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Gadgets and Gizmos Changing our World

April 7, 2003

By Emma Justice

Those of you who missed the NY MCAI programming meeting on the latest connectivity options, missed much more than seeing the faster, slicker communication tools on display which are beginning to run our soon completely wireless lives.

The analogy goes like this, we used to call each other from “land line” phones attached to your desk or on your kitchenPanel of experts wall, then we went remote and our laptops went with us, now we are in another dimension of wireless technology, Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), Wirless Area Networks (WAN), EvDO (Verizon technology), etc. and different manufactures of communication equipment are in the race for your business. Learning these differences is what you missed. Besides the technical show and tell we had a fabulous facility for the meeting, LRP Digital, the 50 x 30 sound stage where you can host your next Satellite Media Tour or record your next live or taped video program.

Our meeting started out with our host, Peter Valasiadis, General Manager of LRP Digital ( explaining the facilities capability including its fiber and satellite uplink along with a Strand Century dimmer system, digital cameras and recorders, teleprompter, blue/green screen with digital Ultimate, Chyron, Orad virtual realtiy and a home economist kitchen, complete with the engineers to support you!

Then NY MCAI, President Corinna Sager and producer Glen Sanders took over. Both had pulled together the evenings informants including Steve Rossman, Data Solutions Manager of Verizon Wireless, Craig Plunkett, owner of East Northport-based CEDX, Frank Ramirez, Director of Business Product Marketing from T-Mobile by phone and via WebEx from their HQ in Seattle, Wa. and Richard Casson, National Account Manager from WebEx. For further details on Craig’s, Frank’s and Richard’s presentations, please see their articles in this issue.

Steve Rossman of Verizon explained the evolution since 2001 of Verizon’s CDMA One, CDMA 2000 1xRTT and the coming CDMA 2001 XEV-DO and their respective kilo bytes per second delivery capability vs. its competitors using TDMA and GSM/GPRS overlay. At present Verizon’s claim is that it can deliver with CDMA 2000 1XRTT, 40-60kbps and plans on increasing that to 2.4 mbps by 2004. Verizon’s system is national, GSM/GPRS works internationally. Questioned later if that means that there will be two different systems in the near future, both Steve and Frank agreed. PAL and NTSC for cell phones. However, to the business owner this means there is simply an ample supply of choices and considerations for moving data securely via the wireless expanse which will include nationwide, robust voice and data coverage, operating speeds, and devices.

Steve Rossman said that Verizon Wireless Inc. plans a new high-speed data service in two cities by late summer, in the Washington, D.C. utilizing Lucent Technologies equipment and in San Diego with equipment developed by Nortel This new service will allow mobile users to connect to the Internet at speeds as fast or faster than those provided by cable and telephone wires. The Evolution Data Only (EvDO) network will allow users of compatible wireless devices to download large files such as spreadsheets, inventory lists and even video in a matter of seconds while on the go.

The question of when this technology will be available nationwide remains unclear, because as Steve explained, the EvDO technology requires wireless companies to set aside valuable airwaves just to carry data. Verizon recently bought a large slice of airwaves in 50 markets for $750 million, in part to make room for services such as EvDO.

Additionally Verizon Wireless has plans to provide 475 hotels and 10 airports around the United States with Wireless Fidelity technology, known as Wi-Fi. Despite the fact that Wi-fi is more limited, since you need to be within 300 feet of a local base station, it is fast becoming the wireless connection of choice to consumers and professionals and is already available in hotels, airports, coffee shops and book stores.

When each of the experts had presented their products, the seminar developed into an animated question and answer session. The audience was very interested in using wireless connections for production purposes, sending graphic and other large files and wondering about security. The latter is very important – if you want a secure connection you need to install security software to be safe.

When the evening was over, everyone felt they had learned an incredible amount about new technology and requests have been made to do a follow-up meeting next season.

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