Stuck In A Broadcast Mindset

from the two-way-is-the-way-to-go dept

History repeats itself over and over again. When the telephone was first created, many people looked at it as a broadcast medium. It could be used to deliver weather, news, and other content to end users. It was only later that people realized the real benefit was in letting people communicate. If you own a pipe, it seems the biggest “empty room” fear is that no one will use it unless you provide the content. Thus, all the recent efforts from wireless carriers seem to be to look at themselves as broadcasters and view their pipes as a one-directional road. However, providing content is a very different business than providing connectivity – and providing connectivity is much more valuable. Most people already have access to the content they want in other places. To make wireless really valuable, the carriers shouldn’t be looking at moving content into a “wireless web”, but in taking advantage of the differences that being mobile provides the user. They should be looking at services that are only possible when a person is mobile, and provide real value that way. It’s not about the broadcast model any more. The next generation of wireless is about letting anyone connect to each other from anywhere.

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Comments on “Stuck In A Broadcast Mindset”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Broadcast phones survived for a long time

I lived in a rural community in Japan that still had a phone broadcast system in 1980. The operator woman would shout announcements that lasted several minutes, a few times a week, in the evenings, over a PA speaker installed in every house in the community. The same system could also connect individual phone calls.

The net is encouraging the formation of an atomized society in which people are balkanized into hyperspecialized social groups. Such groups could very well find broadcast messages useful when coordinating activities. So, it may stay with us another 50 or 80 years.

RT says:

Stuck in a Broadcast Mindset

Very good comments mike, and this is also relevant to PON, which is inherently a physical shared broadcast infrastructure. PON is not the architecture choice that an unbiased person would make, if they believe that dedicated symmetric services are the future. Architecture choice should reflect the desired usage modalities, not some silly edict made 10 years ago when PON made some sense architecturally, and the applications were very different and extremely limited.

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