Archives: Opinion

Femtocells: Reinventing the wheel?

For mobile operator and consumer alike, the potential attractions of femtocells include improvements to both coverage and capacity, especially indoors. There may also be opportunities for new services and reduced cost. We’ve heard something like this before of course; the question remains, are femtocells a fixed mobile convergence dream come true or a recurring technology nightmare?

Do emerging market operators still exist?

The global mobile market is typically thought to be characterized by a broad divergence between developed and developing markets, each driven by different trends and dynamics. But these trends are becoming more and more similar and, significantly, will continue to do so at an increasing rate.

Too soon to write off WiBro

WiBro, Korea’s mobile WiMAX service brand, has often found itself on the receiving end of varying degrees of scepticism. How can it possibly succeed in a market where HSPDA is booming and household broadband penetration exceeds 80 per cent?

Voice can still give operators something to shout about

humble fixed-line voice service has been subject to a cacophony of death knells since the beginning of the decade. It’s easy to see why. Consumers across Europe are abandoning their landlines in favour of mobile or over-the-top Internet telephony, while ARPUs from those that keep them are stagnant or falling. Yet recent developments suggest that reports of the demise of fixed voice may have been greatly exaggerated.

Mobile WiMAX prospects brighten in India

Given India’s enormous population of 1.1 billion, patchy fixed-line infrastructure and a broadband penetration barely above three percent, the country appears well-suited for WiMAX deployment: BSNL and Tata Communications have already announced extensive rollout plans for 802.16d, the fixed WiMAX standard. But regulatory developments over the summer look like giving mobile WiMAX (802.16e) a significant boost as well.

Green is good

Lower emissions often equate to greater efficiency-something the network infrastructure vendors are keen to point out to carriers looking to save money while growing their green credentials.

Can consoles play the video game?

Games consoles have shed their reputation for being the preserve of geeky, bedroom-bound teenagers, thanks largely to the family-friendly Nintendo Wii. But executives at Sony and Microsoft can also take credit for the shift. Their ambitions for their respective PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 devices go far beyond bringing gaming to a wider audience: They aim to make their consoles the hubs through which all content in the connected home is accessed.

Time to meet your maker

Schemes to encourage the recycling of mobile phones are growing in number and success as consumers are enticed into greener ways with incentives that range from the feel-good factor of helping a charity to cold, hard cash. Handset recycling offers arguably the simplest, most visible way for the mobile industry to engage its end users […]

Amazon’s Kindle is shoving open the door to new mobile business models

Sales numbers for Amazon’s Kindle are difficult to pin down, but the device appears to be catching on virally, aided by dedicated marketing on the part of Amazon. Wider acceptance of the Kindle among users could produce a win for the device’s embryonic business model, which could ultimately apply to a multitude of wirelessly enabled consumer-electronics devices.

iPhone watch

Here’s an update on the latest iPhone 3G distribution announcements

KCC’s voice-over-WiBro plans doomed to fail

South Korea’s Communications Commission (KCC) came into being in late February to streamline the regulatory process in the convergence era and end the years of stalemate caused by bickering between the broadcast and telecoms regulators.

Zain has lessons to learn and teach

Kuwait’s Zain has realized a major achievement in redefining what it means to be a truly regional mobile operator. The recent rebranding of all its subsidiaries in Africa to Zain and, more significantly, the eradication of roaming charges between all Zain operators have done nothing less than redefine what it means to be a truly regional player.

Femtocells can increase revenues and deliver cost benefits, but only if operators do their homework

While seeking new business opportunities in today’s converging telecommunications market, operators are also looking to make best use of their capital investments and to minimise operational costs. One of the main challenges they face is to manage the explosive growth generated by emerging mobile broadband services. Will femtocells and alternative technologies have the potential to achieve this goal?

Tackling climate change

At present the ICT sector contributes two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The figure seems low but the sector’s will grow over the next ten years. Molly Webb, ICT project director for The Climate Group, argues it would be better to put measures for reducing emissions in place now while the problem is manageable.

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