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The November 7, 2005 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month we feature interesting telecom happenings in the UK and the ultimate validation of Wi-Fi.

The UK: Speeding up, Mobile TV and A Mobile Phone With My Coke, Please

Announcements in the UK during October indicate that the speed bar is moving up to 8 Mbps. These include:

  • BT and Yahoo! relaunching their broadband packages and committing to the availability of 8M Mbps in 2006
  • and Wanadoo announcing they will offer up to 8 Mbps as standard in their broadband packages

Meanwhile, Sky and Vodafone are launching the UK's first commercially available mobile TV service. It is called Sky Mobile TV and will have 19 channels, divided between two service packs. One pack will include news, sports and factual content (e.g., National Geographic and the History Channel); the other will focus on entertainment and music. The service is free to all Vodafone 3G customers until January 31, 2006 after which it will add £5 a month per service pack to their bills.

Separately, if you're in Manchester you may do a double take when that red vending machine turns out to dispense mobile phones and not Cokes. The kiosks are targeted to the city's student population and offer pre-pay SIM cards from £5 and a number of different pre-pay handsets, priced from £30 to £50. If successful, the trial may lead to future deployments in airports, train stations and motorway service stations.

It's Official: Wi-Fi Is Real

An article in Telecom Web noted that "Wi-Fi" has made it into the newly released 2005 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. If it is in the dictionary, it has really arrived! ( )