IPv6 – Is There a Better Way?

Editor’s Note:

Cyber threats, Internet of Things, privacy and Internet freedom are often front page news and are at the forefront of public consciousness. At the same time, IPv6, started almost 20 years ago and which promoters promise will address the aforementioned issues, began to gain traction in 2014 (e.g. Google IPv6 traffic doubling in use from 2.5 to 5% of traffic). But will IPv6 live up to its promise and is it even necessary?

This is the question that, MIT graduate and Avinta CTO, Abraham Chen asked late last year after observing the parallels between seemingly disparate technologies. His query led to several months of research, refinement and peer evaluation of an idea for extending the existing IPv4 protocol to solve for the explosion of “things” in the so-called Internet of Things. The following is his abstract of a longer paper that delves into the question.


Preface:

This paper proposes tweaks to the existing protocol, IPv4, to achieve the same goals as IPv6 with less costly infrastructure upgrades and less burden on IT staff, while providing a simpler approach to offering privacy and support of the explosion of devices enabled by the Internet of Things. This study also uncovered certain philosophical disparities between Internet and telephony industries. It appears that Internet performance could be significantly elevated if some of the latter’s experience is utilized.

The following is an excerpt of the report:

Abstract

As soon as Internet became popular, talks began to spread that its assignable IPv4 address pool (about 4.096B) would be exhausted before too long. Even with two companion technologies, NAT (Network Address Translation) and DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), the pressure still continued to build. IPv6 was thus developed and put into use. It turns out that IPv6 is not a superset of IPv4, nor is it capable of encapsulating the latter. Thus, the two systems have run side by side.

The main motivation for IPv6 commonly conveyed to the public is to create a big enough address pool for the upcoming IoT (Internet of Things) that will exceed IPv4’s capacity. Among publicly available literatures, however, it has not been clear about the number of IoT devices. A recent Cisco online paper provides the most up-to-date forecast that by Year 2020 the worldwide population will be 7.6 billion, while IoT in use will be 50 billion which averages to 6.58 IoTs per person. These provide us a good baseline for quantitative analysis.

Mimicking PABX (Private Automatic Branch eXchange) extending PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) numbering plan, a scheme of reclaiming part of the well-known re-usable private network address block 192.168.0.0/16 to relieve the IPv4 pool shortage is proposed. By redefining the boundary between the public and private in the address space, the assignable public IPv4 addresses may be extended (by a multiplication factor of 256) to cover the projected IoTs. In fact, such an extended pool is so large (1048.576B) that only 1/16th of the original IPv4 public address space is sufficient to start with, freeing up the majority 15/16th of the pool for future applications.

The figure below depicts the proposed ExIP address assignment architecture:

A diagram of what it would take to extend IPv4 , as an alternative to IPv6.
Image courtesy of Abraham Chen, Avinta.

Implementing this Extended IPv4 (ExIP) address scheme consists of:

  1. Adding a new layer of simple (Semi-Public) routers to extend the Internet routing. These routers could be co-located with the existing Internet edge routers, or even be absorbed into them through software enhancement.

  2. As to encoding this proposed ExIP information in the IP packets, there is a recent IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) draft document called EnIP (Enhanced IPv4) that utilizes the existing option to carry double IPv4 address (total of 64 bits) in the IP Header. In comparison, ExIP format needs only 40 bits to fully identify a public entity on Internet.

  3. On each customer premise, the capacity demand on RG (Residential Gateway) will be accordingly reduced, while DMZ (De-Military Zone) may be utilized to work with NAT for accomplishing optional selective end-to-end connectivity. This is analogous to AA (Auto Attendant) capability for PABX.

Although IPv6’s direct end-to-end connectivity is enticing, it removes the basic buffer against intruders offered by IPv4 based practices. A close analogy for this comparison may be drawn between telephony’s CENTREX (CENTRal office EXchange) and PABX. A telephone station on the former is directly reachable from any PSTN telephone, thus having no defense mechanism against un-wanted/telemarketer calls. The latter is slower in setting up an incoming call due to the AA process, but allows only welcomed callers to get through.

Once the above analogies between Internet and PSTN are established, several subtle issues become evident through the parallelism between the two:

A. IP address assignment practice is counterproductive to the advertised Internet intention.

Contrary to common perception, PSTN numbers are not controlled by a few regulated telephone operating companies, but by respective governmental agencies. On the other hand, Internet IP addresses are assigned by ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The latter approach ties IP addresses to many unregulated business entities with frequent unpleasant experiences that consumer has no place to report. This will become an even more serious issue upon the extensive use of IPv6, because to benefit from it, the assignment will be not only static, but also permanent.

B. Locality information in device identification facilitates connection as well as locating perpetrator.

PSTN phone numbers, carrying significant locality information about telephone equipment in use, enable the switching system to not only efficiently establish a connection, but also promptly pinpoint the origin of a call to within a finite area. IP addresses on the other hand, being grouped under respective ISPs, carry hardly any locality information, making routing less efficient. Compounded by the extensive use of DHCP, locating an Internet hacker becomes a real challenge. If IP address assignment followed the same practice as PSTN, locating an Internet hacker will be a finite task. Even if the hacker created spoofed addresses, the governing backbone routers would spot the exception immediately, thus preventing the associated packet from entering the Internet.

C. Direct addressing invades personal privacy, while exposing terminal devices to attacks.

The Extended IPv4 addressing scheme utilizing NAT and DMZ to achieve end-to-end connectivity maintains a buffer mechanism that allows shared proxy security devices the chance to work. It is not clear why IPv6, which requires individualized security reinforcing software in every IoT, may perform better.

D. Divide and Conquer is the fundamental rule of a large system.

Both the existing and the Extended IPv4 addressing schemes shield the private network IoTs from the public Internet. These conform to the same demarcation line concept that has served well for all four existing utilities, water, gas, electricity and telephony. Encompassing all IoTs within the publicly addressable space for the sake of end-to-end connectivity, IPv6 will make the entire Internet less robust, more difficult to troubleshoot and harder to defend against intrusion, simply because the system becomes overly complex by the presence of a huge number of IoTs having nothing to do with the system’s performance, except introducing distractions. Why should the demarcation concept be not applicable to the Internet?

