Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3-D and mobile data offloading can use some 'standardisation'

Some new technologies or applications need standardisation before mass market adoption can take off. Apple is a famous example of an exception: it uses its own proprietary technologies and walled gardens and gets away with it. For such diverse things as 3-D and mobile data offloading, some form of standardisation seems to be necessary.

3-D: Prospective buyers are probably well informed and early on in their decision making are confronted with three different solutions:
Innovators may move in, but even early adopters may remain on the sidelines until the dust settles.

Mobile data offloading. Options are manyfold and operators the world over are making different decisions, but many appear to be on the sidelines - while data traffic explodes. Is there any operator that really knows which option is best? This is not about standardisation, strictly speaking, but consensus on what the best network architecture is, would be nice. The options:
  • WiFi: either free from restaurants/hotels; free for mobile and/or broadband subs; for-pay (e.g. Boing); free/shared (FON).
  • Femtocells, picocells.
  • Rely on 4G and the right spectrum (Real Wireless for Ofcom: 230-450% efficiency gain; TeliaSonera at Investor Day: 8x more efficient). LTE-Advanced is poised to offer speeds up to 1 Gb/s.
  • All new wireless architectures from Alcatel-Lucent (lightRadio), Ericsson (Antenna Integrated Radio), NSN (Liquid Radio).
  • TD-LTE to roll out a cheap data network.
  • Network sharing, possibly even with a wholesale-only partner (such as LightSquared in the US, or perhaps UK Broadband in the UK).

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