Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus USA Wireless

I'm doing research on various mobile systems, mostly comparing the US versus other countries around the world.  Any links or information you could provide on the wireless capacities of Japan, Korea, Europe, Africa would be really useful?  What can they do that we cannot?  What can we do that they cannot?

Tags: net neutrality, spectrum (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

check out FON although this is may be more effective in European cities, the release of the new WiMax standard may make distrubuted networking of this sort much more feasible.  At the least, it's an interesting way to create an overarching wifi network based existing landline infrastructure.  I can't find the articles, but I remember that the cable internet providers had a hissy fit about FON, calling it piracy.

Looks like they've made a deal though.  It's all about the Bills, Linuses, and Aliens.  It's Spanish, so they're a little weird about the wordage.

But what is FON? According to founder Martin Varsavsky, FON is a global community of people who share WiFi connections. We call these people "Foneros", as a tribute to our heritage as a Spanish company. In order to become a Fonero, you go to FON, to download software that you install in your router, you place your antenna by a window and you share bandwidth with other Foneros from anywhere in the world. You can also buy the FON Ready router from our web site, plug and play. FON creates a free WiFi roaming environment for those who contribute WiFi signals, namely those who have already signed up with a local ISP and downloaded our software into their WiFi routers.

The users may sign up to FON in three ways: they can be Bills, Linus or Aliens. What are those names you might ask? The explanation is quite simple: a Linus (who are called like this after Linus Torvalds) shares his/her bandwidth for free with other Foneros, Bills (of course named after Bill Gates) share their bandwidth for a small fee, and Aliens don't share their bandwidth at all.

I have crappy wireless through my apartment complex, and the only benefit is that it's cheaper.  I think that as a social phenomenon, there are huge issues that interconnect with net neutrality and information infrastructure ownership here.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-04-25 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: One avenue of tracking info

Matt, start with search terms 'Flash' and 'mobiles'.  Also search for 'devices'.  Also "Opera browser" also "Symbian".

Flash software is used to design the user interfaces of many mobile features and functions -- and the task is complicated by having to negotiate a variety of OS's and handset units.  

Start here: http://www.symbian.com/

Also check the Microsoft site; some mobiles run on a Win OS.

Not sure what you are looking for, but here are a couple places to begin that are related to Flash.  You should be able to eyeball pretty quickly and scout out  relevant topics, related to Adobe and Flash, to see whether these links are useful:

http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroo m/pressreleases/200703/032807NTTDoCoMo.h tml

http://www.adobe.com/mobile/

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/

ADOBE and 'JAPAN': http://wirelesswatch.jp/2006/07/24/adobe -japan-plans-revolution/  

http://www.rediff.com/money/2006/may/13a dobe.htm

Japan way ahead of US, as are the Brits.  Partly due to different infrastructure.

-----------------
You might also want to search on "Opera" browsers for mobile. Start here:  http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/20 07/04/03/

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The Economist also has done some stunningly good stuff on the whole subject of mobiles -- basically, in developing countries the electrical grid and infrastructure is too weak to support a lot of computers, and computers are too expensive for those popultaions (as a general rule).  Cells are more affordable -- in  Africa, and South America particularly.

See whether you can get access to Economist archives online (behind a payment wall), then search on 'mobiles' -- and check their 'Technology Quarterly' series.  (A good academic library near you would also have these.)

Otherwise, if you can find a good research librarian with access to business pubs, and they can do a cross-search on patent info, or on handset adoption data, that might be a good resource.

Ericsson is Finish; cell phones were the big biz in Finland a few years back, then IIRC the South Koreans (Samsung) came in and undercut them.  DoCoMo is remarkable.  In many respects, we're behind Europe and Asia both in cell phone adoption and also in cell phone features, usage, and economic uses.

Tons of ideas, if a bit scattered.  Meant to stop off on a driveby and typed as fast as I could -- !

Good  luck -- this is a new, burgeoning field.  Glad you're keeping an eye on it!

by readerOfTeaLeaves 2007-04-25 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless

Here is a site that frequently has news, articles and comment concerning wireless, both US and abroad:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/

Very pro net-neutrality, very pro consumer, with plenty of opinions to go around, and quite a bit of experience in the forums.

by viperlmw 2007-04-25 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

Be sure to research "Macedonia Connects"; USAID funded a project to provide wireless service throughout the entire nation.

by domma 2007-04-25 03:14PM | 0 recs
Population Density

My friends tell me that there is a lot more innovation in western Europe.  The reason is that the population density is a lot higher.  Hence networks are more efficient.

by Hellmut 2007-04-25 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Population Density

This is also true because the EU helped set a common  wireless networking standard, where as here we have multiple redundant networks that all talk a different language because each carrier thought they'd be able to grab it all...

by Josh Koenig 2007-04-25 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Population Density

That would be GSM, natch.

by Josh Koenig 2007-04-25 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

Here is the English page for the wireless system sponsored by the Taipei City Govt: WIFLY

I also wrote something about the Taipei wireless system last year, when I used it a lot: See here.

