My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: CLARO vs FLOW - Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Monday, October 25, 2010

CLARO vs FLOW - Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard around the world

Emerson, Concord Hymn

The Cat is now out of the Bag, so to speak, as if it regular Jamaicans and ardent techies on the TechJamaica Forum and more importantly, my fellow stable mates and members of the growing Blogsphere Community in Jamaica, specifically Blogger did not see this coming: Telecom Provider CLARO has accepted the challenge based on the throw down of the gauntlet by Triple Play Provider FLOW announced in their previous speed bump up to 100MBps as stated in the article “FLOW to bring 100Mbs to Jamaican homes”, published Saturday October 16 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

They have declared their intention to go toe-to-toe with the best of ‘em by going LTE (Long Term Evolution), capable of speeds of up to 172MBps as stated in the article “Game on!”, published Friday October 22, 2010 by Mark Titus, The Friday Financial Gleaner.

Nice title, as gaming is the MAIN thing that 4G is good for, aside from Video Calling.

By the way, as an aside, it is raining Cats and Dogs, as per the Revenge of Kitty Galore edition of the movie as I type these words to thee, here in my hobbit town of Milk River, Clarendon. Another deluge, I’m afraid folks, another night of rain – and no Audia Granston, my cosmetologist SDA snookums to cuddle up with, cold am I.

But the excitement in the tech world here in Jamaica, as most Americans will grudgingly agree, will keep you blazing hot even in a snow blizzard wearing no underwear (love that imagery, folks?), much as the Big Cats fight started by Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ five (5) minute rant about the competition at their latest earnings call as stated in the article “Apple: More revenue in one quarter than Google will do in a year”, published October 18, 2010, 1:48pm PDT By Sam Diaz, Between the Lines - ZDNet.

Fellow Physics and Tech bloggers, including those facing persecution for who you are, it DOES get better. Hang in there, one day at a time…….

Straight to it, lads!! Google’s point man on Android, Andy Rubin, is alleged to have responded to via Twitter in a geeked-out command line string used to install and allow Developer to dabble with Android Source Code to make their own build of Android as stated in the article “A misguided rebuttal to Steve Jobs' Android attack”, published October 19, 2010 5:13 AM PDT, by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech.

Excitement in the tech world is never dull, especially if you are a now world famous blogger such as myself.  Curiously, this all seems to be happening in the same month of October 2010 AD that Telecom Provider Clearwire is allegedly showing signs of defecting to the LTE camp.

Telecom Provider Clearwire recently testing a LTE software upgrade that enables their Network with 100MBps speeds as stated in the article “Clearwire edges toward 100MBps wireless broadband:, published October 20, 2010 12:34 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength. Americans, say it ain’t so!!

More relevant to my argument is the fact that Telecoms Networks in the United States of America are 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 and 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.

It is good to note at this point, lest we forget, that these competing technologies are not yet 4G, as that seal of approval can only be bestowed by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the Telecommunications arm of the UN (United Nations) which has indicated that WiMaX and LTE. More specifically WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m), are indeed 4G, albeit not officially so as stated in the article “4G: What's in a name?”, published October 21, 2010 12:42 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

The ITU’s conditionality is simple: Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), effectively the same signal multiplexing inherent in WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), a descendant of CDMA Networks and speed capability demonstrable in achieving 100MBps and higher, a criteria neither of these technologies can achieve when the 4G Data Network is loaded to capacity.

Thus Digicel 4G Broadband is guilty of false advertising, technically speaking, as they are not quite 4G.

With the battle now amped up, it is good to note that real-world speeds will still be in the sub 50MBps region, as the 172MBps is a theoretical maximum still not yet achievable by LTE or WiMaX for that matter. Telecom Provider CLARO will have to upgrade their Alcatel Lucent Radios to bigger ones that have DAC cards capable of having more installed T1’s.  

Also, customers with a 3G modem need not return them to Telecom Provider CLARO, as LTE is backward compatible with HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) based modems, using the same Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and Adaptive Modulation based on QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). The modems just run hotter and LTE is fully handover capable, albeit it has issues with the contention ratio, reputed to be only six hundred (600) UE (User Equipment) [modems] compared to four thousand (4000) UE (User Equipment) for the previous 3G technologies.

If anything, LTE requires more noise free Electrical Power, necessating a switch to Alternative Energy sources, such as Wind and Solar Power Generators, thus eliminating fuel theft, along with necessary security enhancements. Telecom Provider Digicel can upgrade from WiMaX 4G Fixed (IEEE 802.16a) and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d,e) to 120MBps capable WiMaX 2 (IEEE 802.16m) 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

WiMaX 2 is fully ratification by the IEEE Standards Association and device certification coming in 2011AD. Telecom Provider CLARO, wary of being caught up in Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle English media distortion field as obvious from her exclusive interview with Gleaner Reporter Janet Silvera detailed in the must read article “FLOWing fastest - Broadband changes to revolutionize Jamaica's Internet landscape”, published Sunday October 24 2010, by Janet Silvera, The Sunday Gleaner, may opt for a pricing strategy but lower, sub 50MBps speeds, emphasizing mobility.

