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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Assorted interesting tidbits & observations

I liked the Nokia presentation at the Open Mobile Summit, which talked about using aggregated data from embedded sensors in phones. They're doing one experiment that uses GPS from 10,000 handsets to show traffic delays in realtime, and they also talked about possibilities of using motion sensors as seismometers to track earthquakes, or temperature sensors to watch the pattern of influenza epidemics. Cool stuff - and which could yield new Telco 2.0-style revenue streams from Government rather than end-users.


I went to the enormous new Westfield shopping centre in West London yesterday. I was surprised at how poor indoor wireless coverage way, given that it's a state-of-the-art facility that I would have assumed had a state-of-the-art distributed antennas or other coverage solutions. Both O2 and T-Mobile were very spotty, especially for 3G.

There's a fascinating comment at MobileBurn about the possibility of Nokia starting its own MVNO in Japan, as a way of driving uptake of its handsets without relying on the existing incumbent operators. If this is true, it also makes me wonder whether it would ever try something similar in its other under-strength major market, the US.

There's a good post on the uneasy mix of VoIP and LTE at 3G4G Wireless . This issue is something I identified a year ago with my VoIPo3G report - what happens to voice telephony when we move to an all-IP network? The easy option is to just use 2G/3G circuit connections in parallel - although that means having two radios working simultaneously, which could impact battery life. The other options include
  • using a UMA-like approach to tunnelling "circuit voice over IP"
  • using IMS as a VoIP platform - albeit without having a standardised IMS VoIP application defined at the moment, so probably having to use a "standard" NGN VoIP SIP server instead
  • using NGN VoIP without IMS, which would need a lot of work on both handset and core network, possibly proprietary
  • using proprietary VoIP solutions like Skype or fring, with lots of work needed in interoperability, numbering etc
  • assume everyone with an LTE device will also have a normal cellphone, and forget out the problem entirely.
BT's recently-acquired web telephone company Ribbit has just announced its "Bring Your Own Network" strategy, along with its developer platform. Along with some femtocells and the Vodafone Facebook SMS app from a couple of months ago, this represents the first signs of incumbent operators selling their own-brand services over other operators' access. I'm waiting to see BT or Vodafone or H3G or Verizon applications running on iPhones and T-Mobile G1's....

My local branch of Carphone Warehouse was today advertising a promotion along the lines of "Buy a Nokia XXXX handset and get a free Asus eeePC netbook". (Sorry, can't remember which Nokia it was, or the contract details).

1 comment:

Todd Spraggins said...

Dean,

What do you mean by NGN VoIP? Is this TISPAN standard VoIP, if so that is now common IMS and is really no different from 3GPP IMS other than some access border and irreconcilable policy issues centered on RACS. Do you think there is a play for the proprietary soft switches to be extended into the LTE realm?

Also, the GANish approach may make a resurgence as TMO was pushing CS over PS again at 3GPP for Release 9. I think that the earlier implementations with bad wifi radio management gave it a bad reputation that becomes moot in a lte radio scenario.

Simultaneous 2G and LTE would be interesting, but I would fear the battery usage might not be worth the VoIP avoidance gains. However, in CDMA land it well known that 1XRTT voice is significantly more spectrally efficient than VoIP over DOrA and even some early LTE paper estimates. I have not seen such studies for GSM vs. VoIP on HSPA or LTE.