* Posts by ARGO

233 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Apr 2012


Vodafone and Wi-Fi vendors play tug of war over 6 GHz


Re: This doesn't seem right...

As someone noted above, 6GHz doesn't play nicely with walls.

But it's not inherently better for either technology - just make sure there's no wall between you and the access point / cell tower.


Re: Phone calls

So... WiFi calling it is then :-P

Telco giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 staff as part of its turnaround plan


That's not been allowed in the UK for some years now. Still a thing elsewhere in the world though.

India calls for all mobile phones to include FM radios



..technically speaking, they *all* contain an FM radio. And most have more than one.

Meta chops another 10,000 employees, closes 5,000 vacancies


It's an ironic admission for a company that's pushing "metaverse" as the solution to everything though.

Financial red tape blamed for London losing Arm IPO


>our finance sector has been far more risk adverse about losing large sums of money than the US has been.

Except when they're losing it *within the finance sector* of course. There you can have all the funding you want.

Telecoms networks could provide next-gen GPS services without the need for satellites


Re: Sorry which bit of this is new?

Yup, various permutations of network signal time of arrival positioning are already in 3GPP.

They've been gradually ramping up the accuracy requirements over the years.

Starting from ~100m in GSM days, they've now got the 5G iteration to a best-case accuracy of 30cm.

(Should also note that Cambridge Positioning Systems had a way of getting down to ~10m around 20 years ago)

Tech companies in the crosshairs as China proposes antitrust law revisions


A lot of that sounds very familiar...

...it's almost identical to the proposed remit of the CMA Digital Markets Unit in the UK:


EU proposes regulations for tablet battery life, spare parts


Re: 15 parts must be carried?

There is a list in the regulation linked from the article. It's a slightly weird selection though, and only adds up to 15 if you have more than one item in some of the categories:

• battery;

• back cover or back cover assembly;

• front-facing camera assembly;

• rear-facing camera assembly;

• external connectors;

• buttons;

• microphone;

• speaker(s);

• hinge assembly;

• mechanical display folding mechanism;

• mechanical display rolling mechanism;

• display assembly;

• charger


Re: "spare parts for at least five years"

You may be pleased to hear the draft regulation actually says this: "for a minimum period from one month after the date of placement on the market until 5 years after the date of end of placement on the market"

Which is rather different from 5 years from launch.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day


We had a similar rule when I worked in academia - never let a professor into the lab.

Prototype app outperforms and outlasts outsourced production version


Neither. As none of the people presenting it were at the company when I was there, I asked how to make it do xyz - which had been in the phase 2 deliverables list, but not the demo I wrote. Guess what their product couldn't do?


I suspect there are many "just for a demo" VB front ends that outlasted the system they originally front-ended for.

I discovered one of mine was still in use 15 years after I moved on when my former employers tried to sell it to my current employers. That was a fun meeting!

Shut off 3G by 2033? How about 2023, asks Vodafone UK


Re: Pretty sure 3G and 4G can work at the same time...

Not yet, but eventually.

5G latency improvements don't come until Stand-Alone 5G is live (maybe 2023~24 in the UK). At the moment 5G latency is limited by its signalling running over 4G.

At the radio level there's minimal power difference between 4G and 5G. Spectral efficiency is also about the same.

Right now user density would be much higher for 4G2100 than 5G2100 simply because there are 10x more 4G2100 devices out there. That will probably reverse around the same time Stand Alone arrives. The full density capabilities of 5G aren't needed for handsets though; it's more about Internet of Things.

2G interleaving is only an option in the 900 & 1800 bands in the UK - no 2G2100 devices exist. Unlikely to see 5G in 2100 just yet though; there are plenty of other bands available that require less work. For example 700 & 800 give much better coverage than 2100, while 1800 would be a better option for capacity.


Re: 2G?

"Fingers crossed they'll start making old-school handsets that run on 4G."

Nokia (or rather the people who now own that brand) are way ahead of you there: https://www.gsmarena.com/res.php3?sSearch=nokia+4G

Battery life isn't quite as good as your old model, but still way better than a smartphone.


