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Showing posts with label Apps Browsing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apps Browsing. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Pervasive connectivity means that we are working far more

Picture source: dmb

From the IET Magazine:

All of which led to it being no surprise that research from Nectar Business is headlined 'Workaholic Brits just can't switch off', according to the release. Far from saving us time and bringing quality back to our lives, Nectar - the loyalty card people - have found that we're working on average an extra 10 days a year.

Some of the headline results are alarming for managers wanting to keep a workforce motivated and fresh. They include:

  • a fifth of people keep work phones on over weekends;
  • 79 per cent of workers haven't met half the people with whom they do business;
  • one-third of men turn their work phones off when they leave the office;
  • one in 20 people get over 100 emails a day;
  • twenty-four per cent of people feel stressed by this constant state of being on call;
  • 42 per cent of people say they meet colleagues less regularly due to email dependence;
  • 60 per cent - get this - now say they prefer to communicate by mail than face to face.

That's a lot of figures. However, some of the findings were positive - 71 per cent of people found email the best way to keep colleagues informed and 28 per cent thought it a useful tool for delegating. But that still leaves a quarter of respondents stressed.


Complete article here.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Morgan Stanley's 'The Mobile Internet Report'


A bit old but may be interesting for people who are interested in Stats. Back in Dec. Morgan Stanley released a report titled 'The Mobile Internet Report' which is probably one of the biggest collection of mobile Stats.

According to Tomi Ahonen:

The report while they call it a 'mobile internet' report - is in fact, a report on smartphone based use of browser data services. It is very US centric, but is global, and it is far too obsessed about the iPhone. And it disappoints me, that while the report writers are very aware of simpler technologies, even when they discuss the Emerging World, they obsess about 3G, which will not be a meaningful part of the internet experience in places like Africa for most of the next decade..


But it does discuss SMS to some degree, and briefly mentions MMS and 'non 3G' internet such as in China (ie WAP). It is also very good making analysis of Japan's mobile internet (including i-Mode before 3G). Totally worth downloading and reading.


Now a few key highlights. The total mobile data industry for 2009 worth... 284 Billion dollars. Wow. Morgan Stanley says it grew 20% this year (while the global economy shrunk 5%). For those who were looking for regional splits of phone market shares or smartphone market shares - this report has them. It says that the modern smartphone is equivalent to a desktop PC 8 years ago in performance. Haha, fave topic of mine - they also say that for internet content consumption - the mobile is 'better' in at least four areas (but not in every case). These 4 are email, VoIP, news and social networking. And they tell us that the value of paid digital content on mobile phones is 4x as big as the value of paid digital content on the PC internet.


And yes, hundreds of more data points, stats and tons of good graphs to help explain. Totally worth downloading, reading and quoting. Enjoy


You can download the report from here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Net Neutrality: Good or Bad?



I am not sure what the right answer to this question is? There will be winners and losers in either case.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chairman Julius Genachowski has just outlined his much-awaited plan for Internet neutrality. If the plan is approved it would drag the wireless operators in the US into the public regulatory arena occupied by their wired cousins who have recently had to account for their neutrality policies to the FCC.

The proposed policy outlined today by Genachowski will mean the FCC will get to poke and pry into mobile operators' business policies and rule on how well they conform to FCC guidelines on neutrality in the same way that wiredtelcos must. The FCC will also impose new and tighter neutrality behaviour on the big phone companies including Verizon and AT&T.

In detail: Genachowski has reaffirmed the long-standing (since 2005) broadband principles that will now be formalised by the FCC.
  • That consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • That they are also entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
  • That they are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
  • And that they are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
Genachowski has added two extra principles. Internet access providers can't discriminate against particular Internet content or applications: and they must ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practises they implement.

"The rule-making process will enable the commission to analyse fully the implications of the principles for mobile network architectures and practises, and how, as a practical matter, they can be fairly and appropriately implemented," Genachowski said today.

U.S. phone companies may be forced to open their wireless networks to rival Internet services like Skype and Google Voice under the proposal. The proposal, if adopted, would be a victory for consumer advocates and big Internet companies like Google Inc at the expense of telecom operators like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications and Sprint Nextel Corp.

"The risk to the wireless carriers is that they won't be able to stop customers from using free voice and text services like Skype or Google voice," said Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. "Voice and text are where they make all of their money."

The FCC has already been examining why Apple Inc rejected Google Voice for use on iPhone, sold by AT&T.

The new proposal could result in mobile customers cutting their phone bills by opting for minimum carrier voice plans and doing without text-messaging plans if they use mobile voice and text services from Skype and Google.

Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen downplayed the risk, saying that if they have to, operators would be sure to find a way to change their fees in order to maintain profits.
Advocates of Net neutrality have long argued that service providers must be barred from blocking or slowing Internet traffic based on the content being sent or downloaded.


