back to article LTE's backers vow to KILL OFF WI-FI and BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, weightless and Sigfox, not to mention GPS and TETRA: LTE’s proponents plan to make every one of them redundant, while also ensuring their own advanced wireless standard becomes the only one anyone, anywhere, will ever need. And all this by March 2016. Long-Term Evolution's supporters have never hidden their …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O/T: Mountain Rescue

    "A good example of this is mountain rescue, when police can drive a TETRA-equipped Land Rover onto a hillside to provide backhaul for the officers involved in the search."

    Before it becomes a rumour that Police get their hands dirty in Mountain Rescue work in England and Wales (it's a bit different in Scotland), generally they do not.

    There is a volunteer (as in 100% volunteer providing 24x7 cover and having to pay all their own expenses - it costs me about £1000 p/a to be a member) organisation under the umbrella of Mountain Rescue England and Wales who are a 999 emergency service working under the direction of the police who cater for nearly all rural terrain searches and many urban searches as well. They do use some tetra sets especially for ICs and control vehicles but they have allocated frequencies and usually use traditional 2 way radios for all their hill work which also communicate with RAF SAR (while they still exist) and others.

    1. dogged

      Re: O/T: Mountain Rescue

      Thank you for doing that, AC. I don't think Mountain Rescue (or the RNLI) get enough recognition for the voluntary lifesaving work they do.

      It really is appreciated.

    2. The Mole

      Re: O/T: Mountain Rescue

      I'll add in and point out there are also Lowland Search and Rescue teams who provide very similar coverage in areas lacking mountains.

    3. Refugee from Windows
      Coat

      Re: O/T: Mountain Rescue

      Given the areas that Mountain Rescue work in often don't have even 2G coverage, what hope is there for LTE?

      As someone who's involved in providing emergency comms in such remote areas, you can pull the wifi dongle out of my cold dead fingers. We use these for linking into existing networks, for some ops it's about the only thing we could use reliably. I do remember when (large cycle event) traversed the Dales, the data links provided by (large communications plc) didn't actually work when called upon.

      I have no confidence this is a good idea, and although TETRA/Airwave is fairly resiliant, backing all the eggs into the LTE basket seems like a very bad idea.

      Coat - it's got a handheld radio in the pocket.

  2. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Devil

    So LTE would appear to be a powerplay by Qualcomm, then?

    Qualcomm essentially wants to replace everything everyone else owns with something they own. Which would make them the tollbooth troll of the internet, mobile, wifi and emergency communications.

    Welcome to the new monopoly overlords...

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: So LTE would appear to be a powerplay by Qualcomm, then?

      Upvote for nearly inventing the word Trollbooth.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: So LTE would appear to be a powerplay by Qualcomm, then?

        Upvote for nearly inventing the word Trollbooth.

        Same here.

  3. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Piss off Qualcomm

    For an earpiece or keyboard LTE is power hungry overkill.

    For Gadgets, phones, laptops and tablets in the home and office LTE isn't a good match either. That's a lot of legacy gear.

    Qualcomm have for years been more interested in patent revenue than technology. That's why they bought Flarion and killed it and Flash-OFDMA.

    Sounds a bit like MS and one Windows to Rule them all.

    One size doesn't fit all. Stick to Mobile Network stuff.

    Oh and LTE totally messed up any provision for Mobile voice. On air should be a native frame based low overhead voice codec with conversion to VOIP at the mast equipment. Not VOIP over the Radio to /from the mast. The mind boggles at the dog's dinner a committee driven by Qualcomm patent revenue dreams would make of replacing Tetra, Bluetooth and WiFi.

    Would we be happy with only Oracle controlling most patents for Databases?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    really?

    Am I a criminal in the office across the street, waiting for you to leave your office without locking your computer?

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Going nowhere fast

    I think Bluetooth has been successful by not being all things to all men, eg. working cooperatively with WiFi. Like WiFi it's become so ubiquitous that it's going to be difficult to shift. There are also advantages in having different radios in a device: the Bluetooth one is owned by the device, not the network.

    But the more I think about the suggestions the more I think this is a glorified spectrum grab: get LTE in the unlicensed spectrum areas.

    PS. Welcome back, Bill

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Going nowhere fast

      > I think Bluetooth has been successful

      Please define "successful", and please state whether you have ever tried to do any development work that required getting anywhere near a Bluetooth stack.

      I've had recurrent nightmares ever since.

      1. ckm5

        Re: Going nowhere fast

        I'm wondering what your definition of success is?

      2. Peter 39

        Re: Going nowhere fast

        My needs are not extensive but Bluetooth has worked well for me. Just a dumb user, I guess.

