- O2 outlines plans for its 4G launch and fastest growing UK 4G network
- Network to switch on in London, Leeds and Bradford with ten additional cities to follow by the end of the year
- Plans to reach 98% UK population indoor with 2G, 3G and 4G
- 4G on O2 will be available to all new and existing customers on a range of tariffs from £26 a month
- Multi award-winning act to headline at the O2 4G London Launch Gig
Concerns that the expansion of 4G services in the UK could cause interference for homes using Freeview may have been unfounded.
Tests conducted by at800, the firm set up to troubleshoot the issue, have so far found very few problems.
Tests of around 200,000 homes in the West Midlands and London have uncovered just 15 TV interference issues.
The firm denied that it rendered the money set aside to deal with the problem unnecessary.
“It is important for us to exist so that we can take an appropriate approach to mitigating the effects of 4G depending on where it is rolled out,” said communication director Ben Roome.
Funding for at800 comes from mobile firms to the tune of £180m.
“The mobile firms were obliged to fund us but any money not spent, they do get back,” said Mr Roome.
The firm is now running a trial in Brighton where Freeview is transmitted at frequencies much closer to those for the new 4G services. The area around the city is also far hillier than in previous tests, which could have an impact on interference.
“We have already seen a handful of issues there,” said Mr Roome.
Initially Ofcom had estimated that up to 900,000 homes could experience interference with Freeview, which operates close to the 800MHz frequency that will be used by 4G services.
Engineers can fit filters if there are interference issues.
4G services will begin rolling out in the summer. Existing 4G services offered by EE operate in different frequencies and do not disrupt TV signals.
Ofcom has finally granted permits for more UK mobile phone operators to launch their own 4G networks.
The four new winners are Hutchison 3G, a division of BT called Niche Spectrum, Telefonica O2 and Vodafone.
Existing 4G operator Everything Everywhere was also given expanded bandwith.
The auction raised £2.34bn for the taxpayer but the Government had hoped for a total of £3.5bn.
Britain’s last big mobile phone spectrum auction was in 2000 for 3G services and it raised £22.5bn.
In real terms, the 3G windfall would be worth more than £30bn today – more than 12 times the revenue raised on 4G.
Ofcom said the purpose of the auction was to “promote strong competition in the 4G mobile market”.
It said in a statement:
“This is expected to lead to faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices, greater innovation, new investment and better coverage.
“Almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.”
New entrants in the sector, including Chinese-owned firms, failed in their bids.
The regulator said that was simply because their bids were too low.
Ofcom also revealed that it was “planning now to support the release of further spectrum for possible future ‘5G’ mobile services”.
It said that by 2030, demand for mobile data could be 80 times higher than it is in 2013.
Future development of 5G would be needed to meet this demand and avoid a feared “capacity crunch”.
Ofcom added: “More mobile spectrum is needed over the long term, together with new technologies to make mobile broadband more efficient.”
Initial 4G operator EE has already rolled out coverage to 28 towns and cities, to more than 46% of the population.
Demand for the new services has extended as penetration of smartphones has increased in recent years.
4G can supply data stream feeds typically five times faster than 3G.
Source: [Sky News]
Forget 4G, the UK is starting to consider 5G.
Thales, a French aerospace company which manufactures traditional radar systems, has received funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to study the feasibility of using TV signals to locate aircraft through a technology called “passive radar.” According to the BBC, the system would monitor the timing of TV signals reflected from aircraft, which would enable equipment to display an exact location, while measuring the Doppler effect would provide speed and direction information.
Though it’s not based on GPS, the new system would reportedly be more accurate and efficient than what’s in use today, while also serving to free up spectrum that could be used for an upcoming 5G network.
When Ofcom gave EE special license to reuse 1,800MHz spectrum for its fledgling LTE network; to put it mildly, that rubbed other carriers the wrong way.
The agency may be more open to a level playing field, as it’s proposing letting everyone follow a similar route, and then some.
Following calls from H3G (Three), Telefonica (O2) and Vodafone, Ofcom has offered to let all UK providers repurpose both their 1,800MHz airwaves as well as the 900MHz and 2,100MHz bands.
We won’t have too long to wait before a decision: Ofcom will decide on the proposal in the second quarter, which might come just in time for carriers to supplement whatever bandwidth they get from 4G auctions.
Especially when hardware already exists that could use the frequencies for faster speeds; success could see the trickle of UK LTE become more of a torrent.
There will be two relative strangers to mobile users among the firms bidding in next year’s 4G auction.