But service providers say the increasing volume of bandwidth-hogging services -- such as video sharing -- puts pressure on them as it requires active network management, and some argue that Net neutrality could stifle innovation.

AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, said it was concerned about an extension of Net neutrality rules to the competitive mobile industry.

The new regulations would limit consumer choices and "affect content providers, application developers, device manufacturers and network builders," said an executive at Verizon, which owns the No. 1 mobile service with Vodafone Group Plc.

Wireless trade group CTIA, whose members include AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, said it was concerned the proposal would have "unintended consequences." Leading Cable provider Comcast Corp said it was pleased Genachowski "recognized that networks need to be managed."

Exactly my thoughts (but with proper technical terms, language and analysis ;) by Gary Kim in IP Communications:

In the communications business, rationing is a fact of network life. Since virtually every part of a communications network uses shared resources, and in a market where users do not want to pay too much for access to those resources, rationing of network resources is necessary.

Shared finite resources always pose a usage problem. Known as the "tragedy of the commons," the economic problem is that multiple individuals, acting independently, solely and rationally when using a common resource can ultimately destroy the shared limited resource.

Some people argue that this problem cannot exist with the Internet, which is virtually infinitely expansible. But that misses the point. In looking at shared resources, the "commons" is the access network's resources, primarily. In other words, the "choke point" is the homeowner's garden hose, not the reservoir.


Some might argue that IP technology, optics, Moore's Law and competition upend the traditional "scarcity" value of access bandwidth. Certainly it helps. Currently, most consumers have access to two terrestrial broadband providers, two satellite networks, three, possibly four mobile networks. Then, there are broadband pipes where people work, at school and at many retail locations.

Still, there are some physical and capital investment limits, at least at retail prices consumers seem willing to pay. If consumers are willing to pay much more, they can get almost any arbitrarily-defined amount of access bandwidth. That, after all, is what businesses do.

If consumers resist paying business prices, network investment has to be shared more robustly than it otherwise might.

Given that all network resources are shared, resources are finite. To support retail prices that require such sharing, networks are designed in ways that "underprovision" resources ranging from radio ports to multiplexers to backhaul bandwidth. Based on experience, network designers engineer networks to work without blocking or degradation most of the time, but not necessarily always. Unusual events that place unexpected load on any part of the access network will cause blocking.

Blocking, in other words, is a network management technique. And that's the problem the Federal Communications Commission is going to have as it looks at additional "network freedoms" rules commonly known as "network neutrality." The term itself is imprecise and in fact already covered by the existing FCC rules. One might argue the issue is more the definitions and applications of existing rules that require clarification.

The ostensible purpose of the new rules is to prevent access provider blocking or slowing of any lawful applications, but a rule exists for that. Instead, it appears a primary effect of the rules will be to extend wired network rules to wired providers.

Beyond that, policymakers will have to contend with tragedy of the commons effects. If, in forbidding any traffic shaping (a network management technique) in the guise of "permitting the free flow of bits," rulemakers might set the stage for dramatic changes in industry packaging and prices of Internet access and other applications and services.

U.S. consumers prefer "flat rate billing" in large part because of its predictability of cost. But highly differentiated usage, in a scenario where networks cannot be technically managed by any traffic prioritization rules, will lead to some form of metered billing.

If metered billing is not instituted, and if service providers cannot shape traffic at peak hours to preserve network access for all users, then heavy users either have to pay more for their usage patterns, they will have to change their usage patterns, or they might experience some equivalent of "busy hour blocking."

Application providers and "public policy advocates" seem to be happy that new network neutrality rules might be adopted. They might not be so happy if ISPs lose the ability to deny or slow access to network resources. On the voice networks, some actual call blocking is allowed at times of peak usage. Forcing users to redial might be considered a form of traffic shaping, allowing access, but at the cost of additional time, or time-shifted connections.

To the extent that such blocking rules already are impermissible, some other network management techniques must be used. And one way to manage demand is to raise its price, either by increases in flat-rate package prices, by instituting usage-based billing or some other functionally-similar policy.

To avoid the tragedy of the commons problem, in other words, requires raising the end user's understanding of cost to use the shared resource.

Prioritized traffic handling, which assigns users a lower priority in the network once they have reached their fair use level, might be a preferable traffic management technique to slowing any single user's connection, once their individual usage caps have been reached.

When that is done, heavy users experience degradation in service only when competing for resources in a congested situation. For peer-to-peer users, the experienced reduction in throughput will be limited over time.

Only in heavily loaded cells or areas will a peer-to-peer user experience serious issues. Prioritized traffic handling enables operators to focus on dimensioning their networks for normal usage, while still permitting unlimited or "all you can eat" traffic.

Perhaps there are other ways of handling the "rationing," but on a shared network with network congestion, available to users paying a relatively modest amount of money, while a highly-differentiated load being placed on the network by a small number of users, some form of rationing is going to happen.

Perhaps flat rate packaging might still be possible if rationing affects end user credentials, rather than bits and applications or protocols. In other words, instead of "throttling" a user's bandwidth when a pre-set usage cap is exceeded, what is throttled is access to the network itself.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Skyfire Browser for your Windows and Nokia mobiles


A complete browser is now available for your mobile phones. Unfortunately its only available for Windows Mobiles and Nokia N and E series phones. Fortunately I was able to download and try it on my ancient Nokia E61. Very impressed but I have to say it seems that when a big website is being downloaded then the phone/browser sort of grinds to a halt. I remember trying to use it when Beta came out but would crash while loading.

The release brings with it a host of improvements, such as improved navigation, zooming and interaction and a faster launch, lower power consumption, and new search functionality.

Also, while the new version of the browser starts up, you can begin typing URLs or search queries into the box at the top, saving time. That's added to existing flash support, so you can peruse your favourite video site.

Check the Skyfire website here.

To download the browser using your mobile, click here.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Things our phone will do in next 10 years



Interesting article in Cnet on "10 things your mobile will do in next 10 years"

1. Wallet: This would be quite cool when available. Have been hearing about this for years now. Apparently very popular in Japan and S.Korea where people are not using credit cards anymore and instead using Phones.

A much better idea would be to have a universal recognition kind of chip which i can use as Credit card, Smart Card for Trains (In london we have Oyester cards) and then i can use this for accessing company door, garage door , etc. This would be a real killer app but doesnt look like will happen in near (or far) future

2. Internet: In December, ABI Research said that almost 50 million people used social-networking sites on their mobile phones. That number is expected to grow to 174 million by 2011. It would be cool to be able to browse using your phone. Mosst of the sites i use (including mine) are not mobile friendly and this is the thing that is turning people off the net.

3. Location: Already too many phones supporting GPS and A-GPS. The chips are becoming cheaper with cost of around $5 so the manufacturers should have no problem. In future we will get disscounted packages where we will have to receive adverts which would be location specific. Nokia has some applications which can compete with TomTom for getting directions, etc.

4. Search: Hardly anything needs to be mentioned for this.

5. TV: Have written enough on Mobile TV already. IMS Research forecasts that by 2011 there will be more than 30 million mobile TV subscribers in the United States. The firm also predicts that almost 70 million handsets capable of receiving mobile TV will be shipped in the U.S. in 2011.

6. Simplified surfing: From the Cnet article

Ever notice how many clicks it takes to find the one thing you're looking for on your phone? It's worse than counting how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. But handset makers and mobile operators are
hard at work trying to make phones easier to navigate and simpler to use.


The upcoming
iPhone from Apple is a perfect example of how user interfaces will be improved. Apple fans are confident that the company has come up with another slick and intuitive
design, just as it did for the iPod.


One aspect of the iPhone's interface that has been publicized is its use of sensory technology to detect when the device is rotated. This allows the phone to automatically render pictures on the screen in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) format. That allows the user to determine which format is best for viewing whatever is on the screen, be
it a Web page, video, or photo.


In the future,
motion-sensing technology, similar to that used in the Nintendo Wii game console, will also allow people to navigate their cell phone menus or the mobile Internet
with a flick of their wrists.


But motion sensing is just one piece of the puzzle. Operators such as Verizon Wireless are redesigning their content menus
to reduce the number of clicks users must endure to find what they want. Ryan Hughes, vice president of digital media programming for Verizon Wireless, said he believes that user interfaces will be customizable so that users can decide
for themselves which applications will be displayed on their phones most prominently.


Motorola is already offering a customizable interface on the
Razr 2, which the company claims will make searching for contacts, accessing applications, and messaging much easier.

7. Brainier radios: Maybe in future SDRs (Software Defined Radios) may become more common and popular and yes the technology will become feasible. Also multiple radios on the chpset would mean Handovers will be possible from 3G to WiMax, Wifi, etc.

8. Personal Cell: Everyone seems to be talking of Femtocell. Where we will have a small 3G base station in our home. We could use it for Voice or High Speed data. No need for the POTS and use mobile for everything. This will still take some time as the operators dont fully understand the benefits of offering cheap data.

9. Perfect Camera: Today roughly 41 percent of American households own a camera phone. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to buy a phone today that doesn't have a camera. By 2010 more than 1 billion mobile phones in the world will ship with an embedded camera, up from the 589 million camera phones that are expected to be sold in 2007, according to market research firm Gartner.

10. More music on the phone: Mobile phone users around the globe are expected to spend $32.2 billion on music for their handsets by 2010, up from $13.7 billion in 2007, according to Gartner. This can only happen when Music Video/Audio becomes cheaper though. Personally i would prefer listening to FM Radio rather than music but i am not sure how much demand there would be and ofcourse the operators dont gain anything.