Saturday, January 1, 2011

Upgrading from 3g to 4g Wireless Internet

While many people are still patting themselves on the back for mastering 3g technology, the next wave of wireless service has recently come out.  Today's fourth generation of high speed mobile internet has been the talk of the town lately, and puts those 3g phones and notebook connections to shame.  With a new 4g wireless enabled phone or computer, people are able to get high speed internet service everywhere and anywhere as long as they are in a coverage zone.  This isn't the same compromised speeds that come with 3g wireless, but speeds for both uploads and downloads that rival what many people are using at home.  Although it takes a while for a technology like this to become ‘universally available' (consider that terrestrial broadband internet is still not universally available in many parts of the US let alone the rest of the world) this latest wave of mobile technology is off to a good start.  With about 60% of the people in the United States already living in a coverage zone, like one of the initial major metropolitan areas to get coverage, there's a good chance that those who want or need this new internet service the most are already able to give it a try.

Everyone knows that 4g wireless is faster than 3g wireless, but exactly how much faster is it?  Many adverts will say that the latest generation is "four to ten" times faster than current third generation technologies, but what does that really mean?  At the end of the day, it means that download speeds will fall somewhere between 2 and 6 Mbps.  In some areas and given the speeding up of networks over time, it could peak out at 10 Mbps to 12 Mbps depending on the technology behind the connection.  The 3g phones that most people are using right now only operate at speeds of around 0.5 Mbps, if that, and get up to around 1.5 Mbps.  That's a big difference!  When it comes to checking emails and social networking there won't be much of a change right away until the mobile websites catch up with the new capabilities, but the implications for watching and sending videos are huge.  Think high definition live streamed videos anywhere and everywhere like in the car, on the bus, in line at the doctor's office or grocery store, and anywhere else you could want to go, and you've got an idea of just how convenient the world could suddenly be!

At the end of the day there are many reasons why people choose to stay with their current 3g service or switch over to 4g wireless.  The higher cost might be a factor, especially for those who don't currently use much internet on their phones anyway.  Those, however, who are chomping at the bit for better download speeds, improved data performance, and the ability to stream video, videoconference, at compete in networked gaming on the go might be ready to get in on the action right away!  Those who barely ever use their home internet subscription might also be great candidates, since they can get the same speed with ten times more mobile convenience froma  mobile carrier!

Govt to frame rules for digital data protection

With incidents of cyber crime on the rise, the government on Saturday said that it would frame and notify rules for data protection and liabilities of service providers under the Information Technology Act as part of its 100-day agenda. The government will frame and notify the rules in respect of

key sections viz 43A (Data Protection), 70A (Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure), 70B (Agency to handle Cyber Security), 79 (Liabilities of Service Providers) relating to cyber security in the Information Technology Act," minister for communications and IT Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.

The government will also prepare three manuals for skill enhancement in the area of cyber forensic, he added.

In the last few months, many government websites have been defaced, while incidents of false schemes offering money online are also on the rise.

The government will also bring out a draft consultation for policy on rolling out mobile governance and draft the Electronic Service Delivery Bill as part of the 100-day agenda.

"As part of various e-governance initiatives, the government will focus on nationwide roll-out of e-district mission mode project and draft the Electronic Service Delivery Bill," Sibal said.

A draft consultation document on policy for mobile governance will also be brought out, he added.

Union and state governments have been working towards adoption of technology for providing citizen services like birth and land records, across Internet and mobile platforms.

A pilot scheme for providing digital literacy to women, especially in rural areas will also be introduced during this period.

The government also envisages to set up a National Electronic Mission, which was one of the recommendations made by a high-level task force.

The Minister said that the government is working on attracting investment in semiconductor units and promoting innovation and intellectual property rights.

Sibal said that emphasis would be laid on promoting development of human resource by "framing a suitable scheme for enhancing capacity of institutions like C-DAC and DoEACC," along with setting up IT academies under PPP mode.

A National facility for assessing quality of biometric devices for Unique Identification (UID) applications will be set up, apart from infrastructure at Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad for testing of large area photovoltaic modules, he said.


How Telecom BSS/OSS Is Vital To Staying In The Telecommunications Market

A pair of approaches to managing the immense data in telecommunication is known as BSS/OSS, acronyms for business support system and operations support systems. For clarity, the business systems are all the processes which deal with the consumer, the people portion. The operations system deals with all the process that deliver the actual service, the hardware portion.

There are few places on earth that are not part of a global communications system we refer to as telecommunications. There are cables on the ocean floor stretched between continents, satellites in space, and towers traverse the wilderness and are mainstays in our cities, usually along our transportation infrastructure. Most of us take this service for granted, giving little thought to the complexity of managing a service that is global and personal.

It is important that they pay attention to both elements, as do most businesses, but in the telecommunications field, both customers and capabilities continue to evolve at an incredible speed. Consumers demand faster and more diverse applications to run their devices, which have evolved to the point that resemble computers more than phones. To comply with these increasing demands, the telecom billing system that supports the service has to keep up.

It comes as no surprise that the industry focuses so intensely on their customers, because they have a serious tendency to change providers for even small difficulties. The number of providers is steadily increasing as technology is mined for ever greater options such as voice over internet protocol. Companies have to invest in new transmission methodologies, equipment and transmission towers to stay ahead of the competition.

There have been some successful providers who have made quite a presentation of technical hardware infrastructure development while focusing on all the service this hardware creates. This allows a public focus on both company practices working well while having one bolster the other. This is an ingenious way to have the moneys spent bolstering the consumer process side which the consumer usually ignores.

