Unwired Tap – July 2005

Published in TDAN.com July 2005

TDAN.com, congratulations on your eighth year anniversary.  Eight years and getting stronger with each passing year.  Eight years is also quite a span of time and a leap of progress for
many areas of our global culture.  Let’s take a peek back at the 1997 time period from a wireless perspective and then move forward.

What were some of the big items grabbing everyone’s attention back around 1997?  The focus on Year 2000 projects was heating up.  The Telecom Act of 1996 was just beginning to have
impacts – Bell Atlantic purchased NYNEX, SBC bought Pacific Telesis then acquired Southern New England Telecommunications and Ameritech, Bell Atlantic merged with GTE to form Verizon, the
802.11b standard wasn’t yet ratified and C. Michael Armstrong was the CEO of AT&T and wanted to implement a strategy of calling party pays for a wireless call.  At the end of 1997 there
were about 55+ million wireless subscribers and wireless revenue of about $25.5 billion.

Fast forward to 2003.   There have been many changes in the wireless industry and in wireless technology.  802.11b firmly entrenched as a wireless LAN protocol but newer standards
that meet the need for faster access and ‘the last mile’ connectivity are on the horizon. Portability – the ability of consumers to retain their phone numbers when switching carriers – took
effect.  There were about 1 billion subscribers and approximately $89 billion in wireless revenue.

Now we are up to 2005.  We have mergers occurring in the wireless world.  There have been mergers between Cingular and AT&T Wireless, Sprint and Nextel and other merger activity.
We’ve left 802.11b in the dust, 802.11g is commonplace and are talking about 802.16n (MIMO) wireless internet access.  WiFi and WiMax are getting a lot of attention as are the increasing
number of hot-spots and municipal WiFi networks that are being planned or implemented.  We have an entire nation that is ‘unwired’ (see Nugget of Knowledge section).  Voice over
Internet Protocol (VoIP) is beginning to heat up and challenge the existing land line infrastructure and cost structure. 

Where are we headed as we burst into the future?  You can bet on the slogan of ‘Bigger, Better, Faster, and Cheaper’.  It is estimated that there will be approximately 2.3 billion
wireless subscribers by 2009.  The primary growth coming from Asia – China and India.  There will be gigabit wireless internet access and the Digital Home will become more of a
reality and much more personalized.

So TDAN.com, congratulations again on your first 8 years.  Those eight years have gone by very fast for both TDAN.com and wireless technology.  I look forward to looking back in a few
years, seeing a kinder and gentler global community along with some incredible leaps forward in technology and the wireless industry.  As the old saying goes – “You ain’t seen nothing
yet”.

If you have a question pertaining to a wireless or digital living that you would like to ask or share with our readers send me an email and I will update
everyone in a future column.

Wireless Nuggets of Knowledge:

Following are a few interesting articles and discussions on wireless:

  • MSNBC – June 7, 2005
    Seattle, San Francisco most ‘unwired’

Seattle and San Francisco are the most “unwired cities” in America – top spots for computer junkies who send e-mail and surf the Web at restaurants, libraries or public plazas. –
 
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 8, 2005
    Gigabit wireless on the way

A German-led university and corporate research consortium is laying the groundwork for 1 Gbps wireless Internet access. The Wireless Gigabit with Advanced Multimedia (WIGWAM) project is using 108
Mbps 802.11n and MIMO technologies as the starting point for bringing 1 Gbps wireless into homes and offices. The targeted spectrum is the 5 GHz band, along with the 17, 24, and 60 GHz extension
bands. The main application area, says the group, is the transmission of multimedia content in hotspots. The project’s industry supporters include Siemens, Philips and Nokia. –  
To read more click here

  • SearchNetworking.com – June 27, 2005
    What is hot in wireless access?

Do your summer plans include a WLAN implementation? If so, you’ll want to find out about the latest in wireless access points and read surefire expert advice for selecting the best equipment for
your environment. –
To read more click here

  • FireceWireless – June 24, 2005
    VoIP, mobile to kill landlines in Europe

According to researcher Analysys, traditional telephone service in Western Europe will decline significantly over the next four years. VoIP and mobile phone services will account for 60 percent
of all residential voice service spending in Western Europe by 2010. A quarter of households in Western Europe will switch away from plain telephone services by 2010 to a combination of mobile
and VoIP service. The researcher predicts that in the next five years 45 percent of voice minutes will be made from a mobile or VoIP connection, compared to 28 percent in 2004. –
To read more click here

  • FireceWiFi – June 22, 2005
    Mauritius world’s first unwired WiMax nation

The tiny (very tiny: 100 sq.mi., 1.2 million people) Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is about to become the world’s first country to deploy a complete nationwide high-speed wireless
network. The government calculates that the new network will make the beautiful island a hub of cyber business activity, expanding the small nation’s economy beyond tourism and fishing. Navini
nomadic broadband wireless access will offer coverage of the entire island, part of it rather mountainous and rugged, addressing the residential, business, and recreational needs of the island’s
population and year-round visitors. The deployment will take advantage of next-generation 802.16e-based WiMax.

