BUSINESS ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB --

January 23, 1997 -- Wireless Internet


Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, January 23, 1997. These sessions are scheduled for noon-1 PM US Eastern Time (GMT -4) every Thursday.

These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to businessonthewebchats-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/businessonthewebchats and sign up there.

For transcripts other previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here.

For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here.

Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.


This site is hosted by Acunet Internet Commerce Services, in Marlboro, MA -- home of the Worldwide Internet Consultants Directory, the Populus People Locator, etc.


Threads (reconstructed after the fact):


Introductions

Richard Seltzer, seltzer@samizdat.com (199.3.129.189)The scheduled chat is on Business on the WWW. If you are here for that discussion, please identify yourself.

We're here to share experiences about doing business on the Internet -- particularly the World Wide Web. What works? What doesn't work? Why? What are the trends that matter? How can you/should you adapt to the Internet culture and environment?

I work for the Internet Business Group at Digital Equipment in Littleton, MA. In that capacity, I end up talking to people from large companies about how they can use the Web for business.

I also have my own personal Web page -- which is content rich and no frills -- which I do for practically nothing and draws a fair amount of traffic and attention.

In a chat session like this things can get pretty frantic. It's sometimes difficult to follow the threads of conversation. And there's no time to write down intering URLs and facts. So last week, I took a copy of the raw transcript and edited it to make the threads clearer and posted it at my own little Web site so anyone could take a look. You can see it at http://www.samizdat.com/chat25.html

I plan to do the same today. Barring technical difficulties, I hope to have a transcript up later today or early tomorrow. For all the transcripts and notes about future topics, check http://www.samizdat.com/index.html#chat

Alan Reiter, 11:55am -- (166.72.74.140)Hi. I'm online to discuss wireless Internet -- how wireless networks (cellular, paging, packet radio, PCS, etc.) are connecting to the Internet.

Alan Reiter, 11:57am (166.72.74.140)What's your suggestion for how often the page should be refreshed -- 15 or 30 seconds.?

Sean, 11:59am (208.196.127.203) -- Sean Brunnock, server.com

Richard Seltzer, 12:00pm (199.3.129.189) -- Welcome, Sean. Alan, I suggest that you don't use the autorefresh option. It really gets in the way if you want to actively participate. In the middle of writing a message, your message will be sent and your screen refreshed. Instead, frequently click on the tin can icon.

Shane, 12:00pm (206.98.242.104)Whoops.. Am here

Richard Seltzer, 12:00pm -- (199.3.129.189) Today we want to talk about wireless technology and the Internet -- what's happening? what are the opportunities? what specialized gadgets are already available? and how can businesses take advantage of them? Check "Wireless Internet & Mobile Computing" http://www.wirelessinternet.com

Richard Seltzer, 12:01pm (199.3.129.189)We also want of our discussion about techniques for personalizing Web sites and how to make the b use of them. Check http://www.eachmovie.com, http://www.ffly.com, and http://www.coola.com

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:02pm (199.171.52.30)Hello, Richard.

Jonathan Sheena, 12:02pm (206.139.194.249)Good afternoon. Jonathan Sheena, Firefly Network, in Cambridge MA

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:04pm (204.165.159.3)Good Afternoon.

Harold, 12:05pm (204.179.181.14)Hello Richard

Sean, 12:05pm (208.196.127.203)Whoops. Tiac is having some router problems. I believe Richard is dialling in from there. I hope he can participate.

Eric, 12:05pm (165.254.171.136)Good Afternoon

Warren Agin - Law Solutions, 12:05pm (199.3.142.80)Hello.

Greg Dalzell, 12:09pm (204.154.206.13)Hi, I'm joining the chat for Metricom.

Warren Hogg, 12:09pm (204.163.165.193)Hello Richard

Drew, 12:10pm (199.94.223.142)Hello all.Richard Seltzer, 12:13pm (199.3.129.189)Let's hope the speed picks up. We have a couple of important topics to consider. First, I'm intered in hearing more about the possibilities for personalizing Web sites (Jonathan Sheena from FireFly and Sudha Jamthe from Coola are connected now).

I'm also very interested in learning what can be done with wireless Internet today, and how those technical capabilities can be used in intering ways to build unique business models. (Alan Reiter is connected to help us with that.)

