Feeds

EU sets out mobile satellite services

Transmissions from space must reach all of Europe

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The European Parliament has approved a proposal that demands mobile satellite services reach at least 60 per cent of every country in Europe, and 50 per cent of their populations, in order to get operating spectrum.

The ruling relates to a couple of chunks of spectrum which have been handed to the EU by member countries, for allocation to mobile satellite services on a pan-European basis. The spectrum is around 2GHz, specifically 1980-2010MHz for the up link and 2170-2200MHz for down, with no applicant being allowed to have more than 15MHz for each direction: thus specifying a minimum of two operators.

To qualify for the spectrum those operators will have to reach every country in Europe, with reception possible in 60 per cent of each country's landmass, and by half of their populations.

Quite what these mobile satellite services are isn't clear, however. The EU thinks the services will "improve accessibility, speed, and quality of electronic communications services especially in rural areas", but as long as they are using geostationary satellites the several-second latency inherent in getting a signal 35,000 km up, and down again, makes many of today's internet services impossible to use.

Using satellites in lower orbits reduces that problem, but means using more satellites and replacing them more often, leading to higher costs and more expensive receivers.

To cover those costs you need customers for whom coverage is more important than price: in the USA Mobile Satellite Ventures has just signed up the Department of Homeland Security as a customer for their to-be-launched network, but that will be geostationary and suffer the inevitable latency.

The EU is planning ahead, and the increased use of micro-satellites could make satellite connections to mobile devices more practical, but it's hard to believe they'll ever rival terrestrial systems in any market that can afford to pay for them.

If that's the case then this could be just the kind of thing UK regulator Ofcom is ideologically opposed to - allocating frequencies by use rather than selling them to the highest bidder. It would be a shame to see such a prime chunk of spectrum remain unused 'cos no one wants the internet over a satellite; but as WorldSpace just found out, it's hard to buy the same chunk of spectrum everywhere within your satellite's footprint. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.