Feeds

EU approves on-board GSM for cruisers

But no 3G on the high seas

Security for virtualized datacentres

The EU has approved the use of on-boat GSM base stations, but users will have to remain below decks once they're within a couple of miles of the shore.

The agreement covers all ships in European waters. Those on board will be able to run GSM services at 900 and 1800MHz as long as they stay below decks once they vessel is within 12 nautical miles of the coast (22.2km), and switch to land-based networks at two (3.7km).

Many cruisers already run mobile phone networks and Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly common, allowing passengers to make ludicrously expensive phone calls and download porn over satellite connections in the same way they soon will on aeroplanes.

But those networks currently have to switch off a long way from shore unless the operator gets a license for every EU country. This legislation changes that - get a license for one country and you can run your picocells up to a couple of nautical miles off the coast of anyone in the EU.

Practically, this means a ferry company can do a deal with an operator in one country, and then use that operator's frequencies all over the seas around Europe.

Part of the problem is interference, but innocent parties at the beach may find their phone has logged onto a passing cruise ship's network and is routing their call over a satellite connection - with associated expense.

And such calls are pricey - on-board GSM is specifically excluded from the EU rules on roaming rates, so ship operators are free to charge what they like.

Also excluded are 3G services, as well as GSM systems operating outside the 900/1800 bands, though the latter wouldn't be European anyway, so are of no interest to the EU. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.