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Coventry Revisited

Coventry welcomed me with a familiar aroma of frozen air. Quite startling, presenting the illusion as if I’ve just left this town only a few months ago. Many things were seemingly frozen by the time: the buildings with the same labels, the same texts, the same smells, and the same tones. Even the the sun that has not been set at 20:00 was so Coventry :).

But actually many things have changed too. The lower precinct had been renovated, and now become a neat mall, which is linked to the upper precinct that is not changed. I read somewhere that this is the first pedestrian precinct in England of this kind. It was then copied in many other cities. The new millennium arc has also been completed, adding an attractive area around Pool Meadow and the Museum of Transportation.

We started exploring my Coventry from none other than Coventry University. We stayed for two nights in Ibis Hotel, which is just behind the Technocentre of the University. This campus shares a phoenix as its mascot as the city, as the symbol of reawakening after a catastrophe. The phoenix always re-creates itself from its ashes, and presents a new shining life to fulfill its purpose to safeguard the world. The university itself becomes another symbol of the city, that reawakens and reshapes itself by the capabilities and pioneering in technology. We started exploring the technocentre, the Lanchester library, the Jaguar building (where I got my lectures nine years ago), and also the headquarter. The new logo (i.e. the old logo that is mirrored) now adorns almost every buildings on campus.

Herbert Museum, the cultural and historical centre of Coventry, was the next target. Coincidentally there was an exhibition about the origins of Coventry here; from its prehistoric times, the formation of the city, the story of Lady Godiva, the civil war, the industrial revolution, and the reborn of Coventry after being were destroyed by the world war.

We spent the time also to visit Waterstone’s bookshop, to walk around the city centre and the famous precincts, and other areas around the city. Seeing the sight of the city, one would understand another pun of Coventry. “Coventry inspires” as I blogged earlier, does not refer only to the phoenix and the high spirit of the city :), but also to the fact that this city has three spires as its landmarks. Yes, Coventry in spires :).

We spent the second days in some cities around the old county of Coventry and Warwickshire. Stratford-upon-Avon with dozens of large white swans on the river Avon. Hey, you know that in Welsh (Cymraeg), the word Avon or Afon itself means river :). We also took a sight to the magnificent Warwick Castle. The last city we visited in the old county was Leamington, where we had a rest in a green park. Also we spent the time to played with the cute squirrels.

But I had to leave my city. Again. I had to visit another city that marked my history: Thirsk :).

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IEEE Region 10 Meeting

Cebu Island. Its name immediately reminded of my teacher in junior high school who taught history with such enthusiasm. She told us about the exploration of Fernão de Magalhães, a Portuguese sailor who had reached Malaka with d’Albuquerque, and then served Isabel the Spanish Queen, and explored to the west to prove that the earth is round. The mission was accomplished quite successfully. But from the hundreds of sailors, only a dozen could return to Spain, led by Juan Sebastian Elcano. Magellan (that’s how his name is spelled in English) was too busy conquering the islands around Cebu. But at the beach of Mactan, Magellan was killed in a battle against the leader of the Mactan tribe: Lapu-Lapu. Of course at last Spanish conquered the islands, which was later called the Philippines. Spanish colonialism was replaced by the United States, and is now replaced by the local rich people. Mactan has become an integral part of Cebu, which is connected with two major bridges. Cebu Airport was located in Mactan. In the city of Lapu-Lapu :).

At a resort at one end of Lapu-Lapu City, only about 5 minutes walking from the location of the Battle of Mactan, the IEEE Region 10 Annual Meeting was held last week. Indonesia Section sent 2 representatives, plus 1 from Indonesia Comsoc Chapter, and 1 from the organiser of TENCON 2011 (that will be held in Bali in 2011). The conference was quite comprehensive. In addition to the Officers of Region 10 and the entire Sections below, also attended the IEEE President Elect Moshe Kam, and a representative from Region 8 (Europe Africa) Joseph Modelsky.

Interesting to listen to Kam’s presentation. The IEEE is the result of the merged AIEE and IRE. AIEE was a classical organisation occupied by an electrical engineers; while IRE was the organisation that possessed the young engineers who focused on electronics technology. Just like NEFO and OLDEFO, haha. Both had a growing number of members; but IRE grew much faster than AIEE. The mergers in 1963 to form the IEEE could overcome the problem of dualism. Then the societies, regions, sections, etc were formed. The IEEE is now recognised as the authority holder in various fields of science and engineering. From 20 most referred journals in electrical engineering, 16 is from the IEEE. From 20 most referred journals in telecommunications, 15 is from the IEEE. And so on. But from 20 most referred journals in medical informatics, only 2 is from the IEEE. And from 20 most referred journals in nanoscience, none is from the IEEE. Kam concluded: IEEE could have become the established power as the AIEE before the merger; white the life science develops in the direction that is favoured by young scientists and engineers, just like the IRE before the merger. Then he delivered the BOD mandate: the IEEE must be directed to the relevant technology. IEEE is not just an association of the learned, but an organisation of engineers and professionals. Related to it, Region 10 launched programmes that lead to increased benefits to members and the community through the development of the organisation, profession, and technologies that are relevant to the present.

