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

Research Firms Missed Again on UC

MarketsandMarkets states that the UCaaS market size is expected to grow from USD 17.35 Billion in 2016 to USD 28.69 Billion...

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End of Messaging?

Chetan Sharma has been discoursing on what he calls the “4th wave of mobile communications” for some time.  And I’ve commented on some...

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Robocalls Call for Service Provider Intervention

Robocalls have been getting quite a bit of ink lately in the United States.  Robocalls are those annoying auto-dialer calls you may...

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Talari Adds Firewall, Features to SD-WAN solution

SD-WAN is another one of those growth areas in tech which often goes unnoticed. Some time back I went to visit Talari...

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Silicon Valley Will Crush You!

The amount of PR generated by tech companies mostly in Silicon Valley like Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Tesla and Amazon is staggering....

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HD Voice Finally Comes of Age

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about HD voice.  When HD voice was first coming to the market 7 or...

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Tech Culture Will Separate Winners from Losers in The Digital Economy

The 2016 Tech Culture Award winners have been announced The outlook for tech workers has perhaps never been brighter as top tech...

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Can Walkman 2.0 Occur; Sony Ericsson

August 18, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal has knews that Sony Ericsson is going to have a new CEO.  In the land where 4G is closer than anywhere else (Japan), SONY Ericsson has been a contender, but in other places not so strong.

With the Ericsson the parent now having a bigger footprint in the US with the acquistion of Nortel, the outsourcing by Sprint and the overall positive response to them from cable and wireless carriers, Ericsson has made the right moves.

And for Sony Ericsson with the game-focused mobile phones one that features an accelerometer for gesture-based controls and one that is linked to the Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles to swap content.

Gaming is certainly an important market, but my big issue is can the company get an advantage (again) in music.


Tags: Ericsson, PlayStation, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Walkman, accelerometer, gaming, mobile gaming

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A Slow News Day, but not Inactive

August 17, 2009

I have a few blogs to post, but I am not sure the audience is here right now.  I was shocked to see how much noise was coming out of some of the previous posts.  I was talking to some good friends about security issues.

Lots of people talking about finding new opportunities in security from the telecom world, but I am not sure they have a real understanding about the role they would have.  Many friends have suggested that they would be adding security functionality, but in truth the best that a telcom person should hope for is to be the interface to where the action is.

Lets take the recent Facebook & Twitter Denial of Service attacks as an example.  It turns out the attack was not on the site itself but the content of a specific user on the system.  This focused attack is related to the content.

Telecom does not normally look at the message it just provides the transport media. 

The point of making this observation is that to the security experts wearing the black / white hats the migration to 4G wireless is just more of the same of the Internet.  The concepts associated with ISUP  and other out of band control signals are periphereal to where the attack is most likely to occur, which is the application layer.

  The OWASP list of attacks are not about signaling. They are about attacks in the application itself

Tags: 4G, Facebook, OWASP, Security, Twitter.











BTOP Extended for those who are Ready

August 13, 2009

On July 9, 2009, RUS and NTIA published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and Solicitation of Applications in the Federal Register announcing general policy and application procedures for the BIP and BTOP.  74 Fed. Reg. 33104 (2009).  In the NOFA, RUS and NTIA encouraged all applicants to submit their applications electronically and required that certain applications be filed electronically through an online application system at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.  74 Fed. Reg. at 33118.  RUS and NTIA established an application window for these grant programs from July 14, 2009, at 8 a.m. ET through August 14, 2009, at 5 p.m. ET (application closing deadline).

 

I can't be the only one suffering! Address Book MisManagement

August 13, 2009

As a bell head the concept of state was indoctrinated into me.  I am not sure if this was through Osmosis, the continue using of the Bell System Practice as a head rest, or the "My Network" mentality.

Today the peers run rampant on my machine.  I get a .vcf file or an AIM message and you would think I was dealing with the bankers of the old lending tree add.  (I would use the old WaMu ad but the bankers were all clustered in those ads).

Particularly annoying right now is Plaxo.  Which seems to have lost its state awareness on the fact that I downloaded the integrated app to my address book and yet everytime i get a .vcf pops up again.

Other nonsense includes the ability to take from Google but not push to Google.  (Not sure why Google has not taken this problem on themselves).

The continual facebook loss of my password (and my mistrust of anything that claims to be facebook).

And of course my Apple Time Machine, that has decided I have to reinput all my license keys after the fiasco of the stolen machine.

I want control of my identity and I want control of the identity systems independent of software packages.

