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

UCaaS Leaders?

One more research company put out its market leader report on UCaaS (unified communications as a service or as I call...

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A Grateful Holiday Break

Heading home to visit friends and parents. It is a good time to stop to write what I am grateful for....

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SS7 Signaling Still Alive and Well

As operators migrate to IMS and LTE, and thus IP architectures, SS7 signaling has seemingly been left behind.  After all, Diameter...

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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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CrowdSourcing gets an Open Source

July 20, 2009

A friend pointed out to me the release of Reuter's Handbook of Journalism
He was seeing this as a blow against paid content.  I am still trying to get my arms around what will happen in the paid content world.  I can make a case for a few models, but the thing I believe the most in is that revenues for specific content go down, while diving down to specific demographics of the audience will get a higher premium.

But the story here is more interesting if we think of Reuter's making an attempt to put some structure in the way user generated content is presented.

We can look at the release of this document as an attempt to set a standard for journalism for all.  In effect doing crowdsourcing in a set way.

Recent events in Iran showed the power of the mobile devices to deliver the message of what is happening on the street.  Not everything that happened was to the positive when it came to cell phones.

However, if Reuters is able to influence the market of would be journalists, they in effect have crowdsourced reporting and given themselves an advantage in editing and selecting of content in a more timely manner.

And that's been Reuter's history is to be the first with the information.

From a business perspective information has a shelf life that impacts the market, the quicker you have corraborated valuable information the more likely you can make a good choice from a business perspective.



Tags: Iran, Nokia, Open Source, PPV, Reuters, crowdsourcing

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Thinking About the Digits

July 17, 2009

I had a meeting yesterday talking about my favorite topic.  Identity.

From the discussion of identity all sorts of issues swirl around in my brain, federation, interconnection and interoperability, the principles of end to end on the Internet and even IPv6.

My bell head really shows up when it comes to URIs.  I just dont agree that I am going to be able to search for the person I want in this modern world without somehow using a phone number.

I am going to the doctor today, and in looking for his number on the web, I was struck by how many sites wanted to tell me about the doctor without actually getting me to him. 

I don't want to look like an old man that says "when I want your opinion, I will give it to you", but please help me know that you and I are talking about the same doctor.  Give me an identifier that helps me call if I want to.

While Search is alive and well directory is still a mess on the Internet and I am actively looking to improve it.

I believe that phone numbers are better than email in pushing out information in public.  You give out an email and you worry about who is using it and how cheap it is to get to you.  You give out a phone number and you know it will cost them to call you, so you trust it will be for a good purpose.

Plus you are used to being public about your phone number, or you paid extra for not being listed.  Email's spam problem got so bad, people use social networks as their only email.

Mind you I am open networker so my perspective is skewed, but here is the best anecdotal evidence I have.  My daughter wont let me see her on facebook, but she knows I need to have her phone number. 

Clearly the dynamics are changing, but I think a phone number is the best identifier to share publicly.

Tags: URIs, enum, facebook, phone numbers

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Apple vs. Palm Part 2.0

July 16, 2009

It's official Apple has proven themselves to be just one more brick in the walled garden.

Apple provided their equivalent of the Carterphone decision was needed when they blocked the PalmPre from using Itunes.  In other words, it was okay to let people on windows use it, but not for them to have it.

Very interesting.

We are definitely in a new phase.  This reminds me of when all the wanna-bes wanted to attach to AIM and both sides had teams of developers.
Eventually of course the problem was no longer that interesting.

Legally, Apple has the right to do what it wants.  Its a free software package.

The questions is does that show them as a good partner to the companies who look to make revenue from the downloads.

Is this an opportunity for Limewire to support the legitimate revenue models?
It should be interesting to see what happens.

Tags: Apple, Limewire, Palm, PalmPre, iPhone.















It's Time to Develop Again

July 16, 2009

Carriers are dealing with a saturated marketplace that makes it hard for the innovative to make headway.  A price war seems like the most logical answer to some friends of mine and in fact, some companies like Clearwire have been leading the battle on both fronts.  However their innovation strategy is to be an enabler and not focus of solutions.

