It has been announced that the sale of the licences for the 4G Mobile Phone Network has raised £2.3 billion which is far less than the £3.5 billion estimated by the OBR (The Office for Budget Responsibility) which is the Government’s tax and spending watchdog.
In my view the OBR is nothing but a quango style body set up by The Chancellor George Osborne to use as a smoke screen to cover up his lack of financial and business experience.
This body consists of three salaried members and two non-executive members plus it has a staff of 17 civil servants. The three salaried members cost us about £280,000 a year, the two non-executive members get their expenses refunded, and goodness knows how much the civil servants cost us :-(
It never seems to get it's forecasts right and the only purpose it seems to serve is that of allowing The Chancellor to stand up in the House of Commons and say time after time, after time, "not my figures - they are the figures of the OBR" ;-)
I say scrap the OBR, that would go a little way to making up the £1.2 billion shortfall from the 4G Licences ;-)
The OBR says it is OK for Osbourne to book the projected income (which will be paid in year 2013 / 2014 ) into the 2012/2013 accounts. I wonder how the missing billion will be accounted for ? Scrapping the OBR won't cover it.
Companies quite often try to time shift income one way or another when they make too much and wish to avoid tax or times are hard and they need to cover a loss. This is known as fraud. What happens when a chancellor does it ?
The UK has a looming and very nasty funding problem which will arrive even sooner than the turning-out-the-lights problem. That is why the £ is sinking like a stone.
The only way to fix it is to fix the demand problem but all the pointers are that further cuts and more taxes will be tried again and again and again just like ancient doctors bleeding the patient to get rid of "bad humours". Spain and Greece are well into this policy which according to the European Bank is working very well.
fwiw the auction sale went badly because
(a) The existing 3G network rarely delivers as advertised
(b) The prices currently charged by EE for LTE (aka 4G) are much too high
(c) Users tend to use wifi hotspots rather than slow 3G data connections.
I wonder how many people realise that when the 4G/LTE 800/2600 does start to roll out that they will need a new phone, their iPhone won't pick it up and it will be straight back to 3G or worse when you go abroad ?
There is such a lot of churn in mobile phones that my guess is that in the end it will not cost any more than current 3G. Hence the low bidding.
Never understood this craze to have the latest mobile phone, I went into Bromley the other week and the number of people wandering around not watching where they were going with a mobile phone to their ear was unbelievable.
I am sure in years to come the human body will under go a genetic change and people will start being born with one ear and in place of the other they will have grown a mobile phone ;-)
It is so they can use Facebook in hi res and twitter at the same time.
Blackberry has seen the market gap with its new phone which mutitasks all this stuff smoothly in real time whereas Apple ( after all these years ) cannot do multi-tasking and uses a task switcher. Android can manage it though with little grace and tends to run out of memory and locks up.
The newest phones have more memory, 2 or 4 CPUs etc.
OTOH if you use yr phone for something it was not intended for such as phone calls then why not consider an old Motorola Razr flip phone? Small, charge lasts a week and the flip lid stops it going off by accident. On top you can pretend to be Captain Kirk.
It is why some new cars have pedestrian proximity sensors which will become mandatory. Taken together with cars that drive themselves people will then be able to Twitter & FB without cease.
It is only a matter of time before somebody sacked for using FB / Twitter at work claims it to be a human right ( see CENSORSHIP ).
The UK is a pioneering country in the very worthwhile and woderful work of implanting electronic cochleas into the ears of deaf children. It would not be very difficult to extend this technology to incoming phone calls without the need for an actual phone.
Extending the idea slightly everybody could be implated with RFID at birth ( a bit like chipping the cat ) and they could be tracked by Google et al without using cookies. Might be worth a try for illegal immigrants, released convicts etc though.