My slides for my keynote at the swiss mobile association in Zurich last week ..










Crossdomain technology trends in Telecoms, Mobile and the Internet


What will 5G look like and how 5G will shape the technological landscape of countries for the next decade

Based on my observations at MWC and outside, here is an analysis of why 5G matters and how it could shape the technological landscape of countries.

What is 5G

The Ericsson white paper on 5G says “5G radio access is an integrated set of technologies addressing a wide variety of use cases and requirements”

This statement sounds very generic but covers a lot of specific details because technology does not exist in vacuum. Hence, 5G should be seen in context of the previous technological evolutions. These are: 1G(1980’s) Voice; 2G(1990’s) Voice & Text; 3G(2000’s) Multimedia; 4G(2010’s) Mobile Internet. Building on these, 5G could be seen as a set of technologies that bring the networked society to life. This statement ‘creating a set of technologies that bring the networked society to life’ also sounds aspirational ..

So we need to explore what 5G means for applications and services

Today, Mobile traffic is driven by predictable activities which include making calls, email communications, browsing, watching video etc. Over the next 5 to 10 years, it is expected that billions of new devices with less predictable traffic patterns will join the network. These include Smart meters, Automotive applications, remote surveillance etc.

So, to handle this, 5G represents a convergence of Radio access technologies. To this, 5G also adds a good user experience as a goal

What does 5G mean for applications and applications?

The drivers for 5G are

  • Massive growth in Connected Devices
  • Wide range of Requirements and Characteristics
  • Making access affordable and sustainable

To achieve this in a diverse ecosystem as discussed above, from a network standpoint, we could classify applications along the parameters:

  • high volume(classical)
  • latency oriented
  • data payloads
  • energy efficiency
  • network reliability

For example:

  • Relaxed latency requirements – Remote meter reading for billing purposes
  • Strict latency requirements – Safety or control mechanisms in the process industry,
  • High network reliability – Applications relating to the control of critical infrastructure (such as electrical grids), industrial control etc
  • High volume – Remote video surveillance,
  • Low payload – Smart metering

And all these on a massive scale (50 billion)

5G will expand into new deployment scenarios, for example ultra-dense deployments where the distance between network access nodes may be as small as a few meters and to Direct device-to-device communication. Direct to device supports radio access between a terminal and an access point connected to the Internet. Direct to device is  beneficial when devices that share information are close to each other and information has in a local context.






(source Ericsson)

What to expect from next generation wireless networks technology?

Some of the qualities of a 5G network include:

  • mobile data rates of multiple gigabits per second;
  • higher spectral efficiency and advanced beam-forming technology;
  • a dramatic reduction in power consumption by both devices and macro- and microcell sites;
  • latencies of less than five milliseconds end to end;
  • a larger number of supported devices;
  • pervasive coverage;
  • extreme reliability;
  • self-healing capabilities.

And also include some more complex ones like ultra-dense networks to networks that harvest their power

The blog What to expect from the next generation of wireless communications? Gives a good outline of 5G features which I summarise below

End to end broadband connectivity that meets or exceeds user expectations – Higher data rates , superior end user experience, minimal dead zones and dropped data/voice packets, high quality of voice,  ubiquitous Five signal bars, close to zero Latency, no network congestion, pervasive and  robust networks that can withstand natural calamities

Dynamic allocation of resources –mapping the service requirements to the most suited combination of frequency and radio resources.

Customized user specific experience – The future wireless communications will focus increasingly on delivering enhanced support for diverse applications while remembering the customers’ preferences and usage patterns. The customer will be able to trust the service provider. Quality of service will be tailored to the applications’ demand.

Multi-hop mobile ad hoc networks – Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) are designed to operate without any infrastructure and possess self-organizing capabilities. The wireless nodes communicate among themselves using multi-hop radio relaying, without the packets passing through a central access point or a base station.

The Internet of Things – The idea of machine to machine communications is not new and has been discussed for years. However, the ‘Internet of Things’ is a relatively fresh term referring to various objects in our lives all possessing a unique RFID (linked to an IP address). They will communicate with each other without human interference, help in decision making and save time.

Centimeter and millimeter wave frequencies as spectrum source –The spectrum above 3 GHz has been largely left untouched so far in most parts of the world. High frequencies means low range

Smart and efficient receivers –The primary intelligence of the network will remain with the transmitter for the foreseeable future, but eventually receivers will play an increasingly important role in making the mobile environment more efficient on a network level.

