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October 2017

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We Were Right: Missing iPhone 8 Customers are Buying an iPhone X

October 27, 2017

We explained quite clearly that the difference in pricing between an iPhone 8 and iPhone X - especially when looked at from a monthly perspective would be around $4.

When other outlets claimed the sky was falling on Apple as there were few iPhone 8 lines and and the $1,000 price point for the iPhone X would be a deal-killer, we once again explained that people are not buying an 8, they are buying a X.

We were right.

Customers already have to wait 4-5 weeks to get an iPhone X.

We do want to point out that the iPhone X suppliers are reported to have problems with the FaceID yield and Apple was said to allow less accurate sensors in order to meet demand.

We also know it is been difficult for the press and analysts to accurately predict the size of Apple's phone inventory at launch.

The bottom line as we see it is the iPhone X will be an upgrade super-cycle device and once in the wild, the demand will only grow.

This will likely be the most sought-after iPhone ever.

Now, if the rumored iPhone X Plus - a 6.5 inch device ever becomes reality, we know we would be ecstatic. It might not become a mainstream smartphone/phablet but it would allow Apple to compete effectively for its customers who have Android screen-envy.



















Hackers Now Threaten Death to Schools and other Types of Extortion

October 24, 2017

Hackers are now breaking into schools which typically have lax security relative to corporations and once in, they access student information and use it to threaten death to students. Mentioning Sandy Hook - a horrific school shooting in Connecticut, a hacker group named Dark Overlord looks for up to $150,000 in bitcoin to destroy personal information which was stolen.

In a Facebook post, 

Sheriff Chuck Curry of Flathead County Sheriff's Office in Montana shared the following information:

For Immediate Release – Update on Cyber Terrorism Case – Monday

As the joint investigation into the cyber terrorism case has progressed, further information has come to light.

FCC: Soon You Can Port Any Number

October 24, 2017


Wireless porting is taken for granted but local telco and VoIP porting can be troublesome. According to the FCC:

Nationwide number portability would benefit consumers and competition in many ways.  It would level the playing field for small wireless providers, which often can’t port in a number originating from a location where they lack facilities.  It would eliminate disparities that make wireline and VoIP porting more limited than wireless porting.  




Dialpad Debuts New Gmail Add-on in G Suite Marketplace

October 24, 2017

Dialpad spun out of Google for all practical purposes and still uses the Google cloud or GCP so its a natural application to be part of the new G Suite marketplace.

What does this new partnership mean to Dialpad customers? Simple... They can now access their communications - text and voice from within their email client. Specifically, when you are emailing on an Android device or desktop browser, you will see a drawer to the right allowing calls to be placed or texting to be initiated.

Once activated, the Dialpad Add-on enables users to message, call, view history or save a new contact from within Gmail. 



IoT Connectivity Standards? Still a Confusing Mess.

October 21, 2017

62 million European households will soon have smart gas meters as reported on IoT Evolution with an annual growth rate of 27.8 percent until 2022.

We recently reported that the U.S. was behind Europe in LoRa deployments so when we saw this research report, we decided to dig deeper. We wondered, are all of these deployments LoRa-based?

Interestingly the answer is a resounding no. 

According to the article:

European smart gas meters use a variety of communication methods, the report indicates, including fixed RF networks and local interfaces to master electricity meters.








Digital Transformation Gone Wrong: Did Macy's Fail?

October 19, 2017

Amazon will be moving into six floors at 300 Pine Street, a historic epicenter of Seattle retail, home to Macy’s. In fact, Amazon has committed to approximately 1.2 million square feet of new office space in Seattle recently.

Do you remember when Macy’s was Amazon?

There was a time when you could buy underwear, a stereo system, a bed, knives and forks and just about anything at Macy’s.

Mazda Rotary Engine to Cease Electric-Range Anxiety

October 17, 2017

The rotary or Wankel engine is an automotive marvel. It revs higher than an engine with cylinders and weighs far less. It allowed the last-generation Mazda RX-7 to perform more like a slot-car thanks to the light weight of the overall vehicle.



The RX-7 died out mainly because it was a fragile care and din't last. It had aluminum doors and roof and falling acorns would dent it.



Invoxia NVX 200 Phone Connects to Apple Watch 3

October 17, 2017

Forget Dick Tracey, Invoxia takes your watch phone one-step further by allowing you to use a desk phone as the interface to your Apple Watch 3. 

