Showing posts with label OTT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OTT. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 December 2017

SMS is 25 years old today

SMS is 25 years old. The first SMS, "Merry Christmas" was sent on 3rd December 1992 from PC to the Orbitel 901 handset (picture above), which was only able to receive SMS but not send it. Sky news has an interview with Neil Papworth - the man who sent the very first one back in 1992 here.

While SMS use has been declining over some time, thanks to messaging apps on smartphones like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook messenger, etc., it is still thought to be used for sending 20 billion messages per day.

While I dont have the latest figures, according to analyst Benedict Evans, WhatsApp and WeChat combined are now at over 100bn messages per day.

According to Daily Mirror, by the end of 2017, researchers expect 32 trillion messages to be sent annually over apps compared to only 7.89 trillion text messages.

Tomi Ahonen makes an interesting in the tweet above, all cellular phone users have SMS capability by default while only smartphone users who have downloaded the messaging apps can be reached by a particular messaging app. The reach of SMS will always be more than any competing apps.

That is the reason why GSMA is still betting on RCS, an evolution of SMS to compete with the messaging apps. My old post on RCS will provide some basic info here. A very recent RCS case studies document from GSMA here also provides some good info.

RCS will have a lot of hurdles and challenges to overcome to succeed. There is a small chance it can succeed but this will require change of mindset by operators, especially billing models for it to succeed.

Dean Bubley from Disruptive Analysis is a far bigger skeptic of RCS and has written various posts on why it will fail. One such post that makes interesting reading is here.

Anyway, love it or hate it, SMS is here to stay!

See Also:

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Internet Trends 2014, by Mary Meeker

Its June, time for the Internet Trends update by Mary Meeker, KPCB. Last year's update has crossed 3 million views on Slideshare. So many interesting slides, difficult to pick up some of the best ones to add here. I have selected a few that I really liked. The first being the growth in Smartphones and Tablets, as compared to PC's and Television's.

The other very interesting point to highlight is that the number of SMS's are decreasing and the number of OTT messages are rising. Just two days back, BITKOM, Germany released the news that SMS's are declining drastically in Germany. OTT's are taking over, rightly so.

Finally, with people doing too much multi-tasking, the above slide highlights what people are doing while watching TV.

Here is the complete set of slides:

Related news on the web:

  • Forbes: Are We In A Tech Bubble? Not Really, According To Mary Meeker's Latest Report
  • Business Insider: Mary Meeker's Stunning 2014 Presentation On The State Of The Web
  • Quartz: Mary Meeker’s 2014 internet trends report: all the slides plus highlights
  • Forbes: Mary Meeker's Web Video Love Affair
  • Guardian: Mary Meeker: 2015 will be about 'findable data' and mobile sensors
  • Business Insider, Australia: In 3 Big Slides, Here's Why Mary Meeker Is Optimistic About The Future Of American Healthcare
  • Tech2: What Mary Meeker’s 2014 trends report says about India’s Internet usage

Thursday, 10 April 2014

LTE-Broadcast of the operator, by the operator, for the operator!

Heard an insightful talk from EE in the CW event this week. While I agree with the intentions and approaches, I still think there may be too many assumptions in the eMBMS business model. I have made my intentions known all but too well in my earlier blog post here.

Some of the insights that I have gained in the last couple of months with regards to the way operators are planning to use the LTE broadcast is through the OTT Apps. Take for instance an OTT application like iPlayer or Hulu and some popular program is about to be broadcast, that program can be sent using LTE-B. Now some people may watch on the time (linear) and some may watch at a later time (non-linear or time-shifted). The App can be intelligent enough to buffer the program so there is no delay required when the user wants to watch it. This can open all sorts of issues like the user may have watched one episode on his device while the current one is being watched on his digital television. While the program is being buffered the battery and memory of the device is being consumed. How long should a program be stored on the device. There can be many other open issues.

Another question I had was how would the users be billed for these things. Would it be free since the data was received over LTE-B. Matt Stagg from EE said that the users would be billed normally as if they received it in case of streaming. He was more pragmatic though. He clearly said that in the initial phase everything would have to be free. This will ensure that any technical issues are ironed out and at the same time the users become familiar with how all this works.

Finally a point worth remembering, users prefer watching videos on their tablets. Most tablets are WiFi only which means the LTE-Broadcast wont work on it.

The presentation is embedded as follows:

Monday, 13 January 2014

My observations on Mobiles and OTT Apps in India

What a change 2 years can make. The last time I was in India, people were reluctant to use data, smartphones were far and few and even those smartphones were just status symbols rather than for actual 'smart' use.

This time a lot of things were very different. I found that there was a Phablet craze going on. No sooner were people starting to get used to these big screen devices they realised how many things they could do. The well to do were buying Samsung devices and the people who did not want to spend big bucks were content with the little known brands.

The Domo phablet on the left in the picture above costs around 8000 (£80/$130) and the Maxx on the right is roughly ₹5500 (£55/$90). Both these come with 1 year warranty.

There were also quite a few ads using celebrities promoting Phablets. Its good to see people spending on these devices. Unlike UK where most of these devices are subsidised on a contract, people in India prefer pre-paid option and buying the phone outright.

I have to admit that even though I am a fan of these big screen devices, I find the Samsung Galaxy Tab just a bit too big for the use as a phone (see pic above).

