The year 2007 brought us several important events that will have an impact on the digital and wireless time continuum. There were the demise of MVNOs such as Amp’d Mobile and Disney Mobile
plus the growing turmoil in the muni-WiFi market and many others. These events were simply overwhelmed by what I believe are the major and future setting events of 2007.
The top event is Apple’s iPhone. A technology changing event and a marvelous marketing effort. As Jason Ankeny commented in his FierceMobileContent, December 21, 2007
article, “The device effectively transformed consumer perceptions of the mobile media experience, delivering music, video and web services via means of a simple, intuitive user
interface and wrapping it all up in a sleek, elegant product design.” He went on to validate the iPhone’s impact by stating “Earlier this month, research firm NetApplications
released its breakdown of operating system market share for November 2007, reporting that in just five months since its commercial debut, the iPhone has secured a 0.1 percent share of the global
browsing market, topping web browsing on all Windows Mobile devices combined. The iPhone is now the 10th most popular web browsing platform, a short distance behind desktop platforms …. as
well as the most popular mobile browser overall.” The iPhone and the impact it had on its competition will have a dramatic ripple effect going forward into the future.
Another event of 2007 that I believe will have a dramatic impact on the future of the wireless and digital world is Google’s launching of Android. This Linux-based open software platform for
mobile devices along with the ground swell that is beginning to form for open access will be a major factor in shaping the future of the world of wireless. Verizon jumped on the open access band
wagon quickly and is being followed by other wireless vendors. Basically, it will come down to the litmus test that the consumer, hey – that is you and me, can run just about any application
it wants on approved devices. That will have a major impact on the ‘yellow brick road to the wireless Land of Oz’. Wireless open source and open access. Combine that with the growing
world of social networking and what do you have? A great topic for another column!! We’ll be talking much more about social networking in future columns.
OK. Let’s get on to what others see coming up in 2008 and beyond. Rhonda Wickham took the pulse of a good sample of wireless and digital industry players in her December 15, 2007 WirelessWeek article. Following are some snippets of visions from that article:
THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
To compete effectively in 2008 and beyond, mobile operators must focus more strongly on “markets of one,” whereby offering ultra-customized, real-time, personalized services and
content will pave the way for continued growth and success.
Just as consumers have come to expect hyper-personalization on the Web through the likes of MySpace, YouTube and My Yahoo!, real-time policy and interactive services are finally enabling
service providers to cater to individual tastes, needs and preferences. However, success will require the examination of the customer experience – not the network. By putting the customer at
the heart of services with innovative business models, service providers will be able to achieve market differentiation, grow revenues and reach customer acquisition and retention goals.
Service providers must begin planning today to address the challenges and capitalize on the myriad opportunities associated with delivering personalized services.
Grant Lenahan, Vice President & Strategist, Service Delivery Solutions – Telcordia
WiMAX, LTE TAKE-OFF
We expect mobile WiMAX to gain further traction worldwide in 2008 as operators that were conducting trials in 2007 begin to launch commercial service and more WiMAX-capable devices come to
market. We’ll see a ramp-up in LTE development and several field trials with major Tier 1 carriers as the 3GPP standards become solidified. Motorola will continue with its significant
investment in WiMAX and commence major development work on LTE along with several other major global infrastructure suppliers. IMS technology will be commercialized with many wireless carriers as
VoIP technology matures.
Fred Wright, Senior Vice President – Cellular and WiMAX Networks
Motorola Home & Networks Mobility
SMS, MMS IN THE ENTERPRISE
The enterprise will increasingly leverage SMS and MMS as an effective platform for communicating with customers and distributing applications and information. With the mobile phone being the
one technology that most people have access to around the globe, there will be substantial growth in mobile payments and mobile banking services. The widespread adoption of MMS will take hold in
2008 – especially with new capabilities that allow consumers to upload multimedia content directly to their favorite social networking sites via mobile devices.
Marty Beard, President – Sybase 365
MOBILE 2.0 DEMAND
In 2008, the industry will continue to adapt to the growing demand for the mobile Web in two ways: Open networks will have a positive impact, stimulating the development of new services and
applications while simultaneously fueling competition around feature richness, pricing and innovation; and increasing consumer adoption will put the spotlight on improving the end-user’s
experience. If we’re not careful, the mobile experience may actually get worse before it gets better. Leading carriers and mobile enablers won’t be able to complete all of the
on-network pre-deployment testing alone; in 2008 they will increasingly rely on third-party test and measurement services.
Umang Gupta, Chairman and CEO – Keynote Systems
CAN YOU FORESEE WIMAX WITHOUT FORSEE?
So without Gary in the XOHM, WiMAX should be an entirely different beast, or maybe it won’t even be a beast anymore. And wouldn’t that be something to look forward to if: (a) you
are Verizon or AT&T and would not to have to worry how to compete with a wireless broadband service that deserves the name; and (b) you are living in San Diego and would not have to worry about
the disappearance of the 5% royalty you collect on any wireless handset ever sold. Well, it certainly would be something to look forward to, but for exactly those and many other reasons WiMAX will
not go away; no matter how much the incumbents would prefer to keep innovation and change off their wish list for 2008.
Lars Johnsson, VP Business Development – Beceem Communications
- The United States leapfrogs Europe in terms of rate of service innovation, user adoption and ecosystem evolution.
- Mobile browser dies, replaced by mobile widgets.
- Enterprise mobility adoption increases sharply.
- Significant growth of wireless data revenue as a percentage of overall ARPU.
- Momentous spectrum swapping and consolidation of spectrum holders.
- Mobile ads based on content and context will take hold.
- Third-party applications see strong surge in the wireless ecosystem.
- 4G makes stronger splash in Europe.
- LTE camp gets stronger among CDMA operators.
- TV broadcasters jump into wireless ecosystem in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia.
Miguel Myhrer, Senior Executive/Wireless – Accenture
The magic word for 2008 is “open.” Verizon and AT&T are opening their walled gardens to consumers. The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is opening mobile devices to developers,
letting them build whatever new applications they can invent, and giving device users their choice of applications. Finally, because open source Linux already powers more than 35 million devices,
and because OHA and LiMo promote Linux as the standard mobile operating system, the wireless world will begin opening to innovations only possible with open source software. Greater openness means
that mobile phones will move toward becoming as essential and as functional as PCs.
Tom Kelly, CEO – MontaVista Software
In 2008, the idea that your mobile phone is a very powerful computer will become mainstream. As a result, more attention will be paid to what your phone can do, not just how it looks and feels.
When you couple this with the industry’s shift to more open access, there will be an increased focus on how great phone applications add value to all aspects of people’s lives –
at work and play. In 2008, we’ll realize that when it comes to phones, one size does not fit all, and that great personalization will be an absolute requirement.
Scott Horn, General Manager – Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business
GAMING: TIPPING POINT PENETRATION
The change in the mobile games landscape in 2008 will be driven by technology, the consumer and distribution channels. Increasing 3G device penetration will lead to greater content download
levels and these penetration levels will reach a point where viral marketing and word-of-mouth will help drive consumer awareness, alongside increasing commitment to the platform from branded
properties. The distribution model also will change with further consolidation among content providers and carriers waking up (again) to the fact that mobile gaming is a real revenue generator. The
carriers’ walled gardens also will finally start coming down as more direct portals and D2C opportunities emerge. 2008 is about climbing toward that critical “tipping point”
penetration level, laying the foundations for significant growth.
David Gosen, President – I-play
Broadband wireless will continue to grow at a fast pace and will reach a larger audience of enterprise users and consumers. Stimulated by the ubiquitous deployment of bandwidth-efficient high
speed networks and the introduction of state-of-the-art device technology, mobile computing will offer a compelling alternative to fixed DSL lines. As carriers open up access to their networks,
innovative broadband applications and services will transpire as fundamental contributors to carriers’ ARPU. A variety of mobile data-centric terminals with primary focus on vertical services
will become omnipresent and will invigorate the value proposition of wireless broadband.
Slim Souissi, Senior Vice President and CTO – Novatel Wireless
KING OF THE WORLD
Android, Google’s open platform and mobile software standards group, makes a bevy of promises to consumers – and those who’d like to reach them. The idea is that an open
platform – one whose code is available to everyone – results in superior software. Programmers will respond to the market’s needs and create features that consumers really want.
It’ll be difficult to displace Windows Mobile and various forms of Linux mobile operating systems, sure. But Google’s Android could well-become the industry standard; its alliance
already includes more than 30 mobile operators and handset manufacturers including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and Motorola. Google is clearly blazing a path to take over the world.
Jared Reitzin, CEO – mobileStorm
700 MHZ DRIVING ETHERNET MOMENTUM
2008 will see continued acceleration in the transition from voice to voice- and data-centric wireless business models and devices, with the possibility of new operators evolving through the 700
MHz auction, and the use of WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies. Open access, availability of mobile-optimized content, and providers that can aggregate and deliver this content are key to facilitating
With the recent moves by Google, Verizon and others, we should start to see the availability of consumer electronics devices that will drive mobile Internet adoption. Of course, this is all for
naught unless the network can reliably and cost-effectively support the increased bandwidth demands. Therefore, we will see more significant momentum toward replacing copper DS1s with fiber and
fixed wireless to support a transition to Ethernet cell site connectivity, and continued growth in backbone network capacity to enable voice and data transport and terminations across the
Peter Neill, Senior Vice President, Wholesale Markets Group – Level 3
MOBILE VIDEO & ADVERTISING
The walls will fall in 2008. The long-held dominance of mobile carrier networks will continue to crash and we will see the evolution of off-carrier content delivery. Innovative companies will
create dozens of new killer apps for hand-held devices. In 2008, mobile video and advertising will truly arrive as companies open the door for advertisers to distribute high-quality video to cell
phones and media players, off-carrier and free from the irritation that comes with paying to receive advertising. For the 3 billion users of cell phones, and the wireless industry at large, 2008
will be a very good year.
Philip John, CEO – Clippz.com
WIRELESS OVERTAKES LANDLINE
Consumers’ demand and expectation for quality wireless communication never ceases to surprise us. All segments of our business, including home, SOHO and mobile users expect fewer dropped
calls, better clarity and quality service. There will be continuing demand for systems that enhance the wireless experience in the home or office. The acceleration of users cutting the landline
cord is moving faster than most expected.
