Thanks for A Great Year!

Thanks for making 2007 so interesting and enjoyable!

Tonight marks the 100th anniversary of the Ball Drop in Times Square.

A million people will crowd Times Square to watch the ball drop atop the One Times Square building at midnight, estimate the New York police. A billion are expected to watch the spectacle on video.

As the ball drops, the New Year will be greeted with a massive fireworks explosion, some 168 shots in the first five seconds alone, and a downpour of two tons of fireproof confetti.

Here are some Earthcam Mobile Blogs. Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch reviews Web 2.0 companies offering Live Video:

    stickammini.png The oldest of the bunch, launching back in February of 2006, Stickam lets you host your own live show stream and chat on their site or embedded in your own. When you’re show isn’t live, you can show a pictures, audio, or recorded shows on a MySpace-like profile page. The front page of the site features the most recent show and their number of live viewers, which currently are floating around 3,000.

    blogtvmini.png Launched back in May, BlogTv also lets you start your own live show and chat. Every show you record is broadcasted live and then archived. You can subscribe to each show on your account, embed, rate, and recommend them. Live shows are shown on the front page, but you can also review the archived footage in their library.

    mogulusmini1.png Yet to get out of private beta, Mogulus is focused on live video production tools. Using their tools, you can see how many viewers are waiting for your broadcast and storyboard the show you’re about to broadcast on your own Mogulus URL. With storyboarding, you can drop recorded videos into your feed at cue and even overlay graphics such as logos or titles. You can even collaborate with another producer and cooperatively shape the storyboard.

    justintvmini.png The oddest of the bunch, launched with a splash and then again when police raided their apartment. The novelty of the site centered around one of the co-founders, Justin Kan streaming his life 24/7 from a head cam. has yet to launch an open network, and has instead opted to expand slowly by adding a select number of dedicated “lifecasters”. Each caster gets a live feed, video archive, and chat channel. Instead of just featuring what’s live on the front page, they’ve also developed a “tips” service that lets users dig up key moments.

    ustreamtvmini.png Launched back in March, Ustream is another lifecasting network letting anyone plug in and start streaming, similar to Stickam. It’s caught on in the tech crowd with people like Robert Scoble and Cris Pirillo streaming their own shows from offices or on the road at conventions. Each caster gets a profile page where they can post their videos, photos, and thoughts. The player comes with live chat, the ability to archive footage, and embed it on your site.

Go Live from Times Square with New York Live Cams and cameras around the world. Most of all, Don Park and Sam Churchill of DailyWireless wish you a happy, healthy New Year.

Here’s Bill McGlaughlin on Mozart’s Requiem Mass, the last notes written by Mozart.

Take us out, Garrison.

Predictions for 2008

Predicting the top 2008 wireless stories is always fun. Here are a few fearless websites:

  • EE Times has Seven Global Predictions for 2008:
    (1) The “Next Big Thing” will have a global, not a U.S. consumer focus.
    (2) The sucking sound of semiconductor research, design engineering, and software development rushing out of Silicon Valley will become deafening in 2008.
    (3) YouTube investor, product, technology, design, company and information videos will explode in 2008.
    (4) LED light bulbs will make the transition from flashlights to home lighting
    (5) Japan, a sleeping technology giant, will awaken and become a leader again in attracting global investment.
    (6) Nanotechnology IPO’s will come out of the woodwork.
    (7) The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be the most technology intensive Olympics ever.

