18 Sep 4G World: The gigabyte generation is here – Part 1
CHICAGO – “If you are still talking about less than gigabit speeds to end users for any networks that have yet to be implemented, you are way behind the times,” comments James Carlini.
After attending 4G WORLD at McCormick Place this week and listening to those in strategic positions talking about WiMAX and the future of mobility-based devices supported by wireless broadband connectivity, it is very tempting to say, “I told you so.”
WIRELESS NETWORKS TAKE BROAD(BAND) LEAP
WiMAX which is a wireless network with a licensed part of the spectrum that has been deployed in many other countries is starting to be deployed here in the United States. As was said in one presentation, “This is the network for the gigabyte generation.” (Those that download so much, their traffic is measured in gigabytes of storage monthly, not megabytes. See Chart 1.)
In another presentation, Clearwire’s CEO, Bill Morrow, pointed out that with the demand of users downloading from sites like Facebook (#4 most-accessed site) and YouTube (the #2 most-accessed site), the reality of having gigabit networks to the average user is on many vendors drawing boards as well as design standards. Download demand is moving quickly to 10, 20 and even 30 Gigabytes of information a month. Huge demand driving bandwidth access is not because of texting or long voice calls. It is there because of demand for video-based content.
Depending on what you use, it can really affect how fast you are going to get something downloaded to you. Here is a speedchart (http://www.carliniscomments.com/archives/73-NETWORK-SPEED-CHART.html ) that provides an everyday example of the differences in utilizing different transmission media.
As more people are looking at video-based applications and buying smartphones, bandwidth speeds need to grow exponentially. Back in January 2008 (http://wistechnology.com/articles/4496 ), I said that a gigabit per second access to a user will be the baseline:
“Do not quote a megabit rate, when discussing network infrastructure after 2008.” This should be adopted by anyone who professes to know what the typical metropolitan network infrastructure should evolve to. States as well as metropolitan areas should be looking at this for economic growth and regional sustainability.Anyone with less than a gigabit as a goal for network infrastructures must be uninformed or trying to protect an obsolete product or service.
There are still some skeptics and pseudo-experts, who can’t find themselves using a network that is so fast. To them, I will say it again:
“You cannot be planning any networks at this point unless you are talking gigabit speeds at a minimum and incorporating the long-term ability to migrate to terabit speeds. This is where REAL broadband is at and where it is going.”
CHART 1: TERMINOLOGY (get it right)
|TERM||REASON TO USE||DEFINITION|
|Gigabyte||Used to define storage in memory (hard drives, hard disks).||Gigabyte: a unit of information equal to one billion (actually 1,073,741,824) bytes (or 8,589,934,592 bits) or 1024 megabytes (or 2 to the 30 power). of storage|
|Gigabit||Used to convey network speeds.||Has succeeded prior speed metrics of kilobits, megabits for enterprise networks.|
|3G NETWORK*||Defines Third Generation Mobile Network||Is a family of standards for mobile telecommunications and technology defined by the International Telecommunication Union,[|
|4G NETWORK*||Defines Fourth Generation Mobile Network||Refers to the fourth generation of cellular wireless and is a successor to 3G and 2G standards|
|Source: JAMES CARLINI * Also see more at cellphones.ABOUT.COM|
DSL IS NOT BROADBAND……
And, anyone talking about “moving up” from it to a 10Mbps or even 100Mbps access does not understand where the industry was, is or where it is going. Maybe they are listening to marketing efforts that are telling them the next generation is 10Mbps to 30Mbps.
Stop buying off on marketing hype that tells you that putting DSL on copper is great. Putting DSL on copper is like putting on a vinyl top on a stagecoach in the era of the space shuttle. It’s still horse-and-buggy technology and we are looking at a whole new era of cloud computing mobility.
Clearwire’s Morrow also observed that broadband is starting to be viewed as a necessity, not a luxury. This affirms my mantra that says, “Economic development equals broadband connectivity and broadband connectivity equals jobs.”
Morrow has thirty-plus years in the industry. In my thirty years in the industry, I have always seen that the big barrier to new applications has been the lack of bandwidth. Many ideas were squelched because the answer to all the “what if” questions was “Not enough bandwidth in the network.”
What if bandwidth was no longer an issue? What if there was an abundance of bandwidth where video-based applications would not get bogged down? What new applications could you bring in that are not even in existence today? I been posing these questions for years and believe they will be answered by this new collaborative push for a REAL broadband platform.
Others I spoke to from Clearwire, CISCO, EXALT, and even a new company called PUSH, understood the impact of the legacy networks out there on current applications and the need to augment them quickly in order to create a network infrastructure to deliver 21st century applications.
Understanding this is important as the amount of devices that can use the internet grow. On another video, the chairman of SONY, Sir Howard Stringer, projects that by 2011, 90% of SONY products will be connected to the internet in some fashion. WiMAX can support many devices, not just smartphones.
CHICAGO 2016 OLYMPICS NEEDS THIS INFRASTRUCTURE
There is a lot of talk about planning the Chicago 2016 Olympics, but there has not been much action as to upgrading the network infrastructure to provide a true platform for 21st century communications.
Clearwire is announcing a major project in Chicago that should be a huge news story. They will be building a WiMAX network. This is a good step in building a new network infrastructure to provide the ability to deliver applications that before would have been considered impossible because of a lack of bandwidth.
Those in planning commissions better understand the correlation of having a great network infrastructure and a great venue for the Olympics.
Carlinism: The economy does not stand still and neither do the people and their communications that shape it.
Recent columns by James Carlini
- Real estate quagmire: Where is the bottom? We’re not there yet
- Cash for Clunkers success? Too early to tell
- FCC calls for industry, individuals to help in defining broadband
- Twitter: Time-wasting Internet toy telling everyone routine?
- Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program morphs into “Bucks for Trucks”
Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.TWITTER.com/JAMESCARLINI.
Carlini will be contributing a white paper on Intelligent Infrastructure: Insuring Security for Regional Sustainability in the upcoming proceedings of the Department of Homeland Security’s Workshop for Aging Infrastructures.
This column previously appeared in MidwestBusiness.com, and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.