Friday, September 14, 2007

Google, Verizon, Apple, and my dream for a wireless future

This is a mashup post about wireless, Wi-Fi devices, our sucky telecomunnication providers, and some hopes for the future. I'm doing a bit of thinking outloud and hopefully in the end I will pull it all together. Bear with me.

I got this from Verizon today:

Never worry about Text Messaging driving up your bill! Switch to an America’s Choice® Select Calling Plan with UNLIMITED Messaging and send as many Text, Picture and Video Messages as you want to anyone on any network in the U.S. All for one low price with a 1- or 2-year renewal!

I can't be bribed over a good deal on SMS. I will not be signing up with Verizon again when my contract is up in January. I don't like Verizon and their business practices. Mostly what disgusts me is their trying to do business through litigation versus competing for their customers by providing better service. For example their lawsuit against Vonage:

Verizon® has pursued litigation against Vonage® in an effort to achieve in court what it cannot achieve in the marketplace. Verizon has sued Vonage over patents they claim cover all of VoIP. Why?

Then there is this Verizon lawsuit on the looming 700mhz spectrum auction:

Verizon Wireless challenged in federal appeals court the Federal Communications Commission’s 700 MHz open-access rules, the opening salvo in what could evolve into a messy legal battle. The move puts a cloud of uncertainty over the upcoming auction of more than a thousand wireless licenses in prime airwaves.

So what is Verizon up to? First they attack the technology that enables VoIP. Then they turn right around and attack the wireless spectrum space that could render the current, and sucky 3G phone networks obsolete. They're sounding a bit scared...

Google, on the other hand appears to be working on our behalf, Consumer choice is always the right answer

The nation's spectrum airwaves are not the birthright of any one company. They are a unique and valuable public resource that belong to all Americans. The FCC's auction rules are designed to allow U.S. consumers -- for the first time -- to use their handsets with any network they desire, and download and use the lawful software applications of their choice.

Thank you Google! I've thought for sometime that Google was up to something big. There's this speculation about the GPhone, which by the way isn't a phone at all but a Wi-Fi device, and their alliance with Apple who has that innocuous little device called the iPod Touch which is an iPhone without the phone. Two phones that aren't really phones. Right! All speculation of course, but if it walks like a duck...

This article by Cringely: The Power of Six: Google's plan for world domination speculating about mesh networking and the use of the 700mhz spectrum gives me great hope. The current network infrastructure in this country sucks! Have you traveled domestically lately and tried to connect to the network in an airport? I rest my case. We need radical change. So I get all tingly when I see stuff like this:

First let’s start by looking at the infrastructure Google has already built or committed to building — the largest fiber backbone in the world and the largest and most widely distributed data center build-out in the world. Both are FAR in excess of Google’s current or even future requirements UNLESS they are also intended to work with a massive 700-MHz wireless network.

Imagine a hybrid wireless broadband mesh network using 700-MHz connections for backhaul and some truly mobile links and WiFi for local service. Google has enough experience with WiFi in Mountain View to know that it isn’t, by itself, a good solution for wide area networks. The key failing of metro WiFi networks is backhaul to the Internet backbone. But if Google used its 700 MHz band for that AND implemented it as a true mesh network, there would easily be enough capacity to serve almost any size network given a suitable number of backbone connections.

TO DIE FOR!!!! I only hope to see this come to fruition in my lifetime, or by 2009, whichever comes first.


Anonymous said...

The technology that Vonage has utilized to deliver VoIP DOES infringe on the patents Verizon Communications holds. They dropped the ball by not aggressively developing that piece of the business, allowing Vonage to grab market share and brand recognition, even when VoIP would have been a natural extention of their failing landline biz via broadband subscribers. Verizon Comm instead has been focusing on FIOS, which will take a much longer time to fully realize due to limited infrastructure.

The real interesting development is that it appears as if Verizon Wireless (co-owned by Verizon Comm and Vodaphone)[url=] will transition it's current CDMA infrastructure to the 4G GSM platform in the next 5 years[/url]. VZW has traditionally been a CDMA proponent.

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