The Leonardo in the walled garden: Of polymaths and the vision behind futuretext and the OpenGardens blog .. ..






















In 2001,   I commissioned this image based on an idea i.e. How would a genius like Leonardo fare when he was ‘trapped in a walled garden’ i.e. confined by restrictive and outdated business models?

The image reflects trapped creativity, a state that many  find themselves in.

This philosophy behind the idea ultimately led to the foundation of the OpenGardens blog and to futuretext .

It has set the tone for my personal and professional branding ever since and has always been on the top right corner of the blog.

As an image, it encapsulates the word I often use in the blog – Gedankenexperiment. The german word Gedankenexperiment means a ‘thought experiment’ – the most famous one being Einstein’s gedankenexperiment – What would the world look like if you travelled on a beam of light?

The above image is itself a ‘gedankenexperiment’

Leonardo was a polymath. A polymath  is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Leonardo’s ideas resonate well with the times of today as they did in the renaissance – when innovation involves an interplay between so many areas.

We bring these ideas together in the revamp of our new site.

Here is an outline for our new site:

futuretext specialises in identifying and researching cross domain technology trends. Our thinking, and the logo for our blog, is inspired by polymathic thinkers like Leonado Da Vinci. The German word Gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) encapsulates our philosophy and approach. Today, the Internet connects many previously discrete domains. The shifting tectonic plates will create new winners and losers. A new type of thinking is called for which spans current silos. As an organization, we aspire to fulfill that gap and help our customers navigate this changing, dynamic world

Our vision is reflected in our expertise. We work on complex projects for example Smart cities (Amsterdam),  Digital Policy (European Internet Foundation), webinos(an EU funded project to create web APIs for next generation platforms), Operator strategy (Telefonica) and many others.

Our thought leadership has also been reflected in the organizations we work with. In 2009, Futuretext founder Ajit Jaokar was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of the Internet’ council. Ajit also chairs/moderates Oxford University’s Next generation mobile applications panel and conducts courses at Oxford mainly in the next generation Telecoms domain. Ajit has spoken at Stanford university, MIT Sloan, Fraunhofer FOKUS (Berlin), University of St Gallen (Switzerland) and Oxford university.

Readers from thirty-four countries have bought our books including customers like BT, Nokia, Google and Ogilvy. Our authors include industry visionaries like Tomi Ahonen, Tony Fish, Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Gerd Leonhard and Mark Curtis.

We pride in being different, flexible and human. We continue to attract talent and innovative companies who work with us.

Our areas of expertise / focus include:

- Open Innovation – ex: the OpenGardens blog

- The Web across multiple platforms (mobile, TV, automotive, Sensors etc) – ex webinos project

- Smart cities  - working with Smart city initiatives in Amsterdam

- White space networks – PhD research working with companies like Neul in Cambridge

- Transhumanism – Book on meditation as a transhumanist technology

- Digital policy – The policy bloggers network

- The future of technical education – coming soon

Please contact us at info at if you wish to discuss more and to get a complimentary copy of our forthcoming research. 
In a curious twist, back in 2003 ,  soon after the image was created but I my work was still not widely known,  Maggie Baldry, who has edited many of our books over the years said in one social networking site that: Ajit was the Leonardo of our age , for his ability to see connections between different elements and create new ideas, many of which have come to be true. 

So, this image has a lot of significance for me.

Co-chairing – Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference

Now in it’s fifth year, I co-chair the Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference and this event continues to grow – and has a great following in academia and industry. Looking forward to meeting many old friends and new friends.

As usual, we will keep it fast, extremely informative, fun and with a sense of community. If you have never attended one of our events, I would highly recommend it .. see Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference and also below


This one-day conference will continue its annual exploration of mobile technologies with an emphasis this year on NFC payments, Mobile Commerce and the Mobile Web.

Unlike many large, impersonal conferences, ForumOxford is highly interactive, and promotes open communication between participants and speakers. The event is designed with ample Q&A time and opportunities for further discussions of the conference topics during breaks and over lunch.

No sales pitches – this is a conference for presentations, questions, answers and discussions

Speakers at each year’s event include global industry leaders, media specialists, strategists and journalists. Previous conference participants have come from Vodafone, Nokia, Samsung Electronics Research Institute, Qualcomm, Intel, RAC, Telefonica Europe, Qatar Telecom, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Consult Hyperion, EMAP, Symbian, GSMA, BBC, T-Mobile, Informa, SonyBMG Music Entertainment, MTV, Financial Times, Alcatel-Lucent, Three, NXP, Guardian News & Media, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and many more.



Twitter IconFollow @ForumOxford on Twitter Click here!

Not sure if you should attend? Watch this video (3 mins 47 secs):

The conference will be chaired by:

  • Ajit Jaokar, Author and Telecoms Specialist
  • Tomi Ahonen, Author, Consultant and Motivational Speaker
Programme details

2011 Conference Speakers – more to be announced in the coming days

  • Dave Birch, Director, Consult HyperionQR code
    Presentation: Identity is the new money
  • Prof William Webb, Chief Technology Officer, Neul
    Presentation: Whitespace spectrum: Not what we originally thought but the key ingredient for the Internet of Everything.
  • Tim Haysom, Head of Developer Marketing, Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)
    Presentation: Web technologies in mobile widgets and enabling long term service revenue through operator APIs
  • Jose Valles, Head of BlueVia (Telefonica)
    Presentation: To be confirmed
  • Dominic Keen, CEO, MoBank
    Presentation: To be confirmed
  • Andy Smith, Client Services Director, Eagle Eye Solutions
    Presentation: How mobile intelligence will change the face of retailing
  • Alistair Crane, Founder and CEO, Grapple Mobile
    Presentation: The Power of Everywhere: The importance of ubiquity across multiple mobile platforms
  • Rich Holdsworth, CEO, Wapple
    Presentation: HTML5 and its ramifications for mobile commerce
  • Peter Swain, CEO, AlwaysOnMessage
    Presentation: The opportunities / disruption Mobile will bring
  • Monty Munford, Content Strategist, Wapple
    Presentation: Pregnant African women want mobile health, but they also want entertainment (a travel fund for African mobile entrepreneurs)
  • Peter-Paul Koch (ppk), Mobile Platform Strategist, Consultant and Trainer (ppk)
    Presentation: Rethinking the Mobile Web
  • Ajit Jaokar, Founder, futuretext
    Presentation: Smart cities
  • Vic Keegan, author of iPhone apps City Poems and Geo Poems and former Tech Writer at The Guardian
    Presentation: Free apps – the end of an era?

