Tag Archives: broadband

Vodafone set to reveal consumer broadband plans


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Vodafone will shortly announce plans for the spring launch in the UK of a consumer broadband service which will be followed by a cloud-based TV service later in the year, the Financial Times has reported.

An announcement about the broadband service is expected in “coming weeks”.

Vodafone previously offered fixed broadband in the UK but withdrew from the market. Now it is set for a return. The operator said last year a spring launch was on the cards. And BT’s proposed acquisition of leading operator EE has changed the competitive landscape.

Part of this strategy is to use BT Openreach’s network technology to provide more people with better speeds than local exchanges as well as connect its existing fibre broadband network to BT’s larger exchanges.

Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2011 means it has access to a large national fibre network and thus has an advantage over internet providers like Sky and TalkTalk that are more dependent on BT’s broadband infrastructure.

The Cable & Wireless network is already used by business customers.

BT is looking to close a deal to buy EE which will allow its customers to “benefit from innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband, Wi-Fi and 4G”.

Following initial news of the deal, there was some speculation about a potential bid by Vodafone for international cable company Liberty Global.

In September, it was reported that Vodafone will delay any decision on whether to pursue its quadplay ambitions in the UK until the impact of fixed incumbent BT’s move into the consumer mobile market becomes clear.

Ofcom research suggests that 2 per cent of British consumers buy quadplay, but a recent survey by CCS Insight shows that the number may rise as more people own more than one device.

Source: by  Mobile World Live

TCCA Joins 3GPP For Critical Work

LTE is set to offer increased interoperability between critical communications systems and ubiquitous networks based on 3GPP specifications, without compromising on the highest standards necessary for the secure operation of mission critical voice and data services.

Several new features are being worked on in 3GPP, which has led to a high degree of participation from public safety groups and now sees the TETRA and Critical Communications Association (TCCA) being approved as the latest Market Representation Partner in 3GPP.

At the detailed level, the TCCA’s Critical Communications Broadband Group will work closely with 3GPP, on Spectrum, Architecture, User requirements and on strategic case studies.

The TCCA has set out a plan for its members service evolution, for data and voice for LTE, with four sequential steps identified:

  1. Upgrade existing Mission Critical V+D services until LTE readiness & maturity
  2. Uptake of Non Mission Critical data with commercial LTE
  3. Build Mission Critical Data LTE networks
  4. Migrate Mission Critical Voice

In his proposal to 3GPP, Phil Kidner, the TCCA Chief Executive promised that “The Association will bring a European and global input to 3GPP for critical communications”.

The formal signing of the 3GPP Partnership Agreement will take place at the next meeting of the Partners, in Fukuoka, Japan on the 30th October.

Source: 3GPP

Faster broadband coming to planes, trains and ships as UK eyes spectrum changes

The UK is looking to open up spectrum currently used by satellite Earth stations for vehicle-mounted stations that could boost broadband capacity in aircraft, ships and trains.

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom is hoping to spur innovation in mobile broadband services by making it easier for satellite operators to use ‘Earth stations on mobile platforms’ (ESOMPs) to deliver passenger broadband.

Ofcom has proposed (PDF) three frequency bands that operators could apply for to support mobile Earth stations mounted on aircraft, ships or other land-based vehicles.

While alternative technologies are already used to provide wi-fi on board in transport, the regulator believes the spectrum could be used to provide links with higher capacity and spur a new market for mobile communications.

Several satellite operators are planning to launch commercial satellite networks in 2013 and 2014 that support the use of mobile earth stations transmitting in the 27.5GHz to 30GHz range, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom also points out that recent advances in stabilised antenna technology make it possible for earth station antennas to track a satellite in orbit even when it’s mounted on a fast moving platform.

While there was a risk the mobile Earth stations could cause interference to other fixed site satellite networks, Ofcom considered that risk “very low”. With the appropriate controls, the mobile stations would cause no more interference than fixed-site earth stations, it said.

It also notes that the aircraft and ship-mounted Earth stations can already operate in international airspace and waters, but that parts of these frequency ranges are used by terrestrial radio systems in some countries. That’s why Ofcom was proposing frequency ranges that are already authorised for satellite Earth station applications, such as the permanent Earth stations and high density fixed-satellite services.

Key proposals Ofcom is seeking feedback on under a public consultation are:

  • Radio equipment for land-based ESOMPs should be exempted from the need to have a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 licence
  • Radio equipment for aircraft and ship mounted ESOMPs should be licensed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 rather than licence-exempt
  • Licensing of aircraft-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the aircraft radio licence issued on Ofcom’s behalf by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with no additional fee
  • Licensing of ship-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the ship radio licence with no additional fee.

The deadline for stakeholders to respond to the proposal is 10 October 2013 and Ofcom expects to release a statement on the consultation in December.

Source: Liam Tung ZDnet

Topics: Broadband, United Kingdom, Wi-Fi