  • The Bangkok Post Predicts;
    1. iPhone successor unveiled
    2. 802.11n, finally
    3. Vista, again
    4. Open source takes off
    5. Quad-core for the masses
    6. Hybrid storage arrives
    7. Green everywhere
    8. Wii play games
  • C/Net’s Rocking ’08 Networking Tech Predictions;
    1. 802.11n
    2. 802.1x
    3. Windows Server 2008
    4. Identity-based networking
    5. Data center 10-gigabit Ethernet switching
    6. Traffic management
    7. Network infrastructure breakdown
    8. IPv6
    9. Fixed wireless convergence
    10. Open cellular networks

  • MSN’s Top 6 tech trends of 2008;
    1. Smarter sports
    2. GPS will go real-time.
    3. You’ll have a pet robot.
    4. Plasma or LCD TV will suddenly seem old-school.
    5. Your next laptop will be tiny, cheap and powerful.
    6. Your toothbrush will keep tabs on your dental hygeine habits.
  • ComputerWorld: 2008 Top 10 Trends in Personal Tech;
    1. The year of flash-based superportables
    2. The year of free Internet access
    3. The year of the home robot
    4. The year of hyperconnectivity
    5. The year of multi-touch
    6. The year of location, location, location
    7. The year of reading on-screen
    8. The year of social everything
    9. The year of haptic feedback
    10. The year of cell phone TV

  • TechWorld’s What will wireless LANs do in 2008?
    1. Faster networks with 802.11n
    2. Convergence: Mobile devices connect through cellular networks as well as WiFi.
    3. Competition with cellular services from WiFi and WiMAX

Of course WiMAX will be embedded into Intel’s Montevina (laptop) and Menlow (UMPC) platforms as well as the Eee PC. The Los Angeles Times sees professionally produced series on the Web taking on a life of their own. The Wall Street Journal thinks “dumb” devices like the TV remotes — will provide more functions and threaten sales of other kinds of electronics. The New York Times believes more companies will create virtual worlds for the youngest. PC World has 101 Fantastic Freebies.

Our own predictions for 2008:

10. Google wins 20 Mhz slot on 700 band, teams with Clearwire and ICO (above).
9. Korea’s KT or SK Telecom partner in joint Sprint XOHM venture
8. Mobile WiMAX starts slow, gains traction 2H with $300-$600 MID-powered iPhone
7. T-Mobile does 3G on AWS band, LTE a no-show.
6. AT&T promotes Mobile TV — fails — sells to NTT
5. Verizon and Qualcomm sue — everyone
4. Municipal wireless invigorated with 802.11n beamforming and joint WiMAX partnerships.
3. White space approved — over NAB’s dead body.
2. Unlicensed 700, 5.8GHz and 60 Ghz become viable for independent ISPs
1. Newspapers die — but The Next Big Thing is right around the corner.

Top Ten Stories of 2007

It’s December 31st — time to round up the big stories of 2007. First, let’s review the top 2007 stories from other sites:

  • Unstrung’s 2007 Top Ten Wireless Stories
    10. Cisco goes WiMax
    9. Rural takeover
    8. Emerging markets
    7. Carriers start to pick 4G technology
    6. Muni dreams fade
    5. Sprint’s WiMax tribulations
    4. Verizon’s ‘Open Access’ plans
    3. 700 MHz wireless broadband auctions
    2. Google’s Android
    1. The iPhone
  • Muni Wireless’ Most important Muni Wireless Stories of 2007;
    (1) Launch of the iPhone
    (2) Business models
    (3) Waiting, waiting for WiMAX
    (4) EarthLink implodes
    (5) Minneapolis is going ahead with the network
  • RCR News Top 10 stories of 2007;
    1. iCANDY
    2. Score two for MediaFLO
    3. Skype pushes for wireless net neutrality
    4. Google spectrum plans rattle wireless cage
    7. 700 MHz auction rules set
    8. Consumer protection bill on deck
    10. OPENING UP
  • IDG’s Top 10 tech stories of 2007;
    1. Software consolidation: The big fish get bigger
    2. Dell reinvents itself
    3. The iPhone: Apple redefines a market, again
    4. The Rise of the botnets: Software as a service … for criminals
    5. OLPC and the era of cheap laptops
    6. Google’s “Gphone” morphs into Android
    7. Viacom vs. YouTube: User-generated content hits speed bump
    8. Facebook controversy: Social networking hits prime time
    9. Barcelona: AMD’s Waterloo?
    10. Vista hoopla fizzles: Death of the big-bang upgrade?