Jessi, 12:21pm (204.165.159.3)Hello Everybody


Coola

Jonathan Sheena, 12:05pm (206.139.194.249)Sudha, can you tell me a little about coola?

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:07pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Jonathan, Coola is a personalized magazine carrier. It allows the user to select their favorite magazines and send the new issues in HTML form with true multimedia as email on time.

Sean, 12:08pm (208.196.127.203)Sudha- Does it cost money?

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:11pm (204.165.159.3)Sean: about your question about cost for coola No, it is a free membership service.

Jessi (204.165.159.3)Sudha, is coola a web site reminder service?

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:48pm (204.165.159.3)Jessi, Sorry I couldn't answer right away. No, Coola is not just a web site reminder service. It brings your favorite magazine new issues as web sites right to your mailbox. You could then, skim through the headline and read whatever inters you , or store them away and go back and read later like any regular mail. In fact, we don't do any contents. We send the last issue of magazines only if they are updated and whether you get picture, gifs or sound or java depends on what the publisher has put there. 


Internet Capacity -- Connection Problems

Richard Seltzer, seltzer@samizdat.com (199.3.129.189) Alan, I'm finding that the connection today is ridiculously slow. Is it the same for you or is this an anomaly?

Sean12:02pm (208.196.127.203) Richard- your slowness problem seems to be with TIAC.

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:07pm (199.171.52.30)Does anyone think that the usage of the internet will exceed it's capacity?

Sean, 12:08pm (208.196.127.203)Jim- In Richard's case, it has already.

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:08pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Jim, Are you asking about the net slowing down?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions, 12:08pm (199.3.142.80)I'm on TIAC and am not having any problems.

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com) 12:09pm (204.165.159.3)Jim: I hope Richard can join us. He makes the chat so meaningful and organized. Well, I don't call it as slowing down. It looks like some access problems.

Richard Seltzer, 12:08pm (199.3.129.189)Sean-- You're right on target. I was having problems. My screen froze and I had to reboot and reconnect.

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:10pm (199.171.52.30)Welcome back Richard. Maybe the combination of low quality software and usage on the internet will be the problem in the near future.

Richard Seltzer, 12:10pm (199.3.129.189)Hello, everyone. Sorry. Even though I'm here, I'm hobbling. I'm only able to load this page at 300 bytes per second. So there are likely to be awkward delays between my messages.


Wireless Internet

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com) 12:10pm (166.72.74.140)Hi Greg, Warren, I'm here to discuss wireless Internet when people are ready.

Eric, 12:10pm (165.254.171.136)I would like to "wire" my home with a wireless connection. Is this possible today?

Shane, 12:11pm (206.98.242.104)I am ready to rock with the discussion!!

Harold, 12:12pm (204.179.181.14)Alan, can I access the Internet and use the Web via wireless today? And if so, how?

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:13pm (204.165.159.3)Welcome back Richard. Alan, I visited your site just sometime back and am interested in hearing more about where wireless communication is headed. Maybe you have the answer for slow access problems

Todd, 12:13pm (192.208.46.249)Jim - I think it depends on the user's patience as to when that occurs. I think it will find the level of performance people are willing to pay for. If users think it is too slow, some will be willing to pay more for better performance. You already see some of that in what access providers users go with. There is a lot of informal discussion at work (I'm at DEC) comparing ISPs.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:13pm (166.72.74.140)Eric, it depends what you want to do. You can use Metricom's Ricochet netwok -- if you're in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Seattle and get a wireless Internet connection for $39.95 a month, which includes unlimited access and rental of the radio modem.

Greg Dalzell, 12:15pm (204.154.206.13)Obviously, I endorse the Metricom solution. There are, however, several solutions that allow wireless web access. The tradeoffs are coverage and cost.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:15pm 166.72.74.140)Wireless and wired will be at odds for a long time because of price and performance. Metricom, which basically can replace a phone line for Web access, offers speeds at anywhere from 9,600 to somewhat more than 28.8K bps -- depending on the coverage area. Many pagers come with Internet addresses (check out Skytel) and atleast one PCS provider, Omnipoint in N.Y., includes an Internet address with every handset.

