Good Day, BWIA is a light compendium of news, items of interest, irreverent commentary, and occasional light analysis relating to Broadband Wireless Internet Access (including WiMAX, public access Wi-Fi, etc.).
Back home again Ahhh... after my trip to Denver... and a bonus trip to Scotts Bluff Nebraska (thanks very much, Matt), it's good to be back in the Seattle area, with my wonderful family, coffee that doesn't masquerade as tea, weather that hints of snow and doesn't deliver same (thus, no shoveling, slipping, etc.), and (as pictured at right) incredibly fantastic views of snow-covered mountains in the early morning light.
BWIA-related events As I mentioned, yesterday, I spent my writing time updating BWIA Calendar, what I consider to be the best overall listing of events related to Broadband Wireless Internet Access. Not that it's absolutely complete - there are events that I haven't heard about - yet. But when I do hear about them, I update BWIA Calendar as soon as possible. There are also other wireless-related events that I choose not to include because they're not, solely in my opinion, significantly (enough) related to Broadband Wireless Internet Access. Usually, that's a conference or trade show that deigns to include a wireless-related track, typically with a title like "The Future of Wireless" or "Will WiMAX Disrupt Cellular Momentem", etc. I also tend to exclude events that are a bit too tightly focused on aspects of wireless such as conferences that focus on tower siting, or antenna technology, or components, etc. So, if you know of an event that broadly relates to Broadband Wireless Internet Access, please let me know. One of the better ways to provide input is to use the comments at BWIA Calendar.
Clearwire Modem Weather Report - Hollywood Hill, Woodinville, Washington - Solid 4 Bars - ideal conditions for the modem.
Nationwide 3.65 GHz "license" announcement I'll reserve judgment about an announcement this morning about the "award" of a (US) nationwide 3.65 GHz "license". Let's just say that I'm skeptical about this announcement based on my understanding of how the "licensing-lite" process works for the 3.65 GHz band. I'll write more if I can get more detailed information, pro or con.
After shaking hands with McCaw, count your fingers Bell Canada must be smarting a bit today with Clearwire's announcement that Clearwire has chosen Nortel to provide voice services infrastructure for Clearwire. As I described in a March 8, 2005 article - Clearwire and Bell Canada announced that they have formed a partnership for Bell Canada to exclusively handle the VOIP telephony operations of Clearwire's US operations and be the "preferred" VOIP partner for Clearwire's operations outside the US. Announcements are coming fast and furious from Clearwire of late, and it's time I got busy again and rededicated myself to writing about Clearwire as the largest pure-play Broadband Wireless Internet Access Service Provider in the US on my Independent Clearwire Blog.
Another round of white space testing The FCC has announced that it will conduct another round of testing (PDF link) later this month of prototype devices to operate in unused television channels (television broadcast "white space"). The initial testing of such devices didn't go so well, for various reasons, and this round will change some things, including a pre-announced test plan (PDF link) and the ability for interested parties to observe the testing. This round of testing features systems from Adaptrum, Microsoft, Motorola, and Philips. Another thing that's very different during this round is the emergence into public view of the full range of interested parties in the form of the Wireless Innovation Alliance.
Sprint Nextel reductions - you know there has to be a BWIA angle While there was nothing stated about Broadband Wireless Internet Access in its announcement of significant cutbacks, Sprint Nextel's (expensive) commitment to deploy Mobile WiMAX services using its 2.5 GHz spectrum has to be weighing heavily on Sprint Nextel's new CEO Dan Hesse. It's going to be expensive for Xohm to get traction in its launch markets of Washington / Baltimore and Chicago. Not only does Xohm have to explain what it's service is, but why you really need it, especially given the aggressive competition for customers of such services by AT&T Mobility (nice that a name has finally settled out for AT&T's wireless services) and Verizon Wireless, soon-enough T-Mobile's (true) broadband services expected to launch this year... and, worst of all, Sprint's own 1xEV-DO Rev. A services on its CDMA network. And doing so in the midst of downsizing Sprint's workforce and possibly consolidating Virginia employees to Kansas (good luck!), stockholder angst that the reductions don't go far enough, and salvaging a viable business out the badly-damaged iDen service. My prediction stands that Sprint Nextel will essentially spin out Xohm and its 2.5 GHz spectrum into a joint venture with Clearwire, or dump it outright. There's simply too much corporate inertia at Sprint Nextel - invested careers and tribal knowledge, technological infrastructure built for "the core competency of a telephone company is to generate billable events", and the external pressures of "the good old days of the cellular business" for a Mobile WiMAX service, with its radical distillation of "telecommunications" into "Stupid Network", for Xohm to gain any significant traction within Sprint.
Chrysler vehicles to be private Wi-Fi HotSpots At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, Chrysler exhibited the usual clueless fantasizing about lucrative content downloads when it announced a new initiative to integrate "cellular, WiFi, and WiMAX" into future vehicles. Connectivity will be cellular in the near term, and potentially Mobile WiMAX in the longer term, feeding Wi-Fi and integrated systems within the vehicle. What's hilarious, to me, is Chrysler, like the wireless telephony companies, keep thinking that customers want to download content from a Chrysler walled garden, when in reality what customers want to do is to download content of their choice... from their choice. iTunes is one example, especially compelling now that Apple offers downloadable movies. We're going to see parents using the in-vehicle connectivity... if it's reasonably priced... to download content onto an iPod for Junior's viewing pleasure... but if it's not reasonably priced, they'll load up the iPod in the house before starting the trip. Those who fight the economics, technology, and the incredible breadth of applications of the Internet... simply lose. Chrysler will surely learn that lesson, and it looks like they'll be learning it the hard way.
By Steve Stroh
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(Last updated 2007-11-06)
This article is Copyright © 2008 by Steve Stroh except for specifically-marked excerpts. Excerpts and links are expressly permitted (and encouraged).
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