My Telecoms Story

my_telecom_storyPeople frequently ask me about my background in Telecoms. How did I get started, where have I been, what have I done.  I decided to write my story as a blog post so that people could have a place to find it, and a single text which I might refine and improve over time.  If you want to add your own tales, please put them into the comments.

Welcome to Telecoms

My Telecoms story began when I moved to California in 1979. I needed a job and it I thought my incomplete studies as an Electrical Engineer might qualify me for a job with the telephone company. I applied and was fortunate to quickly be offered a position, one of the very best technical roles the phone company had. Continue reading “My Telecoms Story”

Act Fast to Keep Your LinkedIn Data

For years LinkedIn has allowed subscribers to “tag” connections.  If you are already familiar with LinkedIn tags you know how marvelously useful it is.

stop-300pxSure, it could be a bit labor intensive, especially if you needed to comb through all your existing contacts to assign any newly-created tags.  But tags were a very handy way to filter your connections nonetheless.

Well, no more.  This feature has been removed from the Linkedin interface and is only available under paid subscription plans.  That change may be a consequence of Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Linkedin.  Thanks, Microsoft.

Continue reading “Act Fast to Keep Your LinkedIn Data”

Nobody Likes Surprises

As you try to manage your career and get ahead in your world, simple rules can be helpful. I take inspiration from the American TV drama “NCIS” which features “Gibbs’ Rules” as a running theme throughout the show. It occurs to me that there may be many comparable rules in business and in life. Here is one that which is frequently illustrated in business, usually inadvertently. Continue reading “Nobody Likes Surprises”

LTE-U is Unfriendly to Consumers and to WiFi. Let’s Fix it.

Today the wireless industry is gripped by debate over the deployment of LTE services in unlicensed spectrum. Qualcomm is the leading proponent and has recruited support from Telecom Equipment Manufacturers and Mobile Operators. Qualcomm has proposed three separate standards: LTE-U and License Assisted Access (LAA) are targeted geographically. A third proposal called MuLTEfire uses unlicensed spectrum for Enterprises, and does not require an LTE channel in licensed spectrum. Details of those proposals can be found elsewhere. Continue reading “LTE-U is Unfriendly to Consumers and to WiFi. Let’s Fix it.”

Hurricane Sandy’s Legacy

Now that Hurricane Sandy is moving beyond the local destruction it left it  is time to rethink our investment priorities.  A commitment to improve and harden the nation’s infrastructure could be contemplated.

Of course, there are many factors to consider.  But in the context laid out by the following bullet points, perhaps a path forward is implied.

  • The cost of restoring existing services, electrical, transportation & communications.  This cost is near 100% a one-time cost, meaning it contributes nothing to the long-term stability and reliability of the plant.
  • The fact that restoration returns the infrastructure to the same level of vulnerability presently extant.
  • That the human resources called to perform herculean effort are always drawn from jurisdictions less-affected by the current crises, and therefore the support of those jurisdictions is reduced.

Considering all the above, it is immediately clear that current infrastructure management practice fails to properly include all costs into the equation.

At such a moment, a leader might propose a Kennedy-esque “mission-to-the-moon” venture to harden the nations infrastructure.

Such an effort would provide many benefits:

  • reduced future downtime of power, transport and other shared systems, and the associated foregone costs.
  • money spent thus hardening the infrastructure would increase local employment. In other words, a huge jobs program.

So my proposal would be a Kennedy-style trip to the moon.  Invest in infrastructure that was impervious to weather.

Lundberg’s Law of LinkedIn Laziness

It has happened many times over the last couple years: a friend or colleague who has previously been totally inactive on LinkedIn suddenly starts connecting and posting and generally making up for lost time. Many times this indicates a change of employment is imminent or has recently passed.

I’ve not read of this phenomenon elsewhere, though I won’t be surprised if someone else has already identified it. Until prior art is revealed, I’ll call it Lundberg’s Law of LinkedIn Laziness, or simply Lundberg’s Law. (That name does not appear to be already taken.) With Luck it might enter the vernacular.

A sudden increase in networking activity on LinkedIn foretells an imminent job change.

In other words, Lundberg’s Law states that a step function in the intensity of professional networking activity indicates an unplanned career move is afoot.

Math whizzes in the audience might prefer “the second integral with respect to time of one’s professional network is proportional to the unexpectedness of a sudden career change.”

What it means is this: don’t lazily ignore your network and wait until you need it to feed it. Connecting with colleagues, coworkers and acquaintances should be part of your daily routine. Chat up old colleagues, reconnect with past associates, check in occasionally with industry groups. Stay active. Stay visible. Stay relevant.

If you are continually active, you’ll have a much healthier network at at time when that will be important to you, and you’ll avoid implicitly advertising that you’ve had a sudden career change thrust upon you.

If you ignore your professional network, it won’t serve you well when you most need it.

lead up to CTIA in Las Vegas

We arrived in Las Vegas Monday afternoon and immediately jumped into the fray. Meetings started with Don Winters and Tom Prosia of Whitehawk Associates. Whitehawk provides consultants and subject matter expertise to Mobile Operators and other players in the wireless industry. Tom is presently working on an application which collects mobile location and feeds it to an application on the operator’s back end. Not coincidentally, Don also has a background in location based services, having served as the COO of SignalSoft a decade ago. Although we were sworn us to secrecy about the details of their current efforts, it only reenforces our view that location’s time may finally be at hand. Statements such as that are so common that taking it with a grain of salt is to be expected.

We then met Michael O’Reilly and Rich Garwood of Cellentx. Cellentx provides business development and sales support for vendors to the wireless industry. Although Cellentx has been in business for a short time, already they have received a warm reception and have many consultants under contract.

Good luck to both these companies as they develop their businesses.

We also caught up with Drew Esson of Digital Globe, purveyors of satellite imagery. Drew is another with a long history using and selling location based-services, having also done time with SignalSoft back in the day. Perhaps it’s more than a coincidence that he and Don Winters were hanging out in the same restaurant in Vegas.

Attending Nortel CDMA Wireless Users Group Meeting

The second week of September in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Nortel will be hosting their users for a week-long conference of training, product demonstrations and sales. It is also expected to be a good chance for users to get together, compare notes, swap stories and have some fun. TeleTips Network will be there, blogging from the conference and calling attention to highlights and news. We’ll be showing the flag and recruiting some new members, too. If you’ll be attending drop us a note and look for us there.

Here’s a link to the Nortel CDMA Wireless Users Group Conference