Archives: Opinion

A battle for hearts and minds

If there were such a thing as an anti-WiMAX lobby group (and let’s put aside cynical thoughts that one already exists and is headquartered in Stockholm) it would have had a lot of fresh material to work with recently.

Thai operators facing tough choices on 3G plans

Along with giants China and India, Thailand is one of the few major mobile markets in the region that has yet to launch 3G services. But after years of gridlock in the licensing process, Thailand’s 3G market might finally be on the move, albeit at a potentially heavy price to operators.

Backhaul: Smashing the bottleneck

With voice revenues on the slide, data services have long been viewed as the operators’ APRU saviour. Last year finally saw data overtake voice in terms of network load and with many operators now touting the benefits of affordable mobile broadband there is every chance that data volumes will soon dwarf traffic generated by voice. Crucially though, revenues generated from data services show no signs of spiralling upwards.

The great 3G speed swindle

There’s been a load of reports flying around about O2 UK limiting connection speeds for its 3G users this week. So far, I’ve resisted from weighing in on this one because there’s too much about it that doesn’t add up and too many of the reports are anecdotal.

Theories abound on the 3G iPhone

Everyone’s got their own pet theory on when and if a 3G version of the iPhone is going to be made available. But this week, one of the many Apple iPhone hackers out there claims to have found the most solid evidence yet that a 3G version of the device is imminent.

700MHz surprises may still be in store

It was easy to predict the technology and business paths that would be taken by several winners of the US 700MHz auction, but silence from some means that major surprises may yet be in store.

Auction 73 wrapped up on March 18 grossing $19.1 billion and garnering winning bids from 101 bidders.

Phorm continues to court controversy

The controversy over internet ad-targeting platform Phorm continues to drag on, with privacy advocates claiming that the UK’s Information Commissioner has “green lighted lawbreaking”.

Phorm is a behavioural advertising system which has stuck trial agreements with UK service providers Virgin Media, BT and Talk Talk. The platform, which monitors web activity and analyses user habits to better target ads, purports to anonymise the data it collects. But a backlash from industry experts and consumers has forced the service providers rolling out Phorm to make the system opt out rather than mandatory.

Mobile broadband will prove no substitute for fixed-line

Hamid Akhavan’s claim at the CeBIT trade show in February, that there will be more subscribers to mobile broadband than to DSL within a few years will no doubt lead to a rash of reports predicting that fixed-to- mobile substitution will spread from voice to broadband.

Will they or won’t they?

Not even Telus knows for sure…

Rumors have been circulating for months that Canadian iDEN and CDMA network operator Telus is pondering the buildout of an overlay GSM network as well as a migration to LTE. It’s clear that the operator is giving the idea some thought, but no decisions have yet been made.

Attocells make iPhone 3G

Where do you go when you find that picocells and femtocells are too big and clunky? Attocells of course.

Consumers can’t live without Apple

Steve Jobs’ Californian kit maker, Apple, may be a relative newcomer to the world of mobile communications, but one thing it’s got going for it is brand awareness.

Brandchannel, owned by brand consultancy Interbrand, said that Apple swept the board at its annual brandjunkie awards. The maker of the iPhone topped the charts as brand that consumers ‘cannot live without’, which is interesting given that the company’s most famous product is probably the iPod.

China restructuring must not kill golden goose

The long-awaited restructuring of China’s telecoms market finally seems to be on the horizon, after the ruling State Council agreed last month to split up second-ranked mobile operator China Unicom and create three new integrated telecoms firms.

Mobile fraud: Phone loving criminals

There are certain things that mobile network operators don’t like to talk about. Revenues generated from adult content, under performing business units or disappointing service uptake are the types of prickly subject that tend to get swept under the PR carpet. But the issues of fraud and security probably top the list of things most likely to be kept tightly under wraps. Vendors, on the other hand, are keener than ever to bring these subjects to the fore.

Managed services: Allow me, Sir

When you hear of a company that provides service to 185 million cellular customers, your thoughts turn to large international carriers like Vodafone and Telefonica, or maybe a major market giant operating in China or India. In fact, 185 million is the number of subscribers supported by Swedish vendor Ericsson through its portfolio of managed services contracts, according to the firm’s own figures.

Google’s creative white space

Since the close of the US 700MHz auction last week and the subsequent revelation of the winning parties, there’s been lots of talk about Google’s plans deliver wireless internet using spectrum between TV broadcast channels.

It’s known that Google, along with a collaboration of tech firms including Intel, HP, Microsoft, Philips and Dell, has been investigating the potential for this so called ‘white space’ for over a year now.

What’s behind the Microsoft Flash deal?

I was interested to see that Microsoft has decided to licence Adobe’s Flash Lite player for its Windows Mobile operating system, particularly as Microsoft’s own Silverlight is widely seen as a competitor to Flash.

Managing wireless data limits

With 3G wireless broadband subscriptions forecast to exceed global DSL connections by as early as 2010, mobile carriers are slowly coming round to the realisation that the finite resources of the wireless last mile could pose some serious problems going forward.

What happened to the superbands?

How times have changed since the ’60s, when The Beatles were gods and music on the move was a transistor radio in the pocket. John, Paul, George and Ringo formed the first of the superbands and they were epically famous for a reason.

Getting personal

Qualcomm’s acquisition of Xiam this week struck a nerve. I’d recently been involved in a roundtable attended by a handful of industry players, where the discussion focused on the need to find a way to create, manage and deliver services that can keep pace with the fleeting desires of today’s consumer.

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