Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

'Internet Kill' switch and IPv9

Slightly off topic today as I was going through the pile of information and I caught attention of this news article that for some reason has not been reported by major newspapers. The article says that the president of USA will have the 'Kill' switch to kill off internet (temporarily i guess) in case of a major emergency like war, etc. Joseph Liberman who proposed this idea has since then backed away saying that he meant that parts of Internet can be disconnected like they do in China.

This brought into attention the other article I was going through about IPv9. Yes thats correct, I did write IPv9. I first heard about IPv9 back in 2004-5 but then it was dismissed as nothing serious. Apparently Chinese government backed Ministry of Information Industry (MII) has been promoting this IPv9. According to an old TelecomAsia.net article:

Back in July 2004, reports of a Chinese IPv9 prompted a bewildered reaction from internet godfather Vint Cerf. 'What could this possibly be about‾ As far as I know, IANA [Internet Assigned Numbers Authority] has not allocated the IPv9 designation to anyone. IPv9 is not an Internet standard. Could you please explain what is intended here‾" he wrote in an email to China's internet leaders.

The idea was dismissed as a "rogue" project with no official backing. But it is back on the table led, now as then by Xie Jianping, the head of the Shanghai Universal Institute of Chemical Technology and more recently in charge of the decimal network standards team in the MII's science and technology department.

The project returned to prominence at a press conference at the unusual location of the Party Central School in Beijing two weeks ago, where Xie announced that the networking technology had been successfully tested by China Netcom and the Ministry of Commerce.

He asserted that the project is all about China wresting control of its own IP networks away from US dominance for which, he claimed, China was paying 500 billion yuan a year.

The system reportedly uses numerical addressing to make China "the only country able to unify domain names, IP addresses and MAC addresses" into a single, metric system, according to Xinhua. Without any explanation, Xinhua said it also made China the only country outside the US "to have root servers and IP address hardware connectivity servers and its own domain name, IP address and MAC address resources".

In an interview with a skeptical Sina reporter, Xie and denied the project was another Hanxin - a reference to a fraudulent state-backed chip project.

"Our IPv9 has gone through testing and assessment," he said adding that he could not give any more detail but would "make public some material at the necessary time."

But the system, or what little is known of it, has plenty of doubters at home. Sina said critics of the system complain that turning domain names and brand names into numerals is a "backwards step" for the net.

The fact that the decimal network appears to asset control over root servers is bound to alarm internet governance bodies around the world.

And whatever else might be said about it, the project is clearly backed by the MII. "IPv9" raises more questions than answers.

So it looks like the Chinese government may have been expecting some 'Kill Switch' in the future by the US government and is probably creating a backup based on a new approach so that the users within China remain connected to their Internet.

Any thoughts and opinions are more than welcome...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Mobile Phone Developments May 2010


HTC's 4G [sic] Phone is al ready to be rolled out. It is supposed to allow to transfer data averaging speeds of 3 to 6 megabits per second, and bursts hitting 10 Mbps. Ok, I can visualise some suspicious smiles but that's marketing. Its the data speeds of a normal HSPA network but it sells.

Inside the Evo is a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of ram, and 1 gig of built in memory. On top of those screaming specs are a 480×800 display, as well as two (count em!) cameras, the better of which packs 8 megapixels. Running it all is the newest version of Android (2.1), as well as HTC’s Sense UI for a little extra eye-candy. All told, this looks like an amazing phone to finally make use of Sprint’s fancy new network, and it may just be their best bet for reversing their falling fortunes.

The Evo 4G will allow for simultaneous voice and data and will be the first smartphone to ship with a YouTube HQ player and a video chat app from Qik to be used with the front-facing camera. Though Sprint's onstage Qik demo didn't work, we were impressed with the Evo 4G's speed (Sprint brought in a 4G tower for the event) as well the handset's 3D gaming capabilities and HDMI output.

As we learned at CTIA 2010, other goodies include an 8-megapixel camera on back, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Android 2.1, and an extra-large 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen.



Tired of losing your cell phone? Maybe you need a Zomm.

The new gadget is billed as a wireless leash for mobile phones reminding you when you've left your cell phone behind. Here's how it works:

You just pair the nugget sized Zomm with your phone over Bluetooth. Then you clip the Zomm onto you or attach it to your keychain. When your cell phones gets more than 30 feet away from Zomm, the Zomm unit starts to vibrate, flash lights and then eventually lets out a wail.

You can also use the Zomm as a Bluetooth speaker so you can answer calls through it, instead of talking straight into your phone.

The leash idea can work in reverse too. If you're the type who loses their keys more than their phone, you can just attach Zomm to your keys and then whenever you lose your keys, you can call Zomm and set off its alarm.

There's also a panic button. In case of emergency you can just press it and get help immediately, without dialing on your cell phone.

Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has named ZOMM as ‘One to Watch’, because of its innovative use of Bluetooth technology and universal appeal.

“Through the use of Bluetooth wireless technology, ZOMM provides an array of convenient applications for users,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.

“Its simple application of Bluetooth technology appeals to the masses – nobody wants to lose their mobile phone.”



Verizon Wireless and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. announced the LG Ally™ will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning May 20. The first Android device from LG, the Ally is the perfect assembly of futuristic, stylish design and 3G Android power for customers looking to tackle life's most challenging feats and everyday ventures. Verizon Wireless customers can pre-order the phone at www.verizonwireless.com beginning May 13.


Until now, mobile users have been faced with a choice -- either type on a tiny keyboard or use a touchscreen keypad.

Neither is perfect but, so far, tiny but real keyboards have been winning out for many people. One of the many reasons cited by some BlackBerry users for not switching to an iPhone or similar device is that sensitive touchscreen keypad.

Some manufacturers have tried to give users the best of both worlds, a touchscreen and a pull-out keyboard, but search giant Google has another idea: make all mobile-phone keyboards obsolete.

