What's on IPTV's neighbourhood?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

OFC 2009, Day 3

This was a great day in OFC. Several very, very interesting talks. Now I start understanding why they say OFC is the top conference in optical comms… I went to the plenary session in the morning, with three excellent talks, and then in the afternoon I decided to go to the Symposium on the Future Internet. Also a couple of nice talks there.

Plenary Session

"The Growth of Fiber Networks in India"

The speaker was Shri Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), India (largest SP in India, Government owned). It was a very interesting presentation. The first slides were very interesting. He started by showing a world map. As in any "normal" world map, it is a geogrophical scale, i.e., bigger countries appear bigger in the map. Then he change the type of scale of the map, to his own convenience, which was really neat. For example, he showed the map with a population scale, and we could see India inflating hugely. Then he showed the same map with yet different scales: broadband connections (India was very thin in here), films watched (India was more inflated in here than in the population map), etc.

Some notes:

1. BSNL is offering IPTV in 30 cities today. It has 25k users at the moment.

2. They are now starting to move to FTTH.

3. They offer 610 TV channels!

4. In January 2009 there were 15 million new users of mobile phone in India.

5. They use IP/MPLS in their core network.

6. 85% of the broadband technology in India is ADSL.

7. He expects that, by 2011, 5% of all households will have FTTH.

8. For him IPTV is one of the main drivers of FTTH.

9. In Japan the already have 25% of the households with FTTH.

10. He wants to offer HDTV soon.

“The Changing Landscape in Optical Communications”

This was a very dynamic and also very interesting talk by Philippe Morin, the President of Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. Some notes:

1. One of the three “global megatrends” he mentioned in his talk was HDTV. He believes the demands for HDTV video are fuelling the next wave of bandwidth growth.

2. Talking about business applications, he things the top service will be telepresence/videoconference (to reduce costs by decreasing the number of flights).

3. He mentioned Oprah’s “A New Earth” classes. More than 1 million people was watching this online, simultaneously, from 133 different countries, HQ 1.5 Mbps. This really is asking for multicast… :)

4. Another example was Obama’s inauguration, with millions of people watching simultaneously. Real time is definitely needed, in his (and my) opinion.

5. He says that anything less than HD will be unacceptable in 2 years time. And don’t forget 3DTV, doubling the bandwidth needs…

6. Another nice example of needs for live video was the NCAA championship that allows HQ streaming for the PC.

7. He showed a nice figure with the evolution of TDM, until 1995/200, then the evolution of WDM, from 2000 to 2010, and he thinks the next thing are the coherent techniques.

8. Next frontier: terabit per lambda, and access technology cost going down one order of magnitude.

“Getting the Network the World Needs”

The speaker was Lawrence Lessig, a Professor in Stanford Law School. I have to be honest: this was the best talk I have ever seen. It was absolutely amazing. Impressive. Superb. He was a Cambridge student (did his masters there), so I guess that explains the high quality a bit… lol :)

It is very difficult to explain his style, because it is very different from the things we are used to. But you can check an example of his style here (you can check others in youtube, it is really cool!):

Someone that is able to put this full video in the middle of the talk, is certainly delivering a great presentation:


By the way, with all the excitement I almost forgot... I didn’t take notes because I was completely absorbed by the presentation, but I can just say that the main topic of the talk was this: Copyright needs change.

Again, superb.

Now moving to the Symposium on the Future Internet…

“Future Internet: Drastic Change, or Muddling Through?”

The speaker was Professor Andrew Odlyzko, University of Minnesota. This was basically the same talk Professor Odlyzko gave some months ago in Cambridge, so it was not new for me. Nevertheless, it is always interesting to hear him. And I leave some brief notes:

1. Huge potential sources of additional Internet traffic: a) storage, and b) broadcast TV. In 2006, in the US, internet traffic per capita was 2GB/month, but TV consumption per capita was 40 GB/month – assuming 3 hours/day, 1Mbps, no HDTV… so it’s a soft figure.

2. Net neutrality “is about streaming movies” (Jim Cicconi, AT&T, 2006)

“Internet Evolution into the Future”

Another great talk, this time by Lawrence Roberts, one of the fathers of the Internet (responsible for the first packet network, ARPANET), now Chairman of Anagram (he was also the founder of this company).

It is always exciting to listen one of the founding fathers of the Internet (some time ago I listened to a talk by Vincent Cerf and that was also exciting!). In 1965, in MIT, Roberts made the 1st packet network experiment, and then he managed the first packet network, ARPANET. Some notes:

1. He showed a nice slide with the Original Internet Design, with its main activities: file transfer and email. At that time, only packet destination examined, no source checks, no QoS, no security, best effort, video not feasible. And guess what: Not much change since then!

2. But now, some changes: voice is moving to packets, video is moving to packets… Now edge is broad, and core is narrow!

3. P2P is a problem, because it uses TCP unfairness – multiple flows, so multiple capacity, and flows are treated equally (equal capacity per flow)… so it congests network, with 5% users using 80% capacity.

4. So he proposes changes to the Internet: 1) fairness (multiflows – p2p – applications overload network), 2) security (user auth, source check), 3) emergency services (secure preference priorities), 4) cost and power (make network green), 5) quality (video and voice require lower jitter and loss).

5. What we need? Equal capacity for equal pay.

5. Today all security is left to the computer. The network doesn’t even identify the source address (no way to determine who sent spam…). Goal: network to secure each connection (flow) – user and computer ID sent to network to be verified, and network check if source address is correct.

6. Other proposal: Flow rate management – interesting subject: control the rate of each flow individually, ensure congestion does not occur by controlling rate. Use rate control, instead of random drops.

7. Why flow rate management now? Memory cost has come down faster than processing cost – and flow rate management is memory based…

8. Cost and Power: today network equipment is packet based (every packet re-examined)… with flow rate management we process flows (just look at flow record). With flows (not packets), power, size and cost lowers 3 to 5 times…

“Building a zero carbon Internet”

A presentation by Bill St. Arnaud, from CANARIE, Canada. Some notes:

1. They are building “zero carbon” data centres connected by optical networks, powered by windmill and hydroelectric power, etc. These are built in remote locations.

2. Optical networks, especially 100G and 1000G, have modest increase in power consumption, way better than electronics.

3. Funding in UK will be linked to reduction of carbon emissions.

4. They are in a project, PROMPT, that tries to lower cost power by following “sun and wind”…

5. Research ideas: a) dynamic all optical nets with solar or wind powered optical repeaters, b) wireless mesh adhoc nets with mini solar panels at nodes, c) new shortest energy path internet architectures with servers, computers and storage collocated at remote renewable energy sites… This is a great topic, and everybody at OFC was talking about being “greener”. Maybe we could engineer traffic to make the network green? Now that would be a cool idea…

6. Check http://green-broadband.blogspot.com for more info.

1 comment:

zé do telhado said...

Just arrived from Piolho da Solum, to thank your nice and tasty report on OFC.

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