[FoRK] Speaking of barriers to entry...

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Jan 20 15:09:57 PST 2010

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> --- On Wed, 1/20/10, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>> Speaking of barriers to entry, this goes onto the
>> "ultra-cool stuff" heap:
>>   http://www.taranfx.com/open-source-gsm
> I sent the link to a friend of mine. CV: telco engineer for thirty-five years plus over 15 years as a project manager in international telecommunications projects, e.g. redesigned and project managed installation of the communication and power systems in the Chunnel, project managed the major cellular phone system in the Phillipines, undersea cable from New Zealand to the Oregon coast, new cellular company in Kenya, etc. 
> Here's his response when I asked him if this was as interesting as it at first appears:
> "Probably not. The base station electronics for a radio site are a small part of the cost. Site acquisition, towers, power, etc make the cost sky rocket. Government license auctions can make the initial license fee as much if not more than the total capital cost. This fellow seems to think that the software is a major component. Unfortunately whether the software is “free” support is still required. Almost all administrations charge annual fees for the radio spectrum as well."
> Me again... So, this does nothing to deal with the real barriers to entry: the spectrum license fees and cap-ex for the site infrastructure.


If you have unlicensed picocell/femtocells everywhere, and if you have 
smartphones that can also operate on WiFi and Bluetooth, plus cellular 
networks, it could get interesting.  Few new towers will probably be 
built, existing ones will go into capex pay off mode, and everything 
should get much more competitive.

This kind of thing would work well: broadband or WiMax/4G -> picocells / 

I don't know if anyone else noticed, however Sprint's 4G WiMax service 
is truly unlimited.  3G was unlimited to begin with, plus having an 
unlimited Canada rider you could add, but was changed to a 5GB / 300MB 
cap.  Now, smart phones can use 3G unlimited, and 4G is unlimited 
regardless of use.

Interesting for the other direction: GSM-> SIP phones.

> Y'er welcome.
>        ...ken...

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