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 Monday, November 05, 2007

"Buses equipped with wi-fi are being used to deliver web content to remote rural villages in the developing world. In rural India and parts of Rwanda, Cambodia and Paraguay, the vehicles offer web content to computers with no internet connection." United Villages is an initiative that provides communties in Asia, Africa, and Latin America with a digital access to locally-relevant products and services using a low-cost, store-and-forward "drive-by WiFi" technology. Mobile Access Points (MAPs) are installed on existing vehicles (e.g. buses and motorcycles) and automatically provide access for WiFi-enabled Kiosks along the roads. Whenever a MAP is within range of a real-time wireless Internet connection, it transfers the data from and for those Kiosks. The United Villages project also allows users to request specific information or content for a few additional rupees. The wi-fi vehicles also deliver as well as collect e-mails, and brings e-Commerce to the villagers.

Read the full article on BBC News.
More on United Villages on their website.

Monday, November 05, 2007 4:33:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 21, 2007

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) launched a press release on 19 September 2007 on a study commissioned to investigate the impact of telecommuting and e-commerce on energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and liquid fuel consumption.

The study found that one day of telecommuting - using consumer electronics such as personal computers and wireless networks - would save the equivalent of up to 12 hours of an average household's electricity use in the United States. The findings also indicate that the level of CO2 reduction would be equal to removing 2 million vehicles from the road every year.

To read the study, click here.

Friday, September 21, 2007 6:16:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 20, 2007

Technicians and engineers from Telecoms sans Frontieres started deploying telecommunication centres in Peru to restore communications in the areas hit by the earthquakes last week, as the BBC reported. Well operating and reliable telecommunications are vital for coordinating emergency relief work and humanitarian assitance.  The technologies brought by the non-governmental organization include satellite telephones and internet modems, and equipment to set up wireless connectivity to the internet. More on BBC News

Monday, August 20, 2007 11:49:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 04, 2007

Although the European Commission decided against imposing new legislative restrcitions on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for now (opting for "soft legislation" instead) , a top official warned on Monday that regulations are likely if future uses of the technology don't protect fundamental privacy rights, reports ZDNet. Gerald Santucci, head of the European Commission unit whose domain includes RFID issues, said he feared that rushing to place restrictions on industries hoping to use the technology would choke its potentially valuable application in health care, business, transportation and other realms. But if regulators deem that widespread RFID use is insufficiently safe, secure and privacy-preserving, then "Mrs. Reding [European Commissioner for Information Society and Media] will have no other option but to trigger legislation," Santucci told participants at a luncheon discussion in Washington DC. By the end of 2008, the commission plans to reevaluate whether legislation is necessary. It's unclear how restrictive any potential rules would be.

Read the full story here (ZDNet). More on the European Commission Policy on RFID can be found here.

RFID, along with sensors and nanotechnology, was one of the key techological developments explored in the 2005 ITU Internet Report on The Internet of Things. An ITU New Initiatives Workshop on Ubiquitous Networks Societies was also held in the same here. Network aspects of identification systems are being studied in the context of standardization by the ITU's JCA-NID.

Friday, May 04, 2007 4:11:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, February 04, 2007

Under the "Shaping Tomorrow's Networks Project" and in line with the stated objectives of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (November 2005), that “… ITU and other regional organisations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries ….”, ITU and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation (Italy) jointly organized a workshop to identify global trends and good practice in radio spectrum management.

The Workshop on "Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management" was held from 22 to 23 January 2007 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.  

In preparation for the workshop a Background Resources Website on Spectrum Management was created. This website aims to provide a number of background resources on regional and national initiatives as well as some background information on spectrum management policy and regulation in general.

Background papers as well as Contributions to the workshop can be found here.

To download the Speaker's Presentations, please click here.

Link to Workshop Webcast Archives is available here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Project can be found here.

More information about the workshop can be found here.

See the full ITU Press Release for the event here.

We would like to inform all workshop participants that the Chairman's Report will be made available at the event website in the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 04, 2007 8:52:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 15, 2007

The ITU has just published a Survey on Radio Spectrum Management, available for download here (.pdf format).

The survey was prepared by Marco Obiso, Cristina Bueti, Rochi Koirala and Lorenzo Mele of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU).

Together with other background papers will form part of the input material for an international ITU/FUB Workshop on Market Mechanisms for Spectrum Management to be held in Geneva (Switzerland) from 22-23 January 2007.

The Advance Programme for the workshop is now on-line, and will be regularly updated.

More information about the Workshop can be found here.

More information about the Shaping Tomorrow’s Networks Programme can be found here.

Monday, January 15, 2007 8:17:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A major new study prepared for the UMTS Forum by Booz Allen Hamilton quantifies the economic benefits of maintaining a harmonised approach to spectrum management across EU Member States.

To download the study click here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 9:02:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ofcom published its second annual Technology Research and Development Report which provides an overview of emerging technologies that have the potential to make more efficient use of the radio spectrum.

More information can be found here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:58:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The European Commission held its final conference on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on 16 October 2006 in Brussels, to close the series of consultations initiatives announced by Commissioner Viviane Reding at CeBit in March 2006. The conference (RFID: Heading for the Future) was opened by the Commissioner and featured Commission officials, members of the European Parliament, and relevant stakeholders from industry, government and civil society who have been involved in the ongoing European debate about RFID. ITU's Lara Srivastava spoke at the conference on the topic "RFID: from identification to identity" and her presentation is available here.

More information about the EU's RFID consultation is available here.

 

 

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 4:06:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Om Malik points to an article in French that discuss how Free.fr, the world's leading multiple play provider based in France is now quickly moving into wireless mesh networks with its new Freebox HD set-top box/wiifi offering. To understand the quantitative advantages of wireless mesh networks, see this presentation from Dave Beyer from 2002 that explains how mesh coverage has the interesting property of increasing coverage and capacity as the more subscribers are added (since the subscribers are part of the routing infrastructure).

Free recently announced the delivery of their 300,000 Freebox HD, which they say creates a wi-fi mesh network that allowing their new wi-fi based phones to roam.

Olivier Gutknecht reported on some of this in English back in April 2006.

Free is also going to do a rollout of FTTH to every home in Paris which they say they will unbundle to competitors.

They also now have a national WiMax license acquired through the acquisition by their parent company, Iliad, of Altitude Telecom.

