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Posts Tagged ‘Mobile

UK faces £1bn bill for delayed 4G spectrum auction

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Delays to the 4G spectrum auction have cost British businesses £732m a year, and the latest three to six month delay will add between £183m and £366m, a policy think-tank says.

Open Digital, an independent policy think-tank, said the UK was losing competitive ground to a host of European and other countries that have already allocated 4G spectrum.

The extra speed offered by 4G could save 37 million business hours worth £732m a year, Open Digital calculated.

The UK was four years behind the Nordic countries and three years behind the US in 4G roll-outs, the think-tank said. This has allowed their businesses to save time and money by using high speed mobile broadband to do business and develop new businesses.

“Visitors to Britain will first notice London’s lack of 4G mobile data when they arrive for the Olympics next year,” said James Firth, report co-author and CEO of Open Digital.

Several industry observers, including Three CEO David Dyson, have warned that UK’s mobile networks will run out of capacity by the Olympics. Last week O2 said it was spending £50m to boost capacity for the Olympics.

Firth welcomed the £150m extra for rural mobile roll-out promised today by the chancellor, George Osborne. Osborne said this would help the country to expand mobile coverage from 95% to 99%.

But Firth noted that the auction for 4G spectrum (800MHz and 2.6GHz) was not expected until mid-2012, and for network build to start only in 2013,and not finish until 2017.

“4G has significant advantages – better spectral efficiency so you can cram more bandwidth in the same amount of spectrum and far less noticeable performance penalty when you’re a few miles from the transmitter, so rural ‘fringe’ communities should see far faster mobile broadband.

“But the auctions for 4G spectrum are yet to be held, so it’s probably a good second-best to widen the 3.5G coverage now, while we’re waiting for 4G,” Firth said.

The on-going lack of 4G has meant UK businesses has not been able to take full advantage of new technologies such as cloud computing, he said.

Firth called on Ofcom to adopt more ambitious 4G roll-out targets and for the government to acknowledge the massive benefit to the economy from 4G mobile data.



Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/10/04 at 00:01

More than half UK net users pick mobile device for access

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The UK is turning into a nation of road warriors, with more that half of us using a mobile phone, laptop or tablet to access the internet.

Internet users who connect via a mobile phone, GB, 2011

Lower limit Survey estimate Upper limit
Age (per cent)

16-24 64.3 70.8 77.4
25-34 59.4 64.7 70.1
35-44 43.9 49.2 54.5
45-54 28.1 33.2 38.3
55-64 16.7 21.3 25.8
65+ 4.2 7.6 11.1
Source: ONS

The ONS (Office for National Statistics) said today 45% of UK internet users accessed the internet via a mobile phone in 2011.

The ONS opinions survey showed that 71% of 16-24 year old internet users accessed the internet via a mobile, the highest of any age group, up from 44% in 2010. Almost four in 10 (38%) of all adults accessed the internet via another sort of mobile device, such as a laptop or tablet.

In 2011, 4.9 million, or 13% of internet users, connected via public wireless hotspots, almost double from 7% last year.

Least likely to access the internet by a mobile device (8%) were aged 65+.

Social networking is becoming more popular. Overall, 57% of adult internet users (up from 43%) and 91% of 16-24 year-olds used online social networks in 2011.
ONS said 77% households now have access to the internet, up from 73% last year. About 93% have either an ADSL or cable broadband connection.

Half of those without a household internet connection said they ‘don’t need the internet’, ONS said.
The ONS’s labour force survey showed separately that in 2Q2011, 8.73 million UK adults had never used the internet. This was 12,000 fewer than in 1Q2011. The least likely to go online were over 75s (76.3%). Over one-third of disabled people (36.8%) also say they have never been online, the ONS said.

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/08/31 at 10:16

Verizon comes good for Vodafone at last

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Vodafone’s shareolders will be buoyed by the announcement that Verizon Wireless, the US mobile network operator in which Vodafone has a 45% stake, will at last pay a dividend of $10bn. This will enable Vodafone to pay a 4.0p special dividend, with the £800m balance going to pay down debt.

The Verizon dividend, announced last night, will be paid on 31 January 2012.  It is the first money Vodafone has seen from its investment since 2005, since when Verizon concentrated on paying down debt. The timing of the Vodafone distribution will be announced on 8 November 2011.

Vodafone’s share price on Thursday closed at 165.40p, up from its opening at 163.20, up almost 11% on a year ago when the company started selling off firms in which it did not own a controlling stake.

Verizon’s dividend suggests Vodafone may hang on to the American carrier for a while yet. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said, “Our long term partnership in Verizon’s strong and successful wireless business has seen the value of our investment increase significantly over recent years.

“The dividend from Verizon Wireless allows us not only to reward our own shareholders with an immediate and sizeable cash return, but also to continue to reinvest in our business to improve our customers’ experience, further strengthen our competitive position and create additional value for shareholders.”

