Mobile matters

I’ve got some really funky meetings in the next couple of weeks. And they sort of illustrate my interests – fibre suppliers, satellite companies, wireless experts, mobile manufacturers, telcos. Because, whatever you may all think of me, I believe in ubiquity and convergence. 

I think you need a bit of everything and that then makes FiWi Pie work. And I love FiWi Pie. It’s fibre + wireless + a slice of the Pie for everyone. 
So, here’s a quick take on mobile….
We have mobile masts in our village. I know they have backhaul to them, or they wouldn’t work.
I’ve had fab conversations with my kids about how their text messages get relayed from here (middle of nowhere) to the next cell along (market town) or to their family in Spain. We don’t fully understand all the tech but we get most of it.
I know how these masts have been providing wireless broadband to the primary school since 2005ish (Cheers, Barry Forde and CLEO). I know just how important the masts are in my community’s every day lives. I know which ones go down when there is a power cut. And who has a mobile to borrow who is on a different network when that happens. Now, many people in my community know a little bit more too.
One of our masts is supposed to look like a tree to ‘blend in’ to the countryside. If it looks like a tree, so do I. 
Throughout our village, served by 3 mobile phone masts, there is a lack of coverage. It is caused by thick, sandstone walls. And trees. And dips and hills. And masts placed where planners think they should be, not hardcore wireless surveying. Mobile=wireless and wireless=mobile.
But, each has backhaul. And that backhaul, as I pointed out to the CEO of O2, many years ago at the DTI event in London we organised about networks springing up all over, could be SHARED.
Luckily, Peter Radley was there (in a suit) to back me up. (Suits only talk to suits and I can’t afford one!) “She’s right,” he said when Mr O2 queried the ‘masts have backhaul’ statement. 
So, one of the conversations which is now ongoing, (Charles Dunstone etc – check your diary!) is about communities and mobile companies sharing backhaul.
I’m delighted to say that the company chairing these talks is Blackberry RIM.