Carl Ford : 4G: For Generations to Come
Carl Ford

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business. Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so...

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The era of the hardware-based media server is over -scaling software-based media servers

As the telecom world moves closer and closer to software- based infrastructure, many questions are being asked about scalability of these...

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Brochures

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10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a...

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Recognizing the Similarities Between WebRTC and VoIP

Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V.  When I last gave a keynote at...

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Invisible is Good Design

The whole idea of being a technology provider is that you make the technology invisible to the customer. They just have...

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VDSL and Vectoring are Important Parts of Broadband Deployment

By: Wendy Zajack, Dir. Product Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

From original on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog

A few months ago our home WiFi slowed to a crawl. At first we thought it was a temporary thing, but after my son ran a diagnostic there was a problem with our high-speed broadband.  

While the technician was fixing it, he mentioned that for an extra $10 a month we could get a faster plan.  Living in the US we already (in my opinion) pay enough for our monthly broadband package so I immediately said ‘no.’ But I told my kids that IF they wanted to pay for it … we would consider it.

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Posts about 4G Wireless as of October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009

Cisco buys Tandberg - Surprise the Wrong Conclusion is drawn again!

October 1, 2009

Ceilings and Floors: Vodafone and Verizon

September 25, 2009

It's game of inches as they say. 

I have been looking at the reporting about Verizon's App Store activity and find the perspective of some pundits troubling.

As I reported when I went to the Verizon Developers Conference, the goal Verizon has is very different than being the equivalent of the iTunes AppStore.

Lets be honest, how many of us have looked at all 65,000 apps, and how many of us really want to.

Verizon announced a partnership with Vodafone, China Mobile and Softbank to deliver applications their way.  Very specfically Verizon was looking to open the interfaces for location, billing and trust (security).  I noted that their strategy was associated with a API that masked alot of the behind the scenes OSS work. 

Carriers and cellphone vendors have procedures for turning on the phone that represent over 100 steps in provisioning and configuration.  Verizon has tried to make the network valuable without having the carrier's internal OSS stifle the developer.  The one requirement is work within a framework. A lot of the companies that are on the iPhone do not like this framework, and it shows in in the blogosphere.

So Vodafone makes its announcement about their efforts to build Vodafone 360 which to me is a another strategy in keeping with the alliance, but is not getting the anger yet.

I think the reason maybe be that Verizon is in the California footprint and the developers are asked all the time "Can I use it on my phone" and since VZW is big in California, the answer frustrating.

Tags: Appstore, California, China Mobile, iPhone, Softbank, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone

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My Instincts about the Korean market opening up for iPhone

September 24, 2009

It will be interesting to see what happens next, now that the Korean Communications Commission has okayed the importing of iPhones and Blackberries. 

Korean has a very saturated market, so I would not expect a fast migration.  However I would expect to see improvements from Samsung in software strategies, including an adoption of Android in the states.

It has been interesting to observe Kanji based cell phone users, They have a phonetic use of the alphabetic keyboard that makes their sms messages happen quite quickly.  I am not sure the soft key boards on a screen are going to add any value to most users.

Additionally most games in Asia have found their way through existing solutions, so I am not sure how much additional value the app store will bring to the table.

Of course on a sheer numbers market perspective the adoption will probably be astounding, but like Telefonica, I think the more interesting question is what impact it will have on carrier adoption.

Tags: Android, Apple, Appstore, Blackberry, Google, Instinct, KCC, RIM, SK Telecom, Samsung, South Korea, Telefonica










Lightsquared Goes to the Beyond

September 21, 2009

It is painful to watch the corpses of competition.  I tried to by Clearwire service over the weekend and that was outright painful.  Lightsquared at least never was in a store I could go to so buying the alternative service was never an option.

Lightsquared had the dubious challenge of restating its goals and making the GPS community come after them like villagers chasing Frankenstein.

Significant Skype Snipes

September 21, 2009

I am always impressed with Skype.  The user interfaces are good, the business strategy is clever and left to itself, it has created a significant marketshare of communication without technically being a carrier.

That is a difficult road to travel.  Virgin Mobile, Vonage, Packet8 and most MVNOs have not been able to navigate that agile path.

So if the Janus has been Jilted by the former Joltid CEO the question is does that mean an end to Skype's ability to navigate?

Inside Avaya there is a lot of buzz about being able to join the Skype Echo system.  It could take on a lot of different strategies, from developing media server solutions, interfacing like Digium has to the Skype network, or my favorite, federating the pbx's with supernode abilities.

Federating has been a giant problem, because the long tail of the federating has been elusive.  I was very close to it once, and the company I helped to form got lost in the weeds.  See the thing they forget to tell you about the long tail first mover is that its the new category creation that is the key.

But if Silver Lake's Skype acquistion goes through, in theory Avaya's federation has found a new home and its not aligned with a network operator.

On the other hand if Janus and Niklas win their war, its not about enabling the enterprise for them.  The path that the current team has been on in deepening the eco system.  I am not sure if the partner program would be totally restored, but I would bet that it would at least be reorganized.  (As you know it was killed shortly after the announcement of the acquistion)  This could have been just an issue of not hosting it with the Ebay types, which had hosted the community as a subset for a while.

If Niklas negates the deal, the question of what is next becomes significant.  Without a clear path, Skype could go the way of Alta Vista, AOL, and other industry movers. If the objection is one of allowing Skype to go IPO I think that works. If it is about the IP embedded in the system and the licensing deal is the real issue, that should be addressable.  (I have stated my view previously).

