It's not about the Vodafone or Three customers
All airports are battle-grounds between the operators. They fight to give coverage because they want the revenue from off-network customers roaming as soon as they arrive and switch their phones on.
540 posts • joined 17 Nov 2007
There is currently no must-have need to upgrade. Got an iPhone 7, Galaxy 6? You won't be any better off with an X or 9+. The battery life is no better the phones are no thinner, The camera is incrementally better but the old one was good enough as a phone and will never be as good as a proper camera.
Couple that with two year contracts and good SIM-only deals and why upgrade? The new generation of folding phones, particularly the new Moto Razr, might change this, but just as DixonsCarphone can't take the blame for the slump it can't take the credit for the recovery.
I'm starting to suspect that a lot of the government suspicion about Huawei comes from the western governments knowing exactly what they are doing with Nokia/Ericsson/Cisco and whoever, and they assume the Chinese are doing the same.
Remember that the reason Sputnik was put into orbit was because the Russians couldn't do re-entry. The Americans could do re-entry but couldn't reach orbit. America assumed that if Russia could do orbit it could also do re-entry, and this kicked off the whole space race.
G. Fast is bloody clever but it's an ADSL technology and will never do better than 500mb/s.
BT loves it because BT has more copper in the ground than most copper mines, but using G. Fast is a sticking plaster on old tech. The only sensible solution is FTTP.
G.Fast is, however, a half-way house to FTTP, it's FTTP where P is Pole, fibre to the pole and then copper (or aluminum if you are unlucky) to the home. It's kicking the can down the road and not something BT should be proud of.
If you mean 3GPP release 15 - which is the official definition - then you can do all that at existing spectrum and not build anything. Go on marketing, call it 5G.
If you want Ericsson's vision of 5G which is 500MHz of contiguous spectrum then you are going to need to go to millimeter wave. That's lots and lots more sites. Maybe not towers but buying streetlights is still shareholder baiting capex.
If you want the IoT view of 5G which is a million connections per square kilometer you need lots of backhaul.Again not towers but significant capex.
And testing 5G with its MIMO, Beamforming and full duplex is hard, very, very hard much more so than 4G so again needs a lot more capex.
Thinking in towers is simplistic.
And this is despite moving the goalposts as to what constitutes coverage. Airwave is 99% landmass, London underground and inland waters, and some sea coverage (used by coastguard).
The new ESN is 90+% landmass - all major roads. And it still looks like being 10 years late.
Be careful of people around the Emergency Services network re-writing the past. The new ESN was supposed to start replacing Airwave in April 2016
This hasn’t started yet so it’s already three years late.
Every time they have moved the goalposts it’s late compared to the last time it was due, hence the “year late”. They haven’t even started testing because the service isn’t ready – I don’t think the device to device software is locked down yet – so whenever it is ready, and that looks like years – there will need to be 18 months of testing. This service isn’t a year late if it’s less than nine years late I will be surprised. Oh, and it’s many years since I used Kodiak, but it was so laggy that when I pressed the button and said hello to a college and they didn’t reply I walked down the corridor to the colleague’s office and as I entered his office I heard my message arrive. I doubt that it’s that bad now, but I very much doubt it’s up to the use the police need.
Unlike the junk mail I got from BT which makes no mention at all of the speed it's trying to sell me with it's unlimited, superfast fibre. It did say that the speed was 5x what most people had, but not what it was actually selling me.
I'm typing this slowly because I'm in rural Westminster (in what was the nearest residential home to the House of Commons before it became offices), and so BT can only get me 17mb/s.
Hyperoptic arrives soon.
I'd rather the police didn't tip off the crooks about what tools they were using. I value my personal freedom not to be robbed by the kind of cook the police are out to catch than any idea that the police might be grabbing one of my IMSIs.
They already have legal intercept and the ability to scan MAC addresses - TfL have show that they regularly track the movements of people by following phones wifi.
Just because IMSI snatching is hard it shouldn't be in a special category,
It's only 4G because the other technologies don't support Push To Talk. There is a special flavour of 2G - GSM-R which does.
The core of the problem is the huge gap between the techies who think they know what the blue light services need and the actual requirements of plod and the Fireman Sam chasing scrotes through underground car parks and running into burning buildings.
<sarcastic tone> This is such a surprise.</sarcastic tone>. Here's a piece from January 2015:
I don't however think it's Motorola being disingenuous here. Airwave always knew the writing was on the wall and was pretty straight up that it was going to milk the old tech for all it was worth.