Ofcom announced there would be seven companies competing for space in what will be the biggest ever sale of the UK’s mobile airwaves.
The regulator said the auction, which kicks off in January, will herald “better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections” for consumers across the UK.
EE, which was formed from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, already has access to 4G and was the first to offer a 4G network in the UK by using old 2G capacity, but is bidding for more space.
Vodafone, Hutchison 3G and O2 parent firm Telefonica will also be competing while it is understood that BT is more interested in bolstering its wi-fi services than in becoming a major mobile phone player.
The intentions of PCCW, which owns Hong Kong Telecom, and UK network supplier MLL Telecom are less clear but MLL confirmed that its interest was limited to one of supporting mobile firms rather than becoming an operator itself.
Ofcom said the auction, which kicks off next month, will herald “better, faster and more reliable mobile broadband connections” for consumers across the UK.
Its chief executive Ed Richards said: “The 4G auction will be a competitive process that will dictate the shape of the UK mobile phone market for the next decade and beyond.”
It is expected to raise up to £3.5bn for the Treasury.
The bidders will be competing to buy airwaves in two separate bands – higher frequency 2.6 GHz and lower frequency 800 MHz – with around 28 lots of spectrum up for grabs in total.
Experts suggest that, for the typical user, download speeds of initial 4G networks will be at least five to seven times faster than those for existing 3G networks.
This means a music album that takes 20 minutes to download on a 3G phone will take just over three minutes on 4G.
4G is also expected to revolutionise other high-bandwidth data services such as streaming high-quality video or watching live TV.
We’re on the cusp of Apple’s sixth iPhone launch, and there’s very different expectations than there were last year. The 2011 rumor cycle left more than a few people burned: the later-than-usual October launch and repeated claims of a heavily-remade design led some to a disappointment when the iPhone 4S arrived, even though the final product had a slew of camera, speed and voice command upgrades. This year, the rumors have been grounded well before there was an event date in our hands.
There have been fewer instances of wild rumors. Instead, it’s been based more around pragmatism, using either tangible leaks or sources that have a solid track record. Think of the perennial leaks from the Wall Street Journal or the increasingly well-established sourcing from iMore and The Loop. Whether you’re conspiracy-minded or not, it’s been hard to ignore the sheer number of claims that have tamped down expectations rather than inflated them. It’s as though there’s a collective fear we’ll see a repeat of the 2011 hysteria and deal with fans (or detractors) complaining about missing features that were never promised in the first place.
Where last summer was full of uncertainty, this year there’s a mounting consensus as to what we’ll see, how we’ll get it, and when. Tracking everything that’s been mentioned may be a handful, however.
The last 24 hours have held a lot of Apple rumour. It all started when iMore heard that Apple was preparing to hold an event unveiling the new hardware on September 12th, with a launch the following week on September 21st.
iMore has heard that Apple is planning to debut the new iPhone at a special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, with the release date to follow 9 days later on Friday, September 21. This information comes from sources who have proven accurate in the past.
With the iPhone 4.0 OS coming very soon I decided to Jailbreak my 3.1.3 3Gs while I still had the chance. I did some research and found that with my model iPhone (MC) combined with the Modem Firmware (05.12.01), I only had one option.
I had a really good read on how to do it, what complications could arise (and how to fix them) and decided to take the plunge. After all, I could simply restore the iPhone with iTunes if anything went wrong and come out the other side no worse than I left off. So I downloaded the Spirit Jailbreak and ran the program.
Was I suprised? YES!
The entire Jailbreak (which takes advantage of a security loophole in the Apple software) took 10 seconds! Amazing to say the least. In that time the hack App store Cydia had been installed which gives access to Apps that add the certain “je ne sais quoi” to the operation of your iPhone.
- Change themes
- Enable Bluetooth file transfers (Wouldn’t work on mine – stack issues)
- Change Fonts
- Change message alert tones
- Enable internet tethering without a tethered data plan (also with the possibility of creating a Wifi hotspot!)
- Access to pirate Apps intended to be paid for through the Apple App Store (A service NOT supplied by Cydia or Spirit)
- Plus MUCH more…
Now I must stress at this point that I am not condoning this practice. I merely tried it to see what all the fuss was about. I have to say for my needs the Apple software provided with the iPhone is more than necessary and I regularly happily pay for Apps knowing that 90% of the revenue goes back to the App designers – Plus I still get excited when updates are released for Apps I’ve paid for!
When 4.0 is released I’ll be going back to the official Apple OS.
PS. The Spirit hack also works on the iPad!