This is summarised  in the following diagrams


(source Eriscsson)


















The race for the next generation game changers is on ..


5G could be a game changer for countries and companies and many have realised that

The UK effort is led by the University of Surrey 5G research center

Ericsson led metis2020 project, the Intel Strategic Research Alliance for 5G, the EU project 5gnow , Huawei’s 5G collaborations in Europe (especially in Munich) and ofcourse Neelie Kroes announcements for 5G are examples of various projects in this space

The World Radiocommunications Conference, scheduled for November 2015. Will bring many of these discussions into focus

The new 5G-Public Private Partnership will work in three phases over the next six years to define and launch the 5G infrastructure:

  1. Phase I (2014-2016): Basic research work / Vision building
  2. Phase II (2016-2018): System optimization / Pre-standardization
  1. Phase III (2018-2020): Large-scale trials / Early Standardization

To conclude, the discussions for 5G are only just beginning!  And much is at stake

A unified view of a 5G network would look as below


Speaking at smama – Swiss mobile association on Mobile trends




Its always nice to speak in German speaking countries since I have so many friends and also family in Germany

Zurich has been a hotbed of mobile activity with Google’s labs there – so its great to speak in Zurich for this event

keynote on Mobile trends


Date of
the next trade event will be held on 6 March 2014 in the HWZ an exciting topic ‘mTrends’ instead. Please save the date!

Are you interested? Your application we will be happy to take on 3 March against 2014. All other details can be found below.

Participation is for smama members (max. 3 persons per company + max. 3 guests) free. Non-members and additional guests pay a fee of CHF 80 -.

Fritz Reust, Managing smama


16:30 to 17:00 Arrival of the guests

17:00 – Welcome by Fritz Reust, Managing smama

17:00 to 17:30  Keynote 1: “The Mobile World in 2018: The future is based on global micro-trends” - Sebastian Rassmann,Trendone, Hamburg

17:30 to 18:45  Top 5 Trends for 2014

The smama departmental managers designate the mTrends 2014:

  • Ronie guarantor, mobagogo to mMarketing: Couponing – LBS / LBA – CRM – Offline to Online Cross Chanel. mAdvertising: New advertising formats – Optimization – BigData – Local Based Advertising – programatic Buying
  • Joachim Hagger, Netcetera to mApps & mInternet: cross-channel services – Real-time Web – mobilization of Business – Indoor navigation – Wearables – extinction of the desktop Web
  • Tobias Wirth, Aduno group to mCommerce & mPayment: Mobile Contactless Payment – M-wallets – Beacon / iBeacon – In-Store Remote M-Payment – P2P Purse to Purse M-Payment
  • Martin Fessler, view group to mContent & mPublishing: Personalization – Mobile First – Advertising – Crowd
  • Sascha Corti, Microsoft to MTechnology: Device Trends – Internet of Things – BYOD within the company – Enterprise Apps – HTML5/CSS/JS as native development language
  • Dr. Oliver Staffelbach, Wenger & Vieli to mStartups: developments in Startups – Presentation Sharely

18:45 to 19:15  Keynote 2: “Cross Domain technologytrends in Telecoms, Mobile and the Internet” - Ajit Jaokar,opengardensblog / Future Text, London

19:15 to 19:30 Q & A

19:00 to 20:30 Aperitif / Networking

21:00 end of the event

Info Flyer 
Here you will find the gesame program. ((Link follows))


5G spectrum – for all or for the few?








I am back from MWC and also from the keynote at the Raspberry Pi conference.  More on those soon.

Independent of MWC, here is an interesting link I saw about 5G from Stephen Temple’s blog

The question is: Will 5G benefit all (valleys) Or will it benefit a few who already have good coverage (hills)

Stephen identifies three trends affecting Spectrum allocation

a) Radio system technology advances are focused solely on making the hills ever higher but doing relatively little about the valleys.

b) Spectrum regulators are doing their best to find more spectrum to meet the rising consumer demand for wireless data (again – the hills)

c) The third trend is the collapse of mobile handset performance as an ever greater number of frequency bands are brought into use for mobile radio. An antenna optimised to work over widely separated frequency bands always has a worse performance than one optimised for a specific frequency band.

You can read the full story from the blog - Will 5G be for a minority of high capacity hill dwellers or for the rest of us?