Richard Seltzer, 12:16pm (199.3.129.189)Alan -- I took a look at your site (please post the URL for all to see) and read some of your articles about wireless Internet. I'd be interested in instances of building wireless capability into the other things they do with the Internet. In other words, with the pagers today that can receive email. Is anybody providing reduced cost or free pagers and paging service to be able to deliver commercial messages to the audience? Or other bizarre mixtures?

Warren Agin - Law Solutions, 12:17pm (199.3.142.80)I heard about new technology which allows appliances to communicate over the Internet. (Using a small footprint server imbedded in a microchip) perhaps this can be coordinated with wireless internet access devices.

Richard Seltzer, 12:20pm (199.3.129.189)Warren Agin -- I've heard of devices like that in a futuristic sense. I believe that the main barrier today is the limited number of Internet addresses available. (Those of you with more technical knowledge, please correct me.) I've heard that the new protocol IPV6 should eliminate that problem, making an enormous (virtually unlimited) number of addresses available so every little electronic gadget could have its own address.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:18pm (166.72.74.140)Richard, many paging companies enable you to send messages via the Internet -- but at regular paging prices. Also, you can use the Web gateways of paging companies to send messages. Paging companies are still exploring this -- trying to determine how they can offer Internet access without clogging their systems because spectrum congestion can be a real problem.

Warren Hogg, 12:19pm (204.163.165.193)There are also cellular phones and pagers which now provide Internet Access

Greg Dalzell, 12:19pm (204.154.206.13)The difficulty in integrating wireless communications into specific devices centers around space and interference issues. But computer companies are getting extremely savvy with regard to wireless, and it is only a matter of time before wireless solutions are an integral part of their offerings.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:30pm (166.72.74.140)A look at 1997 and wireless Internet: true Web access from Metricom in selected cities; Internet access to one-way and two-way pagers (from Skytel) for short messages; Internet-based messaging from Ram and Ardis packet radio networks. Also, you will be able to receive headers from your landline e-mail transmitted to wireless devices. Several companies -- Datamatic in Richardson, Texas, Infowave in Burnaby, B.C. and, this quarter, RadioMail and Netcom in California, will offer "polling" software that will reach into your POP3 server, pick out the headers and forward them to a pager or radio modem. You can then select the messages you want to receive.


Wireless in the Home

Eric, 12:16pm (165.254.171.136)Alan, I want to set up a wireless connection in my home that will allow my three PC's to connect to internet.

Eric, 12:20pm (165.254.171.136)I think it would be wiser to run an ISDN or ADSL when it becomes available into a home office and then have the PC's hooked up via a wireless connection. My question is, would I need a server and where would I look for one?

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:20pm (166.72.74.140)Eric, there are a variety of wireless LAN solutions to connect your computers in your house, and they are reliable. However, connecting your computers to the Internet requires other wireless solutions. A few companies are starting to offer "fixed" wireless connections at higher speeds than mobile solutions.


Wireless and Security

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:20pm (199.171.52.30)Currently wireless connections are through analog modulation which contains a randomizer. If the transmission is not modulated, then the clear digital channel will allow full access to all information transmitted. It seems like a great opportunity for hackers. Any comments?

Craig (www.rim.net) , 12:23pm (206.51.26.2)Jim Dorval - current technology allows for key exchange and RC4 encryption of wireless data. Also, the transmissions are harder to sniff (more technology required) than they would be if they were wired.

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:29pm (199.171.52.30)Craig - Any information can be encrypted, but most people do not use it. A majority of people discuss personal issues over cell phones without scrambling. (CellGate)


Personalization and Wireless

Richard Seltzer, 12:18pm (199.3.129.189)Jonathan -- I'm particularly interested in the long-range possibilities for the kind of personalization that Firefly provides. What do you think the optimum database of users is? And the optimum number of people on-line at a time to be able to form good targeted chat sessions on the fly (based on people's tastes?)

Richard Seltzer, 12:22pm (199.3.129.189)Sudha -- I could easily imagine, once there were enough users around, expanding your Coola service so subscribers who have pagers could get email alerts of important Web page changes (like your magazine subscribers). -- short enough messages to be useful on a pager.

