Everything Everywhere is UK’s first 4G network

According to the Guardian, Everything Everywhere – which was formed with the amalgamation of Orange and T-Mobile, is the first UK network which uses a 4G connection. With download speeds expected of up to 12.5Mega Bits (1.5625 Mega Bytes) per second, it is said to be faster than most household broadband connections at 8 Mega Bits.

All UK Orange and T-mobile shops have become Everything Everywhere shops as apart of the partnership they made earlier this year.
Inside, however, they look like Apple shop rip offs.

As a Virgin Media customer, I have double this speed at my house (up to 2.4 Mega Bytes per second) so it’s not much of a difference. However when contrasted with the speed of 3G, there is much improvement, regardless of what device you are using.

Phil Collins with his brand new Smartphone

The advancement, however, comes at a price. A hefty one at that. You pay £36 a month for the use of up to 500MB of data. This is the same amount of data as streaming a single one-hour programme on iPlayer or making a two-hour Skype video call. As an Orange customer, I personally feel much more better off paying a single pound once a day and have unlimited 3G connection, than pay that, but is suppose it’s good for business people maybe who need to access email or whatever.

This concept reminds me of the big huge mobile phones you would see business people carrying around the stock exchange in London in the 1980’s and 90’s. The fees to use those things were extortionate, and the equivalent incarnation today being the satellite phones is the same. You pay up to a £1000 a month to use the service, were restricted in the umber of calls you could use/make and weren’t always guaranteed you would have signal.

“A yuppie with a yuppie toy in the 1980s – a brick mobile phone. Yuppies also liked filo-faxes and wine bars. Oh, yes, I almost forgot – and money.”

I do wonder though, how much this is all costing Everything Everywhere and if their partnership will be forever. I kind of liked he Orange Network, having been a customer since my first phone, the legendary Nokia 3310 back in 2003/2004. It appears to me like one pick flop.

Some new 4G users in Southwark, south London, and in Manchester reported speeds of up to 19Mbps, which would rival some superfast fibre connections mainly used by businesses.

EE’s 4G network opened for business in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton, with a further five cities to be added before Christmas. Vodafone, O2 and Three will be able to launch their own 4G services in May.

James Barford, of Enders Analysis, estimated that one in 10 mobile owners in the UK would benefit from 4G in the near future and predicted it would remain a largely premium service.

“There are a lot of everyday smartphone tasks that faster speeds will make quicker and easier, so it is an improvement in those terms,” he said. “For the moment 4G is likely to be better than latest version of 3G because it’s an empty network. If EE gets in the low hundreds of thousands of users by the end of the year, that will be pretty impressive. The price plans are as much a statement that 4G is a premium product, and they’ll market it that way.””


BBC Ceefax Service – A memorial

I have some very vivid memories of sitting in front of one of those old school CRT TV’s in my childhood home, flickering through a text-based array of very limited coloured pages, each with their own respective numbers. I remember on numerous occasions, being told to check the lottery numbers on page 555 or even just to check the time and date.
This graphics nightmare was of course, Teletext, or what the BBC called Ceefax. The name Ceefax came from the original purpose of the service, to ‘See Facts’. It was introduced in 1974 to provide a subtitle service (Page 888 (which I remember due to it being flashed up on the top of the screen before most programmes)) and was optional when you got your TV set. In the 1980’s the services was so popular, all TV’s which were sold, had the feature.
Each page was given its own three number code which was used for easy access. The National Lottery was obviously page 555. Because I used it so often when I was little, very autisticly, learned off by heart many of the numbers, some (very few) I even still remember today. 199 was the Index (which can be accessed here: Ceefax TV – Page 199 – Index
We look at it now in 2012 and wonder how in 1974, the concept was seen as ‘Looking Towards the Future’. Most people will find this hard believe, but teletext was a forerunner for the internet. Now you mind think I’m mad with saying this, but it’s true. 100%. The founder of the internet, Bernard-lee, was after all English, so it must of had some affect on his thinking, at least to some degree. Mind you, Teletext is more like a Bulletin Board System, than an actual web browser, but I’m sure you ‘catch my drift’. (Early teletext was so slow, it was sometimes quicker to go walk the Newsagents, pick up the Radio Times and go home than to load the TV Guide Page, much alike to very early BBS’s, which took forever I am told. I remember it being like slow 56k Dial-Up, except more reliable and someone could use the phone).
Other than BBS’s the Teletext was much akin to the Web due to being the best way to present breaking news. This concept meant that the normal services of TV & radio would not need to be interrupted if revelations become known. It was also useful, as former Prime Minister, as well as countless other bloggers and journalists have mentioned, for its use at checking Sports results. Football, cricket and horse racing (page 660) are the main ones I remember, the latter being used heavily in betting shops as late as just before the Digital Switchover.Before the current Conservative-majority Coalition, I undertook a 2 week stretch of work experience, and while there I helped out with a quiz to get all the old people to try and remember stuff. One of the questions regarded the text based system the BBC brought in, et cetera. I was quite amazed how I was the only person in the room of 30 people that knew the answer. This kind of eradicates the stereotype of the elderly staying inside watching TV all day and being backward as crazy. Mind you, while I was there I met some very nice and interesting people. One being a former (partially deaf) physicist who became fluent in Swahili while a Lieutenant in the Army and had a very interesting life by the sound of it.

RIP Ceefax - You Did Good Buddy :D

RIP Ceefax – You Did Good Buddy 😀

With this all said, it’s clear that Teletext will be sadly missed, and that the world will never be the same without it. Those Nostalgic memories of having it as growing up will continue to remain. Only until last week was the service finally. When the BBC started the Digital switchover, it still remained in their minds the usefulness of Ceefax and the amount of people that still used the service that they decided to continue with its use and to broadcast it on BBC1 during the early hours of the morning, appropriately naming the programme, Pages from Ceefax. When I got the occasional insomnia, I used to turn my TV on, put on an hour timer and lay there reading the top news and lulling myself to sleep with the crazy, yet beautiful music they used to play.
Like millions up and won the country who used it or remember it still, I shall mourn it passing and I hope you do the same. This is the reason for this memorial Blog post.
The BBC has (weirdly) kept the page concerning Analogue TV on their website, but has sadly stopped listing the links for it. I have therefore posted the link below to show the last Web Archive snapshot of the page with all the respective links and everything. Very Interesting indeedy.
BBC – Help receiving TV and radio – Analogue TV
RIP Ceefax, you did good Buddy! 😀
That is all really. Apart from a slow as hell computer, I have nothing much else to say apart from good night (morning) and:
Be Good, and if You Can’t Be Good, Stay Out of Trouble 🙂

MI5 release Cold War Documents

This story got me very interested as not on the front of it relating to the Cold War, or Communism for that fact, but that of what kind of information lays waiting for eyes to see once the hoard of files is searched through.

A kind of excitement immediately fills my head with all sorts of ideas. Almost like a 10 year old (or me) told they’re going to Lego Land. The only blow is that the documents are from the period in between 1945 and May 1953.

It’s very early Cold War stuff, so nothing about massive subterranean bases or secret technology as of yet, but we’ll leave that to Gary Mckinnon….

Sadly, however, they contain very little “Top Secret” information. Most is files on suspects. Their “dossiers” if you will. Still an interesting read though, especially If your tracking down your family history, etc.

On that note, I’ll leave you to it.  🙂

ND: If any of you Secret Agents or hackers out there want access to the archives themselves, sorry but that area is off limits. Please sit tight while armed police raid your house and “trash your rights” (LOL). The National Archives have kindly put them online at here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/latest-releases.htm
Be good, and if you can’t be good, stay out of trouble! 🙂