NYU Wireless funders 230Some of the very best ideas in telecom go nowhere because it's so hard to get funding. A world-renowned researcher struggled recently although his ideas were endorsed by some of the best in the business. (I think that's solved.) The U.S. is paying a very heavy price for letting Bell Labs go and not requiring the remaining companies to invest in research. 

Fortunately, many of the top Professors have found corporate funding for their research. Gerhard Fettweis is Vodafone Professor at the University of Dresden. NYU Wireless, probably the world's leading 5G center, has 16 funders in the picture at left. Nokia sponsors their Brooklyn 5G conference, the best of the year.

Some China fearing Congressmen want to knock Huawei off that list because they are Chinese. Huawei now spends more on R & D then the next three telecom suppliers combined. They are the world leaders in several areas of telecom technology, so they bring expertise as well as technology. Huawei provides support to almost every major academic research center. I visited many, and the Huawei support has made a difference.

All the companies working with universities gain knowledge but they share it as well. Cutting them out would seriously slow progress.

I would normally pass on reprinting this article Huawei sent me, although I welcome original contributed articles. But it's on target and I strongly agree.

For the record: Huawei has paid my expenses to their events and I might sell them advertising.

Congress is wrong to question Huawei’s academic partnerships

Congress is wrong to question Huawei’s academic partnerships. The fruits of the research we fund are a public good not a threat to America. Over the past decade, Huawei has invested more than $60bn in research and development globally  

by Eric Xu, Huawei

Recently my company Huawei was strongly criticised by several members of the US Congress. They asked the US secretary of education to investigate whether our cooperation with US universities on basic scientific research might threaten US national security.

I believe this criticism displays an ignorance of how contemporary science and innovation work and I recently described it as “ ill-informed” in a media interview. I did not mean this as a personal attack. Rather I was seeking to highlight the importance of academic freedom as an essential feature of modern universities, one that underpins all technological development and helps cultivate the next generation of scientific talent. Academic freedom is the cornerstone of higher learning.

This freedom from political and other interference allows the US consistently to attract the world’s brightest minds to study and conduct research within its borders. It also supports the US’s continued status as a global technology leader.

I hold a doctorate in engineering and have experience in basic research which the National Science Foundation defines as “study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding . . . without specific applications toward processes or products”. While corporate research and development tends to focus on commercial outcomes, universities devote time to mathematics, algorithms, material science and other applications that might never make money.

Editor's note: One of the most important problems for networker builders today is the relatively weak performance of FDD Massive MIMO. TDD Massive MIMO regularly increases performance 4-7X. FDD, required in most lower frequencies, is generally only half as effective. I have more than half a dozen academic papers trying to solve that problem. That research will be crucial as Sprint & Verizon roll out Massive MIMO.

Even if the research pays off eventually, closing the gap between a theory and a commercial product can take decades. Collaboration between universities and businesses can accelerate this process. The exchange of knowledge and resources among the private sector, academia, and research institutes, known as knowledge transfer, has become a vital driver of scientific and technological progress.

But US federal funding for higher education research has fallen steadily over the past decade. Today it represents less than 50 per cent of total American university research funding. Corporate sponsorship from companies such as Huawei provides much of the rest. The amount of money we allocate for research at US universities is relatively modest — approximately $10m last year. But it provides needed support in the form of funding, facilities, and laboratory equipment. Our collaboration with universities gives college and postgraduate students the chance to receive training and hands-on experience. We provide this support with no expectation of direct commercial return.

Contrary to what our critics allege, the fruits of this research constitute a public good rather than a threat to America. The findings made possible through our university partnerships are published and disseminated worldwide through dissertations and papers by professors, PhDs, and postgraduate students. Like other corporate supporters of university research — including US businesses that support Chinese universities — including US businesses that support Chinese universities -- Huawei does not gain exclusive ownership of, or access to, the findings of the research we support and we do not dictate what is published. Science is borderless, and we hope that the results of our partnerships will reach as many people as possible.

Like any technology company, Huawei benefits from the general advancement of science and technology worldwide. Ultimately, however, our ability to provide competitive products is a result of our own long-term investment in R&D. Last year, Huawei invested $13.8 billion in research and development globally, bringing our total investment over the past decade to more than $60 billion. Huawei has been granted nearly 80,000 patents worldwide, including 10,000 patents in the US. Many of these are essential patents vital to the telecommunications industry. As such, they represent our modest contribution to the development of the digital economy.

Before any basic research can deliver tangible benefits to society, universities and businesses must set off together on a long and sometimes arduous journey. This requires unstinting work by countless scientists and engineers. Such people deserve respect, not groundless accusations from sceptical politicians, for their efforts. Open-minded political leaders should work to ensure that US universities continue to enjoy the academic freedom that drives American progress in science and technology. Ideally, they will bring to that task the same depth of understanding, curiosity, and spirit of fact-finding inquiry displayed by the world’s leading scientists. The writer currently holds the rotating chairmanship of Huawei Technologies 

Reprinted from The Financial Times 

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein

Latest

Professor Noam's "Many Internets" http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html . More from Noam http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board http://bit.ly/CEOPromises
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,http://bit.ly/CEOPromises

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling http://bit.ly/SorryPai
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors http://bit.ly/SorryPai

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More http://bit.ly/VintTim
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list, http://bit.ly/VintTim