Freetimers Blog » 2012 » October

UK’s first 4G mobile service launches today

The long awaited new 4G service has gone live in cities across the country including London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow with Southampton to have access to network EE’s 4G from next week. Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle and Nottingham will be active by Christmas.

Network EE, formerly known as Everything, Everywhere and which owns Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, has promised speeds of between 8 to 12Mbps – up to five times faster than current 3G mobile technology.

The extra speed will allows for high-quality streaming of audio, video and other content whilst on the move.

“It’s a significant and much anticipated launch.  It further strengthens the argument that in the future more and more people will be using their phones and other mobile
devices to access the internet.  Companies with websites that are not designed for mobile devices will lose out on this fast growing market” comments Greg Poulson Managing Director of Freetimers Internet.

It’s hard to imagine that only 10 years ago most people were accessing the internet via dial up technology at speeds that would be intolerably slow today.  4G marks the
next significant step towards universal fast internet delivery across the UK.  More and more people will be accessing the internet via mobile technology, but many companies have not
prepared their sites for it.

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT) has warned online retailers to check they are not breaking consumer laws.

The OFT has found that more than a third of UK online
retailers could be breaking consumer laws by adding unexpected charges to
orders. They have warned retailers to change their websites before Christmas.

 

62 of the UK’s 156 most popular websites were found not to be complying with current laws. They
found unreasonable restrictions on refunds and compulsory charges being added
at the checkout.

 

Nearly two-thirds of all the retailers checked failed to
provide an email contact address, as opposed to a web contact, which is a
breach of the E-Commerce regulations.

 

“The OFT recognises that most businesses want to play
fair with their customers and to comply with the law,” said Cavendish
Elithorn, a senior director at the OFT.

“We encourage all online retailers to check their
websites so customers can be confident their rights are being respected when
they shop online.”

 

With Christmas shoppers hitting sites in the coming weeks
the OFT has warned retailers to make sure they are not ignoring their legal
obligations.

5G research centre gets major funding grant

Despite 4G mobile technology only just being launched in the UK (on Tuesday 30th
October) experts at Surrey University are already working towards developing
5G, which they believe will be available in 2020.

The university’s Centre for Communications System Research has just received
a £35m from mobile operators, infrastructure providers and the UK Research
Partnership Investment Fund to fund research into 5G, which will be used to
create a 5G Innovation Centre.

Rahim Tafozolli – professor of mobile wireless communications and the
director of Surrey University’s Centre for Communications Systems Research, said
“The boundaries between mobile communication and the internet are
blurring, so the fifth generation is internet on the move,”

“It looks like every year the traffic (from mobile sources)
is doubling. Unfortunately capacity is not doubling every year. We need to come
up with technology, within the limited radio spectrum that we have, to
accommodate this huge surge.”

“What we have is good for the next 10 years. We need to be progressive,
we can’t be complacent, the area is extremely dynamic.”

The BBC launches iPlayer Radio

The BBC has launched a separate iPlayer app for radio;
using audio content from the existing BBC iPlayer to offer a separate service
from its TV service.

Available on desktop and mobile devices the iPhone app
will be released before others (such as Google’s Android) which are still being
developed due to complications with Flash. In the mean time users on other
mobile devices will be able to access the iPlayer radio through their web
browser.

“BBC iPlayer Radio is the platform on which we will develop radio
stations as fully multimedia brands so that as well as listen, audiences will
be able to watch, share and engage with BBC radio,” said Mark Friend,
controller of multiplatform and interactive for the BBC’s Audio & Music
division.

“Our next steps will be to make live radio more interactive, make it
easier for people to enjoy the BBC’s vast audio archive and strengthen radio’s
position as the number one place for discovering music in theUK.”

The BBC is one of the last radio services to create a separate app and will
have to compete with other already on the market such as Capital Radios apps
which has been available for year and offers an interactive experience for
users

World of Warcraft cities hacked

Hackers have targeted the online adventure game, World of Warcraft
(WoW) this month. The hackers were able to create a character that could
destroy all other characters- including those controlled by the game.

Olivia Grace, contributing editor of website WoW Insider, said: “It was a
significant hack. They discovered a method to roll a level-one [beginner]
character, which ran to the major cities.

“We don’t know exactly what they did, but somehow they were able to
kill every single player’s character in that city and every single computer
controlled character – and they were doing this repeatedly.”

Game creator Blizzard Activision has already resolved
the issue and hot fixed it so it cannot be repeated. The game has over
10million subscribers across the world, with the majority of players believed
to be in china.