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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

The X Series Impact

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Its been some time since the X Series was announced. The X Series is a flat rate subscriber plan which bundles mobile broadband with popular applications such as Sling Media, iSkoot (an interoperable VoIP Client) and Orb. Since then there has been a growing interest in it with several influential bloggers pointing out the implications. BW has now picked up the thread and is carrying a detailed analysis of it.

So why this much interest? Its the old battle of open gardens of the internet against the walled gardens approach of the Telcos. So are the Telco's really opening up? Some breakaway carriers are. They are right now bit players in terms of subscriber base and they hope to increase it by providing the same services which the bigger players refuse to. It was predicted before. T Mobile embraced UMA for the same reason. Now the focus really is how effective these plans are. Can they dent the numbers of the Verizon's and Vodafone's?

If they do succeed, which is a big if, true disruption will happen. The best answer to this if is the question of data service. Data service is and will always be an add on feature for the mobile phone. Its the voice service which matters the most. Mobile phones are primarily used for voice and voice revenue, although on the decline, are still the major chunk of operators pie. And the Internet VoIP Services, the Skype's and GTalk can never better the quality of the plain old circuit switched voice calls. For the simple reason that its an unmanaged network. There is no guarantee of QoS there. Which means that an important call might drop anytime! You cannot rely on the service nor claim any support for it.

The Telco. killing VoIP service is still not there. Skype has come closest to it. But it needs to be improved upon if you want to really kill the Telcos. The X Series will have an impact on the final outcome though. Its testing the waters.

Update: Its a mutiny rather than a revolution, says Om.

posted by Rajiv, 3:50 AM

2 Comments:

hi rajeev

totally unrealted to this post, but wanted you to know this in case u dint now already

From http://news.com.com/Wi-Fi+standards+face+patent+threat/2100-7351_3-6137372.html

cheers
ashish

<--------- snip starts -------->
Companies working with popular standards for wireless technology may have a patent infringement problem.

A federal judge in Tyler, Texas, ruled last week that an Australian government agency holds the rights to patents on the underlying technology used in two Wi-Fi standards and a third proposed standard. The decision--if it survives what many assume will be a lengthy appeals process--could have a wide-ranging impact on wireless equipment makers and consumer electronics manufacturers.
"If the cost of the technology goes up to pay for the license, even a little bit, it could throw off the economics."
--Stan Schatt, vice president at ABI Research

Judge Leonard Davis ruled that a patent granted in 1996 to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, is valid. The patent describes the implementation of several aspects of the 802.11a and 802.11g wireless standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The court also ruled that Buffalo Technology, a small maker of Wi-Fi routing gear, had violated this patent.

<--------- snip ends-------->
Said Anonymous Anonymous, 12:00 PM  

ya.. its s few days old. i remember seeing a discussion on slashdot and TechDirt on it. just goes to show how screwed up the patents system is right now!
Said Blogger Rajiv, 1:10 AM  

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