E. Root Cause vs. Manifestations

In summary, we believe that taking a hard look beneath the many symptomatic issues of the Internet to get to their root causes is what is required at this stage of its development. We also strongly believe that lessons learned from over a century of experience in PSTN can be gainfully applied to assist in laying the foundation for a robust Internet.

For detailed analysis, please see a full document at

http://www.avinta.com/phoenix-1/home/IPv6Myth&InternetVsPSTN.pdf

Abraham Y. Chen

V.P. Engineering

Avinta Communications, Inc.

Milpitas, CA 95035-4401 USA

Will Outsourcing of Managed Services and Network Maintenance Make Telecoms More Competitive?

Introduction:

Managed services and outsourcing of wireless and wireline network operations has become an emerging trend in the global telecom industry.  Here are a few examples:

  • Last year, Embarq outsourced its Network Operation Centers (NOCs) to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).
  • In a blockbuster deal announced a few months ago, Sprint announced it will pay Ericsson as much as $5 billion over seven years to manage its CDMA and iDEN wireless networks as well as its fixed-line network.
  • Alcatel-Lucent has joint ventures with Indian operators Reliance and Airtel for mobile and fixed networks, respectively.
  • Light Reading stated this week that Huawei has made significant strides in its managed services provisions in India. The Financial Times reports that BT will outsource the upkeep of its local phone network to a joint venture of Carillion and Telent, in a £1bn deal expected to be agreed in the next two months.
  • WiMAX rural operator Open Range today announced an agreement with IP backhaul vendor Harris Stratex to run its NOCs for five years.

Rajeev Suri, Director of NSN’s managed services business unit says the global managed services is a $277 billion market.  Which carrier will be next to outsource its operations? Will that make them more competitive and profitable? And how much new managed services business will traditional network equipment vendors get?  We focus our attention on the new managed network players in this article.

The new kids on the Managed Network block:

1.  Huawei had reported over 45 managed services contracts at the end of 2008 with an increase in sales of managed services of 67 percent for 2008. A Huawei spokesman told Light Reading, "Ericsson is the market leader in managed services, and we are playing catchup. But we are catching up very fast. By the end of this year we should bridge the gap between second and third." Certainly a bold claim, but Huawei has made significant strides in its managed services provisions in India, according to the spokesman. These include the creation of a Network Operating Center just outside Delhi that is engaged with Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Communications Ltd., Tata Teleservices Ltd., and Vodafone Essar, as well as newer operators, to manage elements of their networks. Huawei also shares a contract with Alcatel-Lucent for the design, deployment, and management of Unitech Wireless’s GSM network. The spokesman believes that what happens in India in managed services is symptomatic of what’s happening in the rest of the world and is confident that Huawei will catch up quickly in managed services, just as it did with the infrastructure product market. For more on Huawei’s forray into managed services please see:

Huawei Plays Managed Service Catchup

 

 

2. The FT states that the Carillion and Telent joint venture has signed a letter of intent with BT Openreach, the subsidiary responsible for maintenance of the copper wires that run from local phone exchanges to homes and small business. The contract is yet another example of telcos outsourcing their non-core businesses to trim cash in the face of the recession.

Ian Livingston, BT’s chief executive, is trying to revive the company’s fortunes through cost-cutting. He faces the prospect of an expected fall in revenue in 2009-10. For more on this breaking story, please see:

BT outsources upkeep of local network

 

 

3. Open Range Communications- a U.S. rural WiMAX network operator-  is the first WiMAX provider to turn over its network operations management to another company.  Harris Stratex, which won this managed services contract, hopes to do similar deals with other small network operators in hopes of becoming a miniature version of its Tier I vendor counterparts (e.g. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks).

Open Range plans to build WiMAX networks, using Alvarion equipment, in 546 rural markets covering six million people in 17 states. It’s also partnering with Globalstar to use its satellite spectrum to create a hybrid WiMAX-satellite broadband service. While Open Range has more resources than most, the managed services contract with Harris Stratex will free the company to focus first on its deployment and then on new services over WiMAX.

Harris Stratex Vice President of Global Services Keith Donahue makes a big distinction between managed services (which is what it’s pursuing) and outsourcing of network operations (which involves taking over a carrier’s entire networking operations).  "We have neither the scale nor the balance sheet to do that, but we have the resources to manage the network infrastructure for smaller operators," Donahue said.

The small network operator market is a particularly ripe one, according to Donahue.  He says that many Tier 3 or rural operators don’t have the resources to run their own NOCs, instead relying on their vendors to monitor their components in the network as part of ongoing maintenance and service contracts.  He believes only the large network operators have the finances and scales to build and run their own NOCs. "The majority of carriers never make the investment in a network operations center," Donahue said. "They treat every vendor’s equipment as discreet domains. Harris Stratex is offering them something those operators have never had- a centralized and integrated network management and operations solution."

Harris Stratex claims to have one advantage over the larger network equipment vendors when it comes down to head-to-head competition for smaller managed services contracts.  The company has its own network management platform- NetBoss XT- which it has sold to global network operators for more than a decade.  Harris Stratex can leverage this technology in its pursuit of managed services deals.   In sharp contrast, the big boys on the block- Ericsson and NSN have to get their platforms from IBM and HP. 

For more on this breaking story, please see:

Harris Stratex takes on Network Management

Conclusions:

While we see managed services as a very strong trend, we are very skeptical that traditional network equipment vendors can do a better job – at lower cost- then either fixed line or mobile network operators.  For example, Ericsson will be managing operations for SPRINT’s CDMA and IDEN cellular networks, but it has no experience with those technologies (Ericsson is primarily a GSM wireless infrastructure equipment vendor that provides both access and backhaul network elements).  So what qualifies them to take over SPRINTs cellular networks?

But the newer, greenfield operators that don’t have any experience in managing networks or operations might be better off by outsourcing network operations and/or managed services/ NOCs.

What’s your opinion?  Do you think Clearwire would do well by outsourcing its network maintenance and management services to another vendor?

———————————————————————–

 Comment from Robert Syputa of Maravedis on The shift to managed networks:
                              
"There is no question that there is an accelerated shift to managed networks. What is meant by these terms: ‘Cloud Computing’, software and business methods virtualization incorporated into Enterprise 2.0-3.0? It is the leveraging of the new IP communications networks across wireless and wired transport media. The only way that leverage can take place is with the involvement of IT which is on a path that is being incorporated into the evolution of wireless networks." 