Technically, it is impressive to think you no longer need a phone - your watch connects you directly to the cellular network and bluetooth connects the watch to the Invoxia NVX 200 phone.



Serge Renouard, CEO and cofounder of invoxia said, “The Apple Watch 3 is part of this new step in the history of technologies that frees us from succumbing to the object." He continued, "The conjunction between cloud and specialized, contextual equipment like the NVX 200, allows any professional wearing only an Apple Watch to benefit from the perfect equipment at the office – the kind that spontaneously connects to the watch and turns it into the best of desk phones”. 

The dock comes with an adapter system that allows it to also plug into smartphones regardless of connector such as USB-C, Micro-USB or Lightning.







MSP Expo: The Managed Services Opportunity has Never Been Greater

October 16, 2017

While some predicted the death of the MSP market thanks to cloud, the truth is cloud has been a double-edged sword. In the one hand, over time, the move to cloud means less money for managed service providers in terms of managing servers. However in the cases these providers are reselling cloud services there is still money to be made. Sure, it isn’t as much and it isn’t all at once but still, it is better than being cut out altogether.

Thanks to Actility, Comcast may Build Largest U.S. LoRa Network

October 14, 2017

There is a race to roll out the largest LoRa network as eventually trillions of devices will need a low-power way to communicate at distance For this reason Actility is powering Comcast’s efforts to deploy LoRa gateways in their set-top boxes. Each will have a range of 500 meters to one kilometer (roughly 0.3 to 0.6 miles). Trials are taking place in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago and 11 more cities are in the works. Perhaps other cable companies will follow suit and they will join their networks together like they do with their CableWiFi WIFI solutions.

Infosys Applies IoT Analytics To Transform Business

October 14, 2017

Infosys is no stranger to IoT – they’ve been an innovator for years and we’ve been covering them as they've blossomed. In 2016, our sister-site IoT Evolution wrote about the company’s analytics platform and how it was supporting Massachusetts General Hospital MD. We further reported how the company is getting more entrenched into the IIoT space.

We just caught up with Anurag Sinha, SVP of Comm, Media & Entertainment at the company and got an update on where the company is headed in the space.

Why Is Bitcoin Worth More than Gold? Because We Said so.

October 13, 2017


Seriously, we had to do a double-take when we happened upon this NASDAQ post, Why is Bitcoin Worth More than Gold? Martin Tiller's excellent article goes into how a new ETF which will track the virtual currency that the SEC will hopefully soon approve. The article is worth a read - we've excerpted some of it below but the bottom line is the author believes supply and demand has a lot to do with it.

What the creator of Bitcoin, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, did was turn that notion on its head. What if currency, like gold, was both limited and scarce in nature? If that was the case, then as an economy expanded, the currency would become more, not less valuable, and increasingly small amounts of it would be needed to pay for things.




Pod Group USA: It's a Great Time to be an IoT MVNO

October 10, 2017

It’s a great time to be an MVNO was the key takeaway from our recent interview with Pod Group USA (Also known as Pod M2M) – the company has been busy building it's partner program and carrier network since we last met them. We had a chance to speak with Sam Colley, Allistair Elliott and Natasha Nader at the company and they told us they now have over 17 hardware manufacturers and major carrier partners as well. T-Mobile, Rogers, Sprint and Ingenu are on and AT&T will be signing soon they said.



Their revenue model varies – they can have a lead-share model or it can be commission based or even white label where partners resell the connectivity.

Metaswitch Helps Carriers Compete with UCaaS and Slack

October 10, 2017



Metaswitch was on the leading edge of seeing the social media threat to carriers – they were somewhat-famous for warning that social network user-names were being used in lieu of phone numbers and disintermediating the relationship between carriers and customers. Except they said it with a UK accent so it sounded a lot more exotic. J

The company is doing well – just off the news they won the Sprint IMS core business via their productized Project Clearwater solution.

Scott Galloway Nails it on Key to Apple's Success

October 10, 2017

Scott Galloway is one of the few college professors you'll hear that actually understands branding in technology and he is able to articulate his vision masterfully. We never feel like we are wasting time listening to him speak and we envy his students.



His thoughts on Apple's largest creator of shareholder value is that it's the stores, not the phone.

It makes a lot of sense. 

