Cooper: I hate the concept of universality. As you know, they've characterized at least one of the versions of third-generation cellular as UMTS, Universal Mobile Telephone Service. To me, universal means compromise. Let's do all things for all people and do none of them well.
If you think about it, if Marconni and Tessla had invented radio before Alexander Graham Bell had invented the telephone, are you certain that our personal communications networks would have grown up to be wired networks? At least for people talking to people, the wires don't make any sense at all. The fact that we've spent billions of dollars creating this wired network, it doesn't mean that it's the optimum way or the way it's going to be when the technology catches up to that of the wired network. The really fundamental thing is, it doesn't make any sense to have a telephone number via location and have someone forced to be at that location to receive a phone call. We've learned that. We've learned it more in places like Finland, where more than half the traffic is over cellular systems. The systems are good enough [for] people [to] use the cellular systems as their basic telephone. There's no reason why it can't be that good in this country, and ultimately it will be.
The same thing is going to happen on the Internet in terms of personal use. I'm not talking about sending huge amounts of data from one computer to another. I'm talking about people on the Internet, and ultimately that is going to be wireless. There's a bunch of problems to be solved, but ultimately wireless is the way to go.
InfoWorld: Why is Sony interested in ArrayComm's iBurst?
Cooper: Sony is interested in one thing and that is that they are interested in serving their customers, their constituency. They have made it public that they believe the network environment is the future of consumer distribution. They really mean consumers. The focus of all cellular networks in this country is the high-usage subscriber, and who's the high-usage subscriber? The businessperson. It's clear that for Sony's vision to be realized, it's going to require new technology and new kinds of networks. What they want to do is propel the development, and boy, are they propelling us.
InfoWorld: Will this new Sony partnership force the adoption of more radio technology by infrastructure manufacturers or carriers?
Cooper: The pat answer is yes, of course. The reality is that the modern paradigm is to get out there and build it and create a de facto standard. When that standard's proved and when it's shown to be commercial, shown to serve the needs of some important part of society, it will be adopted. And we expect that to happen with ArrayComm's iBurst. We're still going to go through the standards bodies and do all the things to make it a standard.