This recent presentation on Iliad's mid-2006 results provides a good overview of their strategic direction and their financials. What is next?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 10:20:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 28, 2006

A presentation entitled "Booming Broadband for a Wireless World" was given by Lara Srivastava of ITU on 22 August 2006 at BroadbandAsia 2006 in Shanghai, China. Other speakers included, inter alia, L. Ladid (President, IPv6 Forum), T. Poulos (Asia-Pacific Head, Global Billing Association), A. Hassan (Executive Director, Wi-Fi Alliance), J. Wang (Secretary-General, TD-SCDMA Forum), S. Ramaswamy (Senior Vice President, Bharti AirTel).

Monday, August 28, 2006 9:24:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 17, 2006

Boeing has announced that it is to discontinue its Connexion broadband in the sky service

[via GigaOM]

Thursday, August 17, 2006 7:08:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"South Korea has commercially launched its mobile broadband internet service WiBro. South Korean internet service provider KT and mobile phone operator SK Telecom have begun the service based on Intel's WiMax standard in parts of Seoul and surrounding areas. KT claims that WiBro users can get wireless access to the internet even when travelling at speeds of 120km/hour".

"Subscribers can access the service by using a PCMCIA card provided by Samsung Electronics. The telcos plan to cover the entire country with the service by 2008".

For more information, please see the article featured in Digital Media News for Asia (DMasia.com)

This story was accessed through the SmartMobs blog.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 9:27:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The International Herald Tribune in their recent article on Wireless: From zero to 3G: A cellphone utopia? , noted that "Executives in the cellphone and computer industries are fond of speaking about bridging the digital divide, the gap between people with access to technology and those without. But translating the talk into action is not easy. In addition, the benefits of high-tech gadgetry for the poor often are not evident. How do you bring Internet access to remote villages in Africa? And are people's lives going to improve once they can get online? The GSM Association, a trade group that represents mobile phone operators in 213 countries, has a plan for the first question and responds with a resounding yes to the second."

"This month, the association introduced a "3G for All" program that aims to make multimedia phone services and mobile Internet access available to people on the fringe of the digital world. Bringing cellphone services to the two-thirds of the world's population that does not yet use them has long been a goal of the association, which last year promoted a project to build the cheapest possible telephone. Thanks in part to that initiative, the wholesale price of the cheapest cellphones has dropped to less than $30, but now the association wants to take that a step further by encouraging the production of a low-cost mobile phone that works on third-generation networks. Those phones today are typically expensive and advanced, nearly mini-computers themselves."

The aim is to have a group of GSM Association members to define a core set of requirements that the low-cost 3G handsets must have, and then several manufacturers will compete to design the phone that best meets those requirements at the most competitive price.

Read the full story on the International Herald Tribune website.

Access the GSM Association Press Release on the 3G for All program.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:40:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU held an international workshop under its New Initiatives Programme on the topic "The Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services" in Mainz (Germany) from 21-23 June 2006. The final report [PDF]  of the chairman has now been published.

Workshop presentations can be found here. Background documents, including country case studies and thematic papers are also available on the workshop homepage.

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:08:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Lithuanian Radio and TV Centre is currently large scale trialing a Lithuania-wide pre-WiMAX solution in the 3.5 Ghz range. The map below shows the current almost blanket country coverage using Aperto gear which is being used to offer services such as broadband internet access for SMEs, government agencies, schools, libraries, L2 VPNs for corporate customers and municipalities, VoIP, radio and tV over IP, videoconferencing and the backbone for road traffic control systems.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 3:56:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU has just published an Issues Paper on the Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services, available for download here (.pdf format).

The paper was prepared by Lara Srivastava, of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU), and Ingrid Silver & Rod Kirwan of the law practice of Denton Wilde Sapte.

Together with case studies (on Germany, China, Hong Kong SAR) and a thematic paper on spectrum flexibility, these background papers will form part of the input material for an international ITU New Initiatives Workshop on The Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services, to be held in Mainz (Germany) from 21-23 June 2006, and jointly hosted by Germany's Federal Network Agency.

The Advance Programme for the workshop is now on-line, and will be regularly updated.

More information about the ITU New Initiatives Programme can be found here.
More information about the international workshop on the topic can be found here.  

 

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:03:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The 5th Annual Mobility Roundtable was held in Helsinki from 1-2 June 2006, hosted by the Helsinki School of Economics. Since 2002, mobility roundtables have been held in Tokyo (Japan), Stockholm (Sweden), Austin (United States), and Hong Kong, China. The main objectives of the roundtables are:

  1. to build and support a sustainable international network of research and industry best practices for the mobile communication and computing business, market and industry;
  2. to exchange research and knowledge about best practices for different mobile modes of business; and
  3. to facilitate communication and collaboration among global researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

The 2006 programme, and all final papers can be found here. There were four keynote speakers at the event: Jarkko Sairanen (Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy, Nokia), Dr. Elizabeth Keating (University of Texas at Austin), Ari Tolonen (CEO, InfoBuild), and Lara Srivastava (ITU).   Lara Srivastava is a member of the international advisory committee for the mobility roundtables. Her keynote address was entitled "Mobiles for a Smaller World" and is available here.

The 6th roundtable will be held in Los Angeles (California) in June 2007, hosted by the University of Southern California.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006 10:35:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 28, 2006

The German government is preparing a law that would allow the use of mobile phone jammers during major events and in prisons. The blocking of mobile phone use by criminals is seen as an important measure in the war against crime and terrorism.

By transmitting on the same radio frequencies as the mobile phone, a phone jammer can effortlessly stifle annoying chatter in movie theatres, at funerals or in hospitals. However, in many countries, including Germany, the technology is officially illegal. Phone jammers not only disrupt licensed services operated by the mobile carriers, but might also disrupt other services operating in adjacent bands.

Read the full article from The Register here.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 8:15:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The winners of the third annual Mobile Entertainment Awards (the "Meffys") were announced by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) this week in London.

The mobile games award went to Digital Chocolate, the mobile music award to Warner Music's WAMO Packs, the mobile content award to Chooz Active Content's Foreplay, and the mobile entertainment handset award to Nokia's N70. Wiinners in other categories included Bango, France Telecom, 3 UK and Yospace.  The special recognition award was given to Jim Brailean, CEO/President and Founder of PacketVideo. The top entries for each category were selected by panels of independent industry media and analyst experts.