He goes on to say Samsung spends double on advertising than Apple while Apple has invested in leases.

He also points out the company has between $5-$6 billion in store leases which help customers consummate the relationship with the brand.



If we had to argue with the point at at all, we'd have to say that Apple was able to early on take the premium spot in the phone market. Their packaging, pricing and branding all screamed premium.

In fact, Apple's packaging has changed virtually all of the packaging in the entire market of products.















Telecoms see Content as King Thanks to Procera Networks

October 9, 2017

“Telecoms are seeing content is king,” said Dan Geiger, Sr. Dir – Solutions Marketing at Procera Networks as we discussed in an in-person interview how his company is helping global carriers. You might recall a year ago we told you the company helps shape even encrypted traffic. Dan reinforced that the company’s solutions see the device layer, cell phones, cell towers and the core network while being able to differentiate various types of traffic.

This is why carriers are able to see content as king – because they have more control over it than ever before.

Semtech Looks to Rule IoT with LoRa LP-WAN Solutions

October 9, 2017

With LP-WAN becoming such an important part of the IoT space, there are numerous players hoping to dominate the market for the technology which will allow billions of sensors and other M2M devices to communicate. One company, Semtech, wants to continue its dominance in the space by providing LoRa technology which is the culmination of their ten-year investment.

Vivek Mohan, Director Wireless & Sensing Products Group at the company told me they recently did a test from the Cisco headquarters in Silicon Valley to San Francisco – 50 miles away and they maintained the link for up to 30 miles.



This is important because IoT sensors are quite often located in basements, behind metal pipes or in elevator shafts where WiFi, Zigbee or bluetooth will not reach.

Netsnapper Brings SD-WAN to IoT and IIoT

October 9, 2017

Many M2M devices need to be securely and persistently connected over a variety of transports such as satellite, WiFi, LTE, etc. Increased persistence can increase pressure on security as the longer devices are connected, the greater the chance of them getting hacked. In addition, staying on all the time means a larger battery drain.

One company, Netsnapper thinks they have the solution to these problems.

Spikko Brings Multiple Numbers and Recording to Mobile Phones

October 9, 2017


While there are a number of companies who can add phone numbers to mobile phones via VoIP, Spikko takes a different approach. The company allows a mobile device to have a single SIM and multiple local numbers with global call-recording added as one of its optional services. The company supports most countries but there are around 50 primary ones.

I spoke with company representative Ron Barak about the company's differentiators and he mentioned that they have their data center in the Amazon cloud in Ireland and from there they allow phones to work as local devices on multiple networks. They have negotiated great rates for customers - 2-3 cents per minute per call, $10/month for call recording and $5-$6 per number.


Accelerite Brings IoT to Non-Developers

October 8, 2017

At this pint we have all heard endless times IoT will be a multibillion dollar market, hundreds of billions of devices will permeate our world and the flood of data produced by myriad sensors and gizmos will need to be crunched and evaluated endlessly. Society will be better off as a result because farms will use less water, thermostats will reduce power usage and we’ll be able to apply this technology to save our rainforests and even endangered animals.

How will all this be accomplished if we don’t have millions more programmers who are proficient in IoT programming? To learn more, we sat down for a face-to-face interview with Kumar Thangamuthu, Product Management at Accelerite.

AdaptiveMobile: CSOs Flying Blind if They Can't Monitor Mobile Networks

October 8, 2017

SS7 is the signaling protocol for the world’s telecom networks and like the internet, it wasn’t really designed with security in mind. The assumption back in the day was the telecom operators were all trusted nodes on the network. It turns out over time, hackers have figured out how to penetrate the carrier network the way they have just about all others.

Bad actors can send spoofed SMS messages, track a user’s location or intercept messages used to authenticate a user as well as their phone calls.

Bitly Hack Destroys Trust in the Web

October 6, 2017



Bit.ly, the popular URL shortening service was hacked in 2014 and reports are now surfacing that millions of the these accounts are available online. This is an absolutely huge deal and will lead to the following problems:

  1. A total screw-up in how the Internet works in terms of links which are supposed to go to a certain place but will now be redirected to other locations. Let's say there are 10,000 clicks per year on a Bit.ly link each year. A person can take over the Bit.ly account and redirect this traffic elsewhere.
  2. A massive spread of malware will take place as hackers can redirect traffic to pages which are filled with malicious programs.
  3. A lost of trust in web links should take place as it is no longer safe to click on a link from a trusted source.




