Unwired Tap – July 2007

By the time this column is published, the iPhone will be available for you and me to purchase. I wasn’t going to write about this device but the media hype has been so tremendous that I
thought I would jump on the train as it pulls out of the station.

But first, a hearty congratulations to TDAN and its publisher Bob Seiner. This anniversary for TDAN and Bob is momentous. When I look back to the beginning of TDAN and see where the publication is
now, it has come a long way. That is a tribute to Bob and to the readership of this website and publication. Congratulations Bob and I personally wish you success now and well into the future.

Back to the iPhone. Apple has been masterful at building the hype for their new iPhone. Very secretive. Info leaked to wet our appetites. A glimpse of an iPhone as it is pulled out of a back pocket
and quickly, but not too quickly, reinserted. AT&T has a great partnership with Apple on this venture and can’t wait to make the device officially available on June 29, 2007.

So what is an iPhone? I haven’t had the pleasure of getting one in my hands, but I believe that the iPhone is the continuation of an industry direction that I wrote about in one of my first
columns fours years ago. Convergence. The iPhone is a multifunctional device. A mobile phone, device to access the Internet and an iPod all rolled into one. Convergence and personalization –
remember those terms because I feel they will be the factors that continue to mold this industry.

Debra D’Agostino wrote an interesting article titled How the iPhone Stacks Up for Baseline that
does a very good job in describing the anticipation for iPhone and areas that probably need to be strengthened. In the article Debra mentions several reasons why the iPhone may not work for
organizations and individuals. Some of those are:

  • Analysts such as Gartner’s Ken Dulaney and Forrester Research’s Charles Golvin say companies thinking about deploying iPhones to their staffs should think twice. “It’s not designed to be an
    enterprise tool,” Golvin says.

  • There are several factors that limit the iPhone for business use. First, Apple has no real third-party development plans for the phone. Unlike other mobile devices that allow users to download
    applications right to the device, the iPhone will rely solely on web-based programs users will access over the Internet.

  • In addition, the phone has no removable battery, no keypad and no tactile keypad buttons, which means that using the iPhone will require a user’s complete attention when using it.
  • And, though Apple has put in a request to Microsoft for direct access to Exchange servers, for now the iPhone will not support business messaging tools – users will have to connect to
    corporate mail systems over the Internet.

Paul Thurrott wrote an article in Connected Home Express, June 20, 2007, titled iPhone, iPhone, iPhone in
which he did a great job of covering most of the key areas of interest of Apple’s iPhone. The following points are covered in Paul’s article:

Design. The iPhone is better looking than any smart phone – period. It’s also bigger and heavier than most smart phone users might prefer, so it’s a mixed bag overall.
And what about that touch screen? Will it scratch easily in your pocket, like an iPod? Stay tuned.

Keyboard. The iPhone doesn’t include a hardware keyboard, which makes it a non-starter for the two most important smart phone markets: business users and users who regularly
send text messages. I don’t care how good Apple’s virtual keyboard is: Without a real keyboard, there’s no tactile feedback, and thus you can’t type easily on it without watching the virtual
keys. Apple would have been better served by providing the device with a slide-out keyboard. This is a key area in which Apple has completely misread the market, and the company is only making it
worse by pretending that it has invented a new market.

Network. The iPhone will work only with AT&T’s cell phone network, which has been disparagingly referred to as a “2.5G” system, compared with superior 3G systems such as
the Verizon EV-VO network that I use. (On the flip side, he iPhone does natively support Wi-Fi, which will come in handy, more so in the coming months and years.) Switching mobile phone providers
is expensive, and limiting the iPhone to just AT&T will make the device artificially less relevant than it could be. And if you’re in Europe, you’re just plain out of luck for now: Apple
hasn’t announced its European mobile phone service partner yet.

Compatibility. Although the iPhone will work just fine with all POP3 e-mail accounts and will work in superior fashion with the natively designed Gmail and Yahoo Mail systems, it
won’t work with most corporate e-mail systems, which – in tandem with the lack of a real keyboard – makes the iPhone a non-event in the business world.

Internet. My Motorola Q can browse the web, and do so via its superior EV-DO network, but most websites aren’t designed for the device’s small screen, and finding sites that do
work natively is difficult and frustrating. The iPhone, by contrast, offers a “true” web experience because it has taken a desktop PC-based browser – Safari – and jammed it into a
mobile device with a nice, large widescreen display. However, Safari is also an iPhone weakness because so few sites are designed for this niche browser. Why, oh why, couldn’t Apple have just
gone with the superior Firefox browser? That would have made this category a slam-dunk.

