Friday, September 30, 2005

Sony cracks down on PSP hacks | By Joris Evers | Story last modified Thu Sep 29 18:06:00 PDT 2005

Sony is engaged in a tug-of-war with hackers who keep cracking its PlayStation Portable software to unlock the device and run their own applications on it.

The company is preparing another update to the PSP firmware to fix a recently disclosed bug that lets hackers downgrade the PSP system software and run their own, so-called homebrew code on the device, a Sony representative said Thursday.

"It is not...what the device was designed for," said Patrick Seybold, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment America. "We plan to deal with this issue with the next system update." He declined to say when that update would be ready.

Soon after Sony released the PSP earlier this year, hackers started hunting for bugs in the software that runs the device. Flaws were found and used to run homegrown applications, such as a PDF reader and an FTP client, on the device. The bugs were not used to attack PSP users.

Sony last month updated the PSP firmware to version 2.0. The update encompassed new features, including a Web browser, but also fixed the flaws that had been exploited by the hackers. The 2.0 update was made available on Sony's Web site and will be included in new PSP games, which will require the update, Seybold said.
The 2.0 release sparked a new round of hacking. A buffer overflow flaw in the software was disclosed last week on PSP Updates, a PSP enthusiast site. The new bug can be exploited to run code on the device and to downgrade to version 1.5 of the firmware, according to PSP Updates. Version 1.5 was more hacker-friendly.

Sony is not "actively going after the people doing it," Seybold said, but the company does not advise running homebrew code on the PSP. "Running unauthorized software will void the warranty," he said.

The PSP was released in the U.S. in March. Since then, more than 2 million units have been sold in the U.S., according to Sony. The device is sold primarily as a portable game machine, but users can also play movies and music, display digital photos and browse the Internet through its built-in wireless networking.

Source here

PDAs expected to change healthcare in future | Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:55 AM ET166
By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Personal digital assistants (PDAs) could change the way healthcare is delivered in the future by providing doctors with easy access to patient data and the latest information on treatment.

Palm pilots and other hand-held computers were originally designed as personal organizers but they are becoming increasingly popular with doctors, medical students and even patients to improve the quality of care and safety.

"The most commonly used clinical application is drug reference, so far. But it has gone beyond just looking up drugs and dosages and running interaction checks," Dr Daniel Baumgart, of the Charite Medical School of the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, said in an interview.

PDAs with bar code scanners already exist which allow doctors to scan a patient's barcode bracelet to access their record, current medications and medication history, according to Baumgart.

"You could improve or make sure the patient gets the right drug, at the right time and at the right dose," said Baumgart who reviewed the role of the technology in medicine in a report in The Lancet medical journal.

The devices could also allow doctors to access medical information from virtually anywhere due to the extended bandwidth of cellular telephone networks or high speed wireless institutional networks in hospitals.

This would eliminate the need to find a find a patient's chart, X-ray or a computer to get to electronic information.

They could also allow doctors to collect data or to take photographs of patient injuries or ailments for documentation, teaching purposes and to improve care.

"Future PDAs may evolve into true expert systems that access information from many sources simultaneously, match it with the patient's current medical record and past medical history, apply prediction rules, calculate clinical equations and integrate it into an overall information package to help the doctor make a sound, evidence-based decision," he added.

"This might be the future, but that needs to be developed," said Baumgart.

PDAs won't replace mainframe or desktop work stations but they will give doctors additional means to access information from anywhere.

"The future of information exchange is digital and wireless," he added.

Source here

Apple admits problem with iPod nano | Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:59 PM ET169

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc., responding to consumer complaints that the screen on its sleek, recently introduced iPod cracks too easily, said on Wednesday it will replace any defective units.

Also on Wednesday, Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Farmer lowered its rating on Apple shares to "neutral" from "buy," saying that sales growth could slow in coming months and comparisons to year-ago periods become more difficult.

"When everyone knows everything is going right for a company, sentiment is hard to improve," Farmer wrote in a note to clients of Apple and its high-flying stock.

Cupertino, California-based Apple introduced the nano with great fanfare three weeks ago and chief executive Steve Jobs expects it to become the best selling iPod. The nano replaced the iPod mini, which had been the best-selling iPod model.

Shares of Apple closed down $2.36, or 4.4 percent, at $51.08 on Nasdaq. The stock, after more than tripling in 2004, is up another 66 percent so far this year, based on Tuesday's closing price.

Farmer also noted Apple's transition to using microprocessors from Intel Corp., while still two to three quarters away, "could cause customers to pause" purchases.

"It is a real, but minor issue involving vendor quality problems," an Apple spokesman said of the nano screen issue.

He added the problem has occurred in less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the iPod nanos sold so far.

"Any user with a defective screen should contact Apple ... and we will replace it for free," the spokesman said. "It's not a design issue."

In its most recent quarter, Apple sold 6.2 million iPods and accounted for about a third -- $1.1 billion -- of the company's overall revenue in the period.

Apple's move seemed to satisfy one user who had complained.

"I am very delighted to see Apple take this issue seriously," Matthew Peterson, an iPod nano owner who set up a Web site to collect photos of damaged iPods, said on his site.

Apple introduced the iPod nano in two versions: a two- gigabyte model selling for $199 and a four-gigabyte model for $249.

Apple's iPod line commands roughly 75 percent of the market for digital music players and provide one-third of Apple's total revenue.

Source here

Sony Ericsson's Walkman phone in short supply | Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:46 AM ET167

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Sony Ericsson has trouble meeting demand in Europe for some of its latest models, such as its first Walkman phone, due to popular demand, analysts said on Wednesday, but the firm denied there were logistical problems.

"Sony Ericsson's W800 Walkman phone and the K750 are seeing healthy demand in distribution and retail. They are in short supply at retail," said analyst Ben Wood at market research group Gartner, who tracks the global mobile handset industry.

Sony Ericsson's W800 phone is the first phone that uses Sony's revived Walkman brand, which was first launched in 1979 and went on to sell more than 340 million of the cassette players.

The K750 model features a 2 megapixel high-quality photo camera with autofocus.

Sony Ericsson said it could sell more of the 400 euro Walkman phones if it could supply them.

"We could probably sell tonnes more if we had them," a spokesman for the Japanese-Swedish firm said, declining to give details of shipments.

But he said there were no logistical issues or supply chain problems that squeezed supply. Sony Ericsson has had problems in the past of meeting demand due to logistical problems.

The 50:50 handset venture between Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Ericsson (ERICb.ST: Quote, Profile, Research) has decided to produce all Walkman phones in its own factories, and not rely on contract manufacturers such as Flextronics (FLEX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) which are used for other models.

Market research group Strategy Analytics estimates Sony Ericsson will sell 1 million Walkman phones in the 4.5 months between the launch and the end of the year, half of the estimated 2 million ROKR music phones made by Motorola (MOT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which can play songs from Apple's (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) iTunes store.

But sources close to Sony Ericsson said internal plans are for much higher sales.

Sony Ericsson is the world's number five phone maker. It focuses on more expensive models and has a 6.2 percent share of the market of 780 million units a year.

The Japanese-Swedish joint venture was one of the first top five phone brands out of the gates with a dedicated music phone when its Walkman phone hit the shop shelves in mid-August. It is the first model in a range of Walkman phones that will eventually be able to download music from Internet music stores.

Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) has announced mass storage music phones that will be able to link to Internet music stores.

Source here

BT unveils 3G Wi-Fi combo

And why Openreach is 'No cheaper'

the register
By Tim Richardson
Published Friday 30th September 2005 14:02 GMT

BT has launched a combined Wi-Fi, 3G and GPRS tariff for road warriors and other business folk on the move.

Known as "BT Datazone", punters are able to access the internet and check emails via more than 7,800 BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK and Ireland, or "on the move" through a 3G or GPRS connection.
Exclusive Offer : Reg users wanted for Beta Testing!

This November, Microsoft will be launching SQL Server 2005, and The Reg have teamed up with Microsoft to give you the chance to beta test it to destruction before launch.

SQL Server 2005 has a whole load of changes from the last version, promising increased security, scalability, and a raft of new features.

But why take Microsoft's word for it? Try it out and see what you think. To find out more and download the preview software, point your browser here.

The service - which costs £49 for 4,000 minutes Wi-Fi access via BT Openzone and the chance to download up to 75 meg of information via 3G or GPRS - can also be used overseas.

"BT Datazone provides the key to truly mobile working ? enabling people to download files, check email or access their corporate network from virtually anywhere in the UK and abroad," said Chris Clark, who heads up BT's Converged Mobility Operations.

"This is an important step towards meeting BT?s convergence vision, of being able to access all your information regardless of where they are in the world, on your choice of device and over the most suitable network."

Separately, there's even more fun and games to be had with "Openreach" - the name of BT's new network division. While "OpenRetch", "OvenReady" "OpenPreach" and "OverReach" have all raised a few smirks, it's been brought to our attention that Openreach is also an anagram of "No Cheaper". ®

Source here

i-mode finally connects with the UK

Carrie Pawsey | ZDNet UK | September 30, 2005, 11:40 BST

O2 has launched the mobile internet service after signing an agreement with NTT DoCoMo

Precis: i-mode will be available to prepay and contract customers on both 2G and 3G devices. From early October, O2 will offer four handsets in the UK from NEC and Samsung, and a further Siemens handset in Ireland. These will be offered free of charge on a contract and cost from £80-280 on prepay.

Customers who wish to browse on a 'pay as a you use' model — which is open to prepay and contract customers — will pay £3 per MB. Customers who purchase bundles of data browsing up front in a subscription will get better value for money, at £3 per month for 2MB and £5 per month for 4MB. Again these are open to both prepay and contract customers. The bundles only lock customers in for one calendar month and they can unsubscribe at any time.

At launch, O2 has announced 80 content partners, rising to 100 by the end of the year. Every content provider will provide some element of 'free ' content — customers will only pay for the browsing and not pay an additional charge to the content provider — which is expected to be around 30 percent of each site. Customers who wish to access premium content will then sign up for additional subscriptions with the content providers — expected to range from £1-£3 per month. There is no event-based pricing, all charges are on a monthly subscription basis — other than the messaging i-mail service.

Comment: O2 has been talking about i-mode for a long time and it's good to see that it is now bringing the service to market. We think that the handset range at launch is probably too small — but we are assured further handsets are to come.

"The data pricing will be a new concept for most UK consumers, with most people having no idea of what a MB is. This will be one of the key challenges for O2 to communicate to the users. It has tried to install some simplicity in the pricing byoffering the same rates for all users regardless of whether they are prepaid or contract and if they are accessing the service via a 2G or 3G handset. In other moves to simplify pricing, it is also changing the cost of the browsing bundles on O2 Active to be in line with the i-mode pricing. Interestingly, this has actually resulted in the Active browsing bundle increasing in price, as previously it was £4 for 5MB. To help educate customers, O2 will also be offering a free 'data counter' service where customers can see how much traffic they have used.

"O2 is right to use its launch promotion to get customers actively using the service — in moves to encourage this it is offering free browsing till the end of 2005 along with ten free premium content subscriptions. It is also offering free i-mail email and picture messaging services till April 2006. Following that, the pricing will be in line with the existing SMS and MMS pricing.

"The target market for i-mode is much broader than Active, which has predominantly been the younger generation. O2 states it is hoping to attract users that may have previously had a disappointing experience with WAP. It has thus signed content deals with more 'lifestyle ' brands such as Internet bank, job search engine, Insurance broker Norwich Union and estate agent O2 hopes that these will appeal to the wider mass market, and that i-mode will be attractive to more than just early adopter techies or the youth-driven games segment.

"i-mode got off to a slow start in Europe, but we are now starting to see some encouraging results, particularly from players such as Bouygues and Telefonica. We think O2 was right to wait to launch i-mode. How it will work in Germany remains to be seen — after all, e-Plus has already launched the service there. We know that O2 will not be calling it i-mode, nor will it use the yellow i for its brand — which will feature prominently here in the UK and Ireland in its launch marketing.

"The other question is how O2 will continue to run the two data brands of Active and i-mode. O2 states it is not divesting itself of Active, but we can't see the long-term viability of both. For now, Active offers a wider handset portfolio, but once this is addressed by i-mode and we see an i-mode Nokia handset, then we would expect to see Active be withdrawn."

Carrie Pawsey is an analyst specialising in business strategy in Ovum's Wireless Group and has over 7 years of experience in the telecoms industry.

Source here

The Power of Dumb Ideas/ Marketing

strategy+business | enews

The Power of Dumb Ideas, by Randall Rothenberg

New York, September 29, 2005 -- Forget what the advertising gurus say about big ideas and differentiation. The solution to marketing's ills is not more creativity, it's less. A study of 1,300 U.S. companies by Chuck Lucier, senior vice president emeritus at Booz Allen Hamilton, reveals that only four broad ideas, copied again and again across sectors, accounted for 80 percent of the breakout businesses created between 1985 and 1995: power retailing, megabranding, focus/simplify/standardize, and the value chain bypass. The big idea doesn't have to be brand new. In a world overwhelmed by complexity, it's the context that gives dumb ideas their power to galvanize a team, create faith, and build the world's greatest marketing department.

This article is excerpted from the forthcoming book The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable, by the Group of 33 and edited by Seth Godin (published by Portfolio).

To read the full analysis:

Art Kleiner, Editor-in-Chief, strategy+business

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cybersalon & OpenSpectrum UK / Future Wireless event, Science Museum, London, 4 October 2005

Documentary materials for the Cybersalon & OpenSpectrum UK event, FUTURE WIRELESS: practical.discourse.creative, Science Museum, London, 4 October 2005

(1) Venue: The Science Museum's Dana Centre
(2) Programme: Cybersalon event website

(1) Venue: The Science Museum's Dana Centre

Website and event listing here:

Cybersalon: Future Wireless

19.00 BST, 04/10/05

Join Cybersalon and Open Spectrum UK to scan the horizon of wireless communications and explore its emerging landscape and ecology in the future.

Cybersalon and Open Spectrum UK scan the horizon of wireless communications to explore its emerging landscape and ecology and present an investigation into Future Wireless.

Through three parallel strands of programming - practical, discourse and creative - Future Wireless features presentation, demonstration, practical workshop, artistic intervention and debate to demonstrate and probe the nature, impact and potential of the wireless Internet, mobile telecommunications and other radio-based technologies.

Complemented by the Dana Centre's state of the art technological resources Cybersalon and Open Spectrum UK assemble an international group of cultural commentators, researchers, artists, free wireless network activists and commercial developers to share their insights and speculate on the nature of a 'wireless future'.

Webcast of evening panel session: details here

About the Dana Centre here:

do you want to talk science?
* talk science: futurescience.powerscience.antiscience.dirtyscience.freshscience*

The Dana Centre is a stylish, purpose-built venue, complete with a cafèbar, appealing to adults. It is a place for them to take part in exciting, informative and innovative debates about contemporary science, technology and culture. (...)

The Dana Centre is a collaboration between the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science), the European Dana Alliance for the Brain and the Science Museum. It is part of the new Wellcome Wolfson Building, which is supported by four principal donors - the Wellcome Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, The Dana Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Dana Centre directions and map: here

The Dana Centre
165 Queen's Gate
South Kensington

+0044 (0)207 942 4040

More detailed map here

Dana Centre- October events listing here

Cybersalon: Future Wireless
12.00 04/10/05
Join Cybersalon and Open Spectrum UK to scan the horizon of wireless communications and explore its emerging landscape and ecology in the future. This will be a full day of presentations, workshops, artistic interventions and debate.

Segregating Medicine
19.00 05/10/05
America has launched the world's first race-specific drug, designed for black heart disease patients. Is this a step towards more effective patient-specific medicine? Or does it discriminate by ethnicity? Should race have a place in medicine? Discuss these issues with our panel of experts.

Alien Evolution
19.00 11/10/05
How special is our planet? What can life on Earth tell us about the possible evolution of extra-terrestrials? Could there be life on Mars or a moon of Jupiter, and what life forms might evolve on planets around other stars? In association with Channel 4.

The Ethics of Research Involving Animals
19.00 12/10/05
The animal research debate is seen as 'for' or 'against.' The Nuffield Council on Bioethics recently published a report on this highly complex issue. Join a discussion with a philosopher, a scientist and an anti-vivisection campaigner.

Making Sense: experiencing the world around us
18.30 13/10/05
Do you have a sixth sense? Can you trick your senses? Explore your perceptions by watching a performance of deception, experiencing illusions and indulging in some wine tasting to find out how connoisseurs smell and taste their way to the finest vintage.

Meeting of Minds
09.30 15/10/05
The future of brain science will come under the spotlight, as the UK citizens' panel for the Meeting of Minds European Citizens' Deliberation meet with experts and the public to debate the implications of developments in neuroscience. Your views could help shape the recommendations that will be made to policy-makers.

Meeting of Minds
09.30 16/10/05
The future of brain science will come under the spotlight, as the UK citizens' panel for the Meeting of Minds European Citizens' Deliberation meet with experts and the public to debate the implications of developments in neuroscience. Your views could help shape the recommendations that will be made to policy-makers.

Punk Science: Aliens
19.30 18/10/05
A rip-roaring ride through star systems, crop circles, UFOs and extraterrestrials, Punk Science asks: Is anybody out there? Does anybody actually care? Join us to find out the answers through action packed science experiments, music, audience voting, gags and demos.

Dinner@Dana: What Darwin can't explain
18.30 19/10/05
Evolution via natural selection was Darwin's master theory. Yet while survival of the fittest can explain the shape of a finch's beak, can it tell us how exploding termites came about?

Punk Science: Aliens
19.30 20/10/05
A rip-roaring ride through star systems, crop circles, UFOs and extraterrestrials, Punk Science asks: Is anybody out there? Does anybody actually care? Join us to find out the answers through action packed science experiments, music, audience voting, gags and demos.

Cybercrime: Stealing your identity
19.00 25/10/05
Have you ever had a computer virus? Has your credit card ever been cloned? How much do you trust the security of different technologies? How vulnerable is your identity to cybercrime and how can you protect yourself against identity theft?

Alien Intrigue
19.00 26/10/05
Why are we so fascinated by the idea of aliens on Earth? Do our beliefs stem from folklore or science fiction? Are they a psychological projection of human hopes and fears? Or is our interest in extra-terrestrials an inbuilt phenomenon?

(2) Programme: Cybersalon event website

Cybersalon home-page: event listing


FUTURE WIRELESS: practical.discourse.creative
Tuesday, 4th October 2005, 11am-10pm
The Science Museum's Dana Centre, 165 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5HE
Cost: £5. Book online using our secure credit/debit card system HERE
Nearest tubes: South Kensington/Gloucester Road


Cybersalon scans the horizon of wireless communications and explores its emerging landscape and ecology to present an investigation into Future Wireless.

Through three parallel strands of programming – practical, discourse and creative – Cybersalon hosts a day of presentation, demonstration, practical workshop, artistic intervention and debate to demonstrate and probe the nature, impact and potential of the wireless Internet, mobile telecommunications and other radio-based technologies.

Complemented by the Dana Centre's state of the art technological resources, we assemble an international group of cultural commentators, researchers, artists, free wireless network activists and commercial developers to share their insights and speculate on the nature of a ‘wireless future’.

Contributors include: Dooeun Choi, curator Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea; Peter Cochrane, co-founder ConceptLabs (former CTO of BT); Robert Horvitz, co-ordinator Open Spectrum Foundation Prague; Adam Hyde, new media artist from New Zealand, with a special interest in streaming media, in both visual and audio contexts; Giles Lane - founder of Proboscis; Tapio Mäkelä – researcher and media artist, USED project in collaboration with m-cult centre for new media culture, Helsinki, Finland and HIIT; Francis McKee - research fellow at Glasgow School of Art and part-time Head of Digital Arts and New Media at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow; Ian Robinson - BT, Head of Emerging Internet Access products and Wimax expert; and Marc Tuters, researcher in new media, University of Southern California's Annenberg Centre. The programme also features artistic interventions from SOMETH;NG supporting work from MA students at Ravensbourne College, Taxi_onomy and Troika.

The following questions provide some initial triggers:

* The Cybernetic wireless dream? How are wireless technologies changing our personal and social spaces – or how are our personal and social spaces shaping wireless technologies?
* Wireless utopia or dystopia? Has wireless technology liberated communication or revealed a darker, more dysfunctional side to our natures?
* Broadcast or “narrowcast”? Are we moving towards a telco-centric or a user-centric world of mobile wireless communications? Can we realise the promise of the Internet as the great agora - the conversation of the many-to-many – and create an open future of decentralized communication systems and user-generated content?
* Broadband - DIFM or DIY? (do-it-for-me or do-it-yourself?) Why should you build your own free wireless network and how do you do it?
* The Invisible Wealth of Nations? Should the radio spectrum be seen as a “market commodity” or a “national resource” and what is the future of wireless communications and the strategic prospects for utilising the radio spectrum?

Complete with a wired café-bar connecting it to people all around the world, the Dana Centre brings exciting, informative and lively discussion to people who want to talk about challenging and cutting edge topics in science, the arts and culture. The evening panel debate will be web cast live from the Dana Centre, enabling a worldwide audience to engage and interact with the event.

Cybersalon gratefully acknowledges funding and resource support from the Science Museum, Arts Council, British Council, NODE.London and Wireless London.


CYBERSALON NEWS (updated 09-05)

Our next event, scheduled for Tuesday, 4th October 2005 is 'Future Wireless' - the third in a series of of collaborative events with OpenSpectrumUK, a coalition of non-profit organisations engaged in community wireless networking and the advocacy of licence-exempt access to radio spectrum. The Future Wireless programme features a day of presentation, demonstration, practical workshop, artistic intervention and debate to demonstrate and probe the nature, impact and potential of the wireless Internet, mobile telecommunications and other radio-based technologies.

Future Wireless is part of the NODE.London autumn 05 season. This October the UK government holds a pan-European conference on how to increase official regulation and control of intellectual property, copyright and technology. In response, NODE.London is declaring this October an 'Open Season' on technology, media, culture, politics and art with a diverse and challenging series of events:

Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd October 2005, 11am-6pm
Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Road, London E14 7HA
Cost: £10 though concessions are available on request -
Nearest tubes: Limehouse/Westferry (DLR)

This event brings together practitioners and projects from the front lines of information infrastructure development to map out connections between Free Networks, Open Hardware, Free Media and Culture, Open Maps/Geodata, Open Civic Information and Community Currencies.

OPEN CONGRESS: Creativity and the public domain
Friday 7th Saturday 8th October 2005, 11am - 5pm
Tate Britain, Millbank London SW1P 4RG
Cost: £20 (£15 concessions).
Booking details: Tate booking: 020 7887 8888
Nearest tubes: Pimlico

Inspired by Free Software, which challenges conventional practices of authorship, ownership and distribution, this innovative congress explores the implications of those developments for art, visual culture and cultural production in general.

Taking place across two days, the Congress will be structured through three themes of Governance, Creativity and Knowledge; and an array of international and UK participants - artists, theorists, academics and activists - will shape Open Congress through presentations, discussion, workshops and events.

The Congress includes Cory Doctorow - from the EFF, Lawrence Liang - Alternative Law Foundation, Mackenzie Wark - A Hacker Manifesto, Johanna Gibson - Libre Society, Trebor Scholz - The Institute of Distributed Creativity, Tiziana Terranova, Talkaoke, and Wireless London among many others.

For more details visit the website:

In collaboration with Chelsea College of Art and Design, Node.l, Wireless London, Mute, and Tate Digital Programmes.

Initiated by Critical Practice at Chelsea College of Art and Design


Cybersalon moves into the second year of its residency programme at the Science Museum's Dana Centre - their flagship events wing, which opened to the public in November 2003. Cybersalon events at the Dana Centre facilitate public engagement with science and technology by using our unique talents and skills to find new ways of tackling hot topics, expressing publicly how the arts play an intrinsic part in science and human nature on every level.

The Cybersalon programme at the Science Museum's Dana Centre includes:


* Future Wireless conference - a day of presentation, demonstration, practical workshop, artistic intervention and debate to demonstrate and probe the nature, impact and potential of the wireless Internet, mobile telecommunications and other radio-based technologies. Future Wireless is the lastest in a series of collaborative events with Open Spectrum UK, a coalition of non-profit organisations engaged in community wireless networking and the advocacy of licence-exempt access to radio spectrum - as part of NODE.London's autumn '05 season;


Cybersalon: More details on the Future Wireless event here:




Event Structure

Future Wireless features a mix of three parallel strands of programming:


* Throughout the day, activists and developers from WSFII (World Summit on Free Information Infrastructures) will tell their 'stories from the front' - sharing insights and perspectives on actually building Free Information Infrastructures in communities around the world.
* A series of workshops will provide practical, hands-on introductions on how to build your own wireless node and use it to connect your locality to other free infrastructures such as the ‘Free Map’ and other local information services.


* Future Wireless workshop: a daytime workshop on the future of wireless communications, hosted by Open Spectrum UK, will explore key issues of technology, regulation, society and culture. This workshop follows our successful Wireless Utopias 05 experts panel event at the Dana Centre in May 2005 . This is the time to converse with one another, take stock of recent endeavours, and explore future wireless ecologies. Participants will include leading activists and developers from across the UK and London’s free networks and tactical media communities.
* Wireless Horizons Panel: an evening public debate exploring the social, cultural and political contours of a wireless future - presenting perspectives from leading international cultural commentators, researchers and artists.


* A programme of demonstrations and presentations will provide a meeting point between examples of community wireless networks, including a number of co-ops and use of innovative wireless mesh technologies that work, artistic projects that explore the potential of the technologies, and contemporary and innovative commercially led research and development of consumer products and services that utilise them.
* Through an ACE application, Cybersalon aims to support research and development projects by three artist groups – Taxi_onomy, SOMETH;NG and Troika - to develop critical and constructive interventions into the event programme that highlight the potential of a wireless future. These interventions will be designed, developed and delivered by the artists and will aim to facilitate communication and exchange between participants and visitors at the Dana Centre, remotely, and at the other NODE.London events throughout the course of the month.

Triggers for Discussion

The following questions provide some initial triggers:

* The Cybernetic wireless dream? How are wireless technologies changing our personal and social spaces – or how are our personal and social spaces shaping wireless technologies?
* Wireless utopia or dystopia? Has wireless technology liberated communication or revealed a darker, more dysfunctional side to our natures?
* Broadcast or “narrowcast”? Are we moving towards a telco-centric or a user-centric world of mobile wireless communications? Can we realise the promise of the Internet as the great agora - the conversation of the many-to-many – and create an open future of decentralized communication systems and user-generated content?
* Broadband - DIFM or DIY? (do-it-for-me or do-it-yourself?) Why should you build your own free wireless network and how do you do it?
* The Invisible Wealth of Nations? Should the radio spectrum be seen as a “market commodity” or a “national resource” and what is the future of wireless communications and the strategic prospects for utilising the radio spectrum?


* Future Wireless is part of a series of London-wide events under the NODE.London umbrella championing the lowering of barriers to ICT access and the promotion of Free Networks and Open Source principles and practices.
* Cybersalon as part of a coalition of agencies and networks including Open Spectrum UK, NODE.London, WSFII, Open Congress, Wireless London.
* This event will focus on the wider cultural impact and practical uses of wireless technologies - acting as a bridge linking WSFII's experimental and empirical approach to building Free Information Infrastructures with the Open Congress' two day discursive and experiential event at Tate Britain exploring Open Source Development themes in an Art context. (More details below in Background).


Other events in the NODE.London Autumn 05 season:

Monday, 26th - Fri 31st September: World Summit on Free Information Infrastructures Workshops ( workshops at Limehouse Town Hall: a week of informal gathering, discussion and workshops amongst free infrastructures pragmatists, leading up to the summit. During this week, Limehouse will become the focus for production of free geodata, free networks, open publishing materials and other experiments in peer-communications systems.

Saturday, 1st – Sunday, 2nd October - WSFII: The World Summit will be based at Limehouse, where test cases of free infrastructures will have been set up over the last week. The format is simple: a rolling programme of stories being told by WSFII delegates, personal 'tales from the front' as it were. At the same time, Free Infrastructures groups will be attending a programme of workshops scattered all over the building, where the public can get a direct experience of using, contributing to and participating in peer communications techniques and technologies.

Friday, 7th – Saturday, 8th October 2005: Open Congress ( - a group of artists, researchers and academics - some of whom are based at Chelsea College of Art and Design - who are working towards an Open Congress that seeks to understand how methodologies derived from Free/Libre and Open Source Software [FLOSS] production can be deployed by those working in the area of art, visual culture and cultural production in general. The events aims to explore how FLOSS inspired practices challenge the ruling paradigms of production and knowledge; particularly conventional practices of authorship, ownership and distribution.We aim to address these questions through an innovative form of ‘congress’ - which will itself be ‘open source’ in its form and structure. Open Congress will be held at Tate Britain, Millbank, London.


The following is a basic outline. Full details of speakers and session outlines will be available shortly.

All speakers are confirmed but timings are subject to change at any time.

The £5 registration fee includes a £4 voucher for use at the Dana Centre which is open from 10am-7pm for food and refreshments.

The Dana Centre has free Wireless Internet access – please bring your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled laptops and handhelds to contribute to the proceedings throughout the day.

10.30-11.30am Coffee & Registration

11.30-12.00am Welcome & Introduction
Lewis Sykes (Cybersalon) & John Wilson (OpenSpectrumUK)

12.00 am -1.15pm

Session 1

practical.wireless &
WSFII 'Stories From The Front'
Laura Forlano & Dana Spiegel (
Mike Lenczner (

Wireless London practical workshops

PORTA2030 working session

d.lounge &
Steve Symons ( – Aura
Marc Tuters - DSUP
Beatrice Gibson & Celine Conderelli - Taxi_onomy


Hotspot 1
Sophia Drakopulou (Middlesex University/Cybersalon) - Location Based Technologies and Wireless Networks

1.45-2.45pm Break


Session 2

WSFII 'Stories From The Front'
Tomas Krag (

Wireless London practical workshops

d.lounge &
Dooeun Choi - Art Centre Nabi
Adam Hyde (radioqualia) - mobicasting
Sebastien Noel (Troika) - The Media Weapon Project

Daniel Heery (Alston Cybermoor) - Community, Broadband and Narrowcast
Barry Eaton (Anglesey Connected) - Building a Regional Broadband Network


Hotspot 2
Tapio Mäkelä (HIIT/m-cult) - Wireless Fascination, Cybernetics Revisited

4.30-5.00pm Break


SuperNode Keynotes
Ian Robinson (Head of Emerging Products, BT) - BT and WiMax
Peter Cochrane (ConceptLabs) - Future Wireless? Technology, Regulation & Society
Giles Lane (Proboscis) - Social Tapestries: Public authoring in the Wireless City

6.00-7.00pm Break


Wireless Horizons Panel Session 1
Presentations & Audience Q&A
Provocateur: John Wilson (OpenSpectrumUK)
Panelists: Dooeun Choi (Arts Center Nabi), Peter Cochrane (Concept Labs), Robert Horvitz (Open Spectrum Foundation), Adam Hyde (radioqualia), Tapio Mäkelä (HIIT/m-cult), Francis McKee (Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art), Ian Robinson (BT), Marc Tuters (University South California)

8.15-8.45pm Break

8.45-10.00pm Wireless Horizons Panel Session 2
Presentations & Audience Q&A

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Intel to supply chips for RIM's new BlackBerry | Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:50 PM ET11
By Jeffrey Hodgson and Sinead Carew

TORONTO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp. will supply the chips powering upcoming models of Research In Motion Ltd.'s Blackberry mobile e-mail device, the two firms said on Tuesday.

The long-rumored partnership will see RIM use Intel's PXA9xx processor, codenamed "Hermon," for its next-generation BlackBerry, which will run on high-speed Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) networks.

EDGE is a mobile network standard that lets users connect to the Internet and send and receive data with broadband-like speed.

The two companies said they will also work together to "drive new wireless technologies and handset features."

"The excitement of these devices based on (Intel's chips) is going to help us expand into new markets," RIM Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis told a news conference in San Francisco.

The chief executive said users would notice a "snappy performance" on the new device, due out later this year, because of its increased browser speed and improved imaging.

"It will appear instantaneous in many ways," he said.

Intel's chips will also allow Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM to add features to the BlackBerry without compromising battery life, he said. A long battery life is among RIM's top design requirements.

Launched in 1999 and known for its distinctive thumb-operated keyboard, the original BlackBerry helped RIM carve out a lucrative niche by popularizing wireless e-mailing with corporate users.

But RIM is facing fierce competition from much larger players that want in on the fast-growing wireless e-mail sector.

Microsoft Corp. and its longtime rival in the mobile software market, Palm Inc., introduced a jointly developed cell phone on Monday that targets the corporate users who are RIM's core customer base.

Motorola Inc. and Finland's Nokia are also stepping up their wireless e-mail offerings.

Rumors first surfaced in July about a partnership between RIM and Intel.

RIM's stock jumped about 5 percent in August after reports that it would exchange technology with Intel, using battery-saving technology from the world's largest chip maker, and supporting its high-speed wireless technology WiMAX.

RIM's stock pared early gains on Tuesday to fall 33 cents to $77.26 on Nasdaq on volume of more than 3.5 million. In Toronto, the stock fell 5 Canadian cents to C$91.

(With additional reporting by Tarmo Virki in Helsinki)

Source here

O2 to launch i-mode in UK next week

 | By Staff | 27-09-2005 10:55 AM

Mobile operator O2 has announced it will launch its i-mode mobile Internet service in the UK from October 1.

The service, originally developed six years ago by Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo, will be available in O2 stores on both its GPRS and UMTS networks to pay-as-you-go and contract subscribers.

The new service aims to offer an alternative to existing mobile Web platforms such as Vodafone Live! and O2 Active.

Sites available at launch include Egg,, Channel 4, BAA, Financial Times, Interflora, Sky Sports and News, Norwich Union, the National Lottery, FHM,, The Times Online, Maxim, Sony BMG, GMTV, India FM, Streetmap, Konami, Sega and Real Networks.

Browsing and downloading is priced at £3 per megabyte with each megabyte equal to approximately 100 pages This is unlike current mobile portals where customers pay for each download individually.

Matthew Key, chief executive of O2 UK, said: 'The i-mode experience in other countries shows that this new depth and breadth of content, combined with the speed and simplicity of use, leads to far higher customer usage.

“For example, research has shown that seven out of 10 people who buy i-mode handsets use the service, compared to just three who use the available WAP services on their handset, and those users access four times more content,” Key added.

At launch, the service will be supported by four i-mode enabled handsets and an introductory offer of free content browsing until year-end and free MMS and email usage until April 2006.

The i-mode handsets include the Samsung S500i for £249,the NEC 411i for £99, the NEC 343i for £79, and the Samsung Z320i UMTS phone for £279.

To access I-mode, users push the i button on the handset to navigate straight to O2's i-mode browser, giving instant 'always-on' access.

The handsets also provide dedicated buttons that enable users to quickly navigate back and forth between i-mode pages without delays.

O2 UK will sell the i-mode service and handsets at its 300 retail stores in the UK, the O2 online shop ( and through retailers like P4U, Carphone Warehouse, The Link, Argos, Woolworths and other channels.

To promote the service, from 10 October mysterious yellow ‘i-mode’ posters will feature in high profile locations around the UK.

The launch will be followed by the introduction of i-mode by O2 Ireland next week, while the German operation will launch in the first half of next year.

Source here

Sunday, September 25, 2005

NEC launches world's thinnest foldaway phones
 | Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:10 PM ET15

TOKYO (Reuters) - NEC Corp. (6701.T: Quote, Profile, Research) has launched the world's thinnest foldaway mobile phone in Hong Kong in a bid to underscore its technological prowess, the Japanese electronics conglomerate said on Wednesday.

The new cell phone, which is 11.9 mm thick when folded and slimmer than an AA battery, is equipped with a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, 1.9-inch color display and music player function, the Tokyo-based company said.

Following the Hong Kong launch in mid-September, NEC plans to offer the mobile phone soon in Italy, Australia, Russia and China.

NEC declined to comment on expected retail prices or sales targets for the new phone, which works on GSM/GPRS networks, widely used in Europe and Asia.

NEC, a pioneer of high-speed third-generation phones, is the largest cell phone supplier in Japan's domestic market with a 16.2 percent share in the first half of 2005, according to research firm Gartner.

But it holds only a small percentage of the global market, lagging far behind overseas giants such as Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Motorola Inc. (MOT.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Shares in NEC closed up 0.97 percent at 623 yen, outperforming the Tokyo stock market's electric machinery index (.IELEC.T: Quote, Profile, Research), which gained 0.53 percent.

Source here

Games on cellphones becoming serious business | Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:12 PM ET8
By Tarmo Virki

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Since graduating from university Maija Parjanen has mostly been paid to play games.

Eight hours a day, five days a week, she beeps and clicks her way through the working day, testing new mobile phone games for Helsinki gaming studio Sumea.

"When my friends ask me what games to buy, I usually suggest one-button games, which can be played well even on cheaper phone models," said the 27-year-old in an office much like any other in the Finnish capital's high-tech district Ruoholahti.

Small screens and limited computing power restrict how fancy mobile phone games can be, but customers want them, either already on their new phones or to download -- and they are willing to pay for the privilege.

The increasing demand has grabbed the attention of conglomerates seeking growth prospects. In order to keep ahead, games manufacturers like mobile game studios and boutique firms have started merging to reach the scale needed to meet demand.

Sumea was bought by U.S. firm Digital Chocolate last year, the same year the mobile phone games market passed the sales milestone of $1 billion.

Industry analysts expect average annual growth of at least 50 percent for the next five years.

"After the market passed the $1 billion mark it is clearly being noticed more ... Everybody wants to get into this market in the early phase," said Matti Airas, chief executive of Finnish gaming firm Fathammer.

Airas expected the market to consolidate over the next 6 to 18 months. "In 18 months entering this market will be very expensive," he said.


Groups like Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Time Warner Inc. (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are lining up for a share of the new growth market.

Media group Time Warner invested $7.5 million last month in privately held Glu Mobile, which was born only last December when gaming firm Sorrent Inc. bought rival Macrospace Ltd.

Video game firms Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and THQ Inc. (THQI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) have also entered the business as growth in their traditional market has slowed. They are now among the biggest cellphone gaming firms.

Merger and takeover deals have grown bigger as the market has increased. Jamdat Mobile Inc. (JMDT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) paid $137 million for Blue Lava Wireless with its 15-year global license for Tetris, which industry players say has totted up more sales than any other mobile phone game.

While Tetris is the most popular game to buy, Nokia's (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) Snake, pre-installed on about 250 million phones from the world's top handset maker, is the most widely distributed.

As companies cozy up to gain market share, they may want to reflect on the common link between success stories like Tetris and Snake -- simplicity.

"The hit will always be some very simple, retro-style game. It has to be something the consumer would be able to enter very easily," said Juha Ruskola, head of European mobile gaming operations at RealNetworks Inc (RNWK.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

The U.S. Internet media software group, known for its RealPlayer software, bought Finnish mobile games firm Mr. Goodliving earlier this year in a $15 million deal.


Ilkka Paananen, head of European operations at Digital Chocolate, agreed that simple games would work best.

"It is important for the sector not to fall into the same trap (as the video) console games industry ... where the audiovisual effects surpass anything else," he said.

"If you're really interested in the Lord of the Rings, please go to the movies."

Vesa-Pekka Kirsi, European head of games publishing at Nokia, said the rules of the mobile gaming industry differ from consoles, where players can sit at their screens for hours.

"The mobile phone game has to be quick-in, quick-out," Kirsi said. "Users are not expecting you to be able to play on your mobile phone like you play on your PC."

Research firm IDC said recently that most mobile gamers want short bursts of entertainment, with three out of four cellphone players active for less than 15 minutes at a time.

"It's a quick way to step out of the environment," said full-time player Parjanen.

Industry players agree the most successful games will be designed to be played anywhere, using just one thumb.

Parjanen said that in addition to office work, she also likes to play video games at home -- but only on a console.

"I do not like to mix work and pleasure," she said.

Source here

Music biz explores wireless frontier | Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:30 AM ET14 | By Antony Bruno

SAN FRANCISCO (Billboard) - And so it begins. Wireless operators and record companies are starting to let mobile subscribers buy and download full songs over wireless networks directly to mobile phones capable of storing and playing music.

As a big first step, Apple Computer and Motorola have partnered to create an iTunes-compatible mobile phone, dubbed the ROKR, capable of storing 100 songs and currently offered by Cingular.

Will the result revolutionize both industries or just be another wireless hype machine met with tepid response and consumer apathy?

"We're heading into areas where there is no market research," says Andrew Seybold, a veteran wireless industry consultant. "The only way we're going to find out what consumers will buy is to try various things and see what sticks."

The opportunity is clear. There are 180 million mobile phones in the United States, most of which can be used to access the Internet and buy products with charges added to the user's monthly phone bill.

The result is an on-demand, impulse-buy capability accessible to all age ranges that the still-struggling music industry sees as a lifeline out of the doldrums. Wireless carriers, meanwhile, hope access to music will be the application that compels subscribers to migrate to the new high-speed networks they have spent billions on developing.


Research group IDC expects 1.8 million U.S. wireless subscribers to download music wirelessly by the end of the year once carriers launch their stores. It forecasts the market will grow to 50 million users and $1.2 billion by 2009.

Yet for all the opportunity, fully realizing it requires solving significant challenges, which is expected to take several years.

The leading question is cost. By all accounts, downloading a song to a mobile phone will cost twice the typical rate of 99 cents online. For many, this is a doomed strategy.

"To pay double or treble the amount of what you would be paying for the same track online is not going to receive the traction they're looking for," says Nick Holland, an analyst at Pyramid Research. "They will probably start off with a price point that is high and then discount it quickly as they realize that demand is not as anticipated."

Record labels argue that music accessed wirelessly carries greater value than music accessed online, where the 99 cent per-track rate was set arbitrarily because of the threat of free peer-to-peer file sharing.

In addition, wireless consumers have been conditioned to pay for content, as reflected in the $2 or more they pay for master ringtones.

Wireless operators admit the price issue is something that they must overcome, but they're betting subscribers will find the convenience of mobility worth the extra cost.

"There is a premium that a customer is willing to pay for the spontaneity of being able to download over the air a song right there on your mobile phone," says Paul Reddick, VP of business development and innovation management for Sprint Nextel.


The main point that record labels and wireless carriers stress is that the wireless music experience is not meant to be compared with the online music experience, in either price or service. To get music fans to buy music wirelessly and pay more to do so, mobile music must be sold differently than ringtones and online downloads.

"Just thinking of mobile as a portable version of online is going to take you down the wrong path," says Michael Nash, senior VP of Internet strategy for Warner Music Group. "We really have to think carefully about what consumers want, what's unique about mobile and where we're going to create propositions of value."

The leading school of thought in this regard is to treat wireless as an early-release platform on which fans can get early access to new hit music that otherwise is unavailable elsewhere. Another is to use mobile distribution to test-market emerging acts by releasing their music via mobile before placing larger bets on physical distribution via CDs.

The concern, however, is that a high cost of entry teamed with an unfamiliar interface and confusion over how the service works will keep wireless subscribers from experimenting with wireless music services.

"There's a lot of silliness going on between carriers and the labels," Yahoo Music VP and general manager David Goldberg says. "They're being overly greedy about things. Let's figure out how to build the market and then worry about how to split the money up."


Ease of use is the albatross that has weighed down many new wireless initiatives in the past. Wireless operators are known for making bold claims about new services that ultimately fall flat because consumers do not understand how to use them. But carriers also have great resiliency, often relaunching services several times until they find the right fit.

"Most of the stuff they've tried out of the box (has) not been very successful," Seybold says. "Look at the first attempt to get on the Internet. That was a terrible disaster."

The music industry is not one to turn to for help either. Labels completely missed the boat on the digital revolution by ignoring P2P file-trading services that music fans were flocking to behind their backs.

The biggest point of contention is interoperability: Will a track downloaded to a phone be accessible on the PC as well and vice versa? The early solution is to operate what is called a "dual-delivery service." For each wireless song purchase, two files are sent: one formatted for over-the-air delivery to the phone and another formatted for Internet delivery to the user's computer.

While this satisfies the labels' security concerns, it could prove a difficult concept to communicate to customers. It also limits the ability of users to share music wirelessly with their friends. At least initially, only wireless subscribers using the same carrier will be able to share music clips.

The main reason wireless text messaging was so slow to develop in the United States was because of the same lack of inter-carrier interoperability. Once users could send text messages to their friends on other networks, usage skyrocketed.

The idea of buying music digitally remains on the periphery of consumer consciousness, and doing it with wireless devices is even more so. As such, carriers and labels have a marketing and education job to do if this market is going to flourish.

The prevailing view is that the music industry needs wireless music to work more than wireless carriers do, and as such should be doing the legwork to promote these services.

"We should take more responsibility for the future of our business," Universal Music Mobile VP and general manager Rio Caraeff says. "We need to start putting our money where our mouth is and start marketing this. (Carriers) are not good at music merchandising. You don't want Con Edison marketing 'Desperate Housewives.'"


Source here

Camera phone enters new creative territory | Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:24 AM ET6

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Billboard has learned that rock band the Presidents of the United States of America shot its latest video using only mobile phone cameras.

The video for the track "Some Postman," culled from the band's last studio album, "Love Everybody," was filmed in Seattle in just one day using a variety of Sony-Ericsson mobile video phones.

Director Grant Marshall of Film Headquarters said he had spent 18 months looking for a band willing to go along with the mobile-only film concept.

The band currently is playing limited U.S. dates and is planning an Australian tour in October.


Source here

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ofcom/ Communications Market August 2005 Quarterly Update

Ofcom publishes the Communications Market August 2005 Quarterly Update

Ofcom today publishes the Communications Market Quarterly Update covering the latest data available to 31 March 2005.

The Update is a quarterly supplement to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2005, published in July 2005. It aims to give a comprehensive picture of the radio, telecommunications and television sectors, with a round-up of recent developments.

The Update shows that:

* Local commercial radio listening fell to a new low share of 33.9% in Q1 2005 (although there was a rise in Q2 2005)
* Emap’s acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings would mean the creation of the second largest commercial radio group in the UK by number of stations, and would bolster Emap’s position as second largest group by listening hours
* The number of community radio licences awarded has quadrupled from five to 20


* Total retail telecoms revenues in the 12 months to March 2005 were £36.6 billion, 5% higher than over the previous 12 month period
* Mobile spend in Q1 2005, at £3.3 billion, is some 17% higher than the same quarter in 2004
* BT Fusion, which launched a commercial trial in June 2005, is the first demonstration of fixed-mobile convergence
* Over 35% of UK fixed lines are now connected to non-BT service providers


* Freeview has now reached over 5 million households
* 30% of all TV viewing was to multichannel services in June 2005
* Shopping, interactive services and pay-per-view accounted for a fifth of digital channels’ revenues in 2004
* Direct consumer spending now accounts for over 60% of all TV industry revenues, with advertising accounting for less than 40%

Source here

Friday, September 23, 2005

Future Wireless Networks and Services & Radio Spectrum Policy Workshop (FWuNS-SPoRT)

A Workshop organised by ENST Paris, CAL-IT2 University of California, San Diego, University of Warwick, 28-30 April 2004 at ENST Paris

Workshop Coordination
Prof. Gérard POGOREL , Prof. Peter COWHEY , Prof. Martin CAVE

Message from the Conference Organisers
April 30, 2004
You will find here the presentations made by the speakers at the Future Wireless Networks and Services and Radio Spectrum Policy (FwUNS-SPoRT) held at ENST in Paris on April 28-30, 2004.

This research had been initiated at a joint California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (CAL-IT2)-ENST Workshop held at University of California San Diego in May 2002.

At a moment when the E.U. countries and the U.S.A. are engaged in major efforts in this area, the intent of ENST Paris, CAL-IT2, and University of Warwick has been to invite actors from Government institutions, the industry, and the academia to debate on how to shape a future radio spectrum management policy in a scientific, industrial, and international perspective.

This Workshop illustrates our coordinated effort at assessing the feasibility and impacts of new wireless technologies and how these technologies will affect the supply of wireless networks and services and improve the usage, planning and management of the radio spectrum. We have looked at the different paths of North America, Europe and Asia and at links to information technology policy in general.

The participants have expressed their appreciation of this event as a landmark moment in the promotion of a better reciprocal knowledge and understanding of viewpoints on both side of the Atlantic and internationally, which was precisely our collective purpose.

Although further efforts are evidently needed, we have helped coming up with policies which are more adapted to the markets and citizens .

The contributions have addressed the following issues:

1/ How do Future Wireless Technologies combine to allow for a new generation of networks ?

2/ What are the impacts of Future Wireless Technologies on the nature and provision of communications services ?

2/ Correlatively, and consequently, what are the most appropriate radio spectrum management policiesn ?

Professor at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, Paris

School of Pacific and International Studies
University of California, San Diego

Martin CAVE
Director, Centre for Management under Regulation
Warwick Business School
University of Warwick

Source here

Technologies for the Wireless Future: : Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)
Rahim Tafazolli (Editor)
October 2004

See the future through the vision of the Wireless World Research Forum.

Technologies for the Wireless Future, the result of pioneering cooperative work of many academic and industrial researchers from WWRF, provides a wide picture of the research challenges for the future wireless world. Despite much emphasis on hard technology, the user is certainly not forgotten as this book provides an all-encompassing treatment of future wireless technologies ranging from user centred design processes and I-centric communications to end-to-end econfigurability and short-range wireless networks. The content will have a wide-ranging appeal to engineers, researchers, managers and students with interest on future of wireless.

"An important publication that highlights the significance of WWRF to the wireless industry. Rarely has one publication covered the whole spectrum of future wireless technologies from human sciences to radio interface technologies, highlighting the research work done both in academic and the business worlds." Tero Ojanperä, Senior Vice President, Head of Nokia Research Center

"Provides an excellent overview about the future development of mobile and wireless communication. Starting from a user centric approach and the service infrastructure, a reference model and roadmaps are being built up. This book presents useful and necessary information to all, who are involved in research and development, strategy and standardisation activities towards future systems." Anton Schaaf, CTO and Member of the executive board Siemens COM

"The WWRF should be commended for taking an approach that defines technology requirements from a user perspective. This publication makes an important contribution to defining the technologies that will be most relevant to future wireless communications." Padmasree Warrior, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer Motorola

Source here

++ Related

An introduction to the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)
Harald Johansen

Third generation mobile systems are currently being rolled out in bulk. Given the amount of money at stake or already invested, these systems are destined to succeed on an even larger scale than current second-generation mobile telecommunication systems like GSM.

Second generation systems have succeeded due to their ability to meet demands for mobility of voice, global availability and roaming as well as simple messaging. In essence, third generation mobile technologies address the essential need of being in permanent contact with the Internet and its information as well as e-commerce transaction services. It is expected that mobile access will outnumber fixed access to the Internet from as early as 2003.

Questions for the future

How will this technological revolution continue? As history has shown, mobile systems pass through a paradigm shift roughly in a ten-year cycle. This implies that now is the time to consider the wireless world of 2010. There are a few key questions concerning this that we can already raise:

* What essential demand will a wireless world address?
* How can wireless communication become universally available to both people and machines?
* How can technological advances be combined in a consistent manner?
* What business models will drive a future wireless world?

These and other questions are currently being discussed by industry partners. Finding answers requires substantial research and consultation amongst industry partners.

Collaborating on wireless visions

Driven by the good experiences from the collaboration in European RTD programmes Alcatel, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens announced the creation of the "Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)" in December 2000. Later Motorola joined the initiative as a founding member. The objective of the forum is to formulate visions on strategic future research directions in the wireless field amongst industry partners and academia, and to generate, identify, and promote research areas and technical trends for mobile and wireless system technologies. The timeframe for reflection is in the range of 10 to 15 years from now on.

WWRF intends to constructively contribute to the work done within the UMTS Forum, ETSI, 3GPP, IETF, ITU and other relevant bodies regarding commercial and standardisation issues derived from the research. Liaisons are now being established to these bodies. The forum is open to all interested parties.

At the time of the first meeting of the WWRF’s General Assembly, held in Stockholm on 17-18 September 2001, the forum had 31 full members and 9 sponsoring members. In the meantime, ie up to November 2001, the number of members has increased to more than 50. Members now include among others, network operators Vodafone, France Télécom, Telefonica, the Finnet Group, Sonera, CELLCOM Israel Ltd and AT&T Wireless Services. WWRF would welcome even more operators.

"Book of Visions"

Conceptually, the WWRF is a further development of work done during 2000 in the Wireless Strategic Initiative (WSI) a project under the IST Programme of the European Union. The WSI project organised and invited a panel of international experts to develop first concepts for future wireless communications. The result of this panel was a publication titled "The Book of Visions 2000", which set out some of the headlines to be discussed in the years to come. WWRF has continued this work and a comprehensive "Book of Visions 2001" was presented at a workshop in Paris on 6-7 December 2001.

Co-operation between WWRF and EURESCOM

EURESCOM decided to become a member of WWRF, because of its large interest in the work of the forum and co-operation between the two bodies has already started. Experts from the WWRF were invited to a workshop in Oslo, organised by EURESCOM study P1145 "4G – the next frontier", to present their views and discuss them with partners from network operators. Study P1145 was set up to identify initiatives that will have an impact on the development of next generation mobile systems and assess them from a network operator and service provider perspective. Furthermore, the study aims to paint a broad picture of customer needs and preferences with respect to beyond 3G (B3G) networks and make a first classification of service capabilities to be foreseen by a B3G system, thereby identifying the benefits of such services to the customers. A further objective of the study was to outline a vision from the perspective of network operators and service providers on a seamless evolution of mobile systems beyond 3G, establishing a potential roadmap for the evolution of beyond 3G systems.

Study P1145 produced several project proposals for the Work Programme 2002. Three of them are likely to be included in the programme. They are dealing with the telco vision of systems beyond 3G, wireless home networking and the business potential and convergence benefits from systems beyond 3G. These projects reflect the high potential for fruitful co-operation between WWRF and EURESCOM.

Source here

100Mbps broadband a reality by 2007

Tom Espiner | ZDNet UK | September 23, 2005, 16:55 BST

Telewest is starting its upgrade with a 10Mbps rollout in Scotland, with up to 100Mbps promised for London by the end of next year

Telewest is looking at technology which could eventually boost broadband speeds up to 100Mbps, the company announced today.

The cable company claims it will achieve this hundred-fold increase in broadband speeds, compared with the average connection today, thanks to its investment in Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) standards.

Telewest is hoping to launch a service based on DOCSIS 3 middleware — which will allow download speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2006.

In the meantime, the telco also announced that it has begun rolling out a 10Mbps broadband service in the UK. Initially only available in Scotland, the 10Mbps service should reach London at the beginning of next year with the rest of the country following over the next 12 months.

Telewest is upgrading all of its blueyonder broadband packages, with the 'elite' service being boosted from 4Mbps to 10Mbps. The company also announced the price of this service has dropped from £50 per month to £35 per month.

DOCSIS3 works over hybrid fibre co-axial cable, but Telewest is also planning to upgrade its Ethernet service to allow users to plug Ethernet cable straight into the back of a computer without the need of a modem.

UK Online and Be are planning to roll out 24Mbps ADSL2+ services later this autumn in London, potentially stealing a march on BT's planned 8Mbps offering. Telewest plans to be competitive by offering 10Mbps purely for Internet access, and running digital TV and video-on-demand services over a different part of their cable network.

"ADSL2+ is really being hyped at the moment, but a lot of the bandwidth on their cables will be taken up by IPTV. We offer true digital TV over our cable network already, which means we can offer 10Mbps of pure Internet surfing." a spokesman for Telewest said.

Britain is rapidly catching up on Europe and America in terms of broadband technology, according to Telewest. "Britain was the last country to launch broadband, but our take-up rate is faster than both the US and France. We're playing catch up, but we're catching up fast," the spokesman said.

Source here

Broadband use in UK surpasses US levels | September 22, 2005
By Elizabeth Judge, Telecoms Correspondent

THE proportion of British households with broadband internet access has leapfrogged American levels for the first time, marking a milestone in the take-up of the high-speed service here.

Research from Point Topic, the broadband research firm, revealed yesterday that in the second quarter of this year broadband penetration in Britain overtook that of the US. There were 14 broadband connections per 100 Britons, compared with 13 in the US.

Although the gap is narrow, the fact that Britain has overtaken the US, traditionally the home of internet and technology developments, was welcomed as highly symbolic by industry experts.

A spokesman for Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, said: “Broadband in the UK is proving to be one of the most significant and rapidly growing technologies of recent times.”

Analysts said the increasing uptake of broadband in Britain was down to several factors, including more competition, cheaper prices and greater investment by telecoms and internet companies in the technology. More people were also starting to understand the advantages that broadband offered over dial-up services.

Blair Wadman, of uSwitch, which compares prices of internet and telecoms products, said: “Our perceptions of the US are of it being ahead of us in many technological developments including broadband. But in the UK the availability of broadband has increased substantially so that everyone can have it if they want it and, in recent years, the increased number of suppliers has driven down prices.”

In Britain broadband take-up was initially slow. But, according to Ofcom, about 250,000 households are now signing up for the “always-on” internet access each month — the equivalent of a city the size of Sheffield.

There are now more than 100 suppliers of broadband in Britain including players such as NTL, Telewest and BT. New players are still entering the market and speeds are constantly being upgraded.

Be, a Swedish internet start-up, recently became the first player in Britain to provide 24 megabits per second (Mbps), “next generation” broadband.

Until early last year the average price for a 1 Mbps broadband connection in Britain was £35, now it is less than £20.

Tim Johnson, of Point Topic, said the US broadband market was now less competitive than Britain’s. “Although the US telecoms players face strong competition from cable companies, they do not face the same fierce level of competition from resellers and local loop unbundling that there is in the UK,” he said.

Despite Britain’s success, it is ranked only fourth in broadband density across the group of G7 countries, the research found, behind Canada, Japan and France.

Source here

++ Related | Broadband Growth Narrows In U.S.
Lisa DiCarlo, 09.21.05, 4:10 PM ET

NEW YORK - After years of double-digit growth, the rate at which Americans are switching to high-speed broadband Internet connections is slowing considerably and could slow further. That the U.S. is a laggard in broadband penetration--the country ranks 12th globally--could have implications for America's social and economic standing in the world.

Lack of growth may also hamper efforts by content owners (music, movies, television and videogames) to digitally distribute their product.

The findings of the study will be presented Saturday at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference in Washington, D.C., by John B. Horrigan, research director of the Pew Internet Project. In May 2005, 53% of home Internet users had high-speed connections, up from 50% in December 2004. It's an increase that Pew deems "small" and "statistically insignificant" and one that "compares unfavorably" with the double-digit growth rates of previous years.

Worse, there is less pent-up demand for broadband among dial-up users, and the potential pool of high-speed subscribers is either holding steady or declining. Indeed, this scenario is evidenced by new-subscriber growth statistics among some companies. Comcast (nasdaq: CMCSA - news - people ), the largest cable operator in the U.S., reported 297,000 new broadband subscribers for the quarter ended June 30, down from 327,000 new subscribers a year earlier.

In its second quarter ended in June, Verizon Communications (nyse: VZ - news - people ) added 278,000 high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) subscribers, down from 280,000 new adds last year.

According to Pew, 32% of American adults don't use the Internet, a figure that has held steady in the first half of 2005. Just 23% of new Internet users who have come online in the last year have done so via broadband.

Broadband Subscribers Per 100 Residents

Country DSL Cable Other Total
Korea 14.1 8.5 2.2 24.9
Netherlands 11.6 7.4 0 19.0
Denmark 11.8 5.5 1.6 18.8
Iceland 17.4 0.2 0.7 18.3
Canada 8.6 9.1 0.1 17.8
Switzerland 10.8 6.5 0 17.3
Belgium 9.6 6.0 0 15.6
Japan 10.4 2.3 2.3 15.0
Finland 11.2 2.2 1.6 15.0
Norway 12.3 2.0 0.5 14.9
Sweden 9.5 2.6 2.5 14.5
United States 4.7 7.4 0.9 13.0
France 9.9 0.7 0 10.6
United Kingdom 7.1 3.4 0 10.5
Austria 5.5 4.7 0.1 10.2
Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, December 2004

There is a host of reasons for the slowdown in high-speed Internet subscribers.

Price may be just one of many factors. The average monthly cost of a high-speed connection, according to Pew, is $39, compared with $38 three years ago. In an attempt to lure the millions of high-speed holdouts, Verizon and SBC Communications (nyse: SBC - news - people ) last month announced $14.95 monthly DSL plans.

Their services technically qualify as broadband under U.S. Federal Communications Commission standards, but the speed, 768 kilobits per second, is much slower than standard DSL or cable service.

Horrigan says a bigger hurdle to overcome is user apathy and a lack of involvement with the Internet. "A big issue is that dial-up users today are less-ardent Web users than they were three years ago," says Horrigan. He says dial-up users are experimenting less, doing less online and spending less time online than they did three years ago, so they don't see the benefit of higher-speed connections.

"The profile of experienced Internet users is different because they're not as fervent in their Internet use, [which] explains why further growth in the broadband population is likely to slow down," Horrigan says.

Today's dial-up users are also less educated, older and have lower incomes than dial-up users surveyed several years ago.

Geographic sprawl may be another reason why more Americans aren't using broadband, as opposed to more densely populated and smaller countries. And in contrast with some countries, in the U.S. broadband access is not subsidized by federal, state or local governments. This will likely become a more controversial point as activists and politicians assess the economic and social costs of being disconnected.

Still, for those who are online, and particularly for those using broadband, the Internet is a part of everyday life. The Internet "is weaved into the social fabric of the country," says Horrigan, who points to e-government, health care and emergency information, and e-mail as some of the "social goods" that strengthen the fabric.

For politicians, championing subsidized high-speed access (whether wireless or wired) may be a way to court constituents and turn Internet access into a sort of public utility. But they will likely butt heads with free-market proponents who dislike using taxpayer funds for such things, while noting an inequity: The private sector lacks access to cheap capital like municipal bonds.

All this is not to say that broadband hasn't enjoyed a steep adoption curve. Uptake in the U.S. has been faster than that for color televisions and cell phones. Today, 66 million Americans use broadband, up from 5 million in 2000.

But Horrigan notes that the slowdown in growth is not going to rectify itself, and that "policy experimentation," perhaps in the form of a tweaking of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, may be necessary to kick-start growth.

Source here

FUTURE WIRELESS: practical.discourse.creative @ the Science Museum's Dana Centre, London, 4 October 2005

FUTURE WIRELESS:practical.discourse.creative - Speakers confirmed for the discourse.wireless track (posted 23 September 2005)

At the Science Museum's Dana Centre, London, 4 October 2005

See the Cybersalon website for event details here

Future Wireless conference - a day of presentation, demonstration, practical workshop, artistic intervention and debate to demonstrate and probe the nature, impact and potential of the wireless Internet, mobile telecommunications and other radio-based technologies. Future Wireless is the lastest in a series of collaborative events with Open Spectrum UK, a coalition of non-profit organisations engaged in community wireless networking and the advocacy of licence-exempt access to radio spectrum - as part of NODE.London's autumn '05 season

Speakers are now confirmed for the discourse.wireless track:


* John Wilson, Open Spectrum UK

* Daniel Heery (Alston Cybermoor) - Community, Broadband and Narrowcast
* Barry Eaton (Anglesey Connected) - Building a Regional Broadband Network
* Ian Robinson (Head of Emerging Products, BT) - BT and WiMax
* Peter Cochrane (ConceptLabs) - Future Wireless? Technology, Regulation, Society

Emerging wireless broadband technologies have been deployed in the UK in recent years as an innovative first mile/last mile solution for remote and rural areas. And with the current hype surrounding WiMax, wireless is poised to transform the coverage map across all geographies to deliver the vision of “Broadband Britian”. Join our experts in this unique reflection upon where we've come from and where we're heading on the "Broadband Britain" journey.

* We focus upon three leading UK wireless broadband deployments at the community, regional and national levels, to explore wireless and the evolving communications landscape ecology.

* We also engage global expertise to explore our Future Wireless theme, as BT are a member of the WiMax consortium and Peter Cochrane is a celebrated technology futurist (and former CTO for BT).

* Join us in our discursive enquiry into such issues as Wireless Broadband- DIY or DIFM? (do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me?) Broadcast or narrowcast? Spectrum, The Invisible Wealth of Nations?

++ Further
Open Spectrum UK website here
Cybersalon- event website here

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Engineering BT to 21CN

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK and Dan Ilett of
Special to ZDNet UK
September 22, 2005, 15:00 BST

Trials are starting in Cardiff, but is the switch going to be worth it?

'Innovation' is a word that Matt Bross, CTO of BT, is fond of bandying around when talking about BT's strategy. But is it just an abstract noun he likes to pump out alongside PowerPoint presentations or is there some weight behind his words?

Bross, appointed to BT in 2002 when he moved from US-based Williams Communications, is leading the nationwide 21st Century Network (21CN) project, in which BT will replace copper circuit-switched networks with a single IP-based core infrastructure. The project is expected to take five years to complete and will cost £10bn.

Trials are currently underway in Cardiff, where a huge migration will see 350,000 lines in the city transferred to the new IP-based network.

We recently caught up with Bross at BT's headquarters.

Why did you choose Cardiff?
We chose it for several really good reasons — namely the innovation driving into Cardiff. The Welsh Development Agency and the ecosystem they have developed make it somewhere that trials of this scale have the highest chance of success.

The Welsh understand that communications is an important part of an economy. They have been very productive in saying they will work with us on this. We looked at 23 [criteria] in the metro. [Cardiff] has a very good cross-section of customers. It's a good environment for what we are doing.

Other telcos seem to be watching the 21CN with baited breath. Would you agree that this makes the UK a guinea pig for the world?
If you look at the 21CN, all of the elements that we are doing can be seen in other domains. We are just bringing them together in the UK to make one end-to-end product. We will collect these from the multiple service networks. There are examples of this but not at this scale. What we are doing is absolutely the right thing for the UK. It will bring the world the best innovations.

It's been de-risked by the trials and where elements have been carried out in other countries. I think BT's leadership role in this is unequal. I think it's the human element of this that makes it the most formidable of its kind. These are the things that most operators have challenges with.

Is BT gearing up to become a media company as well?
I think [BT] has moved from being a communications company to a service company and now is moving to an innovation company.

Will operators shift to virtual networks hosted by BT as a result of the 21CN?
BT through our wholesale business supports a significant number of networks and 300 operators. Through the consultancy of the 21CN we established a number of forums. Other operators can tell us of their needs as they can organise themselves. That's something under current discussion.

How do you feel about Marconi being left out of the suppliers list for 21CN, considering the effect it has had on its business?
BT ran the most open and transparent invitation to tender. The core of that was to procure technology on a global basis. When we selected, it was by domain. Marconi has been a significant partner of BT and will continue to support other networks. The decision was based on operation, innovation, commercial needs.

21CN is clearly a big step but how has BT's approach to innovation changed generally in the three years you've spent here?
We have shifted from being a leader in creating innovative technology, to being a leader in levering that technology to the benefit of our customers and shareholders. That's a big change, from the pure enjoyment of creating new technology to the greater enjoyment of developing services that make money and help the business.

Today, we're innovating the way we innovate, for example with closer ties to universities and businesses and a focus on work that is commercially viable.

You started at BT in 2002, the same year that Ben Verwaayen became BT chief executive. Is three years really long enough to make significant changes within a company the size of BT?
Three years ago, the entire telecoms sector was in a bad way. BT took some big decisions at that time to rapidly address its debt mountain [which reached £30bn] and that created malleability within BT — an understanding that change was needed and that the old BT wasn't right anymore.

Today, our revenue from New Wave services is growing very strongly and we're taking a lead in the transformation of our network through the 21CN project.

BT is radically different from the way it was three years ago. The debt problem has been addressed, we've changed from just being a telco to also being a major supplier of ICT services, and we've also revitalised our approach to innovation.

But why doesn't BT just concentrate on building and operating the best networks possible, and let other people develop services to take advantage of them? It can't be easy to create a dot-com start-up mentality in a company the size of BT.
BT wants to operate the best networks in the world. But we also seek a more meaningful relationship with our customers in their daily lives. That's why we are doing more in the innovation space.

You can see that is working today in the IT services space, where we've landed £17bn of business in the last three years. We're also building the ability to offer better-networked IT services into our network.

It looks like BT is moving against the general market trend, with HP recently slashing R&D jobs, for example.
The key is that BT has moved to a hybrid R&D model, where we work closely with universities and other businesses. This means we can get greater leverage and thus better results from the funds we deploy, so we bring more purpose-built innovations to market.

If you could change one thing about BT, what would it be?
If I could change one thing, it would be to create a common consensus within BT about the opportunities that are open to us so that all our people were united in pursuing them and had been communicated the risks of not doing so.

It's something we work on continually but I think it's still the one thing that I would love to do more on.

Source here