Carl Ford : 4G: For Generations to Come
Carl Ford

Foxconn Plays the Trump Presidency Brilliantly

Let’s start off with what will likely be taken poorly by U.S. workers… According to at least one company, you get paid...

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Scoring My 2016 Predictions

This is the time of year I typically grade myself on the predictions I made this time last year. NFV: I predicted that we’ll...

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Advice for Partners for 2017 [podcast]

Jeff Ponts of Datatel; Emmett Tydings of AB&T Telecom; and Chris Palermo of GCN joined the podcast this week to talk...

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$4B Wireless Repair Market Event Comes to ITEXPO

Almost 8,000 wireless repair businesses employ over 20,000 people and the market is growing. Yes, it’s a $4 billion dollar market! Apple’s next-gen phones...

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Ad Blockers vs Mobile Advertisers

In September, I wrote a blog on why mobile advertising is expected to grow based on Mary Meeker’s yearly Internet Trends report. Something to...

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Ransomware Fog Rolls over SanFran Muni, SFMTA

We’ve known ransomware costs for a small- to medium-sized business can be $99,000, per Kapersky Labs. This includes lost business data,...

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Why you would give up the chance to strut around in Middle Earth Barbie wear? Allison Smith asks.

#Thankful! What for? Being able to speak...well, not as well as Allison Smith. Being able to design software and apps with code,...

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No Degrees of Separation: SMS vs. Mobile IM

August 27, 2009

Some good friends and I keep a dialogue going about the industry.  We don't make public our views, so as to protect the people from being exposed with their views versus their consulting / job opportunities.

A thread that I thought was intriguing was about the reason SMS / txting has not been successfully bypassed by IM.  It may be that the price is right to avoid the cross elastics.

But I think there is a simpler answer.  Signalling on IM on a mobile phone requires a learning curve and a redirection, while texting is via SMS is an embedded application.  So the cost to do the IM is in the time, and the cost to do the SMS is nominal.

I bring this up, because of the discussion about Apple's iPhone coming to China. In the article IDC states that about 7% of the iPhone market share is in Asia.  Previously, I have pointed out that Telefonica has not gotten the boost ATT has from the iPhone.  

I think China Unicom will have a big enough market that the opportunity itself will change the marketshare.  While Touchscreens are hot according to the article and my expectation is that will point to more gaming being done and less phone calls.

The reality is that Kanji characters are very easily navigated by the Asian market with alphabetic keyboards.  Spelling phonetically on the alpha the kanji characters appear on the screen until the option of four or five appears and bingo they mouse over to it.

It will be interesting to see if the that kind of a mix on a touch screen can be duplicated.  On my gPhone, this feature is less that spectacular for english, so the touch screens may be need to go through a few generations of optimization for this to work properly.

But the iPhone is to fun not to be bought and with China's software development capability, I have high expectations for the App Store, although it may be jointly owned with China Unicom in the end due to China's restrictions.

Tags: Apple, China Unicom, IM, SMS, Txt, gphone, iPhone, txting















Will 'Portability' Lure Businesses to WiMAX?

August 26, 2009

When WiMAX providers talk about the technology's attributes, cellular-like mobility is usually near the top of the list. But for many business users WiMAX's simple portability -- the ability to pick up and move your broadband connection -- may prove to be a more powerful economic and operational lure, the kind of money-saving, hassle-free attribute that gets CIOs interested and gets POs signed.

The power and potential attractiveness of WiMAX's simple portability was one of the surprising themes we picked up on during the reporting and writing of our latest Sidecut Report, titled the Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide. Available now as a free download, the report also includes a basic primer on what WiMAX is, and where and how businesses can connect to WiMAX services, and some broadband pricing comparisons.

And while there are potentially many customers who might eventually take advantage of WiMAX's ability to support real broadband connectivity while in motion -- we are thinking here of commuters in Chicago and New York, markets that are already on the Clearwire launch schedule -- for right now it's easy to say that most business computing is done by bodies at rest; by people sitting at a desk, a cubicle, a coffeehouse table or somewhere else well lighted and generally stable. Right now those workers' broadband needs are either met by a wired network, or by a Wi-Fi access point tied into a backbone via either DSL or cable modem.