 

Please post your comments in the box below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viodi View – 07/01/2009

Summer is here and the living is easy; at least I think that is how the song goes. Actually, summer is here and somehow I missed spring cleaning. Loose ends seem to be everywhere; web sites that are almost updated and articles not quite finished. With all of the clutter, my mind becomes blurred with visions of the way I picture things were supposed to be and the reality of what they became.


3G-HSPA, Mobile Linux and Open Source are the Big Winners in Intel-Nokia Technology Partnership by Alan Weissberger

The Intel-Nokia announcement of their joint push to work together to create a new breed of Mobile Internet Devices based on various versions of Open Source Linux, reminds me that what you see in press releases is not always what ends up being reality. Of course, we see this all of the time in the technology industry, but Alan Weissberger and several of his informed readers point out previous Intel announcements in the mobile space that haven’t quite led up to the vision of what was suggested. Another major thing missing in this announcement is Microsoft.  Click here to read Weissberger’s sharp analysis as well as astute commentary from his readers.


Connections at ConnectionsKurt Scherf of Parks Associates summarizes the 2009 Connections Conference

The Parks Associates conferences are good events for providing a glimpse of what might be in the consumer electronics’ world. In our ongoing video coverage from last month’s Connections conference event, Kurt Scherf, Vice President of Research for Parks Associates discusses how devices in the home are becoming more web-like and the on-going challenges of connecting these broadband devices.  Click here to view the video.


Via Licensing video interviewLicensing Pools with Via Licensing

I.P. (Intellectual Property, that is) rights owned by multiple parties are often one of the reasons standards take so long to move from concept to commercial reality.  In this video interview, Jason Johnson, of Via Licensing, a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, explains their newly formed partnership with the IEEE.  This partnership promises the expeditious creation of licensing pools, allowing standards to be commercialized much sooner than traditional approaches.  The upshot of this effort should be even faster innovation by consumer electronic companies to bring us new gizmos and widgets.  Click here to view the video.


What’s New with Vegas 9 Provegas 9 video reviewed by Roger Bindl

Matthew Brohn, Product Manager of Sony Creative Software, discusses some of the strengths of Vegas Pro video editing, and what’s new with Vegas 9… things like small footprint, direct editing of AVCHD and XDCAM, plus new effects. The video includes screen captures of real-time editing in Vegas.  Click here to view Roger’s review of Vegas 9 Pro.


People on the Move:

Congratulations to Nsight/Cellcom and for the award they received from the Femtoforum for, “Significant progress or commercial launch by a small carrier .” They won this award for their, “deployment of the world’s first IMS-based, CDMA femtocell network for consumers and enterprises.”   Rob Riordan of Cellcom was in London last week to accept the award.

As follow up to an article I wrote last year when I announced that I was involved with a stealth start-up, this is the official announcement that the referenced company is ZillionTV.


The Korner –  Loose Ends EverywhereViodiTV Revealed - the Video

Roger and I are always so busy producing content that often times the packaging around the content is somewhat unfinished. It is sort of like the last bit of molding on the remodel that just never gets installed; most guests won’t notice it, but, to the owner, will view it as an eyesore. We have a great deal of unfinished business on the Viodi View and ViodiTV web site, which may or may not be obvious to the visitor.

Despite the packaging, it is the content that matters. Roger recently put together a video to tell the story of ViodiTV. Roger is normally ruthless at cutting out extra content, but he found it difficult in this case, as we have had the good fortune to interview some really cool people and report on some really interesting stories over the past several years. This video is really a commercial for Roger’s talents, but it also provides the story of ViodiTV and our attempts to tell the stories of the Independent Telcos and their communities.  Click here to view the video.

3G-HSPA, Mobile Linux and Open Source are the Big Winners in Intel-Nokia Technology Partnership

Intel referred to it as "this year’s most significant collaboration in our respective industries." The Intel-Nokia strategic partnership will "align and shape the next generation of mobile computing." But it was very difficult to extract any tangible take always from the press conference announcing the partnership. That’s because no specific products were identified and no time frames were given to see the results of this highly acclaimed collaboration.
 
To a large extent, the press conference was a lot of hand waving and gesturing, without providing anything of substance that we might expect from such an important strategic relationship. This is the third time in the last decade that Intel and Nokia have announced a partnership, with the previous two attempts not producing much if anything at all. So the industry might have a right to be skeptical this time. Nonetheless, it certainly sounded exciting. 
 
Anand Chandrasekher, Sr VP and GM of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group stated, "The leaders in both computing and communications are coming together to accelerate innovation while driving exciting new revenue opportunities. Intel and Nokia are joining forces to announce a long term strategic relationship that will align and shape the next generation of mobile computing."
 
We are all aware that smart phones and intelligent hand held devices contain powerful processors and need mobile broadband capability to unleash "the tremendous power and potential to reshape our lives." With many different wireless communications options, most of us expect that "the future will bring even more ways to be connected- a future full of different possibilities." Yet that kind of talk dominated the prepared remarks of Intel and Nokia during the conference. 
 
Nokia told us more of what we already know: "The Internet continues to evolve and touch every aspect of our daily lives. Today, there are more Internet users (at 1.6B) than there are fixed phone lines (at 1.3B). There are over 64B web sites exist and more are added every day. And the Internet continues to grow in every aspect. New applications will drive the need for more powerful compute engines and faster (mobile) broadband wireless access, Consumers looking for mobile devices to do more, e.g. sensors, new apps, new materials, new device design and form factors (e.g. netbooks MIDs). We need to extend computing platforms, build on common open platforms and explore new architectures."
 
Anand told us that Intel would continue to "relentlessly focus on driving down the cost and power requirements (of new devices), while delivering continuing performance improvements." Should we have expected something different? We were also told more of the obvious, "Mobile devices require high bandwidth- mobile broadband communications and ubiquitous Internet connectivity at a reasonable cost. Users should expect a rich experience, any time, anywhere. New and exciting services across a range of devices, including new ones the companies will be defining together."
 
