Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hidden Alien in Apple Logo

No wonder Apple Fans are like "Aliens"... LOL

Your Device Being Part or Extension of You

Smartphones and Tablets are rapidly becoming the central computer and communication device in people's lives. Today's smart devices are programmable and come out with a growing set of cheap embedded sensors, such as accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, GPS, microphone, and camera, which in way what our senses behave - think, listen, see, feel etc.

It has become part and parcel of our everyday lives. It captures our personality.
Do you feel the same?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

iCloud Pushes the Cloud Phone Concept Even Further

Steve's idea of having iCloud that will connect to virtually iPhone, iPad and Macbook seamlessly pushes the idea of Cloud Phone further.

Apple's ability to control the OS makes it possible to have ALL-APPLE ecosystem as the "Centre of the Universe". Of course you can have the features of the Cloud but Apple does it better. Most people think the cloud is just a bunch of computers with CPU, Memory and Storage. But the tend to forget, if you are under the Cloud, all things are possible. Apple play in the application game and they are good at it.

Imagine now, you can still stop working and continue your work with any device (iPhone, iPad or Mac) at the exact point where you stop.

Of course, there are certain privacy or confidential issues that you need to ensure will not get you into an embarrassing moment or get into trouble.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Web 4.0: the mobile, machine and object web

From Web 1.0 to 3.0, most of the information processed is direct, user-generated content that is processed by ever increasing computing power. Today, the proliferation of wireless communications enables another major transition: the ability to connect people and objects anytime, anywhere in the physical and virtual worlds. The widespread addition of objects to the WWW provides another level of user-generated content and analytic services.

For example, imagine driving to your office in a car that knows your current location and destination from its GPS system. By analyzing information from many different cars sent to a cloud of computers through wireless services, the automobile’s GPS system can come back with suggestions to improve your route to work by analyzing real-time traffic patterns. This could help commuters avoid traffic jams, conserve gasoline, and increase energy efficiency. Perhaps one day, the car will drive by itself, using the most efficient route between two points. Similarly objects may be used to unobtrusively monitor your health or the safety of your property. Information from the objects will be processed remotely, suggesting interventions that improve safety in real time. The information will be sent to a cloud, analyzed, filtered and responded to as needed.

Another characteristic of Web 4.0 will be the increased real-time integration between individuals and the virtual worlds and objects they interact with. Whether it is Webkinz or Second Life avatars, individuals are increasingly likely to live in and multitask through physical and virtual worlds. Haptics – where objects and interfaces can give us different touch sensations – represent another major
advancement in this field. Already, cell phones with locator devices can pull us toward a store.

The central challenges for strategists in Web 4.0 will be to devise strategies to fully exploit the integration of physical and virtual objects with other user-generated content to create value. This may be to frame the next generation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) applications or to generate value from entertainment that combines information from objects and humans. Many applications integrating real and virtual objects with users have yet to be imagined.

[SOURCE/EXCERPT: “What is your Web 5.0 strategy?”, Ajit Kambil, JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STRATEGY, VOL. 29 NO. 6 2008, pp. 56-58]

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Google and Facebook are Hiding

When Things are connected on the Internet.... And when the "Owner of Things" are connected too... Here's the challenges...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bringing Cloud Back to the Home

Do you believe the concept that everything will be in the Cloud?
Do you think our current network will support the amount of traffic between the devices and the Cloud? Will it be able to support the Quality of Service?
Are we clogging the pipe to a central network?
What if we bring the Cloud closer to the end user?

What if the Cloud is much closer to the Home?
Also - read the Concept of "Cloudlet"

Monday, June 6, 2011

20 Myths of Wi-Fi Interference - Article by Cisco

[SOURCE: Cisco (Download PDF File) ]

This paper exposes the top 20 most pervasive myths around wireless interference.

Myth #1:"The only interference problems are from other 802.11 networks"
There are a tremendous number of 802.11 devices out there. It is true that the other 802.11 networks can cause interference with your network. This type of interference is known as co-channel and adjacent channel interference. But since other 802.11 devices follow the same protocol, they tend to work cooperatively-that is, two access points on the same channel will share the channel capacity.
In reality, the many other types of devices emitting in the unlicensed band dwarf the number of 802.11 devices. These devices include microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless video cameras, outdoor microwave links, wireless game controllers, Zigbee devices, fluorescent lights, WiMAX, and so on. Even bad electrical connections can cause broad RF spectrum emissions. These non-802.11 types of interference typically don’t work cooperatively with 802.11 devices, and can cause significant loss of throughput. In addition, they can cause secondary effects such as rate back-off, in which retransmissions caused by interference trick the 802.11 devices into thinking that they should use lower data rates than appropriate.
Summary: The unlicensed band is an experiment by the FCC in unregulated spectrum sharing. The experiment has been a great success so far, but there are significant challenges posed by RF interference that need to be given proper attention.