The Awards took place alongside Mobile Entertainment Market (MEM) 2006 at Islington's Business Design Centre in London (UK), at which the MEF also revealed its new Board of Directors. Ingrid Silver (Partner, Denton Wilde Sapte) was newly elected to the MEF Board and attended the Meffys reception with ITU's Lara Srivastava. Ingrid Silver and Lara Srivastava (with Rod Kirwan of Denton's) are presently co-authoring a paper on "The Regulatory Environment for Future Mobile Multimedia Services" as part of the ITU's New Initiatives Programme. The paper will be presented at an international workshop on the topic to be held in Mainz, Germany from 21-23 June 2006.

 

Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:10:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, May 27, 2006

Philips Semiconductors and South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom join forces to launch a trial in Seoul using Near Field Communication (NFC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies.  The trail will enable selected mobile phone users to use their phones to download content, unlock doors and pay for goods and services.

The trial will include about 400 participants. A wide variety of partners are involved, including operators, service providers, handset manufacturers, credit card companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, and retails. More information can be found in the RFID Journal article here.

 

Saturday, May 27, 2006 7:41:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 26, 2006

Winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2006, one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media, have been announced. The competition called for entries in 7 categories, including a youth competition and a grant for young creative talent:

  • Digital Communities

  • Computer Animation / Visual Effects

  • Digital Music

  • Interactive Art

  • Net Vision

  • u19 – freestyle computing

  • [the next idea] Art and Technology Grant

The 2006 winner for the Digital Communities category was "canal*ACCESSIBLE". Canal Accessible was chosen because it addresses the accessibility or inaccessibility inherent in the topographical surroundings of people who have difficulty walking. The city of Barcelona was taken as an example:  handicapped individuals document the problems they encounter on their way through the city by using images and, in a few cases, sound recordings. This material is posted to the website, and the places at which each one was created are specified on a city map. These locations can then be accessed using a built-in “find” function. ITU's Lara Srivastava was Jury Member for the Digital Communities category, which explores the promotion of the social use of ICTs and the creation of common public goods, the sharing of knowledge, and the narrowing of the digital divide. This category was introduced to the Prix in 2004 by Jury Member Andreas Hirsch and Howard Rheingold. The other Jury members were: Steven Clift (Chairman, e-democracy.org) and Peter Kuthan (Founder, Tonga Online).

The prizes will be awarded at the annual Ars Electronica Festival (31 August - 5 September 2006). More information about the winners can be found here.

Friday, May 26, 2006 11:41:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

This brochure summarizes the results of a workshop on Tomorrow’s Networks Today, held in Saint Vincent (Aosta), Italy from 7 to 8 October 2005. It was prepared by Cristina Bueti and Marco Obiso on the basis of specially prepared case studies, input documents and contributions to the workshop. The enclosed CD-Rom contains the background materials and documents of the workshop as well as a wide range of background resources related to tomorrow’s networks.

More information can be found here.

Click here to buy the brochure.

Monday, May 22, 2006 4:52:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 18, 2006

17 May 2006 On 17 May, World Information Society Day, ITU together with other partners (including UNCTAD and the KADO) launched a new series of reports entitled World Information Society Reports. It is intended to be an annual report, tracking progress in implementing the outcomes from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The reports will include a new benchmarking tool, the Digital Opportunity Index, which is a composite index for measurement of the information society, endorsed by the Tunis Phase of the WSIS. The summary of the report is available on the website at www.itu.int/wisr. The report itself will be published in June 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:46:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on RFID, with a view to developing a coherent RFID Policy for Europe. In order to prepare for the consultation, the Commission is organizing a series of workshops (5) between March and June 2006, in which experts and stakeholders from all over Europe and the world come together to debate the key issues.

ITU's Lara Srivastava spoke at the first workshop (6-7 March 2006), and also at the third workshop in the series held 16-17 May 2006 on "RFID Security, Data Protection & Privacy, Health and Safety Issues" (see the presentation here). The Policy Framework Paper written by the Commission in advance of the meeting highlighted the vision of the ITU's 2006 Internet Report on "The Internet of Things" released in November 2005.

Two more workshops are planned in early June, after which the Commission will open up the debate for a wider on-line public consultation, resulting in a Communication on RFID to be issued later this year.

For more information, including webcasts, see the European Commission RFID Consultation Website.

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:53:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 05, 2006

3 Italia has launched Walk TV, the first digital TV mobile broadcast using DVB-H technology in Europe. Programming will initially consist of channels from state broadcaster RAI, Mediaset and News Corp unit Sky Italia. And in June, the TV services will expand to include 3 Italia's own La3-branded channels, and World Cup soccer action, for which 3 Italia has bought the DVB-H Italian territory rights.

The 3 Italia DVB-H service reaches 65% of Italy's population and customers will need specific handsets to access the content.

More information can be found here.

Friday, May 05, 2006 8:58:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Singapore’s mobile users – 99.8% of Singapore’s population, according to the Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) February 2006 stats – will have more protection against mobile spam in the future. IDA has put its foot down on this issue, warning of “swift enforcement” of penalties should mobile operators continue to fail to resolve mobile spam issues satisfactorily.

A strong warning letter was sent to SingTel, StarHub and M1, the three mobile operators in Singapore. In addition, IDA decided to make an example of errant content operator mTouche in the highly publicized mTouche spam case. Between 30th January to 5th February this year, 300,000 mobile end users were billed S$1 for unsolicited SMSes sent by mTouche through the three telcos.

More information can be found here.

Friday, May 05, 2006 11:26:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 04, 2006

The "Survey on Industry Measures taken to comply with National Measures implementing Provisions of the Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications relating to the Security of Services" conducted by the Technical Department of ENISA, Section Security Policies is available here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:33:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006

A new wave of spam could be on the way that tricks recipients by looking like it’s a message sent from their friends' e-mail address. This sort of spam would bypass even those filters that currently weed out 99% of the bad stuff, says John Aycock, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Calgary.

Aycock and student Nathan Friess conducted research and wrote a paper dubbed "Spam Zombies from Outer Space" to show that generating such customized spam -- such as in the form of e-mail replies -- would not be too difficult, as has been assumed in the past. Spammers have leaned toward bulk e-mail generation that is less customized.

