UAE makes mobile broadband breakthough in 700 MHz band
The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announces today its band plan for 700 MHz and publicized the release of spectrum in the 800 MHz band for mobile broadband services. The TRA believes that allocating these bands to mobile broadband with the equivalent global device ecosystems will best serve the UAE public interest by driving down costs and minimising interference along borders, so officials.
By combining the 800 MHz band plan for Europe, Middle East and Africa with the lower duplexer (2 X 30 MHz)—as a baseline—of the Asia Pacific (APT) 700 MHz band, UAE will be the first country in the ITU Region 1 to reap the benefits of both bands.
H.E. Majed Al Mesmar Deputy Director General for telecommunications Sector commented: "By maximising the spectrum for mobile broadband in harmony with the growing economies of scale for both bands, the TRA decision will enable nearly global interoperability and roaming. The UAE is predicting a rising demand for global harmonization of the APT 700 MHz band benefiting in the growing ecosystem of devices from Asia Pacific across the Middle East and Africa, through to Latin America."
Growth of pay-TV worldwide
Following a year of solid 8% growth in 2012, there are now 804 million pay-TV subscriber households worldwide. According to new research done by Multimedia Research Group (MRG), the global pay-TV subscriber base, made up of cable TV, satellite TV, and telco-based IPTV subscribers, is growing most rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Last year, over 38 million new households in Asia signed up for pay-TV service. Overall, 56% of the world's 1.43 billion TV households now subscribe to a pay-TV service.
Meanwhile, the more mature pay-TV markets grew very little. In North America, pay-TV subscriber households stayed flat during 2012 staying stable at 112 million subscriber households. Similarly, in Western Europe the number of subscriber households increased by just under 3% last year. However, cable TV subscribers still account for the largest segment of the pay-TV subscriber universe. At the end of 21012, 63% of all global pay-TV subscriber households were cable TV households.
BBC closes Digital Media Initiative
The BBC announced today that it is to close its Digital Media Initiative (DMI).
Beginning in 2008, DMI set out to move the BBC's production and archive operations to a fully integrated, digital way of working. The decision to close DMI follows an operational review of the project which was launched in October 2012. The report found that DMI was not going to deliver on its stated objectives and as a result BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, took the decision to close it with the agreement of the BBC Trust. The total cost of DMI to the BBC will be £98.4m.
Following the decision to close the project, the BBC Trust has launched an independent review to establish what went wrong and why.
"The DMI project has wasted a huge amount of Licence Fee payers' money and I saw no reason to allow that to continue which is why I have closed it. I have serious concerns about how we managed this project and the review that has been set up is designed to find out what went wrong and what lessons can be learned. Ambitious technology projects like this always carry a risk of failure, it does not mean we should not attempt them but we have a responsibility to keep them under much greater control than we did here" said BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Microsoft unveils XBox One
Microsoft has unveiled its new game console and successor to Xbox 360 the XBox One.
Microsoft stressed the Xbox One's ability as a device for accessing live TV, music and internet services as much as its gaming prowess. The console also includes features such as voice and gesture control, and is more powerful than its predecessor.
"Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device," said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment."
Xbox One will launch later this year.