With the recent release of its own phone, the Nexus One, users are beginning to experiment with what Google hopes is the future of mobile search: voice-and picture-based searching.

"Voice, we think, is just a natural way to solve a problem that exists on all phones, which is that typing is quite difficult, especially in certain languages like Japanese," said Alex Nicolaou from Google's office in Waterloo, Ont..

"Input methods are relatively onerous, whereas saying a brief phrase . . . is extremely fast . . . and there are just times when a picture really is worth 1,000 words.

"If you're standing outside a landmark and you want to know about it, it's obviously going to be much, much simpler to take a photo of that landmark and have the system tell you what it is, than it would be to figure out what name to type in, especially in a foreign country."

Google admits both are still in relatively early development stages and are not very reliable.

For voice searches, short strings of words work best. Even in noisy cafes, most four-or five-word searches worked well during testing. Nicolaou said one misheard word won't necessarily throw off your search results.

Google has hinted at some future features incorporating voice and image recognition. Engineers are working to improve the ability to photograph a printed page so it can be accurately scanned into text and quickly translated into another language. In a video posted online, a Google employee scans a menu from a German restaurant and uses his phone to translate it into English.

Google also hopes that, eventually, travellers will be able to speak a phrase into their phone, have it translated into another language and played back through their phone's speaker.


This season, big handset makers including Nokia, Microsoft and Motorola are betting you’ll want to flaunt cute, palm-shaped devices that look more like compact powder cases than brick-shaped mini-tablets.

Motorola is likely to introduce a new phone next month called Flipout that will have a 2.8-inch display, a 3.1-megapixel camera and a twist-out keyboard. We haven’t tested it yet, but on looks alone, it’s fabulous, darling.

Motorola’s square-shaped phone follows the release of Microsoft’s fresh-looking Kin One earlier this month. The Kin One has a 2.6-inch display, a slide-out keyboard, and looks like a rounded square when closed. In September, Nokia introduced the Twist on Verizon, a squarish phone with a 2.5-inch display. Even LG has a square-shaped phone called the Lotus, which has been available on Sprint for more than a year, and though it’s not exactly been a big seller, its looks are hot, hot, hot.

Microsoft released the final version of the desktop Office 2010, along with which it made available a flavor aimed at mobile phones, namely Office Mobile 2010. The owners of a device powered by Windows Mobile 6.5 can now take advantage of the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint editing capabilities of the application while on the go.

Among the features that Office Mobile 2010 comes around with, we can count SharePoint integration (users can easily access and edit documents stored on a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 site), Bluetooth controller mode for PowerPoint presentations, access to SharePoint Workspace Mobile, the possibility to easily take notes on the phone and to insert voice clips or pictures in them, and others more.

“Effective today, Office Mobile 2010 will be available for free via Windows Phone Marketplace for all Windows Mobile 6.5 phones with a previous version of Office Mobile. People using Office Mobile 2010 can perform lightweight editing of Office documents and take notes on the go.

As if mobile phone cameras weren't complex enough, Sharp has just announced a tiny 720p 3D camera for its mobile devices.

The 3D Camera Module has been made to fit inside either a compact point and shoot or a smartphone. The camera is crammed full of the latest technology, all of which enable it to capture both moving and still high resolution 3D images.

Things like colour synchronising processing, as well as 'fast readout' technology, help the tiny little camera to produce its images.

Sharp has made use of complicated high-density mounting technology in order to pack so many features in to this tiny device.

The company insists that the cameras will go into mass production by the end of the year.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Renewed focus on TD-LTE

Last year I blogged about the 3G Americas report on TD-LTE and Motorola's gamble on TD-LTE.





The following is from daily wireless blog:

Industry momentum behind Time Division LTE continues to grow with news that a number of major operators and vendors are working with the 3GPP to allow the standard to be deployed in the USA, using the 2.6GHz spectrum band. Clearwire and its partners own the majority of that spectrum. Most of Clear’s 2.6 GHz spectrum goes unused.

Light Reading Mobile notes that China Mobile, Clearwire, Sprint Nextel, Motorola, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco Systems are asking for the 2.6GHz spectrum (2496MHz to 2690MHz) to be defined as a TDD band for LTE.

Outside the United States, part of the band (2570MHz to 2620MHz) is already specified for TDD. The new work will extend this compliance. The report adds that specifications for the US 2.6GHz band for TD-LTE is scheduled to be completed by March 2011.

LTE pioneers TeliaSonera, NTT DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless, will all use different frequency bands for their respective LTE networks, explains TechWorld. So for roaming in the U.S, Japan and Europe to work, modems will have to support 700MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz, with more bands to be used in the future. That will be a challenge for roaming, says Light Reading.


The following is from fierce broadband wireless:

The appeal of TD-LTE has widened well beyond China. The recent announcement of Qualcomm to bid for TDD spectrum in India to support a TD-LTE deployment confirms--although it was not required to validate--the emergence of TD-LTE as global technology, likely to command a substantial market share.


Why the sudden interest in TD-LTE?

There are four main factors driving a growth in support for TD-LTE:

  • The FDD LTE and TD-LTE versions of the 3GPP standard are very similar. As a result, devices can support both the FDD and TDD interfaces through a single chipset--i.e., without any additional cost. This is a hugely important new development: TD-LTE will benefit from the wide availability of FDD LTE devices that will be able to support TD-LTE as well. Unlike WiMAX, TD-LTE does not need to prove to have a substantial market share to convince vendors to develop devices. Vendors do not need to develop new devices, they simply need to add TD-LTE support to the existing ones.
  • There is a lot of TDD spectrum available, and in most cases it is cheaper and under-utilized. 3G licenses frequently have TDD allocations and upcoming 2.5 GHz auction in most cases contemplate TDD bands.
  • The increasing availability of base stations that can be cost-effectively upgraded will make it possible and relatively inexpensive for WiMAX operators to transition to TD‑LTE using the same spectrum allocation. The transition will still require substantial efforts and be justified only in some cases, but it will make it easier for WiMAX operators to have roaming deals and to have access to the same devices that LTE operators have.
  • Industry commitment to WiMAX 16m, the ITU-Advanced version of WiMAX and successor to the current WiMAX 16e, is still limited.