More information can be found here.

Monday, May 01, 2006 10:08:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 28, 2006

Juries began deliberating at the International Competition for CyberArts 2006 (Prix Ars Electronica) in Linz, Austria this morning. Over 4'300 projects from around the world are being considered.

Since 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has served as an interdisciplinary platform for everyone who uses ICTs as a universal medium for implementing and designing their creative projects at the interface of art, technology and society. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media.

The event calls for entries in 7 categories, including a youth competition and a grant for young creative talent:

  • Computer Animation / Visual Effects

  • Digital Music

  • Interactive Art

  • Net Vision

  • Digital Communities

  • u19 – freestyle computing

  • [the next idea] Art and Technology Grant

ITU's Lara Srivastava is Jury Member for the "Digital Communities" category, which focuses on the promotion of the social use of ICTs and the creation of common public goods, the sharing of knowledge, and the narrowing of the digital divide. This category was introduced to the Prix in 2004 by Jury Member Andreas Hirsch and Howard Rheingold. The other Jury members are: Steven Clift (Chairman, e-democracy.org) and Peter Kuthan (Founder, Tonga Online).

The Net Vision Jury includes Marko Ahtisaari (Director of Design Strategy at Nokia) and the Digital Music Jury includes Rob Young (Editor-at-large, The Wire Magazine).

The Computer Animation Jury includes such names as Mark Dippé (Director of Spawn and Visual Effects Supervisor for Jurassic Park, The Abyss, and Terminator 2), Rick Sayre (Visual Effects Supervisor for Pixar's Toy Story, A Bug's Life and The Incredibles), and Shuzo Shiota (President and CEO of Polygon Pictures).

Results from all categories will be released during the third week in May. Awards will be handed out at the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2006. Check this blog for further news!

 

Friday, April 28, 2006 12:24:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 24, 2006

Looking back, 2005 saw a rise in profit-driven attacks. These were reflected by phishing, which now represents as much as one percent of the global e-mail traffic and is far more effective than spamming.

Viruses, worms, and malicious software are becoming part and parcel of information and communications technology. According to Trend Micro's report, called Virus and Spam Roundup 2005 and Predictions for 2006, this year will see more spy phishing and spear phishing on the Internet.

More information can be found here.

Monday, April 24, 2006 5:08:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

On 23-24 March 2006 at ITU headquarters, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a high-level experts workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? focused on the policy and regulatory challenges related to the deployment of IP-enabled NGNs. The following materials are now available:

Monday, March 27, 2006 11:18:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A public talk was given on 22 March 2006 at Michigan State University's Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law on "The Changing Face of Cyberspace" (Lara Srivastava, ITU). 

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:10:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 16, 2006

The 4th International Conference on Communications Convergence was held in Mumbai (India) and hosted by the Indian Merchants Chamber on the theme "Connecting India: The Global Challenge".  Lara Srivastava (ITU) spoke on the topic of connecting rural communities in India in a talk entitled "Connect! Developing Rural Perspectives".

Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:55:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The OECD hosted a workshop entitled The Future of the Internet in Paris on 8 March 2006. Presentations given at the event will serve at "food for thought" for future OECD work.


The Economist has a related article entitled Reinventing the Internet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:09:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 02, 2006

A study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) has found that cell phones and other portable electronic devices, like laptops and game-playing devices, can pose dangers to the normal operation of critical electronics on airplanes.

"We found that the risk posed by these portable devices is higher than previously believed," said Bill Strauss, who recently completed his Ph.D. in EPP at Carnegie Mellon.

"These devices can disrupt normal operation of key cockpit instruments, especially Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which are increasingly vital for safe landings." Strauss is an expert in aircraft electromagnetic compatibility at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md.

For more information, please click here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:21:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In Japan, the ima doko (where are you now) service allows parents to track the location of their children through a mobile handset or a P-doco?mini device. One can pull up location data using the internet or even with a 3G NTT Docomo handset to see location data on a map (scroll down for sample maps displayed on the i-mode handset.

This flash animation shows a Japanese mother pulling up a map that locates her daughter's mobile handset.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:07:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 17, 2006

At the behest of the GSM Association (GSMA), fifteen network operators have founded a joint initiative against the spread of spam via mobile communications networks and published a "Code of Practice" (PDF file).

The initiative is focusing on spam sent as a text message or MMS, which has been divided into three categories: first, advertising that the cell phone user did not request; second, messages that directly or indirectly lead to calls of expensive premium services; and third, fraudulent content, such as the spoofs familiar to users of fixed Internet.

For more information, click here.

Friday, February 17, 2006 11:52:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Via Brough's Communications blog comes news that the GSM Association has announced a new instant messaging initiative.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 10:19:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 13, 2006

The ITU is hosting a workshop on Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) from 14-15 February 2006, bringing the spotlight on the emergence of a so-called "Internet of Things", enabling ubiquitous network connectivity, anytime and anywhere. The agenda and an accompanying press release are available.

Update: The workshop is being audiocast live and archived.

Monday, February 13, 2006 11:23:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunication infrastructure.

This book was created by a team of individuals who each, in their own field, are actively participating in the ever-expanding Internet by pushing its reach farther than ever before. The massive popularity of wireless networking has caused equipment costs to continually plummet, while equipment capabilities continue to sharply increase. We believe that by taking advantage of this state of affairs, people can finally begin to have a stake in building their own communications infrastructure. We hope to not only convince you that this is possible, but also show how we have done it, and to give you the information and tools you need to start a network project in your local community.

Wireless infrastructure can be built for very little cost compared to traditional wired alternatives. But building wireless networks is only partly about saving money. By providing people in your local community with cheaper and easier access to information, they will directly benefit from what the Internet has to offer. The time and effort saved by having access to the global network of information translates into wealth on a local scale, as more work can be done in less time and with less effort.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:14:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

At an early December meeting of ITU-T's Study Group 2, agreement on the allocation of a high-revenue international short message service (SMS) number to two international organisations for the purpose of fundraising was made. An official announcement in ITU-T's Operational Bulletin will be made following the decision of the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

The number +979 0767 was granted following a request from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It will allow the two organizations to launch relief campaigns across national boundaries, and will encourage regular donations by introducing a recognisable and non-changing number. The 767 portion of the number spells out SOS.