Shane, 12:23pm (206.98.242.104)On personalizing web sites: One method that can be used is called the AAA method Analyze, Asess, Action. This model can be used to help and determine customers usage. Analyze the usage, Asses the usage. Then hypothesize the usage and then actionize the hypothesis and then start the cycle again.

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:33pm (204.165.159.3)Hi Richard: Coola gets new site updates and sends to the user as HTML mails via email. Many pagers do receive email, so, already they can receive our updates by pagers. In fact one of our recent subscribers has her email routed to a fax machine.

Richard Seltzer, 12:36pm (199.3.129.189)Sudha -- Interesting. I'm also (speedreading) noticing the last message from Alan that indicates that it's possible to send just the message header to a pager. So maybe a service like yours doesn't need to do anything to take advantage of that capability - it will be the pager companies that provide a first level of email filtering. (But maybe then there's a market for Firefly style personalization linked with a pager email service to help select what messages are of most interest/importance.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:40pm (166.72.74.140)Richard, it's absolutely crucial to provide decent filtering capabilities that are easy to use. Right now, e-mail programs offer filtering, but lots of people thing it's too difficult. Because of the expense of wireless, people only want time-critical items of information, such as headers, very selected full-text messages, highly filtered information content (example -- you're a venture capitalist and you want to keep track of a few companies).

Richard Seltzer, 12:44pm (199.3.129.189)Alan -- From what you say, it seems like there is a natural marriage between personalization and wireless. We can probably expect that bandwidths and capabilities for wireless will lag far behind direct connections (fiber optic etc.) So when you use the wireless version you want to get very targeted and high priority information. Jonathan, is Firefly looking in that direction? It seems like the best kind of personalization is that which is based on people's actual usage and tastes rather than simply filling out lengthy and complex, but incomplete forms.

Alan Reiter, 12:52pm (www.wirelessinternet.com) (166.72.74.140)For highly-filtered information over wireless, check out Unwired Planet (www.uplanet.com) which offers a "microbrowser" for the PocketNet and other CDPD phones, and eventually for other technologies as well. Unwired Planet also provides software for wireless-enabling your Web site so the HTML code can be sent efficiently via wireless. So far, the applications include calendars, tracking FedEx packages and, very importantly, obtaining information from corporate intranets.


Laptop to Wireless

Harold, 12:20pm (204.179.181.14)Does anyone know of a product that will let me hook my laptop up to the Web via a wireless connection.

Greg Dalzell, 12:22pm (204.154.206.13)Harold ... where do you live and how much will you be accessing the Internet?

Harold, 12:31pm (204.179.181.14)Greg, My office is in Hingham, Massachussetts.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:24pm (166.72.74.140)Harold, Metricom will work in a few areas. Greg will probably comment. You can also use circuit switched cellular -- but you have to pay per minute charges. In some areas you can use a packet-radio technology -- CDPD -- over cellular -- where you will pay about 8 cents - 15 cents per kilobyte.

Greg Dalzell, 12:26pm (204.154.206.13)Alan / Harold ... Metricom is currently available in the Bay area, Seattle, and Washington DC. 1997 rollout plans include LA and all primary airports. We're also available in select schools throughout the US.

Richard Seltzer, 12:25pm (199.3.129.189)Harold -- Inside Digital, a number of my colleagues use a Digital product called, I believe, RoamAbout, to connect their laptops to the Internet through a wireless link. They can do email from any room in the building, or even while walking downthe hall. Comes in handy in conference rooms, where even if there are Ethernet outlets, there aren't enough for everyone, and it's awkward having wires all across the floor.

Greg Dalzell12:36pm (204.154.206.13)Harold ... I'm not aware of the available services in Mass., but you probably have PCS and cellular options (if not RAM), but again the tradeoffs are cost and performance. In our coverage areas, we offer all-you-can-eat starting at $29.95, with up to 28.8 access. Have you looked into wireless options at this point in time?

Harold, 12:42pm (204.179.181.14)Gregg: No, because i did not know of anyone offering Web access at 28.8 via wireless. 


Voice-Controlled Browser?

Todd, 12:21pm (192.208.46.249)I had a wireless idea I wanted to throw out for comment: I do a long commute in my car and it occured to me that it would be nice to surf using voice commands and have the response as audio. Would also apply for the visually impared. I realize that voice recognition is not ready for prime time, but I thought it might be an intering topic for researchers. Comments?

Eric, 12:23pm (165.254.171.136)IBM's new OS/2 operating system allows you to surf via voice recognition

Warren Agin - Law Solutions, 12:23pm (199.3.142.80)Todd, I know that systems exist which can read html and convert it to audio. In fact I learned this from Richard who always says to design your webpages for the blind.

Greg Dalzell, 12:24pm (204.154.206.13)Todd ... I think your idea has merit, if not for voice recognition, then at least for simple voice. Imagine how convenient it would be to have your mail read to you while you drive. Of course, there are still cell handoff issues to deal with ...

Jim Dorval (Vivo Software, Inc.), 12:25pm (199.171.52.30)I listen to NPR, and have worked with the FCC and in a recent broadcast (Car Talk) the director indicated that he would prefer limiting the number of distractions in a moving vehicle. Therefore, I think a truly mobile surf is not very likely.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:27pm (166.72.74.140)Todd, there is some voice recognition in cellular. Some handsets offer the ability to dial numbers or names by voice. But as far as voice commands for Internet access, that's down the road.

Richard Seltzer, 12:29pm (199.3.129.189)Todd -- I like the idea. But the limitation will probably be on the voice recognition site. Internet addresses tend to be long strings and an error in one character stops you dead. Also, imagine listening to a deadpan voice reading you a Web page. It comes to an anchor and reads you maybe just the anchor or maybe the URL as well. You would have to remember that URL and then speak it back to go there. Not that it's impossible -- just that it would require a new command language -- to tell your voice browser to go back to the last link mentioned and click on it, etc. if I were an engineer, that would be an intering challenge. I just don't think it's easy.

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com), 12:29pm (204.165.159.3)Todd, voice recognition is an area where research has been going on for a long time. Yes, its not fully ready yet, but there are many voice readers for visually impaired people by which they can access web sites. In fact, we are trying to make Coola compatible to the visually impaired and hope this will reduce the load traffic greatly on the internet.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:34pm (166.72.74.140)Todd, Richard -- regarding the use of voice with wireless: this year PageNet will offer digital voice messages that will be stored on your pager. I think it will be a big hit. I haven't spoken to PageNet about this but it is certainly possible that PageNet could obtain your e-mail headers and by using text-to-voice synthesis, transmit the headers as voice messages to your pager.

Greg Dalzell, 12:38pm (204.154.206.13)Alan ... one of our product managers now has an Applescript setup at home that captures voice messages, opens a POP mail app, saves the message as an attachment, and sends it to his mobile computer. He then simply plays his voicemail wherever he is. Oh, and he gets a page at the same time telling him he has voicemail.

Richard Seltzer, 12:42pm (199.3.129.189)Greg -- That voicemail approach sounds neat. Is there a packaged/productized version of that? Or is it a clever kluge? (And by the way, what company are you with?)

Greg Dalzell, 12:44pm (204.154.206.13)Richard ... my understanding is that you have to purchase a telephony development kit, and do some programming on your own. If you send my a note to remind me, I'll ge the software app developer info and send it to you (Dalzell@Metricom.com)


Cost of Wireless

Richard Seltzer, 12:32pm (199.3.129.189)Todd -- Another barrier is economic -- cellular phone calls are extremely expensive. Very few of us could afford the airtime. But then perhaps various mixes of Internet phone and traditional phone service might help bring cellular costs down significantly.

Warren Hogg, 12:35pm (204.163.165.193)Hi Richard -- The Internet phones maybe already affordable for many. The new PocketNet phone from AT&T is slated for data access at about $40 flat fee for a fixed amount of data. Voice calls will be billed at normal cellular rates.

Richard Seltzer, 12:38pm (199.3.129.189)Warren Hogg -- Please tell me more about the PocketNet phone. Are you saying that this is a cellular, wireless phone and that usage of it (for data) will be billed at a flat rate rather than the usual voice rates? Is this just the device that AT&T sells or is it the local service as well?

