Archive for January, 2010

Mobile connectivity trends

Having my HTC Hero has made me aware how much our online presence is being determined by what we are doing on the move. Mobile access is slowly coming to the fore, lead by the innovative features of smartphones and their respective applications. With apps available such as Foursquare (an online location based game), Google Goggles (an augmented reality app using image searching) and Places Directory (a directory of venues surrounding your location) our use of mobile connectivity has skyrocketed. Mainly led by the iPhone, this has led to several network operators around the world scratching their heads on how best to deal with bandwidth for devices. However the sphere is exciting, and there are a number of ways in which one can be innovative.

I recently came across a very interesting collaborative slideshow canvassing the opinions of various industry leaders on how the mobile space may look in 2020. There are a number of conflicting thoughts on key trends (ie whether we pay or not for digital content). My favourite was provided by Tomi Ahonen, who predicted that the ‘Star Trek Universal Translator’ will become commonplace. Whatever trends come to the fore, the next decade will prove to be very exciting for the mobile application space.

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BE launch 40Mb bonded DSL

With the New Year fast becoming a distant memory, there have already been some interesting developments in the broadband landscape. From my position, BE launching bonded DSL from the exchange is one of the more interesting propositions, as it further pushes the limits of copper above and beyond it’s current uses.  Current headline speeds will be up to 40Mb down and up to 5Mb up. However although similar in delivery to EFM, this will be available immediately across BE’s network of c.1250 exchanges. Currently this is in final trials, meaning commercial details and compatible CPE are still to be set in stone. However it is planned that these trials will last for up to 2 months, before they start to roll this out through all channels, including wholesale.

Of course this has many appliances, and sits neatly in the sphere between legacy SDSL connectivity and fibre leased lines. Currently many of our wholesale partners are multi-linking DSL tails and this can be seen as a direct replacment for this. Bonded DSL will also negate the need to force sessions onto a single LNS, enabling partners to efficiently operate a resilient multi-LNS environment. Combined with Seamless Rate Adaptation, Bonded DSL can now be seen to offer a true alternative to an ISDN30.

The main downside to this is that it will not be available in rural areas, thus not offering any help to users in traditional ‘not spots’ and not wholly aiding the ability to obtain the USC/O of 2Mbps stipulated by Digital Britain. Saying that, one possible application could be in instances where an end user is far away from their local exchange. Whereby with one DSL, they may only obtain a sync rate of 2Mb, they now have the possibility to double this in favourable conditions. It will be interesting to see how other carriers react to this news.


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