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Wireless – in the air and on the move

Written by  Dr. Muhammad Yaseen & Muhammad Amir Malik
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Muhammad Yaseen Amir Malik Issue: Asia-Pacific III 2010
Article no.: 1
Topic: Wireless – in the air and on the move
Author: Dr. Muhammad Yaseen & Muhammad Amir Malik
Title: Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, Chairman & Muhammad Amir Malik, Director ICT
Organisation: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
PDF size: 406KB

About author

Dr Mohammad Yaseen is the Chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Prior to joining the PTA, Dr Yaseen served as Director of Strategy at PTCL Pakistan; as Senior Consultant for Advanced Networks and Systems, Australia; as a System and Project Engineer, at Alcatel Submarine Networks Australia; and as a Senior Research Officer at Essex University, England. Dr Yaseen has produced 30 international and national publications on telecom technologies, ICT growth, strategies and design of telecom networks. Dr Yaseen represented the PTA at various international and national forums, including the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), where he was named Vice Chairman of APT Study Group 2 (Networks).

Muhammad Amir Malik is the Director for ICT at the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority; he is responsible for policy and research-based studies of emerging and current ICT’s. Mr Malik provides liaison with the Ministry of IT, Government bodies and ICT operators to foresee issues and latest trends in ICT market by studying the International regulations and practices, implication of future technologies on ICT sector of Pakistan. Mr Malik is responsible for devising and implementing mechanisms and policy recommendations in these areas. Mr Malik has also served the Electronic Government Directorate at the Ministry of Information and Technology, as Project Director (e-Office Replication), as a Project Manager with Finlays, as a AP AG Senior Technical Support Consultant, as a SAP AG Technical Support Consultant , as a Research Engineer at Verimag, Air France, as a smartcard programmer at Schlumberger and as a Site Installation Engineer at Alcatel CIT. Mr Malik is an Electrical engineer. He earned an M.S. in CS and Telecommunication Engineering from ENSIMAG, INPG, France.


Article abstract

Wireless technologies let operators reach markets where fixed infrastructure is too expensive. By massively reducing infrastructure costs, they give developing countries - where most people do not have access to basic necessities - affordable access to the same communications-based services as high-income nations. Regulatory institutions are struggling to promote access to wireless technologies to give developing regions not only communications, but to give them access to health services, education and a host of other tools for a better life.


Full Article

With constant pressure to achieve greater efficiency, humans have continued to discover new technologies for ways to leverage competitive advantage. Probably the most fascinating addition has been the ‘No wires - No restriction’ phenomena brought in by the wireless communication technologies. Coupled with an added advantage of mobility, today’s wireless networks have provided an ability to access information and data remotely, and to conduct a whole bunch of amazing stuff anywhere, anytime. The kind of technological progression observed in the wireless arena is simply miraculous, where the next upgrade is already in planning while its predecessor is still being deployed. The statement seems to hold true for the next generations of wireless networks as well. Wireless telecommunications have transformed the way we communicate, access data, do business and seek entertainment. You name it - notebooks, palm computers, phones, entertainment devices and even kitchen appliances - are ready to be linked wirelessly to each other or even to the Internet. Wireless networks present a two-fold benefit for both service providers and consumers. From an operator prospective, wireless technologies offer an excellent alternative to reach out to those market segments where the deployment of expensive fixed infrastructure is not viable. Wireless has opened up whole new ways to communicate that allow developing countries to enjoy the same communication access privileges as high-income nations. They also massively reduce operators’ capital expenditures. Network rollout experts say that WiMAX deployment cost between one-eighth and one-quarter the cost for DSL (digital subscriber line) per subscriber. Telecommunication consumers also prefer wireless convenience over fixed-line services – today, mobile subscribers are outnumbering fixed subscribers around the globe. This trend continues in the data market as well; wireless broadband is rapidly gaining popularity and growing faster than copper-based xDSL services. It is well- proven that wireless technology is an important tool in the effort to alleviate some of the world’s most pressing economic and social development problems. A large number of residents of low-income countries already have mobile phones; this high penetration - along with mobility, smartness, speed and dispersion - makes mobile telephony a superb tool to enable poor inhabitants to progress. A rapidly growing list of examples shows how individuals and groups in developing economies are utilizing mobile phones in creative, valuable and supportive ways: price discovery in fishing villages; coordinating humanitarian relief; and paying utility bills while working in the wheat fields. In most parts of the developing world, the regulatory, administrative, business and technology communities have all joined hands to achieve a wireless revolution that no one would have thought possible - or perhaps even desirable - at the beginning of the decade. Today, in many poor countries, most of the population may not have access to basic life necessities, hygienic living conditions and quality education. However, they are likely to have access to a wireless phone and network coverage at affordable tariffs. By eliminating limitations of time and location, wireless is enabling a brighter future for people in developing countries. While analyzing the growth of mobile telephony we observe an amazing escalation in developing regions. According to Terabit Consulting, in 2000 developing countries accounted for around one-quarter of the world’s 700 Million mobile phones. The developing countries’ share of mobile phones had grown to three-quarters of the world total by 2009. Similarly, the wireless broadband market in developing countries is growing rapidly and revenues are growing apace. Several reputable international analysts predict that the number of wireless broadband customers in the world will exceed two billion by 2015. This growth should generate revenues of more than US$780 billion- an increase of 2400 per cent compared to today. The analysts predict that by 2015 more than fifty per cent of the world’s wireless broadband customers will be living in developing countries. Interestingly, the recent growth of value added data services on telecommunication networks - a result of technological convergence - seems to have been more effective in wireless networks than the wired one. This is a major reason why wireless systems are no longer designed entirely for voice traffic, but to serve multiple traffic types with different QoS (quality of service) needs. Next generation network (NGN) scenarios envision a diverse wireless world where users will be able to access any service, at any time, on any network that is optimised for the application at hand. For several years, we have known that wireless data traffic will soon greatly exceed voice traffic (in bytes), and the increase in low-cost data is compelling operators and carriers to raise the average revenue per user (ARPU), by offering some incredible services like mobile TV. The wireless phone is no longer just a device to make voice calls as it was during the first generation and second generation of mobile telephony. The third generation of mobile telephony (3G) offers both voice and data applications. Fourth generation (4G) mobile telephony will consist of a wholly digital packet switched network providing extremely high available bandwidth. Radio waves, the basis of wireless technology, propagate according to the laws of physics, unbound by economic or geo-political borders. Although subject to national regulation, International telecommunications bodies, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), coordinate the management and regulation of frequency spectrum. Terrestrial wireless technologies present several regulatory challenges ranging from sales and installation of wireless equipment, fees, power limits, effective frequency band, radio frequency management, licensing, equipment type approval, setting licensing fees and provision of transparent information on licensing procedures. Global radio guidelines provide suggestions to establish procedures for a regional policy harmonization including mutual acceptance of equipment test results and type approvals for wireless devices in compliance with international best practices. The exceptional growth of ‘anytime, anywhere’ communications obliges policy makers to create regulatory environments that promote access to wireless technologies for development purposes, focus upon spectrum management, foster the implementation of standards and support research and development. By 2020, there will be five billion mobile users, shaping technology, services, content and pricing globally. Driven by the ubiquitous deployment of mobile systems, the widespread use of the Internet, the rapid advances in wireless technologies, the insatiable demand for high-speed interactive multimedia services, and the growing need for secure wireless machine-to-machine communications, wireless technologies might well have an even more profound effect than Internet had on every aspect of our lives.

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