Shared Infrastructure

Yes. It's in progress, but going about as quickly as you'd expect for something involving four competing companies, a regulator, various central government departments and hundreds of local councils. Details are here https://srn.org.uk/

Black Helicopters


Interesting that there is no mention of 2G here. As I understand it, Voda are keeping that running for now. And it could serve as a fall back for all those folk with 3G (or non-VoLTE 4G) handsets. But as 2G is also for the chop by 2033, I guess they'd rather move folk to a capable handset now so the later phase can concentrate on the rather trickier M2M devices.

Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service


The article specified 3.7-3.98 GHz.

3.7-3.8 GHz is already widely deployed outside the US (as band n78), and 3.8 - 4.0 (n77), while less common, is reasonably widespread. Planes are still flying in the countries that have these.

So either the US has some seriously naff electronics controlling their planes, or this is an FAA / FCC turf war.

2033 is doomsday for 2G and 3G in the UK


The shared rural network is supposed to address that. It's 4G only though.


TBF there is a 4G version of eCall, and anything being sold now is on that version.

Cars tend to last longer than handsets though, so likely to be quite a few still using the circuit switched system in 2033.

Smartphone chip house Ziguang Zhanrui records 14,726.1% growth in China


Doubt it's due to Huawei

>Ziguang Zhanrui is filling a gap left by the decline of Huawei HiSilicon

Not so much. HiSilicon chips are mainly high spec, while Unisoc is in the value tier.

They're more likely picking up business from Mediatek's attempts to move upmarket, alongside Chinese networks efforts to move 2G/3G users onto 4G. The latter is significantly increasing the number of entry level 4G handsets being sold.

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule


Re: You don't want to be the company

And hopefully doesn't it turn into a five year mission either...

China passes half a billion 5G subscriptions and adds at least 190k new 5G base stations in six months


Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

But perversely, non line-of-sight can be faster if you have a decent signal strength to start with - MIMO needs multiple reflective paths to work. (Clearly this means MIMO transmission is witchcraft.)

Huawei says its latest flagship smartphones lack 5G, blames US sanctions


Re: Mediatek

Yes they do. As do Unisoc.

MTK seem to have a healthy order book at the moment, but Unisoc could do with some more customers

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


A beer for the headline writer!

Although I will now have that Wurzels tune in my head all day....

Impromptu game of Robot Wars sparks fire in warehouse at UK e-tailer Ocado


Re: But a collision of robots resulting in a fire?

Good job it wasn't carrying custard powder!

BT to phase out 3G in UK by 2023 for EE, Plusnet, BT Mobile subscribers


Re: Rural coverage is still very poor

The spectrum currently used for 3G doesn't go away though - it just changes from 3G to 4G. Coverage of that spectrum stays the same.

It's even possible coverage will improve, but for a different reason; the networks are under OFCOM pressure to hit 90% geographic coverage. A site they are already visiting for a 3G-4G switch is a prime candidate to have 700/800 added at the same time. And that spectrum goes much further.

(You still need a VoLTE handset to use it though)


Re: Provided...

There are a decent range already. You won't find many in operator stores, but they frequently appear in the Sunday supplements. Doro seem to be the market leader in the UK.


Re: Shame, but inevitable

The UK operators have been refarming 3G spectrum to 4G, so where you used to get 10 MHz bandwidth (assuming a DC cat 24 handset) you probably only get 5 now.

UK competition watchdog sniffing around Motorola profits after delay to replace company's Airwave service


Re: Well if you'd specified a valid replacement

If only someone in the CMA had anticipated that might happen before the merger was approved.

Perhaps they would like to employ a few of El Reg's commentards in future?


Rural Scotland, Wales to get £1bn from Shared Rural Network pot, promised huge gains in next four... years


700MHz for 5G?

Should mention that 700MHz can also be used for 4G, and there's a very good chance your current phone already supports it.

UK cuts ribbon on OpenRAN security and resiliency testing hubs to make sure kit works with 5G infrastructure


Re: Huawei was intent on spending $1.2Bn on it's on a Communications Research Facility in UK.

Also interesting that these new vendors don't have to run their kit past GCHQ. Presumably ORAN is in some way immune from shoddy coding practices.