Andrew Windisch, President – Call Capture
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
2008 will be the “what have you done for me lately” year in telecom. Wireless carriers will hold partners accountable for delivering services that directly benefit their bottom
lines. As part of that, backhaul optimization will become an ever greater imperative, driven by wireless “killer apps” such as music and social networking.
Entrants such as Google and Microsoft will make the mobile Web more of a reality. Verizon Wireless opening the network also will enable the speed of innovation on the mobile Web. Cost-effective
solutions for managing the user experience will be key, and GPS-targeted mobile advertising will play a bigger role.
Rob Pullen, Senior Vice President of Global Services – Tellabs
2008 will be the year mobile voice becomes universal mobile communications. Users want to communicate with one or a group of associates, friends and family using an array of communications
services from voice to text to e-mail to IM to blogging to social networking. They would like to know availability, preferred mode of communicating, and include relevant content. Game-changing
handsets will support this generalized communications model but require close attention to user experience, service integration, rich messaging and contacts and an intuitive user model.
Doug Brackbill, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer – Visto
The concept of open wireless networks and platforms has been brought to the forefront due to the efforts of Google and Verizon. Although these won’t generate any credible threat to
Microsoft or RIM within the enterprise any time soon, expect to see a “trickle-up” effect within the enterprise over the next few years – but not until security, reliability and
enterprise-class services are proved to be functionally equivalent to the networks of today. In the same way that SaaS vendors pushed the enterprise boundaries to the Internet, we’ll see a
handful of intrepid enterprise software companies test the waters, especially with Android. That being said, none will be ready for prime time in 2008.
Joe Rymsza, CEO – Vettro
Mobile users are increasingly demanding an enriched interactive experience. In fact, CapGemini estimates that the total install mobile subscriber base that will have Presence and IM will grow
from 12% in 2006 to 41% in 2008 and 62% in 2010. Recognizing that presence is a catalyst for providing interactive services, operators will focus heavily on presence-enabled messaging technologies,
such as Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), that strengthen customer loyalty, increase revenues and build the operator’s brand. To ensure a successful MIM strategy, operators will deliver a
real-time communication environment that connects mobile users anytime, anyplace.
Allen Scott, General Manager – NeuStar Next Generation Messaging (NGM)
THE FUTURE OF WiMAX
With Intel’s promise to equip every laptop with a WiMAX chip in 2008, the new year looks to be a big one for WiMAX in the United States. However, in order to build and turn up the
networks that will support these laptops, the WiMAX Forum will face ending the standards debate in the vendor community and embrace open standards for all in the ecosystem. With open standards in
place, carriers will be able to finalize their network plans, allowing WiMAX to become the wireless technology of 2008.
Rehan Jalil, CEO – WiChorus
We will see service providers launching OMA DM (Open Mobile Alliance Device Management) services in all three key regions of the mobile phone industry; Japan, Europe, and the United States. As
the top-10 global operators are now seeing sufficient handsets supporting OMA DM, they will take advantage of OMA DM in their roll-out of new data services.
As the big Internet and PC players like Google and Apple focus on the mobile space, they (and other players in the industry) will realize the importance of being able to manage application and
middleware on mobile phones. Software Component Management (SCoMO), as it is being standardized by the OMA DM working group, will therefore become very hot next year.
OMA DM will move beyond the mobile phones to other types of devices attached to the mobile network, like M2M, or even FMC-related devices, like home gateways or set-top boxes. Carriers will
want one protocol to manage all devices attached to their networks.
Morten Grauballe, Vice President of Marketing – Red Bend Software
NO PLACE LIKE HOME ZONE
The home is the next telecom battleground. Mobile, fixed and IP service providers are battling to be the preferred provider of personal communications services (voice, e-mail, IM, social
networking). For mobile operators, the macro radio network is too costly and doesn’t provide the performance needed to win this battle. Therefore, operators are turning to micro radios
(femtocells, Wi-Fi), and broadband to launch the next generation of home zone services, known as “Home Zone 2.0.” HZ2.0 lowers costs and improves performance, helping mobile operators
own the home. T-Mobile’sHotSpot@Homeand Sprint’s Airave are early HZ2.0 services. 2008 will show how the other operators respond.
Steve Shaw, AVP of Marketing – Kineto Wireless
A HANDS-FREE FUTURE
In 2008, wireless mobility and device convergence will continue to increase, changing not only the amount of time people use their mobile phones, but also the way they interact with other
wireless devices. As the popularity of the Ford SYNC commercials have shown, people want the ability to access information, entertainment, messages and more without the constraints of small
keyboards and tiny screens. Nuance believes that speech-enabled technology will continue to infiltrate all relevant consumer devices, navigation and automobiles. I predict that we will soon see
more people adopting hands-free, eyes-free access to the consumer electronics devices and automotive entertainment systems.
Steve Chambers, President Speech Solutions Division – Nuance Communications
ALL IP, ALL OF THE TIME
In 2008, the drive toward “everything over IP” will continue as network operators bring new multimedia applications to market to further reduce costs. What started as a core network
transition has now moved into access points, into mobile phones and customer premise equipment, dramatically changing how services are delivered to the end user.
