Mobile Internet

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IPv6 and LTE, the Not So Long Term Evolution?

The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T saw wireless networks about to drown under a deluge of data. To see YouTube content uploaded form an iPhone or Slingbox rerouting a favourite television program to your smart phone gives mobile network operators the shivers. Skype over 3G in the meantime gives sleepless nights, not because of surging megabyte floods but due to nightmares of considerable voice and roaming revenues washing away. Not easy to plan and engineer "managed transitions" under those circumstances. more

700 MHz Auction Winners: Why Block C Matters

Today the FCC announced the winners of the 700 MHz auction -- and you can see from pp. 62-63 of this document that Verizon won Block C. (Block C was set up in two nationwide paired blocks of 11 MHz each, which were auctioned off in very large geographic areas -- 12 licenses, each covering a "Regional Economic Area Grouping". Verizon won seven of the twelve licenses, covering all of the US except Alaska, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.) Why does this matter? more

Mobile Internet Users to Reach 134 Million by 2013

The total number of mobile internet users are expected to reach 134 million by 2013 as a result of increasing rise in smartphone popularity according to the research firm, eMerketer. Additionally Piper Jaffray, one of few organizations to project the extent of the growth, estimates that combined spending on consumer and business mobile applications will top $13 billion worldwide by 2012, a nearly fivefold increase over 2009," says eMarketer in a report released this week. more

Call for Telecom Industry Wake-Up

As many of you know, I'm launching the Emerging Communications (eComm) conference -- taking place next month in Silicon Valley, at the Computer History Museum. Communications innovation has been stagnant, in my opinion, for nearly a decade. Telecommunications and Internet communications both seem to be at somewhat of an impasse. The communications industry needs a forum to help break through the stagnancy and highlight the huge opportunity space that is emerging. The stagnancy has been strikingly more so in telecommunications... more

Monetizing the Internet

What would duopoly providers of internet access really like to have? They'd really like to be paid for providing non-commodity services. They'd really like to be rewarded for running the network, top to bottom. "But that's not possible," you say. No provider can tell one packet from another. Providers can only block the ports used by applications they don't like, and that's a clumsy, unwinnable arms race. The applications can always switch to common and useful ports, and no provider wants to alienate its subscriber base. But what if providers could inspect the contents of packets, without using too much computational power, and discriminate among applications? "Naah," you say. "They can't possibly do that."... more

Has the FCC Created a Stone Too Heavy for It to Lift?

After five years of bickering, the FCC passed an Open Internet Report & Order on a partisan 3-2 vote this week. The order is meant to guarantee that the Internet of the future will be just as free and open as the Internet of the past. Its success depends on how fast the Commission can transform itself from an old school telecom regulator wired to resist change into an innovation stimulator embracing opportunity. One thing we can be sure about is that the order hasn't tamped down the hyperbole that's fueled the fight to control the Internet's constituent parts for all these years. more

Up to 300 Megawatt Worth of Keepalive Messages to be Saved by IPv6?

The Time Square Ball bringing in 2008 had more than 9,500 LED bulbs displaying 16 million colours while consuming power equivalent to about ten toasters. This compares to 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs adorning last year's Ball. Easy to forget that most mobile devices used by Time Square revelers were behind IPv4 NAT's and that always on applications such as Instant Messaging, Push e-mail, VoIP or location based services tend to be electricity guzzlers. It so happens that applications that we want always to be reachable have to keep sending periodic keepalive messages to keep the NAT state active... more

Welcome to the Root, .MOBI

mTLD's .mobi entered the root zone on Tuesday, quietly contrasted amidst all of the recent ICANN/VeriSign announcements. The .mobi mTLD is a Dublin, Ireland based joint venture between the Nokia Corporation, Vodafone Group Services Limited, and Microsoft. The .mobi domain was granted to service a sponsored community, consisting of: Individual and business consumers of mobile devices, services and applications; Content and service providers; Mobile operators; Mobile device manufacturers and vendors; IT technology and software vendors who serve the mobile community, and there are numerous benefits of .mobi to this community. more

Neustar and .GPRS

Ever since Neustar announced they signed a deal with GSMA to oversea global database for the mobile operators last week (see also Washington Post), there are many debates about the deal online. "Neustar, a company that should certainly know better, has announced that they're going to create a .gprs TLD to serve the mobile phone industry This, of course, requires creation of a private root zone, against the very strong warnings in RFC 2826" said Steven Bellovin. To the more supportive John Levine: "This isn't quite as stupid as it seems. The GSM industry needs some way to maintain its roaming user database, the database is getting considerably more complicated with 3G features, and it looks to me like they made a reasonable decision to use DNS over IP to implement it rather than inventing yet another proprietary distributed database." more

Verizon OPEN Wireless

Very surprising and welcome announcement from Verizon Wireless yesterday announcing that "it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008..." And Verizon Wireless is right to open up. There's plenty of room to be cynical about this; after all, Verizon Wireless is trying to STOP the FCC from putting an openness requirement on the 700Mhz spectrum to be auctioned... more

Exploring the Roots of Wireless Spectrum Controversy (eComm Panel)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the The Emerging Communications (eComm) 2009 conference in San Francisco which was packed with 3 days of fascinating conversations about the future of communications. I absolutely enjoyed talking to various speakers and attendees giving me a deep level of appreciation and perspective on technical, commercial and political issues at hand -- and what is likely to come in the next few years. And speaking of politics, Lee Dryburgh, who founded eComm in early 2008, has generously allowed us to share with you a fascinating panel discussion which took place on day 3 of the conference called "Spectrum 2.0 - What's really happening?" more

IPv6, 5G and Mesh Networks Heightening Law Enforcement Challenges, Says Australian Government

In a submission to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement's inquiry into Impact of new and emerging information and communications technology, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) warn law enforcement will be degraded by a number of new technologies. more

Domain Dialing

The emergence of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) allowed the internet browsing to become much easier and intuitive. After all, from the user's perspective, it is so much easier to remember a domain instead of an IP address... The IP addresses replacement by domain names helps the Internet to become this global phenomenon that we know. Unfortunately, this revolution that had occurred in the domain market was not followed by other markets. more

Road Warrior at Risk: The Dangers of Ad-Hoc Wireless Networking

Most people who have wireless Ethernet at home, or the office, connect to the wireless network by attaching to a wireless Access Point, or AP. This method of wireless networking is called "Infrastructure Mode". If you have a secure wireless network configured in "Infrastructure Mode" you are using MAC address filtering, some level of encryption, and have made some additional changes to your AP in order to prevent just anyone from using it or capturing data. ...However, for those who are not using "Infrastructure Mode", and are configured to communicate from machine to machine, or "Ad-Hoc", there are a few things you should be aware of. more

Ye Olde DNS

I've been writing about the intrinsic problem with the use of the DNS as both a technical mechanism and as a source of unambiguous meaning and authority. The problems are much worse than most of the posters seem to note. The current approach assures that the Internet will unravel and worse, that URLs become perversely reused. The commercial terms of service associated with the use of ".com" names exacerbates the problem by imposing arbitrary social policies into the plumbing of the Internet. more