miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2018

5G and net neutrality

Without any doubt, 5G was the star of the recently held Mobile World Congress (MWC). Since several years ago, the MWC has mutated from an event exclusively focused on mobile technology to a conference on the latest advances on digital technologies. However, this year the MWC has shown its true colours and a pure mobile topic (5G) has been the darling both of the people who have attend the congress and the journalists who have reported what have happened there.

5G was on the origin of one of the more tense debates of the congress, the session about net neutrality. One of the more innovative features of 5G is the so-called "network slicing",  a technique for network virtualisation that allows to define several networks on top of a shared infrastructure. Therefore, "Network slicing" allows to provide services with different speed and latency on the same physical network, what can be read as a violation of net neutrality principle.

As "Network Slicing" is one of the hopes of network operators to obtain new revenues in the 5g environment, they are pushing for a lenient interpretation of the rules. The critical importance of these new revenues is easy to be grasped in the framework of the cost estimations for 5G deployment. It is estimated that network-related capital expenditures would have to increase 60 percent from 2020 through 2025, roughly doubling total cost of ownership (TCO) during that period.  Furthermore, In Europe along network operators need to cough up around €56.6 billion to pay for 5G networks covering the entire EU.

So, at it was expected, the economics are at the center of the debate of 5G deployment. Before announcing the use cases for the enhanced broadband, the mission critical applications and the support for IoT which is foreseen in 5G services, the operators would like to know which levers will have at their dispose to monetise the services. And new interpretation of net neutrality looks as the main lever.


miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2018

Forget the hype, AI is not a new market

It looks that 2018 is AI´s year. Artificial Intelligence is on the news each day and it is beginning to be taken into consideration as one of the enablers of digital transformation. The excitement is not surprising, as it is expected a jump in its market size from 1,378 millions of dollars worldwide in 2016 to 59,748 millions un 2025.

Even in the digital age the space in the press is not infinite, so great part of AI buzz has been made at the expense of big data. According with the data available in Google Trends, there have been a convergence between the usage of both terms. Also this is not surprising, as AI is probably the main application build on big data. Data is useless without being analysed. So it is really possible that we are not talking about a new market, but a rebranding of what we have been calling the big data market.

The substitution theory of Big Data by AI is supported by E. Morozov. In one of his last articles he highlighted that "data is not the new oil, but AI probably is". Furthermore, he pointed that the same players that has been hoarding data for years are now grabbing market power in AI market based on its dominance of the Internet. So according this point of view it should be the GAFA the leaders of the AI market.

And the facts are greatly supporting the substitution theory. Two of the GAFAs are leading the ranking of 15 companies which are hiring AI experts and two of them in the list of 5 top investors on AI. Amazon is repeating on both lists, as well as Microsoft, so Morozov maybe right on his last theory.

So it is highly possible that AI is neither a new market nor opening new opportunities for new entrants, but the continuation and consolidation of the current scenario.



miércoles, 7 de marzo de 2018

"El final del hombre" - Antonio Mercero

El final del hombre (Sofía Luna, #1)El final del hombre by Antonio Mercero
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Antonio Mercero escribe, ante todo, una gran novela negra. El autor inicia con esta historia lo que promete ser una serie de relatos con la inspectora Sofía Luna como protagonista. La obra inicia una saga de casos de similar factura a los protagonizados por Pepe Carvalho, Tony Romano o Bevilaqua. La puesta en escena inicial arranca con un crimen truculento en que se usa un arma inusual, alrededor del cual empiezan a presentársenos personajes ambiguos, a los que es tan difícil amar como odiar: Policías de abnegada dedicación con pequeñas corruptelas, personajes decimonónicos de ideología trasnochada, jóvenes nihilistas de una generación perdida, mujeres y hombres especializados en la manipulación de las emociones, ... El relato se adentra de la mano de todos ellos en un callejón sin salida, en un laberinto de mentiras del que parece imposible escapar hasta que en un final acelerado cae el velo de todos y cada unos de los engaños. No descubrimos sólo la historia de detrás de un crimen, sino la existencia de otras miserias humanas que página a página habíamos ido intuyendo.

La obra de Mercero no carece tampoco del factor social que hace inolvidables las grandes obras de novela negra. Sofía Luna, la inspectora que protagoniza la historia, en una mujer trans* en transición social hacia su identidad de género. En las primeras páginas, una funcionaria le hace entrega del auto que le reconoce administrativamente como mujer y le acompañamos en su salida del armario en su entorno personal y laboral. Se suceden todas las escenas de empatía y discriminación por las que pasan las personas trans*: Apoyos de algunos familiares y rupturas con otros, compañeros de trabajo que se mofan y otros que admiran el valor de Sofia, el rechazo abierto de quien antes te amaba o valoraba, la transfobia violenta que aguarda en un portal, los problemas de identificación ante terceros, las preguntas incómodas, ... Historias reales que acercan al lector desde el respeto a la realidad trans*

Difícil augurar si tan gran comienzo tendrá una digna continuación. Mercero se ha puesto el listón demasiado ato.

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