What's next?

In the near term very little will change. TD-LTE is still being developed and it will take time before it gets deployed beyond core markets like China and possibly a few others like China. In Europe, for instance, mobile operators will deploy LTE in the FDD spectrum and only when they will need additional capacity they are likely to move to TDD. Unlike FDD LTE, TD-LTE will move from initial deployments in developing countries, with a later introduction as a mature technology in developed countries--a quite interesting trend reversal.


WiMAX operators will also be barely affected by TD-LTE in the short term. WiMAX is years ahead in terms of technological maturity, devices and ecosystem. This gives them a strong advantage in comparison to TD-LTE operators: They know the technology already, they have a network, and they have customers. They also have the choice whether to switch to TD-LTE or not--and, more importantly, they have no pressure to do so before TD-LTE has reached the maturity they feel comfortable with or until the WiMAX 16m prospects become clearer.



Monday, 15 March 2010

Qualcomm's FLO on the go...

Qualcomm's FLO TV is a reality in the U. S. of A. This is the advert which was being shown in the Superbowl




Many popular channels like the CNN are available real time. The following is a review from CNET.




Not everyone is enthusiastic, which is understandable considering the high cost.

I remember reading a research couple of years back which said that users are willing to pay a maximum of £5 for any service like the Internet or Mobile TV over their phone. Personally I think that is right and maybe in the next few months we may see the subscription prices dropping.

I would be interested in hearing from people who have experienced the FLO service first hand.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Sprint, Verizon and Mobile Healthcare



In US, Sprint and Verizon are going head to head with their 4G (sic.) offering. Sprint has a WiMAX network from its Clearwire joint venture while Verizon is soon to roll out LTE.

During the ongoing Healthcare Information and Management System Society or HIMSS annual conference being held in Atlanta, the CEO of Sprint Nextel, Dan Hesse mentioned that the 4G (sic.) technology will play an important part in helping to transform healthcare to a greater height.

With wireless technology being an essential part of everyday life for nearly 277 million Americans, it is changing the paradigm of how healthcare is administered. Internet savvy consumers today expect immediate access to health information and care anytime, anyplace. Last year, 89 percent of wireless Internet users sought health information online*. Similarly, caregivers are using smartphones equipped with medical applications for instant, secure access to lab results, x-rays, vital signs, drug-to-drug interactions, and other vital medical records. These trends further validate the key role that wireless will play in shaping the future of healthcare by enabling innovative and cost-effective approaches in delivering quality care.

If I had to pick the one industry facing the biggest gap between need for change and use of wireless to facilitate that change, it would be healthcare,” Hesse said. Most industries spend between 6 percent and 8 percent of their revenues on telecom, but healthcare only spends 2 percent or 3 percent on it, he said. Darwin said that survival of the fittest is not about the strongest or the most intelligent — it’s about the most responsive to change, Hesse explained, and consumers are beginning to drive a lot of the change in healthcare. Healthcare spending on telecom will jump from $8.6 billion to $12.4 billion in the next few years, Hesse predicted, and two-thirds of that increase in spending will be from wireless apps and services.

What if we had asked the healthcare industry to partner with the wireless industry back in 1986, Hesse asked as he held up a massive mobile phone from that year. What if I said we could monitor patients and look at EKGs on one of these? The timing couldn’t be better for healthcare and wireless to work together, Hesse said as he took out a smartphone from his pocket. Today two-thirds of physicians use a smartphone like this one and soon more than 80 percent of them will.

What use cases does Hesse see for the wireless tools his industry offers?

> E-prescribing — Physicians’ bad hand writing causes some 4 percent of errors found in prescriptions. Hesse said a doctor friend of his realized the first time he saw a Palm PDA that it was the same size as his prescription pad and once it got Internet connectivity it would eventually eliminate the handwritten prescription. Hesse said e-Prescribing could save $20 billion annually.

> Instant, secure access to vital signs – Hesse pointed to AirStrip’s fetal heart rate monitor as a perfect example of vital sign remote monitoring that is in the market today.

> Advanced mobile apps for consumers – In just a few years we have gone from going online to look up home remedies for various ailments, Hesse said, to using apps like flu radar which can tell us how many cases of the flu have been diagnosed in our area. Hesse also pointed to the app currently being researched that encourages the end user to cough into the phone’s microphone so it can compare the sound to its database of coughs and come up with a preliminary diagnosis.

> Ultrasound probe that plugs right into a cell phone — Ultrasound exams could be conducted nearly anywhere and pipe the images to doctors that could also be nearly anywhere, Hesse predicted as he showed images of an ultrasound probe that connects to a cell phone. This will not only cut costs for ultrasounds, especially in developing market but also make it easier for EMTs and other healthcare workers who are away from hospitals to have a tool to use on the go.

> Wireless video monitors for virtual, in-home visits — While this one didn’t seem to leverage the real benefits of wireless, Hesse told a story of a nurse who had gained too much weight to be able to come into work anymore. After a short while of being detached from her former colleagues she became depressed over the situation and much less engaged in our own care. She then became part of a program that used wireless video monitors to enable two-way communications between patients in their home and physicians and nurses at care facilities. After receiving frequent virtual visits using the system, she took control of her health decisions, lost the weight and made it back to work.

> Virtual coaches on your handset — Hesse described another patient who had Type 2 diabetes, a regimen of oral medications and high blood pressure. In order to adhere to our routine she participated in a program with Sprint’s partner Welldoc to track her adherence. Welldoc offered her a virtual coach application that reminded and encouraged her to stay on track.

