New spectrum to improve health

More radio spectrum will need to be released to cater for breakthroughs in healthcare and transport, said Ofcom.

In a report focused on the future use of wireless, the regulator identified hundreds of new applications. They include wireless devices which monitor health and radio frequency ID tags on food products that allow allergy sufferers to shop more safely. Read more

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Vodafone targets social networking fans

Vodafone is to offer unlimited internet access as a standard feature of its new monthly mobile price plans, driven by an increasing amount of people accessing social networking sites and email from their phones.

The Newbury-based group is the first mobile phone operator in the UK to offer the unlimited deal with all its monthly tariffs, although O2 currently offers an unlimited deal for its iPhone customers.

Vodafone hopes the new flat rate policy will fuel use of the internet on mobiles, as operators search for additional ways to generate revenue in a saturated market.

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Nokia plan for 4G!

Nokia, the world’s largest handset manufacturer, has persuaded Sony Ericsson, NEC and Alacatel-Lucent to join it in developing plans for a 4G wireless system.

The companies will work together to develop the emerging mobile standard, called Long Term Evolution (LTE).

LTE, could be set to become a direct competitor to Wimax, which is currently being developed by Intel.

The first LTE networks are to be trialled in the US and China but it will be some time before it reaches UK shores.

Compared to 3G, LTE offers a greater distance and potentially faster rates.

Nokia and its partners see LTE as the logical evolution of 3G systems. ”

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Mobiles in flight!

The use of mobiles on planes flying in European airspace has been given approval by UK regulator Ofcom. It has issued plans that will allow airlines to offer mobile services on UK-registered aircraft.

The decision means that mobiles could be used once a plane has reached an altitude of 3,000m or more.

But airlines keen to offer the services must still satisfy other regulators about how the hardware will be used.

Service charge

Ofcom’s decision comes out of a consultation exercise that began in October 2007.

The decision to offer the services now falls to individual airlines. However, there are other regulatory hurdles to overcome before the technology is considered to be fully approved.

The European Aviation Safety Agency needs to approve any hardware that would be installed in aircraft to ensure that it did not interfere with other flight systems.

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