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

Procera Helps Carriers Shape Even Encrypted Traffic

One of the biggest challenges for network operators is certainly dealing with the growth of network traffic in a margin-compression environment. Video...

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MultiTech Intros New 4G-LTE Cat 1 and LoRa Solutions

For anyone who worked with PCs during the 1980s they remember MultiTech as a major player in the world of modems. In...

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Cybersecurity and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

There are perhaps four major cybersecurity incidents in my mind which are world-changing. The first is the OPM data breach which allowed...

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Value-Added Services in the VoLTE World - Enterprises

From an enterprise value-added services perspective, voice conferencing could be a good one.  Enterprises still need to host conferences, so conferences that...

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Value-Added Services in the VoLTE World - Leveraging the Device

Looking at the subscriber from a different perspective, that is, one who is going to use the mobile device as an on-ramp...

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Value-Added Services in the VoLTE World - RCS

Mobile Value-Added Services (VAS) has historically meant any kind of service beyond voice where the service provider could charge an additional fee....

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You Can Get Fired for Choosing Dropbox: A True Story

An MSP is contacted by a publicly traded company looking for help managing their IT. When the MSP goes to the company...

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EU Price Rationalization

July 2, 2009

If all politics is local this one indicates the issues local to Europe.  Europe is about to go on holiday.  As a matter of fact for the northern climates July is the month, the southern go in August. So the law to reduce the cost of roaming for both SMS and Voice will be loved by all starting now. Which is why it went into effect yesterday.

Charges for roaming in Europe have been high regardless of whether you are roaming on the service provider that you already have in your home country.  O2/Telefonica, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone are brands that span across Europe but, charges when you leave your own country do not take into account your affiliation. 

Viviane Reding at the ECC has been a long time advocate about the high prices of carriers, and is very Skype friendly as she as held them up to make her points about the traditional carriers.

The biggest change will be the way that consumers see their bills because the prices are rounded up to minutes but on seconds.  The large carriers say they have already complied with the law but the commission says it intend to continue the analysis and may add future guidelines next year.


Of course the issue right now may not be SMS or Voice but the web, and with revenues in decline the migration to LTE for many of the carriers may face some financial challenges.








Tags: DT, Data, ECC, EU, France Telecom, GSM, KPN, O2, Orange, SMS, Skype, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Viviane Reding, Vodafone, Voice, Web, billing

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TerreStar to Launch

July 1, 2009

FCCESQ

July 1, 2009

Okay, First of all I admit I am a fan, but a frustrated one.

Chairman Genachowski announced his staff.  Men and Women (many Harvard trained) that are willing to give themselves to public service.  Thank you all.

So why I am frustrated.  I have been rooting for some IAB, IETF types to be the mix. No Offense to lawyers but changing law to support changes in communication in theory could benefit from some of the best thinkers about where the Internet is going and where it should go.

I am aware of some of the best Interent engineers on the planet's willingness to come work for this administration.  So it was with a frustrated sigh that I read the bios of the chairman's staff.  I wish you all well, but please let some of the brillant minds that are expanding and supporting the Internet be more central to your views of what you are regulating.

The rules of Interconnection and taxation that have driven telecom for centuries are being usurped by the ability to interoperate based on Internet - working meet points and almost universal ethernet structure.  The Universal Service I worked to support in my youth is drawing to a close and the age of a new universal service (called the Internet) should not be judged on the existing service models.

My hope for you all is that the new laws you offer are based on a goal for service in the future and not a restriction of power we have seen in the past.

Tags: FCC Staff, Julius Genachowski

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How I Spent My Summer Stimulus

July 1, 2009

Today's the day the NTIA explains the Stimulus package for unserved and underserved networks to be augmented, developed, etc.

It was the ability to understand the funding that has helped RUS in the Dept. of Agriculture put the dollars out there which has given Alvarion a boost with companies like Connected Nation, Digital Bridge and Open Range.

Now the question is where will the NTIA dollars be spent.  There are some tricky considerations that have yet to be explained.  The dollars are in effect CapEx.  Even with a quick adoption the OpEx is probably going to add to the costs. Then of course comes the analysis of the criteria and whether you can be disqualified. Some strategies get the backbone services dispersed into the parts of the states that are underserved via strategies that utilize existing networks and make the equivalent of aggregation points, others are for dealing with loop problems.  I am hoping that all of these strategies are based on first hand knowledge of the problems.  Mark Hewitt and John Reynolds have been offering some interesting strategies to specific states that are worth considering.  For one state that I am very familiar with their strategy fixes alot of known problems. Tom Evslin is involved on behalf of Vermont.  The issues within the states are very different.

Other friends, like Rob Mazer who is coming to 4GWE to speak about the Stimulus, are more carrier centric and will have plans that will span beyond a state jurisdiction. 

Larry Strickling who has been key to getting these dollars in place, is now in the position of overseeing the plan.  I know he has the vision, now its time for the execution.  Since the dollars are suppose to be earmarked just on September 10th, it's going to be a busy summer.

Tags: BTOP, DoA, John Reynolds, Larry Strickling, Mark Hewitt, NTIA, RUS, Robert Mazer, Stimulus, Tom Evslin

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The Death of the Cassette: Anthony Robbins

June 30, 2009

My TV keeps me company in my late hour work and my hotel rooms.  Often I wake up to the infomercial dujour.  Anthony Robbins is on a lot these days with a 19.95 offer.  I have been trying to understand why so cheap.

Then I noticed the offer was only for the audio cassette.

My guess is that he got caught thinking that cassette was a constant business. I think we can assume that the tipping point has occurred for digital media.

Face(It)Book: Get Over It!

June 30, 2009

Sitting here waiting for my Penetration Testing class, I am reading a copy of MIT's Technology, particularly the Simson Garfinkel article regarding Facebook.


It's a pretty good read and asks the interesting question?  Why are so many privacy advocates on Facebook? This is the reality of security.  Not only is it a second class, terceriary consideration.  Event its advocates are willing to ignore the risk for the sake of being "where the action is".

The reality is that repetition is reputation and the view of people about Facebook is that the security is pretty good.  This view is based on all these levels privacy restriction.  Mind you the latest status release from Facebook has been written up in the market as an added privacy feature.

But this is the real issue, words like privacy and security go hand in hand in peoples minds as part of a security strategy.  But publishing your presence status does not enhance the privacy.

Its a lot like love and marriage,  privacy and security can be a blend but can just as easily have very little to do with each other.

At the root of Facebook is the opportunity for malicious attacks.

You have "zero security" as Scott McNeally has said in years past, "deal with it!"

And for most part people have.

When my own computer was stolen my identity was very vulnerable to compromise.  I am still trying determine the extent of the damage done to my network, but so far it looks like my MAC has not been used to visit the same sites as mine.

But these issues of security are of great concern.  I have recieved spam from friends, and of course invites and causes that might as well have been spam.

From my own perspective I can not image this is going to be the norm for the rest of our lives.  I expect security is going to become more than a fear and into an action. 

For myself I now think of Facebook as something to send to, not to reside on.  I am back to email.  Unfortunately it is GMAIL.  Which I will write about my frustrations with that system presently.

Tags: facebook, login, passwords., privacy, security

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Nortel Enterprise Two Buyers (Together) are Better than One

June 29, 2009

First of all congrats to Nokia Siemens.  I always wondered why the domain is NSN.  From now on this will be Nokia Siemens Nortel in my head.

Here is a thought about the rest of Nortel.  Nortel Enterprise is not just about voice, its about transport and other tools that are within an enterprise.  So who is the logical choice to acquire.

The rumor mill says that Avaya and Siemens Enterprise are already in the bidding war. However, hedge fund companies adding more distress to the mess is not their normal strategy (think of Chrysler / Cerberus). I can make a case for both and of course Cisco, but I have another idea. 

Digium has a very strong relationship with Adtran.  While it looks like Adtran is losing people the beginnings of Digium started with Adtran. 

The reason I suggest this two partner acquistion is based on the remaining assets of Nortel Enterprise.  The PBX is only 1/3 of the asset and its a hardware intensive solution.  However a Asterisk adjunct box (particularly if it can support SkypeIn Skype out) is a no brainer value proposition.  (Heck Ebay might even put some money in).

Now comes the other parts.  Over 2/3rd of the value is in rock solid government and networking equipment and for Adtran this would represent a new energy into a company that has been strong but needs to augment the porfolio for government contracts. 

Mind you if the dollar numbers I am hearing are true this is kind of a stretch, but I have seen the numbers rumored and the numbers signed to vary greatly. It may be worthwhile for Adtran and Digium to jump in.











Out in the Open Oracle

June 29, 2009

Reading the Wall Street Journal, I saw the Justice Department is extending the review of the Sun acquistion by Oracle.  Ben Worthen, pointed out in the article,  In April, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison called Java "the single most important software asset we have ever acquired."



This is the critical issue in the Justice department mind.  Hardware no worries, Databases no worries.  JAVA not so fast.

SUN has done a great job enabling the third parties to adopt the JAVA and as they have said continually,  IBM is the largest JAVA developer. 

Given the ecosystem of JAVA, I am not sure there is much to worry about.  I can imagine some optimization for Oracle and as long as the Java Community Process continues.  Having said that, it would be nice if JAVA became more stabilized as a standards effort.  This is the one place I would focus as the Justice Department.

After that I am hoping that Larry gets his Internet Toaster.  Back when I was in the carrier, I kicked the Oracle folks out since they had an expectation that I was going to provide local loop Ethernet. 

Today the vision can be accomplished and Larry should bring it back and with an Open API.  You would be surprised what things are available when the database can be networked.  New federation opportunities exist and SUN asset will prove its value.. 

Tags: Ben Worthen, IBM, Internet Toaster, JAVA, JCP, Larry Ellision, Oracle, SUN, WSJ

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The Dead Zone: The realities of Coverage

June 27, 2009

While roaming the Internet, looking for things to make my Blogging more interesting to you the reader, I came upon Jeff Cohn's Coverage maps

I am sure you have seen the Verizon Dead Zone commercials. 

Looking at Jeff's maps you come to understand that living in an NFL city skews your perspective on coverage and makes the stimulus goal of unserved areas easier to grasp.  Mind you the economics are hard.  After all the Alvarion / Open Range announcement talked about 6M people in 17 states.  Its hard to get critical mass in some areas.

When I worked for what is now Verizon in NY I was struck how much of New York State might as well be US West territory.   When my pal Mark Hewitt showed me the plans to connect the fiber rings in NY I immediately recognized the holes that were being filled by their plan.

As will be discussed at 4GWE, If we are going to make the Internet available on broadband to everyone its going to take more than any one carrier can give us.  

One last point about the maps.  If you look at them you can see that unserved is a much greater problem then underserved.  It will be possible for the competitive providers to claim they need stimulus, but my hope is that Chairman Genachowski will focus on the unserved.  They are a greater need and more important to the greater good imho.  I base this on the believe that economies of scale work in our favor where people are served, I would venture a guess that whoever is servicing the area might be open to enabling wholesale.


Tags: Dead Cell Zone, Dead Zone, FCC, Jeff Cohn, Julius Genachowski, Mark Hewitt, Verizon

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Natural Selection and Evolutionary Process

June 27, 2009

Investor's Daily has a nice article on how wireless operators in the US have hit the saturation point.  While I keep trying to talk about nothing but the broadband wireless network of the future, consumers are selecting an alternative direction.   

Prepaid services are on the rise with companies like Boost (Sprint brand), MetroPCS and LEAP.  These services are strictly voice and text, with very little intention to use the wireless Interent at the moment.  One exception is American Movil which is testing a $30 a month plan that includes browsing.

For the large players world wide the story is a mixed bag.  On the positive revenue side the smartphones are on the rise to by 12% worldwide.  On the negative side the overall worldwide market fell by 9%.  (statistics courtesy of IDC in the article). 

While almost half of the market lost revenue worldwide domestically ATT is up almost 10% and its all thanks to Apple.  Mind you I am not sure those dollars translate to the net given the contract with Apple but we have to tip our hats to them.  Solid growth and from what I can tell loyalty.  I have not see the numbers, but I am guessing that 3GS has a lot of first generation iPhone users coming back.

Its seems for a great many consumers we should have a sign that says "Its the text stupid".  Their connectivity is about SMS.  For me, this feels like a market ripe for arbitrage which brings me back to the real value of the Internet.  The ability to evolve applications that grow the community.

From a 4GWE perspective the obvious question is what should we expect for the data needs.  As people are texting like crazy should we expect the data side to segment into low end services as well?  That will on my mind with our community in September 1-3 in Los Angeles.

Tags: 4gwe, ATT, American Movil, Boost, Investors Daily, LEAP, MetroPCS, Wireless Carriers, prepaid, smartphone

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