Mobile Internet

Mobile Internet / Recently Commented

FON and BT: Wifi Today; Mobile Tomorrow?

A deal announced today between British Telecom and upstart FON allows BT's Internet customers to share their own broadband connections via WiFi and, in turn, be able to access WiFi free at "thousands" (doesn't say how many) of FON hotspots around the world operated by other Foneros... When you buy home Internet access from BT and opt into this plan, you are also buying roaming access at no extra charge. The technology is supposed to assure that the part of the connection which you share is segregated from your own access so that there are no security problems caused by the sharing. more

Telephony is Disrupted Because Voice No Longer Matters… (As Much)

Does "voice" communication really matter as much today in business communications? Think about it. When you need to reach someone today, what do you do? Do you call them on the phone? Or do you send them email? Or a text message? or IM? I know personally that my normal communication flow usually goes something like this: Instant Messaging; I check first to see if I can reach the person on some form of IM... SMS; if the matter is relatively important... E-mail/Facebook/Twitter/other; Previously that would have just been email, but these days I find myself very often sending messages via Facebook or Twitter... more

This Week in the White Spaces

Every once in a while I look in on the white spaces, to see how things are going. You'll recall that the white spaces are unused, non-contiguous ("swiss cheese" ) frequencies between broadcast stations around the county. Commr. McDowell of the FCC has said that initial rules for the white spaces will be released sometime this fall. If the white spaces are made available on an unlicensed basis for use by opportunistic, "smart," low-power mobile devices, entrepreneurial engineers will think of ways to use this wealth of spectrum (300 MHz wide, if fractured) to provide mobile connections to whatever fiber installations are nearest. more

Prediction: Google WILL Bid for 700MHz Spectrum and WILL Win

There is an excellent business case for Google bidding megabucks in the upcoming 700MHz auction and investing even more to get a network up and running. I think Google is well aware of the value to them if they win and the harm they'd suffer if the duopoly wins instead. Google can make big bucks with a nationwide third network AND make things better for all Internet users AND improve the United States' pathetic competitive position in the contest for broadband access. Hope this post doesn't end up post-tagged "wishful thinking"... more

Bringing a New Top-Level Domain to Life

One of the key elements in any domain space is usage. It doesn't matter how potentially "cool" or "interesting" a Top-Level Domain (TLD) is if nobody is actually using it to provide content. It may be overused and totally abused, but "content is king"! The guys in dotMobi posted yesterday about some of the more interesting domains that they had come across recently. What did that lead to? Well I actually got out my phone and browsed the sites to see what all the fuss was about and I was truly impressed. more

Other Plans: WiMAX, Google, Sprint and Clearwire

Someone asked me a question today about Google's new partnership with Sprint. Sprint/Nextel is the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S., falling far behind Verizon and AT&T -- who together control 51% of the wireless market. (Sprint services are also resold by Comcast and Time Warner as part of their packages.) Sprint has announced it won't bid in the 700 MHz auction. Sprint has other plans... more

Google’s Good Bandwidth Gambit

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has made the FCC an offer it shouldn't refuse. At this point it's unlikely that the FCC will accept but it would be good for the United States if it did -- and good for Google, of course. Two problems with the Google offer: at&t and Verizon hate it and it probably would result in the 700MHz auction bringing in somewhat less money (immediately) for the treasury than an alternative which would encourage the telcos to bid. more

Does the iPhone Keep dotMobi Awake at Night?

We've had a number of questions (and seen plenty of commentary) regarding the recent launch of the iPhone and how it might affect us and the mobile web in general. ...the iPhone changes the way that tastemakers think about their online existence. Interacting with the web, clearly, is no longer a solitary, sedentary and constrained activity.Now I've personally believed this for a while, so arguably it's no big deal -- the long-term evolution of the web to become a largely mobile (and, by the way, subtly different) medium is inevitable. more

Carriers Constrain Entrepreneurs

Previously, I've written about how the success of the MVNO (though not without its problems) demonstrates how an Open Access-like business model can work in a wireless context. The underlying carrier, such as Sprint or Verizon, can sell access to its network at wholesale rates to a company like Virgin Mobile, which then markets to consumers. This model can be and is a success both for the retailer and the wholesaler. MVNOs are not perfect. more

WSJ on Wireless Network Neutrality

Today's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article (subscription required) on the current state of the wireless walled garden. It cites several recent clashes between handset vendors and cellcos over the extent to which consumers can use their phones to access non cellco content. From the article: "At stake for consumers are what services will be available on their mobile phones and whether they're free or cost a monthly fee. The wireless Web is taking off more slowly in America than overseas, and one reason is that U.S. carriers tightly control what applications are available on mobile devices..." more

VoIP: Beyond Digital POTS

I've been involved with VoIP technology since 1996. I've been a public advocate for wideband audio at least since 1997. And I've admired and supported a variety of companies using VoIP to provide innovative services and new user interfaces. But reflecting on the past decade, the only globally significant impact of VoIP has been on prices (by fostering arbitrage). Most VoIP telephony services are just digital POTS... more

Frustrations with VoIP Phone Services

I ought to explain why I've suddenly gone cold on VoIP. It's just I've watched my own behaviour. I've grown tired of the inconsistency of PC VoIP calls, and instead I've reverted to using landlines, mobiles and Jajah (for callback). But I'm still using IM to set up many of those calls! The problem isn't unique to any one client - they're all proving unsuitable for business use with clients (which is most of my telephony needs covered). The worst of all seems to be Skype conference calling... more

.Mobi Premium Name Auction Off to Wild Success at TRAFFIC in Miami

I'm in attendance at the the TRAFFIC EAST 2006 show, in Hollywood [Miami], Florida. There has been a lot of buzz here about the .Mobi top level domain, ranging from the talk of early registrants hoping to create the next big mobile portal to those that were keen to see implementations of mobile content. There was a domain name auction this evening where flowers.mobi sold for $200,000.00 (USD), and fun.mobi for $100,000.00 (USD) from a long list of domain names in the com, net, info, org, us and mobi extensions. more

ENUM: Mapping the E.164 Number Space into the DNS

Many communications networks are constructed for a single form of communication, and are ill suited to being used for any other form. Although the Internet is also a specialized network in terms of supporting digital communications, its relatively unique flexibility lies in its ability to digitally encode a very diverse set of communications formats, and then support their interaction over the Internet. In this way many communications networks can be mapped into an Internet application and in so doing become just another distributed application overlayed on the Internet. From this admittedly Internet-centric perspective, voice is just another Internet application. And for the growing population of Voice over IP (VoIP) users, this is indeed the case... more

Telecom Impact on Per-Capita GDP

My presentation at VON was focused on availability (aka presence) and contextually-aware communications, but I did begin with a brief mention of subjects I'm passionate about and I ended with my typical closing comments about telecommunications... Apparently this struck a chord with several people who came up to me afterwards asking about how they could help the spread of telecom to developing countries and did I have references for my statements about telecom is good for mankind? more