Broadband by Google "small dot" com : cloudy, with chances of bitballs

mot-bile 2010 - Over 190,000 individuals and 1,100 communities contributed to Google's request for information about its "experimental fiber network"*.

Of course, the aim of this RFI was to optimize the buzz, to impress the FCC, and to scare competitors : the only thing Big G keeps saying about its "Ultra high speed broadband" project is that it will reach 1 Gbps FTTH (don't expect Google Broadband to be con-TISPated**), and that the "experience" will involve between 50,000 and 500,000 customers (small figures for a boolean search, but half a million sounds like a Warren Beatty kind of testbed).

So instead of a network coverage map, Google delivered this splendid PR map where "each small dot represents a government response, and each large dot represents locations where more than 1,000 residents submitted a nomination" :

And "wherever we decide to build" is up to us guys.

Said guys are in Vegas (along with Google, of course) at the CTIA show, listening to T-mobile about 3G++, Verizon Wireless about LTE, and Sprint about "4G" WiMAX***. All making plans to prevent network overloads courtesy iPhone, Android et al.

Next thing you know your Ma and Pa CLEC / coop telco looks attractive again because Google needs a really rural testbed in Armpit, ND or any other "small dot" on their map to tell the FCC they're not only rolling out fiber in San Mateo or Houston.

Wheather forecasts ? Cloudy, with chances of bitballs.

* "
Next steps for our experimental fiber network" (Official Google Blog 20100326). Note that the number of communities almost doubled between the 3/26/2010 10:00:00 AM post and its 3/26/2010 05:26:00 AM update.
** "
Google TiSP - US Open at Flushing Windows"
*** "
HTC EVO 4G : Sprinting to 4G... or rather 4G WiMAX/3G EV-DO Rev. A"


HTC EVO 4G : Sprinting to 4G... or rather 4G WiMAX/3G EV-DO Rev. A

Sprint unveiled the HTC EVO 4G at CTIA : "America's first 4G phone" will be "Coming Summer 2010", and offer "3G/4G mobile hotspot capability-extend the power of the Now Network"*.

4G ?!? Don't expect LTE but simply 4G WiMAX combined with 3G EV-DO Rev. A. Yes, WiMAX got the 4G label**, just like DECT was 3G ITUwise.

But this HTC EVO is far from being a dud, dude. It also features :
- from Google : Android 2.1, Android Market (30,000 apps up to now), and among Google mobile services clearly advertised by Sprint : Google Talk and Google Voice.
- from HTC : a 4.3-inch screen ("with unique kickstand for easy media viewing", a connection "to your HDTV so you can watch HD movies" on a bigger screen), HTC Sense UI (with "social networking integration with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more"), 1,500 mAh Lithium battery, dual cameras (8 megapixel primary, 1.3 megapixel front-facing), proximity and motion sensors, digital compass, 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
- from Qualcomm : 1 GHz Snapdragon processor
- from the air : Wi-Fi, GPS Navigation, Stereo Bluetooth, FM radio
- for the plug-ins : microSD Card slot, micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack, HDMI output...
- from Sprint : Now Network, Sprint TV...

Yeah. The operator is not doing much beyond rolling out his 27-market WiMAX network and putting a sticker on the phone. The real PR winners here are HTC, Qualcomm (stuck to its proprietary 3G but associated to "4G"), and even more Google : Android starts outhyping iPhone, and Google mobile VoIP gets a front seat.

Hoping that Sprint's networks and HTC's batteries won't spoil the fun.

mot-bile 2010

* see
** as we saw earlier ("
Aloha's long goodbye, Standards Wars Episode 4G and the phantom menace"), the ITU has been kind to WiMAX.


Energize your handset, nevermind the consequences

Indian manufacturer Olive Telecommunications launched a mobile phone where AAA batteries can give you up to 3 more hours of conversation when the lithium-ion battery is exhausted. "Olive FrvrOn" (Forever On, not Fever On) costs $37 and targets rural areas where plugs are not always available.

Smart and simple, but not very environmental friendly. How many AAA batteries do you think will be recycled in the dead middle of India ? How about the cost of logistics for this noria of 11.5 gram AAA batteries ?

Now there is a power issue here (and there as well). Such manufacturers as Samsung are investigating other solutions, more or less relevant*, but all based on a more sustainable concept : generate your power on the spot, be it using your own force of with the help of the sun.

So OK, this manufacturer will sell a lot of devices and change the lives of a lot of people but I hope this quick fix won't be too successful.

mot-bile 2010

* see "
Samsung's power grip", "Samsung Crest Solar"

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