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Wireless

Determining if There is a Spectrum Shortage

April 19, 2012

Those of us who have been in the wireless space for years take for granted that there is a spectrum shortage but the New York Times had a compelling story discussing how spectrum sharing and smart antennas will help alleviate the problem. They even have a quote from David P. Reed saying that radio frequencies are not finite.

TMC's Peter Bernstein disagrees with this last point and has some interesting thoughts on the matter worth reading.

To me the debate is fascinating and is similar to arguing if we have run out of space on the island of Manhattan. On the one hand it has been built up to capacity except perhaps a few parks and other areas. But on the other hand, we can continue to purchase, knock down and build taller buildings to add more capacity.

But if New York land was spectrum, whenever a taller building is constructed, some of the units would be forced to go to competing landlords.





Is the Post-PC Era a Myth?

April 16, 2012

The way one should interpret the term "Post-PC" is "after PC" - implying that the world has changed from era to the next. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch does an admirable job of laying the case for what she calls the Post-PC era or alternatively - "PCs Everywhere" which I agree isn't quite as catchy.

In her article she discusses how Apple sold 37M iPhones in Q4, 15% of the official PC market is made up of tablets (mostly iPads) and Apple is now the leading "PC" vendor. Moreover smartphone shipments last year hit 487.7M while PC shipments hit 414.6M and the smartphone growth rate is 63% versus 15% for PCs.

So one would imagine once again that the phrase "Post-PC" means that there aren't going to be more PCs sold.

Gary Kim writes on IP Carrier that while global tablet sales are growing at 98% YoY for 2012, the PC market is expected to increase 4.4% and will increase to 10% in 2013.

The catch is - and there is always a catch, that most of these sales will be in emerging markets and will be for more portable computers - laptops, ultrabooks, etc. Kim makes the argument however that tablets may be 42% of total PC sales by 2016 - a staggering percentage.

The trend is clear however that portability and style trump virtually everything else when it comes to the tech space.









A Contrarian View on The Apple/Foxconn Labor Situation

April 5, 2012

A few weeks back when the New York Times wrote a story regarding workers making iPhones and other devices in China who aren’t being treated very well, I wondered, this is a story? In other words, is there a person on the planet who doesn’t know that working conditions in China are far worse than they are in the US?

And I absolutely respect the right of the New York Times to run such a story – I just think it shows a broader agenda of being anti-capitalist, and anti-business. After all, we in the US have been buying Chinese products made by people in poor working conditions for decades.

The Need for More Fiber is Very Real

April 3, 2012

As the mobile revolution has grown, the one constant has been the need for faster connections and/or fiber to cell towers. For years TMC has interviewed Hunter Newby and Jason Cohen of Allied Fiber about the need for fiber throughout the US. Their company is building a network of ducted fiber through a wide swath of the US and is selling it unlit meaning that whoever decides to purchase the fiber has the rights to improve the equipment on the fiber allowing for faster interconnections as technology improves.

TMC’s Paula Bernier Interviews Jason Cohen of Allied Fiber

Goodbye Android, we hardly Knew You

April 2, 2012

New research is showing that Android has some real problems. Obviously Google knows this and it’s part of the reason they purchased Motorola and as Henry Blodget points out are opening an online tablet store. David Beckemeyer too weighs in with a chart showing just how dominant Apple is becoming.

But before we get into that I was at my accountant last week and while he was crunching numbers I decided to tell my wife it was time to get my oldest daughter a refurbished laptop because her netbook takes longer to boot than the time it takes for us to assemble all the documents for the IRS.

Comcast Lets You Text Message from your Home Phone

March 28, 2012

It took about eight years but it seems like SMS has finally come to home phone service

In 2004 in a piece about VoIP 2.0 I wondered why home phone service hadn’t progressed and suggested that they allow instant messaging/SMS. It’s obvious the market would love such a solution and Comcast will be one of the first to bring it to market. In fact, now included with its ‘Xfinity Voice Unlimited Nationwide’ plan, customers get access to free text messaging from the Xfinity Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note Shipping at a Million a Month

March 28, 2012

Samsung did something unusual recently when it launched its Galaxy Note line of tablets starting at 5.3" and growing from there to a 10.1" edition which was unveiled at MWC 2012 in Barcelona. What was perhaps most unusual was the hybrid nature of the smaller device, allowing it to be not quite smartphone and not quite tablet. The challenge with such a design is that you have potentially created a Jack of All Trades and Master of None or basically a tablet too big to be used with one hand and too small to be used effectively with two hands.

To some degree I see the smaller 5.3" model appealing more to men because well men don' generally carry handbags. Point being you can fit the smartphone which could have been conceived by Lane Bryant in your pocket and have ample surface area to work on.

Then there is the smart pen or S-Pen which allows special functions to be evoked like screen copy and more - expect new apps to take advantage of the S-Pen capabilities according to the company.

So think about it - with the Galaxy Note line, Samsung designed not only a new form factor in hardware but also brought back the stylus - the exact same pointing instrument which Steve Jobs and Apple thought wasn't necessary.

Now it is way early to proclaim these devices a massive and lasting success in the market because the marketing push the company has been making is extraordinary.







Consumers Tell Mobile Carriers how to Save Millions

March 22, 2012

Wireless carriers spend millions on contact center calls related to device questions from their subscribers and to lean more Amdocs recently commissioned a survey which shows that while 83% of the 2,900 consumers surveyed are aware of self-service options, only 37% of consumers use them. Why? You may think because they don't have access to a PC or perhaps they have an Apple iDevice and are afraid the answer will be in Adobe Flash and all they will see is a series of question marks.

Well, if this is what you thought, you'd be wrong on both counts. The reality is that they expect the answers to be wrong or inaccurate.

So perhaps you are thinking, social media is the solution.



Aito Technologies Helps Carriers Leverage Sentiment Analysis

March 20, 2012

In the US, some of the most challenging times for carrier sentiment had to be when comedians and shows like SNL poked fun at the iPhone for not working properly on the AT&T network. And in such situations where the carrier’s network was slammed with traffic and the company was not able to come up with a solution quickly, there probably want much the company could do to change public sentiment.

But in many cases a reactive carrier can reduce churn due to customer dissatisfaction. And this is one of the goals of Aito Technologies a company in the customer experience analytics (CEA) space.

Monetizing the Mobile Data Explosion with Tektronix Communications

March 20, 2012

Remember when you were in the engineering lab and you relied on a Tektronix oscilloscope to analyze signals? I do and I deeply craved one of my own but could never afford one. But the company once part of Tektronix, Tektronix Communications  does its best to ensure that not being able to afford their products is not a reason to keep you from buying. The company provides solutions for carriers which help with pre-deployment, network operations, customer care, network and RF engineering solutions as well as business performance.

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