  • Network World’s Top 10 stories of 2007:
    10. Behind the scenes of MIT’s network
    9. 50 greatest networking arguments of all time
    8. Networkiest TV characters
    7. Ig Nobel: Honoring weird science at Harvard
    6. The 10 networkiest movies of all time
    5. 20 great Firefox extensions
    4. Top USB geek gadgets
    3. 12 IT skills that employers can’t say no to
    2. Microsoft pulls plug on potty-mouth Santa
    1. Top 25 ‘iPhonies’
  • PC World’s Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2007;
    10. Wireless Carriers
    9. Sorry, We Already Gave: Office 2007
    8. Needs To Change Its Spots: Apple “Leopard” OS 10.5
    7. Cannot be Completed as Dialed: Voice Over IP
    6. Un-Neutral: The Broadband Industry
    5. The Great, The Bad, The Ugly: Apple iPhone
    4. In a Sorry State: Yahoo
    3. The Anti-Social Network: Facebook Beacon
    2. What Is It Good For: The High-Def Format War
    1. No Wow, No How: Windows Vista
  • 10 Weirdest Tech Devices of 2007;
    10. ErgoPod 500
    9. QuikPod
    8. LaCie Artistic Hub
    7. Enlighted Designs Silicone Nerve Bra
    6. OSIM iGoGo
    5. HTL Wireless CPC Strap
    4. USB Pole Dancer
    3. Vibrating Soap
    2. George Foreman iGrill
    1. USB Humping Dogs
  • Our own top picks for 2007, which is just as arbitrary, includes:

    10. Chinese Destroy Satellite – Create Space Debris Field
    9. Big Brother Intrusion
    8. WiMAX ITU Standard
    7. Radio and TV Satellite Mergers
    6. Google’s Open Platform
    5. iPhone a Hit
    4. OLPC Ships
    3. 700 MHz auction
    2. Death to WiMAX?
    1. Muniwireless Pullback

Battle Over 2 Dot 3

According to RCR News, the FCC recently decided to better ascertain how competing 2.3 GHz band wireless services in the United States can operate without disrupting each other. Terrestrial satellite radio repeaters (DARS) and spectrum for 2.3 GHz Mobile WiMAX threaten to become another Nextel debacle, creating interference and disruption from battling services on neighboring bands.

Andrew Kreig, president of the Wireless Communications Association trade group, said, “As the founder of the WCS Coalition, WCA has long recognized the importance that the 2.3 GHz band plays globally, and can play in the U.S., in the delivery of wireless broadband services to consumers. Thus, WCA is pleased that the [FCC rulemaking] seeks public comment on the WCS Coalition’s proposed solutions to the two regulatory threats to the use of the 2.3 GHz band in America — interference from DARS terrestrial repeaters and an oppressive out-of-band emissions limit.”

The Wireless Communications Services (WCS) licenses cover two 15 Mhz wide bands — one from 2305 Megahertz to 2320 MHz and the other from 2345 MHz to 2360 MHz. The WCS spectrum (pdf) is separated into paired blocks (blocks A and B) that have been allocated on a regional basis and unpaired blocks (C and D) that have been allocated over very wide service areas.

Horizon Wi-Com, for example, owns 10 MHz of A Block WCS spectrum in Boston, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington DC, Richmond, and Cincinnati. They plan to utilize Navini’s Smart WiMAX on 2.3 GHz, using a combination of Smart Beamforming & MIMO for mobile WiMAX service.

But satellite radio repeaters of XM and Sirius have been allowed to blast out thousands of watts right in the middle of the band (see WCA’s complaint to the FCC). It should come as no surprise to anyone that [illegal] power levels exceeding thousands of watts from DARS service would make 100 mW mobile WiMAX problematic. But it appears the revolving door at the FCC saw no problem. Until now.

