UK Data Prices Start to Fall – Finally

MobHappy’s Carlo Longino wrote back on the 4th of May that his prediction for 2007 would be Flat Rate data plans would emerge in Europe.

Flat rate data has been around for a while in the UK now and Orange and Vodafone joined T-Mobile with affordable data bundles marketed with the tag of unlimited* (* = 1gb)

Anway, I agree with Carlo any telco worth it’s salt would rather have people paying a constant revenue stream of £50 to £120 a year extra per user as being better than the odd month when the user accidentally surfs a little too much and ends up with a £30 data bill.

Unlimited data is the killer app of 3G.

What else is there to do with 3G..voice and works but not for every single call.

Unlimited data is allowing applications such as Fring (there is it again), Zyb, Goosync, Push email, Shozu and thus Flickr, BlipTV and Youtube to be used without a worry for the data bill at the end of the month.

I’ve got Unlimited data and it’s changed the way I use my phone and I encourage anyone who hasn’t got it to get it now.

Who needs wi-fi when 3G works? Telco’s could then argue the need for Wi-Fi in devices, remove that need for finding and logging onto hotspots…what a pain, I hardly use my Openzone account these days and have considered shutting it down.

Unlimited data means I use my camera more (and want a better camera) as I can use shozu to upload any photo I take to Flickr in the backgound…fantastic!

So for me unlimited data is the Killer app of Mobile computing.

Is Skype a Telco? – Yes

Martin asks if Skype is a Telco, I think they are.

(TELephone COmpany) A company that provides telephone services

The definition makes no mention of owning physical infrastructure or it’s own circuit or switched network. Skype is a Telco in that it provides a Telephone service, but it doesn’t have it’s own national or international network.

But the real problem is Skype hasn’t provided the necessary platform — be it Liberty, OpenID, or whatever — to let 3rd parties use their authentication system

Neither have GoogleTalk, MSN, Yahoo etc. yet we’re all able to use services such as Fring, Meebo etc etc (with an element of trust) and sue the underlying frameworks of services such as GoogleTalk and Skype without actual going any where near the actual application.

The bit I don’t like is that Skype is a proprietary ‘standard’ and the lack of interoperability is why SIP based services will take a hold. SIP is the Voip Standard and now  built into (most) Nokia and Windows smartphones. So users can get free/cheap VoIP calls using SIP on their handsets. SIP may also be the standard the enterprise that they work for also uses, allowing the same devices to connect to the enterprise voice network too.

I don’t see Skype as true VoIP, although it is by definition. But as many users comment, one moment is superb next it’s rubbish. Could this be where intelligence within the network comes in. QOS allows SIP traffic to be prioritized. Therefore VoIP calls have a mechanism by which a standard quality is being attempted to be maintained.

But we’ll see, Skype has a big enough user base to be around for a while yet.

Sony, BT Turn PSP In To WiFi Phone And Video Call Device

from by (Robert Andrews)

BT and Sony are partnering to bring telecommunications features to the PSP games console. BT said it will enable video and voice calls and messaging over wireless broadband, using software clients it is developing. BT will be Sony’s lead carrier around Europe, with the UK first to get roll-out. The telco has signed a four-year contract with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE). It will bring to the handheld the kinds of VoIP functionality found in BT Broadband subscriber homes – it will be possible to route calls from a PSP to fixed lines, mobiles and computers, BT said. That doesn’t limit the PSP-phone to use indoors – BT also operates several thousands nationwide WiFi hotspots.

No firm details yet. In fact, announcing the tie-up this morning to iPhone comparisons, BT mobility and convergence chief Steve Andrews said: “I want to surprise the market rather than being chased up as to where it is and what is happening.” BBC News says more details will be released at the Leipzig Games Convention in August. (Release).

This is interesting but as I’m still cold on voip still, I don’t think I’ll be rushing to install. But I do intend to use my PSP as a web tablet. I’ll post a picture of Google reader on it in a sec (next post)

My Football Club

I just found this page on the web which made me laugh as a mate of mine is a big leeds fan, so I’ve subscribed to buy a stake.


It sounds like an interesting business prospect, but I’m not sure how it works legally and whether the company becomes liable for debts the new football club get’s it self in.

The other aspect is that members can vote on team selection, which I think it dreadfull, I think that tactic’s team selection could be recommended by the ‘fans’ but not picked.

27,000 plus people have subscribed todate so just over half way to the 50,000 required. Secondly I’m not sure how they are going to demand the actual money.

Leaving IBM

The big news for me recently was that I resigned from IBM on Friday. I’ve been with them for 9 years, all of which have been great. All the people I’ve worked with across europe and the globe have been great. It’s always been a positive experience and I’m hugely grateful for all the experiences. skills and training IBM has given me.

My Linkedin profile has a pretty complete profile of what I did with IBM.

Where are you going then you may ask? …Orange Business Services.

I’m taking my Telecom’s knowledge with me to the Global Sourcing team within OBS and I start the beginning of July.

Another new toy

I picked up a PSP yesterday, it’s a much more instant gaming experience. The last time I tried to play a computer game I had to wait three hours while Steam the updating system from Valve updated all my Half Life maps.

It’s got a web browser, which I haven’t tried yet, but might come in handy for reading feeds.