapidly sinking ship.


I wondered (sic) lonely as a cloud...

The ennui and (comparatively for the reg) quiet sarcasm in this post brought to mind "waiting for god". Was that what it was like at the conference by any chance?

The whole developed world has been gorging for 10 years on cheap credit. This will affect everything. It's all got to go, I'm afraid...



I thought this execrable abomination had been banished by popular decree?


Misleading first comment

"Even LTE will only deliver under 400kbps per person with 20 people on sector."

Bollocks. Right now plain old HSPA is giving real world observed results in the 4-5Mbps range. I myself downloaded an 800MB TV show in ~20 minutes the other day on the train to work.

Even though the max throughput is shared it is shared in 2ms slots so many users can get observed high speeds (for HSPA).


10% of a fixed line?


Mobile operators are 'doing OK' because they are scum sucking ripOff merchants overcharging for thin air!



Well said. It only sounds good if you oversell your bandwidth the same way the cable companies do. And their model already doesn't work.

Look at the evolution of LAN. We went from a shared bus coax topology (like the legacy coax based cable systems) to a star shaped, hub based 10BT, to a star shaped, switched, dedicated line. Fiber or DSL is the logical extension of this into the WAN. Over the air all the independent connections from the center of the star out are functioning like a hub - competing with each other for bandwidth. Therefore the solution fails to scale.

Add in the inherent insecurity of wireless and you really have a recipe for disaster. Remember the rules for securing your computer, they apply to the network too - you have no security without physical security. A cable buried in your lawn may not have locked doors and armed guards but its a lot more secure that broadcasting your data to anyone in a 5 mile radius.


one does one's bit if one wishes?


Well, I see that UK politicians are trying to talk the bankers to death if BBC Parliament is anything to go buy.

At least they are giving them a jolly good taking to so the whole problem must have been sorted by now.

Copy of email sent to Ofcom


I'd like to take issue with the present model used to auction things to the highest bidder.

As a policy I believe that auctioning to the highest bidder in capital bid makes for:

(a) an elitist provisioning of services contrary to the public good

(b) in effect causes an inflationary tax served by proxy (the proxy in this case is the third party auction winner that will ultimately have to pass costs on to the consumer hence increased cost to consumer hence elitist use of a public asset as such cost puts it out of the reach of the many hence contrary to public good)

(c) induces higher costs with slower uptake and/or evolution of those services to the public while simultaneously maintaining elitist use of a public asset

I could go on but for brevity the above three points neatly summarise main faults with the auction model as it presently stands, is used and is put into effect and consequences arising thereof.

I'd also like Ofcom to consider a different model. One based on licencing public assets that, on the face of it, seems readily extensible.

The model I propose to replace the outdated and heavily flawed auction process is summarised below:

For a public asset being released or about to be released interested third parties will need to apply for either a Public licence or a Commercial licence in order to access that public asset.

Maybe a UK PSPL (UK Public Service Provider Licence) or UK CSPL (UK Commercial Service Provider Licence). This model is readily extended to national levels eg S PSPL and S CSPL; W PSPL and W CSPL for Scotland and Wales respectively.

Also in evolutionary terms an EU PSPL and EU CSPL for European wide use seems reasonable.

The model with minor adjustments could cater for pilot projects (eg licenced use over a short term), with government or its appointed bodies having power to invoke levies should a third party fail to meet its business plan as proposed or fail to adapt service to emerging or evolving technologies in a way that runs contrary to national or regional polices.

This proposed model is aimed to allow public service providers an opportunity to make use of a public asset in a way that benefits the public. For example - a much reduced cost for UKPSPL whereas UKCSPL can tap in to an auction model in some amended form.

Note that the UKPSPL could also cater for present public service providers such as the BBC or ITV ... to provide a service to the public based on their longstanding service in public service provisioning. And at the same time without having to compete directly with more aggressive commercial organisations based solely on costs.

Such a proposed model also allows for intervention with penalties. For example energy providers with a UKPSPL yet not meeting good practice regarding costs or cost reductions to pre-payment customers could be levied sufficiently well as to be motivating or face a suspension of UKPSPL.

This email is already far too long and I hope the gist of a better way of doing things is hinted sufficiently well as to be motivating

Kind regards


ps - I wonder if it would be helpful to circulate this message to Ofcom offices in Wales and England?



In the model proposed above the difference between a Public licence and a Commercial licence is merely: does the proposed business plan satisfy public service criteria. It does not matter a jot if an interested party is a commercial enterprise or funded body.

If a proposed business plan satisfies public service criteria and there are several of these then all, some or none might be awarded a (cost free?) UK PSPL or alternatively all, some or none might be offered a UK CSPL (not cost free). It all depends upon satisfying public service criteria and appropriateness of any proposed business plan.

Unlike the present auction model (only one winning capital bid) the proposed model allows for several winners.

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