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Introducing Dan Grossman

by Dan Grossman | Feb 18, 2021

dgrossman_bioAllow me to introduce myself.  I’m Dan Grossman, and I’m thrilled to join Strategy Analytics.

A bit about me: I’m a telecom industry veteran with one foot in the technology and the other in the business side. I’m fascinated by both, and even more fascinated by the interplay between them. I spent most of my career at Motorola, leaving as a Fellow of the Technical Staff. During that period, I got to lead some cutting-edge advanced development projects, some of them years ahead of their time. It was also my privilege to contribute to some consequential industry standards. After 2009, I ran my own consulting business, NetAccess Futures. I also joined a start-up in the smart grid space, was a Contributing Analyst at Heavy Reading, and was an associate at Interisle Consulting Group. My focus has long been in broadband access, particularly Fiber-to-the-x (FTTx). In that space, I’ve had a pulse on everything from outside plant infrastructure to photonics to protocols to networks to services to finance to public policy.

Those of us who’ve been in the industry for a while recognize hype is inevitable for any new technology. It’s too easy to be blinded by the hype, only to find little substance. My approach has always been to start out by asking: “what problem does this solve”? “who does it solve the problem for, and are they willing and able to pay for it?” and “are there incumbent solutions to the problem, and if so, what makes this solution so much better?” All too often, the answers to those questions show that the latest shiny new object is a solution looking for a problem, or a reinvention of the wheel. This ethos will continue to inform my work at SA.

Looking back, I’m always amazed, humbled and gratified by the progression of telecom technology over the course of my career. Access is one example. In college, we dialed into the school’s timesharing service at a stately 300 bits per second (bits/s). If we had gotten a dedicated line, it might have been 1200 bits/s. Today, a nominal Gigabit/s connection to the Internet is widely available with FTTx and cable, 10 Gbit/s services are starting to roll out, and 50 Gbit/s is on the horizon. That’s 8 orders of magnitude! Similarly, transport has come from 9600 bits/s over analog leased lines and the early T1 circuits at 1.5 Mbit/s to 800 Gbit/s per wavelength and tens of Terabits/s per fiber, or 10 orders of magnitude. We’ve had an industry-wide evolution from predominantly voice and television services to broadband Internet access and carrier Ethernet. IP packets supplanted 64 kbit/s circuits as the coin of the realm. Cellular networks emerged from research at Bell Labs and early commercialization – as a luxury – by Motorola and evolved into soon-to-be-ubiquitous 5G. All this was enabled by the progression of semiconductor technology, as famously modeled by Moore’s Law.  In short, it’s been a remarkable time to be in the industry. In coming years, this kind of progress will start to run into laws-of-physics and information theory limits (or will it?), but in other dimensions like network intelligence, we have just begun to see the possibilities.

 Looking ahead, I look forward to expanding my scope into hot areas outside of mass-market broadband. My background in wireline communications brings fresh perspectives and new opportunities to Strategy Analytics, and we hope it will broaden and deepen our client base. I also have a lot to learn from my colleagues. In short, I plan to have a lot of fun with my time at SA!

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