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

 

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.  

50K WiMAX Subscribers in India Before the Spectrum Auction- Number to Exceed 13 Million by 2013

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.

Tata Communications Internet Services (TCISL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TCL, is investing substantially for its WiMAX rollout to ensure that it gets a headstart in the acquisition of subscribers. The company, with a WiMAX capex outlay of $500 million for three years ending FY12, has put in place around 1,400 base stations across 140 cities. This makes it the largest WiMax network in the world, according to TCISL COO Prateek Pashine.   TCISL has procured its WiMax equipment from Telsima Corp, a company recently acquired by Harris Stratex Networks. TCISL is obtaining customer premise equipment (CPE) from Taiwan-based networking and communications equipment firm Universal Scientific Industrial (USI).

On the much-delayed spectrum auctions, Mr Pashine said the industry was eagerly looking forward to offering services in the 2.2-to-2.3 Ghz band, which will be auctioned later this year (if you believe the Indian IT Ministry). “The postponement has delayed customer acquisition and rollout of services and revenues associated with that,” he said.   For our posts on the often delayed India spectrum auctions, please see:

Will it Ever Happen? India May Delay 3G Auction, Raise Prices

The follow on comments imply that the auction will not be held till 2010! That is great cause for concern for the broadband wireless industry in India, in our opinion.

 

For further details on TCL’s WiMAX network, please see: TCL ropes in 50k for WiMax broadband

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/TCL-ropes-in-50k-for-WiMax-broadband/articleshow/4461142.cms


 

Separately, market research firms Maravedis and Tonse predict WiMAX Subscribers in India will Exceed 13 Million by 2013. A new report concludes that deployment of 3G and WiMAX will generate a reasonable user base over the next 5 year period, before noticeable LTE deployments begin to make an impact in India. Maravedis, in partnership with leading Indian telecom market research and analysis firm Tonse Telecom, just released the 3rd Edition of “India Wireless Broadband and WiMAX Market Analysis and Forecasts, 2009-2013.”

“Despite delayed spectrum auctions that are impeding a tremendous economic driver, 3G/BWA/WiMAX network activity is already on a roll,” said Sridhar Pai, co-author of the report and Tonse Telecom CEO. “For the severely underserved Indian broadband market, demand for wireless broadband connectivity continues across all sectors: retail, SOHO, SMEs and large enterprises alike,” he continued.

According to the report, the big push will be seen post-spectrum auctions. “However, aided by pre-allocation in the 2.5GHz band, incumbents are already developing massive national rollout plans for both 3G and WiMAX. Expect significant pan-India deployments from other successful auction bidders,” said Maravedis CEO Adlane Fellah.

While the global economy is lying dormant, demand for telecommunications services in India continues to fuel significant growth in the sector. “We estimate that in 2008, approximately 10,000 BWA/WiMAX base station sectors were deployed in total. Currently there are about 300,000 BWA/WiMAX subscribers already using these services,” Pai noted.

“Wireless CAPEX has already reached US$ sub-100 levels per line, thereby confirming the primary transport technology will be wireless,” added Fellah.

Key Findings of the report:

  • Internet access is still the big broadband driver in India, with wireless broadband becoming the clear option owing to economics and ease of deployment.
  • BWA operators have yet to resolve many service quality issues.
  • India is expected to see the world’s lowest end-to-end cost for WiMAX services, with costs driven down faster than in any other market.
  •  Computer penetration is still very low and the Indian telecom sector operates in a volume-driven market.
  •  Innovative business models such as public-private partnerships will emerge, together with low cost devices and a vibrant ecosystem.

Here is a relevent quote from the report:

“While there has been some talk about delayed auctions for BWA/WIMAX, potentially leading to a closing of the window for WiMAX and thereby operators having to wait for LTE, we think this is unlikely. The broadband market is far underserved and has already been delayed. There is a sizeable market opportunity now that needs to be met and BWA/WiMAX is capable of doing so. It will take some time before LTE stabilizes and the device economics play out to deliver mass-market volumes. We believe that the 3G/WiMAX streams will be deployed and generate a reasonable user base over the next 5 year period before noticeable LTE deployments begin to make an impact in these emerging markets.

Meanwhile, for those operators who seized the day with whatever slim bands were available in 3.3GHz, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Reliance and Tata Communications, who launched their BWA/WiMAX services in multiple locations, showed what could be done with innovation and radio optimization, combined with passive infrastructure sharing and aggressive marketing in a market where latent demand stifled expansion and traditional wire-line data was just not delivering.  The entire 3.3GHz experience reaffirmed that the fundamental business case for fixed wireless in India is real and immediate.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.maravedis-bwa.com/

New apps and smart phones to drive demand for 4G mobile networks

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).

UK research firm Mobile Squared reports that Apple to hit 1 billion app downloads on April 23rd!  Please see:

http://www.mobilesquared.co.uk/?p=593

They observe that the number of downloads from App Stores is growing exponentially: Apple is now experiencing average daily downloads of 5.1 million apps and requires another 38 million apps to reach 1 billion. At this download rate, the billion mark will be surpassed in a few days. At the start of December Apple announced that it has passed the 200 million download mark. And this was promptly followed by a similar announcement of 500 million downloads by January 19th.

We would expect to see the same growth from other smart phone and "all-in-one" gadget makers (e.g. RIM, Palm, Nokia, etc) who have started their own on-line app stores.

Many of the new apps will require massive amounts of bandwidth, e.g. video sharing, multi-media conferencing, interactive games, Video on Demand, real time broadcast video, Location Based Services, etc. The amount of bandwidth and real time, rich media content demanded by smart phone users will necessitate the need for new mobile networks with higher bandwidth and QOS.

And it appears that more powerful iPhones are just around the corner.  The San Jose Mercury reports: Speculation grows over new Apple products

"Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, in a recent note to investors, wrote that Apple could be ready to release a new iPhone packed with a powerful application processor to run more complex software. And Wu anticipates improvements to the device’s battery, which does not last much more than a day during heavy use."

http://www.mercurynews.com/businessheadlines/ci_12167258?nclick_check=1

and here is more proof:

Apple’s App Store: a rapidly growing marketplace

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12037710?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

Implications::

The big problem for network operators is that bandwidth and need for QOS is exploding, while revenues are increasing at a much slower rate. Hence, revenue producing services must be developed and come to market quickly for operators to get a decent ROI on their investments in next generation mobile broadband networks.

Smart phones and all in one gadgets will likely dominate the 4G mobile hand held market (that does not include netbooks and tablet PCs). We see little room for MIDs that do not have voice, conferencing or LBS capability.  The functions envisioned for MIDs will likely be built into smart phones and multi-purpose gadgets (e.g. web based cameras).

Perhaps, the notebook and netbook PC user will be content with nomadic/ portable Internet access and related services (either from WiFi hot spots or WiMAX with USB dongles). The exception is Internet access in high speed trains, e.g. in Japan and Taiwan. In those cases, mobile WiMAX networks are being planned for notebook and netbook users.

Viodi View – 04/17/2009

Security is a state of mind. It can be somewhat an abstract concept until it is pierced by some criminal act. Once breached, there are constant reminders, whether in the form of taller fences or long security lines, of the vulnerability we face due to unsavory actors . We had a recent event on the southern edges of Silicon Valley that pointed to security weaknesses in the telecommunications’ infrastructure.


Could the Outage in Santa Clara County Been Prevented or Alleviated By Alan Weissberger

On Thursday April 9th, Internet, cell phone, and land-line phone service were all out of service for customers in parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Even 911 calls weren’t going through. The culprit was a gang of rogues that cut 10 AT&T fiber optic cables in 4 different locations. In this article on that disruption, Alan Weissberger makes the argument that WiMAX could have provided a level of redundancy that would have ameliorated the effects of this criminal act.  Click here to read the rest of the article. 


cyberspaceCritical Infrastructures Impacted by Cyberspace By Roger Bindl

Sami Saydjari, president of the Cyber Defense Agency, stressed the importance of maintaining a secure telecommunications infrastructure in this exclusive video interview with Roger Bindl. Bindl was the only video reporter at the Cyberspace Symposium last week in Omaha. This conference was notable in that it received national coverage, especially with regards to the vulnerability of the U.S.’ electrical grid. In this video interview, Saydjari gives his thoughts on the current state of telecom security.  Click here to view the video.


Cyberspace:  The New Battleground By Roger Bindl

In this video clip, Roger provides an overview of the Cyberspace Symposium. This first-ever symposium was important as it was a recognation that cyberspace is another potential battlefield for military planners to master, whether the threat is from terrorist groups or from rogue nations. A change of culture seems to be a common theme of many of the comments and part of this is adapting to and understanding the Web 2.0 world. Click here to view Roger’s summary video of this multi-day event.


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An example of the 1cast application on the G1 phone.News on Demand – Everywhere

News on demand – a concept that has been around for along time, but was it was just an abstract notion for me until recently. Anthony Bontranger of 1cast let me know, via a Facebook comment on my recent story about the Gphone, that this new service is now available as an application for both the G Phone and iPhone. Click here to read the rest of the post.


click here to view the postPeople on the Move: I Know that Person

MTA had a very moving video production that summarized, in pictures and soundtrack, 100 years of their association. When I saw the video at the opening event, I was impressed and wondered who did the production. I was thrilled to learn that friend and fellow video producer, Jeanne Wilber of Melrose Telephone/Diversicom/SCTV 19, was behind this production. Check out the clip here, see how many faces you recognize and purchase a copy of the DVD by clicking here.


The Korner – A Interactive White Board for $60

George Henny forwarded an interesting video a few weeks back. It was intriguing, as it left me wanting to know more about the interactive white board he had created using a Wii remote and a home grown electronics circuit. What George and his IT colleague, Wayne Jeffers devised was effectively an interactive white board that normally would cost thousands of dollars for about $60 in parts (including the Wii remote).

a low cost, interactive white boardHenny explained that he was inspired by a video from a guy named Johnny Lee who came up with the idea and developed the software. Jeffers constructed an infrared LED pen, which provides positioning information to the Wii remote. Bluetooth connects the Wii remote to a PC and create an interactive white board or a low-cost tablet PC. Henny believes this could be a cost-effective solution for schools wanting the benefits of interactive white boards and has already presented it to his local school district.

George is speaking at next week’s IP Possibilities conference in San Diego and promises to bring this set-up with him. In the meantime, you can check George out in this video and the video that is within the video.

Could Major Telecom Outage in Santa Clara County Been Prevented or Alleviated?

On Thursday April 9th, Internet, cell phone, and land-line phone service were all out of service for customers in parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Even 911 calls weren’t going through. The culprit was a gang of rogues that cut 10 AT&T fiber optic cables in 4 different locations.   The SF Chronicle reports that:

Sabotage attacks knock out phone service
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/10/MNP816VTE6.DTL

The San Jose Mercury weighs in with an article asking:

South Valley phone outage: Is telecom system too vulnerable?
http://www.mercurynews.com/topstories/ci_12111011

"Some of the questions that come up are whether the system has adequate backup capabilities and whether or not the phone companies are adequately protecting and maintaining the equipment they do have," said Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network, a consumer watchdog group in San Francisco.

The loss of landline, cell phone and Internet service in parts of southern Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, as well as areas of San Benito County, was amplified by the fact that multiple carriers were sending traffic on the same fiber-optic cables, which are owned by AT&T.

For example, Verizon said more than 50,000 household landlines were affected as well as an unknown number of cell phone connections.

Cell phones function like miniature radios, communicating with cell phone towers via radio waves. The towers, in turn, communicate with a switching station either over cable or through microwaves.

"If the switch is not working, you are out of business," said Ken Fattlar, a Verizon engineer.  Fattlar said the cell towers in the South Bay are connected to copper cables that feed into AT&T’s fiber lines. When the lines were damaged, the cell towers were not able to communicate with their switching station and could not transfer calls.
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Opinion-  Why no early fault detection, cable redundancy and automatic switchover (to another fiber optic cable) when the primary cable was cut?

"Backhoes cut cables all the time," said Bruce Schneier, author of "Schneier on Security," and "Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World." "Trees cut cables all the time." Why didn’t AT&T take care to automatically detect the broken cable and switch traffic to an alternate route?

If the previously announced (CLEAR) WiMAX services (Internet and VoIP) were operational in Silicon Valley, it likely would not have been effected, as Clearwire uses microwave backhaul (DragonWave equipment) to reach the ISP or IXC POPs.

So, there is yet another reason to root for WiMAX success- break the monopoly that AT&T and VZ have on U.S. telecommunications by offering customers an alternate path to the Internet and long distance telephony. Additionally, WiMAX could be used as an Internet access backup by corporations needing high availability and  reliabilty.

Viodi View -04/03/2009

The first time I got serious about using a personal digital assistant was something that Atari produced some 20 years ago. This was before the term PDA was coined. I bought it because somehow I thought it would make me smarter or, at least, better organized. It did neither and it was soon relegated to the shelf to gather dust. The G1 from T-Mobile (service) /HTC (phone manufacturer) /Google (Android operating system) may finally provide the organizational nirvana I have been looking for my entire life.

The G1 phone proved to be a handy assistant in producing ViodiTV at last month’s MTA convention. Although, I haven’t looked for teleprompting sofware for it yet (that sort of application exists for other PDAs), it served as a great way to jot down notes and scripts. The fast web browsing, thanks to the 3G network, made this a very useful research tool for getting facts for our "just in time" video production. Two extremely useful applications that helped us coordinate our interviews at MTA were the integrated calendar and email; allowing us to create more video than we had in years past.


Working Together – Yesterday and Today

click here to watch our video interview with Ron LaquaA video that was very special to me is my interview with Ron Laqua of Halstad Telephone. Ron chaired the MTA Centennial committee. In this interview, I was struck with how we were part of a living history that in some way might be part of a 200th anniversary celebration. I caught up with Ron, via email, this week regarding the historic flooding along the Red River. He indicated that his town was relatively safe given the high dike walls and the standby generator that has been providing back up power this past week.

He explained that his town helped out by stuffing and distributing sandbags to farms and other towns. He pointed out that 90% of the Fargo-Moorhead population was somehow involved in fighting the flood. As Ron said, this sort of volunteerism is inspiring.  Click here to watch the video interview.


click here to watch the video interview with Brian Potter of Gardonville Telphone Cooperative AssociationIndependent WiMax

In this interview shot at MTA’s Convention, Brian Potter of Gardonville Telephone Cooperative Association discusses their rollout of WiMax services in rural Minnesota and their use of both 700 MHz and 3.7 GHz to provide fixed wireless Internet.  Click here to watch this interview.


Femtocells and Mobile Broadband Technologies by Alan Weissberger

Femtocells are another topic of hot discussion in the telecommunications world. They offer the wireless carrier the potential of off-loading backhaul traffic, while improving customer experience and potentially providing better value by allowing the cell phone to have unlimited minutes in the home environment. Alan Weissberger provides a summary of a recent conference on the topic of Femtocells in this article. Click here to read the latest on Femtocells.


Managing the Mobile Workforce using MaaS by Alan Weissberger

On April 1st, I attended a SaaS Conference talk by Jim Sheward, CEO of Fiberlink, on the topic of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). I found it provocative and of vital interest to IT managers that are having great difficulting managing a mobile work force. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is the delivery of enterprise mobility infrastructure using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform where the programs run on servers that are reached via the public Internet. Specifically, MaaS is a "cloud" based, always on, Enterprise Mobility Platform™ with cost advantages, ubiquitous mobile device connectivity capability and a real-time updating and enforcement software engine.


Asides

Congratulations to Tellytopia and SureWest for implementation of Tellytopia’s i2TV online to television platform. SureWest is a definition validation for Tellytopia’s unique approach to bringing User Generated Content to the TV. Tellytopia gave a preview of this at the panel Viodi organized at last year’s Telecom at NAB show.

We are going to miss this year’s NAB. The folks from Lightbulb Communications have another great content slate at the Telecom2009 at NAB conference they are producing.

We will be at the IP Possibilities show in San Diego, which also has a great list of speakers but overlaps with NAB. I am looking forward to moderating a panel on local content at this forum.


The Korner – Time Saver or Distraction?

Click here to watch the video of my experience with Northwest Airline's electronic boarding passOne of the reasons for holding off on the procurement of a smart phone, besides the increase in monthly subscription fee, was my tendency to become tethered – some might say addicted – to Internet access. Those who saw me at MTA Convention could attest that the G1 phone was effectively my new appendage. It is a double edge sword as the constant connectivity and access to information provides gives me more opportunity to be productive. On the other hand, the persistent availability of the Internet competes for the idle moments where I could think random thoughts that might lead to a good idea.

Worse yet, is the distraction of the Internet and email that causes me to lose focus on the task at hand.

For instance, I was able to use the G1 phone to check in while on the Minneapolis Light Rail system. Even better than checking in, I was able to receive a virtual bar code on my phone for scanning at security. I was so thrilled with this time saving step, that I emailed Roger. In between our virtual high five emails celebrating my technical prowess, I missed the stop for my terminal. It took about 5 minutes before I realized I would have to backtrack. Fortunately, I could bypass check-in and go straight to security. I simply waived my phone over the security bar code reader and made my plane with at least 5 minutes to spare.  Click here to watch my brief video on this electronic ticketing application. 

In the next part of this review, we will look at some of the productivity enhancing applications from Android market that I have been using.