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/28 at 22:14

Posted in Finance, News

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Use spectrum cash to boost mobile coverage, says Ofcom panel

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The government should use the money from the upcoming 4G spectrum to extend mobile coverage in the UK, Ofcom’s Communications Consumer Panel says.

The panel said the market has already delivered maximum economic coverage for 2G voice services. 3G and new 4G services were unlikely to extend existing coverage, and it doubted that consumer and small business needs would be met.

This was “creating significant problems” for small businesses, as well as the three million people living in not-spots, the people passing through them and passengers on the rail and London tube networks, it said.

The panel wants Ofcom to consider imposing coverage obligations on the auction winners for each of the UK nations and some English regions, or to retain money from the spectrum auction to fund a reverse auction run to upgrade rural coverage. “Operators that successfully bid for this should be required to provide roaming for these areas,” the panel said in a statement.

Panel chairman Bob Warner said most places that were mobile not-spots 10 years ago were still not-spots. “The spectrum auction presents perhaps the only chance we have in the next decade to improve coverage in the nations and for rural communities.”

The present auction foresees mobile coverage of 92% of the population. Cumbria and Border MP Rory Stewart persuaded parliament to vote unanimously to extend 800MHz mobile coverage to 95%.

He estimated the cost of the 1500 extra towers was only some £215m. This was tiny relative to the improvement in the quality of life and potential economic impact on people who were now excluded, and a fractin of the £3bn Ofcom hoped to raise form the auction, he told parliament.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/26 at 09:21

Mobile data surges at Vodfone

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Mobile data revenues surged almost 25% to form just under 14% of Vodafone’s total sales for the quarter to June, the mobile network operator reported this morning.

Excluding the effects of regulatory cuts in the price of mobile termination rates (MTR), business in northern Europe grew strongly in Germany (4.0%) and UK (5.3%), but southern Europe, Italy (-1.5%) and Spain (-9.9%) continued to reflect the wider economic problems facing the countries. Business in Asia, Middle East and Pacific regions continued to grow strongly, particularly India (16.8%) and South Africa (7.8%).

CEO Vittorio Colao said the company had made a good start to the year. “Revenue from our key focus areas of data, enterprise and emerging markets continues to grow strongly,” he said.

He confirmed dividend guidance for the year ahead. Vodafone’s currently pays 6.3% on a share price which 12% up on a year ago at 164p.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/22 at 08:11

Posted in Broadband, Finance, News

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Machines – talk amongst yourselves

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Scandinavian telco TeliaSonera has joined the M2M (machine to machine) roaming agreement set up by France Telecom-Orange and Deutsche Telekom in February, allowing enabled machines to  talk to each other throughout northern Europe.

The coverage footprint now includes France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, UK (via Everything Everywhere), Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania.

The deal will ensure continuous cross-border availability of M2M communications for monitoring operating conditions, such as in the logistics, transportation and automotive industries, as well smart utility grids, eHealth, the Connected Home and the Connected Car, Orange said in a statement.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/11 at 12:34

Is UK online surveillance out of control?

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The publication of two contrasting reports into separate legislation raises serious questions over the extent to which police surveillance activity is out of control, which allegations of police complicity in the News of the World phone hacking scandal only worsen.

UK law enforcement agencies made more than 1500 requests a day for communications data, mostly to know who owns a mobile phone, the interception of communications commissioner reveals in his latest annual report.

A separate investigation by a Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties group, has found that in the past three years, more than 900 police officers and staff  were disciplined for breaches of the Data Protection Act (DPA).

Police and other security agencies put in 552,550 requests under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 during 2010. Of these, 65% were to find out who owned a mobile phone. This was up about 5% on 2009, Sir Paul Kennedy, the commissioner, said.

Source: Interception of Communications Commissioner's annual report 2010

He could not say why exactly the trend was rising, but suggested police were more aware of the investigatory communications tools and their usefulness.

Some 26% of enquiries related to subscribers’ use of communications services, he said.

Kennedy reported a drop from 661 to 640 in the number of errors recorded. Errors were mostly due to the transposition of numbers or dates in watch requests, he said.

Kennedy said 90% of the 40 police forces his office inspected has a good or satisfactory record of compliance with Ripa.

Source: Interception of Communications Commissioner's annual report 2010

He said random checks of CSP (communications service provider) disclosures found all had followed the correct process. “It is most reassuring that so far (his audit) has not exposed any instances of abuse or unlawful acquisition of communications data,” he said.

Big Brother Watch reported today that between 2007 and 2010

  • 243 police officers and staff received criminal convictions for breaching the DPA
  • 98 police officers and staff were sacked for breaching the DPA
  • 904 police officers and staff were subjected to internal disciplinary procedures for breaching the DPA.

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/07/08 at 15:21