Myth #2: “My network seems to be working, so interference must not be a problem.”
The 802.11 protocol is designed to be somewhat resilient to interference. When an 802.11 device senses an interference burst occurring before it has started its own transmission, it will hold off transmission until the interference burst is finished. If the interference burst starts in the middle of an ongoing 802.11 transmission (and results in the packet not being received properly), the lack of an acknowledgement packet will cause the transmitter to resend the packet. In the end, the packets generally get through. The result of all these hold-offs and retransmissions, however, is that the throughput and capacity of your wireless network are significantly impacted.
For example, microwave ovens emit interference on a 50 percent duty cycle (as they cycle on and off with the 60-Hz AC power). This means that a microwave oven operating at the same frequency as one of your 802.11 access points can reduce the effective throughput and capacity of your access by 50 percent. So, if your access point was designed to achieve 24 Mbps, it may now be reduced to 12 Mbps in the vicinity of the microwave when it operates. If your only application on the WLAN is convenience data networking (for example, Web surfing), this loss of throughput may not be immediately obvious. But as you add capacity and latency-sensitive applications such as voice over Wi-Fi your network, controlling the impact of interference will become a critical issue.
Summary: Interference is out there. It’s just a silent killer thus far.

Myth #3: “I did an RF sweep before deployment. So I found all the interference sources.”
One of the most troubling issues about interference is that it is often intermittent in nature. The interference may occur only at certain times of day-for example, when someone is operating a device such as a cordless headset-or on certain days of the week. So, unless an initial sweep is done for an extended time, it’s very easy to miss sources of interference. And even if the sweep was extensive (for example, making measurement in each area for 24 hours), things change over time. It’s very easy for someone to introduce one of the many devices that operate in the unlicensed band into your environment. No amount of periodic sweeping can truly guarantee that you have an interference-free environment.
Summary: You can’t sweep away the interference problem. Microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, wireless video cameras, outdoor microwave links, wireless game controllers, Zigbee devices, fluorescent lights, WiMAX devices, and even bad electrical connections-all these things can cause broad RF spectrum emissions. These non-802.11 types of interference typically don’t work cooperatively with 802.11 devices.

Myth #4: “My infrastructure equipment automatically detects interference.”
Some of the newer, switch-based WLAN infrastructure products provide a level of RF interference management. With their 802.11 chipsets, these solutions detect the presence of non-802.11 signals. And in response to detection, they can change the 802.11 channel of the APs in the area of the interference. An issue with this approach is that it doesn’t solve many of the problems that are out there. Some interfering devices-for example, Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, 802.11FH devices, jamming emissions) are broadband, so it’s not possible to change channels away from them: they are everywhere in the band. And even for devices that operate on a static frequency, it can be challenging to manage channel assignments in a large, cell-based network. In the end, it’s critical that you be able to analyze the source of interference-that is, identify what the device is and where it is located-in order to determine the best course of action to handle the interference. In many cases, this “best action” will be removing the device from the premises. In other cases, the response may be to move or shield the device from impacting the network.
Summary: Simple, automated-response-to-interference products are helpful, but they aren’t a substitute for understanding of the underlying problem.

Myth #5: “I can overcome interference by having a high density of access points.”
The inexpensive nature of 802.11 access points makes it tempting to deploy them with very high density. For example, some networks are being deployed with an AP in every room. This type of deployment has the benefit of greatly increasing the capacity of the network by allowing “spatial reuse” of the spectrum. It seems intuitive that by having more APs spread around, it’s more likely that a client will be able to operate successfully even when interference is present.
Unfortunately, when you deploy a dense network of access points, it’s necessary to reduce the transmit signal power of each of the access points. If you don’t reduce the power, the access points generate interference to each other, a phenomenon known as co-channel interference. The reduction in the transmit power of the access point exactly offsets the potential benefit of interference immunity. So in the end, the interference immunity of a network with a dense deployment of access points is not significantly better than that of a less dense deployment.
Summary: It’s reasonable to over-design your network for capacity, but a high density of access points is no panacea for interference.

Myth #6: “I can analyze interference problems with my packet sniffer.”
802.11 packet sniffer products suffer from the same problem as WLAN infrastructure equipment: they can see only what the 802.11 chips tell them. They can tell you about secondary indicators of interference, such as increased retransmissions and lower data rates, but they can’t analyze interference problems, determine the cause of the interference, and help you find where the interfering device is located.
A second problem with the data from 802.11 chips is that power measurements are typically uncalibrated. This means that the data you receive from an 802.11 chip about the signal strength of an access point (or other device) can usually not be expressed reliably in absolute dBm units. As a result, it is very difficult to put meaning on the numbers that packet sniffer devices report.
Summary: You need the right tool for analyzing interference. In the end, it’s critical that you be able to analyze the source of interference in order to determine the best course of action to handle the interference. In many cases, the best action will be removing the device from the premises.

Myth #7: “I have a wireless policy that doesn’t allow interfering devices into the premises.”
Having a wireless policy is a good first step in tackling the interference problem. But no policy is effective without enforcement. One of the great attributes of unlicensed band wireless devices is that they are inexpensive and widely available. As a result, it’s very easy for employees to purchase these devices and bring them to work. In many cases, these employees are not even aware that a particular device may cause interference with your wireless network. And some devices like cordless headsets and microwave ovens may be a necessary part of your business, so they can’t be completely disallowed.
Summary: You have to expect that interfering devices will sneak onto your premises.

Myth #8: “There is no interference at 5 GHz.”
It is generally true that fewer devices currently operating at 5 GHz are causing interference as compared to 2.4-GHz devices. But this will change over time. Just as everyone moved from 900 MHz to 2.4 GHz to avoid interference, the “band jumping” effect will catch up with 5 GHz. Some devices that already exist at 5 GHz include cordless phones, radar, perimeter sensors, and digital satellite.
Summary: You can run, but you can’t hide.

