Telecom and networking trends 2013

One of the big trends of 2013 and beyond is the pervasiveness of technology in everything we do – from how we work to how we live and how we consume.

Worldwide IT spending increases were pretty anemic as IT and telecom services spending were seriously curtailed last year. It seems that things are going better. Telecom services spending, which has been curtailed in the past few years, only grew by a tenth of a point in 2012, to $1.661tr, but Gartner projects spending on mobile data services to grow enough to more than compensate for declines in fixed and mobile voice revenues. Infonetics Research Report sees telecom sector growth outpacing GDP growth. Global capital expenditure (capex) by telecommunications service providers is expected to increase at a compounded rate of 1.5% over the next five years, from $207 billion in 2012 to $223.3 billion in 2017, says a new market report from Insight Research Corp.

Europe’s Telco Giants In Talks To Create Pan-European Network. Europe’s largest mobile network operators are considering pooling their resources to create pan-European network infrastructure, the FT is reporting. Mobile network operators are frustrated by a “disjointed European market” that’s making it harder for them to compete.


“Internet of Things” gets new push. Ten Companies (Including Logitech) Team Up To Create The Internet Of Things Consortium article tell that your Internet-connected devices may be getting more cooperative, thanks to group of startups and established players who have come together to create a new nonprofit group called the Internet of Things Consortium.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications are more and more used. Machine-to-machine technology made great strides in 2012, and I expect an explosion of applications in 2013. Mobile M2M communication offers developers a basis for countless new applications for all manner of industries. Extreme conditions M2M communication article tells that M2M devices often need to function in extreme conditions. According to market analysts at Berg Insight, the number of communicating machines is set to rise to around 270 million by 2015. The booming M2M market is due to unlimited uses for M2M communications. The more and more areas of life and work will rely on M2M.

Car of the future is M2M-ready and has Ethernet. Ethernet has already been widely accepted by the automotive industry as the preferred interface for on-board-diagnostics (OBD). Many cars already feature also Internet connectivity. Many manufacturers taking an additional step to develop vehicle connectivity. One such example is the European Commission’s emergency eCall system, which is on target for installation in every new car by 2015. There is also aim of Vehicle-to-Vehicle communications and Internet connectivity within vehicles is to detect traffic jams promptly and prevent them from getting any worse.

M2M branches beyond one-to-one links article tells that M2M is no longer a one-to-one connection but has evolved to become a system of networks transmitting data to a growing number of personal devices. Today, sophisticated and wireless M2M data modules boast many features.

The Industrial Internet of Things article tells that one of the biggest stories in automation and control for 2013 could be the continuing emergence of what some have called the Internet of Things, or what GE is now marketing as the Industrial Internet. The big question is whether companies will see the payback on the needed investment. And there are many security issues that needs to be carefully weighted out.


Very high speed 60GHz wireless will be talked a lot in 2013. Standards sultan sanctifies 60GHz wireless LAN tech: IEEE blesses WiGig’s HDMI-over-the-air, publishes 802.11ad. WiFi and WiGig Alliances become one, work to promote 60GHz wireless. Wi-Fi, WiGig Alliances to wed, breed 60GHz progeny. WiGig Alliance’s 60GHz “USB/PCI/HDMI/DisplayPort” technology sits on top of the IEEE radio-based communications spec. WiGig’s everything-over-the-air system is expected to deliver up to 7Gbit of data per second, albeit only over a relatively short distance from the wireless access point. Fastest Wi-Fi ever is almost ready for real-world use as WiGig routers, docking stations, laptop, and tablet were shown at CES. It’s possible the next wireless router you buy will use the 60GHz frequency as well as the lower ones typically used in Wi-Fi, allowing for incredibly fast performance when you’re within the same room as the router and normal performance when you’re in a different room.

Communications on power line still gets some interest at least inside house. HomePlug and are tussling it out to emerge as the de-facto powerline standard, but HomePlug has enjoyed a lot of success as the incumbent.

Silicon photonics ushers in 100G networks article tells that a handful of companies are edging closer to silicon photonics, hoping to enable a future generation of 100 Gbit/s networks.

Now that 100G optical units are entering volume deployment, faster speeds are very clearly on the horizon. The push is on for a 400G Ethernet standard. Looking beyond 100G toward 400G standardization article tells that 400G is very clearly on the horizon. The push is now officially “on” for 400-Gigabit Ethernet standard. The industry is trying to avoid the mistakes made with 40G optics, which lacked any industry standards.

Market for free-space optical wireless systems expanding. Such systems are often positioned as an alternative to fiber-optic cables, particularly when laying such cables would be cost-prohibitive or where permitting presents an insurmountable obstacle. DARPA Begins Work On 100Gbps Wireless Tech With 120-mile Range.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Soghoian & Greenwald tell EU bigwigs: Fight state snooping on mobe networks NOW
    Never mind roaming fees, what about data security?

