There are a number of organizations that are starting to bypass the web and to move into first deployment of functionality on mobile devices - mobile first. Since the mobile phone is the computing device people have with them all the time, it's a logical first contact point for the Enterprise. With cloud computing techniques and ubiquitous networking, the resources are there to provide a rich interface, even if it requires voice, text or photo recognition.This move away from a browsing interface to a different approach is something some in IT will have a hard time justifying.
It's clear that these mobile technologies should be incorporated into an organizations strategic technical planning and investment activities.
The new spectrum dashboard has many features to help "Find spectrum licenses within 225 MHz - 3700 MHz in the following radio services: 700 MHz; 800 MHz Cellular; Advanced Wireless Service (AWS); Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS); Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS); 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS); Full Power TV Broadcast and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS). "
This information has not really been updated since the switch to digital TV and this site provides information by geography where spectrum options are still open. You can also search by company where the spectrum has been licensed.
The Federal Communications Commission in the United States has a site enabling users to test their broadband performance and pass the information gathered on to the FCC. It should help you understand what speeds are actually being delivered, not just promised by the nation's telecoms. You just enter your address and allow the tests to run. It measures the download speed, upload speed, latency, and jitter using one of two tests. You can select to run the other test as well. The FCC is requiring the street address, as it "may use this data to analyze broadband quality and availability on a geographic basis". They promise not to release location data except in the aggregate. A free Java plug-in is necessary to run the test.
I was a bit surprised they don't ask for the service provider or any information about the configuration in the house, but some of that they may be able to derive.
The site says that it is part of a larger effort:
"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The Broadband Initiatives funded in the Act are intended to accelerate broadband deployment across the United States. The Recovery Act authorizes the FCC to create a National Broadband Plan that shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal."
The performance reported at my house was about what I expected.
"The FCC isn't forgetting about those left out of the broadband revolution and is asking those who live in a broadband "Dead Zone" by filling out a report online, calling the FCC at -888-CALL-FCC, faxing the e-mail or even sending a letter through the Postal Service"
"The relatively brief joint hearing served as a preliminary discussion about location-based data and its usage for targeting information and advertising to users of mobile devices. While nothing concrete emerged from the discussion, the potential is clear: impending comprehensive privacy legislation could regulate."
"I think you can expect to see this emerge as part of a larger legislative item," said Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.
There are many ways that location based data is used today. We've probably all seen the NCIS episodes where they track down the suspect by where their cell phone is located. This legislation is focused more on the commercial activities, sending custom ads or other techniques that have yet to be invented. The legislation will likely targeting sites like the Please Rob Me site described in this post.
A good example of this new usage of mobile information is the ability to see where traffic congestion is by analyzing the data and seeing where the phones are not moving on the roads. This example isn't really a commercial one, but it is a signpost along the way. These kinds of crowd data sourcing opportunities depend on the people who sign up to using feeling safe.