Texting emerged as a popular way to contribute to relief efforts during fundraising for the earthquake in Bam , Iran , 2003 and the 2004 Asian tsunami. [via the ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, January 27, 2006 12:47:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another take on marketing the Internet of Things (via IP). The source can be found here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:55:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Malaysia has recently launched its latest 5 year ICT master plan called MyICMS 886.

[Via James Seng's blog]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:14:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. From an academic network for the chosen few created in the late 1960s, the internet is now a mass-market, consumer-oriented network being accessed by over 900 million people worldwide, through personal computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices. But this is only the beginning. According to ITU’s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

At WSIS, the report was launched at a Press Conference and Panel Debate moderated by Kenn Cukier of The Economist. The lively debate included the following speakers and panelists: Nicholas Negroponte - MIT Media Lab, Olivier Baujard - CTO of Alcatel, Hitomi Murakami - VP General Manager of KDDI (Japan), Jonathan Murray - VP and CTO, Microsoft EMEA, Walid Moneimne, Senior VP and Head of EMEA Networks - Nokia, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office - Sun Microsystems, and from the ITU, Lara Srivastava, lead author of the report.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:59:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dr. Roger Marks, the Chair of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access has announced that a mobile version of IEEE 802.16 has been approved (now officially called IEEE Std 802.16-2004). The amended standard specifies a system for combined fixed and mobile BWA supporting subscriber stations moving at vehicular speeds in licensed bands under 6 GHz. The official press release announcement can be found here. The WiMAX Forum will now expand their certification process to include mobile as well as fixed systems.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:22:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 11, 2005

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the breakdown of 3G mobile technologies according to markets. ITU research shows CDMA 2000 1x technology currently has 115 million subscribers while W-CDMA technology has 18.8 million subscribers at the end of 2004. 

 

Friday, November 11, 2005 4:35:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the top 10 3G mobile markets worldwide, by millions of subscribers and type of technology (CDMA 2000 1x and W-CDMA) at the end of 2004. The USA leads in total number of 3G subscribers with 49.5 million (16.7% of the population) but the Republic of Korea has the highest national percentage with 57.4 of the population using 3G services (27.5 million subscribers).

Friday, November 11, 2005 3:55:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 20, 2005

NTT Docomo has announced a new 3G handset that can receive S-band satellite broadcasting. Korea has also deployed what it calls Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) to handsets in its native market. The definition of DMB according to a proposal from Korea to the ITU Standardization Sector to include DMB in the reference architecture for NGN Release 2 efforts is:

DMB Service is the next generation digital broadcasting service for indoor and outdoor users. The DMB users can enjoy CD quality stereo audio services and real-time video/data streaming services anywhere while moving at the speed of up to 200 km/h. ...There are two kinds of DMB services, terrestrial DMB and satellite DMB.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:38:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 14, 2005

Home Networking is the linking of all types of electronic devices for applications such as entertainment, telecommunication, home automation systems and telemetry (remote control and monitoring systems). And given the wide range of previously unrelated technologies involved, standards that allow for interoperability are seen as key to the successful marketing of the concept.

Now taking place at the ITU is a workshop on Opportunities and Challenges in Home Networking. The event is organized by ITU-T Study Group 9, in cooperation with several other ITU-T study groups and various organizations outside of ITU. It follows the Workshop on Home Networking and Home Services held 17-18 June 2004, Tokyo.

Study Group 9 has been working on standardization in home networking systems for more than four years. It has already approved three ITU-T Recommendations in the field, particularly dealing with IP-based multimedia services over cable networks. A current focus is a new Recommendation that will specify ways to bridge conditional access systems (that ensure payment in pay TV for example) to digital rights management (DRM) systems, an important step toward smooth operation of fully integrated home networking.

This workshop will bring together experts from all over the world who are pushing forward the frontiers of this fast-moving field. It will provide an overview of the technology as well as an examination of standards that address access, services, performance, Quality of Service, electromagnetic interference and security issues. The workshop will deal with current technology and future trends to provide a framework for moving forward standardization work. Attention will be given to both the technology and service aspects of this new technology.

The programme can be found here with links to the presentations. Highlights include:

  • Worldwide Status of Home Networking
  • Home Network Architecture and Technologies (including an update on UPnP and DLNA)
  • Home Networking Services and Business Models
  • Security and Digital Rights Management
  • Quality of Service in the Home Network
  • Electromagnetic Interference in the Home Environment
  • The Home Networking Future: Efforts and Challenges
Friday, October 14, 2005 10:13:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 13, 2005

The ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley regional authority, organized a Workshop on “Tomorrow’s Network Today” on 7-8 October 2005.

The workshop considered five broad themes:

• International Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• National Visions of Ubiquitous Networks and Next Generation Networks
• Creating an Enabling Environment
• The Italian Path Towards Ubiquitous Networks
• An example of Italian best practice: "Being Digital in the Aosta Valley"

Now available on the workshop website  are the agenda, with links to presentations as they were delivered and the two Case Studies on Italy – “Bridging the Gap: Taking Tomorrow’s Network Today” presented by Marco Obiso and “Ubiquitous Networks Societies: The Case of Italy” presented by Cristina Bueti - as well as background papers and voluntary contributions produced for the workshop.

During the event, Tim Kelly, Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit (ITU) presented “Tomorrow’s Network and the Internet of Things”, showing some of the outcomes of the forthcoming ITU Internet Reports publication that this year will be dedicated to the theme of the “Internet of Things “.

A final report of the workshop will be available in the next few weeks at the workshop website.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:46:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 30, 2005

European Commission press release on advancing a single market for radio spectrum:

The new Commission strategy in addition advocates overcoming the rigidity of traditional radio spectrum management approaches, where administrations tie usage rights of individual spectrum bands to specific transmission technologies and too narrow service definitions such as broadcasting or mobile communications. A greater flexibility in access to spectrum will give market players more freedom to use radio resources as they choose. This is an essential condition for achieving the full potential of radio spectrum resources and for keeping pace with technological advances and convergence both of technology platforms and of services.

As part of its spectrum reform strategy, the Commission also proposes that, between now and 2010, the exclusive usage rights for significant parts of the radio spectrum ought to be made tradable according to common EU rules. Independent estimates indicate that significant net gains (around €8-9 billion/year) could be achieved by introducing market mechanisms in order to put spectrum to its most promising uses throughout the EU.