> Mobile enterprise for pandemic situations — During the H1N1 scare, Hesse said Sprint encouraged its workers to work from home or remotely to stem any potential spread of the flu virus among its ranks. Unlike businesses that have not adopted mobility tools for the enterprise, Sprint was able to restrict travel and encourage working from home without disrupting their employees’ workflow and progress. They had the mobile connectivity and devices to work from anywhere.

> mVisum for remote access to images, charts — Sprint partner mVisum enables clinicians to view charts, x-rays and other images right from their smartphones. Hesse said a cardiologist might be alerted through mVisum on his BlackBerry of an ambulance en route with a patient whom the paramedics suspected had suffered a heart attack. If the ambulance had wireless connectivity it could send that EKG to the cardiologist’s phone via mVisum and the clinician could prepare for the patient’s arrival knowing what needed to be done ahead of time. In those types of situations the time saved is extremely valuable.

> Intel Health Guide for remote visits and monitoring — Hesse said that moving more patients out of the hospital and back into their homes not only reduces costs overall by also improves opportunities. A woman with a high-risk pregnancy should not be moved in many cases, but she has to move in order to visit her doctor. Instead, hospitals could provide patients with Intel’s Health Guide, a tablet-like device with a touch screen that aims to make it easy for patients to track their vital signs and monitor their biometrics through peripheral devices. Physicians can make remote visits through the Health Guide.

> 4G wireless-enabled video cameras – Imagine video cameras with 4G wireless connectivity that can help patients learn how to apply their skin medication. A similar camera could be installed in an operating room to live broadcast surgeries in high definition. If it were installed in an ambulance, the EMTs could live broadcast stats, triage and more so that the clinicians at the care facility could prepare for their arrival.

> Intelligent medicine or pills with wireless embedded — “Soon i will be able to hold up a pill with wireless embedded into it,” Hesse said. The pill could also include a video camera and could send data and images straight to a doctor’s wireless device.

> 4G phones with Blu-Ray quality screens — Everyone always points to the cell phone screen’s small size or low resolution as reasons why images aren’t very useful on that platform. Hesse said HD, Blu-Ray quality resolution is coming to 4G phones.

“There are a lot of unsung heroes here today in this room,” Hesse said. “In the sometimes bitter debates on the subject of healthcare, too often we forget how important the job is of those people who deliver care.”

“To quote Yogi Berra, ‘The future ain’t what it used to be,’” Hesse said. With all the potential that Hesse pointed to and the fact that ten mobile phones are manufactured per every baby born today, the future is increasingly wireless. The future of HIMSS is wireless. And the industry can finally put the 1970s behind it.

More on the Sprint Mobile Healthcare solution at www.sprint.com/healthcare

Verizon Business has launched an information technology platform that enables the digital sharing of physician-dictated patient notes.

The Verizon Medical Data Exchange, launched Wednesday (March 3) at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual conference in Atlanta, provides a way for medical transcriptionists to share digitized patient notes detailing patients' care and treatment with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Until now, the lack of an interoperable, nationally available platform has made it difficult to share these notes, which primarily form the basis of electronic health records.

Verizon Business developed the platform for the Medical Transcription Service Consortium under an agreement announced last November. Founding consortium members MD-IT and MedQuist currently are using the platform. By August, when the Medical Data Exchange is expected to be in use by all of the consortium's members, 350,000-plus physicians, more than 2,700 clinics and nearly 2,500 hospitals will be supported.

The Medical Transcription Industry Association estimates that its members create and electronically archive nearly 60 percent of the more than 1.2 billion clinical notes produced in the U.S. each year. Approximately 25 percent of these records currently are shared among health care providers, including other physicians, hospitals and insurance companies.

Verizon Wireless offers customers in the healthcare industry an extensive portfolio of products and services that run on the company's reliable Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A (Rev. A) network, including:

PatientKeeper® – PatientKeeper's mobility products support all operations systems while connecting physicians to patient information across inpatient and ambulatory environments. With PatientKeeper, physicians save time, increase revenue and enhance patient care. PatientKeeper enables physicians to interactively manage patient information across multiple locations, view clinical results, enter charges, sign out patients, and enter and order prescriptions, all from their smartphones.

EPOCRATES Rx for Android and Palm OS – Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who use Verizon Wireless smartphones with the Android™ OS, such as DROID by Motorola or DROID ERIS™ by HTC, or devices that run on the Palm® webOS™ platform, including Palm® Pre™ Plus and Palm Pixi™ Plus, can leverage this mobile drug reference application to get prescription and safety information for thousands of brand name and generic drugs instantly. The application also offers Pill ID, which helps identify a drug based on physical characteristics such as color, shape and imprint code; table and calculators; and drug interaction information.

Medicine Central and Evidence Central – Unbound Medicine offers two applications for Verizon Wireless Android, BlackBerry®, Palm and Windows Mobile® devices.

Medicine Central is a collection of disease, drug and test information with literature tracking for mobile devices. The application features The 5-Minute Clinical Consult, A to Z Drug Facts, Drug Interaction Facts, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals.

Evidence Central supports effective evidence-based medical practice by integrating analysis with the latest research. Clinicians can access Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, Cochrane Abstracts, EE+ POEMs (Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters from Essential Evidence Plus), and MEDLINE Journals anytime, anywhere.

Motion Computing® C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) – Running on Windows® 7, the C5 is a hospital-grade device proven to enhance clinician satisfaction, improve point of care documentation, increase clinician productivity, and improve clinical documentation accuracy. The MCA is now available with embedded Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband capability to stay connected to hospital information and the Internet.

More on Verizon Mobile Healthcare Solution at www.verizonwireless.com/healthcare

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Focus on TD-LTE by 3G Americas


3G Americas has published an educational white paper titled, "3GPP LTE for TDD Spectrum in the Americas". The report provides a top-level overview on the considerations for deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology spectrum in the Americas and recommends LTE TDD as a mobile broadband solution to utilize valuable TDD spectrum assets in the region.

