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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

3G? 4G? 10G? Who Needs Faster Cell Service?

Not that long ago your cell phone was not considered a small mobile computer or smartphone.  It wasn’t that long ago that you could barely get a signal on your cell phone long enough to have a 2 minute conversation.  In the mobile market today, you get to hear ads regarding a 3G network, even 4G, referring to the speed of such networks.  Which company has the fastest and if you care, do you really need your network to be faster?

Your cell phone is getting smaller, smarter and faster ever signal time you upgrade.  The network that your cell phone is on is always getting faster.  But how fast is a 4G network?  Most people might not even know what 3 or 4G means, but if the number is higher it must be worth what you are paying for it.  A 4G network for your smartphone will allow you to view video and data at high speeds, very comparable to your DSL connection at your residence.

Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and other companies are hoping that you want your smartphone to watch video, stream TV or access large amount of data so that you will subscribe to there service.  The bad thing is if you are switching services, you are most likely locked in there for 2 years while you watch other networks upgrade to something better.

The standard 4G network would handle about 100MB per second, according to the ITU, but smartphone networks are showing results at only 1/10th of that speed.  Those companies are Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.  These providers are quite a way behind what the standard is.  Does this mean your network can only get faster?

Think about what you use your smartphone for every day and think, “do I need faster cell phone service?”, and if not, don’t worry at least you won’t be paying of something that is just going to drain your battery faster than normal. by John Sukowaty

What Operators require???

Recently, IDC published a white paper on the App strategy of Mobile operators and while the report doesn’t get into the real depth of what operators really want (apart from increasing ARPU), it does throw some interesting insight and a good summary of operators’ role in the new app world.

Operator Model



  • Store within a store. This is a carrier-branded store, which contains other stores within it such as RIM and Microsoft.

  • Coexisting side-by-side stores. This is typical with Android Marketplace, where the operator brands its own store but also supports Android Marketplace.

  • A joint service model. This means that an operator handles the retail operations of billing, customer service, and marketing, while the application store such as Nokia Ovi does the wholesale aspects of content aggregation, developer relationships, certifying, testing, and so forth.

  • Virtual preloaded operator apps. In this model, the operator works with the open OS platforms such as Android, Microsoft Windows for Mobile, RIM, and Ovi and preloads the operator-branded application infrastructure.


Most Popular App Platform


popular_app_platform

Android tops the chart, followed by RIM/Blackberry App world.

What’s interesting is that 26% of the interviewed operators expressed interest in migrating from their proprietary platform to that of a partner – essentially this means that operators are now realizing the need to open up and partner with other app platform, in order to scale their app offering.

Also, operators in emerging markets were more open to partner as opposed to the ones in developed world.

Preferred Business Model


"Revenue share" was identified as the most preferred model by 85% of the interviewed operators. Capex and fee/subscriber were the other two preferred models (15%).

Also, depending on how big an operator is (i.e. number of subscribers), they have different pain points when it comes to defining a strategy for app stores.

  • Smaller operators view enhanced customer experience as a top objective of their application store; larger operators focus the application store strategy on reduced customer churn rate.

  • Smaller operators depend on local, vernacular content as one of the primary drivers for application store success.

  • Larger operators, which focus on reducing churn and increasing customer acquisitions, identify quality and relevance of applications as the differentiation success factor.

  • Large operators, which are already farther along with implementation of their application store strategy, are more willing to work with partners.

  • Providing an integrated three-screen experience across mobile devices, PCs, and TV sets is a critical point of differentiation for many of the world’s integrated operators.


What’s your take?

Blackberry Unlimited plan In TataDocomo

BlackBerry goes ‘Unlimited’ only with Tata DOCOMO

Tata DOCOMO, the brand that has become synonymous with consumer-centric innovation–has delivered yet another ‘NEW’ for the Indian consumers.

Tata DOCOMO has recently announced their exciting Blackberry Unlimited plan for both their Prepay and Postpay consumers.

To enjoy the benefits of ‘Blackberry Unlimited’, a consumer will have to shell out only Rs. 399/month. For this price, a consumer can get the following (and these are only a few of the many) benefits:-

a) Unlimited Internet browsing (including audio / video streaming)

b) Unlimited Emailing

c) Unlimited Social Networking

d) Unlimited Blackberry App World

Blackberry as a service is gaining in popularity in India, and this product truly comes as a boon to those millions of consumers who would like to stay connected to their friends, followers and circle of influence – all the time, at a low price.

For select cities, where Tata DOCOMO 3G has been launched, the consumers will also get additional 300 MB data download offer with this product. This will enable the consumers to get the real taste of experiencing the super-express speeds on Tata DOCOMO 3G.

Unlike the other brands in the market who either offer ‘limited browsing / emailing’ or expensive Blackberry plans, this is a true Blackberry-for-all product that is not only affordable but at the same time also offers a high-value experience to the consumer.