    Politicians and regulators in Europe need to decide whether they want a secure mobile phone system or something their own police agencies – as well as spy agencies in the US, China and elsewhere – are able to easily tap into, according to a renowned security and privacy expert.

    Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the speech, privacy & technology project at the American Civil Liberties Union, told a European Parliament hearing on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs that keeping foreign intelligence agencies out of mobile phone traffic while allowing local cops access to it is a practical impossibility.

    “The NSA employs the best hackers in the world and if they can’t get in directly they will just hack into the cops’ systems,” he said.

    “Weaknesses in GSM have been known about for 20 years,” Soghoian said.

    It used to be the case that you need government-grade surveillance equipment to intercept communications but it’s now possible for researchers, hobbyists and hackers to build interception kit for a few hundred dollars. As Soghoian explained, “mobile phone interception tech has been democratised.”

    That means that the mobile phone conversations of politicians were vulnerable to spying on by paparazzi as well as creating the means for unscrupulous businessmen to hire hackers to spy on their rivals, according to the technology policy expert.

    “For years there’s been a widespread failure of telco regulators to prevent threat of interception. It should not have taken the Edward Snowden revelations” to reveal this, Soghoian argued, asking rhetorically: “Regulators have intervened when it comes to roaming fees but what about data security for cellphone networks?”

    “Mobile networks are insecure by design and this is not an accident. The needs of local law enforcement and intelligence come first,” he said.

    There are already secure apps for smartphones but at the time of writing they require action on the part of users, so they’re not widely deployed, according to Soghoian.

    The NSA use metadata to build a network of associates and friends, something Greenwald described as “very invasive”.

    “If you value privacy then it would almost be preferable to have the NSA listen in to your phone calls,” Greenwald said in an uncharacteristically semi-flippant aside.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bluetooth Smart Radio Boasts Ultra-Low Power Consumption

    Imec is offering a new ultra-low-power Bluetooth Smart radio that can consume less than a fifth the power of current competitive products, and also features a low-memory footprint.

    The Bluetooth Smart compliant 2.4 GHz short-range radio — which Imec co-developed with its open-innovation lab, Holst Centre — is well suited for a host of wireless sensor applications, such as heart monitors, interfaces such as styluses, smart watches, smartphones, as well as sensors that take temperature and other atmospheric readings,

    These types of sensors, which generally should consume as little power as possible so their batteries or power sources don’t need frequent replacement, are the foundation of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which myriad devices and everyday items or household appliances will communicate with each other via radios like this one.

    Currently, Bluetooth Smart (formerly Bluetooth Low Energy) is emerging as one of the leading wireless protocols for these sensors and devices, alongside WiFi and Zigbee. ABI Research in London said that Bluetooth Smart will lead in shipments and WiFi will lead in revenues in the healthcare device intelligent component market, which is expected to exceed $100 million by 2018.

    For sensor nodes the wireless system usually is 50 to 85 percent of the overall power consumption of a system, De Groot said.

    The new short-range radio — which uses a 1.2 V battery — achieves a DC power of only 3.8 mW at 1.2 V supply for the receiver and 4.6 mW for the transmitter, according to Imec.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World+dog: Network level filters block LEGIT sex ed sites. Ofcom: Meh
    Why ineffectual blockers will be affectionately licked by watchdog

    Inevitably, as network-level filters are switched on by Britain’s biggest telcos, reports are suggesting that the systems are wrongly blocking sex education websites.

    BT, which introduced its network-level filter just last week, said: “Parents need the knowledge and the tools to help them keep their children safe online.”

    By July 2013, Cameron threatened the country’s biggest telcos that he would bring in regulatory measures if the companies failed to take responsibility for what, in effect, some see as a censorship machine that attempts to hide, with very mixed results, perfectly legitimate content – such as porn – from the prying eyes of youngsters.

    But for those wondering how high Cameron’s regulatory threat level actually is, some context about Ofcom’s role might prove fruitful.

    But readers might wonder what role Ofcom might play in looking at a system that isn’t perfect for policing the internet in the way that some politicos and parents might foolishly have expected it to.

    Specifically, on over-blocking, The Register was told: “We’re not involved in policy-making in this area”. The Ofcom spokesman added that the government had only asked it to deal with “very defined things” on the issue of filtering.

    The industry is cautiously optimistic that it’s so-called Active Choice solution will be enough to convince Whitehall not to meddle with the broadband market on this spiky topic. It helps, of course, that the system favoured by the ISPs is so ineffectual by either over-blocking some content, or slipping through the odd boob.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards

    “A new remotely-programmable embedded SIM design from the GSMA operators’ group means that devices can be operated on the Internet of things and won’t have to be opened up to have their SIM card changed if they move to a different operator. The design could speed up embedded applications.”