The white paper explains the technical mechanism in which LTE TDD (also known as TD-LTE) and Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA), a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) third generation technology deployed in China, are smartly designed with the ability to operate together with great harmonization and efficiency. LTE TDD is a natural migration for TD-SCDMA operators. The technical synergy between LTE TDD and TD-SCDMA operators will thus increase the economies of scale for LTE TDD operators throughout the world.

Although operators are making plans for the deployment of LTE Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) technology, the white paper emphasizes that operators, regulators, license holders and investors must strongly consider the significant opportunities behind deployment of LTE in fragmented TDD spectrum as a mobile broadband solution that can serve the communication needs and demands of the marketplace.

Additionally, the report highlights that asmobile broadband is becoming ubiquitous throughout the Americas and the Internet generation is growing more accustomed to having broadband access everywhere, technology usage is exploding and, thus, is putting a tremendous strain on already well-utilized networks and spectrum. 3GPP LTE for TDD Spectrum in the Americas focuses on the LTE ecosystem and how operators are working to meet this increasing demand for mobile broadband services.

The LTE ecosystem supports both FDD and TDD operation, offering operators flexibility to match their existing networks, spectrum and business objectives for mobile broadband and multimedia services. Fifteen paired (for FDD operation) and eight unpaired (for TDD operation) spectrum bands have already been identified by the 3GPP for LTE. This means an operator can introduce LTE in new spectrum bands.

The white paper, 3GPP LTE for TDD Spectrum in the Americas, was written collaboratively by members of 3G Americas and is available for free download on the 3G Americas website at www.3gamericas.org.

The whitepaper is available here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Net Neutrality: Good or Bad?



I am not sure what the right answer to this question is? There will be winners and losers in either case.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chairman Julius Genachowski has just outlined his much-awaited plan for Internet neutrality. If the plan is approved it would drag the wireless operators in the US into the public regulatory arena occupied by their wired cousins who have recently had to account for their neutrality policies to the FCC.

The proposed policy outlined today by Genachowski will mean the FCC will get to poke and pry into mobile operators' business policies and rule on how well they conform to FCC guidelines on neutrality in the same way that wiredtelcos must. The FCC will also impose new and tighter neutrality behaviour on the big phone companies including Verizon and AT&T.

In detail: Genachowski has reaffirmed the long-standing (since 2005) broadband principles that will now be formalised by the FCC.
  • That consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • That they are also entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
  • That they are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
  • And that they are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
Genachowski has added two extra principles. Internet access providers can't discriminate against particular Internet content or applications: and they must ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practises they implement.

"The rule-making process will enable the commission to analyse fully the implications of the principles for mobile network architectures and practises, and how, as a practical matter, they can be fairly and appropriately implemented," Genachowski said today.

U.S. phone companies may be forced to open their wireless networks to rival Internet services like Skype and Google Voice under the proposal. The proposal, if adopted, would be a victory for consumer advocates and big Internet companies like Google Inc at the expense of telecom operators like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications and Sprint Nextel Corp.

"The risk to the wireless carriers is that they won't be able to stop customers from using free voice and text services like Skype or Google voice," said Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. "Voice and text are where they make all of their money."

The FCC has already been examining why Apple Inc rejected Google Voice for use on iPhone, sold by AT&T.

The new proposal could result in mobile customers cutting their phone bills by opting for minimum carrier voice plans and doing without text-messaging plans if they use mobile voice and text services from Skype and Google.

Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen downplayed the risk, saying that if they have to, operators would be sure to find a way to change their fees in order to maintain profits.
Advocates of Net neutrality have long argued that service providers must be barred from blocking or slowing Internet traffic based on the content being sent or downloaded.


But service providers say the increasing volume of bandwidth-hogging services -- such as video sharing -- puts pressure on them as it requires active network management, and some argue that Net neutrality could stifle innovation.

AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, said it was concerned about an extension of Net neutrality rules to the competitive mobile industry.

The new regulations would limit consumer choices and "affect content providers, application developers, device manufacturers and network builders," said an executive at Verizon, which owns the No. 1 mobile service with Vodafone Group Plc.

Wireless trade group CTIA, whose members include AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, said it was concerned the proposal would have "unintended consequences." Leading Cable provider Comcast Corp said it was pleased Genachowski "recognized that networks need to be managed."

Exactly my thoughts (but with proper technical terms, language and analysis ;) by Gary Kim in IP Communications:

In the communications business, rationing is a fact of network life. Since virtually every part of a communications network uses shared resources, and in a market where users do not want to pay too much for access to those resources, rationing of network resources is necessary.

Shared finite resources always pose a usage problem. Known as the "tragedy of the commons," the economic problem is that multiple individuals, acting independently, solely and rationally when using a common resource can ultimately destroy the shared limited resource.

Some people argue that this problem cannot exist with the Internet, which is virtually infinitely expansible. But that misses the point. In looking at shared resources, the "commons" is the access network's resources, primarily. In other words, the "choke point" is the homeowner's garden hose, not the reservoir.


Some might argue that IP technology, optics, Moore's Law and competition upend the traditional "scarcity" value of access bandwidth. Certainly it helps. Currently, most consumers have access to two terrestrial broadband providers, two satellite networks, three, possibly four mobile networks. Then, there are broadband pipes where people work, at school and at many retail locations.

Still, there are some physical and capital investment limits, at least at retail prices consumers seem willing to pay. If consumers are willing to pay much more, they can get almost any arbitrarily-defined amount of access bandwidth. That, after all, is what businesses do.

If consumers resist paying business prices, network investment has to be shared more robustly than it otherwise might.

Given that all network resources are shared, resources are finite. To support retail prices that require such sharing, networks are designed in ways that "underprovision" resources ranging from radio ports to multiplexers to backhaul bandwidth. Based on experience, network designers engineer networks to work without blocking or degradation most of the time, but not necessarily always. Unusual events that place unexpected load on any part of the access network will cause blocking.