Warren Hogg, 12:44pm (204.163.165.193)Richard -- Yes the PocketNet phone looks and feels like your standard cellular phone however it has Internet access. Voice and data will be billed differently. Voice as we know it today and data by the amount you download. These phones will be made available from a number of device manufacturers and the service from a number of carriers including GTE, Bell Atlantic Nynex, AT&T, and many others.

Richard Seltzer, 12:47pm (199.3.129.189)Warren Hogg -- Billing by the amount "downloaded" does not send particularly tempting. That could quickly amount to an enormous bill. (And believe me, that would make me even more unhappy about useless graphics and banner ads.) You'd need a flat rate (I believe) to make that option really fly.

Warren Hogg, 12:51pm (204.163.165.193)Richard - There is a flat rate with a number of megabytes included as a part of these rate.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:37pm (166.72.74.140)Richard, the cost of cellular is indeed expensive. I'd pay attention to what the PCS operators are doing. They are hungry to get into the market and typically charge 30 percent less than cellular for voice. Also, PCS operators appear more willing to be innovative. I think you'll see innovation with SMS (Short Message Service) where you can receive 160 characters on the phone's handset. I'd look Internet access for these products this year. CDPD has excellent airtime prices compared to other wireless data solutions, but CDPD modems are $800 and coverage is spotty.

Richard Seltzer, 12:40pm (199.3.129.189)Alan -- I'm getting a bit lot in the alphabet soup. pardon my ignorance. What is PCS?

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com),Richard, PCS stands for Personal Communications Services. PCS is a cellular-like service. It's digital. In Europe and Asia there are scores (70 or more I think) systems and they are replacing cellular. There is basically one standard, GSM. In the U.S., there are several "standards" so it will be very confusing for consumers because not only is there PCS, but there is also digital cellular! In Europe and Asia, people refer to PCS are cellular, so it gets even more confusing!

Todd, 12:43pm (192.208.46.249)I think you will see wireless prices come down as it becomes more common and matures. New technology is always expensive.

Greg Dalzell, 12:45pm (204.154.206.13)Todd ... I think you are absolutely right. With all of the PCS licenses sold over the past few years, I think we'll see overcapacity of wireless in the short term. That will result in innovative pricing options by all wireless providers, and result not only in reduced pricing, but new, innovative applications of wireless technology.

Richard Seltzer, 12:51pm (199.3.129.189)Greg and Alan -- Admittedly the price is a matter of supply and demand. And yes, one could expect that with all the money to be made (given the outrageous prices) everyone is getting into the race and available capacity will go way up and begin to exceed demand and prices will go down. But what about the limits of the airwaves? Are we likely to get to the point that interference of signals makes wireless far less useful? Or that strict and limited allocation of bandwidths keeps this a scarce resource, preventing capacity from rising and prices falling as would happen in a free market?

Craig, (www.rim.net) 12:56pm (206.51.26.2)No question that base station and device prices are coming down. Ricochet base stations however are not using licensed frequencies - they use the ISM (industrial, scientific and medical purposes). So we have to consider we are talking apples and oranges here. The Tx power of PCS, N-PCS, analog cellular are significantly greater.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:57pm (166.72.74.140)Richard, there are laws of physics to deal with, but prices are falling and will fall. Also, you can combine channels for faster speeds (look for 32K bps in Japan over its Personal Handyphone System). Ericsson andothers have demonstrated 64K bps over wireless. I think you'll see falling airtime prices for paging (paging companies are worried about the SMS services on PCS). Bottom line is that wireless is likely to be more expensive than wired for a long time, but new technologies and price competition will produce gradually reduced prices. There is also a possibility that some innovative carriers will make leap of faith and dramatically decrease prices for a new service.

Greg Dalzell, 12:57pm (204.154.206.13)Richard ... There are probably several answers to your question, but if, for example, the available spectrum was frozen, I believe we would be using our spectrum more efficiently.


Cell Size

Todd,12:45pm (192.208.46.249)Greg - are cell sizes changing these days? The phone cos were talking about small cells to get more bandwidth.