So what’s really new? There are three aspects of the partnership, which is not limited to just hardware and Research and Development:
 
  1. Intel and Nokia will collaborate on several open source initiatives, most importantly Mobile Linux. Nokia pointed out that "Hardware and software are decoupled these days. Mobile Linux is an important part of the new converged mobile computing world." We would expect Intel and Nokia joint software development to be centered on two open source projects:
  • Moblin, originally an Intel project but now run by the Linux Foundation.
  • Maemo, a Nokia implementation created for an Internet tablet.
  1. Intel is licensing 3G HSPA modem technology from Nokia, complementing its own WiFi and WiMAX silicon. (Note that two years ago, Intel licensed an HSPA module from Nokia for use in notebooks. This technology transfer is intended for Intel to offer HSPA silicon for mobile hand held devices).
  1. Intel and Nokia have entered into "a long term strategic partnership to develop a new class of mobile computing devices." Those future mobile computing devices will be based on Intel architecture defined chip sets and will "leverage each company’s expertise." 
And what about Mobile WiMAX? Don’t expect anything from the partnership. In response to a question on further WiMAX co-development, Anand replied, " This announcement has no effect on WiMAX one way or another. We are still committed to it. In this announcement, we are expanding our wireless portfolio to be able to implement Nokia’s 3G HSPA technology."
 
–>This implies that Intel will no longer debunk HSPA technology in favor of Mobile WiMAX and suggest that network operators leapfrog 3G and move to Mobile WiMAX instead.
 
When a questioner pointed out that Nokia now had licensed 3G-HSPA to five different companies, Intel and Nokia responded as follows.
 
Intel: "3G HSPA technology has been licensed to build into future mobile offerings. No comments on products or timing. Nokia and Intel’s vision is very similar- bringing communications and computing together. This is not an exclusive agreement."
 
Nokia: "3G HSPA is what’s on the market today (implying Mobile Wimax is NOT really on the market). Nokia is licensing its 3G-HSPA-modem technology as widely as possible within the industry.”
 
When asked if Intel had made any other inroads in the mobile phone business (which the company has tried to crack for years, but has not succeeded), Anand replied, "Intel is not public on any wins in the mobile phone arena except for LG." Then when asked what type of LG device would be forthcoming, Anand would not comment on the specific LG device that will have "Intel inside." 
 
Author’s Note:  This was surprising, considering that Intel had previously touted the LG MID (with Ericsson HSPA module) as the highlight of this year’s Barcelona MWC.

 

The stonewalling continued in response to other very reasonable questions about partnership deliverables:
 
Question from Bloomberg News: “There have been a lot of announcements about visions of the future. Intel has tried to get into the mobile communication business for a number of years, yet they have not succeeded. There’s still a degree of skepticism until we know when the first Intel powered mobile device will be out there. Can you tell us?”
 
Intel: "We will work together on strategic technology collaboration which spans three areas: Intel Architecture defined chip sets for future mobile computing devices, mobile and MIMO collaboration to deliver a very rich software environment for applications and user experience, Intel licensing of Nokia’s 3G HSPA technology   No products announcements at this time- not for today’s discussion."
 
Question: "Do you expect the Atom family (Intel’s lower power micro-processors) or x86 family to be embedded in future mobile computing devices?"
 
Intel: "No comment on brands or usage."
 
Nokia: "Premature to say how we will apply the technology at this stage."
 
How will the Mobile Computing Industry be affected as a result of this partnership?
  1. Could these mobile devices, with open source operating systems like mobile Linux, cause MSFT to lose its software domination of the computing world? Could this mean the end of Wintel dominance of the computing industry?   Mobile Linux- one of the three focus areas for Intel-Nokia partnership – is a direct competitor of MSFT’s Windows Mobile. As people increasingly use mobile computing devices to do things that would have required a PC a few years ago, MSFT is likely to lose ground.   Mobile computing devices, e.g. smart phones, MIDs, all-in-one gadgets, etc are already replacing a lot of things we do today on PCs. This trend will likely accelerate as mobile computing replaces desktop computing.  
  2. Does this announcement negatively impact Mobile WiMAX, which already has been severely criticized for the lack of mobile devices with native mode air interfaces? After all the Intel talk about WiMAX MIDs, we are still waiting for those devices to hit the market in a big way. Will "the Internet in your pocket," be based on 3G-HSPA, rather than Mobile WiMAX?
An anonymous Intel employee provided his read on the partnership:
"This announcement does not change any of Intel’s plans on WiMAX which are solid going forward. Intel has not been a major player in Smart Phones/MIDs and we want to get into that space with the Intel Atom® Processor so this one part of this strategy. Also most smart phones shipping today at least have 2G/2.5G and many also 3G. So this licensing deal help fill a gap in our wireless technology portfolio. 
It also allows us to provide WiMAX solutions to Nokia once more networks get deployed and they want their mobile devices to have WiMAX support as well. So by no means does this negatively affect our WiMAX strategy. It only opens new doors for us with a large customer like Nokia."
  1. When will the new mobile computing devices hit the market? They will need to come quickly, if they are to compete with all the new smart phones from Apple, RIM, and Palm. We hear there will also be MIDs coming soon from Samsung and various Taiwanese companies. Previous Intel – Nokia partnerships, e.g. HSPA modules for notebooks, have not been successful so the industry is skeptical that this one will succeed. We would expect to see Intel-Nokia mobile computing devices on the market in less than one year and perhaps as early as this Christmas.
References:
Intel and Nokia Announce Strategic Relationship to Shape Next Era of Mobile Computing Innovation
 
Intel makes stab in the dark with Nokia deal  

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42977/118/ 

Intel- Nokia Partnership Facing Market Challenges

http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218100945

Viodi View – 06/15/2009

The week before last, Roger Bindl and I had a chance to document innovations and innovative ideas at Parks Associates’ Connections Conference. The fun thing about the Connections Conference is that it spans different disciplines and the mix of speakers last week included folks from sectors such as telecommunications, energy, consumer electronics and entertainment. Mitch Singer, CTO of Sony Pictures and president of the DECE, was one of those speakers. He explained how the DECE is trying to make the online video experience as user friendly as DVDs.

Thanks to the Connections Conference, we may have the first video documenting a working demonstration of Qualcomm’s 600 Mb/s WiFi chipset designed for home networking of multiple high definition video signals. Home Networking was a major theme of the conference. In this issue, Alan Weissberger has a comprehensive article on home networking from a panel at a Telecom Council Meeting. Lastly, thanks to a chance encounter at the Connections Conference, I learned how to use the new camcorder capabilities of the G1 Phone.