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GSMA Creates Remotely Managed SIM For M2M Applications

    The new embedded standard lets devices connect to the Internet of Things without having to change their SIM

    The GSMA has published the technical description of a SIM card designed specifically for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication and the Internet of Things.

    The new embedded electronic circuit allows remote provisioning and management of network information, which means customers will never have to open an M2M device to replace a SIM. The design was created to ensure interoperability and security, and has attracted interest far beyond the mobile industry.

    “Without a globally recognised, standardised and harmonised connectivity solution the automotive industry will become unnecessarily complex and fragmented. As a car manufacturer an embedded SIM that can be remotely provisioned is absolutely key for us in driving efficiency and simplicity and is to be welcomed. We thank the GSMA and partners for agreeing this specification,” commented Marcus Keith, project manager at Audi Connect.

    First deployments of the new embedded SIM are expected in 2014.

    Traditional SIM cards were designed to be interchangeable, with this consideration defining their shape, size and layout. While they are currently successfully used in M2M devices, these pieces of plastic need to be replaced every time a device has to connect to a new network.

    To fix this issue, the GSMA has developed a non-removable SIM that can be embedded in a device for the duration of its life, and remotely assigned to a network. This information can be subsequently modified over-the-air, as many times as necessary.

    The GSMA says its new SIM can reduce ongoing operational and logistical costs. Replacing one SIM is not going to break the bank, but replacing a few million could make a dent in any budget, it reckons.

    The embedded design is backed by leading mobile network operators and device manufacturers, including Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and China Mobile.

    The standard eliminates the need for network operators to develop their own solutions for remote provision of SIMs, and allows customers to easily switch networks at the end of a contract.

    Despite the convenience of over-the-air management, the GSMA says the embedded design is not meant to replace conventional SIM cards, even though this exact idea was floated when ETSI was deciding on the future of the nano-SIM in 2012.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Used all your mobile data? Why not buy your mate’s excess bits?
    China Mobile unveils clever download swap shop

    China Mobile has come up with a rather interesting way to help out customers who run out of data before the end of the month – a new trading platform which allows other customers to sell data bundles they haven’t used.

    The 2nd exchange market, aka “2cm”, is a new app which the operator’s Hong Kong 4G Pro Service Plan customers can download.

    Once in the app, sellers can price the data they want between HK$15 (£1) and HK$60 (£4.70) in 1GB bundles.

    “Through the 2cm platform, users can check data transaction status, adjust prices and numbers of new orders at any time,” a China Mobile spokesperson clarified to The Reg.

    “The platform will automatically search for, match and notify 4G data sellers once a 4G data buyer is found. Extra data bought from other 4G Pro users can only be used during the same billing month.”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Goldie Fishwater & the Internet-Connected Aquarium

    I was on a trip, and I left her to the uncaring care of an automatic fish feeder. A week later, I returned home to a broken fish feeder, a polluted tank, and an overfed Goldie. It took a whole night to clean the tank, and I vowed I would never let this happen again.

    Despite my constant worry, there was nothing I could do that week. And that’s when I realized I want to watch over Goldie, no matter where I am. I want to be the one to feed her. I put my engineering experience to the task. Using a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino Uno, I developed a system to meet all my requirements. It is a true remote fish tank controller.

    The Raspberry Pi is central and network/Internet connected, and it streams a live camera feed of the tank. I can move the camera around to see different parts of the tank.

    When developing today, there is almost no need to reinvent anything. Motor control was handled through an Arduino Motor Shield — I send the stepper driver pulses, and it handles the rest. The entire development board setup was attached to the handy Bud Industries Boardganizer, where I combined two of them for more space. The moving platform was pulled from a printer/scanner. I simply adapted a NEMA17 stepper motor to the pulley mount. Instead of moving the entire system, as I had planned, I moved the Raspberry Pi Camera Module.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Open source will let your fridge send messages to your TV and phone
    Qualcomm’s “Internet of Everything” software moves to Linux Foundation.

    Now that the Internet is on computers, phones, and eyeglasses, a lot of people think it’s time to get the Internet on everything.

    That’s why the Internet of things has become such a popular catchphrase, based on the premise that Internet connectivity can be embedded into nearly any product and form a larger network of devices that collaborate for the benefit of consumers. But actually making devices from a variety of manufacturers work together is a lot easier said than done.

