Monday, February 12, 2007

ITU Interview: Forum Chairman

In December 2006, the International Telecommunications Union held its conference in bustling Hong Kong, China. I sat down with 2006 ITU forum Chairman and managing director of Neustar, Reza Jafari, and Neustar CTO, Mark Foster--to get a snapshot of the ITU's mandate. We also debate some of the challenges that government agencies and multiple business sectors face relative to the convergence of fixed and mobile telecommunications with the internet. Produced in association with "Road Productions," the prologue is provided by Lisa Padilla.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mission Statement

disrupter@large is a new blog whose mission is to be a forum for commentary, podcasts and videoblogs that address the rapid acceleration of change in our world—and the challenges we face both as individuals and as members of communities, institutions, societies and the world at large. The content will range freely, but will be grounded in a pragmatic, cautiously optimistic view, that innovative research and technological development are our main hope for mitigating, if not entirely effacing, issues such as global warming, diminishing energy and water resources, pandemics, terrorism, etc.

I would be remiss if I did not reference Sanjay Khanna, founder and principal of Khanna Research. Sanjay's "Age of Anxiety" presentation at the Palo Alto Future Salon inspired me to re-engage with topics I long ago abandoned due to frustration and ennui. His courage, fortitude and persistance to explore these issues inspired me to do the same.

Initially, posts may often, though certainly not always, focus on the emerging mobile technology sector and its convergence with fixed wireline telephony and the internet. This is because they are subjects about which the inceptor of this blog is well versed. And it's not a bad place to start. After all, communication technology has, and will continue to be critical to helping people work more efficiently, play more enjoyably and live more fulfilling lives in general. So we will often delve into the many (and tangled) conundrums that the mobile, broadcast, and web-services sectors face as they attempt to converge a "seamless" user-experience across different types of devices and networks. The goal of these posts will be to provide clear, contextual explanations, in as jargon-free a manner as possible, that encompass the entire ecosystem.

Some areas we will investigate and attempt to sort through include:

Network operators: Who must integrate a plethora of ever-evolving wide area wireless standards, with local-loop (muni/metro-fi), traditional copper wireline, ADSL, FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home), etc...AND provide a user experience that translates as seamlessly as possible across all these access methodologies.

Broadcasters and old-school media companies: who must learn and work quickly to engage a new generation of users for whom their tradional content is becoming increasingly archaic.

OEM's (network infrastructure and end-user device manufacturers): who are challenged to maintain pace with standards and develop new handsets and ultra-mobile pc's within a rapidly changing network ecology...without sacrificing battery consumption.

...And of course, the web services providers and the new wave of content/services developers who must work with both network operators and OEM's to develop applications predictive of an entirely new contextuality that meets the needs of users-including speed, device performance and screen-size.