 

What is the benefit IEEE membership? This is a question that was examined even since I was an Associate Member. I stay here long enough, with my own reasons. But I don’t think my personal reason could effect the same to my colleagues, or make the other engineers interested in and participate actively in the IEEE. Some interesting things often mentioned include: access to engineering knowledge, increased professionalism, networking opportunities, community service, career opportunities, and others. But for the engineers in Indonesia, maybe they are not enough, especially since this organisation apply an ‘attractive’ annual fee. So we in Indonesia Section (and the Communication Society Chapter I am managing now) wish to create more benefits: opening new opportunities for networking, increasing professional image of IEEE members (technical expertise combined with the human communication expertise), and arranging a series of activities to share knowledge.

These strategies, and others, were explored and discussed those days, to form a breakthrough in the development of organization, profession, and technologies. Other things include the concerns over the lack of role of women engineers, and has been embodied in the Women in Engineering (WIE). Also the necessity to increase the role of new engineers (GOLD – graduation of the last decade). IEEE philanthropy-wing is also in development by the HTC (humanitarian technology challenge). And many other ideas.

BTW, I like Cebu. The people is friendly. They speak English quite well, but they speak Cebuanos among themselves, with some similar vocabularies to Indonesian. Haha. Almost all essential information is written and printed in English. Unlike other cities in South-East Asia; Mactan and Cebu sprinkled with warm sunshine all day, with almost no clouds. The sea sent cool breeze all day. The atmosphere of the city is a bit like small cities in Indonesia, with various types of public transportation (the Jeepney), the food sellers on the edge and in the middle of the streets, the taxi drivers who charged with no rule.

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UPH Seminar on 4G Technologies

I spent two weeks discussing the infrastructures for network services & contents in Gegerkalong Campus, the Learning Centre of Telkom. On the last day, almost without break, I had to fly to Surabaya for preparing a seminar. This seminar is a part of the seminar series Opening The Gates to 4G Mobile Technology that we have carried out in Jakarta, Bandung, and Yogyakarta. In Surabaya, the seminar is hosted by Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH Surabaya). It was held at Hotel Mercure Surabaya on 20 February 2009.

The seminar was coordinated directly by Vice Rector of UPH, Prof John Batubara. Unlike the previous seminars in this series, this one was attended by the IEEE Indonesia Section Chair, Mr Arnold Ph. Djiwatampu, and the Rector of UPH Jonathan Parapak. The presenters, in succession:

  • Arnold Ph. Djiwatampu (IEEE Indonesia Section Chair), Opening Speech
  • Jonathan Parapak (Rector of UPH), Welcome Speech
  • Muhammad Ary Murti: Introduction to the IEEE, societies, Indonesia section, chapters, membership.
  • Kuncoro Wastuwibowo (IEEE Comsoc Indonesia Chapter Chair): 4G Mobile Technologies, network & service aspects, cognitive radio, 4G candidates
  • Arif Hamdani Gunawan (IEEE Indonesia Section Vice Chair): LTE -> evolution, features, architecture
  • Prof. Dr. Dadang Gunawan: IEEE Student Branch
  • Arif Hamdani Gunawan: LTE -> radio access, OFDMA & SCFDMA, implementation plan
  • Kuncoro Wastuwibowo: WiMAX II -> evolution, features, architecture

Participants came from UPH Surabaya and other campuses around Surabaya, as well as some professionals who study the field of mobile telecommunications. And just like the way I came — i.e. with almost no break — I also had to leave Surabaya the same way. Signed the certificates, and run for the flight under a heavy rain under Surabaya sky. But I was delighted — it was a very successful seminar. Thank you, UPH Surabaya :).

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IEEE Seminar on Digital TV

This year IEEE Indonesia Section and its chapters plan to intensify seminars & lecturing in several cities in Indonesia. Since last year, its Communication Society (Comsoc) Chapter had conducted a seminar series on 4G Mobile Technology. While still running it, now we start another series in parallel (series in parallel, haha). So today we carry out a seminar in the new series: Digital TV. As the previous series, this one also commenced in Bandung; this time in the Hotel Nalendra, Cihampelas.