Myth #9: “I’ll hire a consultant to solve any interference problems I run into.”
If you have been running a WLAN for some time, you will know that there are frequent instances where your network doesn’t operate perfectly. Without having your own visibility into interference, you are left to guess about whether or not interference is the problem. Lack of visibility is an issue for IT personnel, especially when the CEO is asking why he was having trouble yesterday connecting in the conference room. And beyond the issues of control, it’s expensive and time-consuming to bring in a consultant to debug these kinds of problems. A single visit and trip report can cost on the order of US $5000 to $10,000.
Summary: You can’t afford to rely on a third party to debug your network.

Myth #10: “I give up. RF is impossible to understand.”
Don’t despair. Tools are now available that make RF easier to understand, even for those who consider themselves wired network specialists, not wireless experts. For example, Cisco® Spectrum Expert Wi-Fi classifies the sources of your interference, so you don’t need to read the “wiggly lines.” And after we’ve identified the interference, we help you find and eliminate it.
Summary: The cavalry is here!

Myth #11: “Wi-Fi interference doesn’t happen very often.”
There is a growing body of evidence that points to the fact that Wi-Fi interference is an extremely common and troublesome issue. Here are a few recent examples:
• The technical support engineers at a major Wi-Fi infrastructure vendor reported to Cisco that in a recent service call to a major customer they found almost 20 sources of interference, contributing to over 50 percent of the problems on the customer’s Wi-Fi network.
• The manager of a large group of outsourced wireless service representatives stated to Cisco that “one out of every three Wi-Fi problems our service technicians get called out for is related to interference.”
• In a recent survey of 300 of their customers, a major Wi-Fi tools provider reported that “troubleshooting interference won `top honors’ as the biggest challenge in managing a Wi-Fi network.”
• Jupiter Research reports 67 percent of all residential Wi-Fi problems are linked to interfering devices, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, and microwave ovens.
Summary: There’s no point burying your head in the sand: Wi-Fi interference happens.

Myth #12: “I should look for interference only after ruling out other problem sources.”
In any networking system, it’s critical that the physical layer is solid. When the physical layer is not operating properly, the higher protocol layers tend to operate in inefficient and sometimes confusing ways. For this reason, it always makes sense to verify your physical layer first before going on a wild-goose chase looking higher layer problems.
As an analogy, when you hook your computer up to an Ethernet cable and the network does not appear to be working, your first diagnostic step is to look at the lights on the side of your Ethernet adapter. If the lights are not on, there is no point looking for a subtle network configuration problem: you simply don’t have physical layer connectivity.
The potential for physical layer problems with Wi-Fi is much worse than with Ethernet. With an Ethernet cable, you worry about the physical-layer connectivity issue only the first time you plug in the cable. If the connection was working that first day, it’s reasonable to expect it will keep working day after day. But in the RF world, the quality of the physical connection can change hour by hour, as people introduce other devices or obstructions into the environment.
Summary: Avoid wasting your time. Fix your RF physical layer first.

Myth #13: “There’s nothing I can do about interference if I find it.”
The most common cure for interference is simply to replace or remove the offending interference device. For instance, you might replace an old leaky microwave oven or a 2.4-GHz cordless headset used by the receptionist with a different model that operates in a non-Wi-Fi frequency band. Many times interference is caused unwittingly by well-intentioned employees. One Wi-Fi administrator found an employee who sat with his back to his door, and had brought in a wireless camera so he could see behind him. Unfortunately, it operated at 2.4GHz. In this case, a policy was created to ban these types of devices on the campus.
Another solution is to work around the interference device by moving the affected access point, or changing its operating channel to a frequency that is not impacted by the interfering device. This is simple once you understand the location and frequency parameters of the interfering device. Note that because some devices frequency-hop (for example, Bluetooth devices) it’s not always possible to change channels and eliminate the interference.
A final cure is to move or shield the offending device. For example, in a hospital, a piece of equipment that causes RF interference might be isolated to a particular room where Wi-Fi network access is not critical. If that’s not possible, adding electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding can limit propagation of the interference to a small area. You can implement shielding with grounded mesh or foils in the walls (essentially Faraday cages) or with insulating foams or paints.
Summary: There’s always a cure for interference, but you need to know what’s ailing you.

Myth #14: “There are just a few easy-to-find devices that can interfere with my Wi-Fi.”
With the huge proliferation of wireless devices in the unlicensed band, it is no longer obvious what might be a source of interference-wireless links are now embedded in watches, shoes, MP3 players, and many other tiny consumer devices.
In some cases, previously benign devices have been updated with RF technology. Motion detectors, which appear in many offices for lighting control, are a good example. A new breed of hybrid motion detectors uses a combination of passive infrared sensor (PIR) and 2.4-GHz radar to detect motion. These devices, which look identical to their benign predecessors, generate significant interference that can disrupt your Wi-Fi network.
Unintentional emitters are also hard to find. A defective ballast on a fluorescent light fixture can generate broadband RF interference that can impact Wi-Fi. This is impossible to identify by simply looking at the device. “Hidden devices” are becoming more common as well. We have seen numerous instances where a security group has hidden wireless cameras-unbeknownst to the networking group-not realizing that they are jamming the Wi-Fi network.
Summary: You need the right tool to find interference fast, and it’s not a magnifying glass.