Navini’s system is a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) WWAN solution featuring smart antennas. The technology provides a wide range of coverage, extending miles from the base station. Since it is a
zero-install solution within the area of NLOS coverage, customers will have no problem to get it going. In conjunction with this island-wide WiMax deployment, the government of Mauritius
announced it was becoming an e-government: By the end of the year every Mauritian will be able to conduct any and every business related to the government online and wirelessly throughout the
country. Citiziens ordering services on-line will be able to access these services the same day the service is ordered. The entire network is being installed by ADB Networks the main Internet
Service Provider in Mauritius. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWiFi – June 22, 2005
    Intel shows unified WiFi solution
     

Intel last week showed a unified WiFi technology supporting solution. The technology will support all current and projected WiFi standards. Krishnamurthy Soumyanath, Intel’s communications
circuits research lab director, said, “The variable bandwidth of this solution extends capabilities beyond today’s 20MHz to 100MHz and is expected to support data rates higher than 100 megabits
per second that should allow people to enjoy multiple high-quality video streams concurrently.”

The technology is based on a standard CMOS. The all-CMOS direct conversion dual-band radio transceiver is not an insignificant step toward Intel’s implicit goal of providing a single chip which
can handle multiple radios in a single device. The CMOS-based technology will keep production costs low. Note that the device in the research paper presented at the Symposium on VLSI Technology
in Kyoto, Japan, shows a 1.4-volt design, which is very low power consumption compared to what is available in the marketplace today. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 21, 2005
    2.3 B global wireless subscribers by 2009
     

According to the latest research from In-Stat, the global wireless market will top 2.3 billion subscribers by 2009. The wireless market is expected to gain 777.7 million new subscribers around
the world between 2004 and 2009. The researcher claims that by 2009, 40 percent of the world’s CDMA users will be on WCDMA networks. While will China continues to lead the world in overall
subscriber growth, the other growth leaders will be found in other parts of Asia, particularly in India. The researcher predicts that nearly two-thirds of all new wireless users will be Asia.

To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 20, 2005
    Earthlink pitches for municipal WiFi network

Earthlink is trying to enter the municipal WiFi market. The company is positioning itself as a municipal WiFi service provider and manager. The company would deploy the wireless network and
maintain it (presumably working with other vendors), and in return get access to a new group of broadband subscribers. Some insiders speculate that Earthlink is moving into the municipal WiFi
market as a way to hedge its bets against its dying dial-up access business. While Earthlink has had success in moving its legacy dial-up subscribers to DSL, the ISP has not been successful in
winning cable partners and has no market share in the cable arena. Earthlink will need to win several citywide contracts if it hopes to fuel subscriber growth with this strategy. If this
experiment works, Earthlink could open a new category for the WiFi market: the Metropolitan Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). –
To read more click here 

  • Broadband Wireless Weekly Report – June 20, 2005
    Growth Cited for T-Mobile HotSpot Network

T-Mobile HotSpot, a provider of Wi-Fi access service for mobile users, is expanding, having boosted customer network usage and added roaming agreements, according to an announcement issued by
T-Mobile USA Inc. –
To read more click here 

  • eWEEK’s Wireless & Mobile Update – June 20, 2005
    AT&T Tests Enterprise WiMax in the City

The company’s fixed-wireless trial in Atlanta, if successful, is the precursor to commercial services in urban settings. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 17, 2005
    Intel reveals all-in-one wireless chip

