Magnus Westerlund at Work
IntroductionI am currently working at Ericsson Research, located in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden. I am mostly doing standardization work in the area of multi-media. I will here try to clarify a bit more what I do, both as result and how. Or how to learn a thousand three and four letter acronyms.
Lets start with what I am currently involved in. I am working with a few different parts that are all related.
For DummiesIf you don't know what streaming multi-media is, this section provides a 3 minute crash course:
Streaming multi-media is combination of multi-media and the deliver method which is defined as being streamed. Multi-media should be rather familiar for most people. However I see it as one or media, like audio, video, and text combined into something that can be consumed by a user to gain some information. The information can either be just for information, or for pleasure. It normally implies that the media combination has moving or timed properties, like TV or movie has.
The streaming part is how this media is delivered. The delivery is normally considered to be streamed when the receiver starts presenting it to the user before all the data has been received. That way the delivery will continue during the playback or presentation of the media. This enables the receiver to not store all media, which is practical for larger amounts of data to limited receivers. It also have the advantage of allowing playback to start earlier than if a complete download would have been needed. It also allows the user to halt delivery before everything is downloaded.
I have basically only worked with how to provide streaming multi-media over IP. IP is the fundamental part of the Internet which allows computers to address and send data to computers all over the world. To enable streaming multimedia over IP you need a couple of components.
IETF specificationsAt the time of writing this July 2003 I am currently involved in a number of specifications within the IETF. To get a current view of what I am involved you can go here, and type in "westerlund" in the search window and select "internet drafts" as the type. The specifications I am working on are:
IETF AVT Working Group ChairThis is a quite new responsibility. I become AVT WG chair mid June 2003. The work as WG chair is to ensure that the group produces the decided on specifications. This should be done in a timely manner, and with sufficiently high quality. The work is also about looking at proposed work and discussing its suitability for further development. This requires me to keep me up to date with all the development in the WG, normally by reading the mailing list and proposed drafts. To provide feedback and help the progress along. This does require of me to write a certain amount of emails, and to participate in some phone conferences. It is also a question of handling people, which I think will result in further development of my skills.
The IETF has three meetings every year, normally two in the US and the third somewhere else in the world. These meetings last for six long days. There is scheduled WG sessions from 9 in the morning until 10 in the evening. However a particular WG normally only meets a couple of hours during the whole week. However if one is involved or interested in a couple of WGs the schedule can become rather full. Add to that the corridor discussions, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bar discussions, this becomes a very busy week. There is usually not that much time to look around at the location one is at. I try to get some extra days when at interesting places. So far I have been to San Diego (California USA), Minneapolis (Minnesota USA), San Francisco (California USA), Atlanta (Georgia USA), London (UK), Yokohama (Japan), Vienna/Wien (Austria).
3GPP PSSThe 3GPP Packet-based Streaming Service (PSS) is what I would call an umbrella standard. It takes a number of protocols and other specifications to define a integrated service. In some cases it defines its own extensions when public available specifications are lacking. The PSS specifies what mobile phones and possibly other low bit-rate devices shall, should and may implement to be able to communicate interoperable with a server supporting PSS content. The standard contains a number of parts to get the necessary functionality.
My part in this work is to help determine what we (Ericsson) see as necessary in the updated standard. For parts no other has proposed I write input papers describing the extension. I have also written some of the specification text. However my main part is to evaluate others proposal and determine our stand point, and how feasible technically they are.
How I workA normal day at the office starts with reading up on the mail. In today's society with technical active people around the world in many countries there is constant work ongoing somewhere in the world. This results in that when I arrive in the office I normally have 100-200 emails to look though. A lot may not be that interesting, but some will require input from me. So depending on what it is this takes from an hour up to the whole day.
Then I try to perform any of the tasks that people expect of me. Evaluate some ones proposal, by reading and commenting on it. Write specifications, proposals, or reports depending on what is necessary. Go to meetings to discuss or keep up to date with work by my colleagues. Sometimes there is need to carry out simulations or emulation of proposals to show that they work, which means that sometimes, I may actually write some lines of codes.
Work always get more hectic the week(s) before a standardization meeting, where proposals need to be written, evaluated, or argued over. Then I go to a few meetings every year. Basically all the IETF meetings which are 3, maybe some 3GPP meeting or ad-hoc meeting every year. I find the rather few trips I do being a very appropriate amount. I am glad I don't participate in more forums as this would mean more travel which I would find using up to much of my private time.
for this page: Magnus Westerlund (mwesterlund(at)bredband.net),
Last edited 2006-04-06