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Network congestion is a problem…Ruckus Wireless has a compelling offering….Offload to WiFi will solve the problem temporarily!

27 Feb

A common problem facing wireless operators today is network congestion, especially in areas that have high densities of population. Mobile customers have experienced poor voice/data quality in some of these locations:

  • Convention Centers
  • Downtown Business districts
  • Fairgrounds
  • Shopping Malls
  • Sports arenas and stadia
  • Transit

Wireline network operators faced similar challenges 12-14 years ago, as internet services like dial-up access, cable modems and DSL were experiencing hyper growth.

Most of us have experienced slower Internet speeds while using our smart phones, tablets and laptops. One solution to this problem is off-loading some of the traffic from the 3G/4G wireless networks  to a Wi-Fi network.

I did not realize the severity of the problem that wireless carriers were facing with data congestion until I spoke  with Dr. Andrew Odlyzko, Professor at the University of Minnesota and formerly the Director of its Digital Technology Center. “Carriers will have to embrace WiFi as spectrum is scarce and there is a limit to the number of cells that can be added” said Dr. Odlyzko.  In 1998, as a researcher at AT&T, Dr. Odlyzko was the first person to challenge UUNET’s (part of Verizon now) overly optimistic forecast that Internet traffic was doubling every 3-4 months. Dr Odlyzko published a memorable paper estimating that Internet traffic was at best doubling every 12 months. He proved to be right.

Ruckus Wireless has developed a compelling carrier grade WiFi product by using its experience in the following products:
  • Residential and enterprise wireless access products.
  • iPTV carrier products
  • Wi-Fi carrier products
I have not  examined either Ruckus’ or its competitors offerings in detail. However, the demand for Ruckus’ Wireless products and those offered by its competitors like Alcatel-Lucent, Belair Networks (acquisition pending by Ericsson), Cisco Systems, Nokia Siemens and others will be strong. It will be interesting to see how Ruckus competes with larger rivals in a market that not only has a limited number of customers per country but also competing with established competitors that have a broader portfolio offering. My experience tells me the company will succeed in selling its carrier product as  as carriers typically have two sources for a network element.

According to Steven Glapa, Senior Director, Ruckus Wireless, “Ruckus wireless offers unparalleled adaptive antenna technology which combined with the intelligence of its gateway make its offering the best in the market.”  An exuberant  Mr. Glapa, added by saying.”We have the possibility of being the next generation Ericsson.”

Ruckus’ customers include:
  • An Australian operator
  • KDDI (Japan)
  • PCCW (Hong Kong)
  • Cloud, a division of BskyB
I  will not be surprised in the coming months if the  company announces a large operator in North America like Comcast that will enable Comcast it to offer WiFi services in high density locations that I mentioned earlier in the post.
To date, Ruckus has raised about $70 million in capital. Revenues were $100 million last year and are expected to double this year. The company was  founded by Ms. Selina Lo in 2004. Previously, Ms. Lo was a founder of Centillion and AlteonWeb Systems which were  acquired by Bay Networks and Nortel respectively. Coincidentally, Bay Networks was acquired by Nortel in the late nineties.
Finally, history has shown us that whether it is bits or bytes – the increased capacity in networking and computing generally gets consumed rather quickly.

Featured in Businessworld magazine

3 Oct

This is going to be a very brief post. I have started contributing articles for Businessworld – a weekly business magazine in India. The articles will revolve around cellphones and related tech. My second article for the publication revolves around smartphones and how to choose one depending on your particular use case. You can read it here. I would love to read your comments.

I dropped my iPhone from a hot air balloon, where's my insurance claim?

12 Aug

Nope, I did not but that’s some of the most bizarre iPhone insurance claims that people have made with one that provide insurance for tech gadgets. Here are some more incredible claims that they have encountered:

1. I dropped it from a hot air balloon
2. I lost it while sky diving
3. It broke when my son used it as a table tennis racket
4. I lost it while building a sand castle for the kids
5. I accidentally buried it in the garden
6. It fell into the kettle
7. I dropped it in a food blender
8. My dog chewed it to pieces
9. Juice from a defrosting piece of meat leaked into it
10. It flew out of the car window

And the most common claims…

1. Cracked screen
2. Stolen while texting
3. Couldn’t hear the other person when making a call
4. Leaving phone on the car roof so it falls off when driving
5. Pet knocked the phone off the surface
6. Stolen from handbag
7. Internet connection completely broken
8. iPhone doesn’t charge
9. Dropped in the bath / toilet
10. Screen freezes

Of course, the do not believe that you went sky diving or any of the other nine incredible things ever happened. So even if they did (we would like to hear from you) it would be better to use one of the other 10 reasons if you even wanna see any of that insurance money ka-chinging your register.

So how does a BlackBerry securely deliver mails and messages?

12 Aug

With more governments scrambling for access to data sent securely by Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) BlackBerry handhelds, most users are scratching their heads as to what is the big deal about it. With big confusions come bigger rumours and Reuters has this excellent Q&A that answers most questions surrounding BlackBerry’s security concerns. Does this cheatsheet tell you whether any government will ban BlackBerry all-together? No. But it will certainly help you understand how BlackBerry delivers data securely and why some governments have a problem with it.

SOURCE: Reuters

This iPhone 4 is on fire, really!

9 Jul

Yes, that’s a fried iPhone 4 that you see here and check out the molten remains of the USB cable that came along with the phone. Apparently, the AT&T customer hooked the phone with his computer and the connector port of the iPhone 4 caught fire! According to BGR who got hold of the pic from their AT&T source, Apple has acknowledged that it is a faulty port rather than user negligence. Hmm, do not try this at home, folks and keep your fire fighting gear on while you charge your iPhone 4 next. Just kidding, it is probably the first and only iPhone 4 to meet a fiery death.

Moto Droid X: Makes calls, no matter how you hold it

1 Jul

Wonder what Motorola meant by the last few lines in this ad copy? (:P)

And most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls.

via Motorola’s Facebook page

BlackBerry messages land England football team in hot water!

30 Jun

As if being booted out in a humiliating manner from the World Cup was not enough, the English football team is now in hot water, courtesy two of its BlackBerry toting players. First off, defender Ledley King allegedly clicked a picture with his Berry of his teammates relaxing with beers and cigars after the 4-1 drubbing by Germany and shared it with his friends. Then fellow defender Ashley Cole compounded matters by posting, “I hate England and the f***ing people”  as his status message on his BlackBerry messenger. Needless to say, both found their way into the media or more accurately, The Sun.

As the excreta hits the fan, we reckon it won’t be long before Fab Capello outlaws BlackBerries from the dressing room too (he dumped Twitter, remember?). You can read the complete stories here and here.