Wayne Gretzky’s quote of, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been,” has become an oft-used metaphor in presentations in the telecom world. An important point, not mentioned in his quote, is to be aware of the external factors that could the alter the path of that puck (e.g. like the really fast skater you don’t see). Competition can come from any sector these days, as disparate industries look more and more alike, thanks to the Internet and the principles of the Internet.
On the surface, autonomous vehicles seem way beyond Google’s core business, so it is easy to discount their efforts in this space, given all the barriers they face from incumbents, regulators and entrenched consumer behavior. Still, they have an advantage of a fresh approach without the legacy that other providers have. For instance, looking at autonomous transport as a service business (as opposed to the traditional box business of the vehicle market), yields $30B+ in profitable revenue with only 5% market share, while providing consumers a lower-cost, higher quality and safer transport option.
It is not to hard to imagine Google creating a Smart Transport Community contest, like they did with Google Fiber. A pilot program to a mid-size city would only require 1,700 vehicles, which is not much more than 100-250 they are planning on developing for testing purposes. As a service business, there are many analogies to broadband (including net neutrality or, perhaps, “road neutrality”).
This article, which is probably too long for the web, touches upon the salient points of what it will take to make an autonomous transport service a reality, including:
- Technology to Make the Science Fiction, Fact
- Tens of Billions of New Revenue – It Moves the Needle
- Policy Implications at the Local Level – From First Mover Advantage to Must-Have
- The Big Question
- Meanwhile, Back in the Year 2040
Although this seems way outside a broadband operator’s sweet spot, it probably makes sense to imagine the impact of Autonomous Vehicles on their broadband networks and their customers. In the meantime, let’s fast-forward 25+ years and imagine what life might be like for the next generation.
It’s 8:07 am and my next door neighbor, cheapskate Charlie, has been waiting outside his door for a few minutes for his ride, which is guaranteed to be at his house within a 10 minute window. He looks at his garage and is reminded that he will soon be renting it as storage space to his neighbor, Rich……
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“What would you do with a gigabit,” is what GCI is asking of its customers in anticipation of a 2015 roll out of gigabit services via its DOCSIS 3.0 plant. Announced in late March, GCI will be the first operator offering gigabit in the 49th state. GCI’s Vice President of Product Management, Terry Nidiffer, reinforces the idea of a “halo effect” of offering gigabit services, as they have seen approximately 300% uptake on their top-end offerings since their announcement of the higher speed services.
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Congressional leaders ask FCC to Streamline Wireless Broadband Infrastructure Deployments by Alan Weissberger
On May 29th, House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to streamline the approval process for upgrading existing wireless facilities. The letter asks Mr. Wheeler for clarification of Section 6409(a) – the spectrum provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.
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Meeker: Mobile is King of Internet Access and Content by Alan Weissberger
Mary Meeker of KPCB puts out an Internet Trends report every year that is chock full of interesting data on Internet, social, mobile and e-commerce trends. In this year’s report at the Code conference in Southern California last week, Ms. Meeker said that while growth in overall Internet usage was slowing (especially in developed countries), it has increased rapidly for mobile.
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Technology Outlook: The Cable Show 2014 by Kshitij Kumar
The Cable Show 2014 was back in Los Angeles this year – which usually allows for a larger contingent of content folks to attend given the proximity of Hollywood. This year saw a good mix of technology folks rubbing shoulders with content-types but it almost felt like two shows in parallel – one set of tracks attended mostly by the techies of the industry and the other attended mostly by the content folks.
Click here to read some of the more interesting themes of the show.
- Bryan Martin, Chairman and CTO of cloud communications provider, 8×8 Inc., weighs in on the Net Neutrality debate from a small business perspective and suggests the FCC needs to put a framework approach in place to encourage and foster innovation, instead of prescriptive rules that regulate innovation.
- Gary Arlen points out that Apple and Google have a huge war chest to disrupt industries well beyond their traditional computing businesses (e.g. Autonomous Vehicles) Apple, Google’s $900B “TV” Warchest: Traditional Stakeholders, Beware | Multichannel
- Interesting take on TV White Spaces in Africa and the roadblocks from that are business related, instead of technology related. As the author points out, TVWS could be a boon to rural areas.
Often, it is important to know where the puck has been; particularly when millions of dollars are riding on an accurate call.
In this interview, Jim Jachetta of VidOvation discusses how his company worked with NHL to create an in-goal camera system to help remote officials determine whether a puck crossed the goal. The “puck cam” that Jachetta describes has an integrated 720p camera, a battery and a 60 GHz wireless transmitter.
What makes this application particularly interesting is that VidOvation is transmitting uncompressed video using 1.5 GHz of the 7 GHz available band within the 60 GHz band. Although this application only needs to go about 50 meters (to the top of an arena’s ceiling), Jachetta explains that, with the right antennas, the 60 GHz frequency band has application for point-to-point transport to buildings of up to one (1) kilometer.
He explains that 10 to 15 kilometers can be achieved with the higher frequency bands of 70, 80 and 90 GHz. This gets particularly interesting for service providers as these bands offer the potential to serve as the equivalent of wireless extensions of their fiber networks.
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