The Genius VR Marketing App from KLM

October 6, 2017

One of the most novel uses of tech in marketing comes from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, they are handing out branded VR cardboard and passengers can download their app (iOS, Android) onto their phone and insert it into the cardboard.

The passengers then get to experience the KLM difference.

The company is targeting budget airline passengers. Even though some are unimpressed with this tactic, we think it is one of the best marketing ideas of the year.



Why? It's bold. It's fresh and its ice-bucket-challenge new in its thinking.







BSNL and Aeris Accelerate IoT Adoption in India

October 3, 2017



The IoT opportunity is quite immense and no part of the world will remain untouched. If the technology can be embedded in rhinoceros horns and trees in the Amazon, there is no place it won't go.

Case in point, as we reported recently, BSNL and Aeris have joined forces to jointly tap the IoT market in India. Some of the areas of focus for this joint initiative include improving supply chain efficiency, enhancing customer experience, tracking and monitoring assets, improving logistics and empowering smart cities.



“As a leading Indian telecom player, BSNL has taken many steps to leverage technology to launch new services in line with the changing needs of our customers,” said Shri Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL.

Summa Networks Lets Smaller Carriers Compete with Large Telcos in IoT

October 3, 2017

Javier Martin, CTO of Summa Networks tells me his company’s next-generation HSS and HLR based on NFV and SDN allows providers to compete with large telecoms to take advantage of smart services. MVNOs and other carriers can just activate profiles to go from 3G to 4G he explained.



The multi-tenant system allows for operation in the cloud and is compliant with 3GPP Release 12. In addition, there are new functions dedicated to IoT and the licensing cost is quite attractive.

Tesla Electric Semi, Will Musk Prove Buffet Wrong?

October 3, 2017



The author of this blog is having a challenging time writing this post as we have been fortunate enough to have received a very kind letter from Warren Buffet complimenting our writing. On the other hand, we are also impressed with Elon Musk and his achievements as we recently outlined.

Today's news puts us at a crossroads as this week has seen news of all auto makers (GM for example) realizing they need electric vehicles. Moreover, there are now pictures of what seems to be a Tesla electric truck.

We know there are some major issues with electric trucks - they need to recharge often - every few hours or so. Furthermore, the infrastructure to achieve these goals isn't in place yet.



There is one thing worth noting though.









American Aerospace Technologies Provides Real-Time Imagery and Drone-Based LTE Service

October 2, 2017


The latest technology is changing the way companies, municipalities and other organizations are able to monitor critical infrastructure and provide communications in the aftermath of disasters such as the recent spate of hurricanes which have slammed our country and the Caribbean.

On June 20, airborne LTE connected first responders during a mock disaster exercise in Cape May County, N.J., to a first-of-its-kind “flying cell site,” which was mounted on a RS-20 long-endurance Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and made calls, sent text messages, photos and video from a simulated “communications-denied” environment back to command centers across the state.  American Aerospace also assisted Cape May in securing FAA approval for the test use of an unmanned aircraft flying beyond the line of site to its land-based pilot and crew. Verizon was the wireless partner for this test providing their Airborne LTE Service.



This tweet has been sent via @verizon's "flying cell site" aboard our RS-20 UAS.

The future is here.

Comtech Boosts Location and Analytics in IoT

October 2, 2017


Comtech
Telecommunication’s big differentiator in the IoT space has to do with its Location Studio IoT. The company has been a leader in the space for decades thanks to its acquisition of TCS – a company who also was a leader in indoor LBS going back to our earliest meetings with the company in the nineties.

Fast-forward to 2017 and location is becoming crucial for numerous applications on cell phones but also for asset tracking, customer service and numerous other applications being developed.



We had a chance to discuss the company’s vision with Jay Whitehurst (above) and Fred Servais (below) who mentioned the company’s SDK has the following features:

  • Small memory footprint
  • Power-efficient
  • Utilizes small message size
  • Works with NB-IoT and LoRa
  • OS-agnostic
  • Cloud-based
  • Provides a positioning response
  • Flexible pricing models
  • Accuracy
  • Can use assisted GPS
  • Optimizes for battery life

The way the system works is to send whatever information the device has available to it and Comtech uses the cloud to determine where the device is located.


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