In my continuing conversations with my fellows, the web apps are always the most interesting to talk about, but video is something worth seeing.  So far the apps have been more about the specific applications and I am not sure they match up to the way we normally live.

But Video is different.  Its more natural in my mind and its a logical place to embedded new applications.  Unlike a phone where to expect an interaction almost always interferes with proper use, Video and external controls are not normally next to each other anymore.

So we have the expectation of interacting beyond DTMF.

As I listened to a VC friend yesterday I was struck by his expectations for mobile video. 

The Video he wants expects on mobile is interesting.  Unlike voice where the expectation is you move the phone to side and out of sight.  He is looking for the display and the control to be better blended.

I was thinking of a video kindle when he talked.  But candidly the kindle's interface except for turning pages is primitive at best.

All of this is from the adoption of ATSC 2.0 and the adoption of the H.264 codec including Scalable Video Coding [SVC].

Today's Radvision Webinar I moderated is a good place to start looking at what is possible.  We are definitely going down a new direction in Video and its worth your time to understand the paradigm is about to shift.

Tags: ATSC 2.0, Clearwire, H.264, Mobile Video, Radvision, SVC, Scalable Video Coding, VC, Video

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The Smart Approach: WiMAX Goes to College

July 15, 2009

A university campus prides in its cohesiveness, in its connectivity.  Campuses have always organized programs to bring their students together socially.  Now universities want to unify their students technologically.
In the past, students were able to connect to the Internet in various locations on campus via Wi-Fi--usually in the library, the cafeteria, the dorms, and several other isolated spots.  In an age of online communications, the Internet connection has become vital to a university's makeup. 

The 4GWE Newsletter will come out today: Me vs. GigaOM?

July 15, 2009

I hope you are a subscriber...Turns out I have taken a contrarian view from our friend's at Gigaom.  The second paragraph in particular is mind boggling to me.

The App Store is just the latest game changer to come out of Apple's Cupertino labs, and it has been a smashing success. The company today announced that 1.5 billion applications have been downloaded, with the latest 500 million downloads coming since just April. Approximately 65,000 apps are available for more than 40 million App Store-capable devices (the various forms of the iPhone and iPod Touch), and 98 percent of iPhone users have downloaded at least one app. AdMob founder Omar Hamoui thinks the App Store will be a $5 billion business in two years, though it looks like a relatively small number of apps will capture the lion's share of that revenue -- of course, like any consumer industry, advertising helps (subscription required). Some even think the iPhone is the hottest gaming platform out there; the rate at which downloads are growing would excite any investor:

This is just so much KewlAid, I dont know where to start.

First of all, lets segment this a bit better.  I would say the story here is not the store but the device.  After a lunch meeting a friend ask me the advice of should he buy and Iphone or and ITouch.  I told the the Itouch was the answer. 

Apple has made the best handheld game on the market, and if you have to you can justify having it by buying it as a phone.  A pansy way out of having spending the big bucks on a pocketgame.

But when you go the app store what you discover is that of the 65,000 apps the long tail is very long and the good stuff that takes real advantage of the game function is less than 2% (Anyone want to help really quantify this?).

I have called the rest technocrud, but candidly that is giving crud a bad name.

Opportunistic applications are better equated to viruses.  And let me tell you some of them are really annoying.

So if the AppStore turns into a $5Billion dollar business, I will be looking at the Jim Carrey Riddler role in Batman 2 as prophetic.

If you have the ability to deliver things on the Internet why in the world would you allow yourself to be constrained by an app store.

I do give Josh credit for his predictive powers  Two years ago, I predicted Apple would be bigger than Google.



















Someone with a Clue!

July 14, 2009

Thats the normal address on the NANOG list when a particular companies IP network is behaving badly with another internetworked company.  Its not always associated with facilities.  As a matter of fact more often its more virtual.  Routing Tables, Email systems, etc. 

Going through my emails today, I was thinking about how the 4G Wireless Internet would be portrayed on this mailing list.

I have been asked to start writing about the security risks of 4G. 
The opportunity for spoofers on a 4G network should generate some interesting problems and some good articles in 2600

I think the first issue to discuss is the question about how IP SEC fits into the mix of 4G.  See security on a 4G network is easy to set up for the end points that want to exclude, but when you want to hitch a ride it may be the use of OFDM generates some interesting ways to spoof on modulation. 

