28 Jul Imagine the possibilites if you had very high-speed broadband
Silly me, getting all excited about the DSL line that delivers data at 1.5M bit/sec (and up to 3M bit/sec on a good day) downstream. Foolish of me to be thrilled to get great performance from the fixed broadband wireless that reaches my coastal home. Until I heard from Samsung’s GS Choi, president of the company’s Digital Media Business, I was delighted with the data speeds delivered to my home and hideaway. Choi had a different opinion.
Broadband Internet in the United States is “pitiable,” he told the audience at the Wall Street Journal’s D Conference in early June. In Choi’s homeland of South Korea, 75 percent of citizens have 10M bit/sec broadband delivered to their homes. At these speeds – for which consumers pay the equivalent of about $40 U.S. per month – customers get a suite of applications like full video teleconferencing and home automation.
By contrast, we have jerky streaming video and stutter-start audio.
But there is hope. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of visiting Nortel Networks’ Carling Campus, in Ottawa, Ontario, where I got a firsthand look at research that will herald next- generation 4G broadband wireless networks and enable significant new applications. These networks promise data speeds of 18M bit/sec and better. While these speeds are still a few years away, Nortel is actively investigating new applications enabled by these (relatively) lightning data rates.
Among the applications is one called MCS (Multimedia Communication Services), a fully integrated communications system that focuses on the individual, rather than a device or location. No longer will you need to manage work, home, and mobile phone numbers, or multiple voice and e-mail inboxes. All of these are brought together and are simple to manage in this system designed to simplify the complexity most of us feel as we juggle a multi-point communications environment.
MCS “transforms how we work,” says Nortel CTO Greg Mumford. “If networks don’t cause transformation in our work and lives, then the networks will not be valuable.”
That comment has got me thinking not so much about how future networks will be transforming and valuable, but rather how our current wireless networks can be made more valuable by a richer set of data applications. Sure, operators are making money selling ring tones and trafficking e-mail messages, but surely there must be something more compelling for us to do with our mobile data minutes.
Surely, but where? And what? As higher broadband rates are available to mobile phone users, we’ve not seen a broad array of interesting mobile applications. So I’m on the hunt, looking for very different, very useful applications that would make these broadband networks really valuable. This search – and the apps that I find – will be the focus of some of our time at DEMOmobile in September.
We’ll see some great new offerings, and we’ll be imagining what can come in the future. Perhaps you can help with these imaginings: What applications do you want to see delivered to your mobile phone? I’d like to hear from you. Maybe the best new ideas will even get some airtime at DEMOmobile. Send your thoughts to me at email@example.com.
Airespace Inc. announced it has secured $20 million in mezzanine funding, bringing the total amount of money invested in the wireless LAN equipment company up to $58 million. The company said its primary investors include Battery Ventures, Fidelity Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Storm Ventures, Hotung Capital and KTB Ventures. Airespace said it plans to use the latest round of financing to “provide working capital to accelerate Airespace’s market expansion and march to cash flow profitability.”
One of my favorite mobile computing companies is Targus, which makes a great deal of accessories for the road warrior. The latest from Targus is its Wireless Calculator Keypad. The $50 device is a full-size wireless numeric keypad that also includes an integrated calculator. It comes with a USB receiver (and extension cable), and runs on two AAA batteries. Go to www.targus.com for more details.
If you use your camera phone to spy on naked people, you may soon be breaking the law. The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 (say that five times fast) is working its way through Congress. While Congress didn’t consider it before its recess, proponents say that the bill could pass later this year. The act prohibits photographing or videotaping a naked person without his or her consent in any place where there can be a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Punishment would include fines up to $100,000, or a year in prison, or both. Read more at www.nwfusion.com/news/2004/0723lawmayc.html.
The search is under way to find the 50 products that will launch at DEMOmobile 2004, September 8-10, 2004, in La Jolla, California. DEMOmobile is a high-visibility launch platform that will set your company on the path to success. It’s the best venue for positioning new mobile and wireless products and establishing strategic relationships with the players who will lead you to success. The conference’s stringent selection process and excellent reputation serves as an endorsement for your product as it comes to market. DEMO events have helped companies like Palm, Handspring, IBM Pervasive Computing, Logitech, Mirra, Tapwave, Macromedia – even Microsoft – launch their products, create critical business relationships, and sell to thought-leading early adopters.
DEMOmobile 2003 demonstrators benefited from more than 162 million media impressions before, during, and long after the event.
to learn more and complete an online application.
September 8-10, 2004
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, La Jolla, CA
Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld’s DEMO Conferences, Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipley, has covered the personal technology business since 1984 and is regarded as one of the top analysts covering the technology industry today. Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the #1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demoletter/index.html.
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