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Better mobe coverage needed for connected cars, says firm flogging networking gear

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They can't even get ubiquitous coverage throughout the UK. How exactly do they think this is going to happen across the entirety of Europe?

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"While some excitable industry folk are already shrieking about 5G and how the continent as a whole is supposedly "falling behind" in deploying it, others argue that Blighty in particular should instead concentrate on perfecting 4G coverage."

Shouldn't they try and get 3G coverage right first . . . Just saying. Given my experiences on the train from Liverpool to Southampton which must have less than 50% network coverage . . . versus my experiences in some random rural mountainous area of India with full coverage.

Its a thing ripe for nationalization and consolidation of all the bandwidth and coverage into one provider. What we are currently doing is a pile of poo.

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Coat

"They can't". Why do you think they are the same "they". It's not a technical problem, it's about some money and most of all about a political decision.

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> They can't even get ubiquitous coverage throughout the UK.

Can't is not the same as economically unfeasible. Each base station has a capex cost to purchase, build and wire up, a lease cost for the site and an operating cost (power/administration/maintenance/licensing bandwidth etc). The coverage is dictated by environmental factors (hills/buildings/etc) and capacity constraints (a single cell could easily convert a couple of football pitches, but could not carry the load of grandstands full of customers). Telcos are therefore interested in an optimistic outcome, not ubiquitous coverage. The fewer base stations they need (in general), the less needs to go on the expense side of the balance sheet. The more customers they can sell to at a coverage level where they are happy*, the better the revenue side. They aren't going to put in a new base station to allow them to sell to a handful of potential customers.

*using a very loose definition of happy that equates to "won't go to another provider"

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You were lucky. There are still some swathes of India that are blackspots. Spending 3 weeks in Sriharikota with no mobile reception, no alcohol, and no real freedom to go anywhere - not fun!

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Terminator

Call me old fashioned, but the fact my car can't connect to Skynet and kill me makes me sleep easy at night.

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OK, you're old fashioned.

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I can see the benefit of a connected car for safety. If my car's autonomous emergency braking kicks in to avoid something, it is a good thing if my car immediately broadcast to surrounding vehicles so they can take evasive action if needed (particularly those following me). I am thinking things like exact position, speed, shortest time to stop, longest time to stop whilst avoiding the obstacle (so cars with different braking capabilities can avoid collisions if possible), negotiating cars in adjacent lanes or the other side of the road to pull over/speed up/slow down to avoid or minimise a collision.

What I don't see here is any need for a mobile network. This only needs WiFi range. A car that is 1km away doesn't need to know my intentions in an emergency.

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Stop

STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

I don't want a connected car in the same way I don't want a "Smart" TV.

TV: I want something that does a fantastic job of displaying the input *I* choose to send *how I wish*. No need for any "apps" or "features" to become outdated, no longer supported, or just ignored. (See also "Mobile phone updates").

Car: I want something which does a fantastic job of letting me drive somewhere. Anything else I WILL PROVIDE, by way of a tablet, mobile, or dedicated sat nav.

My first car with such gubbins (a Citroen) is going to be my last. FFS the sat nav alone is pants enough to send the whole thing back.

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Re: STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

So you'll not be buying any more cars when the "emergency calling" (gps+mobile) ERPB that the EU are mandating for all new cars comes into force "for your safety" then? We are (not) reassured that it won't have a kill switch in it (either).

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Unhappy

E-Spy

It's here already...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

It's already here (my hire-car Vauxhall has OnStar).

Don't mind that - it's a background thing.

I *do* mind the idea that I will pay £000s extra for some half-arsed wraparound satnav/entertainment system, when my existing PHONE (not even tablet) does a better job of everything.

All the car needs do is provide speakers, and (ideally bluetooth) connectivity - everything else, I will provide.

I mean my Citroens sat nav doesn't even have a complete speed limit database (which is automatically available on HERE).

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Re: E-Spy

I am tempted to ponder how any such system can discriminate between "events" that require an emergency service response and those that do not, and in the case of those that do which emergency service is actually required.

I can easily envisage every automated call - out resulting in all 3 services turning up (whether they are required or not) depriving others who really do need one of them of a prompt response.

Traffic police seem to be very thin on the ground these days, and poor ambulance response times turn up in adverse press reports fairly regularly.

Perhaps things are different sur le continong but this looks like a solution in search of a problem. Technology for its own sake...

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Re: STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

it won't have a kill switch in it

A few minutes with a pair of pliers will soon fix that, or wrap its aerial up with a bit copper sheeting.

I'll probably need to re-enable once a year as the tossers will likely make their spy system part of the MOT.

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Re: E-Spy

"discriminate between "events"

I read somewhere that the emergency calling was linked to air bag deployment. Seems sensible (and no reference to Bulgaria).

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ESN

And since ubiquitous 4G coverage is a requirement for ESN, the replacement for TETRA, we await with interest to see whether they manage it before TETRA is switched off in a couple of years. The equipment used for the TETRA backhaul hasn't been made for a long time (think Kilostream) and the supplier will have run out of spares. They have set a hard limit before the backhaul will be switched off and time is ticking away...

I'm not bothering to cross my fingers...

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Re: STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

And then... just think of that lovely real-time telemetrics app that your insurance company will insist you install so that they can make sure you don't drive like a tosspot, or take any enjoyment from your car at all. Because the roll out of that to ALL drivers is definitely coming soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: real-time telemetrics

why should I worry about that, since I don't drive like a tosspot ?

Although looking at the "driving apps" available (or to be more precise the features they concern themselves with) I see there must a lot of tosspots out there.

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Re: real-time telemetrics

"why should I worry about that, since I don't drive like a tosspot ?"

Because your definition of "driving like a tosspot" may differ from your insurance company's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: definition of "driving like a tosspot"

Having worked for an insurance company, analysing telematics, I can tell you that if you drive as per highway code, you'll be fine.

The biggest single marker for tosspot driving is SPEEDING. All the actuarial experience shows that drivers who regularly speed are a higher risk. Period.

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