Understanding Bluetooth


Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables secure and robust connection,wireless, between a portable and a fixed device. Devices are normally connected to each other using cables, wire, infrared signals and radio signals to mention but a few. Bluetooth is one of the wireless connection mechanisms that is automatic. It removes user intervention and saves transmission power

As a networking standard, Bluetooth works at the following two levels:

  • Provision of an agreement at a physical level  by using a radio frequency standard to determine the presence of two devices.
  • Provision of an agreement at a protocol level and the devices determine and agree how many bits are sent, when they are sent and how to ensure the integrity of the messages sent.

Bluetooth 1.0 had a maximum transfer rate of 1Mbps while the more recent Bluetooth 2.0 has a transfer speed of up to 3 Mbps. The former is backward compatible with the later.

How it works

Data is transmitted by a low power radio wave which communicates at 2.45 gigahertz. It is able to connect up to 8 devices within a ten meter radius. By using the spread-spectrum frequency hopping technique, Bluetooth ensures that at any particular time no two devices transmit on the same frequency.

When two devices that are Bluetooth enabled, they initiate a conversation to determine whether any of the devices have data to share. (PAN)Personal-area network (Piconet) is established at this time. The members of the piconet randomly hop in unison the frequencies in order to stay in touch.

Advantages of Bluetooth

1.  With Bluetooth, internetworking cables are reduced hence making an office or working space to be more neat and less crowded – Improved working environment.

2.  Bluetooth line of site can pass through obstacles such as walls which is not the case in other competing technologies such as infrared.

3.  Unlike infrared it can provide communication between devices with long distances apart which can  reach  up to hundred Meters.

4.  Low power utilization and can therefore be integrated with low power devices such as mobile phones and hand held devices and still conserve their batteries.

Disadvantages of Bluetooth

1.  Compared to other connection mechanisms, Bluetooth has a low data rate especially if you compare it with physical cables.

2.  Security is a major issue as data can be intercepted during transmission especially if two communicating devices are a big distance apart.

Strategic Dialogue on ICTs: Dr Hamadoun TOURÉ (French)

Lisbon, 21-24 April 2009 – Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, welcomes participants at the Strategic Dialogue on ICTs, atITU’s World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF). WTPF is a high-level international event to exchange views on the key policy issues arising from todays fast changing information and communication technology (ICT) environment.

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Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)

In short form, Singapore Telecommunications is written as SingTel and has a customer base of 285  million subscribers. Its services range from fixed line services,mobile services to ISP and IPTV. In addition to being a dominant operator in Singapore, it has stakes in many operators outside the country such as Optus in Australia and Bharti Airtel which is the largest telecommunication company in India. In terms of market capitalization, it is the largest company that is on Singapore Stock Exchange and it continues to grow at a very high rate.

The following are the SingTel services

1.  Mobile – Apart from selling mobile up to date mobile  phones, such as the blackberry,  Singtel provides both post paid and prepaid voice call services to its subscribers.

2.  Internet – SingTel provides broadband at home by giving a dedicated connectivity to the subsribers houe, value added services such as emails and broadband on the go where with SinTel modems, subscribers can access Internet anywhere on Singapore.

3.  Fixed Line – SingTel has been in the telecommunication industry for well over 130 year.  It has been involved in the development of the fixed line network in Singapore. SingTel still provides fixed line services but with up to date technologies. Its fixed line network covers the whole of Singapore.

4.  mio Home – Apart from dealing with telecommunication industry, SinTel has ventured into the entertainment industry. With this is a bundle that is tailored for homes and has a home line, TV and Broadband. Customers who subscribe to this service enjoy from getting all these services as a package and therefore at a reduced cost compared to if they had decided to purchase all of them differently.

5. ICT Services – Some of the ICT services offered by Sintel include managed security services, managed converged communication services, managed hosting services, managed server services, managed network services and managed application performance services.

Together with Apple Inc, it launched iPhone 3GS in July 2010 having bought the rights for broadcasting the English Premier League and ESPN sport in all its platforms.

It has invested in various regional operators in Philippines, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has thirty seven offices in nineteen countries throughout Europe, US and Asia Pacific. Its infrastructure is well established in Australia and Singapore covering 100% of Singapore and 94% in Australia and has invested highly in submarine cables in Southern Cross, Japan-US, APCN, SEA-MEWE 3, APCN 2, i2i, SEA-ME-WE 3 and China-US.