With the acceleration of converged multimedia services and savvier consumers, operators must ensure quality of experience to retain customers by viewing their networks not only from a
network/element perspective, but also from a service level perspective. Only then can they reap the benefits of all-IP multimedia networks.
Keith Cobler, Marketing Manager, Network Management for North America/Japan – Tektronix
Much to everyone’s chagrin, it will turn out that the Verizon Wireless open network announcement is not a negotiating ploy, but a very real strategy, and a watershed moment for the North
American wireless industry.
Dave Oberholzer, Vice President of Corporate Development – Limbo
WiMAX’s SWEET 16
2008 is the year we celebrate the WiMAX “Sweet 16” coming-out party. The technology is old enough to stand on its own, but still needs a lot of guidance and hand-holding to make it
to adulthood. The first commercial networks of mobile WiMAX will launch to great accolades, but will be limited in scope this year while we wait for devices to catch up. Oh, and my Dad will finally
replace his analog cell phone.
Jim Orr, Principal Network Architect – Fujitsu Network Communications
MOBILE WEB MAKES MONEY
As consumers are increasingly breaking free from their desktop computers, the demand for Internet content on cell phones will become the leading source of average revenue per user (ARPU) for
mobile operators. According to GSM Association, 1.3 billion people are expected to be connected to the Internet via cell phones, by 2008. Recognizing this fact, wireless operators will step up
their efforts to provide a high-quality mobile Web-browsing experience to motivate consumers to go beyond basic searches to more advanced activities, such as mobile shopping and mobile social
Eran Wyler, CEO and Founder – InfoGin
SPECTRUM & SATELLITES
Demand for spectrum is insatiable. We see spectrum in 700 MHz, AWS and other newly available bands being overwhelmed by demand in coming years as the Internet increasingly goes mobile. In
response, we predict creative spectrum-sharing technologies such as UWB and ATC. The latter will see technology trials in 2008 and will soon contribute significant incremental mobile spectrum for
next-generation services, while integrating satellite connectivity. With UWB, large swaths of spectrum are effectively re-used to provide high data rates for personal area networks, eliminating the
need for costly dedicated spectrum that would otherwise be required. Similar techniques will proliferate over time.
Drew Caplan, Chief Network Officer – Mobile Satellite Ventures
FEMTOCELLS: MOVE OVER, IPTV
Femtocells have sparked a massive following in the second half of 2007 and will continue to grow to full conflagration in 2008. Rarely has a new technology attracted such immediate, widespread
attention by so many key industry players spanning wireless handsets, wireline infrastructure, set-top boxes and silicon vendors. Positioned squarely in the perfect storm between today’s 2G
and 3G deployments and tomorrow’s full LTE and UMB nirvana, femtocell deployment and adoption rates will deliver headline-grabbing hype rivaling IPTV in 2007 and IMS in 2006. Expect customer
premise converged devices and rapid cost compression to be the key femtocell themes.
Brian Wood, Vice President of Marketing – Continuous Computing
Consumers and legislators will get tired of premium SMS malpractice. As consumers vote with their feet and the government threatens legislation, carriers, mobile content companies and TV
networks will be forced to – and will – react quickly.
The demand for SMS advertising will be high, but the inventory will be in short supply, therefore, CPMs will increase. And mobile marketing will grow 10 times faster in 2008 than online
Jonathon Linner, CEO and Co-Founder – Limbo
Convergence and innovative content will drive revenue growth. Although subscriber growth has been the principal driver of wireless services revenue, that will begin to change as subscriber
growth slows and the expanding data applications market leads to accelerating growth in average revenue per unit (ARPU).
Personal and business wireless will continue to thrive. Smaller routing and switching technology, along with increased spectrum availability, will give consumers, municipalities, small and
medium-sized businesses and other individuals a bigger stake in how they access wireless.
The U.S. wireless data market will surpass other developed countries on price, speed, bandwidth capacity and other key metrics. Wireless technologies will not be limited to GSM and CDMA, but
will include other advanced technologies. Recent governmental policies aimed at creating more spectrum opportunities for innovative technologies will drive wireless data performance metrics
across the board, and Congress’ new push to gather robust information about broadband penetration and uptake will give rural carriers the tools they need to deploy advanced networks
Grant Seiffert, President – TIA
MOBILE CULTURE CLUB
Development of a mobile culture: The masses are beginning to play games on their handsets in airports, during lunch breaks and while waiting in lines. There’s a recent acceptance of
mobile content among consumers thanks to education efforts by publishers and carriers.
At-your-fingertips connectivity moves to mobile gaming: With the rising interest in connected content and communities, games with networked components continue to rise in popularity giving
consumers the opportunity to add more to mobile gaming than standalone gameplay.
- We’ll continue to see consolidation among developers and publishers as carriers become more selective about who they work with and what titles make it to the deck.
Scott Rubin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Namco Networks
SMARTER PHONES, FASTER USERS
Phones will continue to get smarter, offering virtually all mobile users faster and easier access to richer content through the wireless Web, which will become pervasive. Where there are
consumers, advertisers will be in hot pursuit, and the new enablement and support of the advertising business model by wireless carriers will support a new breed of mobile-centric content and
service providers developing compelling applications around the specific needs of mobile users. To flourish, the mobile Web will need to spawn its own Google’s, Yahoo’s and
Lee Hancock, Founder – go2 Media
Consumer companies will go beyond SMS marketing and ringtone downloads from promo codes under bottle caps. They’ll start deploying useful handset applications and create content
messaging services that tie in tightly with their brand identities and even make use of in-store, retail marketing initiatives.
