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Snap, Crack & Drop (or Look at Me, I Can Be Centerfield)

- April 24, 2006 - 0 Comments

In New York this week on vacation. Matt’s column on BER http://blogs.cisco.com/wireless/2006/04/bring_on_the_ber.html reminded me of an earlier period in my career, about 15 years ago when I was working on a project for NYNEX Cellular. We developed a competitive cell site financial model to justify a huge NY City-wide build of micro-cells to improve coverage and roaming capabillities in Manhattan. Prior to the build-out plan that was aggressively matched by then McCaw Cellular (which got acquired by ATT, which got acquired by SBC, which got folded into Cingular), the average cellular experience for a Gotham City denizen was snap, crackle and drop.At that time, the carriers had a hard time justifying the business case for pervasive, intra-urbran dense deployment of microcells. As late of 1990, many of the large consulting firms had completed analysis that there would only be a million cellular subscribers across the nation. Killer Applications? What Killer Ap? Then we were marketing “safety” as the key reason to own a cellphone (don’t let your loved ones leave home without out it!). Sound familiar? Yesterday, despite the rain, I saw the “Big Unit” http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player.jsp?player_id=116615 nail the Baltimore Orioles (helped along by Jason Giambi’s “big swatter”), and it reminded me about the whole city-wide Wi-Fi debate, which reminded me of the prophetic words of an earlier Yankee, Yogi Berra “It’s Deja-Vu, al over again.” (also a album/song title by another “old Fogerty”)Let’s face it sports fans, pervasive city-wide Wi-Fi is as inevitable, as a Starbucks on every corner.Roll the soundtrack: Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today! We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field. A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man; Anyone can understand the way I feel. Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield. Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin’ it from the bench; You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out. So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio; Don’t say “it ain’t so”, you know the time is now. Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield. Yeah! I got it, I got it! Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes; You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride. Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all – a moment in the sun; (pop) It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye! Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

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