Thursday, October 25, 2007

Speculating on Indian 3G spectrum specter

This post originally appeared in Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!

The ongoing saga regarding spectrum for 3G services, use of dual technologies, etc., reminds me of 2002, the MII, TD-SCDMA and 155MHz! Read on…

Anything on the spectrum spectacle in India makes very interesting reading! It’s as though two sides fighting over a valuable possession. Worth a click!!

We have been following how the two GSM and CDMA lobbies -– COAI and AUSPI -– have been in the news over the use of mixed bands. GSM operators have constantly warned that any move to allocate spectrum in the 1900MHz band to CDMA players would adversely impact their services in the 2100MHz band. We’ve been following what the TRAI, the DoT and others have to say on all of this.

Then AUSPI informed this week that field trials conducted in Hyderabad last week had proved successful. The trial conducted by AUSPI on behalf of the Department of Telecom (DoT) claims that the co-existence of 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz is possible.

Now, we are told that defence would be vacating spectrum by end of this year and India would have 3G services by next year. Hope all disputes are settled amicably and India finally gets to see what 3G services would have to offer.

I am reminded of two things – one, the 3G license auctions in Europe, which nearly brought the wireless house down in the early 2000s, and two, an interesting development in China. I’ll dwell on the second one.

Nearly seven years ago, I happened to break the news on TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code-Division Multiple Access), a 3G technology being developed at that point of time by Datang Telecom and Siemens. That story link no longer exists, so I’m providing a link to another story, mentioned below.

About two and a half years later, around October 2002, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) in China allocated a total frequency of 155MHz for TD-SCDMA! This, for an untested, untried 3G technology, in a country much larger than India, was and is still unheard of!

Makes me wonder, why did the MII give away so much of spectrum so long back to an untested 3G technology, when in India, we keep hearing reports about spectrum issues, use of dual technologies, etc. Are there lessons to be learnt from the Chinese example?

On TD-SCDMA, much later, in 2002, I also discovered not many had even heard of it in India. However, around the time I reported this 155MHz spectrum story, STING’s Robin Grewal contacted me in Delhi to find out more about this 3G technology! That was the level of interest in 3G and TD-SCDMA, and spectrum in India, at least, at that time.

Things have changed since! Hopefully!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blurring lines between consumers, enterprises

This post originally appeared in Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!

Consumers today are embracing a digital lifestyle and enterprises are getting connected in new ways as well. “The lines are blurring between the consumer and the enterprise. We are also now more closely integrated with our business partners,” said Enrique Salem, Group President, Worldwide Sales & Marketing, Symantec, while
delivering his keynote at the recently held Symantec Vision in Mumbai.

He added that India is one of the most vibrant markets in the world. The Symantec Vision events allow users to get hands-on experience some of the best technologies and best practices, etc.

“As we do more activities online, our systems also need to be performing. Information protection is now a large area of interest. We also need to manage the performace risk. There is another ‘S’ of our business — storage. Storage has been growing at 60 percent per year. Utilization has been low — 33 percent. We are storing information over and over again. There are also problems in space, power and cooling,” he added.

Storage United
There has been a lot of platform proliferation. Islands are getting created for all sorts of different applications. Hence, there is an administration problem, leading up to a business problem. There is clearly a gap between what IT teams are required to deliver and what businesses want. To address this very need, Symantec introduced Storage United.

Salem noted: "We have united all platforms — this allows a common way of managing and looking at it. It allows a common storage platform and also allows us to deliver storage-as-a-service. We are also seeing a shift from tape to hard disk storage. We also have market leading products in the areas of data protection. We also have Enterprise Vault — the only leading technology in the archiving space, as per Gartner.”

Security 1.0 to 2.0
According to Enrique Salem, security itself has moved from 1.0 to 2.0 as well. It is now an enabler, and has moved from point security solutions to operationalized security. Next, vulnerability based exploits have become people-based exploits. Lastly, from infrastructure focus, it has shifted to information focus.

Salem said: “We have an integrated portfolio to protect businesses and information — Policy Management, Information Foundation and Endpoint Security. We also offer consulting services, managed services and the largest intelligence network. Twenty five percent of global emails go through our gateways.”

The Information Foundation 2007, which reduces the risk of external threats, prevents data loss, and allows integrated content archiving and e-discovery. The Endpoint Security delivers advanced protection. It comes in a single console, with smaller footprint.

He concluded that: “Customers want confidence. Symantec ensures that your information is effectively protected, the infrastructure is protected, and interaction using different devices will also be protected.”

Friday, October 12, 2007

Durga Puja in Bangalore

This post originally appeared in Pradeep Chakraborty's Blog!

This blog is actually based on email forwarded to me by Malovika Roy, a good friend and a journalist, on Durga Puja celebrations in Bangalore. Reproduced here for readers. Thanks a lot, Malovika.

