LiveBlogging NYMIEG Breakfast – Wireless, Wimax and future of communications

Breakfast – Wireless and Wifi and The future of communications

Sree starts the panel with nice overview

Laura – research on wifi use- Cities and public spaces and homes are rapidly being overlaid with a wireless ‘blanket’ of wifi, rfid, Bluetooth, etc. Ubiquity- anytime, anywhere as a tag line. “Freedom is the purpose.” Research indicates that Location and context is most important, not ‘freedom”.
Wifi is a factor in attracting people to go to places – like Bryant Park or Starbucks. Searching for info relevant to their geographic location is a major activity. Mobile entrepreneurs who need to get out of their homes, and spend up to 12 hours a day at wifi locations. Starbucks, Bryant Park, NYPub Libe, and indie cafes.
Skews male (65%), higher income, early adopters. Locations have constituencies. Splash pages that are intro to wireless points are very important places to adv, pass on info.

Gene: Isobar Global – Isobar is 45 diff companies, 2600 people, etc.
Eric Schmidt – prediction on side of mobile marketing. Marketers need to learn how to talk to (not talk at) their consumers. With contextual relevance and location relevance. On board of mobile marketing association.
Projects – campaign for Addidas – change way people think about basketball – think about Team and not individual. IN wireless content, let consumers create personalized content – from basketball stars, stitch storyline, insert into voicemail box. Got huge intent lift and new impression of how people think of basketball.
Call came from a 503 area code – people called back, they’re going to have a conf call and invite people who called back to be on it and ask question. Co-creation of the campaign.

Dana – – non profit that builds public wifi hotspots. For those involved in marketing – public spaces are a third space for internet access and accessing content for home and work. Context is very important, as laura said, so as hot spots are built, people get affinity for the places and organizations that support them. Just like cell tech can build connections between companies and customers, public wifi is more of a person to person connections. Hotspots can be adv and marketing vehicles – logo and sponsorship on a page that everyone has to see to click through to use the hotspot. 100% of users see sponsor and who’s supporting this. Bryant Pk, Madision Sq, Union Square, All the downtown, Jackson square in West Village in cooperation with a developer – to advertise the condos near the park.
Giving community a vaulabe commodity for free – gives a very good feeling and positive impression for the people who provide this service.

Ari – Brings wireless and bandwidth to many countries and resells to many carriers. Wimax – 802.16 – they’re currently testing in Kenya – up to almost 30 mile range. In a few years, this will allow rural villages to connect, and bring wireless to a greater part of the world that doesn’t have it. Voice will be given away for free – time to figure out the value add. Large corps won’t morph into wimax carriers – it will take smaller nimble companies.
Can change landscape of how we interact on mobile platforms.
Most people aren’t familiar , so this is a good time for early adopters to learn about it. Wimax popular with sprint, and with Clearwire – Craig McCaw’s company.

For Wimax – city can deploy 2 or 3 base stations, several million dollars each, and cover over 30 miles.
Sree- question about safety on hotspots –

Dana – did Wimax Test – in nyc, not just a few spots, NYC would need 20-100 base stations in a dense urban area like Cell coverage.

Philly – 100 square miles, earthlink was using wifi with Wimax – they needed dozens of pieces of hardware, with much bigger than a small router sized racks, with thousands of wifi access points, connected to wimax as backhaul.

Dana -gives a few minute talk on Wifi public space security and how to keep laptops safe.

Gene – opportunities – Wifi hotspot purchase ads just like regular online ads, weather bug type widget ads
Iphone users of fixed internet was greater than all windows mobile, nokia and symbian os usage in the world. Globally, more people using iphone for surfing than all other smart phone operating systems. This shows mobile surfing is hard, piece of shit browsers. Now with iPhone
Opportunities in wireless space- almost limitless.
Free content from Bluetooth transmitters in stores, on billboards, or local non-internet wifi spots to give free content.
Believes Wimax will be very disruptive to the carriers, in a positive way for marketers and consumers. If I had skype on a phone, and wimax, why would I need Sprint or AT&T?
CTI – 1billion SMS a day in the US.
Marketers are unable to give away content on mobile – the cost is too high. Can’t get a ring tone for less than 2.99, but can get whole song on Amazon for .89

Laura – Wifi is based on unlicensed spectrum. Wimax is unclear about licensing – it’s likely to be licensed and then it will cost more like cell rates.
Wifi users – in NY, 60% of hotspot users are willing to watch ads in order to use Wifi, but don’t want to pay to use it.

Question on wimax RF frequency safety. Orders of magnitude less than FDA safety regulations.