The iPhone will continue to be hugely successful and the one to beat. Other companies will have a hard time catching up; the device is great now and will be even better with 3G and the
- Kajeet will be the first successful tween MVNO. It has a great model, good distribution and seems to have a handle on the business.
A traditional, global multiproduct consumer company, without the carrier, (not Apple, which has already done it in some way), will deploy a service that will allow its own consumer devices to
actually connect to each other (plasmas to mobile devices to media center PCs and even their retailing partners).
The first of many carriers will start deploying solutions that allow consumer handsets to connect directly to a multitude of Web 2.0 services, and even home devices, seamlessly and not try
and push users to their own branded photo and community portals.
The global off-deck consumer mobile content and application aggregators will see major changes (declining margins, increasing cost of acquisitions and limited unique content) and ultimately
consolidate and change business models to offering free premium content. Possibly the first of advertiser-driven Web decks.
Jiren N. Parikh, Senior Vice President & General Manager – Exclaim
ENHANCED MOBILE BROADBAND
Faster device processors coupled with easy-to-use interfaces like the iPhone, Android Phone, Voyager and Amazon Kindle [wireless reading device], will grab our attention. We have built the
networks; now we have to leverage them, so you will see an array of new applications hit the market that leverage fast 3G networks. The operators’ walled garden will continue to exist, but
show signs of opening up. Data will continue to grow to the delight of all the operators.
Applications like user-generated multimedia content and location-sensitive mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-Web services will develop momentum. Mobile 2.0 will become a popular buzzword, and
like Web 2.0, no one will know exactly what it means. Unique approaches to getting Internet content/video to the phone will begin to flourish. Convergence will gain popularity with greater focus
on three screens. In other parts of the world, the success of 3G will push other countries like India and Brazil to finally assign 3G spectrum. On the domestic front, U.S. operators will spend
billions on the 700 MHz spectrum with the auction rumor mill in full swing throughout the year.
Perry LaForge, Executive Director – CDMA Development Group
In 2008, new access technologies will deliver broadband to more users, and devices like the Apple iPhone will increase the percentage of mobile broadband users. Faster speeds and user-friendly
interfaces will revolutionize the industry by making mobile use more enjoyable and by creating huge revenue opportunities for providers – for digitized content, gaming, user-generated content
and social networking.
However, with this growth will come an increased need for flexible IT systems to manage diverse, complex services, bundles and partner models. We will see significantly more providers
consolidating IT architectures to not only enable these changes – but to allow them to thrive.
David Sharpley, Vice President of Product Marketing & Channels – Oracle Communications
APPS, APPS EVERYWHERE
The days of simple cell phones are over. Voice is still king but users want more. Whether it’s quick file downloads that make working from the road easier or mobile TV for entertainment
on the go, demand for bandwidth-hungry mobile apps is going to drive network traffic to new heights in 2008. Fortunately, we’ll also see continued enhancements of EV-DO Rev. A over the next
year that will support these real time services and more, like Push to Talk and Push to Video. It also will be a big year for 4G with WiMAX going into full commercial launches and LTE standards
being finalized as major trials get under way.
Danny Locklear, Director of Mobility Access Product Marketing – Nortel
Wireless is a keystone in building out any company’s enterprise mobility strategy, as it extends the physical reach and functional capabilities of the corporate voice network. Many of
today’s enterprises are looking to employ key industry standards and additional enhancements to make a WLAN that is voice-optimized and as secure, reliable and capable as a wired LAN. 2008
looks to be an exciting year for wireless as many important standards (802.11n, 802.11r) are ratified or reach their final phases. These upcoming standards fit well with the enterprise focus on
VoIP and FMC to expand quality voice outside the office to the extended campus and beyond.
Luc Roy, Vice President, Enterprise Mobility – Siemens Communications
INCREASED MOBILE TV ADOPTION
The U.S. market for mobile TV is rapidly growing, spurred by the success of Verizon’s mobile TV launch. Analysts estimate the U.S. mobile TV market at 8 million subscribers and
Mobile TV in the United States will be bolstered in 2008, driven by the further deployment of MediaFLO and work by its governing body, the FLO Forum. The consortium recently announced its
OpenCA architecture, which presents a unified standard for content protection and enables operators to offer higher quality content to its customers. The introduction of additional premium content
is expected to spur consumer growth.
Doug Lowther, Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Irdeto
Forecast: Mobile TV to miss 2008 milestones
While many international operators have targeted 2008 as a turning point for mobile TV, citing consumer demand tied to the Beijing Summer Olympics and soccer’s UEFA Euro 2008 Championship,
media analysis firm Screen Digest predicts those opportunities are
likely to be squandered. China, France and Germany are all planning significant mobile TV rollouts next year, but according to Screen Digest senior mobile media analyst David MacQueen, “coverage
will be far from nationwide when key sporting events kick off … [and] a key opportunity to measure European consumer desire for mobile TV services is likely to be lost.” MacQueen adds that
fledgling 3G TV services from Orange and Vodafone will enjoy a viewership boost, while broadcast services in the U.S. and Italy should see a significant subscriber surge as well.
