My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LTE vs WiMax 4G - Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

Friday, October 8, 2010

LTE vs WiMax 4G - Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors


The Spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim

Addison, Ode (1712)

Seems like technical arguments will always find a place in discussions on consumer electronics, despite not being of great relevance to why people buy consumer electronics in the first place.

As CNET News has demonstrated over the years, people get their “gadget fix”, like a good drug addict, not based on specs per se but more based on the “drool”-worthiness of a particular gadget or product.

Its the little things folks; battery life, colour, ease of use, portability, not being tied to proprietary standards, good storage, speed, sharpness and crispness of display – and of course the real tie-breaker, price. Nothing beats the MPP (Magical Pricing Point) of US$100 for a typical gadget in the United States of America, the land of “fame excess” as sung in the Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA.

But what of Telecom Providers?

The recent news of the Telecoms Networks ramping up their deployments for WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) as stated in the article “Clearwire brings limited 4G to New York and Los Angeles”, published September 13, 2010 2:15 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In. Also LTE (Long Term Evolution) as stated in the article “AT&T, Verizon execs talk LTE expansion”, published September 16, 2010 11:05 PM PDT by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In surely do not grab front page News.

But is debate worthy on some unpopular technology sites such as the no name brand TechJamaica ,the largely underground technology forum which has members who do not know each other discussing things that essentially are basically rumour reported as news, typical of the United States of America, where trade secrets are rarely disclosed in Press Kits so as not to give the competition a “heads-up” on what is in the pipeline for their latest consumer gadget.

But as I said before Telecoms is different.

The boring world of Telecommunications is mostly one driven by protocols. So when I recently was on TechJamaica, ruminating as to why the members liked discussing modem hacking, specifically as it relates to local Telecom Provider Digicel WiMaX 4G Fixed (IEEE 802.16a) CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) device.

I of course read the young ‘uns the Riot Act, point out as much that they needed to cease and desist from this activity, as it effectively was trespassing on the work of the Telecom Provider as per Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the Digicel 4G Broadband Prepaid Terms and Conditions.

This by the way, is a document issued with each modem, for which you have to sign a contract agreement agreeing to these terms, even presenting Government of Jamaica identification i.e. Driver’s License, Passport, Birth Certificate, Voter’s ID and even proof of income i.e. rent slips, paycheck stubs, etc.

This is akin to tampering with a JPS Co Meter, as in BOTH cases [Telecom Provider Digicel and JPS Co], the equipment is the property of Telecom Provider Digicel and as such tampering or modem modification is trespass. Did I forget to tell them [TechJamaica] that Lesline Chisolm, Customer Care Director, has her John Hancock plastered on the front of the document?

That it makes modem modification, much less infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (Sections 10.1 to Sections 11.2) and the use of the modem for nefarious hacking activity, laid out as Acceptable Use Policy (Section 4.1 to Section 4.9), grounds for PERMANENT denial of service both now and in the future?

Young people on TechJamaica, do not be like Faust; READ your contracts before you sign to them, otherwise you can permanently lose your service, as Customer Care is getting legalese on Registered Customers instead of saying straight up “do not Download Copyright Infringing Content or modify the modem in any way” as one would logically thing a Customer Care Driven Telecom Provider ought to do.

Guess it DOES indeed outline the seriousness of these activities, as albeit Telecom Provider Digicel DOES indemnify its Registered Customers from prosecution, they nonetheless can face some serious litigation issues from local artiste as well as the RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) as it relates to Copyright Infringement against its members whom they represent in legal matters.

Especially as they are such a large target and Digital Music and Video Piracy has possible gang connections as stated in the article “BE WARNED! If you buy a pirated DVD, CD you can be arrested”, published Wednesday, August 26, 2009 by KARYL WALKER, Crime/Court co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

Worse, the United States of America is getting serious about Digital Music and Video Piracy. The RIAA (Recording Industry Artiste Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Artiste Association) has persuaded Congress to effectively suspend Title IV Federal Aid to Universities and Colleges in the United States of America in breach of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 for alleged Copyright Infringement as stated in the article “Federal News on campus file sharing kick in today”, published July 1, 2010 7:14 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick.

This came into effect on Thursday July 1st 2010 AD, with Senator Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States of America, getting tough on Digital Music and Video Piracy as stated in the article “Feds sieze cash, Web sites of alledged fim pirates”, published June 30, 2010 3:11 PM PDT by Greg Sandoval CNET News - Media Maverick and the article “Lawmakers want power to shut down 'pirate sites'”, published September 20, 2010 11:35 AM PDT by Greg Sandoval, CNET News - Media Maverick.

Senator Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States of America, spoke, quote: “Piracy is theft, clean and simple. It's smash and grab”.

The RIAA is also pushing Silicon Valley tech heavyweights and Telecom Providers to also clamp down on Digital Music and Video Piracy as stated in the article “RIAA pushes Google, Verizon for piracy crackdown”, published August 20, 2010 12:29 AM PDT by Declan McCullagh, CNET News - Politics and Law.

Worse, the Internet could be supercharging e-Book piracy in the just emerging eReader and tablet space currently ruled by the Black Panther and the White Unicorn, namely CEO Jeff Bezos Amazon Kindle and CEO Apple Steve Jobs Apple iPad respectively as stated in the article “Is iPad supercharging e-book piracy?”, published May 14, 2010 12:32 PM PDT by David Carnoy, CNET News – Review.

