Feeds

EU approves on-board GSM for cruisers

But no 3G on the high seas

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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.
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?
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.