5g, eSim, mesh networks and always-online HDDs: future is on our side

Hi everyone. I recently found an info about new eSim standard for wireless devices, and I want to share a few links about it here.

  1. The “internet of everything”: https://www.truphone.com/iot-solutions/iot-platform/
    Looks like we will see a always-online HDDs with a wireless module pre-installed. “Works with the any cloud provider” - they say. Well, when time comes - we will be ready.
  2. LoraWAN: protocol for a mesh network, that build from several long-range wireless devices: https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/
  3. Even personal wearable devices: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pycom/pylife-and-pygo-the-most-connected-device-in-the-w/description

All this makes me think that in several few years we will see a HUGE increase of demand for a fast and reliable cloud storage. What do you think?

I don’t disagree with your conclusions of an increased storage need. But boy are those links a bunch of marketing talk. Feels like the 5g hype we’re seeing in the media.

radio frequency is not that reliable as the message that it carries could get garbled IMO

Do you mean “grabbled” as “manipulated by 3rd party” (MITM) or “damaged” (any kind of distortion/noize on radio channel)? (Just not sure about correct translation for this word from english)

If you talking about damaging packets - I think that in most cases problem is solved on TCP level.

On the other hand - TCP is not a silver bullet here. Sometimes it fails integrity, and when it fails - all Amazon S3 servers can go down for a several hours because of single corrupted bit.
But if we have an additional checks on a app level everything should be OK an you should expect just some network lag, not data corruption.

You probably right, maybe I should more meticulously choose links for this post - I really like puctures :slight_smile:

In any case, I consider the long-range M2M (machine-to-machine) connectivity is the most critical and game-changing feature of the eSim / 5g, and here is why:

  1. ability to build mesh network from the phones
  2. 12km (!) range for device-to-device connectivity (As they say. In ideal environment. I can’t wait for an ability to test it by myself when I have a chance)

A long-long time ago I discovered an open-source project called Serval Mesh. Oh, it’s still alive! http://www.servalproject.org/

Five (or six?) years ago their main problem was the GSM radio module in device (I don’t know how the story is ended, but looks they can’t make phones to communicate directly).

But with 12 km connectivity range, low power consumption large quantity of devices (witch is most critical for mesh) the project has a second chance.

Several years ago they wrote that “in a big city we probably don’t need a GSM towers at all, making phone calls absolutely free for everyone” (or something like that - can’t find this old blog post now). Just because large swarm of connected devices can run a network by itself without need of central operator. More than that: it will do this more quickly and reliably, without a common problems of overloaded GSM nodes in most crowded places. This was a very revolutionary idea, and maybe we should back again to it and make it happen.

UPD: (Didn’t find the post but found the video about their “Mesh Extender” project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30qNfzJCQOA )

Let me start out by saying, there are people better qualified to respond to this, but I’ll give it a go based on what I know.

In short my response can be summed up as: There are no magic bullets. Or perhaps: Don’t believe all the hype.

First off, eSim… just an electronic sim. Makes it slightly easier to change carriers because you don’t need a physical sim card. 5G… massive can of worms there. The carriers are running a massive campaign to sell us on a mobile revolution. They claim it’s a change unlike any before it. In reality, it’s a fairly iterative step forward. For most people there will be a slight bump in speed and the network is better able to deal with more devices at the same time. I’ve seen videos claiming it will revolutionize home automation and then go on to claim it enables things that are all already possible and no one in their right mind would put all their home automation stuff on 5G when wifi will do perfectly fine.
Then there is the millimeter wave part. They will use super high frequency bands in very crowded areas which will give a much more significant speed boost. But at the cost of range. We’re talking stuff that only works at line of sight at very short distances. Even a window in between could mess up that signal. It has its uses in crowded city centers, but chances are, it won’t be available anywhere near you.

As for the 12KM long range networks. These are the exact opposite, they use very low frequencies and as a result carry very far, but have almost no bandwidth. They’re often seen as sensor networks, which is why you see such specific use cases listen like cattle tracking and parking space monitoring. Those cases require very little data to be transmitted and are thus great for such networks. You will not be making phone calls or doing any heavier work than sending very small messages over these networks.

Mesh networks used to be all the rage, but as far as I know, none of them really took off. Claims that they are more reliable and more quickly are simply false. By definition a mesh network requires more hops to get to the place you want to go which will slow everything down. And reliability depends on who is nearby and the types of devices nearby, which is an always changing thing.

Revolutions are extremely rare, but commonly claimed. Most of what we see is just iterative change. There is nothing wrong with that, we should celebrate that too, but unfortunately as far as I know, there is nothing revolutionary among the things you just mentioned.

That said, research clearly shows an ever increasing need for storage and bandwidth regardless of these claims about revolutionary wireless network changes. So the future for Storj is bright either way.


nice reply, it’s all marketing hype