I went to the enormous new Westfield shopping centre in West London yesterday. I was surprised at how poor indoor wireless coverage way, given that it's a state-of-the-art facility that I would have assumed had a state-of-the-art distributed antennas or other coverage solutions. Both O2 and T-Mobile were very spotty, especially for 3G.
There's a fascinating comment at MobileBurn about the possibility of Nokia starting its own MVNO in Japan, as a way of driving uptake of its handsets without relying on the existing incumbent operators. If this is true, it also makes me wonder whether it would ever try something similar in its other under-strength major market, the US.
There's a good post on the uneasy mix of VoIP and LTE at 3G4G Wireless . This issue is something I identified a year ago with my VoIPo3G report - what happens to voice telephony when we move to an all-IP network? The easy option is to just use 2G/3G circuit connections in parallel - although that means having two radios working simultaneously, which could impact battery life. The other options include
- using a UMA-like approach to tunnelling "circuit voice over IP"
- using IMS as a VoIP platform - albeit without having a standardised IMS VoIP application defined at the moment, so probably having to use a "standard" NGN VoIP SIP server instead
- using NGN VoIP without IMS, which would need a lot of work on both handset and core network, possibly proprietary
- using proprietary VoIP solutions like Skype or fring, with lots of work needed in interoperability, numbering etc
- assume everyone with an LTE device will also have a normal cellphone, and forget out the problem entirely.
My local branch of Carphone Warehouse was today advertising a promotion along the lines of "Buy a Nokia XXXX handset and get a free Asus eeePC netbook". (Sorry, can't remember which Nokia it was, or the contract details).