The baseball season has opened, though apparently the Mets didn’t get the email, and things truly are warming up. It’s been another week of interesting news and good commentary.
Here are some highlights:
2014 the Year of Deferred IT Spending
IT spending never stops due to recessions. What needs to get done indeed is done. Other projects are deferred. Thus, when the financial skies clear, pent-up demand makes for some impressive numbers. Things are no different this time around: Gartner reports that worldwide IT spending will increase 3.2 percent this year to $3.8 trillion.
Mobile devices will be in the middle of the surge. Device sales, Gartner says, will rise 4.4 percent to $689 billion. A shift is occurring as well: Demand for high-priced phones is fading in developed areas such as the U.S. and Europe. Mid-tier device demand is rising in those areas and lower-end Android-based devices are proliferating in developing economies. Likewise, PCs increasingly are being replaced by tablets and other mobile form factors.
More Cellular, Wireless Spectrum
GigaOm reports that the Federal Communications Commission at its open meeting Monday made more unlicensed airwaves available for use by Wi-Fi providers. The commission also began structuring a wireless auction that will put 65 MHz of fresh spectrum into the pot. A new approach is being tried:
Not all of these airwaves would necessarily be exclusive to the carriers who buy them. The FCC wants to make this new band, called Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3), the first shared band between commercial networks and government systems. Regulators, carriers and government agencies are still working out the details on how frequencies will be shared and which frequencies government users will vacate entirely. Congress, however, has mandated that the auction occur by early next year.
It seems likely that the intelligent radio designs developed in order to facilitate white space transmissions will come into play in sorting out access rights at any given moment.
Is It Too Late for Windows Phone?
It wasn’t too long ago that Apple was an outsider and Microsoft dominated the enterprise. The fast-paced changes of the past decade have turned that old reality upside down. While Microsoft is still a huge player, the migration to mobility has made Apple the boss.
Larry Seltzer, writing at ZDNet on Microsoft’s beefing up of security and management features in Windows Phone 8.1, makes the point that, in essence, the tablet may have left the barn. He says that the improvements are “very important and technologically impressive.” The reality, however, “is that if end users don’t want to buy Windows Phones it may not matter.” Seltzer offers eight points on the improvements.
Go Time for SDN, NFV
Infonetics Research suggests that 2014 could be a make-or-break year for software-defined networks and network functions virtualization (SDN and NFV). The press release offers some survey numbers. The most compelling: Of survey participants, 29 percent currently are implementing SDNs and 52 percent plan to evaluate them by the end of the year.
The company also found that 97 percent and 94 percent of its survey respondents, respectively, plan to deploy SDN and NFV somewhere in their network at some point. The release carries a quote from Michael Howard, the firm’s co-founder and principal analyst, suggesting that 2014 is the year that the two techniques will move from the lab into field trials.
Lightpath Speeds Data in a New York Minute
And, finally, comes a story about a business that is moving faster. The cable industry has always said that it wants to be a player in the commercial services sector and, to some extent, it has succeeded.
These efforts are accelerating as the technology transitions to Ethernet-based approaches in which it specializes. The underlying networks also are changing and growing faster. This week, CED reports that Cablevision’s Lightpath is offering 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) services.
It makes sense that the company is beefing up its network. The New York City metropolitan area is demanding, and rife with opportunity:
Demand for 100 gigabit services is rising as companies across financial and market data services, media and entertainment, and healthcare move to support emerging needs for additional bandwidth, Lightpath noted.
The story says that market drivers include the need to support cloud services, proliferating networked devices, and the increase in the volume, scalability and quality demands of media content.