AC – The future of wireless communications

Dr. Gee Rittenhouse, VP, Wireless Research, Bell Labs, Bell Labs Fellow gee (at)

Focusing a lot on the word “you.” People can connect to “you” rather than your office, your house…. First happened with mobile phones. Now the same thing is happening with wireless data. The network expects to reach you, any place, any time. Rather than you interacting with the network at the office, home. In the future, your world will come to you. Information will be personalized for you. your will be able to communicate with your world anytime, anywhere, any network, any device. With a richness making it just about as good as being there. Security will become important for keeping those who you don’t want to get a hold of you away.

Interacting with the network will substitute you being at a place in person.

  • Wireless applications/personalization. Personalization takes into account how you deal with the network. Things to come, in 2003, mobile phones outnumber personal computers. Will they take over the world? The access technology is irrevelant. Cell phones are nice but they don’t do everything well. For example, if you have a fiber optic cable access point in your home, you would rather interact with the network that way.
  • Wireless Terminal Technology. Smart endoints both at the application and control layers–VoIP, singaling, applications, personalization.
  • Personalization. End users will self-provision preferences. Those things are stored on the network so services can be routed to the closed access point (you). Personalized app makes requests to a rules engine that interacts with a users preferences.
  • High speed data. +1MB/sec over large areas. EV-DO, High Speed Data Packet Access (HSDPA), 802.16 as examples. Lots of research happening to improve the quality of you between a data link. Lucent BLAST technology–multiple antenna systems dramatically increase data rates and user capacity.
  • Access independent networks. How do we make the network mobile? The great thing about the Internet, is that it’s distributed. It’s a very successful model. But wireless models are mobile which require control. The easiest way to do that is to have been centralized controllers. How to get around the transport? Control happens in the data access points not the network (Internet/IP).
  • Self-designing networks. The network has to design itself.
  • Learning from spiders (real ones :-). Spider webs have lots of symmetry to them. Spiders are small and have small brains yet they are able to . They solve a second order differential equations. They infer what the overall web should be as they built it. They infer global information by local.

You will participate in the network (in the future) whether you know it or not. Wireless will be transparent to end users. All that you will know is that you have a very good link. Networks will need to be self healing. Metcalfs law, the value of the network increases with the number of people using it. Social transformation will take place through IP Immersion that is similar to what happened in the telephony world.

Question about a scene in Minority Report where the character gets personalization in the real world. Even third generation systems today can tell you exactly where you are when you hit 911. So, the technology is there to follow you assuming you’re connected with the network.