As a de-regulated access to spectrum can encourage the development and use of innovative technologies, the Commission’s new strategy inally foresees investigating further the opportunities to make available licence-free radio frequencies to allow different users to share bands as lready the case for WiFi radio access. This will ultimately widen the choice of the wireless applications for the consumer.

Friday, September 30, 2005 7:31:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2005

According to Computer Business Review Online, NeuStar Inc has won a high-profile contract to provide internet addressing services for the world's GSM carriers, the company announced yesterday. NeuStar will operate a private root DNS server system serving the .gprs suffix, which will only be usable by participating GSMA member companies.

Update: There has been a lot of subsequent debate about the significance of this deal (mostly on Dave Farber's IP list and Nanog). In this post, James Seng tries to sum up what he sees are the main issues and points to the viewpoints of some other experts.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 2:21:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 26, 2005

To further encourage the development of a ubiquitous network society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Ugo Bordoni Foundation and the Aosta Valley are hosting a Workshop on "Tomorrow's Network Today" that will be held in Saint-Vincent (Aosta), Italy on 7-8 October 2005.

This Workshop will discuss specific measures to help overcome potential challenges and determine possible future actions.

One session will be dedicated to Next Generation Networks (NGN) as a framework to harmonize the worldwide technical and functional basis needed to extend the use of integrated ICTs to as many users as possible.

During the workshop there will be an Exhibition which will bring together a wide range of leading industry participants as well as high-level representatives from government and regulators.

Click here for more information about the event.

Monday, September 26, 2005 9:46:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005

According to an article in the Washington Post, online search leader Google is preparing to launch its own wireless Internet service, Google WiFi, according to several pages found on the company's Web site on Tuesday. In related news, Google is said to have an issued an RFP for a US national optical network.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:02:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2005

Among other things, the report makes scenario-based demand projections focusing on the next 10 years but extending to 20 years, for cellular, fixed link, broadband wireless access, satellite and terrestrial TV broadcasting services, while concentrating on the major uses and users of spectrum below 15GHz.

For the full report click here.

This story was accessed through Roger Darlington's weblog.

Monday, September 05, 2005 11:09:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:44:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:44:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Cox writes in NetworkWorld: The IEEE group charged with creating a standard for wireless LAN mesh is rounding up about 15 proposals at this week’s 802.11 meeting in San Francisco. Members of the 802.11s task group hope to have a draft standard completed in 12 to 18 months. Today's wireless LAN mesh networks use proprietary algorithms and are typically deployed outdoors. With a IEEE mesh standard implemented by WLAN vendors, it's possible that in the future every wireless LAN would also be able to configure itself as a mesh network, similar in concept to the Internet. A wireless mesh uses a radio to interconnect the access points and route wireless packets over the best available route. Mesh benefits include potentially higher performance and more reliable nets.

For a quantative analysis of mesh network benefits, see Dave Beyer's presentation linked from in this article.

via Fergie's tech blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 9:23:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 15, 2005

The European Commission has issued a decision on the harmonised use of radio spectrum in the 5 GHz frequency band for the implementation of Wireless Access Systems including Radio Local Area Networks (WAS/RLANs). Additional background information is available in a press release and here.

Friday, July 15, 2005 12:22:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 02, 2005

In the framework of its Technology Watch activities, ITU-T has recently published a technical paper on radio frequency identification (RFID) and opportunities for its use in mobile telecommunication services. RFID enables data to be transmitted by a tiny portable device, called a tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. It is only recently that the technology has begun to take off in the mass market. Analysts predict that RFID will revolutionize areas of industry, such as supply chain management and the retail business, for example by reducing costs with better stock management. The technical paper presents several ideas for applications of RFID technology in mobile telecommunication services as well as possible areas for standardization efforts. Apart from purely technical concepts, the challenging aspects of security and privacy are discussed. A PowerPoint presentation of the paper is also available.

ITU-T recently set up a correspondence group on RFID in the framework of its Technology Watch and a dedicated e-mail reflector on the matter for initiating studies on the technology. Additionally, ITU-T is to hold a workshop on RFID standardization issues in the first quarter of 2006. [via ITU-T Newslog]

Thursday, June 02, 2005 12:15:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the EC Joint Research Center (JRC) has released a report on the "Demand for Furture Mobile Communication Markets and Services in Europe". 

"In order to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Word Radio Conference in 2007 (WRC'07), where national delegations will consider the future demands of wireless services for radio spectrum, efforts are being made to reach agreement on future traffic volumes within the European Union. This study forms part of this effort and was led by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS1), on the request of DG INFSO. It aims to explore (qualitatively) the way that citizens will use future wireless communications services over mobile networks, and to assess (quantitatively) the traffic that will be generated by 2010, 2015 and 2020."

The report explores different possible scenarios for Europe for the future. "Disposable income determines consumption – what is bought and how it is bought. The failure to understand this or to grasp the real utility to the user of the service, combined with affordability and accessibility, has led to many errors in estimating demand for services in telecommunications. Too often, a technocentric view of new services has resulted in demand being vastly underestimated or overestimated. Thus while some of the biggest product launches in communications services over the past 20 years have delivered flops, seemingly trivial services have exploded. For instance, the impact of a simple service, SMS, has been greatly underestimated and was largely unforeseen by the industry."

"The initial European impacts over 2000 to 2004 of WAP (Wireless access protocol) for mobile web access to rich data services were greatly overestimated for its first form - only now is its utility being seen. We should also note that in wireless services, a regional market such as the European Union will be increasingly shaped by a global market. In 2020, there could be of the order of 5 billion mobile users, shaping technology, services, content and pricing."

For the full report, see here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:12:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 24, 2005

At the WSIS Thematic Meeting "Towards the realisation of the ubiquitous network society", held 16-17 May in Tokyo, co-organised by MIC Japan, ITU and United Nations University (UNU), a new project to develop and mass-manufacture a US$100 laptop, primarily for use in schools, was launched by MIT Media Lab together with an Open Computer Initiative from UNU. The partnership aims to have working prototypes available for demonstration by the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), November 16-18 2005. The initial specifications for the laptops are 500 MHz processor, 1 GB hard drive and wi-fi enabled, running LINUX. Over time, it is planned that the laptops would become more powerful, but not more expensive.