Factoid: Survey Finds that 54% of wireless Users Steal Wi-Fi Access
According to a December 14, 2007 Wireless Week article by Teresa von Fuchs a large group of wireless users are stealing.
“Security firm Sophos reported that 54% of wireless users interviewed have admitted to using someone else’s wireless Internet access.”
“In a report, done by the firm on behalf of The Times, many Wi-Fi users fail to properly secure their wireless connection with passwords and encryption, allowing passers-by and neighbors to
steal their connection.”
“The report also notes that many ISPs put a clause on service that wireless customers must encrypt their connections, but the report also notes that it would be very difficult to enforce this
“If you’re not encrypting your wireless communications then it’s not hard for cybercriminals in your neighborhood to snoop on what you’re doing, whether it’s surfing or remotely accessing work
documents. They may even be able to infect your computer with malware designed to commit identity theft,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said in a statement.
Factoid: Music, comedy top mywaves mobile video traffic
A mobile video service provider mywaves reported its year-end viewing behavior metrics, noting the worldwide popularity of music, comedy, and celebrity content. According to mywaves, the top five
celebrity search terms for 2007 are Akon, Beyoncé, Aishwarya Rai, Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears–the most popular channels by category include:
- Music: Wyclef Jean
- Celebrity: Gwen Stefani
- Regional Entertainment: South African Music and IndiaTV
- Comedy: RipeTV and Comedy Central’s Behind the Scenes podcast
- Anime: Naruto
- News: CNN podcast
- Sports: Cricket.1, JordonTV and Foxxy Sports
Factoid: Thumbplay’s Top Five
|I Want You – Common||Chew Man Fu||Santa is Watching You|
|Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dog||6 Shooter Most Wanted||Nativity 3D|
|Soulja Girl – Soulja Boy Tell’em||God of War – Betrayal||Dancing Santa|
|Clumsie – Fergie||Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare||Feliz Navidad|
|Take It To The Top – Freeway||MONOPOLY Here and Now||Happy New Year|
December 24, 2007: Common smashes this week’s chart with the Will.I.Am produced track “I Want You”, off his latest album titled “Finding Forever”. Common’s “Finding Forever” Is nominated
for Best Rap Album.
Courtesy of Thumbplay
If you have a question pertaining to a wireless topic or digital living that you would like to ask or share with our readers send me an e-mail at RDominko@ciber.com and I will update everyone in a future column.
Wireless Nuggets of Knowledge
Following are a few interesting articles and discussions on wireless and digital living:
Wireless Week News – December 21, 2007
No Stopping SMS Growth
SMS continues its phenomenal growth. Gartner is out with a new report that forecasts 2.3 trillion mobile messages will be sent worldwide in 2008, a 19.6% increase from the 2007 total of 1.9
The analyst report also says SMS revenue across major markets will grow 15.7% in 2008 to $60.2 billion, up from $52 billion in 2007. Gartner notes, however, that operator margins on messaging are
getting thinner because of market saturation and competition.
“In many markets, there has been strong pressure on operator margins for text messaging services and this has been driven by often intense competition between carriers,” says Gartner Analyst
Nick Ingelbrecht. “At the same time, consumers have grown accustomed to large or unlimited bundles of inclusive SMS as part of their basic cellular service package. Carriers should plan for a
future of much reduced margins on messaging services. They should develop messaging platforms, services portfolios and pricing plans that support the broader objectives of customer acquisition
and retention, rather than short-term margin enhancements.”
Asia/Pacific and Japan are the biggest consumers of mobile messaging with an estimated 1.5 trillion messages sent in 2007, Gartner says, and that’s expect to increase to 1.7 trillion in 2008.
Gartner also estimated there were 189 billion mobile messages sent in 2007 in North America, with a forecast to reach 301 billion in 2008..
To read more, click here.
FierceMobileContent – December 21, 2007
Air France to trial in-flight mobile data services
Air France-KLM, Europe’s largest airline, announced it will trial in-flight use of mobile phones, enabling passengers to send and receive text messages, e-mail and photos. The second stage of
the six-month trial will allow travelers to make and receive voice calls. Air France launched the trial this week aboard short-haul routes across Europe, and said it would examine feedback and
comments from passengers to determine whether to introduce mobile services on all flights. Related trials are planned by both BMI British Midland and TAP Air Portugal, and Irish discount carrier
Ryanair announced it will introduce the service across its entire 160-aircraft fleet in 2008.
The Air France trial will employ services developed by OnAir, an onboard mobile and Internet communications system jointly launched by aircraft manufacturer Airbus and travel communications
provider SITA. After a passenger’s mobile handset connects to a miniature cellular network installed inside the aircraft, data and calls are transmitted to a nearby satellite, routed to a ground
station and then passed along to the traveler’s network provider. According to OnAir, the system avoids interference with aircraft avionics and ground communications networks.
To read more, click here.
