For the user, a PN has the following innovative characteristics:
- Automatic setup. It automatically sets up a private network containing all personal devices regardless of their locations.
- Self-configuring. A PN does not require manual configuration of network parameters, etc.
- Usable secure. A PN is secure by using the latest encryption technologies, but without requiring configurations of complicated encryption keys, etc.
- Adaptive. It adapts to changing environments, including handling of mobile terminals.
- Heterogeneous technology support. Can work with current and future wireless and networking technologies. Can work on top of any open operating system.
- Supports applications. PNs support both current and future applications and services. Furthermore, it enables cross-device applications where for instance the application is on one device, but the user interface is on another.
A PN provides easy networking, security, and service discovery so that applications and services on the devices can cooperate and communicate with each other on behalf of the user. It does this by introducing a software platform on each device. The software platform takes care of many of the difficult aspects of (wireless) networking, security, and self-configuration. This also benefits the application developers that can focus their work on developing new interesting cross-device applications and services for users.
PNs offer benefits for at least the following three ICT-related business players:
- In the short term, device manufacturers (consumer electronics, mobile products, PC equipments, home appliances, home automation, and many more) that can offer devices capable of participating in people’s PNs will have a leading edge. In the longer term, we believe that PNs will spur enhanced applications and new sorts of applications that will require new types of electronic devices. PNs will also make devices accessible through other personal devices.
- For network providers, benefits will come from increased communication needs in terms of more required bandwidth, the need of PN elements to constantly be connected, and to be connected through more types of connections. Network providers that can offer not only one type of access, but a multitude of infrastructure-based connection types, such as UMTS, WiMAX, WLAN, Cable, and DSL, will have an advantage and increased revenues from providing a single seamless and well-concerted network service. Further, with the introduction of PNs, new services will be required that ideally can be offered by network providers and that will enhance people’s PNs.
- Content and service providers will benefit from a unified platform through which they can offer their content and services to many more users in a homogeneous and secure way. The mobility and global aspects of PNs will make it possible for providers to almost always reach their customers with their services. Furthermore, new or enhanced services that exploit the PN characteristics will generate new revenues.