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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 Spectrum Cap Fight: A Left, a Right and a Smoke Screen

Is the cap lift equally capable of improving QoS and making carriers more profitable? Or only the latter? Unfortunately, we may not know until the smoke clears whether the consumers, the carriers, or both are the winners. On November 8, 2001, the FCC began a gradual lift of the spectrum cap for mobile radio frequency (inclusive of cellular PCS). The cap lift elevates the amount of spectrum any single carrier can own in any one market from 45 to 55MHz. The lift will be completed in 2003. Cellular service is becoming essential technology in terms of national security (wireless commu... (more)

Space Shuttle Wireless

Which "wireless that works" application wins the award for long-standing, highly critical, and longest distance? That's the wireless at work at NASA; in particular, the wireless technologies that are crucial in shuttle missions. Powerful wireless technologies and applications can be unique from one mission to the next. This was the case with the recent payload experiments of the NASA OMNI project (Operating Missions as Nodes on the Internet). This project was in fact an example of successful wireless IP research on the STS-107 (Space Transportation System) mission. There are cer... (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)