Durga Puja 2007 Locations in Bangalore (17th to 20th October)

Airport Road - Wind Tunnel Road
Air Force Puja - After you enter Wind Tunnel Road from Airport Road, halfway on Wind Tunnel Road, there is a driveway that takes you into an Air Force Campus. This is probably opposite Rifco Apartment. A sureshot way to not miss it is to realize that the Air Force Campus wall stretches from Airport Road halfway into Wind Tunnel Road.

This is typically a small puja. However, it is done in a pretty homely way. Kind of like Chotto Para pujas in the Bengali heartland. For those who know me, Habul was the singer (evening entertainer on one of the puja evenings) here, last year. This is also a good location for the sindoor stuff on Dashami, for those who stay on Airport Road.

Bellary Road-Mekhri Circle
If you travel along Bellary Road from City Centre (Windsor Manor or Cauvery Theatre) toward Hebbal. As you cross the Mekhri Circle underpass, you will see an entrance to an Air Force Campus on the left side. The puja is almost just inside the gate. This is not a very large puja. There are cultural programs in the evening. This is a multicultural puja with probably more of Hindi songs and programs than anything else.

Cambridge Layout - Indiranagar
The typical route is after exiting the Command Hospital puja and moving toward Indiranagar. In the Cambridge Layout area, after crossing the Sai Mandir etc., there is a lane to the left just before reaching a small bridge over a drain. This is on the way to ESI Hospital, and finally the SONY Service Centre on 100 Feet Road. Once you enter this lane, it winds for a few hundred metres and brings you to a municipal choultry adjacent to a temple. This is the location of the Puja. Definitely one of the bigger pujas with grand cultural programs.

Command Hospital-Indiranagar\Airport Road\Cambridge Layout
If you go from MG Road toward the Airport, you will notice a left turn just before Command Hospital pops up on your left. Entering this left turn, you’ll find yourself deep inside Defence property. Few hundred meters in, there is a circle where you have to enter the hospital gate on the right. Inside, you wind along toward the commotion, and presently you’ll find yourself at a large playground where the puja is held. Not a big puja, but hosts Hindi song evenings. Being a Defence puja, it is markedly multicultural.

CV Raman Nagar/DRDO
I guess there’s one there too. Probably in the Community Centre. I’ll have to find out details though.

One of the bigger pujas. Well documented too! Location -- Jayamahal Ladies Club Grounds, off Nandidurg Main Road, Jayamahal, Bangalore (close to Cantonment area).

JP Nagar
Usually, at the junction of Bannerghatta Road and Outer Ring Road in JP Nagar. In a Kalyan Mantapa opposite to Shoppers Stop. A medium-sized puja.

This puja is a few years old and was located at the Kalyana Mantapa near Ganesha Temple for last couple of years. Apparently, this year, they banished a subgroup for unknown reasons. This subgroup started a brand new puja. Interestingly, this new group managed to book the Kalyana Mantapa before the Real McCoys. So you’ll see this new puja at the old place this year.

The traditional group can be visited few hundred meters away, somewhere near the Police Station. Excellent turn of luck for Koramangalaians in terms of being able to see two pujas in one shot!

Mahalakshmi Layout: North Bangalore
I am sure there is a puja, though I’ll need to figure out the route - stay tuned. Sadumatada Sadara Vidyabhivrudhi Sangha, No. 5A, 4th A Main Road, 12th Cross, West of Chord Road, Mahalakshmipuram, Bangalore 560086.

Malleshwaram - Canara Union
This was pointed out to be a simple, middle-class puja. I remember having visited last year. Shouldn’t have forgotten to include. Definitely gives a homely sense.

It is reached by taking a right turn from the top of Marathahalli railway overbridge, while headed toward Whitefield (alongside Aishwarya Apartments). It is the second year of this puja.

Bengalee Association Ulsoor Pooja
R.B.A.N.M.S. Exhibition Ground, opposite to Ajanta Talkies, Near Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore-42 — Opposite Shree Complex (also home to Cybermedia’s/CIOL’s office)
Bengali Association, Assaye Road. The puja is located in large open fields in the vicinity. This is the definitive a uber puja. Oldest, biggest, etc., etc. Not to be missed!

Whitefield - Brookefields
Located at Brookefields opposite HLL in the big marriage hall. Rapidly growing puja — and walkable from my home! From Airport, proceed toward Marattahalli, cross and proceed toward Varthur over the railway overbridge at Marattahalli. This is one straight road.

After crossing the railway overbridge, about half a kilometre later, you reach the Kundalahalli traffic junction. Take a left there toward ITPL. About half a kilometer ahead, the marriage hall on the left hosts this puja (landmarks on the right — opposite side of road — Lakme Beauty Salon, Andhra Spice Restaurant, Sobha IT Park, Hindustan Lever’s Brookefield office, etc).

Whitefield - Village
Located at Inner Circle of Whitefield Village (Close to Nilgiris in Whitefield). Smaller. Multicultural with a twist — when we visited children were dancing to Tamil hits.