Don’t forget the Wayne Chen and Lee’s owned Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) 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 Financial Gleaner and 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

These two (2) Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks are beating the bigger Telecom Providers with a wireless Network capable of 300MBps but offering speeds of 4MBps to 10MBps best effort, comparable in terms of speed and cost but not necessarily coverage or range, that spec being one (1) km. That will soon improve with the coming of DSO (Digital Switch Over) by 2011AD.

2011AD you say?

Yes, boss. DSO (Digital Switch Over) may indeed be achievable by 2011AD in Jamaica, as it translates to more economic activity and increased taxable income for the Government of Jamaica as tacitly suggested in the article “Slow road to digital switch-over  - Cable groups mum; FLOW ahead but Network coverage behind”, published: Saturday  August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It is hoped that the Government of Jamaica, much as the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Julius Genachoswki had done for small Telecom Operators in the United States of America 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, will allow the “White” Space Frequencies in-between the NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) Television and Radio channels to be utilized spectrum license free to provision “Super” Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) services, unhindered by metallic structures and obstacles that block frequencies in the 850MHz and 2100MHz bands.

And in the middle of all this muddle, the Jamaica customer benefits, as the competition, obvious heating up with the Christmas Promotions from both Telecom Provider CLARO and Triple Play Provider FLOW, make Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel appear to be stunned, apparently unable to comprehend the battle and its spectacle playing out before them.

Still, the question remains unanswered: Where is this “demand”, to quote Triple Play Provider FLOW CEO Michelle English for 100MBps that so prompted Triple Play Provider FLOW to start offering this over priced packages to Residential customers after the speed bump to 20MBps only three weeks and four days (3 weeks 4 days) ago as stated in the article “FLOW ups Internet speed offering again”, published Wednesday, October 06, 2010, The Jamaica Observer?

Jamaica’s Internet penetration is STILL only 17% of households as stated in the article “Internet penetration lagging broadband speed”, published Wednesday, September 22, 2010 by CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer and there is no significant CURRENT demand for a 100MBps service to even justify the speed bump, based on prior utterances of Triple Play Provider FLOW Marketing Director, Sharon Roper on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010: “Businesses are already getting those speeds; We definitely will bring 100MBps to households but our priority right now is to get broadband Internet into as many Jamaican households as possible”.

Unless [hand on cheek like CNET News Executive Editor Molly Wood]……….

Maybe (going out on a limb here!!) it has something to do with the Apple iPad, which of course is more good news for us Jamaicans this Christmas 2010, as the Tablet craze in the United States of America translates to Netbooks being cheaper and thus the device of choice in Third World Countries such as Jamaica this Christmas.

As per the words of Micron, a Netbook manufacturer predicting lower than expected demand for Netbooks for the Fourth Quarter of 2010 AD in the article “Micron: Apple iPad, tablets ding PC, Notebook demand”, published October 8, 2010, 7:42am PDT By Larry Dignan, Between the Lines, ZDNet.

Also the gushing of Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn and his declared confirmation of a 50% bite into the sales of Netbooks and Laptops at his chain of retail stores as stated in the article “Best Buy CEO; iPad cannibalizing Laptop Sales by up to 50 percent”, published Friday September 17 2010, 6:10 am ET by Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine, Yahoo! News.

Not bad for a device credited with having the fastest adoption rate of any computer thus far, selling nearly four million five hundred thousand (4,500,000) units every three (3) months as stated in the article “Reading, Writing and - iPads?”, published Thursday October 14 2010, 9:42 pm ET, by Dan Hope, TechNewsDaily Staff Writer,, Yahoo! News.

Wouldn’t hurt to see Beauty Queen Regina Beavers of CVM at Sunrise fame [low catcall] on CVM TV use one though, as that would definitely make my morning. Carletta DeLeon aka The Pet Tales Chick aka “Dilly” of Smile Jamaica fame (woof, woof!!) on Television Jamaica also likes the toy too, so it may soon be catching on in Jamaica. Maybe……….

Guess it is really Telecom Provider CLARO vs Triple Play Provider FLOW for the Christmas of 2010 AD then. Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel are left still not on the Christmas Promotion dance floor and Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless and Nubian-1 Tech Services Ltd are doing the cha-cha-cha towards DSO. 

Game on, people! 

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