AT&T, Comcast, NextWave Broadband, NTELOS, Sprint Nextel, Horizon Wi-Com and WaveTel, members of the WCS Coalition, have voiced concern about the uncertainty of technical rules governing both services.

The companies have taken the FCC to task with requests by XM Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio for special temporary authorizations that indicate higher-than-allowed power limits on terrestrial repeaters.

“The WCS Coalition’s testing has demonstrated beyond question that adoption of the proposed rule revisions will permit WCS to provide mobile WiMAX services without jeopardizing service to DARS subscribers”, says Kreig. “The [FCC rulemaking] sets the stage for the commission to adopt a more reasonable spectral mask rule, one that allows the 2.3 GHz band to flourish in the U.S. as a home to mobile WiMAX services.”

The FCC, responding to wireless broadband industry complaints, last year extended network build out deadline for 2.3 GHz facilities from 2007 to July 2010.

Related DailyWireless articles include; 2 Dot 3 Comes to Town, Navini Beamforms Voice, Sirius & XM to Merge?, Satellite Radio Growing in US, BellSouth Pushing 2.3 GHz, and Navini Mobilizes at 2 Dot 3.

Telsima: 700 GHz WiMAX Now

Telsima announced WiMAX 450/700 MHz gear at the India Telecom 2007 show at New Delhi, 2007. The Telsima solution can be customized for any specified band within that range — by default it supports the 450 MHz and 700 MHz bands.

Telsima uses standard WiMAX SoC, leveraging all the benefits of this open standard point-to-multipoint technology, making way for unmatched set of rich features at low cost.

“Compared to the typical 3.5 GHz based BWA systems, a Sub-GHz band based network requires approximately 18 times less infrastructure per square kilometer coverage”, according to Burcak Beser, CTO Telsima. The Telsima WiMAX 450/700MHz platform delivers VoIP, Video Services and high-speed Data while supporting different bandwidths, with Nomadic and Mobility support.

Telsima’s 700MHz solution may allow operators to offer mobile services, MIMO antenna diversity and ASN type network control today. ASN Gateways connect the WiMAX Radio Access Network to the IP core.

WiMAX MIMO contributes to the Mobile WiMAX secret sauce.

  • MIMO A (“spatial diversity“), sends multiple, redundant copies of a data stream to the receiver. It provides much the same speed as a single antenna, but adds more robustness to the link, increasing range.
  • MIMO B (“spatial multiplexing“) sends different signals on each antenna. It can effectively double the bandwidth of the transmission link – but only if there is low correlation in the 2 antenna signals and the signal to noise ratio is high.
  • The Mobile WiMAX specification provides automatic and continuous switching between MIMO-A and MIMO-B, for optimum speed and range under varying conditions.
  • Adaptive Antenna Systems (“beamforming”) uses multiple antennas to form a tracking beam. AAS can provide additional range in LOS environment and reduce the effects of interference. Some WiMAX basestations may get a beamforming signal boost in 2-3 years, with no change in the client required.

VSNL plans to invest about $500-600 million for rolling out WiMAX services in 35 cities across India over the next three years. VSNL, a Tata Group company, India’s largest conglomerate company, has tied up with Telsima for WiMAX gear. It would launch the service in Bangalore and then cover other major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad in the first phase. In the second phase, the company plans to reach to customers in about 35 cities across the country — mainly consisting of all the state capitals.

In other news, Sequans says its now delivering the SQN1140, their fourth Mobile WiMAX chip, following a Mobile WiMAX Wave 1 chip in 2006 and two baseband Mobile WiMAX Wave 2 chips in 2007 for base station and mobile stations. Sequans provides dual transmit and dual receive MIMO operation and is designed to support the advanced MIMO technology with low power consumption.

GigOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher, has a backgrounder on Paul Allen’s involvement in 700 MHz spectrum.

