We are at the strange time when the weather still says summer, but the school buses and empty campgrounds say autumn. Regardless of the season, IT and telecom remain busy. Let’s look at the news and commentary that deserves attention during this short week.
Copper Soldiers On
One of the more subtle but important dramas in the telecommunications sector is which conduit will prove to be the most efficient and cost-effective for last mile to customers’ homes and businesses. The favorites and currently dominant two are the cable industry’s coaxial cable and fiber. Copper – that quaint metal used by the telephone industry – is thought to be on the way out. Indeed, it has been on its last legs for decades.
Successive technical enhancements have lengthened that long goodbye. ZDNet offers a story on the use of the second version of very high speed digital subscriber line (VDSL2) in Sydney, Australia, a combination fiber/VDSL service that is providing 49 Megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 38 Mbps upstream. The promise of the network is greater than what is being delivered. The difference may in part be due to the distance from the central office to the home of the individual profiled in the story.
A Unified Verizon More Potent
The big deal news of the week that didn’t involve Microsoft or Nokia was that Verizon is buying out Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. Telecompetitor quoted Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam on the impact of creating an integrated “One Verizon.”
The idea is that the wireless and wired arms now will be in better position to do joint projects and otherwise be synergistic to each other. He said that mobile commerce, mobile video, advertising and cloud services that the wireless side already is engaged in will be aided by capabilities from the wired side.
These assets, according to the piece, include machine to machine (M2M), cloud and video platforms, fiber networks, broadband networks, security, customer data and content relationships and rights.
Native Apps Best for Mobile BI
The increased mobilization of the workplace means that business intelligence (BI) is also increasingly untethered. Aberdeen Group’s Andrew Borg, writing at InformationWeek, looked at the ability of two types of applications, platform-specific (native) and HTML, to handle BI tasks.
The bottom line is that BI is highly dependent on data integration, off-line file access and other processes and capabilities that require use of assets that are not resident on the devices. These capabilities are more efficiently offered in proprietary settings. This approach, therefore, is considered more appropriate for BI. Borg added that HTML5 apps are narrowing the gap.
Gartner, meanwhile, predicts that the transition of the Internet from Web-centric to app-centric will result in most collaboration apps being available equally across desktops, smartphones and tablets by 2016.
Sophisticated Android Trojan
The details are complicated, but Kaspersky reports that malware aimed at the Android operating system is reaching a higher level of sophistication. Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad, according to Kaspersky, is “the most sophisticated Android Trojan to date.”
The firm first reported on the malware in May. This week, Kaspersky related how it is distributed, and it is a sobering assessment. For the first time, the distribution method is botnets that are comprised of totally different malware. The story goes into detail on the four known methods in which the malware is trafficked. The wording suggests that more are likely to be uncovered.
Lasers for Satellites
And, finally, comes a story from out of this world. The MIT Technology Review reports that a satellite slated for launch today by NASA will provide 600 Mbps downloads to earth. The story says that the system uses lasers to transmit data.
The idea could return to earth, almost. The story suggests that lasers could link orbiting satellites to the earth below:
The plan hints at how lasers could give a boost to terrestrial Internet coverage, too. Within a few years, commercial Internet satellite services are expected to use optical connections—instead of today’s radio links—providing far greater bandwidth. A Virginia startup, Laser Light Communications, is in the early stages of designing such a system and hopes to launch a fleet of 12 satellites in four years.
The story says that the NASA’s Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration will run six times faster than the fastest RF system now used for lunar communications.