Posted on October 4, 2012
Background. Recently the Wall Street Journal reported consumers are increasing complaining that phone and tablet wireless Internet fees are causing a reduction in discretionary household spending elsewhere. Even 37% of presumably well-heeled Journal readers replied to an online poll confirming monthly mobile data bills are forcing them to sacrifice other items in the household budget. The problem is particularly acute for families with children where membership plans can easily reach $300 monthly.
The two dominant carriers, Verizon and AT&T, readily concede they expect monthly bills to climb steadily higher as they adopt metered bandwidth rates. As long as wireless traffic congestion is managed by granting exclusive frequency allocations in a manner originated a century ago, carrier executives can smile at the future like a roomful of bankers fondling TARP bailout money. Yet escalating Wireless Internet access fees will not only be more costly for consumers, they also damage future growth opportunities for powerful companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Read more…
Posted on May 30, 2012
Last week a Presidential Panel urged a radical shift in spectrum management principles toward White Spaces as a means of relieving increasing traffic congestion resulting from the century-old method of exclusive frequency licenses. Inside Digital Media subscribers realize we’ve been advocating just such a change for over a year. Among the report authors for President Obama are (1) Google’s Board Chairman, Eric Schmidt (2) Microsoft’s Research & Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, (3) Hummer Winblad Partner, Mark Gorenberg and (4) U.S. Venture Partners partner and New York Times Board Member, David E. Liddle.
Essentially the report advises the President to authorize – or even require that – those government agencies with lightly used dedicated frequency bands enable commercial users to access such channels when not in use. Future smartphones could be equipped with frequency agile transceivers capable of accessing vacant channels in authorized bands when they’re momentarily free of traffic. It’s the same principle underlying TV Band White Spaces. The entire process is transparent to the user and accomplished on-the-fly by embedded electronic intelligence cooperating between hand-held smartphones and base stations. Read more…
Posted on March 26, 2012
A little under a year ago, we posted four reasons why Apple may decide to become a Wireless Internet Service Provider. Presently, we conclude that if Apple doesn’t do it, one or more of the other Internet-dependent giants shall, by the year 2020. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Google (YouTube), FaceBook, and Microsoft cannot permit their futures to be controlled by today’s dominant wireless carriers. Increasingly, their growth will be throttled as cellular carriers expand bandwidth-metered pricing.
The new competitors shall use (1) licensed and licensed-exempt frequencies in combination with (2) cognitive white space manipulation as a new incremental paradigm for efficient bandwidth allocation. Licensed channels may be purchased from current holders of lightly-used spectrum. One example could be Clearwire. Assuming government approval is denied, the channels Verizon is trying to buy from the Cable TV industry might be a second example. Read more…
Posted on May 3, 2011
Last week (April 29th) Microsoft notified the FCC it wants to be an administrator for TV Band White Spaces.
Interpreting the announcement’s significance requires an accurate comprehension of much misunderstood TV Band White Spaces. Put briefly, the FCC has reserved enough spectrum for about fifty TV channels. Since each station has a limited broadcast contour, channels can be reused in different parts of the country. To illustrate, different station owners use channel 7 in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Albuquerque, San Francisco, and San Diego without interfering with one another, owing to geographic separation. Theoretically, each city has fifty channels available, but FCC regulations require that stations not interfere with those in nearby cities. That’s why WABC can broadcast on channel 7 in New York City, but no station may use channel 7 in close-by Newark, New Jersey.
Posted on January 23, 2010
Like the lost adventurer Carnehan from Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would be King, RealNetworks crept back into the news with the recent resignation of its CEO and Founder, Rob Glaser. Also like Carnehan Real hardly resembled the robust $12 billion market value industry leader it was at the turn of the Century having since dropped 95% in stock price. While Carnehan had an amazing story to tell, at least Glaser has an edifying one. Read more…
Posted on February 22, 2009
If you would like to learn how the NCAA basketball tournament could feed demand for getting Internet Video to the TV, this audio program is for you.
CBS is giving Microsoft and the Win-tel computer makers a great opportunity to boost demand for their products in advance of next month’s March Madness. Unfortunately it looks like they are going “to the ball” by ignoring the opportunity to promote the TV-to-Laptop connection. Such a laptop-as-Media-Controller configuration empowers viewers to watch any game via live streaming video through the laptop to the TV screen. Read more…
Posted on January 29, 2009
After its recent disappointing earnings report, Microsoft should give serious consideration to stimulating demand for PCs by fostering the next “Killer Application” for the Win-tel platform. Such an application is likely to emerge this year as consumers discover flat panel TVs and laptop computers have a number of common connection sockets. Once attached, the laptop functions as a Media Controller for flat panel TVs thereby enabling consumers to watch Internet Video on their televisions.
In such a configuration the TV acts as a giant monitor for the laptop. The laptop’s built-in WiFi connects to a home network and thence to the Internet. Given a remote mouse and keyboard consumers can watch Internet Videos on their TVs in a comfortable lean-back viewing experience.
This is good news for Microsoft for several reasons. Read more…
Posted on March 4, 2008
Summary: If you are curious to know why Blu-Ray won the standards battle against HD-DVD for High Definition DVDs, this interview is for you.
Subject: Our guest today is Steve Lang who operates the MadMaxMedia.com blog. Steve believes that the decision by Sony to include a Blu-Ray player in the Play Station 3 gave Blu-Ray the edge. While Microsoft’s X-Box could double as an HD-DVD movie player, the consumer was required to purchase an added external drive.