Some Video Highlights from the Connections Conference Sponsored by Parks Associates

Hope for a Digital Media Distribution Standard

Mitch Singer, CTO of Sony Pictures

Mitch Singer, CTO & Executive Vice President New Media and Technology of Sony Pictures, who provided a keynote address at Parks’ Connections Conference, discusses the relatively new group, DECE, that is trying to bring standards to digital media distribution.  DECE, LLC is made up of content owners, service providers and consumer electronics and offers consumers the promise of media portability and ease of use, while assuring content owners that their content will be protected

A New Twist on Wireless Home Networking

Jason Ellis of Qualcomm shows the new 4 radio WiFi chipset from Qualcomm

Qualcomm announced the doubling of wireless home networking speeds with its chip technology that integrates 4×4 MIMO technology to provide throughputs of up to 600 Mb/s.  Jason Ellis of Qualcomm demonstrates this high speed solution in this brief video.

PlumChoice at Connections 2009

Fred King talks about support services at the Connections Conference

Ken Pyle interviews Fred King of PlumChoice, at CONNECTIONS 2009 in Santa Clara, CA. King explains how they work through service providers and consumer electronic manufacturers to help them help their customers. King suggests that now is a good time to provide remote support services, as people are opting for more frugal behavior and as a result are looking at fixing instead of replacing technology.

Network, Video & More on the Same Cable – HDMI 1.4

Rob Tobias explains the new HDMI 1.4 specification

Rob Tobias of Silicon Image discusses the newly announced HDMI 1.4 specification.  This new specification promises to add networking capabilities to what was traditionally a digital video specification.


Broadband Wireless and the Connected Home – Telecom Council Meeting Review by Alan Weissberger

This article covers the wireless networking aspects of the Connected Home – both inside and out. It is primarily based on the Telecom Council’s May 14, 2009 meeting titled, “The Connected Home: Services and Models.” Trends in delivery of multiple residential services, mobile broadband, home networking, and remote access to the connected home are examined. We also highlight a few related news items from Sling Media (now Echo Star) and Motorola.  Click here to read the rest of the article.


Mobility in the Spotlight at the TIECon 2009 Wireless Sessions by Alan Weissberger

TiEcon is the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs, focusing on technology markets, entrepreneurial opportunity and innovation. Now in its 16th year, TiEcon 2009 was themed "The BOLD Entrepreneur." The record-breaking attendance of over 3,500 included entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry executives, analysts, engineers, and business leaders. TiEcon 2009 lived up to its entrepreneurial spirit by featuring dynamic speakers who showed how they adapted to changing conditions and create their own future, despite a very challenging economic climate. This article reviews two wireless panel sessions, which had a very pragmatic market and business focus.  Click here to read the rest of this article.


TCA Management Conference – I Survived the Tribe

I was extremely honored to participate in the TCA Management conference the week before last, where I had a chance to speak on the topic of local content. Unfortunately, I missed most of the conference, but the excellent binder of material (it was so refreshing to have materials in a traditional form) provided a good summary of the presentations that covered regulatory, marketing, finance and the stimulus.  In addition to the good material, TCA made it a fun event, as the theme was based on the television series, Survivor.


Efficient Video Production with the G1 Phone

Downtown Colorado Springs where the OPASTCO 2009 Convention will be held

I am not a big gadget person – really. I have had the G1 Phone for a couple of months and other than the electronic whoopee cushion application and the Shazam application (listens to music and identifies the song and artist), all of the applications I have downloaded from the Android Market have been ones intended to enhance productivity. So, at the Connections Conference, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the latest version of the Android software enables the recording of videos on my G1 Phone.

The video quality of the G1 can be marginal, especially in low light conditions and especially compared to the Creative or Flip camera I normally use. It cannot be beat for efficiency and ease of distributing the video either on YouTube or via email. The only thing I haven’t figured out is why the share feature doesn’t always work, which is probably just as well, as the world doesn’t need to see most of the videos I take.

The following video was shot while taking an early morning walk through downtown Colorado Springs. When I started my walk, my only plan was to get a little exercise in the brisk Colorado air. As I saw the various monuments and museums, along with the natural beauty of Pike’s Peak, I felt inspired to share what I saw with others, particularly since the upcoming OPASTCO Summer Convention finds its way to Colorado Springs next month. Additionally, I decided it would be kind of fun to present my impromptu creation during my presentation on Local Content (I didn’t).

Hopefully, we will see you in Colorado Springs at the OPASTCO event (July 25th-29th).

Viodi View – 05/27/09

In this issue, Roger Bindl and Margaret Hines of Inspire Marketing report from the 2009 Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association Convention. Alan Weissberger reports on a talk given by famed anti-trust expert, Gary Reback. The comments that follow from Reback and others provide an interesting look at the changing anti-trust climate. Finally, I follow up with a brief summary of a rural-based tech company that wants to change the way telcos offer broadband services.


ViodiTV at WSTA highlightsViodiTV at WSTA 2009

This video provides highlights from the 2009 WSTA Annual Convention. This edition of ViodiTV at WSTA was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors. Highlights include Wisconsin PSC Commissioner Mark Meyer, Daniel Hardy and Judd Genda of Axley Brynelson, Gary Evans of Hiawatha Broadband says that local content is the most important thing they do, as it puts smiles on the faces of their customers, Jerry Wilke of RTG, Rob Riordan of Nsight, Andrew Walding of CellStream, Ann Anderson of Lemonweir Valley Tel, and Matt Eversmann of Freeman Phillips LLC. The video wraps up with bagels, brunch, golf, and fish. Check ViodiTV for full interviews with Jerry Wilke on femtocells, Rob Riordan on femtocell applications, Andrew Walding on Evolving TDM to IP, and Matt Eversmann on leadership. A special thanks to Margaret Hines of Inspire Marketing for assisting with interviews.


Andrew Walding discusses how TDM evolves to IPEvolving TDM to IP by Roger Bindl

An interview with Andrew Walding, CellStream, at the WSTA 2009 Annual Convention. Andrew talks about moving from TDM voice to IP voice, and how we’re not really inventing a new wheel, but adapting it. We talk a bit on the flexibility of SIP and his favorite new application and gadget. ViodiTV at WSTA was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors.


femtocell perspective from Jerry WilkeFemtocells?!