Image source Stephen Temple blog representing Hills and Valleys

My schedule at Mobile world congress – EIF roundtable and Ministerial program






I am at Mobile World Congress and this year for the first time, I am invited to the Ministerial program at Mobile World Congress which deals with Technology policy issues 

This is due to my work as co-author for the European Internet Foundation – Digital world in 2030 program

The High level roundtable for the report is on Sunday which I am also attending

 As always – happy to meet if possible

Is the whatsapp acquisition an endorsement for the non-advertisement (paid) model?







On a day when whatsapp is acquired – Its worth considering if the whatsapp acquisition an endorsement for the non-advertisement model?

Here is an older Business insider link (emphasis mine) which explains the philosophy of whatsapp founders

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy s*** we don’t need.

“Brian and I spent a combined 20 years at Yahoo!, working hard to keep the site working. And yes, working hard to sell ads, because that’s what Yahoo! did. It gathered data and it served pages and it sold ads.

We watched Yahoo! get eclipsed in size and reach by Google… a more efficient and more profitable ad seller. They knew what you were searching for, so they could gather your data more efficiently and sell better ads.

These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads.

When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse. We wanted to spend our time building a service people wanted to use because it worked and saved them money and made their lives better in a small way. We knew that we could charge people directly if we could do all those things. We knew we could do what most people aim to do every day: avoid ads.

No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn’t). We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.

Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out… And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.

Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.

At WhatsApp, our engineers spend all their time fixing bugs, adding new features and ironing out all the little intricacies in our task of bringing rich, affordable, reliable messaging to every phone in the world. That’s our product and that’s our passion. Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it.

When people ask us why we charge for WhatsApp, we say “Have you considered the alternative?””

I am very much aware that all this may change post-acquisition. But that’s not the point.

The point is – a great business was built on creating value for it’s users with the ethos of not advertising

Its inspiring for @feynlabs

Net Neutrality – Is the debate maturing?






Depending on your perspective, with recent developments, it’s tempting to think that Net Neutrality has debate has changed radically

But in reality, in the background, the Net Neutrality debate may be maturing

Here is why

I have attended IMS conferences for years and they have been predictably boring

Mostly we see the same faces and the same companies (mainly Operators) who complain of the same issues (OTT).

Absent from the debate are any real web companies

So, I was very surprised to see facebook and Mozilla speaking at the IMS world conference

This is a good development

To me, it shows that behind the rhetoric – we may be actually engaging in real dialogue to create useful services

webRTC plays a big role here – and I am a fan

And the interesting aspect is both facebook and webRTC are platforms

Which is good for wider innovation i.e. not just the players themselves

The sessions are


14.00 IMS and WebRTC: What does it mean and where is it going?

09.35 WebRTC: Because the web is the platform

• How browsers and operators can work together

• End user value of real-time communications

• P2P and privacy aspects of WebRTC

• Case study of how firefox can be integrated into IMS networks

Jean-Baptiste Piacentino, Firefox Director Browser Communications,

Mozilla, USA

 12.05 IMS and RCS integration and next generation carriers expect from Facebook.

• How can we evolve new architectures?

• Is Facebook really an OTT threat?

• Future deployments

Graham Bright, Mobile Partner Engineer, Facebook, Ireland

 We are also seeing a more complex discussion ex Has the FCC Chairman Solved the Net Neutrality Quagmire?

All these are good developments and in the end reflect a growing reality that everyone is ultimately focused on serving their customers in the best possible way

Ovum claims predictably that Operators’ M2M opportunities revenues will more than treble over the next five years




Ovum claims predictibly that Operators’ M2M opportunities revenues will more than treble over the next five years

This is interesting since its about M2M and not IOT

‘M2M’ (machine to machine). M2M is mainly a Telecoms industry term.

M2M implies a ‘machine + radio’ at least at one end with a cellular modem.

IOT has a wider goal of making intelligent devices using radio technologies (but not necessarily cellular).

IOT is expected to be in the range of 50 billion devices by 2020

By 2020, we are expected to have 50 billion connected devices

To put in context:

The first commercial citywide cellular network was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979

The milestone of 1 billion mobile phone connections was reached in      2002

The 2 billion mobile phone connections milestone was reached in 2005

The 3 billion mobile phone connections milestone was reached in 2007

The 4 billion mobile phone connections milestone was reached in February 2009.

So, 50 billion by 2020 is a large number

Thus,  M2M is a subset of IOT(Internet of things).

For example healthcare has the following wireless technologies – Bluetooth, MICS, 802.11, IEE 802.15.4, 802.11e, Zigbee, Whitehart, Wibree, ISA100.11a, 6LoWPAN , 6lowpan, 3G/GPRS/GSM.