It’s important to remember that this is far from Allen’s first involvement in wireless auctions. In July 2006, a little company called Bend Cable Communications, backed by Allen and his firms Vulcan Spectrum and Charter Communications and in partnership with a Bend, Ore.-based cable company by the name of Bend Broadband, filed for the wireless spectrum Auction 66. Allen ended up qualifying for the auction and paid an upfront fee of $176,000, but if I recall correctly, didn’t end up purchasing much.

Allen’s plans to run a broadband provider actually started when he bought a major share in cable company Charter Communications in 1998; that company ended up providing service to 5 million-plus subscribers. Allen was also reported to have purchased $15.1 million worth of spectrum in 2002 through Vulcan and Charter, and the WSJ says that Allen’s Vulcan bought at least 24 700-megahertz licenses in 2003, based in Washington and Oregon.

We’re thinking Allen’s Charter Communications still harbors wireless dreams similar to those of the other cable companies, which have been trying to use wireless to fight the phone companies in the great subscriber acquisition race.

Allen was actively involved in the first 700 MHz auction back in 2002.

Washington Ferries: Connected at Last!

The long-awaited WiFi service on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry route, became available this week, reports the Kitsap Sun. It allows riders to surf the Web, and check e-mail during the hour-long crossing. Additional ferry customers could be added on Monday if testing goes well.

The service, which went live on Christmas Eve without any fanfare, brings Wi-Fi to all of Washington State Ferries’ most-traveled routes. Kingston-Edmonds and Bainbridge-Seattle got access in November 2006, but the Bremerton route was stalled by unique technical challenges.

According to the implementation plan, which can be seen at, wireless will be coming the first quarter of next year to the remaining routes — the Vashon-Seattle passenger ferry, Anacortes-San Juan Islands and Port Townsend-Keystone — whenever auto ferry service returns to that route. It is being installed for Washington State Ferries by Parsons, a company based in Sacramento, Calif.

The service isn’t free, but riders can get two hours per day for seven days by taking a survey about what they expect in Wi-Fi service. Those who are interested can go

The regular cost is $29.95 per month, $6.95 a day or $2.95 for 15 minutes plus 25 cents per minute thereafter. If a user already subscribes to iPass or Boingo, the ferry wireless service providers, there is no charge other than roaming fees. There’s a special introductory offer through March for $14.95 for the first month. The ferry system keeps 20 percent of the revenue.

One of the biggest hurdles was finding a place to put an antenna within sight of Rich Passage, the narrow channel between Bainbridge Island and South Kitsap through which the ferry sails. Parsons had wanted to install it along the shores of Bainbridge Island, but the city prohibits wireless towers within 200 feet of the waterfront.

The Bremerton-Seattle route, at about 60 minutes, is the longest commuter route in Puget Sound, and it lends itself to Wi-Fi because there’s more time to use it. Subscribers would get more value for their $30 monthly fee than the riders of other commuter routes, which average about 20 or 30 minutes, says the paper.

In related transit wireless news, Boston subway riders are now getting mobile phone & data service underground, reports the Boston Globe. InSite Wireless was supposed to have the first four stations wired two years ago, but negotiations with incumbent carriers delayed the process.

T-Mobile and Verizon both connected their networks earlier this month, with AT&T becoming the third cellphone provider to offer a signal underground this week. Each weekday, some 312,000 riders travel through the core of the subway system, says the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas believes most riders will embrace cellphone service as a convenience for getting work done and keeping appointments, as well as a way to report suspicious behavior. He also hopes to give commuters another reason to ditch their cars. “People can let somebody else do some driving while you’re able to do some work,” he said.

New York City’s Transportation Authority recently approved Transit Wireless to spend up to $200 million to equip the 277 underground New York City subway stations for cell phone and wireless Internet service. They’ll sub-contract with Dianet Communications, a company specializing in Distributed Antenna Systems for buildings and underground facilities.

The Tokyo Traffic Control Center (above) monitors traffic from cameras, helicopters, police, citizen reports, and over 17,000 vehicle detectors all around the city. The Central Display Board highlights 1,000 intersections, and has 15,154 traffic signals in the system.