Feeds

3G networks appeal for power boost

Turning it up to eleven

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Ofcom is considering allowing UK's mobile operators to quadruple the power of their 3G transmissions, to improve coverage and maybe roast a few more brain cells.

The request came from Vodafone, but when Ofcom consulted the other operators they all wanted in, so now the regulator has published a consultation (pdf) with plans to increase the permitted broadcast power almost four times (from 62 to 68 on the logarithmic dBm scale).

That's more than Vodafone, or anyone else, has asked for - existing kit can only kick out around 65dBm. But Ofcom doesn't want to be back here in a year when new kit comes out, so proposes setting the level higher. The regulator also notes that in some countries; notably Finland, Sweden, Germany and France, there are no limits at all, yet everyone seems to survive OK.

The main problem with upping the power is interfering with the neighbours, as some signal bleeding is inevitable. For 3G this means wireless cameras used by the Program Making & Special Events (PMSE) crowd on one side, and the Complementary Ground Component needed for satellite broadcast of mobile TV services on the other.

Given that there aren't any mobile satellite TV services yet, Ofcom deals with that by agreeing that, should anyone decide to build a mobile satellite broadcasting network, they too will be allowed to broadcast at 68dBm.

The PMSE crowd are used to getting a kicking from Ofcom, and this time the regulator reckons wireless cameras already suffer so much interference from 3G that this won't make much of a difference - noting that professionals already have to avoid specific bands when near a base station, so they'll just have to do the same from a little further away once the increased power is permitted.

Ofcom points out that technology has improved since the 3G licences were flogged off, enabling higher-power transmission without greater interference leaking into neighbouring bands. Indeed, the regulator makes the point that limits on out-of-band signals aren't being changed, and increasing the power will certainly enhance in-building penetration.

The decision hasn't yet been made though, and Ofcom is inviting responses, from "stakeholders", until the 19th of March. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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 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.