Ofcom Raises £2.34bn in 4G Auction

Ofcom Raises £2.34bn in 4G Auction – Less Than Forecast
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has raised £2.34bn from its auction of 4G mobile spectrum, less than expected. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had forecast that the auction would raise £3.5bn for the Treasury. The winning bidders are Everything Everywhere; Hutchison 3G UK; Niche Spectrum Ventures, a BT subsidiary; Telefonica (O2); and Vodafone. 4G mobile broadband should provide smartphone and tablet computer users with superfast download speeds.

The auction netted far less than the £22bn raised from the 3G auction in 2000.

Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, told the BBC that the figure was lower because “we are in very, very different times”, but he insisted that maximising the size of the auction was not the objective it was set by the government. What we were trying to do was ensure that a valuable economic resource was brought into productive commercial use,” he said.

Responding to the announcement, a Treasury spokesperson said: “The £3.5bn number at Autumn Statement 2012 was certified by the independent OBR and based on external expert independent analysis based on similar auctions, including the last 3G one. The final auction revenue will be accounted for at Budget in the usual way.”

The OBR in its turn said it had described the £3.5bn “Government’s estimate” as “an area of particular uncertainty” in its December 2012 forecast.

Iain Duncan Smith says the 4G auction shortfall will not affect government programmes but Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “This is yet another blow to George Osborne’s failing economic plan. It shows how foolish and short-termist the chancellor was to bank this cash in the Autumn Statement to make his borrowing figures look less bad. “He couldn’t bring himself to admit that borrowing was up so far this year, but his trickery has now badly backfired.” Even senior Tories took the opportunity to criticise Chancellor George Osborne’s figures.

John Redwood, MP, said: “The figure for the 4G auction was optimistic, just like most of the numbers in George Osborne’s strategy. This is a dent, but there are far bigger dents in the public finances.”

Ofcom says 4G will provide £20bn of benefits for UK consumers over the next 10 years. But the culture secretary, Maria Miller, is even more bullish, saying: “Spectrum use is worth more than £50bn to the UK economy and 4G mobile broadband is a key part of our digital growth strategy, so I am delighted the auction has been completed.”

The regulator auctioned the spectrum in two bands, 800MHz and 2.6GHz, equivalent to two-thirds of the radio frequencies currently used by wireless devices, such as tablet computers, smartphones and laptops. This “will allow 4G networks to achieve widespread coverage as well as offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres”, said Mr Richards. “4G coverage will extend far beyond that of existing 3G services, covering 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which is good news for parts of the country currently underserved by mobile broadband”, he said.

Vodafone bid £791m, the most of all the bidders, for fives chunks of spectrum. Mobile operator EE, the T-Mobile and Orange joint venture, was the first to launch a 4G service in late 2012, but has struggled to attract users, leading it to cut its prices in January.

IT Staff Shortages Increase Risk of Cyber Crime

IT Staff Shortages Increase Risk of Cyber Crime
IT Staff Shortages Raise Cyber Crime RiskMore psychologists, law enforcers and technical staff are needed to fill a cyber security skills gap, a Government watchdog says. The number of IT and cyber security professionals in the UK has not increased in line with the growth of the internet and it could take two decades to fill the gap, the NAO said.

Government, education and business representatives have told the NAO the country lacks technical skills and the current pipeline of graduates will not meet demand. The cost of cyber crime to Britain is currently thought to be up to £27bn a year.

NAO head Amyas Morse said: “The threat to cyber security is persistent and continually evolving.Business, government and the public must constantly be alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack.”

The Government’s strategy has already started to deliver benefits, the NAO said, with the Serious Organised Crime Agency catching more than 2.3 million compromised debit or credit cards since 2011, preventing a potential loss of more than £500m. But, the watchdog warned, ministers must address the country’s current and future cyber security skills gap, which includes a need for psychologists and law enforcers, as well as technical staff.

Education officials interviewed by the NAO said it could take up to 20 years to address the skills gap at all levels of education. The report on the NAO’s review of the strategy for cyber security said: “Interviews with government, academia and business representatives confirmed that the UK lacks technical skills and that the current pipeline of graduates and practitioners would not meet demand.

“A number of government departments commented that the UK depended on a small number of highly skilled people to participate in developing international technical standards. Interviewees were concerned about a lack of promotion of science and technology subjects at school resulting in the reported lower uptake of computer science and technology courses by UK students.”

A shortage of IT and computer science experts has been raised before by ministers, while attracting and retaining talent is also a concern. In 2012, the Intelligence and Security Committee highlighted GCHQ’s inability to retain internet specialists in the face of competition from the private sector.

Grabbing the Prospects Attention

Grabbing the Prospects Attention
If you are not new to marketing, you have surely heard about the AIDA formula. AIDA is an acronym for Attention – Interest – Desire – Action; these four mental steps are necessary for you to inspire in your prospect if you are selling her your product or service.

Attention – attract your potential customer’s attention; Interest – raise customers’ interest by focusing on advantages and benefits; Desire – convince customers that they want and desire your product and that it will satisfy their needs; Action – lead customers toward your targeted action: ordering, purchasing, or subscribing.

This formula may be used to convert your virtual website visitors into real local and loyal buyers so its well worth spending some time to make sure your website meets these requirments.

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YouTube to Promote Business

YouTube to Promote Business
One of our clients has recently decided to utilise YouTube to help promote their new business. They have created a short video they which is of good quality and vividly demonstrates this relatively new means of actively promoting a business or service to the World Wide Web.

In this case, Big Day Bliss, a UK company offering wedding Planning services and wedding ideas to bride and grooms to be, have created the video ‘in house’, promoting their new & innovative interactive platform for all Brides & Grooms.

Without question, using new social media including YouTube and Facebook represents a positive opportunity for all business looking to promote their services or company online. This approach to SEO will help with any Internet Marketing campaign as video is part of the Google service and can be added to search results. Also, if your video makes some noise on YouTube, then you have the benefit of being listed in YouTube search results and being embraced by the YouTube community. Basically, if your video becomes popular, people will find you through YouTube.