09:00 – 17:00 finish followed by the drinks reception

Free WiFi, three-course lunch and refreshments included.

We have a number of meeting rooms which will be freely available to those attending if required.


This conference will be held at the Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford.

ForumOxford Online

ForumOxford, the web-discussion forum of the Technology Programme, was established to bring together the best thinkers in the telecoms industry to enable the sharing of ideas on all aspects of mobile applications with other like-minded members of the community. ForumOxford has been a huge success and now has over 2000 members with participants from 87 countries and from six continents. Figures correct as of 9 February 2011.

The lively online debate within ForumOxford’s online environment resulted in numerous approaches asking for a face-to-face event to capitalize on this success. ForumOxford: Future Technologies Conference is the answer to these requests. Furthermore, participation in the ForumOxford: Future Technologies Conference will provide access to the leading bloggers in the emerging web and mobile technology fields and as all those attending last year discovered, a great place to meet others who are leading the way in the world of mobile applications. In a poll by the leading New York publication Fierce Wireless, the top 20 mobile blogs worldwide included as many as six blogs belonging to ForumOxford members.

Ajit Jaokar, conference co-chairperson and moderator of ForumOxford, is an author and telecoms specialist and has recently taught the ‘Designing Multiplatform Apps: TV, Web, Mobile and Automotive Platforms’ CPD course at Oxford University. Ajit also founded Futuretext, which is an innovative publishing and consulting company focused on mobility and digital convergence – he is perfectly positioned to comment on the conference: ‘Creating ForumOxford along with Tomi Ahonen, and watching it grow so rapidly has been a fascinating experience. The high-level sponsorship of our event only goes to emphasise the quality of our membership and discussions. I am thankful for the foresight and support provided by the Oxford University in setting up ForumOxford’.

Tomi Ahonen, conference co-chairperson and independent 3G strategy consultant and author, who teaches the ‘Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media’ and other mobile-related Oxford University CPD courses, comments ‘I am very proud of the high level of professional discussion we maintain within ForumOxford. It makes me very proud to promote the Forum and to recruit new members. I personally keep on learning constantly from the various discussion topics.’

The University of Oxford’s Technology Programme has met the needs of the industry by doubling the number of courses offered in the past year, particularly in emerging fields in the industry such as Web 2.0 and mobile technologies.


Mr Tomi Ahonen

Role: Chair

Mr Tomi T Ahonen is the most published author in the mobile industry who released his twelfth book in 2011. Translated into several languages, he…more is the father of numerous industry tools, theories and concepts, and already referenced in over 100 books by other authors. Lecturing at Oxford University’s short courses on mobile, digital and media, Mr Ahonen has been quoted in over 300 press articles in major media like the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Economist and Financial Times, and is often seen on TV. He has presented papers at over 250 conferences in over 40 countries to a cumulative audience of over 100,000 on all six inhabited continents. Tomi’s Twitter feed is @tomiahonen

The Finnish born ex-Nokia executive is now based out of Hong Kong. Tomi Ahonen runs a boutique consulting company that provides strategic consulting services to clients needing support in the digital convergence space from small start-ups to Global 500 sized companies around the world including Axiata, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BBC, BT, China Mobile, CNN, Ericsson, HP, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, Motorola, MTV, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, BNP Paribas, RIM, SK Telecom, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Vodafone.

Before starting his own consulting company in 2001, Tomi Ahonen headed Nokia’s Global Consulting unit and oversaw Nokia’s 3G Reserach Centre. Before Nokia, he worked for two operators/carriers, Elisa/Radiolinja and Finnet Group in Finland, and started his technology career in New York City at one of the world’s first internet service providers, OCSNY. Mr Ahonen’s accomplishments include creating the world’s first fixed-mobile service bundle; setting the world record for taking market share from the incumbent; and creating the world’s largest multi-operator billing system. Tomi Ahonen holds an MBA from St John’s University New York City. His latest book is The Insider’s Guide to Mobile.


Mr Ajit Jaokar

Role: Chair

Author and Telecoms Specialist

Ajit Jaokar is the founder of the London based publishing and research company futuretext…more ( focussed on emerging Web and Mobile technologies -including Web 2.0 and Mobile Web 2.0.

IIn 2009-2010, Ajit was nominated as part of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet by the world economic forum. He hopes to use this opportunity to further extend the pragmatic viewpoint of the evolution of Telecoms networks in an open ecosystem.

Ajit is best known for his books Mobile Web 2.0, Social Media Marketing. Two new books (‘Open Mobile’ and ‘Implementing Mobile Web 2.0′) are being released in 2009.

His consulting activities include working with companies to define value propositions across the device, network, Web and Social networking stack spanning both technology and strategy. He has worked with a range of commercial and government organizations globally including The European Union, Telecoms Operators, Device manufacturers, social networking companies and security companies in various strategic and visionary roles.

His recent talks and forthcoming talks include: CEBIT 2009;MobileWorld Congress(2007, 2008, 2009); Keynote at O Reilly Web20 expo (April 2007);Keynote at Java One; European Parliament – Brussels – (Electronic Internet Foundation); Stanford University’s Digital visions program;MIT Sloan;Fraunhofer FOKUS ; University of St. Gallen (Switzerland); Mobile Web Strategies (partner event of CTIA in San Francisco).

Ajit lives in London, UK, but has three nationalities (British, Indian and New Zealander) and is proud of all three. He is currently doing a PhD on Privacy and Reputation systems at UCL in London. Ajit is a fan of animation especially Tom and Jerry, Tintin and Asterix and likes the music of ZZ Top and other rock bands.

His blog OpenGardens is one of the top 20 wireless blogs in the world. His latest book is OpenGardens.



Dave Birch

Role: Speaker

Director, Consult Hyperion

David G.W. Birch is a Director of Consult Hyperion, the IT management consultancy that specialises…more in electronic transactions. Here he provides specialist consultancy support to clients around the world, including all of the leading payment brands, major telecommunications providers, governments bodies and international organisations including the OECD. Before helping to found Consult Hyperion in 1986, he spent several years working as a consultant in Europe, the Far East and North America. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a B.Sc (Hons.) in Physics.

Described by The Telegraph as “one of the world’s leading experts on digital money”, by The Independent as a “grade-A geek”, by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation as “one of the most user-friendly of the UK’s uber-techies” and by Financial World as “mad”, Dave is a member of the editorial board of the E-Finance & Payments Law and Policy Journal, a columnist for SPEED and well-known for his blogs on Digital Money and Digital Identity.

He has lectured to MBA level on the impact of new information and communications technologies, contributed to publications ranging from the Parliamentary IT Review to Prospect and wrote a Guardian column for many years. He is a media commentator on electronic business issues and has appeared on BBC television and radio, Sky and other channels around the world.


Alistair Crane

Role: Speaker

CEO, Grapple Mobile

Alistair Crane, a tenacious and charismatic entrepreneur, is the CEO and Founder of Grapple Mobile, the…more leading mobile and tablet app development agency in Europe and North America. Grapple work with the world’s largest brands and businesses, across all the major sectors, to create apps for multiple mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Nokia, Android and Windows Phone 7.

Alistair possesses rare foresight into the trends in the mobile industry and a deep understanding of how to leverage the mobile channel in order to achieve business objectives.

Before Grapple, Alistair was the Head of Media Solutions at NAVTEQ which was later acquired by Nokia for over £5bn, and prior to that, one of the first members of the launch team for Blyk, an advertiser funded mobile network, founded by the Ex-President of Nokia.

Alistair was recently named one of the “Top 30 Under 30” by leading trade publication Media Week and has been shortlisted for the Rising Star Award at the Media Week Awards later this year. He is regularly invited to speak at international events around the world including The Monaco Media Forum, Ad:Tech, iMedia and The Guardian Changing Media Summit.


Andrew Griffin

Role: Speaker

Head of European Technology Equity Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Tim Haysom

Role: Speaker

Head of developer marketing, Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)

Tim Haysom is head of developer marketing at WAC. He leads…more activities to assist new developers in getting their WAC applications to the worldwide market of WAC connected applications stores. He was previously the CMO of the OMTP industry consortium.

Tim has over 20 years of experience in the mobile telecoms industry, working with Operators, Vendors and many in the developer community. He was responsible within OMTP for the first industry activities to use web standards to enable a cross platform approach to application development, known as BONDI. In July 2010, the BONDI activity was transferred into the new WAC organisation and has formed a key component in the latest WAC specifications.

In his spare time, Tim plays the trombone and runs … And runs and runs. Tim holds a B.Eng. degree in Electronics from the University of Southampton.


Rich Holdsworth

Role: Speaker

A recognized name within the mobile industry for having true, proven, foresight into mobile internet Rich has been key in the creation of Wapple…more core technology. Rich has 8 years background in Web and Mobile Development and 8 years within Video Games Creation and Development as Lead Designer on ‘Number 1′ products. He was credited in the Sunday Times for creating the first ever WAP game.


Victor Keegan

Role: Speaker

Victor Keegan is a British journalist and author focusing on economics and technology issues. Born in London in 1940, he has spent most of his…more working life at The Guardian as reporter, financial correspondent, deputy financial editor, economics editor, business editor, duty editor, Chief Leader Writer, Assistant Editor and Online Editor. For 11 years he was a member of the Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian, the Observer and other media interests. He now writes a weekly column on the internet and personal technology and contributes to Guardian Unlimited’s web site and “Comment is Free” blog. He is also curator of the “SLart Gallery” in Second Life. With his colleague, Neil McIntosh, he introduced the Guardian’s first blogs (Technology and Games). In 2001 he started the first-ever text message poetry competition for the Guardian and in August 2003, kickAAS one of the first dedicated political blogs aimed at helping developing countries by abolishing agriculture subsidies. In 2008 he became chairman of a not-for-profit start up World Film Collective, WFC, that encourages youngsters in very poor countries to make and edit films with their mobiles. In 2010 he published two iPhone apps. City Poems links classic poems to the streets of London that inspired them using satellite links. Geo Poems contains all of the poems in his three books linked by geo-tagging to the people and places around the world that inspired them. He also writes poetry, paints, and takes photographs. close

Peter-Paul Koch

Role: Speaker

Peter-Paul Koch is a mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He specialises in HTML, CSS,…more JavaScript, and browser compatibility.

He has won international renown with his browser compatibility research; increasingly also on mobile browsers. He frequently speaks at conferences, has founded Fronteers, the Dutch association of front-end professionals, and advises mobile and desktop browser vendors on their implementation of Web standards.

On the Web he is universally known as ppk.

Currently he has about twenty mobile phones lying around on his desk. The one thing he never does with any of these phones is make a phone call.


Monty Munford

Role: Speaker

PR and Content Strategy, Wapple

Monty Munford is a Content Strategist with more than 15 years’ experience in mobile, digital…more media, web, social and journalism. He returned to the UK in September 2010 after living in India for two years, speaks regularly at industry events and writes on the mobile/social industry for publications such as TechCrunch and The Guardian. He also writes a weekly column on mobile/social media/technology for The Telegraph. He has also appeared with speaking parts in two big-budget Bollywood movies released in 2011.


Andy Smith

Role: Speaker

Peter Swain

Role: Speaker

CEO and Co- Founder, AlwaysOnMessage

As CEO of AlwaysOnMessage (AoM), Peter formed one of the first multi-platform mobile app…more agencies in Europe. Peter sets the tone for the company, with an overarching goal to provide AoM with drive, direction, and the ability to execute. His responsibilities range from creating a cohesive strategy amongst senior management, to ensuring there is a framework for processes and procedures that keeps AoM at the forefront of the mobile app industry, while allowing and encouraging evolution and progression. Peter works closely with the commercial, creative and tech areas of the business to ensure his vision, expertise and experience permeate all of AoM’s activities.

Prior to forming AoM, Peter was the Managing Director of Forward Slash Digital (FSD), one of the UK’s leading digital agencies offering web, intranet, SEO and online marketing. With a client list that included the MoD, Atlas Consortium and EDS, it was through his work at FSD that Peter recognized the significance of smartphone technology and the paradigm shift this had brought both to the market and the world. As a result, Peter shifted his focus and founded AoM.

His digital career has spanned the globe, having experienced great success in Dubai as the founder and MD of The Concept House, a specialist web and digital agency that helped facilitate the evolution of the digital industry in the UAE. As a result, he was appointed an advisor to the Royal Court of Dubai. Peter was also a key member of the prestigious First Tuesday Advisory Panel and was retained to speak regularly on a range of subjects for The British Council and the Institute of International Research.

