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Kevin Shatzkamer: Author, Internationally Renowned Distinguished Systems Architect on the Evolution and Long-term Strategy of Mobile Networks

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Kevin Shatzkamer.

Kevin ShatzkamerKevin Shatzkamer, Cisco Distinguished Systems Architect, is responsible for long-term strategy and architectural evolution of Cisco mobile wireless networks. His experience ranges from 3G and LTE to security, video distribution, and QoS. He now works with both content providers and service providers to enhance the end-to-end digital media value chain for mobility.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:47: Kevin, can you outline your background and your areas of interest?
"....I currently hold fifteen patents in mobile wireless technologies....I've published two books with Cisco Press, the first one in 2009 called 'IP Design for Mobile Networks'....and last month published a second book with Cisco Press called 'Building the Mobile Internet'...."

:02:05: Can you explain the relatively static nature of the Internet's original protocols and design?
"....When we look at the internet protocol it was really there to provide two simultaneous functions: one is to identify who the endnote/user is connecting to and the other is to identify where that endnote is. It's a process that's called overloading...."

:03:17: What are the challenges that mobility presents to conventional Internet architectures?
"....As the subscriber is moving, given that their identity is always the same but their location is changing....The IP model starts to break because that IP address is overloaded and signifies both location and identity; you can't just pick up and move your point of attachment without breaking your communications session...."

:04:34: Can you discuss the concept of mobility, and identify evolving mobility requirements?
"....Mobility is a big umbrella term that I think at this point that is used to classify many different types of applications and services which users consume...."

:06:00: What are the key mobility market trends?
"....What we are finally seeing is recognition across the industry that the killer app is mobility itself and the way mobility and location inherently change communication...."

:07:17: What about authentication for users moving across networks and operators?
"....Authentication and security and being able to ensure those security parameters hold true as the user moves are key to the deployment and adoption of mobility...."

:08:30: Kevin discusses how mobility can be addressed at the data link layer.

:09:46: How can you use network layer solutions to deliver seamless mobility and session continuity?
"....What the network layer solutions tend to provide is a means of un-overloading IP addresses...."

:11:06: What insights can you provide about integrating mobility functionality into the transport/session layer?
"....This has largely been a very debatable approach to this point. Much of the work done at the transport/session layer has been academic. There are some well-defined protocols here such as Session Control Transport Protocol (SCTP), or to a lesser extent multipath TCP, that are used to provide the ability to support multiple interfaces...."

:12:05: Can you extend the last question to adding mobility functionality to the application layer – including support for moving media sessions between devices?
"....There are a number of protocols at the application layer that inherently support mobility....I still think there are many opportunities to continue to develop applications to be aware of, or at least tolerate mobility...."

:12:50: What are your tips on redesigning Internet architecture to enable long-term improvements to mobility?
"....To build applications to be tolerant to mobility....Second I look to IPv6....Third there is really no 'one size fits all' model for mobility...."

:14:19: What are the user expectations?
"....The user expectation is that they want a good experience and access to any service they want at any time on any device...."

:14:45: What about digital media delivery over mobile networks?
"....It's important to continue to remember that mobile traffic is growing exponentially. The demand for mobile video is really leading that charge...."

:15:45: You've already touched on this already but can you go into more detail about the bandwidth and spectrum crunch?
"....I wouldn't say that we are so much in a spectrum crunch right now as much as looking for techniques and tools in order to free up and increase the usability of the spectrum that we have....Where we are starting to see a bandwidth crunch is in the last mile access to cell site...."

:17:55: With over three billion smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices, what is their impact on enterprise IT organizations?
"....Security is one consideration....The capabilities of integrating mobility and wireless enterprise IT organizations is still very much in its infancy. The capabilities and potential will be much more than enabling access to corporate data but also providing unique capabilities and unique ways to leverage that data based on the device and location of the users...."

:19:36: Which are your top recommended resources and why?
"....'IP Design for Mobile Networks' (2009)....'Building the Mobile Internet' (2011)....Google....Your social community....Conferences: Mobile World Congress....Consumer Electronic Show....Publications: Network World....InformIT....Fierce Wireless publications...."

:23:06: Kevin shares some stories (something surprising, unexpected, amazing, or humorous) from his work.
"....It's always interesting and unexpected to see how wireless technologies are consumed...."

:25:58: What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession like medicine and law, with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and globally recognized credentials? [see for more details]
"....I don't think yet that people understand that they are constantly consuming the innovations and capabilities that engineers and computing professionals deliver to them....Ethics in medicine or law is much the same as ethics in computing and engineering and needs to be taken into consideration, especially with a global community that is capable of exploiting any breaches of ethics whether there be security vulnerabilities in software or failure to implement something in hardware....The certifications and credentials are certainly growing and globally recognized...."

:28:16: If you were doing this interview, what questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
"....How are we going to innovate?....How are we going to take the capabilities that the network delivers to us and exploit them to do things that 5 years ago seemed unfathomable?....What are those services or applications that are going to drive new ways of communications and improved social communities around the world?....How are we going to take the wireless and mobile technologies that are evolving with LTE and use them to help the world?...."