The twist WiMAX adds into this work equation is the ability to unplug that beefy backhaul and move it across the cube, across the hall, across campus or across town -- delivering workspace flexibility not just for individuals, but for entire workgroups who could theoretically be supported by WiMAX services' rather robust plans.





BTOP Reviewer Training This Week

August 25, 2009

 

In this time of need for so many Americans, thank you so much for taking a moment to consider how you might help President Obama and your Federal Government deliver on the promise of economic recovery through the Recovery Act's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and Broadband Initiatives Program.

We need the help of experienced professionals like you to ensure the success of the BTOP grant program by lending some of your valuable hours to helping review the many applications we expect to receive over the coming months for broadband grant funding. To be considered as a reviewer you must have significant expertise and experience in at least one of the following areas:

1) the design, funding, construction, and operation of broadband networks or public computer centers;

Bright Shiny Object - Death Star Apple Part 2

August 25, 2009

Of course, I would like to talk about Apple's FCC letter regarding GoogleVoice, but Steve Jobs is in the news with the iTablet.  So the distraction has worked. 

The iTablet is probably not a netbook strategy, but a MAC that supporting streaming Video via Verizon's LTE network and attacks the Kindle's ebook functionality.

You may recall that Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless CEO.  was talking about the ability to stream an HD Video channel on their network.

As for the Kindle functionality, Jobs can undo the Bezos fiasco about audio via iTunes bundling. 

Speculating without corraboration, Apple can probably find a way to sync text to audiobooks as well, but that is probably a futuristic function.

The WSJ seems to indicate that Steve, back on the job, is causing a stir amongst his employees and pushing back on the assumptions used on the ITablet.

From Verizon's perspective, allowing Steve to be Steve, masks the frantic buildout they are doing to provide the network for the iTablet.  So its a win-win even if it does nothing but freeze the market for a while.

Tags: Amazon, Apple, FCC, GoogleVoice, ITablet, ITunes, Jeff Bezos, Kindle, Lowell McAdam, Steve Jobs, Verizon Wireless

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Free Download: WiMAX Business Deployment Guide

August 24, 2009

The Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide answers the questions businesses small and large may have about the newest wireless broadband technology to hit the U.S. market: What is WiMAX, how can we use it, and how might its features, prices and attributes save us money, enable new business opportunities, or bring more flexibility and connectivity options to our existing workforce?

Prepared in an easy-to-read style with deep background material for those who may not have understood WiMAX before, the report provides a thorough explanation of the technology, the newest devices that connect to it, and how both small businesses and branch or remote offices of larger enterprises might benefit from WiMAX's ability to deliver "bandwidth on demand" without impacting existing network infrastructures.

 In the new report you will learn:

-- How WiMAX compares to existing business broadband Internet access options on a price/benefit comparison

- Why WiMAX's portability, and not necessarily its cellular-like mobility, may be the key selling point for business customers

- Where WiMAX services will be launched in the U.S. this year and next

- What devices are available for businesses to connect to WiMAX now, and in the near-term future

- How flexible pricing and "try before you buy" options may make WiMAX a low-cost, low-risk option

The report also provides a brief historical background on the origins of WiMAX, as well as a cost-comparison matrix for WiMAX and competing broadband services in the Portland, Ore. market. Download your free copy today!















Death Star Apple

August 24, 2009

Lately, I am feeling right at home.  Regulatory is rearing its head and as some one no longer trying to navigate it, I can just sit back and watch the events.

Nothing is more fun to look at then the tenor of the three letters from Apple, ATT and Google,

ATT, long acquainted with their role and the concerns about them, write humbly even though they have done nothing wrong.  In their document, they make clear that they have accepted the concept of third party VoWiFi services.  As we head towards LTE, we might be saying "Its all WiFi eventually).  More about this later in the week.

Then comes Google's Letter.  A thing of beauty.  The writer, a friend has been in the advocacy area for carriers for years, and to be in a place where he can say open standards and not have to defend Google you can tell their role as victim was safe.  Mind you they did keep confidential their contacts with other third parties, but on the specific case and on the Google app store they were clean.