Peter also works on the Board of Advisors for Media Sandbox, a tech incubator in the South West, and as a guest lecturer on mobile computing and HCI at Queen Mary University of London. He maintains good working relationships with development advocates across all platforms, including Google, Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft. He is frequently quoted in Wired Magazine, speaks at a variety of conferences such as the global Apps World suite, and has been commissioned by Gartner Inc. to co-author a business report detailing the business steps for a company to utilize mobile successfully. close

Jose Valles

Role: Speaker

Jose has been working for over 10 years in different parts of Telefonica, developing a deep expertise in how to make things happen in a big…more corporation. He also keeps an eye on the entrepreneurial space through his current activity as Head of BlueVia, by starting his career in an SME division and even through running his own company. Positive, bold, enthusiastic and a challenger, Jose has always tried to improve the businesses he has been building and prides himself with the profile of a change agent. From 2009, Jose has been building a concept under the working name “Open Telefonica”, which ended up bringing BlueVia to life. BlueVia represents a great challenge: to position a major telco as relevant within the developer ecosystem. However, the market reaction has been very positive and he is totally focused on making BlueVia grow, gaining industry scale through the WAC initiative and working with developers around the globe to adopt BlueVia’s APIs. Father and husband, Jose is a people person, very talkative, loves travelling to other countries and has lived for long periods in the UK and Czech Republic. Now living in Madrid, he tries to escape as much as possible to the Pyrenees and snowboards as often as he can. close

Prof William Webb

Role: Speaker

Chief Technology Officer, Neul

Professor William Webb BEng, MBA, PhD, CEng, FREng FIET, FIEEE.

William is one of…more the founding directors of Neul, a company developing machine-to-machine technologies and networks, which was formed at the start of 2011.

Prior to this William was a Director at Ofcom where he managed a team providing technical advice and performing research across all areas of Ofcom’s regulatory remit. He also led some of the major reviews conducted by Ofcom including the Spectrum Framework Review, the development of Spectrum Usage Rights and most recently cognitive or white space policy. Previously, William worked for a range of communications consultancies in the UK in the fields of hardware design, computer simulation, propagation modelling, spectrum management and strategy development. William also spent three years providing strategic management across Motorola’s entire communications portfolio, based in Chicago.

William has published 11 books, 80 papers, and 18 patents. He is a Visiting Professor at Surrey University and DeMontfort University, a member of Ofcom’s Spectrum Advisory Board (OSAB) and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the IET where he is as a Vice President. His biography is included in multiple “Who’s Who” publications around the world. William has a first class honours degree in electronics, a PhD and an MBA.




The opportunities and challenges of White Space spectrum applications


Google founder Larry Page calls White Space as ‘WiFi on steroids’ and Microsoft calls it ‘White fi’. Policy makers are excited because White Space remains the best option for providing broadband connectivity to rural areas including services like remote healthcare. In a nutshell, White Space networks take advantage of the empty fragments of spectrum interspaced between frequencies in use. White Spaces are significant because regulators in UK and USA have opened up portions of spectrum originally used by analogue TV for use by White Space applications. This has the potential to bring new innovation to the market and provide new services to customers. This article explores the opportunities and challenges for White Space spectrum applications.


White Space frequencies occupy the ranges traditionally used by Analogue TV in the UHF range. In the United States, this is 698 – 806 Mhz and in the UK it is 470 – 790 Mhz. Many other European and North American countries are expected to follow suit.  There is considerable momentum behind White Space technologies currently. Through the White Spaces Coalition companies like Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, Earthlink, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics are involved in developing the White Space ecosystem.

White Space devices are expected to have a range of miles instead of feet (in comparison to WiFi). They are expected to travel through physical obstacles like walls, trees etc just like conventional broadcast signals. Also, they are expected to deliver network speeds comparable to current 3G and 4G technology.

Despite these advantages, White Space spectrum has some unique limitations. These limitations arise primarily from the need to avoid interference with existing services like broadcast. Avoiding interference is a complex and dynamic process. The challenge is not only to find empty frequencies but also to refer back to an online database to see if things have changed. Thus, some White Space radios have a GPS inbuilt in it in addition to the radio functionality. A project from Microsoft called Networking Over White Spaces (KNOWS) is a pioneer in this domain. The project enhanced the basic ‘detect and avoid’ sensing technology by using the database approach.  According to the KNOWS project, the White Space spectrum is fundamentally different from the ISM bands where Wi-Fi operates along three main axes: First, it exhibits spatial variation since a channel available at one node might be occupied by a primary user (TV, microphone) at another node in the network. Second, the spectrum is not contiguous. Some channels might be occupied by primary users hence causing the spectrum to be fragmented. Finally, there is temporal variation since an available spectrum might be occupied at a later time by a primary user, e.g. wireless microphone.

The success of the initial tests in Redmond in overcoming these technical challenges has led to more trials and research especially in Cambridge and Wilmington (North Carolina). The FCC has mandated that all White Space devices should be able to refer back to the online database, so these techniques are now an integral part of White Space technology. Of course, White Space applications have wider implications than rural broadband. Google has a clear business motivation in expanding the uptake of the Web and vendors like Dell and Microsoft could see PCs enabled by White Space technology (just like almost all PCs and laptops include WiFi today).


Any device that intends to use White Space channels for communication is deemed to be a White Space device.  White Space devices will be cognitive radio devices. In wireless communication, cognitive radio is a transceiver that can intelligently detect what communication channels are in use and what are not. It can then instantly move into vacant channels and avoid occupied ones. This optimises the use of available radio frequency spectrum while minimising interference to other users. All mobile devices are cognitive to some extent for example a cellular handset will select one of many frequency bands and standards or use Wi-Fi depending on the networks it finds. Cognitive technologies have been used in DECT phones and other devices to a smaller extent, but with White Space radios, cognitive technologies are an integral part of the operation due to the need to dynamically sense and select the frequency.


In the UK, Ofcom have issued a test/experimental licence around Cambridge. This allows companies in the UK to demonstrate White Space technology and its applications.

On June 29, 2011, one of the largest commercial tests of White Space Wi-Fi was conducted in Cambridge, England by a consortium comprising Microsoft, Adaptrum, Nokia, BSkyB, the BBC,  BT and Neul.  In the demonstration, a client-side Microsoft Xbox was able to stream live HD videos from the Internet and also a live Xbox/Kinect video chat was established between two Xbox/Kinect units connected through the same TV White Space connection. These applications were demonstrated under a highly challenging radio propagation environment including buildings, foliage, walls, furniture, people etc.. The objective is to test if White Space radios can coexist with each other, and with the existing broadcast transmissions.

