Feeds

EU approves on-board GSM for cruisers

But no 3G on the high seas

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

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
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.