Blocking, in other words, is a network management technique. And that's the problem the Federal Communications Commission is going to have as it looks at additional "network freedoms" rules commonly known as "network neutrality." The term itself is imprecise and in fact already covered by the existing FCC rules. One might argue the issue is more the definitions and applications of existing rules that require clarification.

The ostensible purpose of the new rules is to prevent access provider blocking or slowing of any lawful applications, but a rule exists for that. Instead, it appears a primary effect of the rules will be to extend wired network rules to wired providers.

Beyond that, policymakers will have to contend with tragedy of the commons effects. If, in forbidding any traffic shaping (a network management technique) in the guise of "permitting the free flow of bits," rulemakers might set the stage for dramatic changes in industry packaging and prices of Internet access and other applications and services.

U.S. consumers prefer "flat rate billing" in large part because of its predictability of cost. But highly differentiated usage, in a scenario where networks cannot be technically managed by any traffic prioritization rules, will lead to some form of metered billing.

If metered billing is not instituted, and if service providers cannot shape traffic at peak hours to preserve network access for all users, then heavy users either have to pay more for their usage patterns, they will have to change their usage patterns, or they might experience some equivalent of "busy hour blocking."

Application providers and "public policy advocates" seem to be happy that new network neutrality rules might be adopted. They might not be so happy if ISPs lose the ability to deny or slow access to network resources. On the voice networks, some actual call blocking is allowed at times of peak usage. Forcing users to redial might be considered a form of traffic shaping, allowing access, but at the cost of additional time, or time-shifted connections.

To the extent that such blocking rules already are impermissible, some other network management techniques must be used. And one way to manage demand is to raise its price, either by increases in flat-rate package prices, by instituting usage-based billing or some other functionally-similar policy.

To avoid the tragedy of the commons problem, in other words, requires raising the end user's understanding of cost to use the shared resource.

Prioritized traffic handling, which assigns users a lower priority in the network once they have reached their fair use level, might be a preferable traffic management technique to slowing any single user's connection, once their individual usage caps have been reached.

When that is done, heavy users experience degradation in service only when competing for resources in a congested situation. For peer-to-peer users, the experienced reduction in throughput will be limited over time.

Only in heavily loaded cells or areas will a peer-to-peer user experience serious issues. Prioritized traffic handling enables operators to focus on dimensioning their networks for normal usage, while still permitting unlimited or "all you can eat" traffic.

Perhaps there are other ways of handling the "rationing," but on a shared network with network congestion, available to users paying a relatively modest amount of money, while a highly-differentiated load being placed on the network by a small number of users, some form of rationing is going to happen.

Perhaps flat rate packaging might still be possible if rationing affects end user credentials, rather than bits and applications or protocols. In other words, instead of "throttling" a user's bandwidth when a pre-set usage cap is exceeded, what is throttled is access to the network itself.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

DoCoMo and Verizon on track for LTE

Verizon Wireless said Friday afternoon that it has completed "successful data calls" at its Long Term Evolution (LTE) test sites in Boston and Seattle.

The data transfers were made over the 700 MHz LTE networks in Verizon's first two major city test sites. Boston and Seattle are expected to be the first two cities that will go live commercially with the pre-4G technology early in 2010. Those cities each now have 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running on the 700 MHz spectrum.

Verizon isn't yet talking about the data connection speeds. "Everything is as the team expected... But because this is a very controlled environment we don't want to put a number out on the market yet," says company spokesman, Jeff Nelson.

This has pretty much been Verizon's stance throughout -- it doesn't want to talk about test numbers that might not have much relevance on the real networks. Tests have shown connections at anything between 50 Mbit/s to 8 Mbit/s.


NTT DoCoMo has been under intense competitive pressure in recent quarters, as the Japanese market saturates and new players enter the game. Its quarterly results showed a 15.1% decline in net profit to ¥147.4bn ($1.56bn), on revenue down 7.3% to ¥1,085 trillion ($11.46bn), even as rival Softbank enjoyed a 41.4% increase in profits on a slight revenue increase.

The main problem for DoCoMo was lower voice revenue amid increased competition and low cost tariffs - from KDDI and Softbank and also new entrant eMobile, which focuses on flat rate data services. The cellcos are engaged in a price war, which has forced all of them, especially Softbank, to launch cost cutting programs.

DoCoMo reiterated plans to launch LTE services next year, though it is pushing the deadline as far as possible - to December 2010 - determined not to have to rely on pre-standard equipment as it did for 3G with its FOMA platform. Its first roll-out will be targeted at PC cards, said CEO Ryuji Yamada, and will be extended to dual-mode 3G/LTE handsets in 2011. By 2014 it plans to provide LTE service to 50% of the population from around 20,000 base stations at a cost of between ¥300bn and ¥400bn ($3.2bn to $4.2bn).

The Japanese service will initially be aimed at PC users, with DoCoMo offering card-type terminals for laptops, said Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of NTT DoCoMo at a Tokyo news conference. It will be expanded to include handset terminals from 2011, he said. Those terminals will be dual-mode devices that use LTE networks where available and fall back to 3G networks to provide nationwide coverage.

By 2014 the carrier plans to provide LTE service to 50 percent of Japan from around 20,000 base stations.

DoCoMo plans to invest between ¥300 billion and ¥400 billion (US$3.2 billion to $4.2 billion) during the first five years of the roll-out, said Yamada.

NTT DoCoMo was the first carrier in the world to launch a commercial 3G wireless service based on WCDMA but based on its LTE roll-out it will likely be beaten this time around by carriers in other countries.

Verizon Wireless has said it plans to launch a 60Mbps trial LTE service in two U.S. cities in late 2009, to be followed by a commercial service in 2010. European carriers are also getting behind the technology with several tests under way or planned on the continent. TeliaSonera has said it will build a commercial LTE network in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Oslo, Norway.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

August 2009: Mobile TV Roundup



Qualcomm is slowly building content for its Flo TV mobile service for cell phones with the recent announcement that Discovery Communications launched a Shark Week Mobile Channel.
Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programs are scheduled to air on the
Flo TV service through Aug. 14.

