Simon Rockman

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The former editor of Amstrad User, Amiga Computing, Personal Computer World, What Mobile and a number of other blast-from-the-past titles, Simon has worked for Motorola, Sony Ericsson and the GSMA. He has great contacts in the mobile industry, where his specialities are phones for seniors and mobile payments. He also covers Bitcoin and 3D printing.

BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

I cycle in London. It halves my journey time to the office and being nicer than sweating on the tube lets me substitute muscles for my Oyster. It also gives me a chance to think. One of the things I think about is how much I hate buses . They don’t mix with bikes. Having something which weighs twelve tonnes share road space …
Simon Rockman, 13 Oct 2016
Pulsar, image via Shutterstock

The field at the centre of the universe: Cambridge's outdoor pulsar pusher

Geek's Guide to Britain A field full of bits of old wire and an abandoned garden shed: it doesn't look like the place where Nobel prize-wining research was conducted, pushing the frontier of radio astronomy. But it was. This is the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, at Lords Bridge – site of a disused railway station just outside Cambridge – which …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2016
Speedy Gonzales surrounded by cheese

So is it 4.5G or LTE-Advanced Pro? Either way, it’s pretty damn quick

Huawei's Mobile Broadband Forum While BT and the UK government may think that 10Mbps is plenty of speed, nobody else does it seems, and the mobile world is now gearing up for 1Gbps. In fact, the so-called 4.5G even has an official name, LTE-Advanced Pro. Whatever it’s called, the ability to increase the bandwidth beyond the 150Mbps of standard 4G comes from …
Simon Rockman, 11 Nov 2015
Alex Sinclair, GSMA CTO

GSMA offers a share and share alike approach to the C-Band

The trade association for mobile operators, the GSMA, has taken up arms in support of its members' campaign for three areas of spectrum at the World Radiocommunication Conference, currently being held in Geneva. The organisation is looking to nab the L-Band, sub 700MHz (including 470-694), where it will be taking on the TV …
Simon Rockman, 06 Nov 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Slow connections can’t come fast enough as industry eyes low bandwidth

Huawei GMBF There’s a general acceptance within the mobile industry that the more advanced forms of 4G and 5G will eventually conjure up connections of 1Gb/s. But for many speakers at Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2015, 10kb/s is every bit as exciting. At the Hong Kong event, speakers were positively effusive about LTE-NB, or …
Simon Rockman, 05 Nov 2015
The roatating CEO manages to stand still

Huawei is the new Nokia: Asian mobe maker sets out its stall

A little over a thousand CTOs, CIOs and decision makers from the world’s mobile phone networks attended Huawei's mobile broadband forum event this week. It gives us a view of not only how Huawei sees the world, but of how it sees itself. This year the event was held in Hong Kong. The twenty-three speakers were primarily …
Simon Rockman, 05 Nov 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Ofcom won’t hold back in latest mobile spectrum auction

Comment Ofcom has announced its plans for the promised auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum. And it’s “steady as she goes”. A total of 190 MHz of new spectrum will be auctioned: 40 MHz of spectrum within the 2.3 GHz band (2350-2390 MHz) and 150 MHz of spectrum within the 3.4 GHz band (at 3410-3480 MHz and 3500-3580 MHz). But, …
Simon Rockman, 26 Oct 2015
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Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Caption Competition Wow, what bumper crop of captions this week, it seems that El Reg readers are pretty flexible when it comes to posting thoughts on gymnastic computer users. Thanks again to the regular posters, no doubt driven on by the knowledge that last week’s winner had already won once. Quite a few referenced the Lenovo Yoga device …
Simon Rockman, 23 Oct 2015
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'Facebook for drones' Altitude Angel offers 'cloud' air traffic control

Altitude Angel calls itself “The Internet of Flying Things”, but it’s more “Facebook for drones”. It’s a database of "things" which unmanned aircraft might worry about. The idea is that whenever someone launches an Unmanned Aerial System they will check in with Altitude Angel to find out if there are hazards in the areas where …
Simon Rockman, 21 Oct 2015
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Lotus F1: 38°C? Sand in your Vblocks? Must be building a data center in Bahrain again

If you think your IT role is demanding, imagine needing to do a major install every couple of weeks. You only have a day to do it, you can't visit the site before, and it may be in incredibly hot, wet or dusty conditions. What you install has to deal with huge quantities of data and be 100 per cent reliable. Nine nines is not …
Simon Rockman, 20 Oct 2015
Yoga_woman

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

El Reg's last caption competition had two men experiencing an Oculus Rift in a forest. Lots of the captions – indeed, most of them – hinged around a large ear growing out of a tree behind the two VR viewers. Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com There are lots of regular names here, and multiple entries from some of the …
Simon Rockman, 16 Oct 2015
The Rolls Royce Wraith served as a support car to the Atom

A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

Vulture at the Wheel Eagle eyed Reg readers who read our review of the Rolls-Royce Wraith will have spotted that there was an Ariel Atom parked next to the Rolls-Royce in Monaco and ahead of us near Rouen. Only the smartest cars get to park here This is not a coincidence. The trip to the South of France had a purpose: A friend had an Atom in St …
Simon Rockman, 10 Oct 2015
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Ofcom chief warns that carrier aggregation may be bad for consumers

Analysis The mergers of O2 and Three, and BT and EE, could drive prices up for consumers and be A Bad Thing. This is the warning given by Ofcom boss Sharon White in a presentation to the London School of Economics this week. She warned that fewer mobile operators could lead to prices rising. The mergers of telcos is pretty much the …
Simon Rockman, 09 Oct 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Vodafone joins calls to pry Openreach from BT's hands

+Comment The political ding-dong over prising broadband biz Openreach out of BT’s hands entered another round today with the release of a Vodafone-commissioned report on the £6.5bn in “excessive profits” BT has been making from the UK broadband market. The blows and counterblows come during Ofcom's once-a-decade Strategic Review of …
Simon Rockman, 08 Oct 2015
How it might look when the SpaceIL launches

Israeli lander FOUND ON MOON (in 2017)

Pics SpaceIL has signed a deal to send a lander to the Moon – making the Israeli non-profit the first competitor in Google's $30m Lunar XPrize contest to ink a rocket launch contract. Google's Lunar XPrize will hand out cash to the first team that successfully lands a spacecraft on the Moon in one piece, and completes various tasks …
Simon Rockman, 07 Oct 2015
Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung forgets Galaxy worries, surprises analysts with big numbers

Despite the Galaxy 6 and its kin – Plus, Edge, Edge Plus – tanking, Samsung Electronics has posted impressive numbers for the third quarter, substantially higher than analysts had predicted, leading to a jump in the share price. The Korean tech giant has forecast profit for July, August and September will be 7.3tn won (£4.1bn …
Simon Rockman, 07 Oct 2015
Speed

Top telematics: Black box helps driver swerve speeding fine

Motoring campaigner Neil Herron has beaten a mobile police speed trap rap by using the threat of revealing his own GPS-based telematics data in court. The incident took place in January 2014, when Herron was stopped by a police patrol who were using a Tele-traffic LTI 20:20 Ultralyte 1000 infrared laser gun. (PDF datasheet) …
Simon Rockman, 07 Oct 2015
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Phone thieves to face harsher penalties for data theft

New laws which value the “emotional harm” of a crime could be brought to bear in mobile theft. The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has issued new guidelines for judges ruling in theft cases and in the section on “general theft”, which includes : Theft from the person Theft in a dwelling Theft in breach of trust …
Simon Rockman, 06 Oct 2015
Ferrari from the driving seat

Testing CarPlay with Apple’s most expensive ever accessory

Vulture at the Wheel Apple’s CarPlay – which we got the chance to test with the ultimate iPhone accessory, a £200,000 Ferrari California T – is fighting a standards conflict against Google’s Android Auto, in what seems to be a replica of the war between Android and iOS. There will be a separate review of the car later, but for the moment it’s …
Simon Rockman, 03 Oct 2015

Apple files patent for long-rumoured iRing-type bling

The long-rumoured iRing might not be a myth after all. Apple has just applied for a patent on "Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device". The iRing does for the Apple Watch what the Apple Watch does for the iPhone. The next step must be smart earrings, which were a 2000 vision from Orange. Image from iring Apple patent …
Simon Rockman, 02 Oct 2015
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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Caption Competition The witticisms keep flooding in for our biblical-looking chap, who provided "divine" inspiration for a great collection of captions from readers. All the entries were given a chance at winning the Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive that’s up for grabs. There were quite a few regular contributors in the top 10. Here is the …
Simon Rockman, 02 Oct 2015
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Ofcom: Ahem, about that 28GHz spectrum. Let's talk fees

Having found that it can charge more than it used to for mobile spectrum, Ofcom is planning the same trick for 28GHz Broadband Fixed Wireless Access. The pricing model radio spectrum charges used to be called AIP (administered incentive pricing), which covered Ofcom’s cost of administering the spectrum. But then Ofcom hit …
Simon Rockman, 02 Oct 2015
processor chip-off

Eight cores good, ten cores better: MediaTek resumes Qualcomm multi-core war

Despite what Qualcomm claims, its main foe, MediaTek, claims that the core wars are not over. Qualcomm has argued – like a politician saying that “left and right is old thinking” – that it isn't about how many cores you had, but what you did with them. Qualcomm recently announced impressive performance figures for its new …
Simon Rockman, 30 Sep 2015
Renderings always look great

Find shaving a chore? Why not BLAST your BEARD off with a RAYGUN

Men with beards have invented a razor which shaves with a laser. Californian startup Skarp is the brainchild of follicle boffin Morgan Gustavsson, who has worked on medical devices for hair removal. Skarp Technologies says its razor is powered by a small laser, which cuts through hair for a shave which is closer than using a …
Simon Rockman, 29 Sep 2015
Clever logo aped in the falcon doors

Tesla X unfolds its Falcon wings, stumbles belatedly into the light

Vulture at the Wheel Tesla will launch the Model X tonight. This is the third model the company has launched after the Lotus-built roadster and the amazing Model S. As a minivan with three rows of seats to fit seven adults, it’s a big deal for the US market, and has “Falcon” as opposed to “gullwing” doors. Falcons being much cooler than gulls, …
Simon Rockman, 29 Sep 2015