I thought the data portability group was going to bring me something to this end, but they seem to have other issues that motivate them.  OpenID in theory should be this, but so far the services seem to have more control than the users.

I think this should all be linked to a presence enginge managing presentity with a key chain to my devices.  I have not seen anything like this as independent service, but maybe I am wrong. 



Tags: Address Book, Apple, Bell Systemp Practice, BSP, Gmail, Google, Identity, Plaxo, Presence, Presentity, State





















Clearwire Adds Just 12,000 Subscribers in Q2

August 13, 2009

Highlights (or lowlights) from the Clearwire Aug. 11 earnings call (the press release is here):

-- Clearwire reports 12,000 net subscription adds for Q2, down from 25,000 for Q1. Ouch. Execs on the call say this number is good and signups are strong, but no getting around the fact that 12,000 is not a big number. Remember this is all mainly Portland, since Vegas/Atlanta didn't launch until end of quarter. The net adds includes losses from pre-WiMAX subscribers, which may be significant.

Clearwire Adds Huawei to Infrastructure Suppliers List

August 12, 2009

In a separate announcement before its earnings call Aug. 11, WiMAX provider Clearwire announced that China's Huawei has joined its list of infrastructure vendors, specifically to provide radio access network (aka RAN) equipment. According to the press release:
Specifically, Huawei will provide several key infrastructure pieces, including base stations, element management system (EMS) components, and related network hardware and software.

Clearwire said former suppliers Motorola and Samsung remain on the WiMAX provider's preferred list, along with Cisco, Ciena and microwave backhaul specialist Dragonwave.

According to Clearwire chief technology officer John Saw, Huawei will be providing base station technology that offers "a significant improvement in coverage and quality," thereby leading to lower costs for Clearwire network deployment. The Chinese supplier's aggressive pursuit of matters WiMAX includes 2,000 engineers working on WiMAX, according to Charlie Chen, senior VP of marketing for Huawei USA.

Clearwire said Huawei gear will first be used in Hawaii and Seattle, two markets where Clearwire has scheduled live rollouts for 2009.

Tags: Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei, Motorola, Paul Kapustka, Sidecut Reports, Sprint, WiMAX

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XG Technology: Building for the Broadband Experience

August 12, 2009

XG Technology has been driving the next generation of wireless services and is now on the brink of a roll out that will enable the service provider to be both Internet and voice friendly. While other companies are now ignoring the voice to develop data services on their voice network. xG has developed their voice strategies based on the wireless network they run IP over. WIth layer 2 optimization xG is designed to support the end points.  The commercial release of their products are sold under the brand xMAX.

Recently they announced they were participating with the Stimulus with services they are building for XGTechnologyFrankPeake.mp3.

Frank Peake and Shaski G joins us in a discussion about xG's latest advances and the opportunities in the market today.

Tags: Broadband Stimulus, Frank Peake, Shashi G, Townes Tele-communication, VoWiFi, xG Technology, xMAX

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How Close is the Future: Verizon

August 11, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about the deals Ivan Seidenberg has made as the head of Verizon, while the deals have been great for the corporate coffers, the stockholders and the buyers of the assets of Idearc, FarPoint and the Carlyle Group have suffered.

In some ways you can think of Verizon as the Carrier's version of General Electric with the same mantra of "if you can not be number 1 in a business get out of it." 

Verizon has also managed to shed personnel in the deals making it a kind of force reduction solution, (we could look at this as the anti-matter to Cisco's acquire the company for the talent strategy).

At the heart of Verizon we can see one major goal enabling HD Video.  Its true for their FIOS vision, and its true for their LTE vision at Verizon Wireless.

So how are they doing at delivering on this vision?  And how many iterations does it take to get it right?  FIOS is now starting to be talked about favorably by friends that have it.  That future point that Verizon aimed for of the three HD TVs per home watching a game has arrived. 

For Verizon Wireless, that vision is still to be delivered upon, the MediaFlo and VCast promise is in transition. 

At their developer's conference you heard the message of Video as the future.  Yes they want applications, but they want to be the screen you look at, more than the headset you speak into.  This is the vision of FIOS, and its probably even a more illuminated vision for Verizon Wireless with LTE.

Think of the Term FIOS.  As a techie I see the IOS and think of Cisco's Internetwork Operating System attached to the work Fiber.  Its about the delivery of services via glass that was probably the vision being shared by the techies before the marketing took over.

Likewise at VDC, Verizon Wireless was promoting the Wireless equivalent.  Roger Gurnani stated that the Network API they were promoting was just the beginning.   They have an idea of where they want to be in the future, now the question is how fast can they get there?