It's a combination of EE, Ofcom and DCMS all wishing that the impossible were true.
"an impending bloodbath of phone brands, in which the survivors other than Apple or Samsung".
There is nothing to say that Apple or Samsung will survive. In the early 90s the dominant manufacturers were Motorola and NEC. Motorola with all the skills and IP was untouchable.
In the early 2000s it was Ericsson which had the RF sewn up and Nokia which was supreme with amazing product platforming, distribution and efficiencies.
Nothing is a given, least of all Apple which is a fashion play.
New technologies are often the cause of disruption and 5G might shake the shape of the industry.
I'm still selling as many 2G phones as 3G ones, and triangulation is something the mobile networks only do in extreme circumstances. It's significantly resource heavy.
This idea also assumes that people have one phone. What if you have work and personal phones?
And it fails to understand future trends where you might have multiple devices and the one you speak on is different to the one you read which is different to the one for navigation.
I once looked at rolling out a secure telecoms service.
I came to the conclusion that it was easy enough to build something which offered protection against a suspicious wife, business partner or rival.
Impossible to build something which would protect you from your government.
I don't understand why anyone uses telegram now that Whatsapp is encrypted. Using Telegram screams "I've got something to hide". With Whatsapp you hide in the masses.
A coverage obligation? What a good Idea! I wonder why no-one suggested that before.
Oh, they did, four years ago:
And 90%? - pants on fire - the operators should have to publish maps of their 10%.
To a number on my rotary phone I pick up the handset and dial. It rings immediately.
To do the same on my smartphone:
Press the button on the phone to wake it. Swipe to unlock, enter the pin (4 digits and enter),
Find the phone app, choose keypad, enter the number and press send.
Then wait while the phone registers, while it checks that it's got credit and does no end of lookups which take a full 10 seconds before the phone at the other end rings.
Ant then it sounds nowhere near as clear.
And this is progress?
But then my business does employ real, human operators to put calls through.
For all Ofcom's whingeing about Three blocking stuff it's Ofcom which has been sitting on it's corporate arse. The consultation for this spectrum sale was in 2014 (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/07/ofcom_omits_coverage_obligation_in_mod_spectrum_sale/)
The irony is that if BT does buy a huge chunk of 2.3 and 3.4 it may find itself frozen out of the 700MHz it must really want. That makes this spectrum much less desirable. And for all the bluster it's not really in the right place for Three. So that makes the lead bidders O2 and Vodafone. However Telefonica is lukewarm about the UK and has been trying to sell/float/forget about O2 which leaves an auction with just a canny Vodafone.
You have to wonder if it will make the reserve price will of £10m for a 10MHz / 2.3GHz lot and £1m for a 5MHz / 3.4GHz lot. But not as much as I wonder why an organisation which has a remit to "make the best possible use of available spectrum" has been sitting on it for four years,
They are shaping up for the real battle: 800MHz. Whihc Ofcom has said will be allocated/sold/auctioned some time before 2022.
BT wants to be free of caps so that it can buy the 800MHz. Ofcom only cares about looking good to government by getting as much money as it can out of telcos. So Ofcom wants as many bidders as possible.
There is deliberate obfuscating of "fibre" and "superfast". When White says "fibre" it's very hard to tell what she is talking about - FTTC? V.fast? FTTP?
We've been here before. BT "launched" Infinity 4, it's 300mps service in 2013 and promised fast roll out. That didn't happen. Indeed it appears to have been withdrawn.
For all the bluster, BT has gone backwards.
What's good about the rivals Cityfibre, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, AQL, UFO and others is that they talk about "gigabit". It's a real number. Customers get 1Gps typically for around £30 a month.
I get a real 200Mps+ from Virgin for £60 a month.
BT, despite market dominance doesn't come close.
The universal service of 10Mbps is pathetic, but the one thing BT is good at is talking a good game to government.
What it needs is Ofcom to properly understand the problem and fix it.
Of course Openreach needs to be hived off but that's a start not the solution.
Hmm, some gentle moving of the goalposts here. When I met John Lewis, COO of Airwave he told me that it was 99% landmass, not 97%. What's more because Airwave is ~400MHz it caries well out to sea. Going LTE has siginficant coverage problems. They may be addressed by using device to device communications, so that the police can talk to each other in areas outside of coverage, but Release 14 doesn't support groups through a repeater so it's not functionally as good Airwave.
And going LTE gives a huge problem with the London Underground. All the bluster from the Mayor on providing 4G coverage on the tube is really about making sure this works. The underground now (after more than a decade of teething problems) uses a similar system to airwave. Moving the police to LTE breaks that.
@lglethal The new ESN can't just more to the Tetra frequencies Airwave is on because there isn't the bandwidth. Tetra only does voice and messaging, there is a theoretical data rate of 9600bps but in reality it's 1200bps.. Trying to run LTE in that spectrum wouldn't work. You can't even just do 2G voice because for the push to talk requires VoLTE and so it's all 4G.
Like the initial commetard I too expect the Airwave contract to be extended for the forseeable.
What's not being said in this announcement is that the Samsung deal is one in the eye for Motorola (which owns Airwave), and is probably (I've no inside knowledge on this) suggesting dual-mode Tetra/LTE devices.
BT and Samsung who have the contract going forward will be telling the Government that this is Motorola being technology laggards and just trying to line its pockets.
It's actually the pragmatic approach.
This thread of how people want it to be different is depressing.
It is what it is, even when the 3310 was new it wasn't the leading edge. I remember reviewing it and coming to the conclusion that it was way more than the sum of it's parts. It was a nice balance of phone and features and well implemented. Snake and removable covers were interesting novelties.
I can see a model were people have a good, well made dumb phone for voice and a phablet/tablet for everything else.
Something which has done a lot to promote anonymity is the end of call termination revenue.
If (as I do) you have a mobile phone network there was a time when you got paid for handling calls. So if a customer on Vodafone called a customer on my network, the customer would pay Vodafone who would then share the money with me. I got paid for the bit of the routing which was mine.
This had many downsides. Not least an old-boys club on who got paid what and Ofcom stepped in and now transiting calls is all done for mutual benefit and under various obligations but no cash.
Taking the money out of the equation also removes the need to know who's calling. If I get a call I just deliver it. If I was being paid to deliver it and I found someone regularly not paying me I could sanction them by blocking calls they sent me. But there is no point running credit control when all callers are freetards.
Where this hurts is in tracking nuisance calls. A major way to spot spammers and scammers is to compare the SS7 billing info with the presented CLI and if they are lying, and if in particular you see huge volumes of bulk calls from the same place with clumps of different CLIs then you get suspicious.
In the modern VoIP world there isn't all the signalling info you need to do this. You need to employ other techniques to block the nuisance calls. Ironically the way we do this involves having to spoof CLI.
I'm not saying we should return to call termination revenue. but having lost it has removed the need to be certain who is calling.
And I really like it. OK I have to have an Android phone for all the apps - Xero, Chromecast and the like, but the x3 Elite is my number 2 phone. The android number 3 phone is a Kodak Ektra and that's quite nice.
But all this Windows Phone shenanigans is just treading water until next year when Surface Phone, er, surfaces, and that will take on the world.
I understand from a book I read about Korolev that while the Russians had much greater launch capacity than the US - they could get a missile/rocket into space - they could not do re-entry. The one thing the Americans could do. The Americans just assumed that the Russians could do reentry.
The reason Sputnik was launched was that by leaving it up there the Russians didn't have to solve the re-entry problem.
That's all they have.
The mobile networks signed an undertaking in Dec 2014 that by 2017 there would be 90% *landmass* coverage in the UK.
Further investigation by El Reg revealed "by 2017" meant "by the end of 2017" but that gave them three years.
Now we are 16 weeks from that deadline does it look like the networks will meet that promise?
Good luck with that. "Connect", the TETRA system used for driver communication and signalling was a three year project. It took over 11 years. Putting LTE in with consumer access and the ability to handover a train full pf people streaming Youtube is significantly more difficult.
But this isn't that much of a problem. The police won't exclusively be using LTE anytime soon, they will have TETRA capable devices for another decade.
Cooling? The tube should replace the second carriage of every train with a flatbed truck with a huge block of ice.
Yeah and 640k is all you need.
Infrastructure - both broadband and HS2 - *creates* use cases.
When I see that we are arguing over 10Mb/s and 24Mb/s I weep inside. The need for these speeds has already passed. We should be building 1Gb/s and planning 10Gb/s.
No, text messaging uses an *entirely* separate database and routing system called IR21 (cf. SS7 vulnerabilities and various Snowden documents).
Because of the way SMS was just a good idea at the time (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/08/the_real_history_of_sms/) it was set up with an infrastructure that is even more archaic and strange.
That number and text ports happen at the same time is pretty miraculous.
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