Intel has managed to integrate onto a single chip all of the elements a device needs to connect to a WLAN. The prototype supports 802.11a/b/g but should also be able to meet the projected
requirements of the forthcoming 802.11n standard. Intel’s ultimate goal is to build a communications chip that can connect to any type of wireless network, including WiFi and WiMax, as well as
PANs like Bluetooth and UWB. Once in production, the technology should enable wireless device manufacturers to build products that are smaller, less expensive and more power thrifty. The chip still
requires additional testing and government approval and is at least two years away from production.
“This system-in-a-package design uses more low-voltage circuitry than we’ve ever used in the past, which means we can integrate it and make it lower cost while operating at lower voltages and
providing longer battery life,” said Krishnamurthy Soumyanath, director of Intel’s Communications Circuits Research Lab. “The variable bandwidth of this solution extends capabilities beyond
today’s 20 MHz to 100 MHz, and is expected to support data rates higher than 100 megabits per second that should allow people to enjoy multiple high-quality video streams concurrently.” –
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless– June 15, 2005
    Citywide WiFi in Philadelphia could interfere with other wireless devices

Philly’s muni-wireless roll out faces potential business, security and reliability problems. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 13, 2005
    Fixed wireless service debuts in Phoenix suburb

Looking to fill broadband coverage gaps left open by local broadband providers Cox Communications and Qwest Communications, a group of Phoenix-area investors recently launched Bluewire. The fixed
wireless service aims to serve Phoenix’s eastern suburbs from the 226-foot-tall Bank of America Financial Plaza in Mesa, Arizona. The system’s current 15-mile radius coverage area is set to
expand to 25 miles within two months, says the company.

Bluewire is charging $49.99 per month for home users and $99 for offices for a 512 Kbps connection. Higher speeds are available at higher prices. Bluewire uses Motorola’s point-to-multipoint
Canopy system. Tempe, Arizona, which is located within Bluewire’s coverage area, is currently developing a municipal WiFi project. –
To read more click here

  • eWEEK’s Wireless & Mobile Update – June 13, 2005
    Carnival Cruise Woos Biz Travelers with Wi-Fi

Ocean liners are increasingly being selected as the sites for corporate retreats and conventions hosting top managers and other VIPs. –
To read more click here

  • SearchNetworking.com – June 13, 2005
    Nokia commits to push mobile WiMAX

Intel and Nokia are collaborating on several areas in support of mobile WiMAX technology, based on the IEEE 802.16e standard, including mobile clients, network infrastructure and market
development. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWireless – June 9, 2005
    BellSouth to launch cellular/WiFi convergence trial

BellSouth is preparing a converged WiFi/cellular trial service in Atlanta. The company has tapped ad agency Grey Worldwide to test a system that will give employees phones with access to the
office wireless LAN while at work and Cingular Wireless’ GSM network outside the office. While employees are working at their desk, the wireless handset will rest in a charging cradle
that’s linked to the company’s VoIP system. The seamless mobility trial is part of a series of ongoing wireless/wireline integration initiatives between BellSouth and Cingular. BellSouth
hasn’t yet announced any plans to extend the new trial to additional enterprises. –
To read more click here

  • FierceWiFi – June 8, 2005
    Arizona tests highway WiFi network

In 1995 Congress created the CANAMEX Corridor, a series of highways which extends from Mexico to Canada, running through Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. The Arizona portion of CANAMEX
spans 487 miles, with many parts running through rural areas with spotty cellular or landline coverage. To remedy that, the Arizona government in April launched a pilot project which would allow
first responders to use a WiFi network to communicate along a 30-mile stretch of the highway, from Green Valley in Pima County to Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County. The network would also be used to
bring technology to communities located in the desolate patches along the corridor. Governor Janet Napolitano has launched the CANAMEX Task Force to oversee this “smart corridor” project,
create partnerships with industry, and raise the required funds.

In May 2004 the Department of Homeland Security’s Information Technology and Evaluation Program (ITEP) announced a grant competition to encourage the use of IT to improve information sharing and
integration, especially among first responders. Last fall, the ITEP awarded the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) $499,821 to test the WiFi network. The state is now conducting a
nine-month, proof-of-concept trial. The trial will concentrate on two main issues: Developing the right infrastructure to overcome geographic challenges, and maintaining a high-speed connection
for those driving in excess of 70 miles per hour. –
To read more click here

Wireless Info Center:

Here are some upcoming conferences that you might find interesting:

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About Robert Dominko

Robert S. Dominko, PMP, is a Principal Consultant for CIBER, Inc. in CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice located in Denver, CO.  He is a member of CIBER’s National Mobile/Wireless Team as well as CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice. Bob has extensive experience in the consulting industry where he has worked in roles such as Director of MIS, Program/Project Manager, Technical Architect, Data Warehousing Technologist, Business Analyst in global travel and hospitality, automotive, healthcare services, financial, bank card services, utilities, marketing, insurance, human resources, manufacturing, state and federal government. You can contact Bob at RDominko@ciber.com.

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