Margaret Hines Inspire Marketing, interviews Jerry Wilke RTG Executive Director at the 2009 WSTA annual convention on Femtocells. If not already, rural carriers will face new competition from wireless carriers and Wilke provides an example of one rural carrier who found they had lost at least one landline subscriber to a wireless carrier and its femtocell technology. ViodiTV at WSTA was produced by Roger Bindl.


Rob Riordan of Nsight Telservices discusses Femtocell applicationsFemtocell Applications with Rob Riordan by Roger Bindl

Rob Riordan, Nsight, talks about Femtocells. Margaret Hines – Inspire Marketing – interviews Rob at the WSTA 2009 Annual Convention for ViodiTV. Riordan suggests some innovative uses of femtocells, including as a sort of location detection device to remind teenagers to do their chores and homework when they arrive home from school. Beyond improving signal quality, femtocells could facilitate personalized advertisements. Riordan also discusses how femtocells combined with an IP backbone can extend wireless into applications for 1/10 the price of traditional methods. This edition was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors.


TIA Forecasts 3.1 Percent Loss for ICT Industry in 2009- Broadband still THE growth driver for telecom by Alan Wwissberger

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), whose primary membership is network equipment vendors, has just released its annual report and outlook for the global telecommunications industry. For the first time in its 23 years of forecasting, TIA predicts a 3.1 % loss for the global ICT Industry in 2009. Further, they anticipate a 5.5 % decline for 2009 US ICT revenue. Much of this loss may be attributed to a 27 % fall in the U.S. broadband equipment market. Click here to read more.


Gary Reback: US Government Must Enforce Antitrust Laws to Encourage Innovation by Alan Weissberger

Gary Reback is one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys, best known for spearheading the efforts that led to the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. Gary spoke to an attentive and eager audience on May 14th in Santa Clara, CA. The Commonwealth Club and Yale Club of Silicon Valley sponsored his enlightening and provocative talk. Reback’s main message was that the government l’aissez faire policies, so strongly promoted by University of Chicago economists, have gone way too far. As a counter-weight, he says we need more government oversight of the private sector along with more vigilant anti-trust enforcement.  Click here to read more.


Enter a New Gateway

I recently had a chance to catch up with Robert Peterson and Jeff Christensen of Entry Point, LLC based in Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City. Entry Point is an early stage company with a gateway product capable of supporting so-called triple play services, as well as advanced broadband services such as smart meters, femtocells and home security.  Click here to read more.  

TIA Forecasts 3.1 Percent Loss for ICT Industry in 2009- Broadband still THE growth driver for telecom

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), whose primary membership is network equipment vendors, has just released its annual report and outlook for the global telecommunications industry. For the first time in its 23 years of forecasting, TIA predicts a 3.1 % loss for the global ICT Industry in 2009. Further, they anticipate a 5.5 % decline for 2009 US ICT revenue. Much of this loss may be attributed to a 27 % fall in the U.S. broadband equipment market.

TIA’s negative outlook is significant, because its report has always been a flag waving signal of hope for the telecom industry- even in years like 2002 and 2003, when there wasn’t much to cheer about. TIA’s annual global forecast report usually manages to find a silver lining somewhere in the world that shows an upward growth trajectory. TIA is optimistic about mobile data services (especially when compared to equipment sales). They think that some growth lies ahead, but not really until 2011.  Global telecom revenue is predicted to grow 1.2 percent in 2010, 6.4 percent in 2011 and 7.9 percent in 2012.

"Broadband will be a driver for recovery in all areas, from healthcare IT to smart grid technology, public safety networks to education, as well as for businesses and consumers," said Grant Seiffert, TIA President. "While TIA was instrumental in obtaining the $7.2 billion for broadband, other funding for energy, health IT and R&D will also spur recovery, especially in reviving some of the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost recently. The sum of increased productivity and revenue amongst all other industry segments whose growth broadband deployment contributes to is often underrated and perhaps immeasurable."

Growing demand for high-volume data applications is driving all segments, say the independent, unbiased analysts at Wilkofsky Gruen Associates who help to develop the Market Review & Forecast. Despite the recession, TIA predicts that wireless and business data revenue will grow by 73 percent during the next four years to $110 billion in 2012 from $64 billion in 2008.

Further analysis shows that economic recovery during 2011-12 will be driven by pent-up demand for equipment upgrades. Growth in data traffic will strain network capacity and stimulate investment; availability of financing will fuel investment; and broadband growth will expand the platform for VoIP and IPTV.

Recognizing that comprehensive market intelligence is more critical than ever for ICT companies positioning themselves to survive — and thrive – when the economy begins to rebound, TIA is offering an interactive version of the Market Review & Forecast as part of the new TIA Market Intelligence Service. TelecomTV is collaborating with TIA in offering the new online service, augmented by value-adds such as news updates, webinars, industry analyses and more.

The report is optimistic on WiMAX for broadband fixed wireless access, especially in rural areas of the U.S. where DSL and cable modems are not available. In answer to a question I had during the press briefing, the speaker identified WiMAX as the largest beneficiary of the growth in fixed broadband access (vs mesh WiFi or proprietary technologies). TIA believes that WiMAX will make initial inroads in rural areas — areas where subscribers are beyond 18,000 wire feet of a central office or public network access node. TIA also thinks that there is no competition for Mobile WiMAX in the U.S., because of the time to market lead it has over LTE.

Quoting from a Press Copy of the report, TIA states:

"WiMAX still faces strong competition from entrenched fixed-broadband technologies such as DSL and cable modems and from emerging 3G technologies in the mobile segment. With respect to fixed broadband, WiMAX will likely make initial inroads in rural areas where DSL and cable modems are not available — areas where subscribers are beyond 18,000 wire feet of a central office or node. If WiMAX becomes established in rural areas, it may then seek to expand to areas already served by DSL or cable, using the experience of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) as a guide. DBS initially penetrated rural areas not served by cable television and only later began marketing its services head-to-head against cable in urban and suburban areas.

There is currently no competition for mobile WiMAX, as the widespread deployment of alternative 4G technologies is still years away. Verizon has announced it will be using LTE as its 4G technology, has accelerated its testing and expects to have initial deployment of the technology by the end of 2009."

TIA’s 2009 ICT Market Review & Forecast includes:

-Detailed activities and metrics from prior years
-Projections, trends and anticipated performance for short-term (upcoming year) and mid-term (3-5 years out)
-The target audience includes equipment manufacturers, service providers, software vendors, content providers and the media.

-Sectors covered in the publication include:

 

  • Landline
  • Wireless
  • Enterprise
  • Network equipment
  • Broadband
  • VoIP
  • Data transport
  • Internet access 

For further information and to purchase the report, please contact:

Mike Snyder, PR Manager

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

2500 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 300

Arlington, VA 22201

W: 703.907.7723; M: 703.869.3968; F: 703.907.7727

msnyder@tiaonline.org

 

Gary Reback: US Government Must Enforce Antitrust Laws to Encourage Innovation

On the need for government intervention in the free market to protect competition and encourage innovation

Gary Reback is one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys, best known for spearheading the efforts that led to the federal lawsuit against Microsoft.   Gary spoke to an attentive and eager audience on May 14th in Santa Clara, CA.   The Commonwealth Club and Yale Club of Silicon Valley sponsored his enlightening and provocative talk. Reback’s main message was that the government l’aissez faire policies, so strongly promoted by University of Chicago economists, have gone way too far. As a counter-weight, he says we need more government oversight of the private sector along with more vigilant anti-trust enforcement.
 
To set the stage for the current recessionary economy, Gary began by chronicling the history of the U.S. antitrust movement. From its beginnings in the 1870s (a time when big business controlled the railroads), through Teddy and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thurmond Arnold and others, there has been an ebb and flow of power and control between the federal government in Washington and big business (e.g. monopolies) or Wall Street investment firms. Starting about thirty years ago, conservatives forced an overhaul of competition policy that has loosened business rules for everything from selling products to buying competitors. In the free market era of the 1990s, big business and investment banks certainly had the upper hand. To a large extent, that is what has caused the global financial meltdown and enabled companies like Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, and Google to become so powerful. We were surprised to learn that expensive medical care and non-generic prescription drugs are the result of a lack of anti-trust enforcement.
 
Mr Reback firmly believes that in a high-tech world, U.S. government “hands off” policies actually slow innovation, hurt consumers, and entrench big companies at the expense of entrepreneurs.   In particular, Gary calls for increased government scrutiny of high tech firms monopolistic practices. He argues that monopolies have the power to raise prices by restricting output, supply and competition. As a result, the economy weakens, unemployment increases, and innovation is pressured.
 
We take it for granted now, but many of the advances in semiconductors and software were the result of a few dominant lawsuits against big companies. 
 
In the late 1950’s, AT&T was forced by the U.S. government to license the transistor. William Shockley, one of the co-inventors of the transistor, licensed it from AT&T to form Shockley Labs, which later begat Fairchild Semiconductor, which in turn begat Intel, AMD, and National Semiconductor. The early years of the semiconductor industry in Santa Clara Valley (it was not called Silicon Valley till the mid 1970s) was therefore, a direct result of the lawsuit against AT&T. For more on those early years, please see the article by this author:
 
 
In the early 1970s, concerned about possible anti-trust legislation, IBM was forced to unbundle software from hardware. This created a whole new independent software industry, which had not existed before. Software had previously been bundled with mainframes and minicomputers made by the same computer manufacturer.
 
Merger enforcement is perhaps the biggest business issue of our time, according to Reback. What do we do with companies too big to fail? How about Citibank Group, for example? If it had not been for the repeal of the Glass Steagall act in 1999, Citi would not have been able to acquire Smith Barney, Solomon Brothers and other investment firms. Hence they would not have gotten too big to fail.   Better to have government carefully scrutinize the mergers and acquisitions and/or break up large companies before they become too big to fail! One has to wonder if certain tech companies, like Oracle and Cisco have become too dominant in their industry or even too big to fail because of acquisitions that occurred without anti-trust scrutiny. For example, Oracle has done over 40 mergers after it acquired People Soft and now has proposed to acquire Sun Microsystems.
 
Is Google the next Microsoft? Yes, in terms of its dominance over web search software, in comparison to Microsoft control over desktop and notebook PC software. No, in at least two other important ways: 
  1. Google created technology that people liked and it worked well. 
  2. The company was also more customer friendly with a more congenial corporate culture and image.
Author’s Note: the next battle between these software titans will be in mobile OS market- Android platform from Google vs Windows Mobile from Microsoft.
 
Gary believes that Google’s big search competition will come from social networking sites (e.g. Twitter and Facebook), rather then from traditional search engines from Yahoo or Microsoft. He also noted that potential anti-trust action was enough for Google to call off its plans to put adverts on Yahoo’s search result pages.
 
Was the European Union’s (EU) huge fine against Intel Corp justified? Just one day before this talk- on May 13th– EU regulators slapped a record 1.06 billion euro ($1.45 billion) fine on Intel for antitrust violations and ordered it to halt illegal efforts to squeeze out arch-foe AMD. This fine was levied after an 8 year EU investigation of the company. "Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a news conference.
 
Should Intel have known better to refrain from engaging in unfair trade practices? Most definitely yes, according to Gary. Intel was actually a U.S. government witness in the huge anti-trust suit against Microsoft in 1998. The plaintiffs (US Department of Justice and 20 states) alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power on Intel-based PCs in its handling of operating system and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer web browser software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. Bundling them together is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft’s victory in the browser wars, especially over arch rival Netscape (which seemed by this author to be a superior web browser). Didn’t Intel learn anything from the trial and the verdict against Microsoft regarding unfair competitive practices? Gary response, "Of course, Intel says it is innocent of the charges and never broke the law, so perhaps the company will be exonerated after the EU Commission decision is reviewed by the European courts."
Opinion: We suggest the reader to ask the question to an Intel executive or lawyer.
 
In summing up, Reback opined that “anti-trust action failures” in the health care and banking industries have contributed to unreasonably high medical costs and a financial meltdown. Meanwhile, heightened scrutiny over acquisitions (e.g. Oracle’s) would result in a stronger U.S. economy by encouraging more competition and invigorating innovation and the start up culture. 
 
 
Bio: Gary Reback is one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys. He has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers” in America by the National Law Journal and is quoted regularly by major media. His book Free the Market! is a memoir of Reback’s titanic legal battles—involving top companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and AT&T—and a persuasive argument for measured government intervention in the free market to foster competition.   Gary is currently of counsel with Carr & Ferrell LLP. He is a very friendly and easy to get a long with person, in this author’s opinion.
 
 
 

Viodi View – 05/08/09

wsta banner

 

 

 

 

 “Déjà vu’ all over again”, as Yogi Berra reportedly once said, is the term that describes today’s popular news events. The stagnant economy and, more importantly, consumer confidence seem reminiscence of the 70s. There is a definite tension in the air as we are waiting for the affects of the government spending to kick-in and wondering if the result will be stable growth, high inflation or, that ugly 70s term, stagflation.

Government spending in the form of the stimulus was the topic of many of the conversations and panels at the IP Possibilities Conference last month in San Diego. There was talk of the broadband stimulus being the first part of a national broadband strategy (see this link to Bennet & Bennet for a good summary), whereby every American has to have access to broadband capability, that will culminate in a plan that FCC must deliver to Congress by February 17, 2010 (ironic date, given it will be exactly one year after the delayed DTV transition date).


Click here to watchLooking Down Under to Stay on Top of Broadband

In this video, Steve Klein of ViodiTV sponsor Allied Telesis discusses the role of technologies such as IP and Fiber to the Home in the context of an overall national broadband plan. His comments about Australia and their plan to bring fiber everywhere are esepecially interesting.Click hereto watch the video.


A New Way at Looking at Over the Top at IP Possibilities

click here to watch this insightful video regarding over the top applicationsA big question in any discussion of broadband policy is the role of the service providers; the folks who are investing large sums on the last mile infrastructure. The question is often posed as to whether the service providers will end up being dumb pipes or something much bigger. In this video, Andrew Randall of ViodiTV sponsor Metaswitch provides a nuanced view of how independent telcos can approach applications that could be considered friend or foe, depending upon one’s viewpoint.  Clic here to watch the video.


Open Standards Smart Grid via WiMAX by Alan Weissberger

San Francisco start up software company Grid Net, is using WiMAX technology in its wireless smart meter instrument. The meter, being built by GE, uses Intel’s WiMAX chip and Grid Net software. It is said to be one of the first truly "open-standards" based approaches to building a meter. Click here to read more.


50K WiMAX Subscribers Today – > 13 Million By 2013 by Alan Weissberger

The Economic Times of India reports that Tata Communications (TCL) has signed up 50,000 subscribers for its fixed WiMAX service. TCL, earlier known as VSNL, had received WiMax spectrum in the 3.3 GHz band under its Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence with the Indian government.   Other Indian network operators- Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Sify and Reliance Communications – also own spectrum in this band.  Click here to read more.


New Apps and Smart Phones to Drive Demand for 4G Mobile Networks by Alan Weissberger

We now believe that smart phones and "all-in-one" gadgets will drive the need for more bandwidth and QOS and accelerate mobile network movement to 3.5G (EVDO, HSPA, mobile WiMAX, etc) and 4G (LTE and Advanced WiMAX- IEEE 802.16m).  Click here to read more.


Brief Kudos & Upcoming Events

  • DSL Prime – Congratulations Dave Burstein and Jenny Bourne of DSL Prime/DOCSIS Report/Fiber News on the look of their new web site. Bursteing brings an insightful view and valued information in his newsletters and web site.
  • Entone – Congratulations to Steve McKay and the folks at long time Viodi View sponsor Entone for their deal with Vudu. I had the pleasure of speaking at Entone’s User Group meeting last year and came away impressed with the organization.
  • Nokeena for making their public announcement about their streaming solution that could change the economics of content delivery networks and have a big impact in rural and less served areas.
  • Verismo Networks – Congratulations on the launch of their VuNow Internet TV platform with Act Television in Bangalore.

 


The Korner – More than Possibilities at IP Possibilities

some beautiful scenary at IP Possiblities.  Check out this overview video

With the stress of the economy and the general pressure created by our 24 hour a day, social network connected society, it is sometimes difficult to step back and, at least for me, take a moment to look at the beauty that is in our midst. The IP Possibilities Conference was a blur and I certainly didn’t take in the scenery and the cool outdoor sea breezes as much as I would have liked.

Thus, I found this video from Roger Bindl to be refreshing, as he captures, not only highlights of the conference, but some of the ambience that helped make it an enjoyable experience. Roger has become quite skilled at turning what could be a boring talking head experience and turning it a rich media production with effects and images that add value to the speakers’ words. Click here to watch his summary video of this very important conference regarding IP and broadband.  Click here to watch the video.  

WiMAX in smart meter sets the stage for "open standards" based smart grids

San Francisco start up software company Grid Net, is using WiMAX technology in its wireless smart meter instrument. The meter, being built by GE, uses Intel’s WiMAX chip and Grid Net software. It is said to be one of the first truly "open-standards" based approaches to building a meter.

Grid Net’s meter went on sale to select utility customers this March, and though Bell declined to state the current price, said that within a year and a half he expects the price to drop low enough to undercut any of the meters on the market that use proprietary technology. Bell says he has four major deals in the works and contends that his smart meter will eventually be cheaper than proprietary systems on the market (this is a key benefit of "open-standards").

Because WiMAX operates over licensed wireless spectrum, Grid Net founder Ray Bell claims it’s far more reliable and secure than unlicensed wireless networks (e.g. WiFi) — a particularly important feature for smart grid deployments. The meters could use national WiMAX networks (e.g. Clearwire or from regional carriers) or WiMAX networks that would be built and owned by a utility.

http://www.reuters.com/article/earthToTech/idUS330459661220090504

GigaOm states, "but if the smart grid really will follow the lessons of the Internet, open standards will be a key driver."

http://gigaom.com/2009/05/04/how-wimax-can-retool-the-power-grid/

The use of WiMAX for grids is not a new concept.  In January 2005, we wrote that:

WiMAX MAY BE USED TO ACCESS GRID COMPUTER SITES

http://www.on-demandenterprise.com/features/wimax_may_be_used_to_access_grid_computer_sites_07-29-2008_08_10_22.html

The basic premise was that fixed WiMAX could be effectively used to extend a carrier’s long haul network for access to a grid computer network.  We are now seeing WiMAX used in emerging smart power grid networks, but the concept is the same.  We think WiMAX has a lot of potential and promise for interconnecting PCs and meters, and other instruments over smart power grids.