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Rich Tehrani
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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.

NQ Mobile Protects Android Phones from Malware and Viruses

March 20, 2012

Last year Roger McNamee mentioned that he doesn’t think Android has a bright future because of the malicious apps proliferating on the platform and to his point Android malware is up over 400% with no signs of slowing down. This is where NQ Mobile’s NQ Mobile Security app comes in. I recently met with Kim Titus who described the threat as being greatest over SMS as well as in parts of the world where apps are sideloaded. He believes 10% of Android devices in fact are infected and SQL injection as well as HTML5 are further challenges to securing this mobile OS.

Neustar Aims to Make Mobile App Development Easier

March 20, 2012

With over half a million apps in the Apple App Store alone one might argue that developers have all the tools they have to develop compelling applications but what if there was a way to take traditional apps and integrate them more closely with carrier networks and big data analytics allowing them to be more powerful, spur increased consumer spending while greasing the wheels of mobile commerce and more?

Recently Jean Foster and Steve Edwards at Neustar showed me their Intelligent Cloud service which integrates rich anonymized databases from TARGUSInfo with access to carrier networks and other information to accelerate developer productivity and to frankly enable applications to become better drivers of value for consumers and revenue for advertisers and merchants.

One demo they showed me involved a gift card where a user scans the bar code associated with it. At this point a unique URL is passed to a browser and opened on the mobile device allowing a consumer to check balance information, make a payment and connect their cell phone to the card.

VSS Monitoring Switching Fabric to Reduce Carrier OPEX and CAPEX

March 20, 2012

A major cost to carriers the CAPEX and OPEX associated with network monitoring and test equipment. Andy Huckridge of VSS Monitoring explains carriers spend up to $300,000 dollars on this test equipment and yet they only use the devices at about 20% of their capability. And he should know as he used to work at Spirent where I have met with him over the years at shows like Supercomm, VON and TMC’s ITEXPO (Disclosure: I am the CEO of TMC).

According to Huckridge the solution to skyrocketing costs on tools entrusted with keeping the network purring like a fine Italian sports car (my words not his – but you get the idea) is a layer of intelligence to provide scalable visibility and control of traffic capture.

Ascom Wireless Test Solutions Advance to Handle Burgeoning Data Demand

March 19, 2012

The number of people using their cellphone as a primary device is continuing to increase and this includes campus and corporate environments where the ease-of-use of a single device makes using a smartphone running Android, iOS or something similar the preferable corporate interface. In fact more than half of carrier data traffic is consumed from an indoor location making it important for operators to focus on ensuring signal strength is adequate in such environments.

At MWC in 2012 I spent some time with Ascom the network testing and monitoring company to learn about their partnership with iBwave Design software for in-building wireless network design. Through the partnership Ascom’s TEMS mobile network testing solutions enables engineers to use building coordinates to align their in-building presence and provide a baseline for route planning and walk testing. 

Taqua Leverages WiFi, Introduces Backhaul Product at MWC 2012

March 10, 2012

Taqua has a made a name for itself serving carriers of all sizes with products like the T7000 for wireless and wireline switching, the T7100 for media management, trunking and peering as well as the TCS6100 for small cell and voice messaging services over 4G/LTE.

At Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona I had a chance to speak with Payam Maveddat the company’s EVP of Product Line Management about the fact that carriers have become very interested in WiFi solutions. A frequent discussion at the show in fact was that carriers who wouldn’t even discuss WiFi with you a few years back are now actively asking for the technology to help alleviate the spectrum crunch they are all facing.

Maveddat explained that his customers are happy that they can leverage VoLTE, VoWiFi and femtocells with the company’s solutions.

Ubidyne Shows Active Antennas Help Optimize 4G LTE

March 10, 2012

One of the biggest challenges facing the communications industry is lack of wireless spectrum. Wireless carriers are already struggling to keep up with users who download more and more content with ever-faster devices sporting more processors and higher-resolution screens. Just this year alone Samsung has rolled out its Galaxy Note 5.3 smartphone/tablet hybrid and Apple has released its new iPad sporting a much-anticipated retina display, a quad-core processor and 4G.

Recently at MWC at 2012 I spoke with Michael Frankle, CEO and Frank Oehler VP of Marketing and Sales at Ubidyne about the company’s active antenna systems (AAS) LTE 700MHz uB700™ and 900MHz uB900™ Antenna Embedded Radios designed to alleviate many of the challenges carriers face while providing increased benefits to consumers.

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