The future is here. Are you ready?
by Wedge Greene
Recent introductions of two new mobile applications are the tip of a future iceberg which demands a rethinking of service provider economic models.
- WalkingHotSpot, from TapRoot Systems, “uses the WiFi radio in Windows Mobile and Symbian OS smartphones to establish direct data connections to other WiFi devices such as laptops, digital music players or PDAs. It then connects those devices to the Internet through the phone’s 3G chip, essentially using the smartphone as a WiFi hub and the 3G network as a broadband connection.” [Telephony Online]
- Icrowdsurf,, from m2mi uses the iPhone’s built in WiFi to find and connect peer-to-peer to other iPhones within WiFi distance of each other. Once discovered, and authenticated, a collaborative messaging system is set up. For example linking all the fans in the stadium at a baseball game to develop their own interactive blog while the game is going on.
These new applications use mobile phones, WiFi networks, and independent service creators to establish local communication groups, completely bypassing any network services. With pervasive computing we have been lead to believe in a network that connects all things such as the classic example of Vint Surf and his internet connected toaster. This was the future scaling burden of the service provider.
But what is actually evolving is pandemic networks - lots of small to medium sized networks interconnected as ponds in a mesh with little or no service provider involvement. Devices and services now can and will increasingly interact in meshed peer groups.
The only thing missing is a mechanism for routing information from one mesh to the next to get to distant pond networks. SIP could do this. Does SIP really stand for Swansong for Internet Providers? We suggest one possible response strategy in our recent article at Pipeline Publications: The coEvolution of Networks and Devices. http://pipelinepub.com/0908/AC1_1.html