Myth #15: “When interference occurs, the impact on data is typically minor.”
The impact of a single interferer on data throughput (or data capacity) of your Wi-Fi network can be astounding.
There are three major factors that determine the impact of an interference device:
Output power. The greater the output power, the larger the physical “zone of interference” the device creates.
Signal behavior with respect to time. Analog devices, such as some video cameras and older cordless phones, have a constant always-on signal. Digital devices, such as digital cordless phones, tend to “burst” on and off. Different devices have varying durations of on-time and off-time. In general, the greater the percentage of time that the signal is “on” and the more frequently it bursts, the greater the impact it will have on throughput.
Signal behavior with respect to frequency. Some devices operate on a single frequency, and impact specific Wi-Fi channels. Other devices hop from frequency to frequency and impact every channel but to a lesser degree. Some devices, such as microwave ovens and jammers, sweep quickly across the frequency spectrum, causing brief but serious interruptions on many frequencies.
A recent study undertaken by Farpoint Research measured the impact of various interference devices on the data throughput of Wi-Fi. At 25 feet from the AP or client, a microwave oven was found to degrade data throughput by 64 percent, a frequency-hopping phone degraded throughput by 19 percent, and an analog phone and video camera both degraded throughput by 100 percent (in other words, no ability to connect).
Summary: Interference can really take the zip out of your Wi-Fi data throughput.

Myth #16 “Voice data rates are low, so the impact of interference on voice over Wi-Fi should be minimal.”
With modern voice coding, the data rate of an individual voice call is on the order of 8 Kbps. Compared to the maximum throughput of a Wi-Fi network, this seems like a trivial amount, and it therefore seems reasonable to expect that a Wi-Fi access point can handle many concurrent voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls.
Unfortunately, many factors reduce the number of calls that an access point can handle. First, there is significant VoIP protocol-level overhead, which increases the typical stream to 100 Kbps. Then there is additional protocol overhead imposed by Wi-Fi. Second, voice traffic is very sensitive to jitter and delay, requiring extra capacity in the network to minimize congestion. The typical number of voice calls that vendors advertise they can handle with a Wi-Fi access point is only 15. When interference is introduced, the number of calls that can be handled drops from there.
In addition, small amounts of interference seriously impact voice-over-Wi-Fi voice quality. A recent study undertaken by Farpoint Research measured the impact of various interference devices on the mean opinion score (MOS) for voice-over-Wi-Fi calls, and found the voice quality falling to unacceptable levels when a microwave, cordless phone, video camera, or co-channel Wi-Fi device was within 25 feet of the access point or phone. And perhaps more importantly, interference creates coverage holes where phone calls will be dropped. An in-house study showed that the effective range of a VoWi-Fi phone drops by 50 percent with an interference device (cordless phone or video camera) at a distance of 75 feet from the access point. This 50 percent reduction in the range of your phones would likely result in coverage holes over 75 percent of your floor space.
Summary: Can you hear me now? Voice over Wi-Fi and interference don’t mix.

Myth #17: “Interference is a performance problem, but not a security risk.”
If an Internet worm got through your corporate firewall and was using up 50 percent of your corporate network bandwidth as it spread from machine to machine, would you consider that a security or a performance concern? The point here is that anything that impacts mission-critical corporate IT systems is a security concern. As your corporate Wi-Fi network becomes more and more mission-critical, any possible interference device-whether the interference is malicious, as in the case of a jammer, or accidental-must be viewed as a potential security issue. In addition to RF denial of service, there are several other risks related to non-Wi-Fi RF devices, including:
Multiprotocol devices. Wi-Fi networks are typically locked down with secure access controls, but devices that run on non-Wi-Fi networks, such as Bluetooth devices, are not. A notebook computer with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity may act as bridge, allowing an intruding device onto the corporate LAN or WLAN. Preventing accidental bridging between insecure networks and the corporate networks requires: 1) client-based tools that control configuration of wireless network interfaces, and 2) RF monitoring that watches for suspicious non-Wi-Fi activity indicating possible bridging.
Non-Wi-Fi rogues. Most enterprises implement some form of Wi-Fi rogue access point detection to find unauthorized (and frequently unsecured) access points on the corporate network. But there are non-Wi-Fi devices (such as Bluetooth access points) that can open up a similar security hole. Like Wi-Fi rogues, these devices must be detected and eliminated.
Leakage of sensitive data. Certain non-Wi-Fi devices such as cameras and cordless phones can be used to carry sensitive data out of a restricted area, bypassing corporate security policies. When this is a concern, a zone of restricted wireless operation should be established, and that zone should be enforced through monitoring of the spectrum for unauthorized devices.
Summary: RF security doesn’t stop with Wi-Fi. Do you know who is using your spectrum?

Myth #18: “802.11n and antenna systems will work around any interference issues.”
Systems that use multiple antennas or smart antennas are able to increase immunity to interference by boosting the desired signal seen at a receiver. When the desired signal is stronger, the ratio of that signal to interference (referred to as signal-to-noise ratio or SNR) is also improved. Effectively, this reduces the zone of interference associated with a particular interference device to a smaller area. But the gain achieved by a smart antenna system is typically only on the order of 10 dB of enhanced signal power. This means that the range of interference might be shrunk by a factor of 2 over a traditional antenna system, but even then the interference problem is far from solved. For example, if a device would have previously caused problems at a distance of 80 feet from the receiver, it will still cause problems up to 40 feet from the receiver. Thus you would have 5000 square feet of floor space where the interference is still a problem!
Summary: Antennas are a pain reliever, but far from a cure.