In another trial conducted in the city of Wilmington, N.C, White Space wireless connectivity was used in surveillance cameras and environmental sensors in a smart city deployment. The network was used for three main applications: traffic cameras at intersections to provide real-time traffic monitoring, to wirelessly connect cameras in city parks to police for surveillance and to remotely monitor and manage wetland areas.

In another UK trial conducted by Cambridge consultants, social media tools like Twitter, Skype and YouTube were used over a White Space network. Similarly, Google and the Hocking Valley Community Hospital used White Space technology for various medical uses like First responder and its outdoor video surveillance system.


White Space networks ‘democratise’ wireless networks. Anyone can deploy a network without the need of a nationwide contract. This makes a big impact in the deployment of innovative applications especially where traditional networks do not extend easily. This includes pop-up (ad-hoc) networks for concerts. It also could include network applications in specific scenarios for instant connectivity for example ability to stream video from a fire fighter’s helmet to the fire engine outside.

Companies like Neul are deploying a ‘White Space network in a box’ through NeulNETNeulNET enables customers to operate your own White Space network that delivers up to 16Mb/s over 10Km range with excellent in building penetration. NeulNET uses frequency-hopping, by using different vacant 8MHz channel for each frame of data.


White Space devices have some unique characteristics. They need to transmit small amounts of data in ‘data gathering’ applications while operating in a chaotic/hostile environment. They need to have low power requirements and the ability to operate more than a decade. Neul has proposed the weightless protocol to cater for these requirements. Similar to the Bluetooth SIG, Neul will launch a SIG to standardise the weightless protocol. According to Neul, a Weightless network which can cover the entire country would cost only £50 million, and the spectrum to use it is free.

The IEEE 802.22 standard is designed for TV White Space frequencies also applies to White Space networks.


Based on the above, here is my analysis about White Space networks:

-       The industry has now moved beyond the political arguments of Broadcast networks/White Space networks and we are now moving to an era of actually building real networks and solving customer issues. This is a good development.

-       White Space networks have potential to unleash innovation by creating a new class of applications based on deploying networks in areas where traditional networks cannot be easily deployed(rural deployments, M2M etc)

-       The early impact of White Space networks will be in rural areas benefitting the consumer.

-       An ecosystem is emerging around white space applications with considerable support from traditional and new wireless entrants.

-       Many questions still remain – both technical and business model related. For example, should the database be bi-directional? Who will maintain such a database?

-       Finally, could the principles of cognitive radio be adopted into the wider telecoms spectrum management? Chunks of spectrum are claimed by Operators but remain unused. Will White Space technology and Cognitive radios cause a change in better management of Spectrum?

About Ajit Jaokar

-       Ajit Jaokar is an analyst and researcher. He blogs at His PhD research involves White Space applications for healthcare and privacy. He can be contacted at: ajit.jaokar at or via twitter @AjitJaokar


1)    First “White SpaceNetwork Launched – Technology Review

2)    White spaces (radio) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3)    Microsoft, Dell, Spectrum Bridge launch first public white spaces

4)    White Space: The Next Big Thing in networks • The Register

5)    TV white space networks tested | Signal Strength – CNET News

6)    First “White Space” tweet suggests a solution for rural broadband

7)    Neul Launches ‘Weightless’ White Space Network | eWEEK Europe …

8)    Test networks offer glimpses of “white space” future

9)    First Tweet over White Space network demonstrates real solution for …

10) Networking Over White Spaces (KNOWS) – Microsoft Research

11) White space startup launches M2M network products » telecoms …

12) SenseLess: A Database-Driven White Spaces Network

13) Neul opens up on ‘white space‘ radio network

14) What You Need to Know About White Space Wi-Fi | PCWorld …

15) Is white space the key to greater broadband access? | Technically …

16) Cambridge Consultants send first tweet over white space – 29 Jun …

Nscreenvision: Understanding open innovation using APIs in a multiscreen world







Over the last year, I have been thinking of the concepts in this blog with two motivations.

Firstly, working with Chetan Sharma on the idea of a community for ‘nscreen’ applications and

Secondly, my work with Webinos, which has evolved over that time.

By ‘nscreen’ applications I mean ‘multi-screen’ applications. Multiscreen apps are not new and nor are the issues multi-screen applications bring. On the other hand, Lady Gaga says that we are all ‘screenagers’ – each living with many screens. So, the world of ‘nscreens’ is already upon us.

However, with the idea of nscreenvision, I am trying to articulate a specific viewpoint which I hope to describe in detail below.

Chetan and I are evolving this into a community and if this is of interest, please email me at ajit.jaokar at with the subject ‘nscreeenvision’. We are particularly interested in meeting people who are creating multiplatform applications and / or developers working with specific APIs

Open innovation

Professor Henry Chesbrough has written extensively about Open innovation.

As per What is open innovation and the era of open innovation

-       Open Innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate innovation. With knowledge now widely distributed, companies cannot rely entirely on their own research, but should acquire invention or intellectual property from other companies when it advances the business model. 

-       “Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively. [This paradigm] assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as they look to advance their technology.”

-       “…Companies can no longer keep their own innovations secret unto themselves; … the key to success is creating, in effect, an open platform around your innovations so your customers, your employees and even your competitors can build upon it, because only by that building will you create an ongoing, evolving community of users, doers and creators.” 

-       In the past, internal R&D was a valuable strategic asset, even a formidable barrier to entry by competitors in many markets. Only large corporations like DuPont, IBM and AT&T could compete by doing the most R&D in their respective industries (and subsequently reaping most of the profits as well).

-       Toward the end of the 20th century, though, a number of factors combined to erode the underpinnings of closed innovation in the United States. Perhaps chief among these factors was the dramatic rise in the number and mobility of knowledge workers, making it increasingly difficult for companies to control their proprietary ideas and expertise.

-       At its root, open innovation is based on a landscape of abundant knowledge, which must be used readily if it is to provide value for the company that created it. However, an organization should not restrict the knowledge that it uncovers in its research to its internal market pathways,

Understanding open innovation using APIs in a multiscreen world
So, the question to address is:

How do we reconcile open innovation in a world of multiscreen/nscreen applications?