Battery life. Apple now claims that the iPhone gets 8 hours of battery life for phone calls, which any cell phone user will immediately peg as a ludicrous claim. However, Apple
had previously claimed just 5 hours, so something positive has happened here. A user-removable battery would make all the difference in the world.

Storage. The iPhone comes with just 4GB or 8GB of storage, depending on the model, which will limit the device’s ability to store your entire media collection. Movies, which
should look wonderful on the iPhone’s widescreen display, are particularly problematic. A typical 2-hour movie purchased from the iTunes Store weighs in at around 1.5GB. Worse still, this kind
of content will rapidly sap battery life.

Availability. If you want an iPhone, be prepared for short-term disappointment. You can order the device only through certain non-franchised AT&T retail stores, Apple retail
stores, and – presumably – Apple’s online store. I say “presumably” because, as of this writing, you can’t actually preorder an iPhone anywhere, get on a waiting list, or even
learn how the sales will be handled. Obviously, you’ll need to sign a two-year commitment with AT&T, standard practice in the US cell phone market. The details, alas, are lacking.

Pricing. The iPhone is expensive. Really expensive. Whereas I was able to snag my Q for just $100 (or free, after a $100 mail-in rebate), the iPhone will cost $500 or $600
depending on which model you get – in addition to whatever monthly fees you pay through AT&T. This pricing structure places the iPhone at the absolutely upper echelons of the smart
phone market. When you combine this fact with the availability and functionality concerns I’ve noted above, you can see some reality setting in: Yes, the iPhone will be successful. It’s most
definitely, however, not a good buy for most phone users.”

How will the iPhone impact Apple and AT&T’s competitors? That remains to be evaluated. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, when questioned by reporters about the iPhone during the recent NXTcomm
trade show, said that Verizon plans to compete against AT&T by emphasizing Verizon’s services such as V Cast. Mr. Seidenberg said that he thinks the iPhone will actually help drive
business for Verizon’s high-end smart phones and advanced data services. He indicated that “the new BlackBerry is flying off shelves.”

I personally believe that the iPhone will have an impact on the evolutionary process at work within the wireless and digital worlds. It will shake up several industries. Competitors to Apple and
AT&T will evaluate the impact on their market share and look to make adjustments. Will I get an iPhone? Probably not. It doesn’t fit my current business needs and lifestyle. What could
change my mind? Personalization and convergence! That could happen via mobile widgets and a technology such as Real Simple Syndication (RSS). Now those sound like great topics for another column.
Stay tuned. It will only get better!!

Forecast: HDTV and DVRs to Boost STB Market
According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, the IPTV set-top box
(STB) market will reach 33.5 million worldwide sales by 2012. At that time, the global install base for STBs will be 112 million. APAC will lead the market with 45 percent of the installed base,
followed by Europe with 33 percent and the U.S. with 13 percent. The firm notes that any IPTV deployment that is not making plans for HDTV upgrades will not be competitive in the long term. DVR
functionality is also becoming increasingly important, according to the report.

Forecast: Mobile ad spending to $14.4B by 2011
A new report issued by market research firm Strategy Analytics forecasts advertisers will
spend $1.4 billion on mobile media this year, a figure that will grow to $14.4 billion by 2011. According to Strategy Analytics, mobile media advertising will represent a fifth of worldwide
Internet advertising spending by 2011. “The outlook for mobile advertising spend has significantly advanced in the past 12 months,” said Strategy Analytics’ global wireless practice director
Phil Taylor in a prepared statement. “The supply of advertising inventory is rapidly increasing as mobile publishers look to develop advertising as a revenue stream. Major mobile network operators
like Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone have all accelerated plans to sell advertising within their mobile media channels and advertisers appear to be responding positively.”


Factoid: Thumbplay’s Top Five

June 17, 2007: Fergie’s ringtone “Big Girls Don’t Cry” climbs to the #1 spot this week. This is Fergie’s third single from her latest album “The Dutchess.”

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:

FierceWireless – June 15, 2007
Countdown to iPhone: demand is strong

As I write this column, it is just two weeks to go until the iPhone makes its U.S. debut, and the hype surrounding the phone is reaching near-preposterous proportions. But perhaps the hype is
paying off. M:Metrics reports that consumer awareness of the iPhone is strong – 64 percent of Americans are aware of the iPhone as are 56 percent of Brits.