For more information, see: http://www.unu.edu/hq/rector_office/press2005/mre12-05.doc.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 8:22:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, May 22, 2005

Mobile Phones Change Ways Africans Live and Do Business

The rapid growth in mobile phone use throughout the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, is helping to transform national economies, producing a thriving entrepreneurial class and marked growth in private capital, according to Leonard Waverman, an economist with the London Business School.

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington May 5 on a panel of fellow economists and representatives of one of Europe’s largest wireless telephone providers, Vodafone UK, Waverman pointed to the extensive use of mobile phone accounts in the developing countries as a new source of economic development in Africa.

Although mobile phone penetration is only about 9 percent in Africa generally, mobile phones account for approximately 75 percent of all telephone connections in 19 of the poorest African countries, Waverman said, adding, "If you look at it globally, the growth in the number of mobile telephone subscribers in developing countries is twice that in the developed world"

In most instances, he explained, mobile phone infrastructure is easier to set up and cheaper to maintain than the standard fixed-line telecommunications systems that were technological holdovers from the colonial past and often controlled by the government. The new systems sidestep the control issue, have fewer technical problems and are having a noticeable effect on the future of telecommunications in Africa, as antiquated analog networks are being replaced with newer digital ones.

Scott Wallsten, formerly an economist at the World Bank and now a fellow at AEI, added that "mobile telephony often succeeds in developing countries because state monopolies rarely view [the companies] as a threat -- until they are established. By then, the investment has been made, and the customer base has already been set up."

Waverman stressed that a good communications network is important in producing economic growth in developing nations by transforming the enterprise sector and spreading wealth as far as the voice can be carried through the ether.

"Information is power. Providing information to everyone takes the power away from the few. And we are seeing this [dynamic] occurring across much of Africa today. We are seeing the emergence of a new middle class," he said, as new businesses and businessmen emerge with new capital for growth.

[US Dept of State via my weblog]

Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:13:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, May 21, 2005

Latin American nations are finding unique uses for WiFi including building a Wi-Fi-linked e-payments network in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Quite clever actually since it cuts down merchants’ long-distance phone charges, and speeds up transactions. In Chilean pueblo of Cora Cora, 7000 residents can now connect to the Internet, via a WiFi network that is fed by a satellite pipe. This has been made possible through joint efforts by the local government authorities, business and community members.

"Project team members and the community now are moving forward with the project's next phase by developing Web sites and e-commerce services for government administration, business, academic and educational use. Plans to build wireless links, networks and similar services in the neighboring town of Chavi, some eight kilometers away, are also in the works".

For the full article, please see here.

[Via feed24]

Saturday, May 21, 2005 5:20:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005
 Monday, May 02, 2005

Dissemination and Acquisition of Knowledge in a Mobile Age (PDF), Paper Abstract (PDF), presented by Lara Srivastava, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 28 April 2005, Seeing, Learning and Understanding in a Mobile Age, Institute for Philosophical Research - Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary). The conference website and other papers are available here.

Monday, May 02, 2005 10:19:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 28, 2005

Intel Corporation has announced the availability of its first WiMAX product, providing equipment manufacturers and carriers the ability to deliver next-generation wireless broadband networks around the world. In addition, several service providers worldwide announced plans to begin commercial WiMAX trials based on Intel silicon products later this year, giving consumers and businesses a glimpse at this emerging wireless high-speed broadband technology. Key equipment providers also announced WiMAX solutions based on Intel's product..

The Register (via Wireless Watch) had a recent review of the WiMAX Summit in Paris, France and the related standards debate.

  • It quickly emerged that the issue preoccupying both vendors and potential operators is the road to mobility and exactly how the transition to the forthcoming 802.l6e mobile standard will be achieved. With a key WiMAX Forum meeting to be held in the coming week in Spain, and 802.16e set to be ratified this year, it is essential to the uptake of the platform that the route to mobility is clarified as soon as possible.
  • All agree that 802.16 will be the platform with which WiMAX hits the big time. Most of the equipment majors are merely licensing fixed 802.16d (now renamed 802.16-2004) gear, while focusing their own development efforts on 'e'. That means that the chances for chipmakers to net the big OEM deals - with Alcatel, Nortel and the others - rely on the mobile standard. But there are two basic schools of thought among the chipmakers and their licensees as to their strategy in the interim.
  • One is that there is a period of at least two years before 802.16e achieves volume, and that the upgrade path will be complex. That means the priority is to make 802.16-2004 as impressive as possible in order to drive short term sales and increase confidence in WiMAX. This will mean creating a so-called 'd+' technology that goes beyond the basic stipulations of the fixed standard, with a focus on aspects such as quality of service for voice and video, and portability with consumer grade subscriber equipment.
  • The other view is that the market needs to move to mobility more rapidly, by offering pre-standard networks that provide most of the functionality promised for 'e'. This strategy rests on the belief - or hope - that the mobile standard will come to market rapidly and that the leap from its predecessor will be a simple one.

In related news, only days before a deadline for its first licensing fee payment, South Korea’s Hanaro Telecom announced Tuesday it will forego a license to roll out a WiBro mobile broadband network (based on 802.16e technology). Hanaro was one of three Korean operators granted licenses by the Korean Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in January. "We still believe WiBro is commercially viable. We plan to grant the remaining licensee withdrawn from Hanaro to an eligible hopeful,’’ MIC director general Kim Dong-soo said.

[via my weblog, The Register, MIC]

Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:43:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 22, 2005

Telecommunications Magazine has an article on ITU's recent Ubiquitous Network Societies workshop.

  • So what does ubiquitous really mean? One take has a future where everything is connected to everything else by some type of wireless network. Alongside this is a future that sees superconvergence of everything from fixed to mobile networks spanning multi-platforms, multi-functions and multi-applications.
  • In short, it sounds like the long-held dream of all telecom professionals everywhere, providing services and applications to everyone regardless of their location. “Technology and network access will become an afterthought to daily activities,” predicts [ITU Secretary-General Yoshio] Utsumi.
Friday, April 22, 2005 11:04:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Niklas Zennström's keynote presentation (PowerPoint) entitled A Vision For Global Telephony from the Voice on the Net Canada 2005 conference. [via Jeff Pulver Blog]

Mobile | VoIP | Wireless
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:57:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

VoIP and ENUM, Om Malik and Stuart note that Lenn Pryor, Channel 9 founder, is leaving Microsoft and joining Skype. VoIP and ENUM also points to news of SkypeMobile in MobileMag:

At the Voice On the Net (VON) conference in Toronto, Skype Technologies co-founder and CEO Niklas Zennstrom reported that a mobile version of Skype will be available this year.