Here are some initial observations:
-  Convergence can happen at multiple levels – at the network layer (fixed to mobile convergence), at the services layer (cloud) etc etc.
-  One unlikely avenue for convergence may be apps.
-  However, most apps today are merely at the UI level. Valuable as UI is, when viewed across platforms (nscreen
applications), apps are far more complex
-  The common denominator for nscreen apps are actually APIs
-  All products could be platforms. In fact, increasingly, successful products will have to be platforms i.e. enable others to add value to it.
-  Value will shift to integration between platforms (Web, Mobile, TV and Automotive)
-  Products themselves will have little differentiation and value will be added by the community/ enhancement via APIs etc

What does Open innovation mean in a world of multiple screens?
-          How do we study it?
-          How would we quantify it?
-          How would we predict it?

If we could understand and study the evolution and usage of APIs, could we study and predict Open evolution in an nscreen world?

There are many things you could learn from APIs
-          What functionality is being abstracted?
-          What functionality is being used or ignored by developers even when available as an API?
-          What third party applications are being developed that are a threat to the platform?
(and not necessarily by their own API) Etc etc

For instance, here are some examples:
-  Payment APIs for mobile platforms have been around for a long time which means payment is an important function. However, there is still reluctance for their widespread usage due to various factors (fragmentation, cost etc). At the same time, we are seeing NFC APIs.
-  Specific platforms like Android with Android intents (see below), lend to integration across platforms.
-  TV as a platform is widely talked about but yet when TV does become a full platform, it is a threat to the business model of existing TV networks.

Abstracting the nscreen APIs

As I discuss below, the world of APIs can be complex. Drawing upon the analysis in Webinos, we could abstract this information i.e. view API functionality as a generic set of features and then we aim to discuss specific APIs within this context for distinct platforms

APIs could be divided into a number of generic categories:

-          Generic APIs for the core functionality of the product
-          APIs for service discovery and remote API access: APIs allowing applications to discover other devices and services/applications on other devices and on network servers and access these remote services.
-          Hardware Resources APIs: APIs allowing applications to access information and functionality relating to device HW resources such as GPS, camera, microphone, sensors, etc.
-          Application Data APIs: APIs allowing applications read and write access to application capabilities such as contact items, calendar information, messages, media files, etc.
-          Communication APIs: APIs allowing applications to communicate with other applications in the same or another device.
-          Application execution APIs: APIs allowing applications to launch other apps and native applications.
-          User profile and context APIs: APIs allowing applications access to user profile data and user context.
-          Security and Privacy APIs

You could further break down the APIs into the following:

HW resource APIs
-          Device Orientation API
-          Generic Sensor Actuator API: APIs which act on sensor data
-          Microphone API: Capture audio samples from microphone
-          Camera API: Capture video stream from device camera
-          Geolocation API: Access to device location information
-          Device status API: Access to device status information
-          TV and STB control API: Control TV/STB via API so other devices can act as a remote control.
-          Device interaction API: Access to apis for interacting with the end user
-          Barcode API: APIs for decoding barcodes using the camera of the device.
-          Vehicle API: Provides access to vehicle properties (e.g. current speed, mileage, fuel consumption)
-          NFC API
Application data APIs
-          Contacts API: Allowing access to calendar data
-          Calendar API: Description: Access/use to native calendar application
-          Messaging API: Description: Send and receive messages of type email, SMS, MMS.
-          Filesystem API: Access to device filesystem
-          Multimedia/gallery API: access to media on device including access to remote media, metadata etc
-          Payment API: APIs for payments including apps/in-app purchases etc

Communication APIs
These APIs relate to communication with other devices, other applications and servers. This could be socket based communication, communication for individual components or low level API communication relying on networking features like overlay networking

Application execution and Policy APIs
The Application Execution API allows discovery, activation and understating of policy issues related to applications installed on the device. It could also perform late run-time binding between different functionality similar to Android intents. These include APIs like Widget execution API, Application Launcher API etc

User profile and context APIs
The user profile API defines attributes and methods to access to user related information (e.g. name, nickname, gender birthday, etc.) while the application data API provide information about application related information (e.g. installed application).

Communication APIs: Include APIs like Event handling API

Security and Privacy APIs include Platform attestation API, User Authentication API etc
The above analysis provides a template for all APIs. But for deeper integration, these APIs will have to function across the four platforms. This will include cross-platform functionality such as:
-          Maintaining a common Identity across platforms
-          Discovery and Addressing objects and services across platforms
-          Remote Notifications and Messaging
-          Policy and Security across platforms
-          Negotiation and Compatibility
-          Lifecycle management
-          The ability to detect device and Service Functional Capability
-          Transfer and Management of State
Currently, APIs exist for many platforms across the stack for each of the four platforms: ex
Upnp, Dlna, Mozilla, Mozilla webapis, WAC, Chrome, PhoneGap, Titanium, Microsoft Media room , Philipps Nettv, Genivi alliance, ARM etc When viewed in the context of the above framework, many of these are at a very early stage and relate to specific platforms. As the functionality evolves and new services emerge, I expect we will see the need for cross-platform services, which leads to the motivation behind the nscreen vision community

The nscreenvision community

We envisage the nscreenvision community to be a niche group of people interested in the domain of cross platform integration through APIs. As these ecosystems evolve and integrate, we see value in a knowledge based community comprising creators of multi-platform applications. The initial knowledge base underpinning this community, especially the analysis of APIs, is derived from  my work with Webinos. However, the community differs from Webinos itself because it a narrow emphasis on APIs and also that it is not related to the Web alone.

We are familiar with this ecosystem based on our own work and by participating in this niche community, we hope to share our insights in this space. The community will include specific surveys, the summary results of which we will share with the community. As analysts, we will use the insights from the community to predict the evolution of Open innovation, as discussed above.

By keeping the community small and niche, we expect to work more closely with the members enabling us to share and learn from each other.

If this is of interest, please email me at ajit.jaokar at with the subject ‘nscreeenvision’. We are particularly interested in meeting people who are creating multiplatform applications and / or developers working with specific APIs

Image source:

Is the future of ‘mobile’ voice – fixed??

Is the future of ‘mobile’ voice – fixed??

Let us see the underlying trend behind three announcements/posts

1) Yesterday, the Pew Research Finds Popularity of Internet Phone Calls Has Jumped Dramatically

Specifically, The survey found that almost a quarter of American adult Internet users (24%) have placed a phone call online. That’s 19% of all American adults.
But even if the mention of Skype triggered a more affirmative response than in previous surveys, there’s little doubt that placing phone calls over the Internet has become more popular. Pew points to several reasons why this is the case: “It is free or cheaper than other types of phone calling; it is enabled on many handheld devices like smartphones and tablet computers; more and more meetings and classroom activities exploit online phone connections along with video capabilities; and more families and friends are building online calls into their communications streams.”

2) Over time, Operators have been abandoning fixed rate prices and telling customers to go to fixed line networks to download video etc. The fixed line networks, especially Sky + Cloud, and Virgin have been making WiFi investments. Apple supports WiFi. So, fixed networks now have the attention and the capacity (through Wifi)

3) Combine this with the idea from a previous post Have mobile operators lost their voice which pertains to the lack of IP level interconnect

Then we could argue that .. the future of mobile voice could be fixed especially if fixed line players use the wifi networks to provide VOIP services and mobile telcos keep pushing away customers towards them and there is no IP level interconnect for Mobile for 4G

Could voicemail be the future of voice?

Still thinking of the MSFT-skype acquisition .. and its impact for voice ..

From my own experience, my phone is always on ‘silent’

i.e. I do not receive calls

All calls go to the voicemail (unless I see who it is and want to pick it up)

However, I do like asynchronous voice: i.e. the ability to call and leave a voicemail

Now, suppose as IP phones become popular, and phone came with a ‘voicemail’ button

This would allow me to directly ‘send a voicemail’ using a single button

I would like to receive such mail as well since it does not disturb me and it often saves writing a longish email.

Telcos wont introduce this because they fear cannibalization of voice

But customers may want it(at least I can see value in it!)

Now, here is the interesting part .. VOIP needs QOS
For that matter, any session based communication needs QOS
but voicemail may not!
and therein lies it’s significance

If you want to pay for good quality voice, you use the ‘normal’ calling feature

But most voice communication may fall outside this remit and thus voicemail could well not be an extra feature but the main service ..

But still I think it is an innovation which could come from Google or MSFT but not from Operators ..

could be wrong but there is a precedence here .. Visual voicemail is a feature customers love .. but the industry never implemented it until the iPhone came along .. so this may not be so far fetched after all!

Image source: mobisite

Birds on the Blog – An inspirational blogging success story

Having been an active blogger for about six years now and having established a unique niche in the blogosphere through the OpenGardens blog , I am always happy to see bloggers who succeed in setting up their own unique space in blogosphere.

If I were to give some insights about blogging from my own experience, they would be:

- Go big OR go home: From the outset, plan to dominate an intellectual space(the business models will follow – directly or indirectly)

- You cannot win against the Internet with a water pistol: There is no shortage of content on the Internet. So, your content, no matter how good, is really a squirt in the ocean. To mitigate this, you have to focus on a niche and you have to create great content, regularly. By focussing on a niche, you are providing value to your readers in competition with a range of multi staffed competitors

- Be a cause/have an ethos: There are many blogs in the mobility space, but the OpenGardens blog is one of the few which is based on an industry wide cause – ie that of Open networks and open systems in the Telco/Digital convergence space. This cause, will be a transpersonal AAA motivation for blogging and will mean that you will get followers both from people who agree and disagree with your intellectual position and finally

- Lend an individual touch: Traditional media is dominated by professional journalists. Most blogs are not run by journalists. But that can be turned to an advantage. You can be ‘yourselves’. Indeed most successful bloggers I know bring out their own personal touch.

In that context, Birds on the blog is one of the most interesting case studies for blogging success I have seen recently and there is a lot to learn from it’s spectacular success within a very short time.

What do we mean by ‘spectacular success’?

Started only in Jan 2010 by Sarah Arrow, in about a year and a half, the venerable business magazine Forbes , now lists Birds on the blog among the top 100 blogs for women worldwide (and it’s the only UK based blog to make that list).

By any standards, that is indeed commendable and hence I think there is something to learn from it’s rapid rise.

Sarah arrow wonderful person who I have known only online. We met at another social networking site but we both left that site to build our own networks through our respective blogs.

Sarah started Birds on a blog based on a simple observation: many large publications for women are ‘corporate’ and they are also written for ‘high flying’ women execs. But the reality of women in business is that many businesses are run from home juggling a child’s schedule on one hand and a customer quotation on the other. He blog sought to address this unserved niche.

The blog was set out to be a forum by women in business discussing practical issues that matter to them and she invited some friends t contribute one post a week for twelve weeks. As you can see, the contributors have strongly held views which adds to the value.

The name comes from a TV show called Ashes to Ashes which used the word ‘bird’ for women in a derogatory context. So, the blog decided to ‘take back’ the word by creating ‘Birds on a blog’ – a blog for women. In another interesting twist, all revenues from blogging(for instance advertising) goes to fund the education of three little girls in Uganda

So, all in all a great success and much to learn.

I am also enhancing my blog and checked the wordpress themes and other details from Sarah’s ebook on blogging (link below)

And finally, over the next month or so, I hope to meet Sarah an her husband Kevin and also mutual friends Steven Healey and Ann Goodridge – inspite of my crazy schedule over the next month and a half (Amsterdam, NY, Bonn, Brussels and Nice). I may even be an ‘honorary bird’ and contribute an article.

The success of birds on the blog has been recognised by thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki and may it continue over the years!

Another perspective from Steven Healey’s blog: From zero visitors to 25000 in 15 months

Link to the girls being sponsored by earnings from the blog
All income from blog pays for education of two twin girls in Uganda

Blogging for business e-book
ebook – Blogging for business

The social genome: Could the Real time web do for Retail as advertising did for Search?

Could the Real time web do for Retail as advertising did for Search?

This blog arises from two recent conversations:

-          Earlier this week, I was in Brussels and discussed the future of the Web in a number of conversations with MEPs  which was based on the significance of the Real Time Web and

-          I blogged about the significance of the Real time Web in conversation with @tonia_ries;  organizer of The Real Time Report conference in New York, which I am attending in June.

Tonia came up with a succinct equation: value (for content) = time + place + shared interest

Coming from a background of mobile and social media, for a long time, Telecom Operators have drooled at the idea of the proverbial ‘starbucks model’. While Starbucks never launched any such service as far as I know, the model went like this: When a customer passed near a Starbucks, they would get an SMS offering them 10% off the price of coffee. Telecoms, with it’s relatively closed mindset could never launch such a service but assuming you had a permission based relationship with the retailer, the model is viable.

