Telecoms - Intro Notes - Back to Index



WhoCallsMe? is a user supplied database of phone numbers of telemarketers, non-profit organizations, charities, political surveyors, SCAM artists, and other companies that don't leave messages, disconnect once you answer, ignore the Do-Not-Call List regulations, and simply interrupt your day.


The European Commission plans to force mobile phone manufacturers to manufacture one mobile phone charger for all mobile phones, according the European Commissioner for Industry, Gunther Verheugen in an interview with the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.


Unlocking iPhone 3Gs - the Vietnamese way.


Ofcom has a number of printable consumer guides on its website, including one on how to avoid being "slammed".


Here are five reasons to avoid iPhone 3G.


Someone has put up a (UK specific) Squat Telecoms page on the Aktivix wiki for people trying to set up Internet and phone in a squat or other non permanent space where fixed contract services might not be practical or possible.


I have spent several hours on the phone to BT over the past week trying to get a line reconnected on behalf of a friend. It has become a real saga and it still has not been resolved but I am hopeful that some progress has been made. I have just put up a page to document the saga.


GSM Cracking coming soon to a computer near you via a web service.


I was reading about someone in Devon who can't get broadband because his phone line has been DACSed. Apparently DACS is a technology which allows two ordinary phone lines to be squeezed down a single copper pair and is used when BT needs to put in a line but there is no spare copper pair back to the exchange. Here is a DACS FAQ.


The British government and the Ministry of Defence will be able to share and trade valuable radio spectrum under new plans announced by the regulator Ofcom.


The future of a website which details all the mobile phone masts in the UK is in doubt following a row over divulging "commercially sensitive" information.


In Flat Rate Considered Harmful, Tim Bray makes some suggestions about how telcos could rethink the way they sell bandwidth, and sell the use of their billing system to radically shake up the mobile Internet industry.


Mobile phone operator O2, owned by Spain's Telefonica, has won the exclusive contract to sell Apple's much-hyped iPhone in the UK. Strangely, when I was at a T-Mobile shop getting a new contract phone about a month ago I mentioned the iPhone and how it had apperently been hacked to work on T-Mobile, and the sales person claimed that they would be selling iPhones sometime after Christmas. I guess there was pretty hot competition for the contract.


The UK's big five mobile phone firms have switched on a payment system that turns handsets into digital wallets.


The British military is set to take one of its most significant steps into the digital age with the launch of the first Skynet 5 satellite. If you have ever watched "The Terminator" you might recall that the computer network which turned against humanity was also called Skynet.


The future of radio microphones - used at concerts, sporting events, festivals and theatre shows - is under threat from new proposals from Ofcom.


It is generally agreed that the most valuable part of the radio spectrum in the UK is between around 200 megahertz and 1 gigahertz. At the moment, nearly half of this range is used to broadcast analogue television. Analogue transmitters will be switched off between 2008 and 2012, freeing up these frequencies for other uses. Ofcom is running a public consultation as part of the process of deciding how to make use of this "digital dividend".


When someone on Usenet stated "Most if not all phones have GPS now, for 911 location service" I was sceptical. I was aware that some smartphones incorporated GPS receivers but standard mobile phones? Well there is actually some truth in it. The guy was talking about the situation in the United States, where the FCC's E911 mandate requires the position of a cell phone to be available to emergency call dispatchers.

However, these new cell phones are not using a traditional GPS system, but something called Assisted GPS. Basically the phone network, knowing roughly where you are by which cell you are in, calculates which satellites should be visible to you and what their approximate doplar shifted frequencies. The phone can then quickly lock in to those satellites and get range measurements to transmit back to the network. The network, knowing the exact time and satellite orbital parameters, can then calculate your position.

SiRF Technology has a small, low power, multimode A-GPS solution on a chip called the GSCi-5000.


There is a Wikia for public development of a GSM scanner/receiver.

Apple's announcement of the iPhone has put the cat among the pigeons. Steve Jobs implied that it would not run Java applets and this has inspired plenty of discussion, eg this blog entry by Jens Alfke.


TuxPhone is a project to develop an open source (hardware and software) GSM/GPRS cellphone. OpenMoko is a project that is just looking at the software side of the problem. They have partnered with FIC on the hardware side, and the FIC Neo1973 smartphone should be available soon, running the full OpenMoko platform.


From 14 February 2007 UK broadband suppliers will be obliged to issue a Migration Authorisation Code on request and will not be allowed to charge for it.


Ofcom is legalising the use of FM transmitters that allow iPods and other MP3 players to play through car radios.


Mobile phones are closer to becoming smart wallets, following agreement among mobile operators on an approach to near field communications (NFC).


Telecoms giant BT could be free to set its own prices for residential UK phone lines and calls this summer, under plans put forward by regulator Ofcom. This is strange because BT still own the local loop, effectively giving them a monopoly on fixed lines in many parts of the UK.


World-tracker is one company which offers a mobile phone tracking service.


I was just reading an article about Follow-Me Phoning: Implementing Bluetooth Proximity Detection Asterisk, Part 1. Basic idea is a system which detects when you leave home and diverts calls to your mobile - then cancels the diverts automagically when you return home.

Last week my housemate told me about the new, faster ADSL2 standard which supports up to 12 Mbit/s down 1 Mbit/s up.


The problem with having a separate sections on my site for "Internet" and "Telecoms" is that is often unclear which section I should put things in. For example this story about Local Loop Unbundling.


Since I left work last month I have been spending a lot of time at home during the week and now realise the full horror of the unsolicited telephone marketing business. I have fielded an average of about three calls per day, all equally irrelevant to me. Replacement windows, telecoms services, loans, prizes, surveys etc.

In an effort to stem the tide of shit I have just registered my number with the Telephone Preference Service. Ian Gregory 2010