Friday, July 20, 2007

Paradigm shift towards near-network communication

There was a story on Slashdot ( about new radio technologies that will make it possible to communicate between devices separated by a few meters at rates of several Gbps. Think Bluetooth on steroids.

I am tempted to declare this possibility as one of the most exciting things in the future of Networking. Whoa thats a big statement, but consider the possibilities from having the facility of super fast near networks.

1. Wireless peripherals, finally. Yea I know we've heard this before, but with this fat bandwidth pipe even (super) HD resolution screens and data-pumps such as set-top-boxes could go wireless. Only 1 power cable per box.

2. Networking at the edge. The prospect of mobile-p2p bcomes very compelling if you consider that near network connectivity will exceed the capabilities of core/access networks. Offcourse the latter will also improve, but given that it is cheaper to have users buy devices with high-wirelss bandwidth interfaces rather than deploy fiber-optic cables to every apartment, I believe that near networks will become a cost-saving platform to distribute content.

Example: My neighbor and I see the 2012 Olympics in super HDTV resolution. Can we form a near-network bridge instead of having the access network fork 2 separate copies to both of us? Here is the possibility to mitigate the fundamental bottleneck of on-demand high-definition content delivery of havng to unicast at the last leg no matter what smart protocol you employ.

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