Consumers can enjoy the Blackberry Unlimited on Tata DOCOMO across all circles where Tata DOCOMO exists as mobile operator. To subscribe to the product a consumer can either call 1800-419-0121 or visit http://tatadocomo.com/blackberry399.aspx

Welcome to UP - MTS CDMA Services

Sistema Shyam Tele Services Limited today announced the expansion of its services under the MTS brand in UP East and UP West Circles.

Announcing the launch of MTS in UP East and UP West Circles, Sergey Savchenko, Chief Financial Officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL) said, “The launch of telephony services by MTS in UP East and UP West has further expanded our national footprint. MTS would now be able to address the telecom needs of over 80% of India’s population and about 92% of the data market potential in the country. This truly represents a very exciting opportunity for MTS.”

This is all set to further add to the company’s customer base, which now stands at over 8 million voice and over 400,000 mobile broadband customers. The Russian Government recently picked up approximately 17% stake in SSTL for $ 600 million US. SSTL has already invested over $2.2 billion US in India. An investment of about Rs. 150 crore has been earmarked for UP East and UP West circles

Five milestones for Indian telecom in 2010

By: Nilabh Jha| afaqs! Telecom Yatra | New Delhi, December 29, 2010 




2010 was a most eventful year for telecommunications in India. Although these events have had little impact this year, they are all set to transform the way we use mobile phones. We've counted the five most significant telecom events from the past year.

3G

The first one is obvious. 3G spectrum auctions were finally carried out and operators have started launching services. Tata emerged as the first company to launch 3G and other players that won spectrum are set to follow suit.

In 2011 we will have faster mobile broadband and better value added services. Video - something most of us wanted to, but could not enjoy on the existing network will be much better now.

LTE/WiMax

Another improvement in networks was announced at the auction of BWA spectrum. No operator has launched BWA services yet, and there is no official word on when they are planning to do so. However, it is expected that by the end of the first quarter the first BWA network will be in operation.

True broadband speeds are expected to be available in the country in 2011.

Cheaper smartphones

In 2010, smartphones were much talked about in India. Almost every month there were a couple of smartphones launched by companies such as Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG etc, but these phones were costly and though the segment grew by leaps and bounds, the share of smartphones in the mobile phone market remains low.

By the end of 2010 many Indian brands such as Micromax and Lemon announced smartphones that cost less than Rs 10,000. Even international brands have reduced the price of smartphones to just above Rs 10,000.

This trend is likely to intensify in 2011 - many chip makers have already announced cheap, but powerful chips. Samsung has announced a display technology that is better than the existing IPS panel and is cheaper to produce. Further, more and more Indian brands will enter the market, making it highly competitive.

Google has also announced that it will focus on low cost Android phones to increase the reach of the already popular Android OS.

Tablets

These devices became popular in 2010, but could not make a real impact in India. We already have two tablets available in India launched in the last quarter of 2010 - Samsung Galaxy Tab and Olive Tab from Olive communications, but both these tablets are still in the higher price bracket as they cost at around Rs 30,000.

Apart from price, the biggest hurdle is connectivity. Tablets are essentially mobile devices and to tap their full potential one needs good wireless connectivity, which will be in abundance in 2011 thanks to 3G and LTE services becoming main stream.

On the pricing front the good news is that there are many launches in the offing and with increased competition, prices are expected to go down. Even Indian players have announced plans for tablets, and will push the price further down.

Telecom Yatra has information from reliable sources that Reliance Infocom will bring tablets priced below Rs 8,000 for its LTE customers in India.

Number portability

There are many consumers who are not satisfied with their operator but cannot change their number as it has become their identity. Mobile number portability gives people the freedom to change their operator without changing while retaining their number. For now the service is only available in Haryana, but within a couple of months at least half the country will have 3G. The remaining half will not have to wait much longer either.

Use smart phone for airport check-in at Bangalore

Published: Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010, 8:46 IST
By Hemanth CS | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Come April, you can check in for your flight and get your boarding pass at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) by merely flashing an encrypted bar code on your mobile phone.

This service, to start with, will be offered to international passengers departing from Bangalore to European and West Asian destinations on Lufthansa and Emirates flights.

If you intend to use this service, you should have a web-enabled mobile phone, using which you will have to log on to the airline’s website site and opt for the mobile check-in service.

After completing the procedure you will receive a two-dimensional encrypted bar code which has to be produced at the airport.

After the bar code is scanned by the CISF personnel, boarding pass will be issued and you can directly board the flight.

“The check-in service will save a lot of time for the passengers. We are planning to introduce this system from spring 2011 onwards primarily with international airlines,” BIAL president, Marcel Hungerbuehler, told DNA.

He said the service will subsequently be implemented on domestic routes also.