The seminar is still going on now. It is amazing to see the participants who attend the seminar today. From Mrs. Kusmarihati of Mastel (previously, she was Telkom’s Director of Development, CEO of Telkomsel, and Chairperson of BRTI), some Heads of Department and officials from Universities (Universitas Hasanuddin, Universitas Ahmad Yani, Maranatha University, ITENAS, IT Telkom), the representatives of the operators & providers (Telkom, XL Axiata, DAAITV, Nasio), and several other professionals. Heavy enough:).

The materials in this seminar:

  • Muhammad Ary Murti, IEEE as a Professional Organization
  • Arief Hamdani Gunawan, Digital TV & IPTV Network
  • Kuncoro Wastuwibowo, Video Coding, Compression, & Formats
  • Prasetya Irwan Gunawan, Quality of Service & Quality of Experience
  • Satrio Dharmanto, IPTV Implementation in Several Countries

I guess it is because of the weather of Bandung, with a combination of warm sunshine over chilly air, the discussion took place very warm. Or hot. We were not only arguing about business implementations and engineering decisions, but also the decision to select some mathematical formula. Why do we use DCT instead DFFT? Haha. Funnily I had an answer for that one :D.

This seminar is also supported by Multikom as a sponsor. Next Digital TV discussion will be delivered in the form of lecturing at Bina Nusantara University next weekend.

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SDP Asia Summit

After long weeks of preparing the Indigo Awards, I flew to Singapore to attend The Annual SDP Asia Summit. The invitation was given by Andy Zain and Andreas Surya of Indonesia Mobile-Monday (id-Momo). I have a couple times talked about SDP with them; and also presented it once in FRESH forum. SDP (service delivery platform) itself is a framework to virtualise network & orchestrate services to make it easier to develop, deploy, sale, get, & use digital services. Unlike IMS, so far there is no standard of SDP. This fact somewhat makes SDP discussion interesting: it is about best practice in infocom business.

SDP-Architecture

Since SDP has no standard, companies could easily make a concept of SDP 2.0 (ala Accenture or Telecom Italia) or even SDP 3.0 (HP version). Also there were some alternatives to map SDP to other infocom management concept, such as SOA, SDF, IMS, and even Web 2.0.

When describing the architecture of SDP 2.0, Telecom Italia explores the necessities for service & network abstraction & virtualisation, including reusability and interface standardisation. Scalability & modularity would include plugins capability. Sounds a bit like Accenture version (I have blogged this version in my Indonesian blog), where the objective of SDP 2.0 is to facilitate a self-service for service developer & provider in commercializing their services & contents.

But then Hewlett-Packard introduces this term: service governance framework. It encourages the use of open standard, reusability, and other issues to ensure an effective SDP implementation. Other issue delivered is the utilisation of data mining toward users profile, applications, etc, etc, to make it SDP 3.0.

In the similar spirit, Telemanagement Forum discusses the linkage to business: SOA, SDP, Web2.0, etc, mainly SDF. Great pictures, indeed. They somewhat remind me to C++ standard template library. Discussions with operators, providers, & consultant who are in progress of implementing SDP in Asia & Europe make the days richer.

I guess then I need to make a presentation to summarize them all, and present it to my colleagues this week. Hmm, maybe after the IEEE 4G session(s).

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WiMAX II

On November 21st, the IEEE Comsoc Indonesia Chapter will conduct a seminar to introduce the aspects of 4G Mobile Communications. The seminar will be carried out in Horizon Hotel, Bandung. You might visit Comsoc’s website to see the detail information. I will start the discussion by exploring the necessity of the items mentioned in 4G requirements. Then we will discuss the candidates of the 4G platforms: the LTE, the UMB, and WiMAX II. But we know UMB has been revoked by Qualcomm who then chose the LTE way :). I have blogged LTE a couple times in my other blogs. But it is Arief Hamdani who will explore LTE in details then. My duty is to describe WiMAX II.

You might have known the standard IEEE 802.16e, a.k.a. the Mobile WiMAX. This is the standard for the first mobile broadband access solution that enables the convergence of mobile & fixed broadband network through a common wide-area radio access technology and flexible network architecture. The OFDMA transmission is used for both downlink and uplink. WiMAX II, or  the incoming standard IEEE 802.16m is the amendment to develop an advanced air interface to meet the requirement of ITU-R / IMT-Advanced for 4G systems. The data transfer rates will reach 1 Gb/s, but it must have full backward compatibility with existing Mobile WiMAX. The protocol stacks of WiMAX II is as follows:

WiMAX II Protocol Stack

The objectives and advantages of WiMAX II are, among others:

  • Multi hop relay architecture
  • Self configuration
  • Advanced single-user / multi-user multi antenna schemes and interference mitigation techniques
  • Enhanced multicast broadcast service
  • Increased VoIP capacity
  • Improved cell-edge user throughput
  • Support of vehicular speed (? 500 km/h)

To discuss deeper on the issue, I invite you to attend the seminar. Visit the IEEE Comsoc site :).

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