Better Cell Phones, ICT and SMB, NSR, Cisco and TASER, Mobile Phone Xchange

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Better Cell Phones, ICT and SMB, NSR, Cisco and TASER, Mobile Phone Xchange

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is ABC's "When Smokey Sings:"

Touch screens, open OS and Internet access are all great, but consumers are asking cellular handset vendors to make a better actual, well, phone.
So finds market research firm In-Stat. "In many cases vendors have been so focused on making complex camera phones, music phones or mobile Internet devices, they have lost sight of the fact that phone functionality is mediocre at best," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst.
The firm conducted a survey of over 1,300 respondents, asking "What features are desired on your next phone?" The top three responses were better connectivity, better audio and simplicity. You know, where you don't have to press a finger over your ear to hear.

In-Stat officials say that in the short term "a limited competitive advantage can be created by bringing to market new hardware features and form factors. Real advantages, however, will be created through the integration and improved performance of existing features."
Sure consumers want better displays, audio, HD video, and connectivity. Rugged phones will also become more popular, InStat officials say, adding that phones that are "well architected and intelligently designed" will be winners in the marketplace. 
Mainstream features, not "exotic" bells and whistles such as wearables, dual-screen, e-paper or roll out displays, will be in higher demand -- according to respondents, digital cameras, speaker phones and GPS were the top features on the "ideal phone."

Video conferencing on cellular handsets isn't a burning concern among cell phone users, but if you want to read tea leaves with a positive spin, the InStat survey found that early adopters are 30-39 year olds with high income. If you're interested in that demographic.

"Perhaps the most compelling advancement in user interfaces will be the integration of picoprojectors into phones," InStat officials say: "Picoprojectors overcome one of the most significant constraints inherent in mobile devices, small screens. The strongest interest was shown in the 25-34 year age segment."

It's about time, too: According to new research from Compass Intelligence, big ICT vendors are starting to "get" small and mid-sized business customers online. 
The research firm points to its latest rankings of ICT vendors' capability to build relationships with (SMB customers online: "From Microsoft to Dell, the top vendors are using multimedia and interactive learning experiences to build relationships with these highly sought-after customers," Compass officials say. 
Compass Intelligence's primary research shows that SMBs rely on the Internet to guide their technology purchasing decisions for home and office, so all serious vendors have Web channels, of course. Company officials say SMB decision-makers expect their businesses to grow in 2010 and believe in the value of investing in high-tech now: 

"We estimate that SMBs represent more than $300 billion in ICT spending -- including telecom, computer systems and personnel. This number is expected to grow between five percent and eight percent over the next five years, making the SMB market one of the last, best growth opportunities for ICT vendors in the long-term," says Kneko Burney, Chief Strategist of Compass Intelligence. 

Compass Intelligence's research endeavors to shed light on the best practices used to reach and engage SMB customers online. Published twice yearly, this research evaluates and scores the non-sales/service experience that vendors provide to these unique customers online. For more about this topic:

Compass Intelligence specializes in segment and vertical market intelligence for the high-tech and telecom industries.

According to NSR's market research and forecast report, "Government and Military Satellite Communications, 6th Edition," users want "more capacity and coverage" as the gap between demand and transponder supply is growing.
The reports examines demand for all commercial frequencies (C-, Ku-, Ka-, L- and X-band) and for all mobile (aeronautical, UAVs, maritime, and land-mobile) and VSAT platforms. The analysis of government and military demand trends covers eight regions of the world for equipment and services, as well as demand for bulk transponder leasing, fixed VSATs, communications-on-the-move, communications-on-the-pause and narrowband mobile services. 
NSR is an international market research and consulting firm specializing in satellite, wireless and media markets. NSR's primary areas of expertise include emerging technology, IP applications, and broadcast services.
NSR officials say their research shows this gap will shift the market towards either proprietary or commercial systems: "This gap should propel the commercial GMSC market alone from $3.5 billion in 2008 to $9.3 billion at the end of 2018, driven in large part by land-mobile narrowband units and revenues from unmanned aerial vehicles and communications-on-the-pause services."