The cash cows that have been sold seem to have lost their productive years based on their filing for bankruptcy. If you are making a deal with Verizon here is the caveat emptor, the asset they are selling probably does not fit into their vision of the future, so you may be paying a premium and should ask yourself what is your vision of the future. You better have a vision that goes beyond the dairy. 

Verizon does.

Tags: Carlyle Group, Cisco, FIOS, FairPoint, GE, General Electric, IOS, Idearc, Ivan Seidenberg, LTE, Network API, Roger Grunani, Verizon, Verizon Wireless

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ATT vs. Telefonica The Long Tail Effect of Apple's App Store

August 10, 2009

Having received the quarterly reports of Apple, ATT and Telefonica, I was very curious about the reasons that Telefonica was not basking in Apple's glory like ATT was.

The iPhone 3GS has added about another 1M new subscribers to the ATT network and if my calculations are correct they have about 10% of the US population on the iPhone.  

So if the apps are so kewl why is Telefonica not enjoying the same results.

A few reasons have been pointed out to me, some ring true and some do not.  The first one is that app store has many apps that are not available in Spanish.  Particularly the cooler (kewlr?) ones that rush to market to get ahead of the game do not make it on to App Store in a user friendly manner.
So the app store is not as powerful a weapon for Telefonica which interestingly enough impacts word of mouth, if you have to translate the app your are using to another person is it that interesting?

Secondly comes the issue of GSM countries versus the US.  In the UK Telefonica offers the iPhone to English speakers versus their O2 subsidiary, but the sales are not astronomical. It may be that ATT is in the backward nation of the US of A, where wireless has been starved for a working wireless Internet.  In Europe the ability to browse the Interenet from your cell phone is not as unusual thanks to GPRS, so the wow factor of mobile browsing is negated.

Also comes the fact that the exclusivity is leaky in Europe.  T-Mobile has the phone in the Germany as does O2 (even if its not sold directly their its supported) and a lot of ATT phones made it to Europe when Apple sold them only the US orginally.  An article in a German Trade magazine suggests that about 25% of the market is being supplied via other contracts.

Then comes the reality of smartphones, the blackberry, Nokia's N series and other smart devices were more readily available as a choice in the lands where GSM offered the customer the ability to bring their phones of choice to the GSM standard.  A closed network smartphone looks like a step back to people who are used to buying their phones and selecting the carrier independently.  Its hard to sell the cool of a proprietary service in Europe.

Finally comes price and the price points from Telefonica may not work in world where the cool distinction is marginalized by the factors above.

I bring this up for a few very specific reasons.  It may be that the iPhone does not have the same wow factor for other countries. In Japan, the iPhone has very little marketshare.  The wow factor their is the wrist action, which in the land of the Nintendo's Wii, NTT's Docomo and Softbank's mobile games is not that compelling.  I don't have exact prove of this but the sales numbers seem to indicated that where the wireless Internet has been available the longest, there is where iPhone sales are least.
















Gerry Purdy's Newsletter

August 7, 2009

I was reading Gerry Purdy's newsletter and he was talking about the cell phone as a hub for your networking needs. Its a good read and I encourage my readers to keep informed with Gerry as well.

His analysis is that the expectation that we will have two services plans is not as logical as the carriers would like to expect. 

His point is that the netbook and data plans that are going to be on the 4G networks are not going to maintain the loyalty that carriers like.  (In full disclosure I have added a fourth carrier to support my MiFi habit)

So are my existing carriers happy I went to the another one?  It will be in their nature to slam for the voice into some sort of bundle or have us maintain on a data plan that supports voice.

Up until now tethered services have required a PHD to figure out how to connect your Blackberry or data capable cell phone to a computer as a wireless modem.  But with Bluetooth it should be relatively easy and according to our friend Anton Wahlman in the US  the modem capability is now supported for about $30 a month from both ATT and Verizon (PS T-Mobile offers limited but free use)

So as the data plan wars heat up we should expect to see carriers willing to blend their 3G and 4G networks.

Right now Sprint does a nice job in giving dual mode access between their networks.

In a private conversation with a major vendor of LTE we discussed the carriers desires to keep the data on the 4G and milk the voice out of 3G.
While its what the carrier wants its not clear how it fits into the consumers choice.

Expect that for the next few years the deals will be varied and hard to compare.

Tags: 3G, 4G, ATT, Anton Wahlman, Blackberry, Bluetooth, Gerry Purdy, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, wireless modems. Frost & Sullivan