Sunday, January 18, 2009

UK 4G Spectrum giveaway?

The Times reports today, that instead of selling slices of spectrum to the highest bidder, the communications minister Lord Carter is examining proposals to give away spectrum to companies in exchange for a pledge to invest nationally in super-fast broadband access.

The idea is expected to form part of his interim Digital Britain report, due for release on January 26, which will propose a range of measures to prepare the country for the future boom in internet commerce.

The new scheme is being promoted by Nesta, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Under its "Spectrum for Speed" strategy, Jonathan Kestenbaum, Nesta's chief executive, argues that giving away licences to the value of £5 billion with strings attached would accelerate the roll-out of broadband to remote and disadvantaged parts of Britain at speeds of up to 100 megabits a second.

"The case for this type of deal is compelling," Kestenbaum said. "In unprecedented economic times, we have to think imaginatively about how we can invest in big infrastructure projects while not cutting off large swathes of communities from economic and social development." Nesta said the plan could create 600,000 new jobs over the next five years.

Carter will impose a service obligation on broadband operators and mobile firms to provide basic broadband for all, but he has hinted the government would have to play a financial role in launching high-speed networks.

Read the full article: TV giveaway to fund high-speed internet

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Mobile operators must upgrade networks and business models

A new whitepaper published by communications market research firm Infonetics Research examines four mobile broadband trends that are building up to a "perfect storm" in the mobile world; trends that present as many challenges as they do opportunities for mobile operators.

The free white paper, The Mobile Internet Transformation, says the dramatic acceleration in mobile data services, resulting in 400% to 800% year-on-year traffic increases in some geographies, is being driven by these four major trends:

  • Rapid growth in high speed mobile broadband services based on HSPA, EV-DO, and WiMAX

  • The proliferation of devices that consume enormous amounts of bandwidth, including mobile broadband dongles on laptops and a new generation of smartphones (most notably the iPhone)

  • Web 2.0 applications, many of which have made the transition from the wired world to the mobile world (e.g., Google Maps, YouTube)

  • Flat rate all-you-can-eat data plans offered by mobile operators that have accelerated consumption of and revenue for mobile data services,but that have spurred the need for solutions that help operators deploy and monetize differentiated, premium services

"With the growth of the mobile Internet, users expect an 'Internet everywhere' experience, whether using their laptops, handsets, or other mobile devices. This puts tremendous pressure on mobile operators to move orders of magnitude more traffic for an order of magnitude lower cost per bit. Our The Mobile Internet Transformation whitepaper offers some strategies to help mobile operators rise to the challenge," says Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure at Infonetics Research and lead author of the whitepaper.

Read the white paper: The Mobile Internet Transformation

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