* Posts by ARGO

209 posts • joined 23 Apr 2012


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.

Britain should have binned Huawei 5G kit years ago to cuddle up with Trump, says Parliamentary committee


Re: National Cyber Security Should Investigate Government Systems

Putting other vendors through the same assessment as Huawei was actually suggested in this report. Seems like the only technically rational bit of the report TBH.

Scre-EE-m if you wanna go faster: BT's mobile network reigns supreme in UK-wide speed and latency tests


Re: What about?

Most recent (2019+) Android handsets will configure themselves to the SIM you put in.

And much as I like to bash Apple, their phones have always done that.

HPE opens 5G kit-testing lab where vendors can play with the toys, see what works best

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Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries says it's built its own 5G kit and hopes to sell to all comers



Jio use Samsung for 4G. So a bolt on to that for non stand alone, or something completely new in stand alone?

The latter is easier, but rather less useful at present.

Anyone taking bets on when this is branded a security risk?

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027


She's probably the closest to it, but has experience in fixed broadband not mobile. And her pronouncements suggests she knows nothing about 5G security mechanisms or network architecture.


Yeah, it's amazing how many politicians are suddenly experts on network design. And yet in 20 years in the industry I've never run across any of them.



So Huawei are (eventually) banned from providing 5G base stations - where all the traffic is strongly encrypted - but not from the 2G & 3G networks where the encryption is rather more ropey.

And this is about security you say?

GSMA suggests mobile carriers bake contact-tracing into their own apps – if governments ask for it


Re: Don't let the phone operators have a go (somebody think of the children).

Can't see the operators being keen to be honest. This would mean they own all the privacy / GDPR stuff. I think they would much rather leave that with government.

Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023


Re: Scepticism...

And if Huawei's only providing the radio nodes and antennas, what exactly would a backdoor achieve?

All 5G traffic is encrypted through to core. Nobody can (yet) crack 5G encryption, let alone do it live.

So that just leaves potential for disrupting the infrastructure. If that's the concern, perhaps look at how much UK infrastructure is directly owned by Chinese companies rather than just using equipment provided by one?

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam


Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

Indeed. I'll accept the proposed ban isn't political when one of the objecting backbenchers demonstrates how to break 5G encryption at the mast.

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge


Re: Logical Next Move in the "comms+pay tv" "market"

Or Three and Sky.

Three are on record as being against quad play. But then so were O2.

And Three have just had a change of management.

One thing for sure - Sky will be looking closely at their MVNO contract with O2!

Comms giant Telefonica confirms O2 in talks to merge with Virgin Media


Re: Let's see what OFCOM says

Nope I did mean MVNOs. O2 is both MNO and MVNO, Virgin is just MVNO

The largest MVNO is Tesco - 50% owned by O2.

The 2nd largest is Virgin, 100% owned by Virgin Media.

Giffgaff is 100% owned by O2, but I believe they are outside the top 5 these days.


Let's see what OFCOM says

One of the grounds for stopping the O2-Three deal was the effect it would have on the MVNO market.

I'm looking forward to hearing them explain how this deal - bringing together the first and second largest MVNOs - will have no effect.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate


Isn't that normal for PB?

Packard Bell cases were notorious for having unusual shapes, presumably to make you buy all the internals from them.

I also used a hacksaw to make things fit - but on the case metalwork rather than the bits I was trying to stuff inside it.

On the plus side PB cases were remarkably solid, so could stand to lose a bit of metal here and there.

Apple: We respect your privacy so much we've revealed a little about what we can track when you use Maps


If this worries you...

...I suggest you don't look into how Google Traffic gets its data!

Could WFH web traffic topple a Brit telco? Pfff, scoff operators. This has nothing on Liverpool v Everton streaming


Re: Congestion

From some of the reviews, that's a common issue for folk buying 5G cellular kit: "My router has a 1Gbps cellular link, but when I connect to it over WiFi I only get 50Mbps" Turns out that even though the router has both bands, most connected devices default to 2.4GHz and you have to wade through menus to change it.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


Re: Lockable outlet?

They make these for dementia sufferers: https://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/kitchen%20and%20household/power-points,-sockets-and-accessories-p/lockable-plug-cover-for-double-sockets-0111084-2383-information.htm

MWC now stands for Mighty Wallet Crusher? Smaller firms counting the cost after mobile industry event scrapped


I certainly have doubts that MWC exhibitors will instead opt to go to the computex event in Taiwan this year. That's only about 3 months away.

The virus curing the mobile industry's chronic addiction... and sparking an impressive algorithmic price experiment



"100,000 aircraft seats are suddenly empty. 100,000 hotel beds slumber undisturbed."

They might go unused, but typical terms for that week are "no refunds", so it's the overbooking algorithm that will be getting a workout.

Amid coronavirus epidemic, LG, ZTE hang up on Mobile World Congress, organizers call for 'no-handshake' policy


No handshaking?

At a comms event?

That's going to be a problem for the live demos!

EU outlines 5G rules: You don't have to keep 'risky' vendors completely Huawei


4 companies?

"So far, the four companies offering 5G infrastructure are Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung."

ZTE might want to have a word with you about that.... as might all of the open RAN vendors

The time that Sales braved the white hot heat of the data centre to save the day


Re: Had this in reverse...

It's possible, but us serfs didn't directly get told about goings-on at that level. Though we may have inferred things from the company never making enough money to trigger the profit share clause in our contracts.


Had this in reverse...

I used to work in an office on the top floor of a converted country house.

Every summer the office temp was over 30C, but manglement denied all requests for aircon.

One year we got new servers.

First day of summer they all overheated and shut down.

Second day of summer we had aircon.

Poor, poor mobile networks. UK's comms watchdog plans to stop 'em selling locked-down handsets


Nearly there already.

A couple of the UK networks have been selling unlocked phones for years. And most virtual operators do too. Its not something that's widely publicised though, so nice of ofcom to raise the profile and I suspect the "1 year needed to implement" by the other operators may come down somewhat as a result.



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