Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mobile comms on Olympic starting line

London 2012 is already starting to have an impact on the infrastructure of London, and that includes communications.

OFCOM today "published proposals under section 107(6) of the Communications Act 2003 to extend Airwave Solutions Limited's powers under the electronic communications code to enable it to rollout a private mobile radio network for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralmypic Games."

It seems like every company in the land is fighting for its share of public money sloshing around in East London right now, so who might be some of the winners?

  • TETRA ... despite having over 150 organisations from 35 countries (according to the TETRA Association) backing the standard, it never has exactly hit the big time. But as the OFCOM news suggests, there's still life in the old dog yet.
  • Mobile TV ... every major global sporting event seems to spur an innovation in broadcasting. If the Beijing Olympics saw HD going mainstream (the 2006 FIFA World Cup was the first to be broadcast in HD), then what price London 2012 being the one to reignite mobile TV? The BBC is one of the few broadcasters with the resources to innovate and deliver it, and then there's that L-band spectrum that Qualcomm bought that's lying dormant ...
  • NFC ... the BT team responsible for the communications at London 2012 are apparently looking at NFC for micro-payments of under £10 within the Olympic Park. While the Oyster card is a success for Londoners already, this could be the spur to start seeing NFC embedded into more handsets and to see retailers equiped with NFC-enabled mobile terminals
.. and then of course there's everything else that comes with it ... the network planning, the extra base stations, the mobile apps (both officially sanctioned and those trying to pull a fast one), the list goes on. Hell, we may even have LTE and universal broadband by then ;-)

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