InfoWorld: Are there strategic alliances in the works for a major infrastructure manufacturer or an ISP to provide this kind of technology as a package?
Cooper: We are talking to manufacturers and carriers because we need partners who are skilled at constructing and managing the networks themselves. We've already announced, as an example, an alliance with Redback [a networking company]. So we are talking to lots of different people.
InfoWorld: What kinds of advantages in implementation would an I-burst technology have over other third-generation wireless technologies?
Cooper: In contrast with those 'universal' [technologies], iBurst is focused on freedom to move, broadband, and always-on service. The always-on part is obvious; you can't have people dialing up to get a network. When you want a service, when you want to buy something, when you want to download music, you want to be able to just do it instantaneously. The real issue for consumers is the freedom to move. You don't have to have your computer in a specific place in the house, just because there's a phone jack there. When you have a notebook computer, you don't have to look for a jack. We can save a ton of money by serving people anywhere they are.
It's not as relevant which interface you use; the issue is the system design. How many base stations do you use, and most importantly, do you use smart antennas or not? And the key issue of iBurst is that we use adaptive array processing technology -- what other people call smart antennas. You get a huge, huge win using smart antennas. The smart antennas have a lot more capability to serve a lot more people from every base station, and they have the ability to follow people as they move slowlly. By eliminating the necessity of following people who move at high speeds, we can reduce the cost of this system enormously. We can apply smart antennas to high-mobility systems as well. We are doing that, and we will continue to do that, but they serve a different kind of subscriber, but high-mobility systems will always be more costly than low mobility or what we call portable systems.
InfoWorld: What's the next challenge for ArrayComm?