Progress in automatic use of Cellular and Wi-Fi

June 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The greatly-needed ability to seamlessly use Wi-Fi (when available) from your smartphone or tablet took a big step forward to reality this week when Apple announced that they will support the Wi-Fi Hostpot 2.0 standard in iOS 7. What does that mean? Apple devices updated to iOS 7 will allow your mobile Service Provider to let your device securely use selected Wi-Fi hotspots, which can mean lower costs and higher throughput for you.

Hotspot 2.0 delivers the critical features that Service Providers and their Subscribers want:

  • Automatic (no user action required, transparent operation)
  • Secure (user data is safe, as is your subscriber identity)
  • Interoperable (works with existing 3G/4G cellular networks)

Mobile Operators have been working hard to enable their subscribers to “roam” onto Wi-Fi when available, to offload the cellular network (reducing costs). The standard that they have developed is called Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 (kinda rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?). Like any new service, to deliver it you need support of devices as well as the network. Since nearly all smartphones and tablets are delivered by Apple (iOS) and Google (Android), we must have those vendors support the standard. Now Apple will deliver in the Fall of 2013 with iOS 7, and we expect the next version of Android, Key Lime Pie, will similarly support the standard by YE2013.

With this support, we can expect Operators to start to deliver seamless roaming using Wi-Fi in-country and internationally, which can bring big benefits to you.

How to satisfy our exponential demand for Mobile Internet?

August 29, 2012 at 10:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Check out the excellent road map from Qualcomm, “1000X Mobile Data Challenge,” that explains how we can keep up with the exponentially demand for Mobile Internet. Since the introduction of the iPhone, we’ve seen consumer use exploding, with no end in sight. Globally, we observe that each year requires that we deliver 2X the data capacity than the previous year.

But you say, “1,000X capacity?! Really!!?” Actually, yes. Here’s why:

Q: Starting with a capacity of 1, and if you double that each year, then how many years until you reach 100? How many more years until you reach 1,000?

A: 6 years to reach 100, and another 4 years to reach 1,000.

So, at this rate of growth, we’ll reach 1,000 mobile Internet capacity in a decade

So check out the QUALCOMM webinar series to understand some of the techniques that we can use to satisfy this demand. If you’re going to be around for another decade, you’ll find it a worthwhile perspective. The first webinar in the series overviews the problem and solutions, and is available for replay at “The 100x Mobile Data Challenge.”

P.S. This reminds me of the fable of the Inventor of the Chessboard and his Reward. When the Inventor was asked by the delighted Ruler to name his reward, he asked for a single grain of rice on the first square, two grains on the second, four on the third square, …  On the 64th square of the chessboard there would be 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (263) grains of rice!

How will Mobile Operators use Wi-Fi: First Offload, then Roaming

March 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Just like the early days of delivering any network, the initial focus is to (1) Build your network for your subscribers, in your defined market, and then (2) Broaden your footprint, by establish a large roaming footprint. (It can be argued if this is the correct order, since you can successfully be a Service Provider without building your own network, but this is definitely the order that you choose once you decide to build your own network.)

As Mobile Operators extend their networks to include Wi-Fi, they are initially (1) Building in-market Wi-Fi for “Data Offload”, and then they will establish (2) Roaming, to get more benefit where they have not (yet) built it.

Wi-Fi Data Offload   –>  Wi-Fi Roaming
In market                       Out of market

Most Operators are rushing to Build, and then the focus will then be to Roam.

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