By: Tim Young

“Working, building, never stopping, never sleeping. Working, making, some for selling, some for keeping.” - Lyrics from the song “Stool Boom”, from Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman.

If you haven’t seen Guest’s 1996 film about a community theatre getting a taste of the big time, I highly recommend it. In the musical number quoted above, the ensemble cast sings about their small town’s storied stool factory, and how it chugged through its heyday with constant expansion and production to meet seemingly limitless demand.

The current communications space is not unlike that stool factory. The network has unprecedented demands on it, and providers are scrambling to maintain a reliable network in the face of tremendous strain. However, where the stool company’s earnings were presumed directly proportional to its sales, the communications space is tasked with bearing a great deal of traffic it didn’t create and from which it doesn’t directly profit.

The extent of the impact that various tech trends is having on the physical network is at the heart of this issue of Pipeline. Herein, we examine the impact of the growing M2M boom, as well as the state of the global network. We take a look at the death and rebirth of IMS, and speak to a service provider determined to shake up the US wireless market. We explore billing on the box and the challenges of LTE. We hear from Nakina Systems on the importance of network integrity. We explore the possibilities of microwave backhaul and we take an early look at the upcoming Broadband World Forum event.

Enjoy, and keep working and building.


Tim Young, Editor-in-Chief

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