Flo TV uses the analog spectrum previously occupied by television broadcasters, and offers programming from several of the large network brands. Flo TV President Bill Stone says he envisions expanding the service from cell phones to cars and other consumer electronics products.

Flo TV, however, is not the only mobile TV service. AT&T CruiseCast launched a satellite-based television service in cars June 1.

CruiseCast, which is really an AT&T logo slapped onto RaySat Broadcasting equipment and services, offers 22 TV channels and 20 satellite radio channels. Its satellite antenna is a fat disc the size of a Bundt cake affixed to the roof of a vehicle.

The service costs $28 a month, plus $1,300 for equipment, which requires certified installers who charge an additional $200-$300, says Jim Llewellyn, who demonstrated the service July 31 in San Diego.


If you feell you're missing out on The Ashes action, you can now watch the Ashes for free on your W995.

A 3-month pass for the Sky Mobile TV service now comes bundled with the device exclusively on the 3 Network.

With the service, you can watch eight made-for-mobile channels that use highlights content from the Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra channels. You’ll also be able to watch live matches right on your W995 too.

Australian cricketers Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hoggard appeared at the launch of the new bundle, and McGrath expressed his thoughts on the new bundle, saying ”the Sony Ericsson W995 on 3 is a real must for any dedicated cricket fan. To be able to access crucial games via Sky Mobile TV on the go, especially when a tournament like The Ashes is on is invaluable to me.”

After the initial 3-month period, Sky Mobile TV will cost you £5 a month. So, while the savings aren’t amazing, amounting to a whopping £15 in total, it’s still a great feature to have right now if you’re a cricket fan.



Testing of free mobile digital TV for cell phones, netbooks and other on-the-go devices is ramping up in the weeks ahead, and the first devices that can provide such broadcasts should be on store shelves by next year, according to the broadcaster-based group behind the effort.
"Just like you turn on your TV today at home and watch live and local broadcast television, you will turn on your handset and be able to watch live and local broadcast television," said Anne Schelle, executive director of the Open Mobile Video Coalition.

Trials are underway around the country in cities such as Chicago, New York and Raleigh, N.C. The biggest test pond will be Washington, D.C., where broadcasters have the attention of what may be the nation's most powerful audience — politicians. "We already have two stations on the air there, and we'll have the rest of our stations on air by next week," said Schelle.

Cell phones are probably the largest single group of devices that could receive local TV programming.

"There are 250 million of them out there," said Schelle. It's not clear whether wireless carriers are as enthusiastic.


MobileCrunch has picked up an interesting story from AV Watch - who themselves have spotted a USB tuner that plugs in to your TV, and then streams out 1-Seg (that’s a Japanese TV standard) formatted TV that your iPhone/iPod Touch can pick up via an App running over WiFi. Nice.

The iPhone has been at somewhat of a disadvantage for a time, because unlike a lot of other phones in Japan, it can’t natively pick up a TV signal - Japan is one of the places where Mobile TV has worked (but there are a number of specific reasons for that….), so this little bit of kit solves an issue for people who need their TV fix.

The USB device is called the SEG Clip, and is sold by I-O data it follows a previous device that was more of a standalone unit from Softbank Mobile - that one was it’s own receiver, transmitted the data by WiFi, but also double as an extra battery if you plugged it in to an iPhone.



WISH-TV today announced the expansion of its mobile offerings to include a new application for BlackBerry smartphones. This mobile application is the latest addition to 24-Hour News 8’s fully synchronized television and digital offerings that are available free of charge at www.wishtv.com .

WISH-TV unveiled its iPhone custom application with great popularity and much success in May 2009. In addition to these specialized applications, 24-Hour News 8 is also available via any web-enabled mobile device.

LIN TV , WISH-TV’s parent company, in conjunction with News Over Wireless (NOW) has developed the custom BlackBerry smartphone and iPhone applications for each of its 27 local television stations. Six LIN TV stations, including WISH-TV, launch the BlackBerry smartphone service today. LIN TV is the first in its local markets to provide instantaneous and on-demand access to its local news, sports and entertainment, as well as video, weather forecasts and traffic reports to BlackBerry smartphone subscribers.

Six LIN TV stations launched the BlackBerry service last week, including WISH-TV, WAVY-TV, KRQE-TV, WANE-TV, WALA-TV and KXAN-TV. LIN has been among the more aggressive broadcasters in the deployment of its content over nontraditional platforms.

Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS) has made its Hindi, Marathi and Bengali news channels -- STAR News, STAR Majha and STAR Ananda -- available on the mobile TV platform.

The content of all three channels will be streamed live, including the ads that appear during the news programmes. The content will be available on the 3G networks of MTNL and BSNL. However, the company claims that their mobile TV option will also be made accessible to subscribers of other telecom operators, who offer 2.5G services.

Currently, only two mobile operators -- BSNL and MTNL -- offer 3G services in India. The video content delivery process is faster on 3G mobile networks, as compared to 2.5G.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Verizon's bold step towards IPv6


Verizon is taking bold step of mandating the devices that connect to its LTE Network support IPv6. The following is from Telecom Asia via Network World:

According to device requirements Verizon released earlier this year, any device that hooks onto the LTE network currently being built on the 700MHz band "shall support IPv6" and further states that "the device shall be assigned an IPv6 address whenever it attaches to the LTE network." The requirements make support for IPv4 optional and state that any device supporting IPv4 "shall be able to support simultaneous IPv6 and IPv4 sessions."

IPv6 is a long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is known as IPv4.