One more layer to apply IP SEC to in a system of layers upon layers.  So often everyone points to IP SEC and then tries to avoid actually implementing it.  It will be interesting to see if a lower layer security strategy will stay in the IP SEC space or become a proprietary lightweight tunnel.



Tags: 4G, IP SEC, NANOG, Security.














Peter MacKinnon, President of LG Nortel Gives us Perspective

July 13, 2009

I read an recent press release from LG Nortel and thought we might gain some understand by interviewing Peter MacKinnon, the Chairman of LG Nortel Ltd, and President of the LG Nortel BU.

 

[CF] Is the LG Nortel relationship an entity that exists regardless of the turmoil at the parent company?

[PM] LG-Nortel is a profitable, standalone business and has not filed for creditor protection. The company is solvent with a strong balance sheet, >1000 employee base, enjoys a leading position in building customer network solutions in Korea (across several product portfolios) and has generated positive cash flow from operations since its inception in November of 2005.

Given Nortel's filing for creditor protection and the ongoing business environment, Nortel has decided its intention to seek a buyer for its majority stake (50% + 1 share) in LG-Nortel, the company's Korean joint venture with LG Electronics.



Ericsson Do You know What You Got? Sprint!

July 10, 2009

As usual, I have to start by admitting that I am a Dan Hesse fan and my bell head nature feels for the team at Sprint.

The people who made this deal viable are long gone.  When the taffy pull of Sprint and Embarq first occurred Dan went with Embarq.  While I have no first hand insight, I remember my divestiture experience and all my ATT friends looking forward to being free of that local loop. 

Sprint's network since the split has been an interesting mix of fixed line, Internet and Wireless.  In theory it had the efficiency of the network behind it to make the company a lean mean fighting machine, but as my Dad used to say you think your are breaking up and in reality its a Taffy Pull.

Sprint and Embarq had OSS overlap and the company suffering from the digestion of Nextel could not find a strategy that equated to customer service.

Now we are going to see Ericsson manage the network, but the real question is what is the migration plan?  I would assume iDEN is out for sure and the relationship with Clearwire should make for even more interesting navigation for Ericsson.

If Ericsson pulls this off it may also indicate some opportunities beyond the US market.  Ericsson has been a lead integrator for Telefonica / 02 and it may be the Sprint asset gains some new relationships that way. 

However the market has been hard on Ericsson, it used to be you could go into the executive offices of most Latin American PTTs and find swedish being spoken, thats how embedded Ericsson was.  Today the question will be how does the commitment to 4G impact the Ericsson / Sprint network plans.

We are lucky to have keynotes at 4GWE from both Clearwire and Sprint that can hopefully give us the insight we need as we watch the rollout continue.

Tags: ATT, Clearwire, Dan Hesse, Embarq, Ericsson, iDEN, Latin America, Nextel, PTTs, Sprint, Telefonica

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Widget Wonders & Apps Trap

July 10, 2009

Finally some sense out of someone about the App Store.

Today's Journal calls Malcolm Gladwell out on his favorable view of the ability to charge for content thanks to the app store. 

Shaw Wu from Kaufman Brothers points out that at best the store is generating 1% of the revenue for the hardware.

My friend Dave Jodoin says it well about apps in general we have a long way to go.

If you asked me which is more important to build a widget or an app, I would vote for a widget that connects to you through the cloud rather than an app that traps you on a device.

As a primer lets define our terms this way.

An app needs to communicate with the OS
A widget just needs to communicate with the web

If you follow this logically this race to the app store that is going on is just one more blue tulip bulb (holy cow now entry in wikipedia for this) in a world that should have benefited form experience by this time.

Widgets I believe make so much more sense on so many more levels and yet its the weak sister right now.

And when Google announces its heading toward an OS that makes the problems worse. (more on this with another blog).



Tags: App Store, Apple, Dave Jodoin, Google, Kaufman Brothers, Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, Shaw Wu, WSJ, Widgets

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