Even the EU is getting serious, swooping down and picking up nearly ten (10) persons and shutting down nearly forty nine (49) servers suspected of providing access to Copyright Infringing material, as per the article “49 Servers shut in Euro police raid on online piracy network”, published Wednesday September 8, 11:57 am ET,BRUSSELS (AFP), Yahoo! News and as stated in the article “10 arrested in European raids on Internet piracy”, published Wednesday September 8, 1:53 pm ET By RAF CASERT, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo! News.

The French, most serious of all, going as far as fines and imprisonment against repeat offenders who are in breach of anti-piracy regulations as outlined in the rather long-winded French and High Authority for Dissemination of Works and Protection of Rights on the Internet (Hadopi) as stated in the article “France launches warning to web pirates”, published Monday October 4, 12:13 pm ET, AFP, Yahoo! News.

Ostensibly, all of this activity is about the taxing of business transactions on the Internet, effectively the implementation of a State Sales Tax for Internet and mail-order purchases, similar to those already paid by Brick-and-mortar companies as stated in the article “Democrats push for new Internet sales taxes”, published July 2, 2010 12:28 PM PDT by Declan McCullagh, CNET News - Politics and Law.

Throw in Gaming [Gambling] as stated in the article “Congress may roll dice, legalizing Net Gambling” published May 18, 2010 11:14 PM PDT by Declan McCullagh CNET News - Politics and Law into the mix and it becomes clear that the Government of the United States of America is going after Taxes for the Holidays (Hollywood, like that title for another movie?).

So I guess this should answer any queries that TechJamaica peeps, as to whether or not they are in breach and why it is best to be safe rather than to be sorry as it relates to their discussion of modem hacking on their forum – or blog, like whatever, as Audia Granston would roll her eyes and say.

It also lays to rest, killing a second bird with the same stone, the issue of WiMaX vs LTE, especially as reports swirling earlier suggested that even Telecom Provider Clearwire and her CEO Bill Morrow is going LTE as stated in the article “Sprint, Clearwire CEOs ponder LTE for future”, published March 24, 2010 12:01 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - CTIA with testing already commencing as stated in the article “LTE Tests signal Clearwire is serious”, published August 05, 2010 12:50 PM By Stephen Lawson, IDG News, CELL PHONES / VoIP, PCWorld.

This is a follows on similar utterances suggesting that LTE and WiMaX may be looking got ways to partner their technologies into one common standard as stated in the article “Clearwire calls for one global mobile technology”, published Wednesday March 24 2010 By Sinead Carew, Yahoo! News.

Few likeable and popular handsets are available, such as the Samsung Galaxy S and the Epic 4G and the HTC 4G Evo smart phones. Thus, the considered change may be due to lack of manufacturer support for handsets, the main UE (User Equipment) sold to users, and not necessarily the lackluster speeds of the service, as customers only want “fast” and “zippy” as per perception in terms of performance, not in terms of actual specs as it relates to speed or latency

The moot point of many a so-called TechJamaica forum member, who constantly forget that the Customer is King and as such calls the shots as it relates to which gadgets are a hit and which aren’t.

Modems in the United States of America, where computer penetration is high, are already a hit. Jamaica is a different problem as it relates to computer penetration, but people are interested in having High Speed Wireless Broadband Internet Access, especially if no modem is involved, hence the popularity of Wayne Chen and Lee’s owned Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless [a Droid] as stated  in the article “Wayne Chen, Lees enter Wireless Broadband Market”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Not to mention upstart Nubian-1 Tech Services Ltd [Princess Amidala’s Royal starship] as stated in the article “Another small player emerges in the wireless broadband market”, published Friday August 2 2010 by Mark Titus, gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This is not even mentioning the coming of “Super” Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n), based on announcements by FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Julius Genachowski and the opening and spectrum license free White Space Frequencies as stated in the article “FCC to open up vacant TV airwaves for broadband”, published Monday September 13, 12:35 am ET By JOELLE TESSLER, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News and now officially confirmed in the article “FCC officially frees TV white space spectrum”, published Thursday September 23 2010, CNET News.

Thus, in the face of the coming “Super” Wi-Fi (IEEE 801.11n) by January of 2011 with products set to debut at CES in January 2011 and be out in time for the debut of All-Electric Vehicles in 2011, it does not matter one way or another if it is WiMaX or LTE, just that the price is right, the main driving factor in the adoption of any modem technology.

Worse, WiMaX is cheaper than LTE, requiring fewer towers, as WiMaX can serve up to 4000 UE simultaneously, best effort, from one mobile tower, whereas LTE can only serve 600 UE simultaneously, best effort, from one mobile tower as per the article “WiMaX vs LTE: WiMaX is Shrinking, But LTE needs to overcome Issues”, published Saturday, 07/24/2010 - 03:38 by Merben, WiMaX Vs LTE 4G.

As the bandwidth is a shared facility among the users, the speed per customer is increased by increasing the Ring Clock frequency at each of the so-called Drop Nodes as per the nomenclature foibles of Telecom Provider CLARO RF Technician (I prefer the term Ring Sites, as it is less ambiguous) as well as by provisioning more T1 to each mobile site.

Upgrading the protocol to WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m), which is soon to be ratified by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) as stated in the article “WiMaX 2 standard gets date for approval”, published August 16, 2010 1:19 PM PDT by Jack Clark CNET News - Wireless.

So until I see it in bold print, the battle continues as WiMaX, which I am a big champion and her [WiMaX] as Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors continue to battle the ever changing form of SawBoss [LTE]. 
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