Category Archives: ISPA

Quick Update

This week’s post is a bit overdue, let’s see..

  • Monday, woke up in Stellenbosch, took a drive to the end of the Jonkershoek road with the top down, had lunch with Mia, her sister and mom, discovered a very cool little beach between Bakoven and Camps Bay, awesome sunset, had frogurt on Camps Bay Boulevard, perfect night for a walk.
  • “My word I’m hungover! Death warmed up.” — Debby

  • “Some people spend their lives in the traffic and never smell the washing.” — Naulene

  • “As soon as I have the perfect office everything will be OK.” — Naulene

  • “Good taste without power has no impact.”

  • Tuesday, meeting with Steve Song and Andrew Rens at TSF about Open Spectrum, soccer at La Med, kinda scored the winning goal.. drinks at La Med.. starting to like Camps Bay (even more), Waiting Room with Keith to see Julia Jacobsen and Nice. Really enjoyed the music.. so much life, you have to love Long Street in the summertime.
  • Wednesday, blisters from soccer.. but not too stiff, haircut at B’s, Orms visit.. I think I found a new hobby in DSLR’s, Neighbourhood bar with Cath, the plan was to go see Lonesome Dave Ferguson at Julep but ended up at Cape to Cuba bar.. the one at the top.
  • “..that’s one way to put it, another way would be that we were simply late”.

  • Driving home, I figured I was pretty chilled on Wednesday night.. I call it “peaceful lost time”. You see, I had a (long) Amobia meeting planned but that did not happen, which kinda leaves you with this feeling.. oh, well.. bonus!
  • “Got a light on you mate.. how can you start a revolution without a fire?” — Brandon at Cape to Cuba

  • “multi tasking is for girls”

  • “I am not as shallow as the two of you, talking about shallow…what’s green, wet, and doesn’t have a topless.. pool boy cleaning it (presumably because it’s overcast)…?” — Keith

  • Thursday, a bit of pool cleaning, I was invited to go to the DA website launch but had to go and win a little personal battle at the ISPA GM to get joining fees removed for ISPA peering points.
  • Seems I can still go 3 weeks without needing to do my washing, a good bachelor skill to master.
  • Friday, shopping, Chinese bloggers braai.. sundowners at Beta Beach and a night out at Chevelle.. (yeah, the website sucks).. the hot cars, the hot clubs, the hot chicks.
  • At least somebody seems to like my weekly bullet list blogging style.
  • “Do you ever blog while on the loo?” — Keith asked Nikki

  • “If you have to chase it, it’s running.” — Parri, about girls

  • I figure it’s a good idea to start limiting blog posts to the 250 word range.
  • “Life is slow when the groove is on,
    tripping lights fantastic disco show” — Groove Armada

  • Saturday, dropped Andy off, fetched Mia, went shoe shopping with Mia.. we got two pairs each (Mia’s are almost as cool as Nikki’s), I have new trail runners and soccer boots, Beta Beach play park, dinner, watched Semi Pro, restless sleep.. Mia was a bit sick.
  • “He fall down” — Mia, after throwing a cat in a bush
  • Sunday, Monsters Inc., we made uber fruit juice, gym, swim, flapjacks at Knead, ice cream at Sinn’s, GP visit, took Mia home, Goldfish at La Med with Andy and Keith.. for about 10min I was a Cosmo VIP, Jules and the Fools at Joburg bar.. love the chorus on that “time after time” (video) song, nice Pixies cover, but the venue was a bit smoky.
  • “Everybody Love Everybody” — Jackie Moon, Semi Pro

  • Manage to not touch my laptop the entire weekend, that’s a first.
  • Tunes of the week: Groove Armada, Best of.

Looking forward to soccer at La Med this afternoon.. have a fun week.

Spectrum 2.0

Dominic and I had a very interesting meeting with Steve Song and Andrew Rens from the Shuttleworth Foundation this morning about the idea of open / shared frequency spectrum.

You may remember me writing about Lite Licencing.

A few ideas from our meeting which I think should be more widely distributed:

  • There seems to be a wide acceptance of open spectrum allocation models from global bodies like the ITU, Ofcom and the FCC.
  • We need an independent audit of South Africa’s spectrum allocation. Who has what? What is open?
  • Spectrum management should be open and transparent.. it’s a national resource. Think mining rights and databases of who may mine where.
  • We talked about the possible negative effects of using an auction process to hand out frequency.
  • I think everybody likes the Lite Licencing idea, but we may want to implement the idea in a bit more simple, pragmatic and “african” way. Related to this was DFS (dynamic frequency selection), being able to identify base stations and avoiding interference. I like the idea of location aware base stations which query some central database for the frequency ranges they are allowed to use per area.
  • The 600-700Mhz TV “white space” is an interesting one. Wide prorogation, maybe best used for voice services. Let’s hope we get to use it soon after 2011.
  • Use it or lose it. There should be no such thing as a permanent spectrum assignment.
  • We talked about spectrum trading.. could be nice, but there were a number of concerns about this. Think Enron trading electricity.
  • I like the idea of the “spectrum commons”.
  • Is spectrum a scare resource? Some studies show that even in metro areas (UK) only about 14% of available spectrum is used in any given area. Obviously we are not using this resource efficiently enough.
  • We talked about how we can change and improve the state of spectrum policies.. to help our new ECNS licensees, increase competition, improve access and drive down costs. Industry needs to get together, we need some lobbying momentum. Let’s get more people interested. Naturally WAPA and the ISPA have been working on this, but a new focus on open spectrum policies would be nice. Expect to see a workshop on the topic soon.