I am sure Ebay would love for this to be over, but like a diamond that is going to be cut, the next move is the significant one.  Let's hope it makes the service more precious.

Tags: AOL, Alta Vista, Digium, Ebay, Federation, Janus Friis, Joltid, Joost, MVNO, Niklas Zennstron, Packet8, Silver Lake, Skype, Virgin Mobile, Vonage, avaya

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Niklas and Janus Jolts Ebay WTF?

September 15, 2009

Hmmmn,

I guess the world is truly in a state of chaos.

According to Reuter's the Skype founders are suing Ebay and Silver Lake over their skype deal.

I am not sure, how this happened.

Many of us who had been looking at the skype sale, knew that Niklas and Janus had to be managed. 

It may be the knee jerk reaction that had Ebay buy Skype is still part of the culture in selling it.

On the other hand, given the Skype development team has not managed to publicly migrate away from the piece of core technology from Niklas and Janus. 

Many of us believed that the acquistion of Paradial would have been appropriate.  It maybe that Paradial represents some prior art of value in the network.

Regardless,  it should be interesting to see how this is resolved.

Tags: Ebay, Paradial, Silver Lake, Skype

















Should the Universal Service Fund Include Wireless Broadband

September 15, 2009

In a panel discussion at 4G world the general opinion was that USF will be modified to include the ability to support wireless broadband strategies.

"Their is growing consensus that Universal Service should include wireless" said Hank Hultquist of ATT.  Many panel members echoed these comments, but the details as to what will be included were not the full topic of the discussion.

Currently the definition of broadband is under discussion at the FCC. 

Many carriers are worried that a definition now may be unattainable as they service the growing data needs of the consumer.  Previously Kris Rinne, 4G CTO of ATT, stated that they were seeing a 4000%  growth in the data traffic since the adoption of the iPhone and other smartphones.

Questions that will have to be addressed include whether the addition of wireless to the fund will be associated with reform to the fund itself or as an addition.  Current adminstration members were instrumental in the development of the USF in the Clinton adminstration and have a favorable view to the model.

However the costs associated with the High Cost land line services may not be valid when talking about Wireless strategies, and it may be that the inclusion represents alternative services as well via the E-rate model.

It has been suggested that many of the proposals attempting to use the stimulus dollars are similar in ownership structure associated with E-rate.

Tags: ATT, Hank Hultquist, Kris Rinne, USF, Wireless Broadband, e-rate, high cost













Apple you Win, I Bought and iTouch!

September 10, 2009

As my regular readers know, I am Apple user but not and Apple fan.

As so many of my friends around me are using the iPhone and telling me how cool it is, while never making a call with it.  I decided the best AV tool I could use to get my points across was an iTouch.

I bought the iTouch paid extra for the microphone headset and gave it access to my Verizon MiFi.  I then downloaded skype with an outbound international dialing service.  What are the points I am trying to get across?

1) the iPhone is a gadget not a smart phone.  The best application I have seen on the iPhone that is telecom related is Calliflower, but even that is just as good if not better on the web. It really is a gaming device that you can by virtual cartridges for at the app store.
2) the App Store has nothing to do with the 3G.  When spectrum was ransomed with the hope of new services, the apps and the network were suppose to be a blend.  We have still yet to find a purpose to be married and the app store is little more than a WAP gateway of control.
3) the Apps are in the store, because it is a gateway.  For all the talk of the 65,000 plus applications, It is nothing in comparison to the Internet itself and the value of Internet is repackaged within the store.
4) the network is the Internet, no offense to ATT.  The ability to deliver worldwide connectivity can not be over emphasized. The iPhone / iTouch are beautiful devices, but it would be a wrong to consider them valuable as a network device.

As you should have expected its a poor concession speech, but its a beautifully designed device.


Tags: ATT, AppStore, Apple, MiFi, Skype, Verizon Wireless, iPhone, iTouch















In the UK, resistance to drink the Orange T

September 9, 2009

I was looking at Guardian reading about the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile assets in the UK.  This 50/50 merger seems to me a great deal particularly for T-Mobile.  Orange from most accounts was the better built out network than the T-Mobile acquired assets.

I expect that some consumer concerns are going to impact the restrictions on the merger but the merger will go through.  The biggest issue is that Vodafone the UK based company just got passed in market share by other carriers making them number 3.

Its a vibrant market and if O2 was allowed to become part of Telfonica, and has Hutcheson (branded as 3) representing other foreign investors in the space the consolidation of foreign investors is a good thing. 

As for impact, I could make a case that 3 and Virgin will find a way to work together.  By in large Richard Branson has lost his taste for Telecom is more focused on energy issues (even before smart grid became the fad).  However, the opportunity may be with one of the other large players.

The analysis in the UK about the need for 5 wireless competitors should be put in perspective to the EU's over all view.  The EU commission sees all the services as blended, as ultimately they are, so landline operators, cable and other technologies should be pointed out as reasons to think beyond the monopolistic fears.

On a worldwide scale the more interesting question is should we expect more of the same.  I have often felt that T-Mobile and Sprint would be a good combination, but they do not have a common history in the US.  But strangely enough, Orange has a past with Sprint, so maybe the ball will get rolling towards some US talks.

Tags: 3, EU, Hutcheson, O2, Orange, Sprint, T-Mobile, Telefonica, UK, United Kingdom, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone