Layer 10

You may have been missing some of the most exciting news in mobility because it’s happening (or rather not happening) in IEEE standards committees.  Qualcomm, Intel, Motorola and others are battling over the 802.20 standard for broadband wireless technologies.

However, the debates aren’t over technical merits, but rather over politics.  It’s rather interesting that the 802.20 standards seemed stalled for years with some claiming that Qualcomm was the main inhibitor.  You see, the 802.20 standards seemed to be heading towards using technology by a startup spun-out from Lucent.  That company, Flarion Technologies, was acquired by Qualcomm last year, and what do you know, all of a sudden the standards proceedings magically picked up pace again.

Well now Intel and friends are implying that the chairman of the 802.20 group is on Qualcomm’s payroll and therefore, the Flarion technology is getting an unfair level of attention.

Of course the real problem goes back to the Ten Layer Stack.  As you may recall, most technologists focus on the 7 technology layers defined in the OSI reference model.  However, in reality, technology decisions often have almost nothing to do with technology – instead they come down to marketing, finance, and politics.

With Intel clearly focused on the success of WiMax (802.16 standards) as an alternative to 802.20 technologies, I don’t suppose Intel’s actions have anything to do with the fact they have financial gains at risk if the 802.20 standards get approved too quickly.  No, couldn’t be… 

And I always thought standards committees were boring…

 

2 Responses to “Layer 10”

  1. […] There was a lot of discussion this year about the 802.20 standards, making it a big story for 2006.  Unfortunately, there still aren’t any standards.  As I discussed in June, the main reason is politics. […]

  2. […] There was a lot of discussion this year about the 802.20 standards, making it a big story for 2006. Unfortunately, there still aren’t any standards. As I discussed in June, the main reason is politics. […]

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