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Archive for the ‘Telecommunication’ Category

It has been for a while since I wanted to be a more serious blogger. While telling about my life, opinion and feeling on this blog serves my emotional and psychological needs pretty well, I always had hoped to have a higher purpose of existence on the Internet.

Techpiece is my attempt to realise that. It’s a platform for collaborative blogging for me and a friend, Soha who is doing PhD in the UK in power engineering. I’ll try to write articles more closely related to Malaysia, in particular about telecommunication, security and software.

I’ve written about cryptography in general that is unrelated to Malaysia. Actually I only reused an old article from here, because Soha pushed me to post according to schedule. LOL.

Next in my plan is to write about Streamyx and Home Surveillance in Malaysia. If you have any technological questions that you hope to be answered, just ask me anytime. I’ll answer or research the answers.

techpiece

Seems like a tough project, but hopefully I will persevere.

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I took a brief look at the 2009 National Budget and Economic Policy Brief by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his website. What caught my attention in particular was his intention to review the RM15.2 billion High Speed Broadband (HSBB), should Pakatan Rakyat get into power.

Nooooooo !!! I want 50 Mbps Internet connection speed !! ūüė¶

It’s funny that the budget claims that it “includes understanding the successes of Taiwan, Korea..” when laying out fiber optic network was exactly what Korea did. And near bankrupt they were for that. But from there, contribution from information and communication sector helped to propel them from the worst Asian country hit by 1997-1998 financial crisis to among the most advanced countries in the world.

OK, HSBB is a small part of it, the budget plan probably follows Korea in other aspects.

A commenter on DSAI blog said that he knew of a bumiputra who could deploy WiFi in a campus of 500 students for just RM30,000 to compare with HSBB cost. Of course WiFi deployment is cheap. Any wireless deployment is cheap. Even for a metropolitan area network¬†such as Wimax, all that’s needed is to¬†rent spectrum from MCMC, rent communication towers, put up antenna and setup base stations. Well, that’s oversimplified but at least there’s not much digging, burying, civil work and planning.

But is it justified to allocate RM15.2 billion for this? I have no idea. I dont know how rich or poor Malaysia is now. But I’m sure a¬†superb communication framework will attact a lot of investors, encourage tourism, improve academic excellence, reduce¬†urban¬†stress, provide platform for other initiatives such as “Safe City”, promote IT while reducing dependencies on other industries and so on …

There’s really no bad side to fast internet speed at all !

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Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access or Wimax technology is coming to Malaysia. Four successful applicants for 2.3GHz band will be rolling out Wimax services by end 2008. They are Packet One, Asiaspace, Redtone-CNX and Y-Max. Realising the importance to get the industry keeping abreast with latest wireless technologies, Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) or its English name MCMC, releases a quarterly newsletter,  myWireless which is available on their website.

If all goes well, it means that Malaysians will enjoy new Internet experience, being connected everywhere. Imagine being connected with WiFi at home, then handoff-ed to Wimax as you move out, and transferred to WiFi again as you reach office. Honestly, I enjoy more imagining myself laying on beach. But those who appreciate Internet more will certainly welcome this future.

Wimax is a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technology. It could be used for Fixed, or Mobile; the latter is more what many people will be concerned about.

If we refer to 7 Layer of Open System Interconnection (OSI) as below,

7 OSI Layer

7 OSI Layer

Wimax only covers the first two layers, Physical and Data Link. It is based on IEEE 802.16 standard. These two layers are called Physical Layer and Media Access Control (MAC) layer. These layers provide services to third layer, Network which could be IP network (IPv4/IPv6) or ATM. The physical layer of Wimax determines what transmission medium to be used, maximum transmitter power, digital modulation techniques and so on. Whereas MAC layer is concerned with security (encryption, integrity), Quality of Service (QoS) management and so on.

Wimax is based on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). This modulation technology have all its carriers orthogonal to each other. Hence, theoretically, these carriers can be very close to each other with no interference, making OFDM a highly spectral efficient modulation technique. This is especially important as our spectrum is getting crowded with all sorts of technologies and services.

