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Telco 2.0 News Review

Telco 2.0 Top Stories

[Ed. Analysis from the 11th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm will be soon be out, plus don’t forget to pencil or key into your diaries the dates for the next brainstorms in London, San Fransisco and Singapore.]

NBN Co has published its business plan, finally putting figures on the wholesale deal with Telstra and how much they might be likely to save on construction costs by using Telstra’s civil works infrastructure. Over the next 30 years, NBN Co is going to pay Telstra A$14bn to use the ducts, to shut down the PSTN, and to migrate Telstra’s subscribers onto new fibre-based services. On the other hand, NBN Co has revised its cost estimates for the build-out to A$37.5bn from A$43bn - if that includes the rent to Telstra rolled up over 30 years, this would suggest the network sharing roughly halved the cost of construction.

As a result, the Australian Senate passed a crucial piece of legislation required to structurally separate Telstra and set up the NBN-Telstra agreement. David Thodey, Telstra CEO, expects to sign the final agreement by the 20th of December. TelecomTVhas some more detail about the regulatory arrangements here.

Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority has announced an initiative to deploy an NFC-based mobile payments system.

It looks like despite the GSMA’s decision to go ahead with soft-SIMs, there will be no iPhone without a hardware SIM for the foreseeable future. There are those who would argue that there was never going to be one and that the whole point was to put pressure on the GSMA.

AT&T and Sprint have swapped a significant amount of spectrum, while AT&T is also apparently planning to buy up the 700MHz spectrum assets previously belonging to Qualcomm’s failed FLO TV network.

In Kenya, they’re looking at a single LTE network with a radioco business model, providing low-level wholesale service to the existing mobile operators. It will probably be part state-owned, which implies Safaricom or Telkom would be first in the queue.

Six Thai network operators have signed an MoU agreeing to share network infrastructure, practice net neutrality, and be open about their terms of service. 11 of Bulgaria’s many cable operators have integrated into a joint venture company to run a national-scale DOCSIS 3.0 network.

On the theme of operators cooperating, here’s an interview with executives from Orange, Telefonica, and KT on the challenges they face in delivering WAC.

GVT switched on 100Mbps FTTH in another Brazilian city this week, while Telco 2.0’s front room gets less than a hundredth of that. GiffGaff users got much less this week, after the network went down for some hours. What we want to know is if their users had to fix the softswitch…

Perhaps Avanti’s Hylas-1 satellite could help.

According to TeleGeography, Huawei is the leading vendor of LTE equipment so far.

In the UK, meanwhile, it’s been suggested that the domain name registry Nominet might be forced to take down domain names “used to commit a crime”. RevK from Andrews & Arnold ISP reacts with suitable vehemence and speculates on the possibilities of a P2P domain name system. More at Computer Weekly.

Vodafone has altered its data roaming prices in Europe - you can now have the same data plan as at home for £2 a day. Of course, if you’re away for a month this could easily double your bill, but at least you won’t end up like the man whose AT&T dongle roamed onto a cruise ship’s onboard picocell.

Is this the best app from a big-name brand yet? Tesco’s mobile scanner for the iPhone, Symbian S60, and Android devices lets you scan the barcodes on their packaging and immediately book home delivery of the goods. It also caches the most common items on your shopping list, and no doubt lets you collect those Clubcard points. Meanwhile, we presume the good people at Dunnhumby get to do a variety of interesting stuff with the data.

Having released Symbian into open source, Nokia is now going to shut down the source repositories and the download site. Apparently, if you still want to grok the codebase after the 17th of December, you can, er, write to them and they’ll send you a DVD. In the post. It’s possible some group of extremists might fork the project and keep it going, but is it likely? Hardly.

After more than 20 years, this would appear to be the finish for the Psion legacy, the wonderful and strange creature that was the UK’s main contribution to consumer computing. The Register is running a major series on the history of Symbian, and the first part is here.

Nokia Beta Labs has a new app, Nokia Situations which lets you define different situations and make a device sense them and act accordingly. They also have a WLAN network analyser, something that could be used for good, or evil.

Meanwhile, Nokia’s Ovi Store is suffering from significant delays in approving new apps. Putting a brave face on it, they claim this is due to unexpectedly high demand.

The legendary ReBirth music application for the Mac, which became justly famed for providing faithful emulation of a huge range of classic 80s synthesisers, is now out as a reduced iPhone app and full-featured iPad app.

HTC’s Desire HD is reviewed here - they think it’s better than the iPhone 4, with a full day’s battery life. TTV has a hands on with the Palm Pre 2, and is not entirely convinced.

Last week, Virgin Media announced it was going to deploy WLAN into its street cabinets and named TiVo as the key supplier for its new set-top boxes. Connected Vision has an early look at the Virgin-branded TiVos. They also check in with SeeSaw, an online-video startup that gives you the choice of either subscribing and seeing no ads, or else choosing the ads you see.

Connected Planet makes the excellent point that SMS is still the heart of mobile advertising - people read them, and they’re usually the people they were intended for.

Skype saw 9.1% growth in peak-concurrent users in the last seven months, reports Skype Journal, but they’re not saying anything about usage per user ahead of the IPO.

Jeff Atwood hammers on the point - just use OpenID, dammit. Dave Winer is trying to serve his website out of Dropbox and discovers that it’s hard to debug things inside a closed system from outside.

The F-Secure Labs blog reports on an especially pernicious take on Facebook spam.

Why did it take so long to fix GSM security? Harald Welte of OpenBSC investigates.

The power of OAuth 2.0 and standardised authentication: a program that browses EBay’s API, buys random goods, and twitters about it.

Here’s a micro-finance institution working entirely over M-PESA. Haiti gets mobile money this week. Number portability arrives in India. Reliance Globalcom turns up IPv6. Did you know your GPS will stop working above 60,000 feet altitude or 1,000 knots speed, to stop you building a ballistic missile?

And here are the slides IBM was pitching to its customers in 1975, for what wasn’t then called the cloud.

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