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Friday, November 22, 2013

How plain, old WiFi will revolutionize the cellular industry

How plain, old WiFi will revolutionize the cellular industry: "What makes this beautiful is that whenever a Republic customer chooses to place a call over WiFi, that saves Republic money. As a result, Republic can offer a $5-a-month plan for unlimited talk, text and data. For another $5 a month, customers get access to Sprint's cellular network (minus 3G). " 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream

'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream • The Register: "Gates was also scathing in his assessment of Google's dream to bring the internet to the world's unconnected population by floating hundreds of weather balloons equipped with solar-powered radios – a scheme dubbed Google Loon by the Chocolate Factory, apparently not in the spirit of irony. "When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you," Gates observed at the time. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."" 'via Blog this'

Malcolm Turnbull throws a bone to FTTP boosters

Malcolm Turnbull throws a bone to FTTP boosters • The Register: "MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, that’s what we’re assessing, Hugh. We’ve got a strategic review underway. In all of these fixed-line areas, people will get access to the NBN. It may not necessarily be with fibre to the premises. In fact, for most of the brownfield areas, it’s unlikely that it would be. I would like to build as much fibre to the premises as we could, but we’ve got to get the cost down."
Those are our italics on the last sentence, because we believe they represent a shift for Turnbull, who has often suggested fibre-to-the-node is somewhere between comparable or equivalent (FTTN) to FTTP because it meets current needs and has a likely future upgrade path that means it will eventually match speeds attainable under FTTP.
The answer we've recorded above came after Turnbull picked apart some NBN Co jargon to explain that some areas where the company said FTTP connections were under construction actually did not even have detailed designs completed. That fallacy, not a cancellation of FTTP builds, was behind a change in NBN Co deployment maps last week that many took as an indication areas that had been promised FTTP would now receive FTTN." 'via Blog this'

BSG publishes new model for analysing domestic demand for bandwidth - assuming almost everyone's an average consumer?

BSG publishes new model for analysing domestic demand for bandwidth: They ignore businesses and barely consider upload speed concerns. "The report also highlights a number of sensitivities to the model results which could change anticipated requirements. These include changing user expectations for factors such as download speeds and notably, reducing the time one would expect a software download, such as a console game, and upload of files to take. For example, in significantly reducing the base case assumption of 10 minutes waiting time to 2.5 minutes, then 16% of households require 83 Mbps. Reducing the waiting time further would quickly take demand over 100 Mbps for those households." 'via Blog this'
UPDATE: nice reply from BSG on this, see comment below, much appreciated! So some telework considered but not web service (or whatever 2023 brings!). 
I have also received this analysis which is handy: "this report is on a traffic growth model (not bandwidth) and such models are more or less the same (if done well). Like all predictions 10 years into the future, especially related to Internet activities, there are key uncertainties. Typically, for fixed line access to the household which this mostly concerns (mobile does not have the capacity, not today and not in 10 years (transport costs of data on mobile is orders of magnitude more expensive than fixed lines)), the interesting points are:
  1) which "applications" contribute significantly to the traffic usage?
  2) how many concurrent users have said "applications" at peak hour?
Because that's what these models model: peak hour average subscriber traffic volume. 
Today, the primary identified application is high resolution video. Other large potential drivers such as remote backup are not really coming even close to the data volume unicast (point to point) high resolution video streams use.  (Backup software would typically do incremental backups, as well.)  (Personally I wonder if remote private "CCTV" will pick up or not.)
What we end up with is a quite simple statistical model that for a typical busy weekend night, "there are $factor number of $resolution videos concurrently per household".  Today, $factor is pretty low, 0.1 or so perhaps, and $resolution (in terms of bitrate) is also quite low. Main drivers that could (I think will) change $factor in the near future is a major shift in behaviour, from terrestrial or satellite broadcast based content distribution, to Internet unicast. It has already started. This change has major impact on traffic, and I believe it is captured in the BSG model.
Another key point worth mentioning is that these models are statistical in nature... and they inform the operators to how much aggregate capacity they need to build out higher up in the networks, because that's where the aggregated traffic volumes becomes a problem.
  Therefore, if operators provision capacity for the median case at these levels, and a flash crowd event such as someone parachuting from space, or even above-average event like a national sports event occurs, the network _will become full_ and _traffic will be dropped_ with varying randomness (NN...).
The final paragraph strikes another key point.  The model reports on average traffic usage, but this does not mean that the individual subscriber's access should (with any reasonable supporting logic) be provisioned with a bandwidth to match this statistical number! 
So to summarize: The model is a traffic usage model, not provisioned bandwidth model.
Oh, and btw, the typical peak hour average subscriber traffic volume today in Sweden (being near the top in traffic of all countries) is around 0.5 Mbps (download to the home behing larger than upload).  Yet we have (and demand) 100 or 1000 Mbps connections to the home. Because it saves time. 

"Subscribers pay for access.  While a subscriber may receive a 1000 Mbps connection, the median subscriber will use this and that much traffic.
The argument then goes that it is the over-the-top service provider, such as video services, that somehow send unsolicited high resolution video streams to the subscribers.  The argument ignores that the subscriber has purchased the Internet transport service from the incumbent in order to then use services on the Internet, including video services, and the user actually solicit the transmission of these video streams from the video service provider.
The incumbent merely wants to squeeze out better margins, and what better way then getting paid two times for the same data transferred?
Both from sender and receiver. It's the holy grail of the carrier network...if Youtube and Netflix doesn't work, which could happen if the incumbent disconnects or filters them completely in an attempt to make them pay, users will get really angry and this anger will hit the service provider. Where there is sufficient competition between ISPs, including local loop unbundling or [Swedish] muninet type access, users could and would simply switch provider, and the market would keep working. It then stands to reason that whatever legislation they would need to unlock this "market problem", would have to be both anti-competition and work to remove or severely diminish users rights to complain"