Feeds

Ofcom lays out wireless roadmap

Planes, trains and automobiles

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

RFID is set to expand massively, according to Ofcom, which expects to see everyone working airside or near sea ports tagged and monitored in the interests of security.

But such systems won't be able to share a frequency in the way that RFID tags do, as they're always transmitting and few currently have the capability to share nicely, so the bands in which they operate (433MHz and 868MHz) could get increasingly crowded. Ofcom is very reluctant to hand over spectrum, though acknowledges RFID might need a little more over the next 15 years.

No such reservations apply to the automotive industry, for whom 50MHz of spectrum has been reserved around 5.9GHz. Ofcom isn't planning to hand over the whole swathe in one go. It'll initially allocate 30MHz (from 5.855 to 5.885GHz) with the next 20MHz being held back until it's started filling the first lot.

Not that car manufacturers will be required to pay for the spectrum. Unlike the trains there is no single body that can be charged and international harmonisation is needed (with the USA and Japan, for the moment), so frequencies will simply be allocated for vehicle manufacturers to use as they see fit.

Part of the band is reserved for "critical" systems, such as electronic brake lights that warn a whole line of cars when the one in front brakes. The rest is expected to be used for road condition warnings and other communication between vehicles.

Ofcom says communications with the road will take longer to develop as that involves working with government departments.

One development Ofcom is expecting to arrive quickly is eCall, part of the EU eSafety initiative. eCall puts a SIM and accompanying mobile phone into every car, which can than call the emergency services in the event of an accident - reporting on the state of the car and (possibly) the occupants.

Ofcom says eCall could reduce fatalities by 10 per cent by getting emergency services there 10 minutes earlier, but admits there's no business model for the poor network operator who has to keep track of millions of mobile phones that only make calls once they've hit each other. Appealing to their sense of decency would seem a lost cause, so some payment mechanism is going to be needed.

Driving is, of course, going to get a lot more expensive and there's a tacit acceptance of road pricing, though Ofcom carefully avoided the controversy that mentioning it explicitly would generate: "Travellers will have to accept that travelling at peak times on peak routes is expensive".

But when your mobile phone can tell you when the next bus is arriving and if will get to the station in time to catch the next train, who needs to drive anyway? ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?