As the stomach turns

Hichens Harrison and Co., brokers to xG Technology, published earlier this year a report modestly titled “xG Technology – Flash of Genius” (xG Flash Signal – get it?). The report includes many interesting statements such as “These numbers, taken in conjunction with our model, imply that the company will reach profitability in Q4 this year.”, “Skepticism surrounding these large claims is evaporating in the industry.”, “enable them to offer an xMax™ 4G service by 2008! This is at least 3 years ahead of any rival, none of whom have demonstrated that they have an economically viable 4G solution.”, “the company is on timeline to begin commercial rollout in April”. Right …

But my real interest was in the “technical” part of the report. After all we are talking about a super special revolutionary technology which will change the wireless world as we know it! If you expected some insightful analysis you will be sorely disappointed. The analysis consists of faithfully quoting the material fed by xG Technology. We once again read that

“xG, more specifically its resident inventor, Joe Bobier, has discovered and patented a process called “single cycle modulation”. Single cycle modulation is where individual sinusoidal (a type of wave) cycles of RF energy are modified to carry one “bit” of information. Rival technologies use tens to hundreds of thousands of waves to convey one “bit” of information, so the efficiency of xG’s discovery is of a stunning order of magnitude.”

Stunning indeed! I am stunned that this technical nonsense keeps appearing unchallenged.

“With each additional cycle requiring commensurate power output, it can be easily seen that vast efficiency gains are achieved and this is particularly important for mobile wireless communications, because of the implications for infrastructure requirement. However, the savings in battery power are not an insignificant factor. In addition, low power output “clutters” the spectrum much less, allowing for a greater number of simultaneous users of a network, i.e., enhanced operational efficiency and voice quality gains.”

Oh yeah!

“Hence, xMax™ –
• Can transmit substantially more information at long ranges than other technologies operating at similar power, in a “real world” context.
• Yields significantly greater range at similar levels of power.
• Yields the same range for significantly reduced power.
• Leads to much greater battery life for devices using the technology, such as laptops and – of course – mobile phones. (Initially, the technology will be deployed at similar power levels as rival technologies. At these levels, xMax™’s range is far superior, leading to reduced infrastructure costs. As denser coverage is built into specific areas, power can then be turned down very substantially.)”

Amen and hallelujah!

We also find a table which shows that xMax has a range cell adjustable from 5 to 48 km for 50MBPS peak rate. Adjustable no less – all you need to do is to turn the range knob on the xMax device and the range will magically increase.

Now who is responsible for this technical discussion? Looking at the front and back pages of the report we find that Robyn Harte-Bunting is the estimable technology analyst (I love the name – very P.G. Wodehouse). I was curious as to what Mr. Robyn Harte-Bunting’s qualifications are to pass judgment on this advanced intricate technology. Thanks to a kind reader I found out the answer! It appears that Robyn Harte-Bunting was previously a senior executive at Private Media Group, an adult entertainment company based in Spain. Now this makes perfect sense. After all, we know what all this broadband stuff is really used for, so who is better placed to evaluate a new wireless technology than an ex adult entertainment executive?

Tune in next week to another episode of as the stomach turns


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