This seems to be a good time to change the way we think about spectrum allocation. We’ll have a new DoC minister soon and we have ~200 ECNS licensees needing a solution very soon. A good time for ideas like these to have an impact.

Lite Licencing as a Spectrum Allocation Model

I met Jack Unger at iWeek in September this year. Jack is involved with WISPA.. kinda like the US version of WAPA.

He shared some ideas on how the US independent wireless operators have been working with the FCC (their regulator) to find some middle ground in frequency spectrum allocation.

Something in between the free-for-all ISM model and single/dedicated allocation.. a shared but regulated model.

Frequency spectrum is a finite (scarce) national resource… you can only chop it up and assign so many 20Mhz chunks… well, that’s true in the traditional (often static) dedicated allocation model.

This model works if you have 1 or 5 “big” (~monopoly / protected) telecoms providers, but in a deregulated and open telecoms market you need another way of assigning spectrum.. making sure it is used efficiently.. for the common good of the market and citizens.

Enter: Lite Licencing

“Lite Licensing” is a novel and progressive frequency allocation model where network operators (ECNS licensees) would pay a relatively small fee for a nation wide, non-exclusive license. They then pay an additional nominal fee for each base station they deploy. All their stations must be clearly identifiable and in the event these stations cause interference which cannot be mediated by technical means, licensees are required to resolve the dispute between themselves.

With a bit of luck (lobbying, PR, clenching of fists and grinding of teeth) I hope industry bodies like the ISPA and WAPA can work with ICASA to implement the same model in South Africa soon.

Spread the word.

Quick Update

This weeks’ update seems to have been delayed.. I blame the awesome weather.

  • Monday, gym, swim, ISPA mancom meeting, watched Perfume.. good movie.
  • Tuesday, gym, swim, uber-juice, Tamboerskloof steps run, beer and pizza at Carlisles in Vredehoek.
  • Wednesday, Lions Head walk with Andy, WAPA admin and PR, eStrategy workshop in Bishopscourt.. which turned out to be a royal waste of time.
  • Thursday, walk above our house up to Military Road, ISPA general meeting, Teraco CPT site visit.. DC1 is starting to look good, January GeekDinner planning at Yum, SA UX meeting at Asoka, drinks at Asoka. Met Tristan from MyVideo.
  • Brandon told me I seem to be a very proud parent, I guess that’s true.
  • We named Andy’s two new kittens: Walker and RT.. from Talladega Nights, “Ricky Bobby: Dear Lord Baby Jesus, I want to thank you for this wonderful meal, my two beautiful sons, Walker and Texas Ranger” (-;
  • Friday, updated my homepage (front page and history), cocktails on the Camps Bay strip, added my first Wikipedia article about Vendor Neutral Data Centres, braai at home, watched Crank.
  • Fri 21 Nov.. Celebrations! The VANS won. “Many pioneering independent networks are already operating and the high court ruling will allow them to attract investment and expand their networks.”
  • Saturday, Mia time, gym, swim, kids party at our place, sundowner drinks and pizza with Cath, Parri and Jess.
  • Sunday, early Clifton 2nd session with Georg and Mia, braai, afternoon nap, Camps Bay.. Primi, Baraza, Karma, Baraza.. to watch jacSharp and Pierre-Estienne play.

I’ve been invited to the U.S. Bloggers Tour dinner this week. Makes me think people actually read the rants I publish here.

Have a fun week.

Quick Update

Ola, summer is here.. what an awesome week.. now is the winter of our discontent..