I don't know if that is helpful.

by Panhu 2007-04-25 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re:Japan

Here's some recent stats from Japan that were free (which is what you asking for, I believe):

http://www.wirelesswatch.jp/wp-content/j mss.gif

I found it through an article JD Shim of Mississippi State (and one of the speakers at a Wireless Technology conference Vint Cerf is keynoting)

http://www.decisionsciences.org/Decision Line/Vol36/36_3/36_3ecom.pdf

I found something from Network World Asia, but Matt probably already saw it:

http://www.networksasia.net/ena/article/ articleDetail.jsp?id=418705

Vint Cerf from Google had some data at a talk recently, but it's not available for free as he got his data from a market research firm.  However, OECD has a bit of data here:

http://www.oecd.org/document/7/0,2340,en _2649_34223_38446855_1_1_1_1,00.html

OK, as Elizabeth Edwards told Jane H, "back to work".

by benny06 2007-04-25 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

What's the situation in America? I can't hope to offer much in the way of helpful comment - the age of my phone and the small amount of my calls mark me out as a comparative luddite amongst my generation - but I can probably make a few observations if you can give me some basic info on the state of mobile phone technology and infrastructure in the US.

by Englishlefty 2007-04-25 05:59PM | 0 recs
Cell phones or internet?

All the responses so far seem to be dealing with wireless internet service, but I thought the question was about mobile phones, comparing the European (and mostly worldwide) GSM standard to our mixture of CDMA, GSM, and others.

by taradinoc 2007-04-25 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

If you ask me, the story here is about how a reflexive hostility to government participation (let alone regulation) coupled with the greed, short-sightedness and hubris of telecommunications giants have left us with a vastly inferior wireless network.

In much of the rest of the world, nation-states (and coalitions of states) helped to set wireless communications standards, the most prevalent being GSM. A single standard meant that the various providers had an interoperable network, which doesn't mean they have to connect, but they can. It also simplifies things for phone designers.

Much in the same way that common protocols like TCP/IP and httpd have made the internet a success, the GSM standard has helped drive advances in mobile technology at faster rates.

By contrast, in the US, almost every wireless provider built their own network with their own proprietary networking standard. Check out the full list. There's probably a cultural drive here (we do it our way), but there's also the not so subtle idea that with their own standards, they can more easily control what their phones access, and if they can gain a dominant position they would be able to throttle the competition.

Of course, no provider has ever gained a dominant position, and over the past 20 years they have all built redundant networks over the top of one-another, which has been a huge resource sink away from innovation and next-gen development. At this point, most are in the costly process of converting to emerging global standards because they've belatedly realized the need to have their technology interoperate.

Standards actually help businesses compete, which is why corporate cronies tend to dislike them, and fight back under the guise of "resisting burdensome regulation." It's a smokescreen for their real objective: to create fractured marketplaces where they can exercise monopolistic profit-taking.

by Josh Koenig 2007-04-25 09:12PM | 0 recs
More service in a "third world" country
There is a third carrier starting up in Egypt, but the two there now are MobiNil and Vodafone. They both offer many more services than I could get here in the states with either T-Mobile or Cingular.
http://www.mobinil.com/
http://www.vodafone.com.eg/
Hope that helps.
Ken.
by NomadBear 2007-04-25 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Looking for Info on Worldwide Wireless versus

I recently bought my first smartphone.  Since I needed to be able to use it internationally, I got a quad band GSM world phone.  It will work almost anywhere on the planet....except the US, where GSM coverage is spotty because US carriers have their crappy old antiquiated CDMA technology.

One trick the dreadful US wireless industry pulls is "locking" the phones to their networks, so you can't shop around for carriers without changing phone as well.  Although in theory you can just switch SIM card (for GSM carriers), in the US they sometimes add firmware to the phone that the SIM needs to operate correctly.

I ended up getting a Nokia smartphone with wifi.  Not available in the US, the US-sold version is locked and does not have wifi (they don't want you using Skype at your local Starbucks).  I had to spend $400 to import it, and if it breaks no US carrier will help me out.

The wireless industry in this country is the worst in the world.

Oh yeah, and judging by what I saw on BBSs devoted to mobiles, expect some trolls from the wireless industry to show up here and tell you CDMA-based technologies are better than GSM.  Anyone outside the US will tell you how laughable that is.

by Taylor26 2007-04-26 02:55AM | 0 recs

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