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Vodafone Group

Vodafone Group

It is the leading mobile communication company in the world with operations in Europe, Africa, Middle East, United states and Asia Pacific through joint ventures, subsidiaries, investments and associated undertakings. It offers mobile solutions (voice calls, mobile Internet broadband, Short Message Services, Roaming services) to individuals as well businesses.

The brand name for its mobile subsidiaries is Vodafone while in the United States its associated undertaking is known as Verizon Wireless. It has arrangements in countries where its presence is not much with network operators in those countries. It has a customer base of around three hundred and forty seven thousand subscribers. Its shares are listed in London Stock Exchange while its American Depositary shares are listed on NASDAQ stock market and it has a market capitalization of  £71.2 billion.

It is a public limited company that was incorporated in England and its registered office is the Vodafone House, Newbury, Berkshire England. It offers the latest mobile technologies and and broadband Internet to its subscribers. It offers roaming services and sells different models of mobile phones.

History of Vodafone

It was formed in 1984 and by then it was a subsidiary of the Racal Electronics which was then called Racal Telecom. In 1988 20% of the companies shares were floated to the public. It later became independent in 1991 when its name changed to Vodafone Group.  When it merged with the AirTouch Communications in 1999,  its name was changed to Vodafone AirTouch. However it was renamed to its original name, Vodafone Group Plc after approval by its shareholders in the year 2000.

Mobile Money Transfer through Vodafone

The M-pesa product has been successful especially in Africa where subscribers can send money to each other and also pay bills from their mobile phones. All one needs is to deposit money to their M-pesa account. This account works just like a normal bank. M-kesho is another money transfer product where subscribers can deposit and withdraw money from their bank accounts remotely. These services are already being successful in Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Fiji and there are millions of subscribers already benefiting from these products especially the rural population.

Vodafone has been involved in various sponsorship deals such as in football, Formula one to mention but a few. It has also been involved with corporate responsibility activities through the Vodafone foundation and was most recently involved in helping victims of the Pakistani floods.

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ITU High Level Segment 2008: Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré

12-13November 2008, Geneva Switzerland: High Level Segment of ITU Council on Climate Change and Cybersecurity. Opening address by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union.The High-Level Segment (HLS)is designed to provide Ministers and Councillors with an opportunity to exchange views on issues of strategic importance and on emerging trends in the sector. This year, speakers offered their perspectives on Climate Change and Cybersecurity.

Telefónica, S.A.

Telefónica, S.A.

It is a telecommunication and broadband provider which operates in Latin America and Europe and it is the 3rd largest mobile provider in the world after Vodafone and China Mobile. It offers both fixed line and mobile services using the current mobile technologies. Its customers enjoy at least 3G services.

It was created in 1924 and was known as Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España (CTNE). It was the single mobile operator in Spain until 1997 and currently has a market share of over 75%. It was originally owned by the Spanish government but it has currently privatized. However, because of its size by the time of privatization, it still does business like a monopoly and many small mobile provider companies find it very difficulty to compete with it.
Telefónica bought Czech Telcom in 2005 which had been previously owned by the Czech government and took over Eurotel which was a subsidiary of Czech Telcom where the two companies were renamed to  Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. In addition, Telefónica bought O2 which was a UK operator providing mobile services to the UK, Germany, Ireland and the Isle of Man. However, the O2 brand was retained and it is still based in the United Kingdom. Telefónica also operates in Italy, Slovakia, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil , Peru Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, United States and China. It is therefore a very large company whose operations cut across continents.
Telefónica is a publicly owned company and the major shareholders are Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. 6.961% , Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona 5.442%, Criteria Caixacorp 5.019% , Blackrock inc: 3.767%  and Capital Research and management company: 3.073%

It has in several occasions been fined by for unfair competition and abuse of its position as a dominant provider and also antitrust issues where it has been seen to undermine other mobile operators. Some of the fines that have been imposed are 900,000 euros by Spanish tribunal, 57 million by European commission in 2004 and currently there are court cases that may lead to a fine of  up to 700 million euros. Other controversies associated with Telefónica is when they announced that they would charge search engines such as Google for using its network. Its argument is that these search engines make money using Telefónica’s infrastructure but they do not pay for it. In fact it intents to market its own content.

WTISD 2009: Laureate Ms. Deborah Taylor Tate, USA

WTISD Laureates 2009: Speech by Laureate Ms. Deborah Taylor Tate, USA, former Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), at the Ceremony of the World Telecommunication and Information Sciety Day 2009. The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. The theme of WTISD 2009 is: Protecting children in cyberspace

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