Exactly how does awareness translate to sales? M:Metrics says that of those 64 percent in the U.S. that knew of the phone, just 14 percent said they would be highly interested in buying one. In
addition, 67 percent of those that were inclined to purchase an iPhone are subscribers on a network other than AT&T, which has a five-year exclusive agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone.
M:Metrics analyst Mark Donovan says this is an early indication that AT&T’s strategy to use the iPhone to lure customers to its network could be effective.

To read more, click here

NY Times.com – June 17, 2007
Yes, the Screen Is Tiny, but the Plans Are Big

More than two dozen huge white satellite dishes surround ESPN’s 100-acre campus here, each transmitting and plucking electronic signals from the skies. Tucked inside that digital fence are
10 buildings, all devoted to producing and broadcasting ESPN’s cable sports programs. Deeper inside the campus sits another building, largely occupied by a team of 20-somethings and a few
middle-aged managers, sports content is produced for just one device: the cellphone.

After some hits and misses in creating content for cellphones, ESPN thinks it knows how to keep up with its fans as they go about their days. Cellphones and other mobile devices, says ESPN, are
natural platforms for its content. Consumers waiting in line, riding a bus or sitting in a cafeteria will use their phones to watch sports commentary or to check scores just as often as they
glance at their wristwatches – or so the thinking goes. In ESPN’s view, it is only a matter of time, and mobile technology upgrades, until “phone watching” is as common as
phone calling.

To read more, click here

FierceWireless – June 15, 2007
Motorola joins mobile payments initiative 

The GSM Association appears to be getting more industry support for its mobile payment initiative. Announced at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, the Pay Buy Mobile project will allow for the
purchases of goods and services by mobile phone. The GSMA advocates two options for mobile payments, which will probably complement each other: over-the-air (OTA) downloads and preloading
encrypted credit card information from the bank on the phone’s SIM card.
Now Motorola has announced that it will participate in all GSMA mobile payments trials. In addition, the company will provide feedback to the GSMA Near Field Communications Technical Guidelines
white papers and work with standardization bodies to provide further input.

To read more, click here

FierceWireless – June 14, 2007
Sprint may spin off WiMAX

Pressure from investors is causing Sprint executives to rethink its ambitious WiMAX broadband network. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company may form a partnership or joint
venture with Craig McCaw (who founded wireless Internet firm Clearwire in 2003) and seek cash from cable providers. Sprint has said it will spend $3 billion on WiMAX through the next year.

The article also says that Sprint Chairman and CEO Gary Forsee said Sprint may consider spinning off the WiMAX unit. It’s speculated that a spinoff may be part of a deal with McCaw’s Clearwire,
which currently has about 258,000 customers in 38 U.S. markets. A deal with Clearwire would give Sprint access to more spectrum in some key markets such as Miami and Atlanta. At the least, the
two companies are likely to form some sort of roaming arrangement.

Of course, if Sprint seeks an influx of cash from its friends in the cable business (Sprint currently has a joint venture with four cable companies, called Pivot, that allows cable operators to
offer wireless services in their markets), it will likely guarantee the cable companies some sort of access on the WiMAX network. The cable MSOs have long been looking for an avenue into the
wireless arena. A deal like this may be a logical step for them. However, there is still a lot of speculation about the nature of the next play in the converged cable/wireless world. In October
2006, the cable JV announced that it had won 137 wireless licenses for $2.37 billion in the AWS auction. Since then there has been no word on what they plan to do with that spectrum.

To read more, click here

FierceWireless – June 14, 2007
Clearwire expands distribution through DirecTV, EchoStar

Wireless broadband provider Clearwire is making some interesting distribution deals. The company, which recently expanded its distribution agreement with AOL to include all U.S. Clearwire
markets, today announced that satellite TV providers DirecTV and Echostar will be bundling Clearwire with their video services to consumers later this year.

The deal says that EchoStar and DirecTV will have access to Clearwire’s wireless high-speed network and will be able to market a bundle that includes Clearwire service to their residential
customers. They also will be able to sell the Clearwire service separately on a stand-alone basis.

To read more, click here

FierceMobileContent – June 12, 2007
Apple opens iPhone to applications developers 

With the release of its iPhone multimedia handset just weeks away (at the time this column was written), Apple announced it will allow developers to create applications for the device. Apple CEO
Steve Jobs made the announcement during his opening keynote address at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco – according to Jobs, the iPhone will include a full-featured
version of the Safari 3 web browser, enabling developers to leverage the tools they already employ to create interactive web applications via the Ajax development technique for adaptation to the
iPhone platform. Apple, nevertheless, plans on maintaining its iron grip over the iPhone OS, and any Ajax applications will operate separately to foil hackers.

To read more, click here

FierceMobileContent – June 11, 2007
USA Today delivers news via text

Daily newspaper USA Today announced a partnership with mobile search and text services provider 4INFO to launch a new text messaging service promising real-time news and information. The
ad-supported service delivers breaking news, sports scores, stock quotes, weather forecasts and lifestyle information – USA Today will advertise the initiative via daily print
advertisements.

USA Today’s short code-based text message partnership is yet another innovation for a brand that is continually embracing new platforms and the latest technologies,” said senior VP
of advertising Jeff Webber in a prepared statement. “This service capitalizes on core brand strengths and offers great new real-time interactive services for readers and advertisers.”

Published by the Gannett Co., USA Today is the nation’s best-selling newspaper, with a total daily circulation of 2.3 million. The publication will celebrate its 25th anniversary in
September 2007.

To read more, click here

IT-Wireless – June 11, 2007
Staples goes reusable with RFID tags

Companies like RFID because of all the advantages electronic tracking can have when used in appropriate applications. The biggest problem has been the cost of tags – it has been assumed
that the cost is such that they only make sense on products that cost $100 or more. However, Staples has begun an experiment with its vendors on RFID tags that follow the product through shipping
and inventory control, but are then removed at the point of sale for re-use. The re-usability should let the five-to eight-dollar tags pay for themselves by the end of their anticipated five-year
lifespan. With RFID tags getting smaller and becoming easier to embed in even the smallest products, re-usability may well be the future of RFID at companies ranging from Staples to Wal-Mart.

To read more, click here

IT-Wireless – June 11, 2007
HTC does iPhone-like device

Worried that the iPhone is going to force you into the Apple world if you want to be truly cool? Phone-maker HTC has you covered. The HTC Touch is a new phone that has many of the features
anticipated in the iPhone, and one feature that the iPhone won’t have – Windows Mobile 6. The 2.8-inch, 320 x 240 color screen accepts gestures, and supports them with three buttons below
the screen. No U.S. carrier has yet grabbed the HTC Touch as an iPhone alternative, but the U.S debut isn’t until fall. In the meantime, U.K. visitors can pick up an unlocked GSM version for
around $605. Until then, consumers will have to wait for HTC, Motorola, and other vendors to bring their next-generation phones to the U.S. market.

To read more, click here

FierceWireless – June 7, 2007
Sprint launches GPS-enabled shopping service

Sprint, in tandem with mobile marketing technology firm GPShopper, announced the launch of Slifter, a mobile search application enabling shoppers to seek out product availability and location via
GPS technology. Slifter requires subscribers to enter a keyword, product name, model number or UPC code, and it will identify the closest retail availability in its response – shoppers may
also save items to a mobile shopping list and text product information to their friends’ and families’ lists. According to Sprint, the application spans more than 85 million products and 30,000
retail locations across the U.S. and is available for $1.99 per month.

“Sprint’s GPS applications make everyday tasks like shopping easier for our customers by providing relevant information when and where they need it,” said the operator’s director of wireless
applications George Ranallo in a prepared statement. “With Slifter from GPShopper, Sprint customers can use their phones to find the closest retailer to purchase a desired item, without needing
to check a phone book, Internet listing or map.”

To access it, click here

IT-Wireless – June 18, 2007
Number portability bust?

Mobile number portability (MNP) was supposed to be the greatest thing since, well, you know. For some customers it’s been wonderful, but a recent study shows that fewer than 10 percent of all
wireless customers take their numbers with them when they change providers. Is the low participation because users don’t care about a particular number, or because they aren’t yet aware that
the number can go with them when they change carriers? Most carriers began offering the service when it became available in 2003 – how can they make more customers aware of the
possibilities of number portability? How does your carrier rank in portability? It makes sense to keep numbers that partners and customers know – find out how to make sure you can carry it
with you when you go.

To read more, click here.

FierceWiFi – June 4, 2007
Muni-WiFi hit with delays and snags in several cities

There are muni-WiFi delays and snags galore. In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom says the city could be one of the last in the U.S. if plans to have the city WiFi-enabled do not pass. The plans
are on hold again by the board of supervisors.