As CircleID blogger and Pennsylvania State University senior systems programmer Derek Morr notes, the adoption of IPv6 is going to be particularly important for wireless carriers that are expecting a surge in mobile data traffic in the next few years, as they will need a fresh batch of Internet addresses to handle the multitude of wireless devices that will hook onto their networks.
"The problem, of course, is that we're running out of IPv4 addresses," Morr writes. "The IANA pool will most likely be depleted by the end of 2010. This has led many people to wonder if LTE deployments will require IPv6. Now we have an answer: Yes."

Verizon is planning to launch its LTE services commercially in 25 to 30 U.S. markets in 2010. The network will be the first mobile broadband network in the United States to be based on the LTE standard, which is the latest variation of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology that is used for 3G High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) networks. AT&T and T-Mobile have also announced plans to commercially launch LTE networks after 2010, while Sprint has already commercially launched its high-speed mobile WiMAX network.

One of the biggest drivers for carriers upgrading their mobile data networks to 4G technologies is the expected explosion in demand for mobile video services. A recent Cisco study on Internet traffic trends projects that 64% of mobile data traffic will be for video by 2013, vs. 19% for data services, 10% for peer-to-peer and 7% for audio. The study also says that the projected video traffic will increase four-fold between now and 2012

You may also want to read my post on the case for early LTE in USA.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Case for Early LTE in the USA

Doug Wolff,Vice President , End-to-end LTE product management, Alcatel-Lucent spoke about "The Case for Early LTE in the USA" in the LTE World Summit. Here are the main highlights from his presentation:

Overview of US Wireless Market:
  • With the penetration rate approaching 90% and the economy decreasing, customer and revenue growth are both slowing
  • Data is becoming increasingly important to operators’revenue growth –driven by flat rate data plans and the iPhone
  • Operators are developing new revenue models, including M2M and mobile advertising
  • Consolidation continues --the top four operators have recently purchased: Alltel, Rural Cellular, Dobson and SunComWireless
  • LTE deployments are scheduled to begin in 2009, using the already auctioned 700 MHz and AWS spectrum bands
  • Increase in availability and demand for smartphonesand multi-featured devices
  • Verizon & AT&T, with 60% of the market, focus on network quality and coverage –smaller operators jockey for position with pricing
  • Operators have increased their focus on OPEX cost savings related to network spending
The US Wireless Users of Future will demand and consume more data. According to a survey done by Alcatel-Lucent, Consumers are more likely to be interested in video, image, location and Business in collaboration, video conference, data transfer. There is a very high likelihood of people signing up for 4G [sic] when it is available.

The US lags in broadband adoption. It ranked 21st in world in 2008 vs. 6th in 2001. Rural broadband lags urban/suburban areas. 21% of US (nearly 60M people) live in rural areas.

To encourage Broadband rollout especially in rural areas, Broadband Stimulus Bill has been proposed. The Bill highlights can be seen from the picture:


LTE can be an ideal candidate as it leverages wireline/wireless assets for rural access in the USA
  • Digital dividend band (700/800 MHz) offers ideal radio environment for rural access
  • Best available backhaul using microwave, GPON and optical aggregation
  • Common aggregation and service routing offers converged access solution


Along with the technology, focus is also on services, etc. Verizon has recently Wireless LTE Innovation Center to foster the development of new devices and applications for its upcoming fourth generation, long-term evolution (LTE) network (see presentation). The main aim being:
  • Accelerate innovative services
  • Enable new business models
  • Attract open innovation
  • Enable multi-screen experience

Along with this there is n.g connect program that will help various players in the ecosystem to come together.

There is also a Verizon Open device/development initiative and they recently released its initial set of technical specifications for devices that will run on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) fourth generation (4G) wireless network. The specifications are available for download at www.verizonwireless-opendevelopment.com.

So in conclusion, the case for early LTE in the USA driven by End-user demand for enriched QoE and New market opportunities (M2M, rural zone, M-advertising, 700MHz spectrum..). This is being helped by Network & Ecosystem initiatives led by Verizon & Alcatel-Lucent for successful early LTE launch in the USA. Drivers & Enablers of early LTE in the USA are highly relevant in European & Asian Mature markets. An early rollout in USA will encourage early rollout in other markets.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

AT&T to do HSPA+ enhancement before adopting LTE


Before AT&T implements LTE, it plans another HSPA upgrade that will bring 3G capacity up to 7.2 Mb/s, says Telephony Magazine, using software enhancements to squeeze one last boost in bandwidth from its current high-speed packet access (HSPA) network. That will boost speeds from 3.6 megabits per second to 7.2 Mb/s, said Scott McElroy, AT&T Mobility vice president of technology.

In March AT&T announced plans to invest between US$17 billion and US$18 billion this year to, “extend and enhance wireless and wired broadband networks to provide more coverage, speed and capacity.”

AT&T currently has the enhanced networks running in two test markets but plans to extend those capabilities to its entire network, according to Telephony. Later this year, AT&T plans to start migrating its 3G networks to evolved-HSPA (or HSPA+), which would triple peak speeds.

AT&T, previously known as Cingular, launched its HSDPA network in 2005, supporting 1.8 Mb/s, but boosted that capacity to 3.6 Mb/s by 2008. Most of the laptop cards and smartphones AT&T sells, including the iPhone, have the silicon necessary to access that additional capacity. AT&T is now in the process of field certifying 7.2-Mb/s devices on its two test networks, McElroy said.

AT&T will most likely skip the final HSPA iteration of 14.4 Mbps, said McElroy, since HSPA+ is now ready for prime time. Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (also known as: HSPA Evolution, HSPA+, I-HSPA or Internet HSPA) is a wireless broadband standard defined in 3GPP release 7.

That could enable AT&T to go straight to 21 Mb/s. HSPA+ actually encompasses a bevy of upgrades, including evolving to a flat IP core and the introduction of smart antenna technology, but AT&T is focusing on upgrades to the baseband, which will dramatically increase capacity without having to fiddle with the elements on the tower or in the core.