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Hot, Sweaty, and Wireless

Last week, while I was on vacation, I listened to the book The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. I listened to the audio-book CDs while I purged my storage unit of old, unused, and unnecessary clutter.Yes, I spent my vacation sweating in a hot, dusty, 10x10 metal box sorting through 70+ boxes of books, family heirlooms, obscure kitchen devices, abandoned furniture, obsolete computer manuals, and way too many pairs of skinny jeans stored in the forlorn hope that I will someday fit into them again-.As I tossed my Macintosh 512K computer manual into the trash pile and listened to Mr. Friedman’s stories of the world’s flattening revolution, I realized that I am again part of a historic technology shift. I’m part of the cresting wave towards a wireless world. Yes, I’ve come a long way from my Macintosh world of 1984-.. Read More »

WiMax and WiFi- The future of mobile wireless networks?

Will WiMax find a spot at the main dinner table with CDMA, EVDO and UMTS--or will it be regulated to the kid’s table with the likes of PHS, DECT and 802.20? There’s no doubt that WiMax is getting traction in the emerging markets for fixed broadband wireless access but this is still a very small segment relative to the larger global mobile market consisting of tier 1 mobile operators around the world. Sprint’s recent announcement to invest over a billion dollars into WiMax has definitely breathed life into the protocol, but its future as a dominant more wireless protocol is still not guaranteed. Its advantages over other competing 3G and 4G protocols being promoted by the 3GPP standards body is narrow and debatable. In the plus column, WiMax offers lower, if not zero, intellectual property as opposed to CDMA’s 5% royalty charge. And being built upon standard IP technology it offers an infrastructure with both lower CAPEX and OPEX. However, in terms of technology maturity the balance leans towards the next generation of protocols based on UMTS and CDMA. Read More »

Unified Wired and Wireless: History Repeated

At a recent event hosted by the City Universities of New York (CUNY), I had the privilege of presenting Cisco’s strategy for secure mobility to a team of security experts from the various universities. I enjoyed the opportunity immensely. Primarily because the audience responded very positively to Cisco’s secure mobility story; but also because I had the opportunity to hear Aruba talk about its approach to wireless and security.Aruba opened their presentation by discussing the evolution of wireless technology and by making the point that wireless and wired should never be unified. Rather, they claim, wireless is so different it should always be kept separate from the rest of the enterprise IP network.Hmmm- sound familiar anyone? Think voice. Read More »

Dave Molta’s Unwires FUD

One of the people I most respect in our industry is David Molta, the Senior Technology Editor for Network Computing who covers the mobile space as well as serves as an engineering professor at Syracuse University. In addition to running the most objective test team in the industry — and I am not saying it because we have done well by it; certainly we have felt the wrath of his pen as well — he is one of the best analysts and observers on the growth of the wireless marketplace.In his column last week in Network Computing Wireless FUD: Alive and Well,” he reflects on the emotional state customers must deal with after listening to Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) from vendors. It’s worth perusing. aptly notes “[t]he wireless network market is an industry that lives and dies by innovation, so fear, uncertainty and doubt are all things we have to learn to live and work with.”For those of us with a touch of gray, we also remember the reports in the mid-to-late eighties that predicted there would be only 1 million cell phones in the U.S. and cautioned telecom players from investing in this emerging segment.As my 11 year old son would say, Rock on Dave!

The Protocol of Transformation

I am jealous of kids born in the 80s. I’m not going to lie and say that it was great being a kid in the 70s. Its not because the video games were better -- I love the Atari 2600 and Lincoln Logs. Wanna know why: TransformersRemember them -- more than what meets the eye? I always wanted a Transformer. So if you are reading this and you are your 20s -- I’m jealous. I’ve always wanted to transform! Right now, on the last Friday of Cisco’s fiscal year -- I think I might have. Read More »