Bullet-point briefing: Dragan Nerandzic

Swedish telecom manufacturer LM Ericsson supplies wireless carriers such as Rogers Communications with equipment. It also has an office in Toronto, with research centres in Montreal and Vancouver.

The company says it has spent more than $2 billion in R&D over the last 10 years in Canada alone. Ericsson Canada’s chief technology officer, Dragan Nerandzic, spoke with Network World Canada about mobile broadband, fixed mobile convergence and the proliferation of operating systems.

**Mobile broadband networks are expanding very quickly

“It is expanding in some markets much faster than fixed broadband. In the next five years we expect that mobile broadband will become a dominant way of connectivity, we see that HSPA together with LTE will be a dominant part of broadband. We see that the number of mobile broadband connections will expand rapidly, not only on one connection per person but one connection per device with embedded modules and implementation of broadband communication in cars, appliance and devices that we would always like to control. ”

**How mobile broadband will affect corporate IT managers

“What we see is a completely new way of using mobile devices, and mobile devices are no longer only phones and smart phones. If you take a look at the number of different devices that are available for HSPA, for example, we see that many are not in the phone form factor, which means that new devices are becoming empowered by embedded modules. And now we have the ability to communicate, not only with people through voice and data through different types of devices, through SMS and e-mails, but now we can communicate through different types of devices that are around us, and that will increase productivity of corporations that employ these technologies and for IT managers that means they would be responsible for communication that may sometimes be very far from their office, and could sometimes be established anywhere in the world because HSAP technology provides great roaming capabilities and provides service anywhere on the globe. IT managers are going to see much more broadband use, they will see many more devices, they will see many more applications and they’re going to see an increase in productivity and therefore an increased need for this type of applications and solutions.”

**What corporate users of fixed mobile convergence should keep in mind

“For enterprise the challenges are to establish fairly big wireless LAN coverage in offices, establish appropriate infrastructure for that and depending on the office location it could be challenging. To address some of these challenges Ericsson provides in building solutions that allow extension of wireless signals including mobile – for example, GSM, HSPA – and wireless LAN signals, throughout the building which is sometimes very challenging to accomplish if buildings are very tall or are built with concrete which is very frequently the case. With in building distributed antenna systems we provide very solid coverage to both wireless LAN users and mobile network users, allowing people to use wireless LAN in their own environment and allowing visitors to use their mobile networks and HSPA services.”

When do do when using voice over wireless LAN

“In a wireless environment it is very important to have an appropriate level of security, to have an appropriate level of provisioning of these network and what we pay special attention to is quality of service. In order to address quality of service across various types of media including wireless LAN it is necessary to have appropriate enforcement engines and enforcement policies. Looking from a standards perspective, Ericsson spent lot s of effort in standardization bodies to establish an architecture, IP Media Subsystem, and Ericsson has been very successful in providing IMS to operators worldwide that allow them to provide same experience with appropriate level of quality of service across different types of networks: Wireline networks, 3G or wireless LAN types of networks.”

**With the advent of Palm Pre and Google Android, get used to having more than one operating system

“When it comes to mobile devices, we see a great deal of creativity. Creativity that is leading to new applications, creativity that is leading to new types of operating systems. Some of them are more optimized to one type of application relative to another and they take advantage of efficiency and openness they put into these applications. We are going to have more devices, we are probably going to have more operating systems, although they probably are desires to reduce the number of operating systems just to make it simpler for people and organizations that are using multiple types of terminals and phones. Unfortunately in the near future I don’t think that we are going to see convergence towards one particular operating systems, but what is very important is that all of these operating systems are trending towards openness and trending in a direction that would allow application developers to develop applications on these operating systems and extend the reach of applications that are today only available for fixed networks. Sometimes organizations have to live with multiple operating systems.”

**Cellular communications is very secure today

Security was always a question that was asked when we talked about wireless communications but I would say that those concerns are fairly old from the days of analogue systems when it was easy to intercept some of that communication. Today the nature of wireless systems, especially HSPA, are well encoded and protected and very difficult to intercept and on top of that there are other security mechanisms applied in these wireless protocols that are very well understood, very well implemented by IT organizations and security, properly implemented, should not be any particular concern. It should not be any less critical than in wired applications.”

**It’s hard to please everyone with one form factor

What people are looking for is a device with a big screen, that has a convenient keyboard, but is very small when it goes into the pocket. So it is very hard to combine these two opposite requirements to have a big size when you use it and a very small size when you have to store in and wear it with you. We see a great deal of innovation and we already see different companies that are coming up with flexible displays, and foldable screens so that the device is much bigger when you unfold it and you want to use it, especially for Web browsing and you want to see pages for your views. We also see great innovation when it comes to different types of displays and we cell phones and some prototypes that combine a cell phone and LCD projector, so you can actually project some pictures with limited resolution and that lets you use your device a little more easily. A few years ago it was hard to imagine we would type with our thumbs but it appeared to be a quite convenient way of using mobile devices. ”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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