Optical/IP Networks

Night of the (Acronym) Hunter

Somewhere, deep in the mephitic tangle of the marketing jungle creeps one brave -- some would say foolhardy -- antipodean whose sole mission it is to drag obfuscating acronyms puking and clawing into the light of day (see Meet the Acronym Hunter). Sometimes -- usually on a quiet Friday afternoon -- this khaki-clad explorer gets in contact with us to bring news of his latest discoveries.

Ah, here he here comes now -- you can tell by the distinctive aroma of stale beer mingled with half-digested ostrich burger…

G'day mates, acronym hunter 'ere. You know what? I've been splashing around in this rainforest all year, without hardly a gasp of the amber nectar, just so I can find some really bonza specimens of marketing malarkey for yer.

And look here -- in my tally bag -- I've got five corkers wot I reckon sum up 2003 and will still be hurting your bonce in 2004. Just let me rummage in the sack for a moment...

VOWLAN: Blimey Charley, this wasn't one of them bumpy-headed aliens like you'd see on Star Trek. Nah, it stands for Voice Over Wireless LAN, which is something that everyone got their knickers in a twist over this year. It’s a technology that prioritizes voice traffic on a wireless LAN network. This means that your rabbit gets through before the data packets, so that -- as long as you have a specialized mobile phone -- you can talk without running up too much of a phone bill (see Voice Over WLAN Ups Stakes). There's lots of folks reckon this'll be a killer asp for companies using wireless LAN, but I ain't so sure... What I want is something that delivers me tinnies before my crisp packets.

LWAPP: This is one of those that gets the drongos in the white coats going a treat, but you can't hardly find it in the wild yet. The toffee-noses at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) call it the LightWeight Access Point Protocol. It's some sort of language that lets 802.11 switches tell brain dead access points what to do, rather than just leaving 'em to fend for themselves in the wild and risk getting picked off by a pack of slavering hyenas (see LWAPP Makes Tracks). So far, LWAPP has mostly been championed by startups like Airespace Inc. and Legra Systems Inc., but the jungle drums say that some big names are starting to get involved with the protocol as well.

EV-DO: That's EVolution-Data Only to you 'n' me, mate. It’s a CDMA cellular standard that lets you make bird -- er, data calls much faster. Verizon Wireless has been using this on the great plains of San Diego and Washington, D.C., this year and if it takes off there you could see it all over in 2004 (see Verizon's Surprise Evolution).

HSDPA: This is another one that gets the propeller heads hot under the collar -- High-Speed Downlink Packet Access. Flows orf the tongue, don't it? And no its not a bank, it’s a technology that the poms could use to make their third-generation networks faster if they're weren't so busy whining about the weather (see HSDPA to the Rescue?).

Phapps: Phappssssssssssssssssssssssssss, blimey, sorry about that mates. No seriously, Phapps stands for PHone APPlicationS, and it gets the vote for the worst, most odiferous acronym of the year (see Beware!). Ripper!

As told to: Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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