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Home > Debates Last Updated: 14:32 03/09/2007
Debate: Comment (December 25, 2002)

Comments: GLOCOM Platform Tokyo Forum

The following are a series of comments posted on the BBS for discussions at Tokyo Forum on November 21, 2002

[1] (No Subject) Hitoshi Urabe 14:12

It has been pointed out that in Japan, the people who use mobile service in terms of telephones do not overlat with people who normally utilze IT technology (the PC's).
Is this trend seen in other countries (cultures) as well?

[2] Answer to Urabe's Comment: Louis Ross 14:15

In the U.S., there has been many arguments that success of next-generation wireless is dependant on demand from a certain (young, mostly female) demographic in Japan and that this is not transferable to the U.S. However, the success of the Blackberry device in the U.S. shows that there are both pent-up business application demand and untapped demand on the consumer side, especially with teenagers. Beside the problem with the networks, there has been a lack of attractive, multi-function devices available on the market in the U.S. This will change over the next 2-3 years.

[3] supporting mobile growth in US: Daniel Dolan 14:16

Recently a major cellular signal tower provider in the US went bankrupt. Apparently this was due to insufficient user demand, but without the towers demand cannot be supported. Is this a classic chicken and egg problem, or is there a clear solution for enabling mobile growth in the US?

[4] (No Subject) Yamada 14:20

Mobile with digital camera is different from video-phones. While a video-phone transfers your face image, a mobile with digital camera sends a scene that the sender sees. So the direction of camera is 180 degrees different.

[5] (No Subject) Robert Berger 14:21

To clarify Internet style end-to-end enables even cooler features than the telephone network because the innovation of the features happends at an "end" or at the edge not in the core.

New services can be added by anyone without asking any permission. They just need to have people who use the service to agree to use the same new protocol on top of the Internet Protocol (IP).

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open forum for people to anounce a proposed standard and then reach a concensus for a new standard. This can be anything from the WWW http, Voice over IP, to Instant Messaging.

Try adding a new feature on your own or with your community to the telephone system!

[6] (No Subject) Miwako Waga 14:26

Telecommunications companies have been responsible for universal service to allow everyone, no matter where they live, to talk over the phone. It has been a burden for those carriers for decades. Therefore it is not surprising that telecom carriers have not been the major sources of innovations in terms of services.

[7] (No Subject) Tim Pozar 14:27

A number of tower manufactures are on shakey financial ground as they all overpaid for thier proporties and seriously underestimated the growth for wireless. Likely what will happen is what we are seeing in the Internet and colocation areas where companies will buy out the mountain top and tower sites for pennies on the dollar to escape the debt service. These sites will not disappear.

[8] Re[3]: supporting mobile growth in US: Robert Berger 14:28

Its not clear if physical infrastructure for "last mile" can be financed by standard companies. To build the "best network" we will need a municipal or other utility like financial structure to build and own the physical (OSI layer 1-2) infrastructure and then have an end-to-end Internet(layers 2-7) that supports competitive and cooperative services on top of the utility provided physical infrastructure.

So most of the innovation happens in the competitive upper layers and the slower evolving physical layer can fit the utility financial model.

[9] (No Subject) Robert Berger 14:36

How does NTT calculate settlements with roaming partners if the normal charges are based on flat rate?

I applaud the flat rate and wholesale approach of NTT. I am just curious how they then calculate the sharing of revenue through roaming and wholesaling.

[10] (No Subject) Tim Pozar 14:37

Keep in mind that at least one telecommunication company has been responsible for a number of "cool things" in the past such as the transistor and UNIX. That same company did try to push the "picture phone". So, you just don't hit home runs all the time.

[11] (No Subject) Robert Berger 14:40

We are interested in IPv6 in the US, but it is true that Japan is way ahead of implementing IPv6 than in the US and probably anywhere else in the world.

It is exciting to see what is being done with IPv6 in Japan.

[12] (No Subject) Louis Ross 14:50

The competition between CDMA2000 (1X and beyond) and W-CDMA was healthy and supported strong subscriber growth numbers in Japan. As foreign markets mature, how will the W-CDMA standard compete with CDMA2000 (1x and beyond) as it is increasingly being used throughout the world due to the lower cost to upgrade the network, better speed, capacity and more affordable and attractive handsets? Outside of Japan, the standard that is the most universal, cheapest to deploy and can produce the most immediate high, stable ARPUs will be deployed. Emerging technologies will aid in the expansion of ARPUs outside the realm of those associated only with narrowband applications.

[13] comment on AT&T; David S Isenberg 14:52

The same company that brought us Unix and the transistor also declined an opportunity to develop and 'run' the Internet!

[14] (No Subject) Yamada 14:5

Please wait, Berger. Sony's Idei said the famous words two years ago. No product with IPv6 has shipped from Sony since.

[15] Clear message about usage: Robert Berger 14:55

Seems that the clear message that comes from this study and other experiences with actual network usage is that people want to communicate with each other. Its the basic end-to-end paradigm. People wanting to communicate with each is still the killer app.
People want to do it when they want to where ever they are...

[16] (No Subject) Robert Berger 15:09

A network has to be paid for somehow. And the "best network" needs to be end-to-end. The proposed NTT model sounds very good as it is an Internet access, its open, its a nice price and flat rate.

Can they actually make a return on investment and build out a nearly ubiquitous network?

This seems to be the big question, not if people will pay for it, but if it can be built, paid for and not charge more than what people are willing to pay and still allow the company who builds it to be able to capitalize the build and get an adequate return on investment for a public corporation.

This gets back to my question if it takes a utility or other government subsidized entity (which maybe NTT is in the long run) to build the physical network and allow competitive open services on top of this (Also called structural separation)

[17] Re[12]: (No Subject) Louis Ross 15:24

Building an 'end-to-end' network in the US will be very difficult under the current political and economic circumstances. No carrier would be capable of developing such a system, let alone financing it. Japanese carrier profitability in Japan is strong, but their consolidated earnings results suffered due to pre-mature investments in overseas carriers. There was no standard capable of growing subscriber numbers and not enough affordable, attractive end user devices.

The future will be competition between carriers competing on a universal, global standard which will be formed by a coalition of firms that operate throughout the wireless food chain-- carriers, equipment makers, etc.

[18] How will MIS get its ubiquitous coverage?: Robert Berger 16:01

Seems that there is still not an economic model for MIS to reach its vision of ubiquitious coverage. The JR station is just one problem, the bigger one will be to pay for the construction and operation of the 10s of thousands of access points to create coverage.

Expecting grassroots entities to supply accss points and connectivity based on just good will seems to not be scalable.

[19] Comment: Shumpei Kumon 16:16

I wonder how possible it would be to create a model of "facility-based collaboration" between community wireless network providers and commercial providers so that a) scalability may be guaranteed, b) coomercial providers of wireless-network may expect to make decent profits.

[20] (No Subject) David S Isenberg 16:17

I wonder if Tim Pozar has calculated the value of the labor anbd expertise to install and run his San Francisco network? Wonder if a company, rather than volunteers, wanted to fund a similar network, how much would the investment be?

[21] (No Subject) Tim Pozar 16:30

The hardware costs for each of the mountain tops run between 2000 - 3000 USD. We are working with each of the mountain top owners to arrange a very low cost or free rent in exchange for bandwidth and priority of traffic on the network. There are installation and "support" costs that are covered by "donations" to the co-op in exchange for priority of traffic. Of course we depend on the good will of others as there are costs. So far we have been successful in doing this and we are looking at other revenue streams such as additional service to users that may find the network critical such as public safety.

[22] part one: Adam Peake 16:44

The very rapidly growing DSL market in Japan--over 400,000 new DSL subscribers in the month of October alone--is a good example of the success of opening access networks to competition. At least, this can be successful *if* the rules that govern the govern the opening of those networks are enforced.

--end of part one--

[23] Convergence of Digital TV and Internet: Robert Berger 16:49

The convergence of Digital TV and the Internet can be great if its done with the open IETF style of standards as opposed to the "Hollywood" centralized and closed approach.

Bits are Bits! The network should just care about transporting bits and not what the content is. Content should have its own marketplace and control of the transport, platform, or standard should not create artificial scarcity that allows the content providers to overcharge the consumer and exploit the creators.

[24] Re[22]: Rapid growth of DSL in Japan: Robert Berger 16:54

There is competition only in the upper layers of the service. The physical service is almost always supplied by a monopoly utility like company (NTT) which through I presume government and corporate policy, created wholesale pricing for the physcial (layer 1 & 2) service that is very attractive and enables enough margin for competitive ISPs and restrains NTT from unfairly competing with these ISPs.

I am hopeful that this model will deliver an adequate return of investment to NTT and the other players in the "food chain". I don't know if this is so or not.

[25] Asia Broadband: Adam Peake 16:55

The Pacific Island of Palau is ringed by a fiber cable, with landing points in every town, village and community. The cable is currently used mainly for telecom traffic. The wireless technology Mr. Pozar described plus the fiber ring could deliver broadband Internet (data and voice) throughout the Island.

Mr. Inamura, as an implementation of Asia Broadband will you employ Mr. Pozar to bring ubiquitous broadband to Palau :-)

Back to DSL in a minute...

[26] part two: Adam Peake 16:58

DSL is provided by the incumbent NTT East and West local companies with around 40% of the market. Companies such as e-access and ACCA use unbundled local loops and other elements of the incumbent's network to provide their own DSL product that they wholesale to other service providers such ISPs and other telcos. And operators like Yahoo! BB use the unbundled incumbent network elements to provide retail DSL products directly to consumers. The result is a market with competition at the wholesale and retail levels, a strong range of products for the consumer, and very low prices. E-access, ACCA and Yahoo! BB are also building their own networks, first in the backbone, and later building out towards the customer. But they are not likely to duplicate the incumbent's local loop. A question then is whether this is sustaining in the longer term, as Prof. Yamada mentioned, the local loop is aging.

[27] (No Subject) Louis Ross 17:11

Response to Palau Comment

I had the 'pleasure' of being in Palau for a scuba trip wrecked by Tropical Storm Utor, which led to the collapse of the main road from the airport and the damage of the cable that contained just about all the communications connections for the country. No phone, no internet connection....for days. It would have been nice to have had a wireless system in that situation....Mr. Pozar, you have a testbed in Palau....and at least one volunteer to help deploy it...

[28] Re[17]: Re[12]: (No Subject) Louis Ross 17:11

Innovation coming from market leader NTT (via Docomo and the rest of the 'family'...), some would say, has stalled especially when considering previous and future budgets earmarked for next-generation wireless technology development (over the past decade). The success of I-Mode is largely not due to the deployment of a great technology, but a strong business mix accepted by the market in a vacuum. The investments in infrastructure made and bad foreign investment decisions may lead to the slow reduction in prices for (their) services since they must attempt to recoup costs. It may also continue to slow innovative product introduction (like during the past two years).

It would help NTT/Docomo much more to let the family members build equipment and systems for more universal standards since they would be very competitive globally doing this and perhaps a large R&D budget would lead to more value-creating innovation.

[29] (No Subject) Miwako Waga 17:20

The discussions so far have focused on communications and data transmission sides of wireless technologies. However, the advance of sensing and actuation technologies, coupled with wireless communication technologies, will create a whole new world of ubiquitous sensing and network. For instance, a tiny system integrating sensing, processor, and wireless functions may directly interface with the human body to conduct invasive monitoring of the health condition. Innovation is limited only by our imagination. Let's stay hopeful about the potential impact of emerging technologies on our quality of life.

--end of part two--

[30] (No Subject) David S Isenberg 17:31

The entire net and all its traffic is open to gov't, corporate and criminal abuse!!!

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