Digital Dreams: A work in progress
by Jim Bennett (April 22, 2001)
"Filled to the brim" best describes the Sands Expo Center because it is crammed full of technological goodies. Traffic is brisk and tech business as usual. What economic downturn?
Here are some of my finds and impressions.
Starting in the Sands lower level I found E-TOPIA. It is dedicated to showcasing the products and services of up and coming electronic media companies. The bland, smoke filled entrance gave way to numerous futuristic white fabric gateways into the exhibits. Companies ranged from mom and pop operations, with many first timers, without any information to hand out to large multi-national companies, with a huge staff. Unfortunately some of these companies didn't handout any information either, but they seemed to have plenty of time to chat among themselves and ignore attendees. This is one of the trade show trends that the rest of the Reviews OnLine staff and I don't understand. People working the booths sometimes appear to be more interested in talking amongst themselves instead of even looking to see if they can help an attendee. Then they wonder why they didn't get many leads from the show.
Recent market challenges should alert these people that if they can't pass Business 101, they won't earn sustainable revenues. They will most likely fail, no matter how good or strong their technology is supposed to be. It's time to wake up and get down to business! Here are some companies that had helpful and capable staffs that did provide information and are making a good start on building a business.
Iridium lives. I have said this all along. The story is the birds (satellites) never were in serious danger of coming down, despite what most of the media was telling you. The truth, according to my knowledgeable sources, is that the U.S. Government was secretly funding the project for covert listening all along. Our tax dollars at work!
While they had a modest booth, the tools of the trade, the satellite, the large 9500 portable phone, the smaller 9505 phone and miniscule 9501 pager were all there. The Tempe, Arizona folks are still running the operation. They promise to send me more information on their new international owners and revamped operations that include dramatically lower fixed operating costs.
Yes, 007 fans, Iridium decided to accept another mission to be a truly global, truly mobile system, in spite of formidable completion. I'm glad to see them back because there are many "blank spots" in the global wireless coverage map, especially in remote places that I want to return to and visit.
Global Crossing is also focusing on entertainment and this impressive company is ready for prime time. It now has over 100,000 route miles of reliable and secure undersea and terrestrial fiber-optic systems, serving 27 countries and over 200 global cities. It has scalable bandwidth up to OC 192. They promise to add bandwidth on demand, painlessly and easily, through a single net connection.
The digital media and entertainment industry should love this service because Global can deliver transmission speeds up to 1.28 Terabits per second. They use fully resilient hubs, placed in a modular design to ensure an automatic, global re-routing capability. You can also get uncompressed 270mgb TV broadcast capabilities to virtually anywhere on the planet with their technology.
Here are some more images and insights on the future of broadcasting -- read more of our Product Coverage of NAB 2001.
© 2001 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.