The Wireless Silicon Valley project, designed to bring wireless broadband services to some 40 local cities, was supposed to be well under way by now, with test areas in San Carlos and Palo Alto
up and running. Now officials say those tests probably won’t happen until this summer. Project leaders say the problem doesn’t have anything to do with the commitment by the cities, but the
complexity of the network. Rather than solely providing access for constituents, the network will offer a wide variety of services such as automatic meter reading and public-safety video
surveillance.

In Toledo, OH, complaints are emerging over the fact that the city may end up spending $2.16 million during the next five years to pay MetroFi to deploy the muni-WiFi network.

In Aurora, IL, MetroFi is facing delays as well. According to reports, negotiations with the local ComEd utility for rights to use poles have prevented deployment of more than 15 percent to 20
percent of the city so far.
It looks like the muni-WiFi market is hitting growing pains.

To read more, click here

FierceWireless – June 5, 2007
U.S. mobile Internet usage grows threefold

According to a recent report from Bango, mobile Internet usage in the U.S. has increased threefold since last year. That puts the U.S. in second place behind the U.K. on the leader board of
mobile Internet usage. The data only takes into account users that have used the Bango platform, but the top five countries accessing the mobile Internet in April 2007 are: the U.K. with 27
percent, the U.S. with 21 percent, South Africa with 11 percent, India with 9 percent and Indonesia with 3 percent. The Sanyo Katana SCP 6600 was the most popular handset for mobile Internet
surfing, Bango said.

To read more, click here


Wireless Info Center

Looking for a job in wireless? Here is a site to check out what is available:

FierceTelecomJobs 

Jobs from FierceWireless 06/15/2007:

Director, Sales & Business Development – TimeWarner, Burbank, CA

Account Manager – Mobile Messenger, Culver City, CA

Web Designer – Mobile Messenger, Culver City, CA

Marketing Manager – AT&T, Redmond, WA

Service Delivery Coordinator – Mobile Messenger, Culver City, CA

Director of Product Management – V-Enable, Inc, San Diego, CA

Revenue Assurance Officer – Mobile Messenger, Culver City, CA

Traffic Manager – Mobile Messenger, Culver City, CA

Account Manager Position – Mobile Messenger Americas, Culver City, CA

Indirect Sales – Dobson Communications Corp, Poughkeepsie, NY

Here are some free articles to download:

Integrating Mobile Access into your VPN Environment (PDF – 439 KB)

Boosting Business Development with Citywide Wireless Access
(PDF – KB)

Washtenaw Wireless – Building a Wireless County (PDF – KB)

The Solar-Powered Alternative in Broadband Wireless Networks (PDF – KB)

Developing Flash Lite apps for BREW on Verizon Wireless

A guide to determine TCO of wireless networks

Making the most of mobile security

Ziff Davis WebBuyersGuide – Wireless
 

Here are some upcoming conferences that you might find interesting:

Black Hat USA: July 28 – August 2, Las Vegas, NV

IMS Executive Summit: September 19 – 20, Washington, DC

Mobility World Congress & Exhibition: December 4 – 6, Hong Kong

Here are some other articles that you might find interesting:

Why You May Not Want and iPhone

Is mobile video a $10B business?

Sony Pictures draws up Animax Mobile

Make or Break for WiMax?

TeleNav drives new location apps

NHL comes to Sling’s aid as a partner

EA Mobile conjures “Harry Potter” content

Fox Soccer Channel kicks off mobile highlights

Wireless email coming to planes?

Microsoft still likes ad-supported WiFi model

Coca-Cola serves up mobile social network

5 Carriers Win Networx Enterprise Contracts

Compare Cell Phone Plans

Check Carrier Coverage

Computerworld Mobile & Wireless Knowledge Center

Nokia Mobility Resource Center

Wireless Developer Network

Wi-Fi Planet

eWeek Mobile and Wireless Center

Intel – WIMAX Broadband Wireless Access Technology website

Looking for a Wi-Fi hot-spot? Use eWEEK.com’s Hot-Spot Finder
 

 

Share

submit to reddit

About Robert Dominko

Robert S. Dominko, PMP, is a Principal Consultant for CIBER, Inc. in CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice located in Denver, CO.  He is a member of CIBER’s National Mobile/Wireless Team as well as CIBER’s Global Enterprise Integration Practice. Bob has extensive experience in the consulting industry where he has worked in roles such as Director of MIS, Program/Project Manager, Technical Architect, Data Warehousing Technologist, Business Analyst in global travel and hospitality, automotive, healthcare services, financial, bank card services, utilities, marketing, insurance, human resources, manufacturing, state and federal government. You can contact Bob at RDominko@ciber.com.

Top