Myth #19: “My site survey tool can be used to find interference problems.”
A standard Wi-Fi site survey tool is designed to measure Wi-Fi coverage. It uses a Wi-Fi chipset to measure the signal strength of access points as you move around the building. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi chips are designed to see Wi-Fi signals only, and can’t tell you much about interference from other non-Wi-Fi devices. (This is the same limitation experienced when using a Wi-Fi packet analysis tool). A Wi-Fi site survey tool might indicate a general area where a non-Wi-Fi signal was observed. But the tool can’t help you determine the nature of the interference, the type of device causing it, or where the device is located. So you are left without a solution. You really need an RF-level tool to diagnose interference problems. The good news is that a few of the next-generation Wi-Fi site survey tools are being more closely integrated with RF-level tools in order to implement a complete solution.
Summary: Site survey tools measure coverage, but don’t solve your RF needs.

Myth #20: “RF analysis tools are too bulky and too expensive.”
Many RF analysis tools (such as large and expensive spectrum analyzers) are not enterprise friendly.
But Cisco’s RF spectrum analysis tools are designed to fit both your desired form factor (small cards that plug into your laptop) and your IT budget. And to make things even better, Cisco’s spectrum intelligence solutions makes being a RF expert unnecessary.

Summary: Learn more about Cisco’s Spectrum Intelligence solutions at:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Interesting Points from Article "Mobile Data Offload - Can WiFi Deliver?"

An article written by CEO of IntelliNet Technologies, Anjan Ghosal, pointed out several interesting points.
One of them is regarding the “Failure of UMA Approach” towards Data Offload strategy.


  1. Lack of a ‘disruptive’ driver: The key driver for UMA was improved voice coverage inside the home – hardly a strong enough business case. Data is a much bigger issue for the carriers today and provides a real incentive for them to adopt Wi-Fi.
  2. User experience: Wi-Fi a natural fit for data offload. Today millions of subscribers are already using Wi-Fi as their primary source for data/internet access. Wi-Fi offload preserves this experience.
  3. Device support: One of the major impediments for mass adoption of UMA has been the lack of handset support. Requiring device manufacturers to embed client software in their handsets has been an uphill battle for many promising start ups
  4. Carrier approach to Wi-Fi: Until about a year ago, carriers viewed Wi-Fi as a threat to their networks. That has changed and carriers today have embraced Wi-Fi as a part of their network – making them more open to adopting Wi-Fi based approaches.
  5. Lack of marketing focus: Discussions with a number of carriers have revealed that due to internal ambivalence about Wi-Fi – the marketing efforts to promote this solution has been limited – leading to further lack of interest from the customers.
The telcos are able to implement 3 distinct offload categories depending on the complexity and how tightly couple are their customers and applications on both networks.

Network Bypass

Managed Network Bypass

Integrated Data Offload

3G/WIFi Data Offload Resources

With the surge in popularity of tablet devices, smartphones and the mobile web, it seems that the topic of how to cope with the increasing demand of data transfer over cellular networks is becoming one of the hottest topic in the industry today. Some of them view the operators should not bear the full cost of transporting low-revenue-per-bit traffic on expensive mobile networks due to the scarcity of spectrum and the importance to carry voice traffic.

After the recent Report from Cisco, it proves that the telcos are really in need of a solution to offload their spectrum. In some places, the incumbent hotspot/hotzone WiFi providers would like to seize the opportunities and partner with the mobile telcos.

Jeff Thompson, CEO of Towerstream said:
"Without effectively taking advantage of alternative technologies, handling this data on current networks is like fighting a tsunami with an umbrella"
Here's some Net resources regarding this topic:

  1. WiFi Data Offload's Blog

  2. Qualcomm's 3G/WiFi Seamless Offload (PDF File)

  3. New Ways of Thinking in Wireless (Jeff Thompson CEO wrote in his Blog)

  4. So Much Demand So Little Time (Slides)

  5. 4G with WiFi - Changing the Wireless Game

  6. Elitecore’s 3G/4G - WiFi Offload

  7. Mobile Data Offload - Can WiFI Deliver? (PDF File)

Friday, June 3, 2011

The New SoLoMo Generation - Social, Location and Mobile

Just came across my friend’s Tweet regarding SoLoMo. It gets my interest to know more about what is exactly “SoLoMo”.

I read an article by Dan Weingrod regarding “Is Our Future SoLoMo”.

He wrote:-

“All of these changes herald a rapid shift in communications and culture which John Doerr, of the high tech venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, calls SoLoMo. SOcial for its role in maintaining always-on connections with friends, events and activities, LOcal for its ability to gain relevance from location and real time activity and MObile for its ubiquitous, available and anywhere presence.”

Foursquare is an example of SoLoMo application.