Question How long till WImax proliferates, and can wifi and wimax coexist?
Slow momentum – 5-7 years for mainstream wiMax for mainstreet, wall street understanding.
Wimax is great backhaul for wifi.
Wimax is wide rage coverage, wifi is fast, local coverage.
802.11n is the latest wifi- you can get connectivity up to 300 MB per second with a 100$ access point. 802.11 g – Max of 54Mbps.

What does Android do for the conversation? Open source for cells.
Gene: Challenge with developing for phones, different resolutions and operating systems. If you’re creating a global app, you need to test on 2800 different platforms. The promise of Android is the promise for Java – write once, work anywhere. Right now Android is smoke and mirrors, but nothing there. They need handset manufacturers and users. IPhone is the promise of android.
Android uses the same Webkit browser as the iPhone.

Ari – Thinks android will open the landscape. Google is a serious player, and is jumping on the telecom industry, and will broaden the barriers.

Q WILL WiMax kill fiber to the home for last mile?
WImax is almost wireless fiber – could be easier in certain areas where digging isn’t practical.

Q: What do you think of private networks like JiWire – wifi in exchange for ads –
Answers and final thoughts – Laura – as we’re still early adopters, and have phones and wifi laptops, people don’t want to pay but they’re willing to watch ads.
Tmobile – Hotspot at home – routes cell to wifi when you’re near a starbucks, open hotspot or at home. You could go to starbucks and make almost unlimited calls. LEF 45 at Columbia educational domain.
Gene – agrees with Laura

Dana: agrees with laura, hotspot ad aggregators – they’re the future, via sponsorship or advertising. Muraki – in SF, all ad based.
Group in Palo Alto figured out that it was cheaper to do wireless with ads than to run a billing infrastructure.
Blog –

Ari – at goingwireless dot com – keyword is data. Corps are moving away from voice, they’re moving toward data. They have a wireless social network incubator looking for new business.

Sree at sree dot net.

Gene Keenan
Gene is VP/Mobile Services at Isobar Global and has been working in the digital space for the last 8 years leading the cutting edge of marketing innovation as Isobar’s VP of Mobile Services. In this role, Gene has won numerous Aegis Globe awards for his innovation and has been the recipient of industry awards including an MSNEMMY for his work on Adidas.
Isobar Global, a member of the Carat Group, is the first truly global digital marketing services network, specifically designed to deliver creativity, innovation and agility, for a new age where the consumer is in control.
Gene represents Isobar as a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association. The association also counts as board members these major brands: Coca-Cola, P&G, VISA, AOL, CBS, ESPN, FOX, Microsoft, and every tier 1 carrier in the USA. He co-chairs the metrics committee of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and guided the first marketing effectiveness study on behalf of the MMA.
Before joining the interactive space Gene was a professional chef who toured with the Grateful Dead for eight years and owned an organic edible flower and herb farm.

Laura Forlano

Laura is a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and a Ph.D. candidate in Communications at Columbia University where she is researching the socio-economic implications of the use of mobile and wireless technology. She is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Design and Management department at Parsons The New School for Design where she teaches Design in Everyday Experience, Introduction to Design and Management, and Sustainable Design.

Dana Spiegel
Dana Spiegel is Executive Director of NYCWireless and is an independent software consultant and founder of sociableDESIGN, a software and consulting firm that specializes in social software and wireless technology research and development. For the past 7 years, NYCwireless, a non-profit organization, has pioneered the building of free Wi-Fi hotspots in parks and public spaces, and has helped countless NYC residents get online in public spaces. The organization has worked closely with affordable housing developers to bring free Wi-Fi to 4 buildings in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, and has become a primary vehicle for people to learn about Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies.

Ari Zoldan
Ari Zoldan is CEO and Founder of Launch 3 Communications, a global telecommunication carrier. Launch 3 utilizes private direct connections both domestically and internationally by using fiber and satellite networks. The company is operating in Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. Mr. Zoldan speaks globally on WiMax and emerging telecommunication products. In addition, Zoldan’s company recently launched a large scale technology incubator with a concentration on mobile applications.

Moderator: Sree Sreenivasan
Sree has been a fixture on NYC-area television for almost seven years. He is WNBC’s tech reporter, covering all kinds of technology issues, gadgets and trends. In addition, he is Dean of Students at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and continues to run, and teach in, the new media/web journalism program.In July 2007, he was promoted to Professor of Professional Practice. He also teaches workshops on web and internet applications, along with other topics, in newsrooms and educational institutions around the US and abroad. In addition to his work with NBC, He has also guest hosted segments of “Asian America” on PBS, a nationally syndicated English program about Asian American affairs. As a freelance journalist, he has written for The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Popular Science, Time Digital, The National Journal, India Today, Newsday, Bloomberg,, Sesame Street Parents and Rolling Stone to name a few.