GUEST POST BY: G. SPILLER – http://theleaninnovator.net
The first long distance communication link was actually digital. The telegraph replaced flags, smoke signals and mirrors as the first reliable long distance link.
My dad’s best friend was a HAM radio enthusiast who worked for NASA. As a young child, I remember watching a teletypewriter translate radioed Morse Code and print at 20 words per minute. I thought the transmission was coming from Mars. Funny on today’s scale, in that this transmission was at the blinding baud rate of 8 bits/second. (still faster than you could send and receive Morse Code using the key.) The general public never wanted to learn Morse code so they migrated to the telephone, radio and television. My parents cottage / retirement home is on Lake Erie in a small village called Saybrook.
No it was no longer necessary to climb the pole to answer the phone. But, I can remember when a live operator came on the line to ask you what number you were calling from for billing. For us non-residents, it is mandatory to keep the cell phone plugged into the car charger so that you have enough broadcast power to last though a normal phone call. I am not surprised that Saybrook was a Finnish community. The equally sparse Finnish landscape prompted a Finnish company Telenokia in 1991 to invent the digital GSM G2 cell phone protocol. A digital link, initially at 40,000 bits/sec (the old telephone modems are at 48,000 bits/sec) replaced the G1 analog cell phone networks. This digital strategy made simultaneous voice and data transmission possible. We quickly adopted this communication link. Connected car services such as my IoT (Internet of Things) mileagetrakker.com automated milege report generation system became possible. Mileage Trakker even works in places like Saybrook which isn’t scheduled to upgrade beyond G2 cell coverage until next year.
Humans are funny creatures. In the near future we will all be transported by self-driving vehicles. I suspect that the resulting traffic jams will cause us to want enough cell bandwidth to synchronize the flow. This is very similar to the task of keeping track of Kiva robots scurrying around a warehouse. Very high capacity “blanket” WIFI systems at 450,000,000 bits/sec by Extricom http://www.extricom.com are the minimum needed for this task. The actual bandwidth we will want is probably higher, in that it takes 32,000,000 bits per second, to transmit TV images to entertain us during the trip. We are watching all of our communication links converge into a single interconnected system.