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Monday, March 03, 2008

eComm interview about wireless, openness and spectrum

I had a conversation the other day with Jonny Bentwood, who has recently updated his Top 100 Analyst Blogs chart. He commented that as well as blogging, I could probably benefit from looking at some of the other Web 2.0 and social media approaches to distributing my blog content and building a greater community around my research themes. As well as things like Twitter, we also discussed podcasting and other approaches. I'm certainly going to try and look into some of these, and I'll mention them here as time goes on.

It's therefore also a pleasing coincidence that Lee Dryburgh has put up a transcript and audio recording of a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago. He interviewed me in advance of my presentation at eComm, about some of my thoughts on wireless VoIP, new ways of looking at spectrum regulation, and the general move towards 'openness'.

One of the areas that Lee touched on was the concept of 'open spectrum' - whether people will ever be able to 'hack' radio in the same way they do software. I'm not convinced, beyond the current existing unlicenced frequency bands. While I can certainly appreciate the concept of free-market, democratic, innovation-inspiring access to the airwaves, I think there's just too much risk of interference and other unwanted side-effects from allowing a free-for-all. Nevertheless, I'm definitely curious about whether there are methods to stimulate more clever RF inventions, and less bureaucratic revelations. If anyone else has any thoughts on how we might practically create a "radio playground" I'd be fascinated to hear them.

1 comment:

Craig Plunkett said...

There are all kinds of radio playgrounds available to us in the unlicensed, FCC Part-15 world. What is necessary are newer, cheaper radios that are easier to use in software. We could use this sandbox to create multi-radio datalinks, increasing throughput, flexibility, and promote the development of new Layer 2 or Layer "1.5" datalink protocols that allow for more efficient use of frequencies within that unlicensed spectrum, instead of aping wired ethernet and its inefficent use of CSMA/CD.