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Posts Tagged ‘telecom’

The ‘Next Major Computing Cycle’ will change everything

October 22nd, 2009

Internet Evolution site editor Nicole Ferraro shares a compelling story from the floor of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Nicole reports that Morgan Stanley‘s managing director, Mary Meeker says that over the next few years the mobile Web will be “bigger than most people think.” In fact, she’s calling it “the next major computing cycle,” and says mobile-related technology shifts will change all the dynamics between incumbents and attackers, and will create a wide range of winners and losers.

mobileinternetMeeker presented 68 slides, starting with an economy update / dashboard. Included were positive leading indicators like rebounding global stock markets, narrowing credit spreads, reduced market volatility, and rising earnings estimates.

The technology sector (as has been previously noted in this blog), Meeker says, is leading the charge back to financial health as the largest sector measured by S&P 500 market capitalization (19%). She also showed how global technology revenue estimates mimic the 2002 recovery that followed the tech nadir of 2001.

Now granted, when Meeker turns to domestic GDP and consumption, she is only able to call the trends “less bad,” and she does say that low capacity utilization in manufacturing, horribly low home sales, rising consumer credit and mortgage defaults, and high unemployment all imply economic weakness.

But unemployment peaks are typically key for economic turnarounds, Meeker says, and global GDP growth forecasts, led by China and India, are positive for 2010. Advertising spending, too, should grow in 2010, and consumer confidence seems to have bottomed out in February and has been heading up all year.

Then Meeker turned to the promise of the mobile Internet. And Meeker is bullish like crazy about mobile Internet! Driven, she says, by unprecedented next-generation-platform-induced changes in communication and commerce, mobile-related share shifts will “create/destroy material shareholder wealth.” YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are well noted. And not shockingly, the poster child for the uptake of mobile devices on IP-based networks is iPhone/iTouch usage (“fastest hardware user growth in consumer history” ).

The next big thing in computing follows a logical evolution, Meeker illustrates by slide 32. Increasing levels of integration will provide an incredible opportunity in semiconductors, hardware, software, and services as the rate of mobile Internet adoption makes desktop Internet adoption look so last-century. This statement I particularly loved: “Mobile devices will evolve as remote controls for ever expanding types of real-time cloud-based services…empowering consumers in unprecedented and transformative ways.”

Quoting from Mathew Honan in Wired magazine’s January issue, Meeker shares this: “Millions of people are now walking around with a gizmo in their pocket that not only knows where they are, but also plugs into the Internet.” Heavy mobile data users will triple to more than 1 billion by the end of 2013 (AT&T alone has had a 50x increase in mobile data traffic in the past 3 years).

These are exciting times for technology makers, marketers, and users. My passion for, and faith in technology has kept me bullish throughout the downturn, and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for what’s coming as we turn this innovation economy skyward once again.

The full set of slides from Meeker’s presentation are available here, and are worth going through in their entirety.

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Two-Year Study of Global Internet Traffic

October 14th, 2009

Arbor Networks (along with the University of Michigan and Merit Network) have put together the “Internet Observatory Report” which they say is the largest study of global Internet traffic ever. The report analyzes two years worth of detailed traffic statistics from 110 large and geographically diverse cable operators, international transit backbones, regional networks and content providers. 

internet-speedWhile the report includes discussion around significant changes in Internet topology and commercial inter-relationships between providers; analysis of changes in Internet protocols and applications; it is the concluding analysis of Internet growth trends and predictions of future trends that provides the most interesting food for thought.

Whereas five years ago, Internet traffic was distributed fairly evenly across tens of thousands of web sites and servers around the world, most content has now clustered around a small number of very large hosting, cloud and content providers.

Out of the 40,000 routed end sites, 30 large companies (what Arbor calls “hyper giants”) like Limelight, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and YouTube now generate and consume 30% of all Internet traffic.

In addition, while Internet applications historically communicated across numerous application-specific protocols and communication stacks, just a few web and video protocols now dominate (including video over web and Adobe Flash). Arbor says other mechanisms for video and application distribution like P2P (peer-to-peer) have declined dramatically in the last two years (this drop seems to be what most people are focusing on, but I personally don’t find it that surprising).

The report’s final key finding is that macroeconomic forces have “radically transformed” the global Internet ecosystem. A wave of innovation is ongoing, says Arbor, with service providers now offering everything from triple play services to managed security services, VPNs and increasingly, CDNs.

I can’t help but agree strongly that these changes in particular have significant and ongoing implications for backbone engineering, design of Internet scale applications and research.

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ITU-T approves G.hn PHY spec

October 13th, 2009

Lost in the media swirl around Sigma Designs’ acquisition of home networking chipmaker (and Rainier client) Coppergate is the exciting news that last week the ITU-T approved the key Physical Layer and architecture components of the G.hn home networking specification. The holy grail of home networking, a unified standard that drives broadband content over “everywire,” is now one step closer to becoming a commercial reality.

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With the ITU-T approval, the G.hn standard is now deemed stable enough to allow silicon manufacturers like Coppergate to move forward with their development programs and bring products to market.

The approval marks another step in the steady adoption of G.hn and reaffirms a longstanding desire to unite a fragmented industry which currently uses a variety of incompatible technologies that typically address only single types of household wiring options – coax, phone line, or power line.

Enikia3_r1_c1Having played in the home networking silicon market since the 1990s when we launched Enikia, and having worked with HomePLUG, as well, we’ve had a front row seat to a decade of wrangling over home networking standards. I’m as excited as the next guy (well, as the next guy who cares about such things) to see G.hn coming closer to fruition.

Imagine when connectivity and content routing inside our homes becomes as easy as electricity is today.

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Beyond the Triple Play

October 2nd, 2009

When Bell Aliant needed a differentiator to compete with cable, it decided to provide home networking – a rarity back in 2005 in the cable space. But while the telephone service provider was comfortable delivering signals to the side of the house, and even into the house, it was clueless about routing signals inside the residence.

Then BA’s parent company, Bell Canada, started playing around with HomePNA (HPNA) – the home networking technology that runs IP packets over existing residential coax. Viola – now instead of fighting cable, BA was using installed coax (put there by the cable operator) to make money. The company estimates that between 90 and 95 percent of “new” Bell Aliant installs are in homes that already have coax running throughout the house.

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In his CED Magazine article, telecom writer Jim Barthold discusses HomePNA impact on Bell Atlantic’s business, and talks with Michael Weissman of CopperGate – the leading provider of HomePNA technology.

Bell Aliant has now launched IPTV in three of its six provinces using a combination of Corinex Ethernet networking gear and Motorola set-top boxes equipped with CopperGate HPNA chips to deliver IPTV and later IP video to multiple TVs within a residence.

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“Time Telescopes” Could Make Data Transfer 27 Times Faster

September 30th, 2009

HC1Image55Mark Foster and Alexander Gaeta‘s team at Cornell Universityhave figured out a way to pack more data into the pulses of light that carry data through the worldwide network of fiber optics. They are calling their approach a “time telescope,” and say it has the potential to increase fiber optic data speeds by 27 times.

They pass pulses of light, carrying data of course, through two “time lenses” - a silicon waveguide that combines a passing (data-carrying) light pulse with another infrared laser pulse in a way that causes the two pulses to be crushed together “like a soda can that’s been stepped on,” with the rear catching up to the front right at the lens’s focal point.

The result is that using the same fiber channels that already span the globe, we could pack 27 times more information with a decompression lag at the receiving end of only a millisecond.

Read the full article here Popular Science. Another good writeup is found in the New Scientist.

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