Nowadays, the so called Generation X or Netizens would love to have their lives exposed to the world. They always wanted to socialize and get notifications on the move. Regardless of why the rest cautioned regarding the privacy, people are still revealing their private lives either in FB, Twitter or Foursquare.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3GPP UMA: See Thomas Talk: How Kineto's Smart Wi-Fi App Works

[SOURCE: Smart WiFi]

Smart Wi-Fi technology is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Generic Access Network (GAN) standard. With Smart Wi-Fi, mobile operators can leverage Wi-Fi as a seamless extension of the mobile network, delivering high-quality, low-cost mobile services to subscribers at home, in the office and in hotspots. The GAN specification were originally developed by Kineto, Alcatel, AT&T Wireless, British Telecom, Cingular, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel, O2, Research-in-Motion, Rogers Wireless, Siemens, Sony-Ericsson and T-Mobile US. The specifications are included in 3GPP Release 6, and available through the 3GPP web site.


•  Improved indoor 3G coverage: For subscribers with poor or little macro network coverage, Smart Wi-Fi enables them make and receive mobile calls via the existing Wi-Fi access points in the home or office.  
•  Easier access to Internet/data services: Wi-Fi provides unfettered high-speed access to mobile data services that subscribers want most. 
•  Improved battery performance: A key element of a GAN deployment is that the smartphone’s cellular radio can be hibernated because all mobile services are delivered over Wi-Fi.  This contrasts with ‘basic’ Wi-Fi usage where the Wi-Fi radio and the macro cellular radio are powered on simultaneously, which increases the power draw on the battery.  Now, the smartphones hibernates the cellular radio and continues to have a single radio powered, thus dramatically improving battery performance.

•  Churn reduction through improved coverage: Rather than using Wi-Fi to simply route web services such as YouTube, Facebook, Skype and others to the Internet, GAN enables all mobile services to be delivered over Wi-Fi.  As a result, subscribers can receive ‘five bars’ of coverage from existing Wi-Fi access points  
•  Increase network capacity: By routing all traffic over Wi-Fi and IP, mobile operators are able to completely disengage smartphones from the outdoor macro network, freeing up valuable spectrum, power and signaling capacity for truly mobile smartphones. 
•  Competitive VoIP response: With GAN, mobile operators can develop specialized calling plans for subscribers when they are connected over Wi-Fi.  By their very nature, the plans cover services used at the same locations where subscribers can use mobile VoIP applications like Skype.  Now, operators can offer alternative Wi-Fi calling service plans to address the competitive threat posed by Skype and other VoIP services. 

Telcos Mashups vs Web Mashups?

Not many telcos are keen in exposing their network assets for third party developers. Why they are slow in providing Mashups?
While they are hesitating, many Internet players are already opening up their services (app stores) to the rest of the world developers. The Web developers have gone crazy in providing applications via Mashups.


Its the question - whether the telcos want to build their own application stores or enable 3rd party palyer to build theirs, its the network assets behind the apps that can set them apart with the Web/Internet players.

What telcos have that app stores don’t?
  • Millions or tens of millions of existing subscribers
  • Strong brand and trusted billing relationships with subscribers
  • Rich subscriber profile data, including real-time information
  • Universal authentication mechanisms through SIM cards
  • Existing SDP infrastructure for retail mobile data content
  • Advanced billing charging mechanisms
  • Rich network-based service capabilities
What telcos have that apps developers want (and willing to pay for it)?
  • Network API usage - Service providers can charge for use of their network capabilities, such as location, presence, charging, and messaging - all of which developers can utilize to enrich their on-boarding applications (and charge premiums)
  • Real-time promotion - Service providers can charge for enabling promotion campaigns around specific applications designed to fulfill specific dynamic criteria (i.e. location and profile)
  • Cross-selling/promotions - Service providers could allow apps developers and publishers to self-promote their applications through add-ons presented to subscribers upon purchasing or searching other applications

Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015

[SOURCE to DOWNLOAD: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015]

Here’s some highlights:

Executive Summary
Annual global IP traffic will reach the zettabyte threshold (966 exabytes or nearly 1 zettabyte) by the end of 2015. In 2015, global IP traffic will reach 966 exabytes per year or 80.5 exabytes per month.

Global IP traffic has increased eightfold over the past 5 years, and will increase fourfold over the next 5 years. Overall, IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32 percent from 2010 to 2015.

In 2015, the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross global IP networks every 5 minutes. Global IP networks will deliver 7.3 petabytes every 5 minutes in 2015.

The "terabyte club" will reach 6 million by 2015. In 2015, there will be 6 million Internet households worldwide generating over a terabyte per month in Internet traffic, up from just a few hundred thousand in 2010. There will be over 20 million households generating half a terabyte per month in 2015.

The number of devices connected to IP networks will be twice as high as the global population in 2015. There will be two networked devices per capita in 2015, up from one networked device per capita in 2010. Driven in part by the increase in devices and the capabilities of those devices, IP traffic per capita will reach 11 gigabytes per capita in 2015, up from 3 gigabytes per capita in 2010.

A growing amount of Internet traffic is originating with non-PC devices. In 2010, only 3 percent of Internet traffic originated with non-PC devices, but by 2015 the non-PC share of Internet traffic will grow to 15 percent. PC-originated traffic will grow at a CAGR of 33 percent, while TVs, tablets, smartphones, and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules will have growth rates of 101 percent, 216 percent, 144 percent, and 258 percent, respectively.

Traffic from wireless devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2015. In 2015, wired devices will account for 46 percent of IP traffic, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 54 percent of IP traffic. In 2010, wired devices accounted for the majority of IP traffic at 63 percent.

Busy-hour traffic is growing more rapidly than average traffic. Busy-hour traffic will increase fivefold by 2015, while average traffic will increase fourfold. During an average hour in 2015, the traffic will be equivalent to 200 million people streaming high-definition video continuously. During the busy hour in 2015, the traffic will be equivalent to 500 million people streaming high-definition video continuously.

Video Highlights
Global Internet video traffic surpassed global peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic in 2010, and by 2012 Internet video will account for over 50 percent of consumer Internet traffic. As anticipated, as of 2010 P2P traffic is no longer the largest Internet traffic type, for the first time in 10 years. Internet video was 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic in 2010 and will reach 50 percent by year-end 2012.

It would take over 5 years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second in 2015. Every second, 1 million minutes of video content will cross the network in 2015.

Internet video is now 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and will reach 62 percent by the end of 2015, not including the amount of video exchanged through P2P file sharing. The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand [VoD], Internet, and P2P) will continue to be approximately 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2015.

Internet video to TV tripled in 2010. Internet video to TV will continue to grow at a rapid pace, increasing 17-fold by 2015. Internet video to TV will be over 16 percent of consumer Internet video traffic in 2015, up from 7 percent in 2010.

Video-on-demand traffic will triple by 2015. The amount of VoD traffic in 2015 will be equivalent to 3 billion DVDs per month.

High-definition video-on-demand will surpass standard definition by the end of 2011. By 2015, high-definition Internet video will comprise 77 percent of VoD.
Mobile Highlights

Globally, mobile data traffic will increase 26 times between 2010 and 2015. Mobile data traffic will grow at a CAGR of 92 percent between 2010 and 2015, reaching 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015.

Global mobile data traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2010 to 2015. Global mobile data traffic was 1 percent of total IP traffic in 2010, and will be 8 percent of total IP traffic in 2015.
Regional Highlights

IP traffic is growing fastest in Latin America, followed closely by the Middle East and Africa. Traffic in Latin America will grow at a CAGR of 50 percent between 2010 and 2015.

IP traffic in North America will reach 22 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 30 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in North America will generate 4 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 14.5 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in Western Europe will reach 19 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 32 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Western Europe will generate 3.1 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 12 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in Asia Pacific will reach 24 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 35 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Asia Pacific will generate 4 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 15.6 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in Japan will reach 4.8 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 27 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Japan will generate 0.9 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 3.8 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in Latin America will reach 4.7 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 48 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Latin America will generate 1 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 4.3 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in Central and Eastern Europe will reach 3.7 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 39 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Central and Eastern Europe will generate 0.8 billion DVDs' worth of traffic, or 3.1 exabytes per month.

IP traffic in the Middle East and Africa will reach 2 exabytes per month by 2015, at a CAGR of 52 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in the Middle East and Africa will generate 440 million DVDs' worth of traffic, or 1.8 exabytes per month.

Global Business Highlights
Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR of 24 percent from 2010 to 2015. Increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise segment will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of 2.7 between 2010 and 2015.

Business Internet traffic will grow at a faster pace than IP WAN. IP WAN will grow at a CAGR of 18 percent, compared to a CAGR of 19 percent for fixed business Internet and 79 percent for mobile business Internet.

Business video conferencing will grow sixfold over the forecast period. Business videoconferencing traffic is growing significantly faster than overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 41 percent from 2010-2015.

Web-based video conferencing will reached 50 percent of total business video conferencing traffic in 2010. Web-based video conferencing will grow faster than average business video conferencing, at a CAGR of 45 percent.

Business IP traffic will grow fastest in the Middle East and Africa. Business IP traffic in the Middle East and Africa will grow at a CAGR of 30 percent, a faster pace than the global average of 24 percent. In volume, North America will have the largest amount of business IP traffic in 2015 at 2.9 exabytes per month. Western Europe will be a close second to North America at 2.7 exabytes per month.

WiFi Data Offload Solution - WiFi as the Sidekick of 3G

3G and WiFi has forged an alliance and friendship (rather than foe) than before. Just like in the comic and movies of Batman and his sidekick Robin, Green Hornet and his Kato, Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto, you are seeing WiFi has becoming like the trusted sidekick to 3G.

Smartphones and handheld devices such as tablets continue growing in large numbers. This has created exceptional demand for ubiquitous connectivity, high quality rich digital content and applications.

Consequently, 3G networks in many regions feel overburdened with operators seeking a pragmatic solution to offload this mobile data crunch. A substantial share of high-speed data service demand comes from WiFi enabled smartphones, making WiFi the preferred data-offloading technology for alleviating congested networks.

However, 3G/4G-WiFi offload requires tying up with WiFi Service Providers as well as addressing Authentication, Billing, Charging integration by the Operators.

And its odd to see the cycle of “offloading”. At one time, we see fixed networks encountered “loss of traffic” to mobile operators. But now, we are seeing the mobile operators are feeling that “congestion” in their network and offload them to WiFi or unlicensed band. But these WiFi networks still depend very much on the Fixed Networks to carry their Internet traffic.

Subscribers are not interested in the inherent benefits of offload, and so operators cannot simply advertise ‘offload.’ Subscribers will only look to change their mobile usage if it affects the coverage and experience they receive or the price they pay.