FierceWireless – December 21, 2007
The MVNO love affair is over
Two years ago there was a new acronym in the wireless industry and many analyst reports predicted that it signified the next big thing: mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. Earlier this year
two of the biggest MVNOs in the U.S. crashed and burned: Amp’d Mobile and Disney Mobile. Their demise followed closely on the heels of Mobile ESPN’s closing in 2006.
Disney Mobile, which launched in June 2006 using the Sprint network, ultimately discovered that it could not lure as many subscribers as they originally hoped they could from the big carriers’
family plans. Innovative mobile content and special services like Disney’s family-finder application pushed the industry to support more location-based services, but weren’t enough to convince
subscribers to join Disney to get their hands on them. The service will remain live through Dec. 31 and Disney has offered to reimburse subscribers who purchased handsets, accessories and content
through the company. The fate of Disney Mobile’s 120 employees is presently under discussion.
Amp’d had subscriber acquisition problems of its own, but rumors circulated that the real poison pill for this MVNO was its subscribers’ inability to pay their bills. Despite having more than
$360 million in venture capital financing and 200,000 subscribers, Amp’d had more than $100 million in debt, owing some $33 million to Verizon Wireless for network operations and at least $16.4
million to Motorola for handsets. The embattled MVNO alerted subscribers that it was shutting down its service via text message in mid-July.
Now that Amp’d and Disney shuttered their doors, few are bullish on the MVNO model in the U.S. Well, that is, with the exception of SK Telecom, which keeps investing hundreds of millions of
dollars into Helio.
WirelessWeek – December 20, 2007
Yahoo! Announces Deal with America Movil
Yahoo! has signed a deal with Latin America’s top mobile phone company America Movil to provide mobile Web services to 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo!’s oneSearch service will be the default on America Movil’s wireless carriers’ portals. Yahoo said it plans to offer local versions of oneSearch for
“Fostering deep relationships with mobile innovators like Yahoo! is an essential part of our mobile strategy,” said Luis Cosio, value-added services director of America Movil, in a statement.
Yahoo! claims this is the largest of the 21 search deals it has announced this year with carriers. America Movil has 143 million wireless subscribers.
Yahoo! launched oneSearch service in the United States at the beginning of this year; oneSearch allows users to search the Web on the first screen they call up, unlike browsers designed for
computer users, which force phone users to navigate through several screens.
To read more, click here.
FierceMobileContent – December 20, 2007
AT&T to debut mobile TV ‘as early as possible’ in 2008
AT&T said it plans to launch its long-planned live mobile TV service “as early as possible” in 2008, citing efforts to improve the user experience as the culprit behind the delay. AT&T
told Multichannel News the MediaFLO-based service will launch with eight live, linear channels: CBS Mobile, Fox Mobile, NBC2Go, NBC News2Go, ESPN Mobile TV, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
Neither pricing information nor an official brand for the service has yet been announced. Also unknown is the role of spectrum licenses totaling $2.5 billion acquired by AT&T in October from
Aloha Partners, parent firm of DVB-H-based mobile broadcast TV service Hiwire.
AT&T and MediaFLO were expected to debut their mobile TV offering in the fourth quarter of 2007. “The testing of the software and hardware is going very, very well, but we decided to take
just a little extra time to make sure the user experience is absolutely optimal,” said AT&T executive director of media relations Mark Siegel.
To read more, click here.
FierceBroadbandWireless – December 20, 2007
The muni-WiFi market implodes
Headlines across the country announced the implosion of the muni-WiFi market as EarthLink, one of the service’s largest cheerleaders, pulled back on its initiatives and some cities scrapped
their WiFi plans. EarthLink is now looking for strategic alternatives for the business, aka sale, and several municipalities have canceled planned projects. The problems: Usage is low in many
cases, scalability has been a challenge, devices and capabilities have been found to be wanting and business models promising free community access have proven not to be be viable, for the most
Is this a sign that the muni WiFi market has failed or is the industry settling into a more rational period of deployment based on securing cities as anchor tenants rather than free WiFi access
for the masses? We are seeing examples of muni-WiFi done right when the service is used to better municipal services.
To read more, click here.
FierceBroadbandWireless – December 20, 2007
Open access comes to the forefront
Google started the movement and Verizon Wireless, once a staunch opponent of the concept, is now embracing it. Open access means operators open up their networks to enable any device and
application to run on it. Sprint has been touting the concept for its WiMAX network, saying it will let any WiMAX-certified device on the network (no need for Sprint to certify them) and the
company envisions embedded WiMAX chips being included in all types of devices–cars, laptops, cameras, etc. The Federal Communications Commission has mandated that a certain portion of the
upcoming 700 MHz spectrum have open-access stipulations attached to it.
Yes, open access is coming, but operators will be experimenting with the concept. The model has the opportunity to provide more innovative services, but operators will have to grapple with the
end of device subsidies and finding ways to keep customers loyal.
Unstrung Broadband Wireless Weekly – December 19, 2007
Sprint-Clearwire: On Again in 2008?
Financial analyst firm ThinkEquity Partners issued a research note Thursday morning suggesting that the WiMax relationship between Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR – message board) and Sprint Nextel
Corp. (NYSE: S – message board) may not be dead after all.