Dealing with the overwhelming mass of information and attempting to determine what it is the consumer really wants is a Herculean task. Considering the telecommunications consumer population diversity and the extreme penetration each provider is attempting to attain, it is important to evaluate data in multiple levels. Having a dual path system that tracks, analyzes and selectively reports data to management allows maximum flexibility.

What is needed to remain capable and efficient is an overarching system that can control the others. While this may conjure up images of artificial intelligence run amok, in the same light as the computer on board the space ship in the famous movie, there are many examples of computers running computers. The concept of business intelligence, a new managerial approach to business, relies heavily on programs which automatically direct multiple systems to derive data in specific actionable ways.

The success of providers in the telecommunication industry will be selected by their ability to flexibly respond to consumer desires. This requires them to stay abreast of information technology industry progress and innovation in general, as well as predicting applications to the telecommunication customer devices. They also need to be exceedingly aware of the desires of the consumer on everything from colors, shapes and styles to capabilities. It will require a dedication to a robust telecom billing software process to succeed.

Four arrested for cheating telecom company

Four people accused of cheating telecommunication company Uninor of Rs.95 lakh have been arrested, police said Saturday.

Manoj Pahwa, 34, Varun Mittal, 23, Rahul Sharma, 33, and Nitin Sharma, 24, cheated the company - a joint venture of Norway-based Telenor and Indian firm Unitech - by fraudulent withdrawals using 13 cheques stolen from the company's office in Saket area of south Delhi, a police official said 'Signatures of the authorised signatory of the company were forged by them,' the police official said.The police have recovered around Rs.30 lakh and a kilogram of gold from the accused.

'RIM offers data tapping at India office'

: Blackberry maker Research in Motion , which had been slapped with a January 31 deadline to provide a 'final solution' for lawful interception of services offered on its handsets , has offered to install a network data analysis system at its premises in India, to end the three-year standoff between the Canadian company and security agencies here.

The home ministry has suggested that the Canadian company set up this NDAS infrastructure that has the capabilities to automatically decode all data flowing on RIM's network, and also ensure that intercepted and decoded information will not travel outside the country, at the premises of mobile phone companies.

In an internal note reviewed by ET, the home ministry said its opposition towards RIM setting up the network data analysis system at its own premises here stemmed from a security perspective.

Earlier this month, RIM had offered a cloud-based solution to India's home ministry , but the latter then sought changes after it was found that intercepted and decoded data was flowing via the internet from the Canadian company's servers in Europe to that of mobile networks here.

"In the final solution proposed by RIM, the decoding will be automatic. Intercepted and decoded data will not travel out of India. RIM has proposed to install NDAS in India. In the final solution, intercepted and decoded data will travel between service providers and RIM India ," adds the home ministry note issued by its deputy director Arvind Kumar.

This marks a significant climbdown for the Canadian company, which had previously resisted pressure from India's home ministry, to install servers here, while also maintaining that it did not have any master key to intercept any BlackBerry communication.

The stakes are big for the Canadian smartphone maker, especially since India is one of its fastest growing markets. Super secure corporate email has been RIM's unique selling point, which has made the BlackBerry service an instant hit with high-flier executives. Today, India has over a million BlackBerry users although less than 4 lakh subscribe to its email and messenger service.

In October, the government ordered RIM to come up with a solution by January 2011-end that would give the country's intelligence agencies complete access to all services offered on its handsets.

It had earlier asked RIM to hand over the encryption keys and codes of its corporate mail and messaging services to the Indian security establishment by October 31. The extension to January-end 2011 was given since RIM had sought a timeframe of 23 weeks in August to provide a solution for lawful access 'that would not involve overseas data path'.

BSNL to enter into roaming arrangements with private players

State-owned BSNL is set to invite bids from private operators to share its third generation airwaves, a company official told ET.

The telco is of the view that it can raise between Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 5,000 core over five years if it were to enter into roaming arrangements with two players for its third generation airwaves.

"Having tracked MTNL's success in attracting bids (for sharing its 3G airwaves by entering into roaming agreements, we are working to put in place a similar model," BSNL's acting chairman and managing director Gopal Das told ET.

BSNL has 3G airwaves in all circles except in Delhi and Mumbai. The telco had to shell out over Rs 10,000 crore for these airwaves, as it had to match the bids by private operators.

The 3G auctions, which took, place last year failed to throw up a pan-India licence holder. The country's top two mobile firms—Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications (RCOM) —each won 13 of the 22 telecom zones on offer while other major operators Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular and Tata won a total of nine, 11 and nine circles, respectively.

Analysts also say in a bid to retain their high-end users, all telcos are set to enter into roaming agreements with each other, a move that can enable them offer high-end data services even in those regions where they have not bagged 3G spectrum. This is not spectrum sharing, but a commercial pact where operators can offer its customers 3G services on another operators' platform.

For BSNL, which has failed to make any significant progress in attracting 3G customers, despite having a first mover advantage, the revenues from sharing 3G spectrum will help the company reduce its losses. BSNL saw its overall revenue fall from Rs 32,842.30 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 30,169.42 crore in 2008-09 and further to Rs 27,913.44 crore in 2009-10 and has reported revenues of Rs 13,823.96 crore for the first half of the current financial year (2010-11). BSNL's fall from grace is best explained from the fact that its annual revenues were over Rs 40,000 crore for the year-ended March '06.

ET had earlier reported that BSNL, which suffered from rampant political interference and neglect under former telecoms minister A Raja, had recently announced a loss of Rs 1,823 crore for the year to end-March , a first for the company since it was set up, while also adding that the actual losses are as high as Rs 5,955 crore during this period. The telco only managed to reduce its losses due to its Rs 4,132 crore income from non-telecom related activities.