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Future Of Wireless (as of some years ago)
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Future Of Wireless (as of some years ago)

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This is mainly for historical interest, to see how the world that appears to be coming, differs from what we have.

This is mainly for historical interest, to see how the world that appears to be coming, differs from what we have.

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  • I generally skip this slide when giving a talk, it is here to provide background for those who aren’t there to hear it.
  • This is an IT show, so I’ll focus on wireless data, but there is a lot of overlap to voice technologies and services
  • Anecdote about Denial-of-service attacks on WiFi networks
  • I mean a computer like a PC, running PC-like OS software etc.
  • Sorry to bring the bad news, I suspect there are some really great vendors of cabling systems and services here today.
  • Wifi phones and “walkie-talkies” are already deployed in some places, including hospitals (!) As you can see here today, the office phone system business has shifted radically to VoIP, expect it to keep shifting, to WiFi
  • Mention products sales, which will go mostly to the big players
  • Share my nextel lament

Future Of Wireless (as of some years ago) Future Of Wireless (as of some years ago) Presentation Transcript

  • The Future of Wireless Kyle Cordes Oasis Digital Solutions Inc. “ Like the present, but hopefully with fewer wires”
  •  
  • Kyle in 30 Seconds
    • Kyle Cordes
      • Project manager, consultant, more
      • St. Louis Wireless SIG
    • Oasis Digital Solutions Inc.
      • Software development firm in St. Louis area
      • Has developed various mobile / wireless applications
      • Exposed to many technologies and vendors
        • In the trenches
        • Assisted customers with broad deployment
  • Agenda
    • How Far is the Future?
    • Upcoming Technologies
      • Survey quickly, lots of acronyms and buzzwords to ignore
    • Trends
    • Business Impact
  • The Future is a Long Time
    • The next 2-5 years
      • Relative easy to predict the overall direction, since things that become popular in that time span are in development now.
    • 5+ years
      • Generally know what technology is likely, but it remains to be seen which will become popular.
    • 50 years
      • “Star Trek”
      • Except hopefully our wireless will work even in bad weather…
  • 2.5G
    • Name for medium-speed wide area wireless
    • Nextel offers 14-20Kbps
    • GSM GPRS offers 20-40Kbps
      • GSM is dominant in Europe and growing here: AT&T, T-Mobile, others
  • 3G
    • Name for higher-speed wire area wireless
      • ~128 Kbps while driving
      • ~384 Kbps while walking
      • ~2000 Kbps while stationary
      • Faster speeds may get branded “4G”
    • Most cell phone carriers intend to move to 3G…
      • … eventually
      • Nextel is testing their flavor in North Carolina
  • CMDA
    • Another wireless technology family
    • Has its own naming for faster future speeds
      • 1xRTT etc.
  • 802.11 N
    • Next step in WiFi (local area wireless)
    • 100 – 250 Mbps
      • Twice the current common rate
    • Hard to get excited about – 802.11G is already quite fast
  • WiMAX
    • IEEE 802.16a, 10-66 GHz
      • Builds on 802.11a
    • Long-range wireless broadband
      • Compete with cable modem and DSL
        • Like cable / DSL, could offer voice service
      • Connect buildings miles apart
      • Potentially cover a metro area with service
    • Some companies already offer wide area broadband with WiFi and special antennas
  • More WiMAX
    • IEEE 802.16e
    • For Mobile applications
    • Are you dizzy from the acronyms yet?
  • Atheros Super-G
    • A proprietary variation on WiFi
    • Combined two WiFi channels to double speed
    • Potentially interferes with others in the area
      • So it might not make your neighbors happy
  • Quality of Service and VoIP
    • IEEE 802.11q – specification for QoS
      • Coming soon to WiFi.
    • Quality of Service “reserves” part of the network capacity for a particular purpose
    • Vital for high-quality phone calls or video over wireless.
  • Bluetooth
    • Personal area networking – a few meters of range
    • Wireless headset, microphones
    • Data sync for PDAs, cell phones, etc.
    • Imminently popular for several year, is now finally main-stream.
      • Built in to some cars!
  • UWB – Ultra Wide Band
    • Uses a very wide section of radio spectrum at very low power
    • Extremely high bandwidth, 0.5 – 1 Gbps (!)
    • Some players suggest very short distances (5-30 feet)
    • Others suggest a few hundred feet, making it a much faster WiFi
    • Products coming which offer “wireless USB / FireWire”
  • Security
    • WiFi started with poor security: WEP
      • Readily broken by “hackers”
    • Next step: WPA
      • Fixes WEP problems, but…
    • Being replaced by WPA2
      • A refinement on WPA
    • The future: 802.11i (~WPA2)
      • Should be good enough for many years
  • Security – The Short Version
    • In the next few years, wireless systems will have good security “out of the box”
    • For robust security now, consider:
      • Isolating your wireless network
      • Using a VPN to let users in to your main network
  • RFID
    • Radio Frequency ID “tags”
    • Wireless equivalent of a bar-code
    • Expected to become much more popular over the next few years as unit prices fall
    • Saves labor – much easier to read many RFIDs than to scan many bar codes
    • But – the “shopping cart problem” is still not fully solved.
  • GPS
    • Global Positioning System
    • Satellite constellation provided by US Government
      • One-way, broadcasts data, nothing to “subscribe” to
    • Provides location information within feet
    • Receiver hardware is now small and cheap
      • Increasingly integrated with other devices
    • Next-generation GPS is in development
      • More accurate, better indoor performance
  • Biggest Trend – Adoption
    • Nearly everyone has a cell phone, and adoption keeps increasing.
      • Some Europe countries well ahead on this, because higher cost of wireline services makes wireless more appealing.
    • Most cell phones will have wireless data capability
      • Because the incremental cost is near zero, and carriers can sell incremental data services
    • More and more PCs will ship with wireless included
    • Many other devices will ship with wireless included
  • Next trend - Interference
    • Many wireless technologies operate on unlicensed bands
    • Many others operate on very busy bands
    • Results: interference between systems is likely to grow
      • It’s already an issue in companies with both cordless phones and WiFi networking
  • Trend - The Wireless Home
    • WiFi range and speed are already good enough
    • Price heading towards zero (!)
    • Expect built in WiFi for nearly all PCs, and increasingly in other peripherals
      • Printers
      • “ Network Attached Storage” hard drives
    • Apple Macintoshes already auto-configure a (wireless) network
      • Microsoft is working on a different, incompatible approach.
  • Trend – The Wireless Home
    • Many Non-PC devices contain, or will contain, an embedded computer
    • Many such devices can easily benefit from wireless
    • Example: TiVo
      • Expect network multiple devices to “notice” each other then work together, via wireless.
  • Trend - Wireless Business LANs
    • Running wire is expensive
    • Maintaining wire is expensive
    • Re-running wire is expensive
    • Waiting for wiring is expensive
    • Wireless: Speed up, Cost down, Security OK
      • Result: Forget wiring for many business PC users.
  • Trend - Wireless LAN Everywhere
    • WiFi will become much more pervasive
    • Already common at coffee shops, cafes, bookstores, convention centers, etc.
  • Trend - Free Wifi
    • Currently, some hotspots free, others expensive
    • McDonalds is planning $2.95 for 2 hours
      • They are likely to sell a whole lot of $2.95’s
      • I don’t think the $10 per day vendors will last.
    • It is easy and cheap to offer free WiFi, but expensive and complex to charge for it.
      • Expect it to become a common giveaway at retail businesses which benefit from lingering customers
  • Trend - Converging devices
    • Phone + PDA + MP3 + pager + blackberry + camera
    • Phones are gaining PDA features
    • Phones are getting cameras
    • Phone as “gateway” via Bluetooth
    • Why are phones the driver?
      • 163 million cell phones active in the U.S. alone
      • Far more units than any other device
  • Counter-Trend to Convergence
    • Single purpose, small, cheap devices are also appealing to buyers
    • The “parts cost” of adding wireless to a device, will continue to fall, so that “sharing” the wireless from one device to another will be harder to justify.
      • Even though this sharing will be easy to set up
  • Trend – Multi-network Phones
    • Coming soon: Phones that work on both cellular and WiFi networks
    • Carry one phone, use it at home/work/car
      • Only pay for minutes when you’re away from home/office
  • Trend – Disposable Devices
    • Disposable phones
      • Some are literally disposable
      • Others are so cheap that we can think of them as disposable.
  • Business Impact
    • In the business of wireless:
      • Service Delivery (i.e. selling wireless services)
      • Product Sales (i.e. selling wireless stuff)
    • For companies that use wireless:
      • Cost Reduction
      • Agility
      • Speed
      • Increased efficiency
  • Offering Services via Wireless
    • Horizontal consumer services
      • Expect these to be offered mostly by cell carriers, who are in a position to capture that revenue
    • Vertical business services
      • Lots of opportunity for third parties to build on the wireless infrastructure
  • Cost Savings in the Office / Campus
    • Save the cost of installing, maintaining, and changing a wired network
    • More radical: dispersed workgroups, who perhaps dispense with the office completely
  • Cost Savings for Field Operations
    • Reduce travel of field workers to the office, using wide area wireless
      • Email, workflow, etc. via cell phone, PDA, PC
  • Agility, Speed and Efficiency
    • Real time data, from the field
      • Appealing, even addicting, to management
    • The “Zero-Latency Enterprise”
      • Good buzzword, also a valuable idea
      • Helps manage risk
    • Greater value to your customers
  • Application Categories
    • Mobile / Wireless – specific application:
      • CRM / Sales Force Automation
      • Workflow
      • Mobile workforce management
      • Route planning
    • More Generally:
      • As networks get better, anything you can do in the office, you could do anywhere
  • Example: Mobile Workforce Management
    • Typical mobile workforce management system can include:
      • Sending work orders to field workers
      • Getting status and completion information
      • Getting GPS location information (how long did they spend where?)
      • Rescheduling and load balancing
    • One problem: you can do all this now, and this talk is supposed to be about the future…
  • Future Mobile Workforce Management
    • Now:
      • Small-volume, high-value-per-byte data, such as work orders, schedules, location, etc.
    • Future:
      • Bulk data to and from field workers:
        • Documentation on-demand to the worker
        • Photos, Videos on-demand to the worker
        • Photos, Videos from the field worker
  • What Does This Cost?
    • Not very expensive per worker, but it adds up
    • Hypothetic Example:
      • 2500 field personnel
      • $50 per month each for wireless voice+data service
        • The speed and features keep going up, but the monthly bill doesn’t come down.
      • $ 1.5 million per year
  • Sample Cost Scenario
    • Wireless data costs often largest TCO line item
      • Compared to hardware, software, back office, support costs
  • The End
    • Q & A ?
    • Thanks for coming
    • Contact Information:
      • Kyle Cordes
      • Oasis Digital Solutions Inc.
      • (636) 219-9589
      • [email_address]
      • www.oasisdigital.com