  • Monday, Caprice in Camps Bay, pizza and drinks on the deck at home with friends, bit of a rowdy evening.
  • Tuesday, Lion’s Head walk, car wash (first time in about 4 months), cable car run, wholesome veggie dinner, watched Fight Club.
  • There is something about that Moby Bourne Identity song that just makes we want to go running.
  • Wednesday, swim at the Long Street baths with Andy.. the place sure has character, Teraco Cape Town site visit, chaired the ISPA INX working group meeting, off to Stellenbosch to chair an Amobia meeting, burger at Cognito.
  • Thursday, gym, swim, took a day off.. bit of a metrosexual day, haircut and manicure at Mooi, scalp massage while listening to Abba.. *grin*, (sorry B), they have cupcakes and wine, then tea at Mango-OMC, took the ladies a box of Cassis Pastisserie creations, an Am I Collective visit, a quick Neotel meeting, facial at Elements, run in the foresty areas at the foot of Signal Hill, wholesome veggie dinner, Asoka, Extreme Hotel.. which could be a nice bar if you could get some service there.
  • Try Malibu and Peartizer. Try a few drops of Tabasco and Malibu in a shot glass.
  • Friday, gym, power plate (seems to tone facial muscles more than anything else, hehe), 1km swim, took a walk down to Daily Deli to have brunch with somebody really cool, test drove a GTI DSG, then an A4 cab, Mia time, had some fun with a voting system (for a good cause), popped on to IRC for the first time in about 3 years, a friend had a DUI incident so Georg had to go bail him out the next day.
  • Saturday, gym, swim with Mia, Sinn’s ice cream, braai with friends on the deck at home, took Mia to the Spring Tide (jail bait) festival on Camps Bay beach wearing her new rocker chick t-shirt. Watched JacSharp play. Cocktails with Jules, Nicola and Ben at Caprice. Mia says she wants to be rock star.
  • Sunday, Tamboerskloof park swings visit, braai at home, had a bit of a moment when Mia climbed up a cupboard and swallowed a whole Barocca Calmag, she later threw up on her mom, Rafiki’s to plan our housewarming, it’s going to be a big one, watched Seven again.
  • Somebody asked me on Friday if I’m changing or if I’m returning to my natural state.. interesting question, “I changed by not changing at all” — Pearl Jam, vs.

Idea of the week..

The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many Dos and Don’ts. First of all you’re using some one else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”

The making of a great compilation tape is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head…
— High Fidelity

Have a fun week rock stars.

iWeek 2008

Once a year the South African ISP industry gathers at iWeek for 3 days. We listen to presentations, exchange ideas, network and socialise. The event is organised by the ISPA.

Have a look at the program and listen to the podcasts.

I attended the first iWeek in back in 2002, 06, 07 and 08. It’s well worth it.. and it’s free.

iWeek confirms the un-conference “paradox” that free is better.. community driven and democratised events are of more value than expensive and restricted conferencing events.

It was a busy few days. The food was good.. too good, snacks, lunches, dinners every night. I met a number of interesting people.

This year the top three sponsors where all from Cape Town. Amobia and Teraco (new branding) were Gold sponsors. WAPA endorsed the event. Amobia and WAPA had stands in the exhibition area.

I was invited to a panel discussion on the Wireless day as the WAPA chair. I think the wireless session went well.. we had good feedback.

I was elected to the ISPA management committee at the AGM.

Thanks to Elaine, Debbie and Cheryl (WhereNext Event Management) for organising the event. Thanks to Uniforum and the ISPA for the two dinners.

ps. I figure I should just get an Apple laptop again.. it’s a much better road warrior tool than the Ubuntu/HP. Seems the E71 was the toy to have.. bumped into at least 5 very happy new E71 owners at iWeek.

Quick Update

I’m a bit late on the weekly bullet point life stream. I’ve been in Joburg and really needed to finalise the house shopping…

  • Monday, gym in the evening.. out of my normal routine, just had to go because a know I get grumpy without exercise, especially in Joburg. Conveyor belt sushi in Obs.
  • Tuesday, haircut, fetched the new Amobia banners, nice flight to JHB on the bigger SAA planes, Yaris is not a bad little car, sat nav fun to find my guest house, iWeek stand setup, dinner with Amobia Jhb and Potch crew.
  • Wednesday, early run in Bryanston.. jeepers those houses have massive walls, English breakfast, iWeek, bumped into an old (ex-cpt) friend, dinner at Moyo at Zoo Lake.
  • Thursday, iWeek panel discussion for WAPA, ISPA dinner.
  • Friday, iWeek, bad news for VANS, but.. maybe it’s good for Amobia.. another 6 months of “uncertainty”. ISPA AGM, I was elected to the ISPA management committee, flight back to Cape Town.
  • Saturday, house shopping in Obs, time with Mia and Crazy B, Mouille Point playground, Serendipity Maze, a ride on the (mini) Blue Train, Caffe Neo grub for a picnic in the middle of the (mini) train track, Gelato Mania ice cream, Xupa Xupa retail therapy, lost my credit card (aarrh!), watched Extreme Measures.
  • Sunday, gym, swim, braai with bunny rabbits, found a new (unhealthy obsession) DVD series The O.C. Season 1, Disc 1

More about iWeek in another post. Still working on that E71 post.
Ooh.. tomorrow is Braai Day.. rain or shine (-: