TelecomTV *Raw

The best of TelecomTV, plus (un)related junk from the site’s Director of Content

Blogwatch: Is Telecom Cool?

From ambient awareness to the economics of the cloud; how the web gurus are trying to make telecoms cool.

Cool or uncool? Let’s face it, we all want to be cool, or to be seen to be working in a cool industry. Or at least, that what our kids want. But can the industry that brought us synchronous optical networking and time division multiplexing really become hip and trendy?

Rudolf van der Berg asks this question on his Internet Thought blog.

Top Gear, the hugely successful BBC car program, has an item called the Cool Wall. Its the most subjective way of dividing cars up from subzero, via cool, uncool to seriously uncool. I thought I do the same for the telecom industry.

So what’s on Rudolph’s Cool Wall?

Free (France): 30 euro a month buys you 28mbit/s DSL (design their own DSL modems), free calling in France and to fixed numbers in 50+ countries, IP-TV, HD-TV, recorder, TV-Perso + native IPv6 (thanks Jap), etc. It has redefined the French broadband market by teaching marketeers that its not about new services that generate new revenues, but that it’s about delivering more for the same money.

Internet Exchanges (mostly Europe and Asia): Most internet exchanges are cool… People working for Internet Exchanges are also good for having a beer with that’s bonus points.

Internet Network Geeks: Beards, T-shirs and Sandals. Most of these men are great to have a beer with. They know why the network works.

And Seriously Uncool?

Incumbents: Almost by definition they’re uncool. Some even seriously uncool. They’ve been given this great asset and a perennial monopoly, that is impossible to crush. But instead of using it in a benevolent anti-competitive way (the way KPN works) most of them are just plain evil.

Mobile companies (and the GSMA): In Europe all of them are money hogging, price fixing, cartel supported, marketing companies. It’s not even about telecoms anymore.

Deutsche Telekom: In 1994 my student room had more bandwidth (10mbit/s) to the internet than all German universities together.

Strong stuff (the views of the author do not reflect blah blah blah…) From cool wall to cool names. Ambient Awareness is the tallest cool phrase of the moment, according to the New York Times. It’s all to do with RSS feeds and how to get the most out of the myriad of different news sources all fighting to be heard on the Web. The article suggests it all started with Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg:

He developed something he called News Feed, a built-in service that would actively broadcast changes in a user’s page to every one of his or her friends. Students would no longer need to spend their time zipping around to examine each friend’s page, checking to see if there was any new information. Instead, they would just log into Facebook, and News Feed would appear: a single page that — like a social gazette from the 18th century — delivered a long list of up-to-the-minute gossip about their friends, around the clock, all in one place. “A stream of everything that’s going on in their lives,” as Zuckerberg put it.

There’s a collection of readers views on ambient awareness over at the NYT website. Meanwhile TechDirt adds its views to the debate:

It’s not so much about telling everyone everything you’re doing, or knowing everything that everyone is doing, but it does give you an amazing ambient view into what’s going on in the lives of whoever you follow, and in an odd way makes you feel much more connected to them than you might otherwise.

The GigaOM site continues the cool theme, with the Ten Laws of Cloudonomics. Yes, economics, wikinomics and now… cloudonomics. Putting aside the ridiculous name (perhaps we should also jump on the bandwagon — how about telecomonomics?), the article, by Joe Weinman of AT&T, posits that public utility cloud services differ from traditional data centre environments (and private enterprise clouds) in three fundamental ways:

First, they provide true on-demand services, by multiplexing demand from numerous enterprises into a common pool of dynamically allocated resources. Second, large cloud providers operate at a scale much greater than even the largest private enterprises. Third, while enterprise data centers are naturally driven to reduce cost via consolidation and concentration, clouds benefit from dispersion.

He then argues that these three key differences enable “the sustainable strategic competitive advantage of clouds through what I’ll call the 10 Laws of Cloudonomics”. So there. Warning, he cites the “classic military strategist” Carl von Clausewitz in the same article as physicists Einstein and Minkowski…

From 10 laws of speculative musings, to 20 top research reports for development telecoms. Lirne Net picks up on a new list from the GSMA Development Fund.

The GSMA Development Fund… has compiled and published a list of the best research reports on the economic and social impact of mobile communications in developing countries. Selection was based on content, relevance, originality and credibility. GSMA notes that although not an exhaustive and scientifically developed list, “it illustrates the work that we feel is most important at the moment and highlights key conclusions on the impact of mobile technology in developing countries.”

Apple watchers don’t miss out this week. IntoMobile has a report on Apple’s latest patent filings for a multi-touch and gesture-based interface, complete with tantilizing sketches.

Apple proposes, in their latest patent application, that future multi-touch technologies will integrate almost all foreseeable input modalities to complement touch-based multi-touch. Mechanical manipulations could be assigned to touch-based commands, while voice commands are relegated to functions that require choosing an option from a list. Futhermore, Apple envisions future multi-touch setups incorporating finger-recognition that would allow the user to assign different functions to each finger – which would allow for more complex commands to be issued. Gaze-vector tracking could allow your future laptop or mobile phone to recognize which menu you’d like to select and automatically drill down to the appropriate category.

And finally, in the week that the UK Broadband Stakeholders Group revealed that it would cost an incredible £29 billion to roll out Fibre to the Home to every citizen (that’s about XXXXXXXX per head), the Communications Breakdown blog came across a bizarre announcement from New Zealand operator TelstraClear.

This is a remarkable statement coming from an alternative operator, TelstraClear of New Zealand. The telco says the main result of faster broadband links to the home may be more downloads of pornography and movies rather than improvements to productivity, quotes the New Zealand Herald. “At the moment we don’t believe that putting fibre into every home is economic or necessary.”

Site author Tim Poulus comments that FTTH is the only viable future route, and cites these reasons (among others);

Cablecos are upgrading to DOCSIS 3.0. If you want to keep up, you might as well leap ahead of them and acknowledge that FTTH is the end-game; The build-out of a nationwide FTTH network takes at least 10 years to reach a good portion of the population. So, you better start today; Many applications require symmetric connections. Only FTTH will be able to offer that.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Friday, 12 September 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment