data tsunami Archives — LIRNEasia

Olympics and technology transitions

Posted on September 4, 2012  /  0 Comments

The Tokyo Olympics marked the inflection point in the adoption of color television. Will the London Olympics of 2012 be remembered as the inflection point for hybrid wireless networks? The service, which was used by a half million people during the Olympics, was initially free to all consumers. Starting this month, it has been available for a fee to other mobile users. Virgin plans to lease its Wi-Fi underground network to competitors.
The New York Times has an interesting feature about 32 innovations that can change our lives. Here is the problem that requires fixing according to David Pogue, the NYT’s resident tech guru: That we’re heading for a bandwidth crunch. We’re saddling the Internet with amazing new features — movies on demand, streaming TV, Siri voice recognition, whole-house backup — but they’re starting to overwhelm the existing Internet’s capacity, especially on cellular networks. The Internet and phone companies respond by imposing monthly limits, and the F.C.
We’ve been talking about the qualitative increase in data volumes that will result from the conversion of mobile networks into carriers of data since 2010. Is it a flood, a tsunami or an avalanche? The name does not seem to matter (though tsunami is the term that seems to be catching). Unless the problem is understood (operators do; some regulators and policy makers do, as evidenced below); and addressed (both in terms of access networks, as below, and in terms of backhaul, as we have been advocating), the quality of broadband experience will degrade radically. The announcement comes as wireless companies are facing a spectrum crunch crisis that has already begun to reshape the industry.
Hotels are sort of like countries with regard to broadband use. The guests have to obtain broadband connectivity from the hotel (let’s disregard the 3G option for now); residents in a country have to obtain broadband from providers licensed by the government. When quality drops, users hold the hotel accountable; in case of a country, the ISP is held accountable. In the case of hotels, the traveler can choose to not stay in the hotel where connectivity is poor. In the case of a country, one can switch ISPs, but if the constriction is in the cables linking the country to the Internet cloud, it may not make much difference.

Quantifying the data tsunami

Posted on October 7, 2011  /  0 Comments

We’ve been talking about the data tsunami for more than a year. Here, the Economist has a number: As mobile, web-connected devices become ubiquitous, the volume of data they produce will soar. Cisco, a technology company, reckons that by 2015 some 6.3 exabytes of mobile data will be flowing each month, or the equivalent of 63 billion copies of The Economist.