September 23-28, 2002,
Evolution of Mobile and Wireless Networks:
Enablers and Inhibitors
There is a great investment underway to migrate from the current public wireless voice-centric networks to data-centric networks. The ultimate goal is for these networks to enable a mobile Internet that provides seamless roaming and services with the wireline Internet. These networks will be data-friendly, supporting voice as one application. There are two paths on which this migration may take place. A tremendous amount of effort is being given to the evolution of current second generation cellular networks to third generation wireless networks (3G) that will support data. These networks are being championed by traditional cellular service providers and equipment manufacturers and have the benefits of embedded customers, relationships with handset providers, and experience with large networks. They are hindered by the potential limitations of 3G technology. A second set of companies are pursuing alternative technologies, including new air interfaces and non-traditional deployments of enterprise technologies. These approaches have the benefit of being data-centric from inception, yet may lack critical mass or face technology challenges of their own. In this panel we will discuss the pros and cons of the various approaches.
Home Networks - Wired or Wireless?
In recent years the converging digital technologies of television, publishing, telephony and computers, the "multimedia revolution", combined with access to broadband, has prompted the development of a multitude of high-speed applications in the World Wide Web and the digitization of everyday life. In parallel, there has been a paradigm shift at the network edge. Bridging the last mile, the great motivator of the mid 90s has been replaced by a new need. The provision of broadband is becoming the distribution of bandwidth and services in the home. The focus is moving from bandwidth to applications. In the past network designers were considering that once the WAN hit the home it was finding a single device, more often than not a PC: this was the modem and telephone line model. Now, homes and SOHOs often contain networks of heterogeneous devices that communicate and share resources. Broadband also enables rich content to be sent to the home as well as integrated multimedia content. The combination of rich content and of the means to distribute it in the home creates the incentive for new networking paradigms.
This panel will review how home connectivity technologies will enable or prevent the full deployment of home networking. Will the flexibility of wireless networking be more interesting to customers than the security of wired technologies. Will cost, both in terms of installation but also maintenance, be or continue to be the only driver? Will interoperability end up preventing the use of multiple technologies? All of these questions will be addressed by our panelists.