Birch, Jim Jim.Birch at dhhs.tas.gov.au
Tue Apr 7 16:28:32 AEST 2009

At 02:39 PM 7/04/2009, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>I do not claim Radio Savvyness but would speculate the simultaneous 
>access problem
>has occurred and been addressed temporarily at pop concerts and 
>football matches.
>As well as daily in New York, London, Beijing and Sydney.

The solution is more lower power transmitters.  The number of
simultaneous calls is limited PER BASE STATION.  After that, it there's
a secondary limited of "crosstalk" between cells so the objective in
populated areas is to design for discreet cells with their size limited
by transmission power, directional antennas and the natural and man-made
topology.  (In general, if you've reached the capacity of a base station
you're doing pretty well and would love to split it.)  That's why the
old great TV and radio broadcast sites like mountain tops are not used
for cell phone towers, except in low population areas: their coverage is
too good.  In New York, London, etc, you find low power antennas near
street level between rows of building and in places like train stations.

* * * 

I don't know why it's not talked about much, but the lower cost hybrid
network of fibre to the street and low power radio to the local group of
houses plus any mobile devices floating around seems like a great idea
to me.  And it would get the thing up and running a lot faster.  Over
time we could pony up to get the full gigabitish cable connection cable
up the street to into our homes.  I'm not sure what you'd do with it
though. I don't know exact figures but I think a high definition digital
TV program or video call is only going to consume a few Megabits.  

AFAICS if the broadband network gets going it will more or less wipe out
the wired phone network, at least as a major profit centre, replaced by
Skype-like and hybrid connections, as is already happening.  FTTH could
also wipe the free-to-air TV club.

I'd love to see the thing designed for competition - vertically and
horizontally segmented - with opportunities for different operators to
compete for services, content, installation, management and maintenance.
I think there's going to be a need to present an open interoperable
alternative to glossy well-honed arguments of the corporate rent seekers
who will be planning to take over the network right now. 



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