Apr 21 2009

RTE Launches On-Demand TV Player

Category: Internet,TelecomsTeknovis @ 7:37 pm

Today RTE launched its on-demand video player, which is unimaginatively called RTÉ Player. I have not had a chance to try it yet, but I already watch a lot of RTE current affairs content on demand. Perhaps my biggest misgiving about the new player is the fact that it is browser based, rather than utilising a separate standalone application.

For more details about this story see RTÉ launches catch-up TV service.

The BBC launched a similar on-demand video player over a year ago called the iPlayer. This caused excessive network usage at that time for BT, and this resulted in extra charges to end-users. This highlighted the increasing problems in the relationship between content producer and content distributor. Ultimately, they will both need to work together! To read more about this see Jaw Jaw, Not War, War.

The next logical step in the roll-out of IP based video on-demand is to supply end-users with set-top boxes. Indeed, this is already being considered for the iPlayer according to BBC, ITV and BT plan to bring iPlayer-style services to TVs. I wonder will RTE do this also!

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Mar 18 2009

Irish Companies involved in OMA

Category: Mobile Computing,StandardsTeknovis @ 7:59 pm

Today I am going to focus on the Irish involvement in another international standards body called the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance). Information about the history and goals of the OMA can be found in About OMA. There are 4 different levels of membership of the OMA, and these are described in OMA Membership. However, I am not going to distinguish between these membership types. I am basing my lists on the memberships lists in Current OMA Members.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

The non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland that are currently members are:

As always, it is difficult to determine if some of these multi-nations have a technical presence in Ireland.

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Feb 09 2009

Irish Companies involved in the GSM Association

Category: Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 6:26 pm

I am going to continue my series on Irish companies (and organisations) that are involved in standards organisations, and today I am going to focus on the GSM Association. This is appropriate timing for doing this, because the GSMA Mobile World Congress is happening soon in Barcelona. I have never attended this, but I would like to ;)

The GSM Association has several types of membership, and these are described in Types of Membership. I am going to focus on the Associate Membership type, and the members with this type of membership are listed in Associate Members.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

The non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland that are currently members are:

As always, it is sometimes difficult to tell what sort of a presence some of these companies have in Ireland.

There are also a number of Irish companies that are working in the same area as the GSM Association, but these companies are not listed as members. Enterprise Ireland supports these companies, and it rents a large stand at the GSMA Mobile World Congress which these companies can use. More details about this can be read on the 3GSM Ireland web site. The Irish companies that Enterprise Ireland is, or was, supporting that are not listed as members are:

I am really surprised, and impressed, with the number of companies in these lists!

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Jan 23 2009

All Ireland Broadband

Category: eGovernment,TelecomsTeknovis @ 7:46 pm

Yesterday the Irish Minister for Communications announced details of the all Ireland broadband Internet access roll-out scheme. The essence of this is that every part of Ireland will have broadband Internet access by 2010, thanks to an investment of 223€ million by the Irish Government.

At the moment 10% of the population do not have broadband Internet access, and these 10% live in areas that represent 33% of the area of the country.

Three has won the contract to supply this broadband Internet access, and it will do this using 3G technology. I might be incorrect, but I think that BT actually installed, commissioned, and operates the 3G network in Ireland for Three.

More details about this can be read in Plan to bring broadband to entire country by 2010.

The Irish Minister for Communications seemed quite ecstatic when he was announcing this yesterday. He seems to have the opinion that this will enable significant numbers of new companies to develop, and that these companies will employ many people, and this will lift Ireland out of recession. Yes, really!

I have a more sceptical view :o

From the maps that I saw in the television interviews it seems that the areas in Ireland that will benefit from this scheme are all in really rural locations (mostly the West and South-West). The population densities are very low in these areas! Also, the existing levels of business activity in these areas is extremely low! I do not think that broadband Internet access will change any of this!

So ultimately I think that this scheme means that the majority of Irish tax payers will subsidise a very small minority. I also think that people who live in these rural areas must accept that they cannot expect to have the same levels of service as people who live closer to metropolitan areas. (This of course works both ways.)

Damien Mulley also got some air-time to comment on this government initiative on the RTE news yesterday. I am not sure why, but I feel that he gave a more positive response to it in the television interview than he does on his blog article National Broadband Scheme Launch. Maybe I am wrong about this, because I only saw the television interview once.

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Jan 20 2009

Irish Companies involved in TM Forum

Category: Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 6:03 pm

I previously wrote about the Irish Companies involved in W3C, so today I am going to list the Irish companies (and organisations) that are involved in the TM Forum. Again, I am basing these lists on the online membership list.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

The non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland that are currently members are:

At least I think that all of those companies have technical operations in Ireland. It can be very difficult to tell from their web pages.

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Dec 17 2008

Virgin Broadband

Category: Networks,TelecomsTeknovis @ 10:34 pm

I read an interesting article earlier in the week describing how Virgin Media has launched its new broadband service. This service will be available throughout the UK in the next six months, and it providers users with a maximum download speed of 50Mbps. This will make Virgin Media the fastest ISP in the UK.

More details about this can be read in Virgin unveils next-gen broadband.

The same article describes how BT is beginning a fibre to the cabinet trial that will provide users with speeds up to 40Mbps.

This is very interesting, because in the middle of 2007 I attended an event hosted by T-Com in Berlin. One of the topics at this event was broadband, and T-Com told us that it would have fibre to the cabinet deployed in the 50 largest cities in Germany in 2008. This would be capable of supplying 17 million homes. At that time T-Com had already installed fibre to the cabinet in the 26 largest cities in Germany, and we were shown some of the new cabinets on the streets in Berlin. It was then easy to spot these new cabinets ourselves, because they are slightly larger than the standard cabinets, and if you listen carefully you can hear the cooling equipment running inside them! T-Com were offering a triple play service of phone, television, and Internet to customers using this infrastructure. There were some BT representatives at the meeting also, and I recall them being impressed :o

Independently, it appears that Virgin Media will start traffic shaping P2P traffic next year according to Virgin Media to dump neutrality and target BitTorrent users. I wonder if the Net Neutrality war is being lost in Europe :|

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