Mind the gap(ing mouth): London's Underground to get ubiquitous mobile phone coverage


Re: Ridden Out Of Town On A Rail

Presumably that's why they did it on the Jubilee Line first - it has platform gates.


Re: Thanks I hate it

Leaky feeders are indeed well known, and fine for the more recent bits of the system. I'm told that's how the Jubilee Line cellular coverage works. But the older tunnels don't have space on the walls to fit those without moving other things. There's space at the bottom, but running comms next to high power electrics would be brave - and you've then got the train floor between the antenna and the users.

To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA? Gartner analyst says OK — but don’t be robotic about it


Obligatory XKCD

I suspect this whole thing is just another way of training AIs


EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge


Because under the digital economy act they have to. That law was introduced in 2017, and the legal test cases relating to it haven't played out yet. This appears to be another one.

Parliament demands to know the score with Fujitsu as Post Office Horizon scandal gets inquiry with legal teeth


Re: Annoys me

Or computer weekly, who originally broke the story in 2009 and have kept prodding at it over the years.

Staying in the UK this summer? Good news: Temples of IT nerdery are reopening


Retro computer museum

If you're in the midlands, the guardians of 80's gaming are reopening for May bank weekend:


Rude awakening for O2 customers after network runs surprise test of emergency mobile alert system


Self inflicted

The alert was sent on the test channel - you have to go into the phone menus to enable that, so the people complaining about being woken up have only themselves to blame.

UK Telecoms Diversification Taskforce says Ofcom should take lead to ensure telcos don't rely on too few suppliers


Re: Costs of doing business

Don't forget interop testing. The more vendors, the more combinations you have to test.

You want a reboot? I'll give you a reboot! Happy now?


Re: Assumed Rank

I had the same when doing stuff for the military. I felt rather awkward that the rank they lent me was three grades above the level my grandad reached after 5 years of active service.

UK watchdog blesses Virgin Media and O2's union, says there's no risk of market distortion or competition loss


Re: But this doesn't necessarily mean the merged entity would be inclined

Something is fishy here. The proposed 3 / O2 merger was blocked in part due to the impact on MVNOs, but this merger is fine and dandy on those grounds .....

BOFH: Bullying? Not on my watch! (It's a Rolex)


Re: Hummmm sounds familiar...

Oooh, a reverse Catch-22. I like it!

Citibank accidentally wired $500m back to lenders in user-interface super-gaffe – and judge says it can't be undone


There's some background missing here. The loans were in the process of being refinanced; some lenders had agreed to the new terms, others had not. The ones who kept the unintentional repayment are all in the latter group. The loans were trading at ~40 cents in the dollar, so full repayment is a bit of a result.

Former NCSC chief says US sanctions made Britain strip Huawei from mobe networks


Re: Goner

I take it you haven't seen Huawei's proportion of worldwide network sales. They will be supporting that kit long after 2027. There's a fair chance that that kit removed from the UK will be resold somewhere less picky.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


Re: UK Crayon Departments are just as bad

There are a lot of standards documents with sections marked FFS. It's supposed to mean "For Future Study". But it's usually something that's contentious and been kicked down the road, so I can quite see the standards chair meant the other thing...

Spending Review: We spy a stray £60m – is that all you can spare to help 5G market recover from UK kicking out Huawei?


Re: re: tedious

Doubt it. He was appeasing his backbenchers more than the orange one. Unfortunately Tugendhat and Duncan-Smith are still around and still believe themselves to be experts on network technology.

Telcos face £100k-a-day fines unless they obey new UK.gov rules on how to deploy Huawei 5G gear in their networks



"If the UK government is genuinely concerned about the perceived security risks"

If it was really about security then *all* vendors would have to submit their code for audit by GCHQ.

No such thing as a Three lunch: Hutchinson CK to sell tower biz to Cellnex


Re: Doesn't this mean 3 is now (or will be) effectively just an MVNO?

They've only sold the physical towers. They still own the network kit that sits on them, and the core network that connect it all together.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off


Tel Aviv

A colleague of mine once had to take two laptops through Tel Aviv airport - his own, plus a dedicated one for the software we were testing. Clearly highly suspicious. Even with all the right paperwork, that got him half an hour in the special security area.