    2. Number6

      Re: Going nowhere fast

      Qualcomm and friends argue that LTE Direct has better range (around 500m)

      Surely the appeal of Bluetooth is that it is intended for short range communications. Arguing for better range is largely irrelevant for a bunch of devices that would normally be expected to operate within a few feet of each other, possibly in an area where a large number of such groups of devices exist. If they're all blocking each other's signals then it's not going to work. If you only have to coexist with stuff in a 10m radius then it's going to be much easier than sharing with stuff in a 500m radius.

      Of course, it would give new meaning to the old phrase "he saw you coming!" if they can spot you 500m away.

      1. Degenerate Scumbag

        Re: Going nowhere fast

        Going right back to GSM, all the digital mobile network standards have included the function of automatically modulating the transmit power up or down to the lowest level necessary to maintain a usable signal. It's an essential feature to enable efficient use of limited spectrum bandwidth. This is why network operators are able to increase capacity by adding base-stations without having them block their neighbour's spectrum.

        So an LTE implementation designed to replace Bluetooth should not transmit at any higher power when devices are in the normal Bluetooth range. It would just be able to boost up to a higher range than Bluetooth.

  6. kmac499

    One radio to rule them all...?

    In my front room the Wii talks to the world by Wifi, the smart TV talks to the Soundbar via Bluetooth and the Soundbar talks to it's Woofer by a second bluetooth.. So my Phone,Tablet and Laptop all bluetooth enabled can talk to the same soundbar or the bluetooth enabled DAB radio in the kitchen for Spotify\Listen again. or via a couple of bluetooth enabled headphones\earphones kicking about somewhere.

    In the rest of the house there are a couple of wifi connected PCs and tablets, a couple of Wifi\bluetooth enabled pinters, another wifi enabled smart TV and a vodafone femtocell lurking in the loft kicking out a nice solid 3g signal.

    To keep it all ticking over nicely there are a couple of wifi repeaters plugged in (not ethernet over mains) and for the legacy kit there is an old wfi to Cat5 bridging unit.

    OH and I nearly forgot a few 2.4Mhz keyboards mice remote control sockets etc

    Whatever the technical merits of LTE (discuss). How much would it cost to junk this lot or how long on a normal replacement cycle to replace it all..

  7. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    As long as it all runs on my 3D Printed Software Defined Radio

    Just as with God's Algorithm for Rubik's Cube, there is going to be a family of waveforms that will be mathematically proven to be the ultimate-ultimate; with not one iota of room for any further improvement.

    And then somebody else will invent something new like OAM modulation, and off we go again.

  8. Adair

    Another 'systemd' moment?

    What is it about this human passion for tyranny? Stifling diversity, stomping on creativity, putting the boot on the throat of others and crowing, "I own you, sucker! Now just be good and give me your wallet, your first-born, and your soul".

    For some people all that matters is the letter of the law and their stash, and even then the letter of the law better be serving their stash.

    1. Grendel

      Re: Another 'systemd' moment?

      To quote: "... What is it about this human passion for tyranny? Stifling diversity, stomping on creativity, putting the boot on the throat of others and crowing, "I own you, sucker! Now just be good and give me your wallet, your first-born, and your soul" ..."

      ... and I thought that was how Apple worked?

      God forbid that Qualcom and Apple team up to make this 2G/3G/TETRA/GPS/WiFi/BlueTooth killing machine!

      "We're doomed! We're all doomed I tell ye" ;-)

      G.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another 'systemd' moment?

      A large shareholder owned corporation in a capitalist country has only four choices as they must show continued (above inflation growth).

      They can either try to increase their slice of the pie

      They can hope the pie (and thus their slice) gets bigger either by natural forces or their own doing

      They can try to take a slice of someone else's pie

      They can create a brand new pie and own it all for a while

      1. Benjol

        Re: Another 'systemd' moment?

        Or they can start removing ingredients from the pie.

        Or pay the cooks less.

      2. theblackhand

        Re: Another 'systemd' moment?

        A corporation can also:

        - return money to investors

        - split the company into multiple entities

        - fail

        And probably many more.

        Growth provides a path to increased revenue (and hopefully profit), but as long as a company is earning sufficient revenue to survive the rest is just negotiating with shareholders to ensure that they are happy (or happy enough)...

      3. chauhan

        Re: Another 'systemd' moment?

        Your definition also includes mutual organisations, that are quite tolerant of moderate (organic) growth for years, with the occasional service or product innovation delivering a growth spurt.

  9. Matthew 4

    pipe dream

    I don't know about Europe/US but in NZ and Aussie their just isn't sufficient coverage for such a scheme to work. You're lucky to get 2G out of cities

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bluetooth, really?