“We will encourage hardware manufacturers to deploy Skype on their devices.” said Zennstrom. SkypeMobile for mobile devices (our unofficial name for the new Skype) will be targeted to hardware manufacturers for integration into new dual-mode (GPRS + WiFi) mobile devices once made available to carriers. Our guess is that whichever manufacturer will adopt Skype first is the platform SkypeMobile will be released for.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 6:25:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The UK mobile phone operators, O2, Orange, TMobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and 3, have today appointed a body to oversee the self-classification of new forms of adult commercial content on mobiles. The new body, which is named the Independent Mobile Classification Body (IMCB), is a subsidiary of premium rate regulator ICSTIS, and has been formed for this purpose. It has now launched a classification framework (press release (Word)) against which providers of commercial content to mobile subscribers will be able to self-classify new forms of content such as still images and video clips. [Via Ewan Sutherland's blog]

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 2:22:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 10, 2003

The purpose of the WiMAX Forum is to promote deployment of broadband wireless access networks by using a global standard and certifying interoperability of products and technologies. This includes:

  • Support IEEE 802.16 standard
  • Propose and promote access profiles for ther IEEE 802.16 standard
  • Certify interoperability levels both in network and the cell
  • Achieve global acceptance
  • Promote use of broadband wireless access overall

Also see this related article at 802.11 Planet.

Thursday, April 10, 2003 5:59:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2003

Mesh Less Cost of Wireless: A group of wireless enthusiasts provide a town in western England with Internet access at a fraction of the usual cost. They use a device that supplies hundreds of users with broadband piped from a single connection. [Wired News]

Thursday, February 13, 2003 1:07:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 07, 2003

Boeing's sky-high Net access takes off. [News.com] Also see previous articles "Wi-Fi in the Sky!" and "Mile-High Surfing".

Friday, February 07, 2003 2:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2003

The IEEE has just announced it has approved the 802.16a extension to the 802.16 broadband wireless access (BWA) standard. See Roger Marks' tutorial on 802.16 (Zipped PowerPoint) to understand why this is important for providing broadband wireless access. 802.16a provides improved support for mesh networks, where each subscriber access point is also part of the routing infrastructure. For a general overview of the growing interest in non-line-of-sight wireless broadband systems, see the IEEE's Spectrum article: Wireless Broadband in a Box. For a more in-depth technical explanation with regard to mesh networks, see Dave Beyer's recent (November 2002) presentation on Wireless Mesh Networks for Residential Broadband (PDF), demonstrating some extremely important characteristics of mesh networks, namely:

  • mesh coverage and robustness improves exponentially as subscribers are added;
  • rapid area coverage with only a few subscribers (easy to seed);
  • increasing subscriber density increases overall network capacity.

Some earlier articles here on mesh networks can be found in "Cheap Wireless Mesh Networks", "Watch this airspace and parasitic networks" and "Seeding Mesh Networks".

Friday, January 31, 2003 2:37:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 23, 2003

Guy Kewney's Mobile Campaign has a fascinating article on Locustworld's affordable wireless mesh network solution, Meshbox. LinuxDevices.com has a primer explaining the MeshBox - a Linux-powered wireless mesh repeater by Jon Anderson, its creator.  As Guy Kewney's article notes: "However, there are going to be some controversial areas in the Locustworld experiment. The cheekiest move was the setting up of an IP address numbering authority, WIANA, or The Wireless Internet Assigned Numbers Authority." Also see my earlier articles on wireless mesh/parasitic/symbiotic networks in Watch this airspace and parasitic networks and Seeding Mesh Networks.

Thursday, January 23, 2003 2:08:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 16, 2003

In a follow-up to my earlier piece, it's finally available: Lufthansa is now offering onboard wireless broadband service on scheduled flights. They've started with the popular Frankfurt - Washington D.C. (Dulles) run. Lufthansa's press release announcing the service is here.

Thursday, January 16, 2003 5:30:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 01, 2003

[Computerworld] Wi-Fi spectrum battle pits antiterrorism efforts against commercial growth: "The U.S. position paper, submitted to the ITU at its November meeting in preparation for the ITU's World Radio Conference (WRC) in June, which will make the spectrum decisions, endorses a global allocation for WLANs in the 5.150-5.350 band as long as radars are protected by a technique know as Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), which shuts down WLAN transmissions when a radar signal is detected."

Wednesday, January 01, 2003 4:35:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 25, 2002

Talk about timely. CommsDesign has a recent piece on the development by Motorola of an "isochronous network, developed with input from Nintendo Co. Ltd., Sony Corp. and other game platform developers, [that] will be extended into other markets to serve as a "feeder" for future ad-hoc mesh-based piconets that use 802.11 wireless technology as their underlying infrastructure". Slashdot also has a related thread. Isochronous ad-hoc mesh-based piconets? This almost seems like it could have been generated by dack.com.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 2:27:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Last month, in Watch this airspace and parasitic networks, we flagged the emergence of mesh networks, where end user devices can also be routing devices. Wired Magazine has a short article: A New Spin on the Wireless Web this month and mentions the interesting start-up Mesh Networks.  Mesh networks, where user devices and routing nodes can get co-mingled, might be an interesting twist on Metcalfe's law, which says the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users or nodes. Think about it. Where all user devices are also routing devices, it's pretty obvious that, at least for the beginning part of the 'S' innovation curve, the value of network externalities is even greater. This has some interesting implications for seeding 'core' networks by seeding the 'edges'.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 2:11:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I keep telling people about Rob Flickenger's article Tapping the alpha geek noosphere with EtherPEG so I'm also posting a reference here. It's a spooky article about eavesdropping on wireless networks and the implications of tapping into a sort of collective consciousness. For all the gory details of 802.11 security problems, see Edgar Danielyan's article on 802.11  in the March 2002 issue of the Internet Protocol Journal.  Dr. Bill Hancock, Chief Security Office at Exodus drove that home in his presentation he made here today at our workshop on Critical Network Infrastructure.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 11:35:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |