Carl Ford : 4G Wireless Evolution
Carl Ford
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April 2009

You are browsing the archive for April 2009.

Skype vs. DT And now the Ref Steps in..

April 13, 2009

A friend sends a note..

The European Union (EU) is reportedly preparing guidelines for wireless
carriers to allow VoIP services like Skype to run over their networks,
including punishments if they don't comply. EU commissioner (Viviane Redding) said "action" should be taken against carriers who use market power to block new services.

Apparently, the EU already has prepared a draft position to open up
smartphones to VoIP services, but lawmakers want to refine the language.
Right now, each EU country has to decide how they want to deal with blocked
services on an individual basis, and the EU is asking countries to take
legal action against carriers that "block innovative services." Deutsche
Telekom's decision to block Skype may prompt the EU to look into antitrust
charges against the carriers.

I had already commented and will continue to do so.

Open Source Net Neutrality via Google

April 10, 2009

Just in Time for wireless broadband to start playing out Google has started the M Lab and M stands for Measurement of your connectivity.  The beauty of this place is not in the tools, many of which have existed for some time but the gathering point for the information.

It has its own blog, and I would suggest that it is a good spot for network engineers everywhere to gain perspective.

However, this is not a Wheatstone bridge.  Being able to tell you are being throttled is not necessarily telling you who is throttling you. What it does it tells you there is smoke (if you were looking for the fire).

This is just the beginning for this site. 

It may be that alternative service providers find this place to be a source for third party corroboration.

As the edge delivers applications it may be the best place to look at where problems occur.

I am somewhat disappointed that it does not have a cloud component or a widget available.

However, it's a starting point and as the wireless network moves to IP in our 4G world, I am sure we are going to need tools like this.

Docomo Currents of Change

April 8, 2009

While the rest of the world is looking at 3GPP Release 8 as part of Long Term Evolution,Senior Manager of International PR at DoComo, Shuichiro Ichikoshi, is working  hard to express the trends in Japan.   First of all, while the rest of the world is trying to figure out when to deploy what they are calling LTE (aka 3GPP Rel 8) , Docomo claims it will have LTE deployed at the end of this year.  NTT DoCoMo  has already managed to transmit data at close to 5G bps to a receiver moving at 10 kilometers per hour using 4G technology.  However, the testing of LTE is undefined and internal at this moment.

In the land, where cool apps were the start of a revolution, and where a  number of devices that are cool and web enabled from the get go, the iPhone is not that cool.  Why?  First of all the alphabet keyboard capability is not important to those countries where Kanjei characters are quicker in the menu than a spelling correcting alphabet solution.  Secondly, other than the touch screen, the applications are just as compelling via iMode.

Bottom line, the Japanese are still leading the way toward our broadband future.

Terre Star's Satellite Solutions

April 7, 2009

EB Software (Elektrobit Corporation) and Terre Star demoed a prototype satellite phone that was dual mode with cellular.  It raised some interesting questions for me.  Unlike the expensive satellite phones of other companies, this was an incredibly elegant footprint, about the size of any other smartphone, with all the normal bells and whistles. 

This system is the right size for the future and it's a guiding light in the path ahead for devices in the future and makes it hard for nomads to not be available. This phone will allow users to seamlessly and securely stay connected to both the satellite and terrestrial components of the TerreStar network.

Additionally, the system takes advantage of a roaming relationship with ATT to provide an augmented footprint.  The design can be white labeled and has value in a number of situations including vertical markets. It supports video and has low power constraints. 

Terre Star is building North America's first 4G IP-enabled, next generation mobile communications network over an integrated satellite-terrestrial system. TerreStar expects to be the first to offer customer-designed products and applications over a fully optimized 4G IP network.

EB is a company of 1700 employees, and is a leading developer of embedded technology solutions for automotive and wireless industries.

What Happens in Vegas, Didn't Stay Very Long

April 6, 2009

In my opinion, CTIA, which took place in Vegas last week, suffered quite a bit for a number of reasons.  Now that CTIA is no longer fighting the battle with GSMA, the event was suffering from survivor's guilt. 

The show could have been about the iPhone.  It seemed that anyone and everyone (except Docomo) walking the aisles of CTIA was carrying an iPhone.  Apple did not participate in CTIA and beyond the announcement that Skype is now on the iPhone, there was no Apple iPhone presence at the event. Without the iPhone presence at the event, applications became the subtext of the show. RIM announced its' new app store along with a series of new partnerships with content providers.  Although the show was active and there was obviously business activity taking place,   there was no break out news or activity taking place. The most happening thing was the FierceWireless party!


April 2, 2009

Here in Vegas, I have been doing interviews with a variety of companies and talking with friends. 

One observation I have is that it may be that all 10M iPhones are on the floor here.  I am shocked how many people have an iPhone.  They may not partner with Apple, but they certainly are impacted by it. 

Skypes annoucement yesterday of its iPhone application was just icing on iPhone's cake.  Their party celibrated their being number 1 in the app store and the promise of coming to the blackberry. 

An Interesting story, is that Skype can make a wifi call but not a 3G call.

So who is more important in this story today?  Skype or Apple?

The reason I ask is because of the best conversations I have been having asks the question does the App Store represent the future?

What does it represent to the future. 

As the issues about open networking get blurred between the carriers and handsets manufacturers, the need for the Wireless Carterphone decision is apparent.

And based on the number of iPhones I saw here, I am sure the carriers get the issue.  Now can they embrace the change?

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