Y-Comm could sometimes be considered as unconventional, proposing mechanisms and principles that cut across existing telecoms frameworks and relationships, including the relationships between identity, address, and subscription.
However, its consideration of possible new commercial arrangements and the charging principles arising out of them is disappointingly conservative.
We can’t help but think that the telecoms industry is quickly moving towards scenarios that seemed fantastic and implausible only a couple of years ago. This is particularly true in the way in which operators’ relationships with their customers is being transformed by the strategies of over-the-top players, software platform providers, and device manufacturers.
Y-Comm continues to explore the architectural and service dimensions of heterogeneous networking
In What Mobile Operators can Learn from Utilities, Ovum reported on the progress of the Y-Comm concept, which focuses on “vertical” (i.e. device-controlled) handover in heterogeneous networks. Since we last covered Y-Comm, the project has expanded to consider some of the implications of this approach, both for service frameworks and accounting and billing models.
The Y-Comm project is very much an exercise in “blue sky” thinking. There is an obvious, yawning gap between the way that mobile communications work today and the kinds of scenarios envisaged by Y-Comm.
However, that is part of the point of university research – to explore the possible as well as the probable, and to think through the implications. Y-Comm incorporates a group of researchers based at Middlesex University, but also involves others across a number of academic institutions including: the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK; the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, UK; the Institute of Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil; the Centre for Information and Communication Technology, University of Trinidad and Tobago.