While spectrum space is infinite, technology limits us only to lower frequencies. In Malaysia, due to our tropical climate, we are having problem to even get above 23GHz as raindrops prove to be causing major deterioration to our air transmission quality. In fact it was mentioned in recent SKMM Lecture Series that as low as 5GHz links are already affected by rain. Hence being spectrally efficient is extremely important in Malaysia, so that we could maximise utilisation of lower spectrum.

So the future is coming (d’uh). Wireless technologies is full of wonderment, but for me getting connected everywhere is not really wowfully amazing. Instead I am dreaming to be less connected electronically, more connected spiritually and intellectually. Maybe I dont belong to current generation. Yesterday, I just knew that my 15-year old Go friend actually used Blackberry.

But to play Go, Shogi, Chess, Scrabble, Xiangqi anywhere? Now that is interesting !!

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Tomorrow is day off. Or today actually since it’s already 1 a.m.

To do list :

  1. Pay the traffic fine
  2. Shop for refrigerator stuff
  3. Buy another book shelf
  4. Tidy up the house
  5. Get supplementary phone line for my sister

Study Go?

By the way, there’s a¬†Canadian go player who claimed to reach 3k in 2 months. That is super fast ! I’ve heard of some other super progress among amateurs, such as Ali Jabarin from Israel¬†who got to 5d in 2 years, and Tenbatsu who got to 6d in 2 years.

Me? 5d in 5 years. Even then I still fall down to 4d at times.

OK, Go aside.

Regarding work, Yusuf the next desk colleague had resigned verbally. He has yet to submit the resignation letter to GM. Where as for me, I resigned to the fact that telecommunication regulation is my job. A bit uncool.

My current task is getting ready for World Radiocommunication Conference in 2011. Issues to be focused on are:

  1. Spectrum harmonization across borders for Electronic News Gathering (ENG)
  2. Progress in 71 – 238 GHz spectrum studies
  3. Sharing studies in 790 – 862 MHz

Lastly Olympic is coming ! Hope Malaysia can now unitedly support our athletes, and forget about our stupid politics.

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Perhaps, working in Legal and Regulation department is not so bad. I think I am sour and bitter about this job only because I get more remote from technical field and engineering day by day. But this legal and regulation job itself can be interesting, at times. So, yeah that’s my case.

Today I attended a seminar where the presenters talked about Law and Regulation issues around IPTV. I thought¬†it would be boring and dry, but no, it’s the opposite. The presenters compared IPTV issues between neighbouring countries and their implementation.

One interesting question was whether IPTV should be subject to same framework as the internet, hence exempted from censorship and granted the freedom enjoyed by the latter. I initially thought, no. Of course not. IPTV resembles normal TV broadcasting more and should be subject to similar legal and regulatory framework.

But it is also the fact that IPTV is based on IP protocol, and there is basis in arguing that it is, in fact, part of Internet!

Haha, intersting isn’t it how legal people can twist things and exploit loopholes in the Law¬†to suit their agenda? Not so different from computer hackers.

One important thing that I learnt was, “Content is King”. For any telecommunication and multimedia service to be rolled out successfully¬†i.e. 3G, 4G, high speed broadband, IPTV andMobileTV , the availability of interesting content is of paramount importance. Currently, we have to import content from the U.S. or Japan such as Desperate Housewives, American Idol, animes, sports and so on as our own developed content is scarce, and most of the time, not very interesting.

In other occasion, a presenter told me about a Japanese who was asked about the success of 3G in Japan. And he said,

the success of 3G relies on 3G – Girls, Games and Gambling

Haha, yeah. No wonder 3G is successful there. For Malaysia, what kind of interesting content can we develop and still subscribe to our values? Factually, Malaysia prohibits gambling and excessive exposure of girls (and guys). Is our culture and conscience limiting the scope of creativity, and if so how else can we enhance our own content development?

Maybe our 3G should be – Games, Go and Go again! I dont mind that ūüôā

p/s : I think gambling is allowed in Japan only if it’s not for money. Not so sure.

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