The research firm's officials caution that "revenue does not tell the only story." The NSR forecast sees growth in some markets and warning flags in others. "In an economic downturn that readjusted priorities in public spending and tightened the race for dollars, the government and military commercial satellite market has developed a growing following with bright spots related to future demand in key application markets," says Claude Rousseau, Senior Analyst for NSR and author of the report. 

The study found that replacements for cancelled programs such as TSAT will eventually be found; however, "commercial satellites will still be required to partially fill the gap in demand with capacity and new, innovative and flexible solutions."

Cisco officials hosted a live Internet TV broadcast and Q&A session featuring TASER International, a vendor of electronic control devices, which has deployed the Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco Nexus switches as the technology foundation for a new cloud-based service it's offering to law enforcement agencies. 
Called, the new service is described by Cisco officials as "a virtual evidence warehouse, offering digital storage in a secure, accessible environment that allows law enforcement and legal professionals to access key evidence, including video and audio data captured from an officer's viewpoint."

Special guests for this show included Tom Smith, chairman of the board at TASER, who discussed law enforcement agencies' use of digital evidence, the stringent requirements for preserving evidence, and the company's business goals and strategy to offer video evidence combined with its new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, 

Also appearing was Yogesh Saini, senior vice president, Global Internet Services at TASER, who discussed as a new cloud service, the information technology requirements that led it to select Cisco Unified Computing System, TASER's virtualization strategy, experiences with Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco Nexus to date, business benefits, environmental sustainability benefits, and ROI.

After successful partnerships with Debenhams and Argos, Mobile Phone Xchange have now secured another exclusive partnership with Marks & Spencer to offer their customers an opportunity to recycle their old mobile phones -- "and at the same time earn some cash," MPX officials say.

Mobile Phone Xchange pays cash for mobile phones, and the new partnership means there's now an option to receive Marks and Spencer vouchers -- "an additional 15 percent to be made on top of the cash value," MPX officials say.

"I've already received Debenhams vouchers in the past through Mobile Phone Xchange, knowing that I can now opt for Marks & Spencer vouchers means that I have more to choose from when selling my old mobile, which is great as I have a lot of Christmas bills to pay at the moment," MPX officials quoted one happy camper, Alex Ryan, as saying.

The amount is dependent on the handset but now their customers have an option to receive an extra 15 percent on the value if the customer opts for Marks & Spencer vouchers. In other words, a Nokia N95 8GB goes for £114 cash or £129 Marks & Spencer vouchers.

Sending in the handsets is free with Mobile Phone Xchange's prepaid envelope. trades most mobile phone brands for cash or retail vouchers including Nokia, Samsung, iPhone, BlackBerry, Panasonic, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, what have you.

Customers can rely on the DROID by Motorola to "help ease Christmas and New Year's stress and manage demands of the season," according to Motorola customers. 
"Whether it's making a last-minute dinner reservation, comparison shopping for gifts, or even coming up with an exercise routine to stay fit in the midst of holiday feasts, this genius phone with access to thousands of applications and games from Android Market has Verizon Wireless customers covered," they add. 

The phone's features include the FlightStats app, a way to keep track of flights and stay up to date on airport delays. But hey, if airport delays leave you restless, try the Bubble Wrap Game to virtually pop away frustrations with an endless supply of bubble wrap. 

There's a "Hostess with the Mostess" app: "Before hosting a party for family and friends, check out the Favorite Recipes app to search through thousands of recipes by ingredients, keywords and categories to help plan the perfect meal. If cooking isn't part of the plan, use the OpenTable app to make instant dinner reservations at more than 10,000 restaurants." First Coffee knows which of those options he'd take.

There's also "Lost and Found," described by company officials as using Google Maps Navigation (Beta) to get turn-by-turn directions to the destination.

The "Savvy Shopper" lets customers use the NexTag Mobile app to help compare prices on millions of products from thousands of online retailers: "Search for products by keyword or use the built-in barcode scanner to quickly look up prices with the phone's camera."
Holiday bowl games are always an excuse to get together with friends and relatives, company officials say, and customers can use the SportsTap app for sports scores, news, pictures from recent games, full team schedules, trades and standings: "For those needing to distract the conversation from a losing team, check out Google Sky Map and turn the DROID by Motorola into a window to the night sky. Point the phone up to see a map of the brightest stars, constellations, and planets in that part of the sky."

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