Posted on December 23, 2011
Today’s nineteen minute audio interview is with Lior Shemesh who is the Chief Financial Officer of Israel-based Alvarion. His company is a maker of WiMax and WiFi equipment.
Future unlicensed wireless Internet access networks will use a variety of standards to provide large zones of coverage. Such standards will include WiMax, WiFi, and White Spaces. As users, we won’t know, or care, which standard is being used. All we’ll care about is how well and how fast we are connected wirelessly to the Internet within a wireless coverage zone.
Wi-Max discussions can be confusing because there are two standards. Read more…
Posted on December 15, 2011
Today’s podcast is a thirty minute audio interview with Rory Conaway who is the CEO of Triad Wireless Engineering. He is also the author of a constantly growing online book entitled Tales From the Tower which is an excellent source on The Wireless Internet.
Triad is a radio engineering consultancy with two basic services. One is to help equipment vendors and wireless operators bid for, and build, economical wireless communications systems, typically not involving cellular carriers. A second function is to advise equipment vendors on future designs.
Rory believes that unlicensed Wi-Fi networks are poised to handle a considerably larger-than-historical share of Internet traffic for four reasons.
Posted on December 13, 2011
As noted five years ago in this Inside Digital Media video podcast, the device is more accurately labeled a “teleputer”. (The podcast is so old it was done in Windows Media Video). George Gilder originated the concept about twenty years ago when he envisioned a hand-held unit providing convenient wireless access to a global computer network. It was kind-of the evolutionary destination implied by a popular computer industry slogan at the time, to wit, “the network is the computer.”
Each day Gilder’s concept becomes increasingly obvious to a growing proportion of iPhone users. Today everyone realizes telephone conversations are only one of many useful iPhone functions. More significantly, iPhone users are progressively learning that computer applications are becoming the unit’s raison d’etre. In short, the phone’s digital capabilities such as photography, geo-location, audio & video playback, and especially Internet access, are the defining characteristics. Applications like Skype and FaceTime portend an era when cellular telephony per se, becomes irrelevant to iPhone owners. Read more…
Posted on December 9, 2011
Earlier this week Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal provided implications (1) about the ultimate potential of Wi-Fi and unlicensed networks and (2) that the Cable industry is not really “about” television anymore.
For example, he quoted Time-Warner Cable’s strategy chief, Peter Stern: “We’re basically a broadband (Internet) provider….As a convenience to our customers we (also) package and distribute television (programming)”.
Inside Digital Media subscribers got the word two years before Mr. Stern in our “Cable Operators Will Abandon TV” post and podcast on December 5, 2009. The viewpoint created a lot of flak at the time.
In short, we concluded cable operators would eventually abandon television service for two reasons. First, Internet services are much more profitable. Second, cable networks like ESPN will constantly pressure CATV operators to raise subscriber rates or accept lower profit margins.
We recommended that CATV managements begin to focus on providing increasingly reliable and lightning-fast Internet while preparing for the day when it would be wise to divest or spin-off the pay television service. Unlike you, Peter Stern was not an Inside Digital Media subscriber. Read more…
Posted on December 7, 2011
Today’s podcast is a twenty-five minute interview with Steve Coran who is a co-founder of Rini Coran which is Washington law firm dedicated to wireless FCC work. We discuss two topics: (1) incentive auctions for TV stations and (2) TV Band White Spaces.
TV Station Incentive Auctions
Steve estimates it could be three years before TV station auctions actually take place.
Background. At the behest of the FCC, Congress is considering bills to permit selected local TV stations to auction their broadcast spectrum. The likely buyers are cellular operators like AT&T and Verizon. Presumably, most of the auction proceeds would go to the U.S. Treasury, but a minority fraction would be retained by the selling station.
Typically the seller would use the proceeds to continue broadcasting by sharing spectrum with another local TV station. Digital technology enables traditional analog TV channel band to broadcast multiple streams of digital programming. Selling stations could arrange to share their portion of the auction proceeds with a non-selling station in order to get access to the spectrum needed to remain a competitive broadcaster. Most viewers would be unaware that two competitors are sharing a single TV channel because cable systems would assign each a separate ‘channel’ on the programming guide.