The Great Wireless Hope

December 10, 2002

in General Interest

This is the last panel for the day. The previous one… was interesting but not particularly reportable. This panel Duncan Davidson – SkyPilot, Glenn Fleishman, Dave Hagan – Boingo, Martin Rofheart – XTreme Spectrum and David Sifry Sputnik.

KW The reason this session is last is perhaps this is the most exciting thing happening in the world. Here is the potential to overturn our current model.

What’s apparent from listening and the notes is the speed and simplicity that WIFI is enabling. The growth is enabling fast connections everywhere. There is also rapidly appearing unintended consequences of this model. High speed in easy to carry devices, will provide new utility for consumers. Expect new applications for messaging, voice, e-mail, photos, etc. Some of these devices will also carry different identities. Don’t expect them all to be just like the phone! Then batteries may still be a problem. For the first time… I want a Pocket PC with WIFI and heaps of storage. That may help my experimentation. I better go shopping! Bye Bye phones…. hello “communicator”!

Notes and links:

GF facilitating. 802.11b weblog. Layers, one though seven. It’s exciting because it has captured communities generosity of many, and is separate from the communication infrastructure. WIFI is juice and bandwidth. It may be one of the best technology stories of 2002 and perhaps 2003.

MR Extreme Specturm ultrawideband chipset… extremely disruptive technology. DD from Skypilot. uses an array of atennas that point to each other. as a way to push out more bandwidth.

DS from Sputnik Startup making 802.11 software – where firewalls are required etc. Build a way to manage a bunch of access points.

DH from Boingo a aggregator of 802.11b hotspot services to assembling hotspots around the country. Building applications so they can control the client experience from hotspot to hotspot.

KW How will a decentralised approach to deployment of technology affect consumers adoption?…. Implications of unlicensed bandwidth, few ranges open, and wildfire spread for adoption.

DD WIFI and mesh archtecture. How build an unlicensed carrier nationwide? In future may have lowest cost DS WIFI spreading like wildfire. People are using it at home, or at the office, eg someone still wants to read e-mail etc. How do I deal with it? Who else? How do I stop them? Should we ban? Corporate Intelligence, hacking into the netorks. Sputnik people are treating these devises in the system.. It then immediately get recognized and then managed. Sputnik can then use to ferret out rogue access points. So I can then make sure that people are physically available in the building using triagulation. Therefore we can solve the security problem. DH Boingo… decentralization based on fragementation tracing to low cost points even with the big carriers. No way anyone carrier can garner any one particular market. Boingo is solving by developing client software that makes it easy to connect. MR is using a different technology. EWB could replalce 802.11b.

KW Are open networks terrorism? What kind of open networks?

ANS universal acccess ubiquitious. There are issues around identity and authorisation as well. Can send a message from a public library. More concened about the backlash from non security type events. When someone drives up to a corportate parking lot an immediatley starts spamming off the t-3 line out. The SRI stuff was just crap. Rational minds will prevail. Will policy be made from these types of reports? Tone down the hype. Tech that is cute won’t be adopted. At Skypilot do you need a network operator? How do you manage access in and out of the network? Security is an arms race. People need to take a differnt look at this. The theft thing is interesting. Cable companies are now making the same sharing complaints as the music industry.

KW What are the killer applications for open spectrum?? Unlicensed Spectrum?

The killer aps are clear. What you do when you are connected everywhere? When people need to have a broadband signal everywhere?

MR EWP development. See FCC february this year. The FCC process has evolved to handle big cos. doesnt’ help the small start-ups. How do you get an unlicensed tech decision through the FCC.

The FCC is now in a real political box. Driving down to true monopolies — staffers are trying to make lots of license spectrum available. They now believe that out of unlicensed spectrum can come a 3rd path… must make it the final mile. 2.4 difficult, 5 hard. Perhaps they can find a solution that creates an independent third pipe. Unlicensed space is “tragedy of the commons”

At prior shows there has been all sorts of congestion trying to get on the network. It’s manageable, and then making sure it is available. Two fundamental camps. one is trad and new is the 802.11 technology that sells it. eg fixes the quality. fix crowding, fix cells, etc.

The alternative is mesh archtecture and scale it to very a high degreee. I should be able to route around problems that create infinite spectrum. Will humans create the human dilemma. The question really starts to become what should the FCC do re the allocation and the role. Even when the best tech should win.. Polite radios should win? How do I create a radio that will interfere at a minimum level versus others, ega polite member of this spectrum. Save battery power too!

In a spectrum where the owner has control this situaltion cannot emerge. Specturm policy task force. See the May REPORT more technical on the FCC ….

Command and Control the traditional FCC model doesn’t work. Looking at a new stream. includleing property. including unlicensed easements. specturm underlay… interference below.. best of property and commons under this. This starts tomorrow. What will be the effect of smart radios in the unlicensed services.

?What’s happening out of the US? ieee 802.11h 5ghz enables it to work in Europe.

Rest of the world… buildout is happening everywhere. WIFI carriers happening everywhere Boingo is going workin on setting it up internationally. Setting up hotspots everywere.

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