ThinkEquity Analyst Eric Kainer writes that the firms could renew their wireless broadband cooperation next year as Sprint launches its nationwide WiMax network.
“This launch is likely to be delayed to 2H08 as Sprint hires a CEO and re-establishes its relationship with Clearwire,” notes Kainer.
Reston, Va.-based Sprint dissolved its partnership with Clearwire in November saying the deal was too complex and that the companies could not “reach final agreement on the terms of the
transaction.” The short-lived alliance between the operators was originally inked in July 2007.
A Sprint spokesman this week told Unstrung that any talk of a renewed Clearwire partnership “falls under the category of rumor and speculation.”
To read more, click here.
FierceWireless – December 18, 2007
Households spend more on mobile than landlines
While the dominance of residential landline telephony services has been on the decline for some time, U.S. households have never spent more on their mobile phone services than on landline ones
until this year, according to industry and government officials. Back in 2001, U.S. households spent three times as much on landline phone services than they did on mobile phone services, but
last year the popularity of mobile services bridged that gap significantly. Households spent $524 on mobile phone services in 2006, while they spent about $542 during the course of the year on
landline phone services. While the metrics for 2007 have yet to be compiled, analysts and government officials are confident that spending on mobile services has outstripped spending on landline
telephony this past year.
“Frankly, I’d be shocked if (households) don’t spend more on cell phones at this point,” said Andrew Arthur, vice president of market solutions at Mediamark Research & Intelligence.
To read more, click here.
FierceMobileContent – December 17, 2007
New AT&T apps target subscribers with disabilities
AT&T announced a partnership with mobile software developer Code Factory to introduce Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier, two new applications promising increased usability for subscribers who
are blind or suffer from impaired vision. Optimized for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60-based handsets, Mobile Speak–a screen reader promising an easy-to-learn command structure, intuitive
speech feedback and Braille support–automatically detects information that the blind user should know, supporting applications including text messaging, web browsing, media playback and voice
commands. Mobile Magnifier is a full-screen magnification app for both low- and high-resolution screens enabling font-smoothing for easier readability, three different screen layouts, a variety
of color schemes, automatic panning and cursor tracking, and automatic zoom.
Mobile Speak and Mobile Magnifier are each available for a one-time charge of $89. “There is a real need for more wireless options for individuals who have vision loss,” said American
Foundation for the Blind vice president of programs and policy Paul Schroeder in a prepared statement. “We value AT&T for its leadership in addressing the needs of this community.”
To access it, click here.
FierceWireless – December 14, 2007
LG Voyager most popular online
According to a report from Compete, the LG Voyager was the most popular handset in November for online shoppers. Compete tracks the number of page views a handset’s webpage gets on carrier
sites. The Voyager had 131 percent more visitors than the third most shopped for handset, the Samsung SGH-T609. The other top ten most shopped for phones were: the Sidekick Slide, Sidekick ID, LG
Venus, Sony Ericsson z310a, Sony Ericsson W508i, the iPhone, Sidekick LX and the Pantech C150.
To read more, click here.
FierceMobileContent – December 13, 2007
Penthouse ogles mobile social networking
Adult entertainment publisher Penthouse Media Group announced its acquisition of social networking firm Various, Inc., a deal reportedly worth $500 million. Various owns and operates a number of
social networking sites, chief among them the dating service AdultFriendFinder.com, which boasts a membership in excess of 18 million. “Social networking is clearly the future of adult
entertainment, particularly in the mobile space,” said Penthouse Media CEO Marc Bell in an interview with NewsFactor Network.
To read more, click here.
FierceDeveloper – December 11, 2007
Apple counts down most popular iPhone apps
NApple’s iPhone website posted a list of the 10 applications that have proven the most popular with the device’s users. Two Google applications made the countdown, which is otherwise notable
for the surprising dominance of mobile games, a segment that has largely stalled on rival device platforms. The full list, in descending order:
• Google Search
• Google Maps for iPhone Touch
• iDuckHunt by Jirbo
• Connect4 touch
• The Zinio Mobile Newsstand
• Finger Scan
To read more, click here.
FierceBroadbandWireless – December 13, 2007
Sprint launches three WiMAX markets as planned
Sprint has soft launched its WiMAX network this week in Chicago and Baltimore-Washington D.C. as planned. The initial trial is limited to Sprint employees only and the carrier has not disclosed
what hardware the users will have to connect to the network. Nokia and Samsung have both inked deals with the carrier for WiMAX-enabled devices. These initial test markets will become
commercially available during the first quarter of next year and Sprint expects a full commercial launch during the second quarter of 2008.
In related news, WiMAX chipmaker Beceem announced the completion of initial interoperability testing between Beceem’s chipset and Sprint’s WiMAX infrastructure as part of the Sprint Mobile
WiMAX device launch preparations.
“This is a big deal because it signifies the technical readiness of the overall solution. It means the network is ready to go in 2008,” said Beceem’s Lars Johnsson, vice president of business
development, in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. “It’s really the building block for everything else to follow
Big deal because signifies the technical readiness of the overall solution. On top of that is product availability and channel and distribution models, subscriber management and it’s really the
building block for everything else to follow.
To read more, click here.
Wireless Info Center
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2008 International CES: January 7 – 10, Las Vegas, NV
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