Therefore, to change users’ behavior, operators must appeal to :

  • Coverage enhancer for indoor since 50-66% of mobile usage occurs indoors in subscribers’ homes or offices. Thus, freeing up spectrum for outdoor users.
  • Experience by providing the right tools. Smart Wi-Fi device which enables voice and data. Example - solution form Kineto.
  • Costs by having cheaper calling and data services when making indoor calls since not everyone is plagued by the indoor coverage challenge.
in their efforts to encourage offload.

Operator ’s cannot afford to allow their network services to deteriorate under the pressures of increased data traffic, and offload offers a simple solution. There must clever marketing incentives to encourage subscribers to change their mobile usage patterns to relieve congestion and improve the quality of service.

Key Questions Remained:-
  1. How seamless it is to the end user?
  2. Is it secure?
  3. Can service providers monetize?
Thus, a good WiFi based offloading solution should support hotspots that work well with the mobile operator by ensuring:-

  1. Unified and easy authentication

  2. Seamless switching between WiFi and cellular networks

  3. Fee or charges integrated into their regular mobile billing.

Twitter: @mazlan_abbas

Speech by Stephen Elop, President & CEO, Nokia Corporation Nokia Annual General Meeting, May 3, 2011

Here’s a great article (speech) from Stephen Elop, the new President and CEO of Nokia -- Download.


And now, today, Nokia is again facing a moment of disruption. Let’s talk now about that disruption.
In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, which became the experiential bar against which every device was and continues to be measured. When Apple introduced the iPhone, they also created what we call an ecosystem: They delivered not only a device, but various services like iTunes and an environment where software developers could quickly build applications for the iPhone. The iPhone and associated ecosystem changed forever what people expect of their mobile devices.

Disruption - that’s the keyword from Stephen and he confessed that Apple have created a disruption in the market which has been predominantly dominated by Nokia.

What I’ve learned about moments of disruption is that they are often followed by periods of great innovation. Throughout business history, there is a pattern of new platforms emerging, often disruptively, followed by unprecedented innovation.
The pattern we’ve seen over time is that when a new communications medium emerges, the first exploration of that platform usually takes the approach from an old platform and simply porting it to a new one. For example: When movies first emerged, directors just filmed live theater. When TV first came out, it mimicked radio programs. When cable TV first was launched, it simply repackaged network programs. When mobility emerged as a media and entertainment platform, it simply ported Internet content.
However, once these new platforms hit an inflection point from the advancement in technology or enough consumer participation, the content and applications on that platform take on a new form that is unique and that can only be done on that new platform.
For example, the innovation of portable cameras helped movie directors to film high speed trains and landscapes, which created a new experience for the audience. Early TV programs started using nonverbal communications and gestures to tell stories beyond the words. New cable-only channels, like ESPN and CNN, began to appear. Broadband expanded and browsers evolved and the Internet exploded

A Tsunami of Innovative ideas after Disruption - Similar patterns emerged whenever disruption happens. People getting excited whenever there is technology or new ideas breakthrough. New media of communications allows change in user behavior patterns and experience.

Mobility is following exactly this same pattern. Mobility first emerged by using internet content on mobile phones. But we are now at that point of innovation – in other words, the story of mobility is at its very beginning, and Nokia is in a strong position to take advantage of so much of what is still ahead.
We are just starting to see the potential for mobility as a platform. Mobility has the potential to become the most dynamic medium ever. It is more intelligent, more pervasive and more accessible.
Nokia can lead through this disruption to unleash this unprecedented innovation. I have seen incredible innovation within Nokia. We can bring this innovation to market more rapidly by drawing on the strength of our people, respecting the values of our past, and taking decisive action to change the way our company works

Positive Note - Nokia faced big challenges ahead. But Stephen believed all of this can be changed. Use disruption as a catalyst to propel Nokia into greater heights.

When iPhone is No Longer a Phone... Parrot AR.Drone : Flight Demo (Prototype)

When is an iPhone is no longer a simple Phone?
When the phone becomes a Flight Controller!
Parrot AR.Drone : Flight Demo (Prototype) January 2010

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

IMS - Where Are You?

The early vendor hype around IMS was always composed of fantasy and reality. However, no new business cases have emerged in the last five years since the IMS buzz began. So - where are you now, IMS?

What customers really want is simply to use the services they enjoy using any devices. There shouldn’t be any barriers between their services and devices. If they purchased to a piece of content, it should be made available to them on all their devices and if they start watching a movie at home, but don’t have the time to finish it, they can still bring up their mobile and continue where the movie is left off.

Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and the rest have created unified accounts for their various services which are accessible via multiple devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones, ect) and networks (3G or WiFi etc). Customers don’t care whether its called convergence or not, they simply see using the same service but accessed a different way.

Three factors need for IMS to thrive:

Foundation: operators need to set a clear strategies for transforming service delivery frameworks before IMS can be deployed. Will it be operational network efficiency, new revenue streams or customer loyalty (stickiness)?

Demand side: end users need to be educated on and understand the promise of true convergence and how it can transform services. New lifestyles and new ways of using applications must be demonstrated.

Supply side: a few large-scale deployments are needed to prove that IMS can work as promised and these deployments and success stories need to be publicized. Telcos and application developers need to be fully convince that IMS is worth the investment.



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