Google has been very involved with this administration and it maybe to Apple's regret that they severed the relation at the board level.

Apple's letter has some interesting statements in it.  That if I were worried about monopolistic powers.  (RIAA are you listening).

We provide every developer with the same software that we use to create our own iPhone.



Does anyone else want to challenge that statement.  Particularly after the answer to question number 1. 

The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.  Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone.

In other words, we enable compliance not openness.

There are other places in the document where Apple is placing their controls in the most favorable light. If I were Palm, now would be a good time to file a friendly reminder of their disruption by Apple.

So sometimes the old school learns something new, they were looking for ATT's monopolistic tendencies and they found the monopolist.  Now lets see if they change focus, or if they continue the fights of the past.

Tags: ATT, AppStore, Apple, FCC, Google, Palm






















The War is Still a Skirmish amongst Giants:

August 19, 2009

Andy Abramson sent me a note about the Truphone announcement regarding an iPhone bug.  It is not that Apple targeted Truphone its just a bug.  Here is the post,

Apple iPhone Bug Isn't Truphone's Problem

I'm posting is a Public Service Announcement but also since Truphone is my agency's client we felt the important thing to do is get the right information out as far and wide as possible.

This afternoon this afternoon Truphone sent an emailout to its customers explaining that Truphone knows of a bug issue with the Apple iPhone that has existed since the launch of the 3.0 OS in June 2009.

The issue has been widely reported on sites including Mobile Crunch and theiphoneblog. The problem, as was outlined in the email, impacts all applications on a the iPhone, not just the Truphone application.



Can Walkman 2.0 Occur; Sony Ericsson

August 18, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal has knews that Sony Ericsson is going to have a new CEO.  In the land where 4G is closer than anywhere else (Japan), SONY Ericsson has been a contender, but in other places not so strong.

With the Ericsson the parent now having a bigger footprint in the US with the acquistion of Nortel, the outsourcing by Sprint and the overall positive response to them from cable and wireless carriers, Ericsson has made the right moves.

And for Sony Ericsson with the game-focused mobile phones one that features an accelerometer for gesture-based controls and one that is linked to the Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles to swap content.

Gaming is certainly an important market, but my big issue is can the company get an advantage (again) in music.


Tags: Ericsson, PlayStation, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Walkman, accelerometer, gaming, mobile gaming

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A Slow News Day, but not Inactive

August 17, 2009

I have a few blogs to post, but I am not sure the audience is here right now.  I was shocked to see how much noise was coming out of some of the previous posts.  I was talking to some good friends about security issues.

Lots of people talking about finding new opportunities in security from the telecom world, but I am not sure they have a real understanding about the role they would have.  Many friends have suggested that they would be adding security functionality, but in truth the best that a telcom person should hope for is to be the interface to where the action is.

Lets take the recent Facebook & Twitter Denial of Service attacks as an example.  It turns out the attack was not on the site itself but the content of a specific user on the system.  This focused attack is related to the content.

Telecom does not normally look at the message it just provides the transport media. 

The point of making this observation is that to the security experts wearing the black / white hats the migration to 4G wireless is just more of the same of the Internet.  The concepts associated with ISUP  and other out of band control signals are periphereal to where the attack is most likely to occur, which is the application layer.

  The OWASP list of attacks are not about signaling. They are about attacks in the application itself

Tags: 4G, Facebook, OWASP, Security, Twitter.











BTOP Extended for those who are Ready

August 13, 2009

On July 9, 2009, RUS and NTIA published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and Solicitation of Applications in the Federal Register announcing general policy and application procedures for the BIP and BTOP.  74 Fed. Reg. 33104 (2009).  In the NOFA, RUS and NTIA encouraged all applicants to submit their applications electronically and required that certain applications be filed electronically through an online application system at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.  74 Fed. Reg. at 33118.  RUS and NTIA established an application window for these grant programs from July 14, 2009, at 8 a.m. ET through August 14, 2009, at 5 p.m. ET (application closing deadline).