It needs:

a)      Customers to trust you

b)      Access to real time data and historical data

c)       Awareness of context

d)      An open ecosystem (else you have small silos of data and customers which make it unviable)

e)      Real time interactions

The prevailing thinking was:

Google could be the store of all this data and that we, as customers, will give up all our data to Google


The Telecom Operator would know who you are and where you are. They would be the providers of this and provide that information real time via SMS (and be paid by the retailer ofcourse)

But customers were not that stupid and maybe not the  Retailers as well!

Retailers may finally have woken up from their apathy and decided that they need not simply abdicate the relationship they share with the customer to either Telecoms or to Google. The real time web may provide an alternative to play on their existing strengths but still leverage the open ethos of the Web

It appears that customers are not choosing a single web brand for various services but rather that they are choosing different brands for distinct services – ex Twitter for real time web, facebook for social, foursquare for check-ins and Google for search. Today, Google is far from dominating at least three incarnations of the Web post Google – The Real time Web, the Social web and the ‘Location Web’ (check-ins) (which explains Google’s recent emphasis on winning  the social web)

Looking at it from a customer standpoint, How do we define value?

Value could be either

a)      The customer pays for something that they find useful (traditional definition of value)

b)      The customer gets  something useful for free in return for advertisements + relinquishing some control of their data(Google)

c)       The customer gets information that is actionanble in real time in return for data

The Web provided one form of indirect monetization through the advertising model. But the advertising model does not suit all providers (although it always suits Google). The real time web could provide an alternative for retail as advertising did for search.

There is increasing evidence for this:

Wal-Mart may have paid $300M+ for Kosmix . Kosmix appears to be a mixture of three things: TweetBeat, RightHealth and a web service to explore the web by topic. But the premium for kosmix may be for the underlying ‘social genome’ technology.

In the announcement blog post, the founder,  Anand Rajaraman says it’s the “social genome” technology underlying the company’s products:

Conversations in social media revolve around “social elements” such as people, places, topics, products, and events. For example, when I tweet “Loved Angelina Jolie in Salt,” the tweet connects me (a user) to Angelia Jolie (an actress) and SALT (a movie). By analyzing the huge volume of data produced every day on social media, the Social Genome builds rich profiles of users, topics, products, places, and events.

Wal-Mart wants to bring this technology to shoppers, offering them “integrated experiences that leverage the store, the web, and mobile, with social identity being the glue that binds the experience,” Rajaraman says.

If this is accurate, then it is indeed possible that the Real time web do for retail as advertising did for search.

Note: In this blog, I use the terms ‘Real time web’ and the ‘Real time internet’ loosely and interchangibly. The objective is simply to focus on real time interactions and I use both terms to signify the same.

If you are attending the Realtime report NY 2011 event on June 6 at BB King’s in Times Square NY, say Hi!

This network based API feature could be a game changer .. but I doubt the Telcos can deliver it ..

@peggyanne invited me to a tweetchat today, What are the key issues and trends in the mobile app economy? my first.

It was a great experience with some good, insightful conversation and great people in the discussion

After the chat, I thought of this:

I would love this network based API feature but I doubt the telcos can deliver it ..

The feature is: Use network based APIs to tell me in advance the cost of a service OR tell me immediately afterwards the cost of the service.

- How much did the last web session cost?

- How much will this MMS cost?

- How much will this photo cost to upload?

If that happened, it would be a true game changer

Operators would be truly solving a customer problem and would get the customer on their side.

Services like Facebook would have to work with network APIs to help customers better

Services that hog network bandwidth would be transparent

All would benefit

I am pessimistic though

It would require genuine interconnect between operators and transparency and a desire to act rather than react ..

That’s why I doubt Operators could deliver this ..

But if they could, it would be a game changer ..


HQME – and the future of mobile content delivered at home

Gigaom recently had a post about HQME called The Dream of Mobile Content Delivered at HQME. I believe commercially pragmatic innovation occurs in context of ecosystems and the home ecosystem is poised for innovation in a number of ways. Hence, HQME has been on my radar.

Firstly, before we discuss HQME, here is some context ..

The ‘home’ Cloud

In parallel to the much hyped Cloud computing trend, there is another, less vocal movement which I can best describe as ‘keeping content with you, especially in the home’. Cory Doctrow discussed the tradoff between memory and the network and said in  : Not every cloud has a silver lining

It’s inconceivable to me that network access will ever overtake CPU or hard-drive for cost, reliability and performance. Today, you can buy a terabyte of storage for £57. Unless you’re recording hundreds of hours’ worth of telly, you’d be hard-pressed to fill such a drive.

In other words, not all content will be in the cloud at all times.

Video and the impact on the network

Network bandwidth issues have been well publicised and LTE is only part of the solution but not the ultimate solution because the network can scale only so much both for cost and for performance

Thus, networks continue to struggle with news that (via CNN) ATT will soon cap its DSL bandwidth at 150G per month, which is bad news for Netflix . As the CNN article says – Nielsen recently estimated the typical customer is streaming around 11 hours of video from Netflix’s website per month. However, Nielsen’s data is based on PC and laptop usage only and doesn’t include any streams accessed via iPads, Roku set-top boxes, Blu-ray players or any of the other 250 devices Netflix’s streaming service is now available on. These devices have arguably been the biggest driver for the company’s online video growth, and they’re likely to also have a significant impact on many people’s bandwidth consumption.

Furthermore, people have an unlimited capability to communicate digitally .. SMS has demonstrated that trend very well.  So will video (if you consider ‘social media video content’ i.e. video created by users).

Finally, there is the case of http streaming

Apple has proposed HTTP streaming feature as IETF standard to overcome the limitations of the Real time streaming protocol. Even Adobe, which supported its proprietary RTMP protocol finally seems to be supporting http streaming. Thus, considering the above arguments, we have other parallel trends which are gathering pace for storage of content within the home especially NAS – network attached storage and DLNA in conjunction with NAS. All of the above implies that there will be a parallel move to store and deliver content from the home. With the coming of tablets, this need will increase even more.

Which brings us to HQME


HQME is a standard created by Sandisk, Sony, Softbank, Orange and others to deliver content to handsets via Wi-Fi. While it has always been possible to deliver content to mobile devices via WiFi, HQME adds elements like predictive (intelligent) caching, DRM and others. Ultimately, this is expected to lead to a greater level of experience which could translate to some form of SLA for delivering content over WiFi

So, HQME is interesting because:

-              It could provide a greater experience

-              Tablets could lead to greater content consumption over WiFi

-              Network issues, which have been well publicised

-              Overall momentum in the home ecosystem

-              The momentum of http streaming

Still early days but interesting to see how this ecosystem develops