Cellular is just one of them ..

Now, what is Ovum claiming - Ovum outlines operators’ M2M opportunities as it forecasts revenues will more than treble over the next five years

 a)  Over the next five years, M2M revenues will grow to reach $44.8bn, with more than a third coming from Asia-Pacific.

b)  New forecasts* from Ovum reveal that revenues will grow slightly more slowly than connections, reflecting the increasing competitiveness of the market and the extension of M2M into lower-value applications.

c) Total global M2M connections will more than treble from 106.4 million in 2012 to 360.9 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 22.6%.

d) There will be growth across all regions, but it will be fastest in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Revenues in Asia-Pacific will grow to almost $15bn, at a CAGR of 26.5%, between 2012 and 2018.

e) The most important industry verticals in 2018 will be healthcare, manufacturing, and energy & utilities, which are forecast to generate revenues of $7.9bn, $7.1bn, and $7.0bn respectively by 2018.

f)  “This is not a forecast of the ‘Internet of Things’ but rather of managed and paid-for connections over public mobile networks,

 g)  “For telcos there are really two opportunities: to stand back and provide the connectivity for M2M services, or to roll up their sleeves and get involved with the end-to-end provision of solutions.”

h) The first is a smaller opportunity but is much more straightforward for telcos to address. The second is much bigger, but involves new skills and competencies, and defining new kinds of relationship with systems integrators (SIs) and software development.


Most of these reports are written for Telco audiences.

So, they follow a now familiar pattern

a) Show that there is a big market .. (X billion after Y years)

b) Claim connectivity is minimum and thats the low hanging fruit ..

c) Claim services are the key but Telcos need different skills to take advantage of services (or those Big Bad OTT guys will take it all!)

So, no surprises here!

Why Asia Pac? esp with healthcare, energy and utilities driving the uptake?

I am not sure ..

But overall .. a sense of Deja Vu

For real innovation – see IOT, Kickstarter etc

Women and Coding – Do we need a different approach ..










Over the last year, as part of my edtech start-up Feynlabs – I have been involved in developing new ways to teach Computer Science and Programming.

We have been primarily focussing on kids and schools including teachers.

Everyone agrees it’s a major issue – and a lot is at stake in getting young people to code.

As the father of a very motivated 10 year old who accompanies me on the Feynlabs journey with his own insights such as the lemon Pi   – I am personally motivated in this quest.

We started off with the facebook group – then the company with an excellent Feynlabs team

Over the last year we conducted trials in UK, Europe and USA to develop the Feynlabs methodology – specifically the feynmaps techniques (more on this later).

We also conducted trials with around 400 teachers online – which are still ongoing ..

So, some interesting insights over the last year

An interesting secondary observation of this work was  - that teaching women to code may need a different approach ..

I heard this from an educator (and I paraphrase)

If you give a two boys a tennis ball and ask them to throw it against a wall and catch it (one who drops first loses) ..

They will happily play that ‘game’ all day ..

But if you try the same exercise with girls – they will ask –


i.e. Whats the point of this exercise ..

This is actually a profound observation – with some implications for learning to code

Over the last year – working with so many people – we also observe the same.

So, instead of making changing colour/design of sites (ex pink) – how about tying it to a cause? 

Hence the image on this blog of the environment (image source – EU Digital Agenda)

So, we are now announcing a brief free online trial – essentially an adaptation of our work in schools – to teach women to code

I will post more on this later – assuming there is interest – but here are some key aspects – all of which we have been trialling over the last year

a)    How to read code

b)    Understanding Big Picture first

c)    Understanding meta patterns – think like a chess master – who sees many ‘matches’ before and can draw common patterns for the next move

d)    Coaching and Programming (focussed improvement)

e)    Pi (physical computing)

f)     the feynmaps techniques– more on this later

g)    linking to cause ex environmental issues (as opposed to boys being targeted to competitive etc) – see above

h)   Focus on Python Django Javascript node.js and mobile app development

i)     Small steps – over a longer duration – 6 months

j)      tutor led (one on one)

If you are interested – please email me at ajit.jaokar at

I am very much aware that this issue has been in the news over the last week and I hope our approach – based on our insights from trials – can add value

Later it could be a new program/kickstarter etc – not yet decided  – so welcome feedback

I will be at Mobile World Congress 2014

I will be at Mobile World Congress 2014. If you want to meet up/feature on my coverage for MWC 2014 please email me at ajit.jaokar at