Feeds

Ofcom consultation brings out the tinfoil hatters

Mobile proposals to summon four horsemen

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Quadrupling the transmission power of 3G networks will lead to famine, mass starvation and scurvy for all, not to mention annoying cameramen and the MoD, if the hysterical response to Ofcom's new proposals is to be believed.

The terrifying prospect of "a slow and painful death" is among the reasoned responses to Ofcom's proposal allowing mobile phone networks to increase the transmission power of their 3G networks to 68dBm (from 62dBm). This was requested by Vodafone, which argues that it would increase coverage and that technical improvements mean it could be done without annoying the neighbours. But the spectral neighbouring aren't convinced, while those physically neighbouring are up in arms.

Many countries don't limit transmission power at all, and Ofcom has previously stated it would like to see the UK moving to an interference model too. A Spectrum Usage Right would be sold, by Ofcom, and permit the owner to do anything in the band as long as they didn't exceed the permitted out-of-band interference. Transmission power is then limited by the accuracy of the transmitter and capability of associated filters which attempt to prevent out-of-band transmissions.

Ofcom reckons that those filters have improved markedly since the 3G licences were awarded, and thus the power can be increased without bothering anyone nearby - but the Ministry of Defence and PMSE (Program Making and Special Events) crowd beg to differ.

JFMG, the company that licences spectrum to the PMSE users, wants to see these improved filters in action, presenting a detailed argument that increased out-of-band signals could make wireless cameras impractical. The MoD, meanwhile, presents no arguments but simply states the same issue with the proposals.

Not short of arguments is Andrew Goldsworthy (BSc PhD), who reckons increasing the power will kill all the bees, resulting in famine and mass starvation along with outbreaks of scurvy causing us to "literally begin to fall apart". But at least Dr Goldsworthy presents an argument, albeit a fatally flawed one; most of the remaining responses fall into the "ITS KILLING ME" bucket, though we were impressed by Eve Pearson whose rant concludes that "These [increases] are NOT for us as we have a full signal now".

More measured arguments call for greater use of femtocells for in-building coverage, but most interesting is the response from 3UK who, alone among network operators, are against the increases.

3's argument is that increasing the transmission power will swamp their base stations with out-of-band interference from their competitors, a problem the other networks don't seem to think will bother them, perhaps because 3 often operates at a lower power by choice (cheaper kit, and greater capacity, can result from that decision, though more base stations or less coverage is also a consequence).

Even if one tunes out the extremists there's clearly an argument to answer. However, of the 56 responses received, only around ten actually contain reasoned arguments - the rest rely on unsubstantiated hearsay, capital letters and excessive use of exclamation marks to make their point. Vodafone might demonstrate improved filters that satisfy those respondents, but that's not going to mollify the other 46. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.