    The Linux Foundation and Qualcomm say open source software is what’s needed to bridge the gap. Qualcomm already developed the open source project, AllJoyn, available under the Apache and BSD licenses. Now the company is contributing what it likes to call its “Internet of Everything” software to a new collaborative project called the AllSeen Alliance, which will be overseen by the Linux Foundation. Consumer device makers, service providers, retailers, appliance makers, and chipmakers have joined the effort.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Work Officially Begins in Europe

    The European Commission officially formed the 5G Public-Private Partnership Association (5GPPP), aiming to accelerate work on fifth-generation cellular networks for 2020 and beyond. The effort follows the footsteps of the 3GPP, a de facto standards group that develops the specifications for today’s Long-Term Evolution (LTE) nets.

    5GPPP is not the only group expected to work on standards for next-generation cellular networks, but it could become one of the most influential. For example, China successfully led a global effort to develop a variant of LTE after marginal success creating a version of 3G cellular.

    Earlier this year a forerunner of Europe’s new 5GPPP group published a draft proposal for 5G. It laid out a broad vision and research agenda for next-generation cellular networks.

    A group of 24 carriers, system makers, and research groups worked on the draft proposal. They included Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, France Telecom, Huawei, Intel, Nokia Solutions and Networks, and Telecom Italia.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?

    “Given reports that various vendors and encryption algorithms have been compromised. Is it still possible to trust any commercial hardware routers or is ‘roll your own’ the only reasonable path going forward?”


    actually the obvious answer is that trust is not a binary thing. Evaluate your threat models. If you want to be safe from the NSA, and you are protecting information they want to know, then yes, I would say that eschewing any technology from corporations that are easily coerced by the NSA would be a good idea. Of course, that is practically impossible. But you do what you can. And wanting a device with all source available, in a form that is easy to (perhaps modify and) compile to a verifiable equivalent of the stock firmware and operating system would be the first obvious step.

    Actually, the obvious answer is that you don’t have a choice. No matter how much effort you put into it, you will always be depending on third party hard- or software that simply have to trust. So, you want to solder your own PCB? Sure, go ahead, but your Ralink SoC is still manufactured somewhere in China. Don’t trust Cisco’s IOS? Sure, write your own, and let me know how you designed and manufactured your own ASICs.

    Yes, there is a lot that you can do and I think the closest real answer to the poster’s question is to just get an OpenWRT capable router and compile from scratch, but to not trust anyone is simply not an option.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Dials Up Global Efforts

    Europe’s newly-minted 5GPPP Association plans to launch as many as 20 research projects in 2014, open to all comers, with a total budget of about 250 million euros. The ambitious effort, described in an interview with the new group’s chairperson, is one of a handful of collaborations around the globe to lay the groundwork for 5G, an ambitious vision for a next-generation network of networks that’s still being defined.

    “No one really knows today what 5G will be because there are still several views, but it will include different access and radio systems,” said Werner Mohr, chairman of 5GPPP which will have an estimated budget of US$1.8 billion over its seven-year life.

    When 5G arrives perhaps starting sometime in 2020, it could bring maximum date rates of as much as 10 or 20 Gbits/s, probably confined to dense urban areas. It may operate at millimeter or even centimeter frequencies of 30 to 300 GHz using new air interfaces.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Law All but Bars Russian GPS Sites in U.S.

    Tucked into the mammoth defense budget bill that President Obama signed into law on Thursday is a measure that virtually bars Russia from building about a half-dozen monitor stations on American soil that critics fear Moscow could use to spy on the United States or worse.

    Russia first broached the idea of erecting the domed antenna structures here nearly two years ago, saying they would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of its version of the Global Positioning System, the American satellite network that steers bomb-bearing warplanes to their targets and wayward motorists to their destinations.

    Congressional Republicans, however, harbored suspicions that Russia had nefarious motives behind its plan

    The monitor stations have been a high priority of President Vladimir V. Putin for years as a means to improve Moscow’s global positioning network — known as Glonass, for Global Navigation Satellite System — not only to benefit the Russian military and civilian sectors but also to compete globally with GPS.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Manawatu school removes wi-fi over cancer fear

    Two Manawatu fathers have won a major battle in their fight to have wi-fi removed from their local school, TVNZ reports.

    Fathers Damon Wyman and David Bird have been leading a campaign to remove the wireless networking from Te Horo School and replace it with cable-based internet due to concerns it could cause cancer and other health problems.

    Science Media Centre manager Peter Griffin says the death of Te Horo pupil Ethan Wyman from a brain tumour was a tragedy for his family, friends and school mates, but that to blame it on wi-fi is wrong.

    Mr Griffin notes there is no evidence anywhere in peer-reviewed literature to suggest wi-fi signals pose an elevated risk of developing brain cancers.

    The board says it shares the government’s view that wi-fi is safe.

  14. tomi says:

    What is the specific issue you have with IE you have?
    Can you be more specific on your report telling the problem and IE version you are using?
    I occasionally test the site with IE also, and I have not found any issues with that.


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