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:49pm (166.72.74.140)Todd, cell sizes are decreasing (and "sectorizing") but this gets expensive. It's much, much more cost effective to just get more spectrum -- though now you have to go through the auction process. PCS cell sizes are small and the trend is definitely smaller. Ricochet, for example, can put up a base station for about $1,000 just about anywhere you want. The future of cellular/PCS/whatever is smaller, cheaper base stations.

Greg Dalzell, 12:51pm (204.154.206.13)Todd ... the bandwidth is a function of the equipment they are using more than the cell size. Decreasing the cell size, however, will definitely improve capacity.

Todd, 12:54pm (192.208.46.249)Alan, Richard - if cell sizes are very small (one per block) and connected by fiber or coax, bandwidth could be huge and affordable. The handoff problem would of course be much worse in a car but not in and around a house.


Software to Read Email Aloud

Shane, 12:39pm (206.98.242.104)Is there software for download that will read e-mail to you? I looked at www.wirelessinternet.com but could not find anything.

Greg Dalzell, 12:42pm (204.154.206.13)Shane ... if you're using a Mac, I saw a demo by Apple that reads mail to you. I'm not familiar with any solutions on the Wintel side, but there have to be.

Shane, 12:44pm (206.98.242.104)Does anyone have an Idea of a windows program that would read e-mail? shane@ime.net

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:45pm (166.72.74.140)Shane, there is software for your desktop PC that will read e-mail, but I'm afraid that I'm not an expert in this. 


Wrapup

Richard Seltzer, 12:54pm (199.3.129.189)All -- Time is going extremely quickly (while my connection continues to go very slowly). Anyway, we're nearing the end of the hour. I'm learning a lot from this discussion and look forward to going through again and putting the transcript together. I'd like to continue this discussion next well. Can you come back then? Is this the topic you'd prefer to focus on then? Please post here and or send me email at seltzer@samizdat.com

All -- please post your email addresses and URLs for followup. Also, if you have additional comments and quions, please send them to me by email and I'll add them to the transcript.

Sudha Jamthe(http://www.coola.com) 12:56pm (204.165.159.3)Bye Folks, I've got to go now. I hope to able to read Richard's compilation of this chat on his site. Thanks Richard.

Richard Seltzer, 12:56pm (199.3.129.189)All -- For the transcript, check http://www.samizdat.com/index.html#chat I hope to get it up today or tomorrow (as usual, edited to reconstruct the threads that are so hard to follow on the fly).

Please send me email if you'd like to receive email reminders of these sessions. Also, keep in mind that it would be helpful to provide pointers to related Web sites and background info. Include that in email to me for posting with the transcript. seltzer@samizdat.com

Thanks to all for your participation. Those who have been just reading, please post your email and URL addresses for followup.

Todd, 12:58pm (192.208.46.249)bye. tsm@unx.dec.com and tsm@cybernex.net

Shane, 12:58pm (206.98.242.104)See ya all next week!!!

Alan Reiter (www.wirelessinternet.com), 12:59pm (166.72.74.140)I can be reached via e-mail at reiter@wirelessinternet.com.

Warren Hogg, 12:59pm (204.163.165.193)Bye All

Craig (www.rim.net), 12:59pm (206.51.26.2)cdunk@rim.net. Thanks.

Greg Dalzell, 1:01pm (204.154.206.13)I have to head to a meeting ... Thanks for the invitation, and I hope to participate in the future.

Richard Seltzer, 12:59pm (199.3.129.189)Thanks again. Hope you can join us next week, same time, same site.


Previous transcripts and schedule of upcoming chats -- www.samizdat.com/chat.html

To connect to the chat room, go to www.samizdat.com/chat-intro.html

The full text of Richard Seltzer's books The Social Web, Take Charge of Your Web Site, Shop Online the Lazy Way, and The Way of the Web, plus more than a hundred related articles are available on CD ROM My Internet: a Personal View of Internet Business Opportunities.

Web Business Boot Camp: Hands-on Internet lessons for manager, entrepreneurs, and professionals by Richard Seltzer (Wiley, 2002). No-nonsense guide targets activities that anyone can perform to achieve online business
success. Reviews.

a library for the price of a book.

This site is Published by B&R Samizdat Express, 33 Gould St., West Roxbury, MA 02132. (617) 469-2269. seltzer@samizdat.com


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