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Network infrastructure in a mobile world is about to explode

Ed Kozel at SVOD 2014
Ed Kozel at SVOD 2014Michal Lenchner

We live in a world of mobile apps but all of these are dependent on continuous, quality and clean connection to the Internet. We are moving into a connected world and the Internet-of-Things. What does the future of mobile networks entail?

The mobile network is also called a cellular network - presenting a wireless architecture which is distributed over land areas. The future is a wireless future and it relies on having mobile cellular networks, with:

  • Internet simplicity
  • Internet flexibility
  • Cost effective solutions
  • Easy-to-scale
  • Various business models

Industry experts predict that the internet is about to swallow mobile, where disruptive change is inevitable and we face a new cycle of rapid innovation and value creation. Mobile today means a lot more. There is a drop of cost in technologies, and, at the same time, tech advancements happen fast. Now, innovations can fit into various development layers and enable ferocious and fast progress. In fact, computing costs have declined 33% annually between 1990 to 2013. Each new computing cycle equals 10 times more install-base than the previous cycle.

On the mobile side we have a global market that was defined by large companies at the mainframe-computing era. Major telecommunications providers have deployed voice and data cellular networks over most of the inhabited geographic areas around the world. Solutions have been quite expensive and focused on voice/audio communications.

At SVOD - Silicon Valley Open Doors Investment Conference - today, Ed Kozel, CEO of Range Networks, said in his keynote that the future cannot rely on the type of broadband networks we currently have. Kozel is a technology leader and innovator has helped Cisco grow into a global technology enterprise while he was chief technology officer and SVP of business development. He previously worked at Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and SRI International, where he participated in the early design and development of the Internetwork Protocol (IP) model and TCP/IP, packet radio networks and highly distributed information systems.

Kozel said it is a mistake to assume that the mobile networks we already have in place will survive and provide resiliency in the next several years. The current network architectures were designed and built by large companies like IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and Apple. Although these networks are workable, they have proprietary technologies and were designed to address their enterprises’ needs. For example, IBM developed SNA - Systems Network Architecture, Apple developed Apple Talk, and DEC the DECnet.
These networks were not designed for mobile and have limiting features.

Can we bring these legacy network technologies into the mobile world?
Mobile is more than mobile communications and it depends on getting a good, timely and clean signal. Kozel said that we need to bring in what worked well in the past into the Internet realm.

He described “Two worlds in collision: mobile versus internet”, and talked about the effects of fragmentation of current network architectures and homogenous platforms vs heterogeneous. A mobile-focused architecture will address several dependencies:
-Radio
-Amplifiers
-Antenna
-Spectrum

The new mobile architectures introduce disruptive solutions over radio networks. Kozel talked about layered models. The internet stack will present various options for connectivity and can add value at every layer.

There is an explosion sensor-based technologies that enable to track, manage and control various operations. Gathering and analyzing the data requires better networks and more computing, as well as cloud services. For example, farmers have begun to deploy solutions with sensors in their fields for monitoring water or soil quality, for example. The connected smart cars use many sensors that need realtime fast transmissions and analysis.

Antennas are not evolving as as fast as radio and amplifiers and spectrum has been costly, however, innovators can take advantage of other frequencies over radio networks. These cellular networks will create more opportunities for customer characterization and monetization and will enable better ways to acquire and retain customers.

Today, the cost of broadband wireless networks (check your bill at home or the workplace) is high, where most of the world populations cannot afford. The new mobile based networking future will provide a cheaper way to connect, while benefitting everyone. Competition and innovation in the space, will not only disrupt, but will bring forth viable, fast, and economical solutions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

1. The SVOD - Silicon Valley Open Doors Investment Conference - is a notable annual technology investment event that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, angel investors and top venture capitalists from all over the world to the innovation cradle of Silicon Valley.
Both entrepreneurs and investors have reported opportunities to present, pitch and capture attention, where several funding rounds occurred during and after the conference.

Hundreds attended the event today, which was held at the computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. As in past years, SVOD brought enthusiastic Russian, Russian-American entrepreneurs, and others together with the Silicon Valley venture capitalists and angel investors.

For more information check http://www.svod.org/

2. Range Networks - Provider of cellular network solutions.

Website: http://www.rangenetworks.com

Careers: http://www.rangenetworks.com/#!careers/cd2h