The internet atmosphere is the infrastructure that makes the cloud possible.
Today is a great day in the USA. Wireless Number Portability has arrived! I wrote about this last year and am glad that we have finally arrived to the point where number portability is now doable. So what is number portability? Well, effective today, you can change mobile phone provider without having to worry about changing your phone number. For example, if your phone number is (646) 555 1212, you can still keep the same number but choose between different mobile phone providers. An added extra is that you can also take your land-line phone number and port it to a mobile phone line. What’s the catch? Mobile phone operators sometimes work on different networks: GSM, CDMA, or TDMA. If you are switching between companies that are using different networks, you might have to change phone. If you are switching between GSM providers, all you may have to do is change your SIM card. If you are using a CDMA or TDMA provider, you might have to go to the store to get your phone reprogrammed with the new number. If you are still under contract with a provider, some penalty fees will be assessed. Make sure that you are…Read More
Some people will say that the black-out was no big deal and for most, it wasn’t but it belied a number of critical issues. Today, less than 24 hours after our electricity was restored (for the record, 28th street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue got its electricity back on Friday at 9:45pm), I am thinking about some of the scenes I witnessed in this historical event. First of all, I was impressed by how cool and collected everyone was. While there are many recollections of the black-out here’s mine. (granted, I’m posting this late but I just finished making sure that everyone was OK on this end and replugging and generally digging under from the madness of the past few days). Thursday was a regular day at the office… until about 4pm. At a few minutes ’til 4pm, something happened to the lights in our building. I was looking at my computer screen and noticed a slight dim. As I was wondering whether this was due to lack of coffee or a sugar low, or just general dizziness due to too many hours staring at the screen, the lights went out for a few seconds, and every computers went dead.…Read More
One of the challenges facing the wireless world is the constant change in formats and the fact that most wireless devices have to include specialized hardware in order to support those format. As a result, uptake on new wireless format can often be slow in the mobile phone industry as it represents a typical chicken or egg problem: the telcos will not build new infrastructures until devices are available to consumers, and device manufacturers will not build until the infrastructure is in place. In comes Vanu, a new company that is proposing a radical new concept: the software based radio. The idea is that most of the functions related to managing communication would be relegated to software instead of being hard coded into hardware. It could represent a real revolution in the way telecommunication systems are built and could eventually reduce the cost of production for those devices. The reason is that manufacturer could include such software into their phones and not have to worry about upcoming standards relegated their devices to the trash bin. Right now, when a mobile device manufacturer sells a new product, that product includes several chips to manage each of the different format (GSM, TDMA,…Read More