    If I understand LTE correctly, in order to connect to an LTE network, the device in question needs some authorisation to use that network, in most cases this is the presence of a SIM card with the credentials needed.

    Does this mean if I want a hands-free headset, that the headset needs its own SIM card to take a call from my phone?

  11. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Hopefully you can turn some of the features off

    I hope you can turn the various features on and off individually. I like having separate Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS chips (well, modules on a SoC) in my phone, not because I use them, rather because I don't and I can turn them off when I don't need them without affecting my ability to send/receive phone calls, email, and the occasional text message.

  12. Yugguy

    I used to work in this industry

    The sites themselves are owned seperately. The comms over these sites are owned seperately. The government contracts in these services for the blue light network. The service owners also contract out the services to the yellow light companies.

    The only time change can or would be made is at government contract renewal time.

    This is some years off.

    I doubt any company has the will or wherefore to build a competing set of ground sites across the entire UK. The current emergency services network is 99% UK GROUND coverage - NOT just 99% population.

  13. chuckufarley
    Mushroom

    Just what the world needs...

    ...another single point of failure. I mean, one bad bug and it's..................................

  14. Oh_bollocks

    Bluetooth LE (BTLE) not LTE. Please go back and rewrite the Bluetooth section so it makes sense.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Oh Homer
    Childcatcher

    Meanwhile, out here in the sticks...

    Every time someone announces yet another new mobile telecoms initiative, I look at my zero-bars signal and pat my Wi-Fi router.

  17. Technogeek

    Another homogenised attempt to dominate the world

    Any communications protocol that uses RF is open to vulnerabilities and the more complex the protocol the larger the attack surface is going to be. Imagine a scenario in a number of years time when LTE is ubiquitous and then someone discovers an unpatchable vulnerability. Yeeha the so called cyber criminals empty everyone's bank account, or a hostile country takes the opportunity to shut everything down and keep it shut down!

    If everyone starts wandering about the planet festooned with LTE devices all jabbering away to each other both the spooks and the marketing boys are going to have a field day tracking your every step. This can and already is done with WiFi enabled devices WITHOUT your device even connecting to anything, it just has to be turned on. Your jabbering devices will give away so much info about you despite data being encrypted.

    Where critical infrastructure is concerned (such as TETRA) we need heterogeneous systems to prevent a common mode failure that takes everything down. Safety critical system frequently deploy systems designed by different teams in order to avoid common mode failures.

    LTE will no doubt infiltrate many aspects of life either by design or simply by reduced cost and become ubiquitous by default.. The ultimate cost to society could me massive, nature abhors homogeneity for good reason.

    May the Borg be with you :-)

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Bleh

    An LTE access point? I'd be interested in this, LTE is (a little) more spectrally efficient than 802.11n, and has actual provisions to coordinate access to the channel (unlike wifi where it's like a free-for-all, and channel access tends to completely go to pieces with multiple devices vying for access to the channel.) Also, I could be wrong, but I suspect LTE speeds would drop of more gradually as the signal degrades; wifi may drop from 130mbps to 78mbps (running the whole channel at a reduced speed), in a condition where LTE could run some subchannels at full speed and others at reduced speeds.

    An LTE microcell that just allows access to LAN resources as well? Hell no, the carriers here in the US (except T-Mobile) ALL consider microcell use to be billable usage, even though the microcell is using your own internet connection to provide access (albeit going through the carrier the way it's set up now). I also don't need even more stuff using up the 2.4ghz spectrum, thanks.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LAST DITCH TO EXIST FOR TELECOMS....

    this is just olain crap as it it just a way to extend the now limited shelf life of conventional telecoms ...

    thetvare doomed ti be exactly what they REALLY ARE, UTILITIES...unless the invent some baroque way to justiffy the enormous complex and bureocratic network infrastructure which has made them so rich by sellinover expensive minutes of voice or SMS ...

    THE PARTY IS ENDED, AND THE TELCO ARE DOOMED TO BE UTILITIES, as communications i

    hardware is so pervasive that no one in his sane mind would ever allow for a LTE Direct or LTE M to replace a 5 Ghz or WiFi mesh network let alone PAN personal area network tools like BLE , THIS IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IN M2M where WirelessMbus or LoRa or a number of very very efficient and inexpensive technologies are INFINITELY BETTER that the obese elephant that LTE REALLY IS...

    This is not going to end well as telcos are and will do anything they can to kill cheap massively readily available technology with their absurdly complex and VERY VERY FRAGILE LTE, especially for VoLTE, IMS RCS and all that absurd baroque heap of junk they have been trying to get to work for NEARLY 5 YEARS ....

    THEY FORGET ONE THING...TECHNOLOGY IS EVOLUTION, VERY FAST AND IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTAIN...or predict.

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