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David Geer

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Most rainbows are colorful shining heralds that a storm has passed. "Project Rainbow" leaves us in a fog as to what is to come. So do frequently named participants such as IBM, Intel, AT&T, and Verizon by their silence. At its vaguest, Project Rainbow is a consortium that loosely ties at least the aforementioned companies together. According to a consensus of surrounding industry hearsayers, the purpose is a serious verbal rumination about the plausibility of a nationwide 802.11 network that all participants could profit from. The fact that Project Rainbow exists with such certainty while remaining so unidentifiable is part of its attraction for investigation, reporting, and discussion. Project Rainbow seems to be a loosely knit rallying point for certain known and unknown tech-sector giants to discuss how to take advantage of the popularity of 802.11 (WLAN) hotspot... (more)

The E911 Dilemma

E911 is Enhanced 911, the service that would ensure that 911 calls made from a cell phone are tagged, routed, and handled in such a way that help arrives at the appropriate destination. If my cell account is from Ohio and I'm in Maine, witnessing an accident, I need to know that calling 911 will send an ambulance crew to my current location. We're close to E911 implementation and I believe everyone involved is working hard, but there are many reasons why it's just not that easy to put it into play. October 1, the FCC's E911 deadline, has come and gone, and E911 service is not in... (more)

Wireless Keeps Island of 165,000 Dry

A modern-day Atlantis of sorts, the city of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada sits on an island - the delta of the Frazier River. A haven from the watery depths surrounding it, the landmass is made mostly of sand and silicon deposits from the river itself. The environment is flat - perfect for a critical-needs wireless network. How critical is the need? Some 180 pump stations situated around the island keep the city dry and inhabitable. Richmond city engineers often work around the clock to keep the pumps working, and the pumps tell them when they need attention, wirelessly. I... (more)

Cellular Voice and Voice over Wi-Fi

Alliances, competitors, technologies, hardware, and roaming line the path to dual-mode, cellular/Wi-Fi handsets. Another game of sit and wait has begun as major carriers ready themselves to swallow small providers whole once they have fattened themselves with successful Wi-Fi hotspots. Which end of this communications food chain are you on? Free spectrum is a good motive for providers to get into Voice over Wi-Fi. Providers will leverage the spectrum for voice as they do for data while they continue to build out their hotspots. When there is enough coverage by provider hotspots ... (more)

The 7 Biggest Wireless Surprises Coming in 2004

Wireless is taking off in a big way, but some surprises await us. How do you predict the seven biggest surprises about to hit the wireless industry? I spoke with two well-connected "ringers" who have a keen sense of the industry. I absorbed their combined input and pooled seven responses. My Ringers Alex Lightman is a wireless visionary heavily involved in supporting IPv6. He keeps his wearable computer from Charmed Technology (his product, his company) focused on the pulse and frequency of tomorrow's wireless realities. Attorney Robert Rini is a telecommunications and technology pa... (more)