We're All Experts Here

5:30 PM -- Stop me if you've heard this one before:

"Arguably, the panel's discussion was somewhat muted by the fact there was only intermittent wireless connectivity available at the event, due to technical difficulties."

That's Rhonda Ascierto, reporting for Computer Business Review online from The Wireless Event this week in London. You've already heard my gripes about the lack of a decent wireless connection at CTIA, in Las Vegas. (See CTIA Disconnect.)

What's up with that? Why can't conference organizers for gatherings of the leading wireless vendors and service providers in the world manage to equip their halls with functioning, reliable wireless networks?

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

mschilleman 12/5/2012 | 3:53:35 AM
re: We're All Experts Here Check out their website www.iBAHN.com. Very experienced in providing secure wireless and wired access.
lrmobile_millomar 12/5/2012 | 3:53:33 AM
re: We're All Experts Here That would be the tragedy of the commons.

Free goods, ie the ISM spectrum used for WiFi, will be used past the point where it is sustainable. If you give people grazing rights(use WiFi)on a plot of land (the 2.4GHz ISM band) they will put so many cows on it (users at trade shows)that they eat all of the grass (create interference for other users) and the cows either starve (users don't use it because it is so congested) or they go to private property to feed (say UMTS bandwidth "owned" by operators).
lrmobile_rusty 12/5/2012 | 3:53:31 AM
re: We're All Experts Here Bad analogy. Cows eat as much as they can wherever they can. Wi-Fi nodes are designed to backoff to allow use from more people in the same spectrum.

In some cases Wi-Fi is going to be unusable because of the number of people accessing the network but that is no different from licensed bands at busy times (ever tried to make a cell call on New Year's Eve?). In the vast majority of cases there is enough available spectrum to accommodate everyone if the network is designed correctly.
lrmobile_millomar 12/5/2012 | 3:53:29 AM
re: We're All Experts Here So you read a fair bit of science fiction then?

Scientifically managed cows will stretch the resource somewhat more than unmanaged cows. That is all that "backing off" nodes and "planning" will do. I grant you this.

But the nature of a "common" is that it is unmanaged. ISM bands are a "common." They can't legally be managed. You cannot complain about interference in an ISM band.

Bottom line: if you try to put too much data over any block of spectrum it will fail. That is physics and damned hard to manage your way out of.
lrmobile_rusty 12/5/2012 | 3:53:28 AM
re: We're All Experts Here That's exactly my point. Now ask yourself how much spectrum is allocated to 3G vs. Wi-Fi.
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:53:24 AM
re: We're All Experts Here This thread really shows why we need *both* 3G and WLAN to be happy and productive workers. :)

The tragedy of the commons analogy applied to Wi-Fi is quite useful. Thinking back to economics seminars at university (my memory is a little fuzzy), tragedy of the commons is a likely outcome under certain social conditions.

There are, and always have been, examples where common resources are regulated in ways other than the formal assignment and enforcement of property rights. Typically this is some kind of social/cultural arrangement that means you donG«÷t let your cows eat all the grass before your neighborG«÷s cows can get some G«Ű else they throw you out of the village!

I know of a few WISP types that have proposed this for WLAN deployments. The idea is to have a local coordinator, to track what everyoneG«÷s doing and help them all get along. I'm skeptical if this would work in practice, but at least 802.11 takes care of some of the social niceties in technology (by backing-off when it encounters other networks).
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