It was also good to see that people have embraced the 3G data usage as well. I got a 6GB package for roughly 1000 (£10/$16). I found that people complained about the speeds and were prepared to pay more for 4G (faster data rates). I also noticed that a few people were not aware of Wi-Fi and the fixed broadband. I was told that the fixed broadband was capped, offered similar prices and could be quite unreliable. I guess Wireless is helping in India where the fixed Infrastructure may still be an issue in many places.

I have to mention here that I did not meet anyone who was using an iPhone. This could be due to iPhone being ridiculously expensive and people may be thinking why pay a high price for such a small screen. A comparison of iPhone prices worldwide showed that the price of iPhone 5S as % of GDP per capita (PPP) is the highest in India. See here.

Another area of observation was SMS and OTT apps. I remember spending a lot of time trying to convince people to use OTT apps for messaging as it would be cheaper for International messages. Well, now it seems everyone has adopted it whole heartedly. One of the problems with SMS in India is that you get too much Spam SMS and sometimes the operators are the culprits. There is no way to send a stop for these SMS messages. With OTT Apps, you know who is sending you messages and you can block the offenders.

There are many OTT Apps which are popular like Hike, Line, WeChat, WhatsApp, etc. The winner though is undoubtedly WhatsApp. I met an acquaintance whose has stopped using emails for business and now relies completely on WhatsApp. Then there were others who loved it because of Group chat facility.

There were many reasons why WhatsApp is a winner. Along with a simple interface and Group chat facility, one of the other reasons pointed out was that the facility to see when the person was last online was very useful. Recently WhatsApp introduced facility to send Voice messages. This helped it acquire some of the WeChat users.

It was good to see the beginnings of the mobile revolution in India. Wonder what my next trip will show me.

Please note that this article is based on what I observed in Mumbai among friends and family. In no way should this be treated as  detailed research.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday rant: OTT, Viber, Roaming, etc.

The same old story, mobile operators are seeing that their revenue is not growing, even though they are upgrading their networks and introducing new features / technologies. The following is from Total Telecom:

The global telecom services market generated revenue of €1.12 trillion in 2012, although at 2.7% growth was slower than in the previous year, according to the 2013 DigiWorld Yearbook published by IDATE on Thursday.
The "DigiWorld" as a whole - which also includes telecoms hardware, software and computer services, computer hardware, TV services, consumer electronics and Internet services – recorded revenues of €3.17 trillion last year, up 2.8% on 2011. By 2016 that figure will have risen to €3.66 trillion, IDATE predicts, with telecoms services contributing €1.25 trillion (see chart).
Telecoms operators are experiencing flat growth, while over-the-top (OTT) providers are seeing revenues increase by 15% a year, Vincent Bonneau, head of IDATE's Internet business unit, told attendees at the DigiWorld Yearbook launch in London earlier this month.

Another interesting piece of news was that Viber has launched a desktop application which means it can now rival Skype fully.

Guess what, I would think that operators have more to worry from this news than Skype. I have stopped using Skype for some time now due to many issues I have with it and have moved to Viber for a few months.   If you are a regular reader to this blog then you would have read my recent post complaining about the global roaming rates. When I am travelling abroad, I make sure there is WiFi and use Viber as a substitute for Voice and SMS. In fact I can send MMS and emoticons using Viber which would cost a fortune over cellular otherwise.

Sometimes it feels like the operators are sleepwalking into their own destruction by not innovating enough and fast to be a challenge for these OTT services. Not entirely sure what the solutions are but there are quite a few ideas around to start thinking in that direction. An interesting presentation by Dean Bubley I posted here is a good starting point. Another one from him and Martin Geddes is embedded below, which is quite interesting and intutive.

Enough of my rants, what do you think about this?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

#LTEAsia 2012 Highlights - via Alan Quayle

A summary of LTE Asia 2012, slides and highlights via Alan Quayle blog.

Some of the interesting findings from the conference include:
  • TD-LTE is gaining momentum, and its beyond WiMAX operators and China mobile, many APAC operators are considering it for unpaired spectrum and to efficiently meet the asymmetric capacity requirements of mobile broadband which is mainly download
  • Software defined radio and self-organizing networks are proving critical to manage operational costs
  • Single RAN is proving the best way to manage network performance
  • Signaling is in a mess - what is the good of standards when it creates such a mess?
  • IMS gaps continue - what is the good of standards when it doesn't meet basic migration needs?
  • The SS7 guys have reinvented themselves as the Diameter guys
  • Business model innovation - LTE is not just for mobile devices, LTE is for quad play and an interesting array of business applications
  • The 3G network of many operators is congested - forcing the move to LTE
  • CSFB (Circuit Switched Fall Back) works
  • VoLTE testing / roaming / network issues remain - given voice remains by revenue the core service, our industry should be ashamed we're having so many problems with VoLTE
  • A belief on OTT partnering, but not quantification on the OTT's willingness to pay for QoS (Quality of Service)
  • Many operators have a question mark on the use of WiFi off-load - its not a technology issue rather one of economics and customer experience, LTE-A and small cells in hotspots appears to be the focus.

Briefly reviewing the slides shown below:

  • LTE Data Points
    • 96 Commercial LTE deployments mainly in the 1.8 and 2.8GHz bands
    • APAC has 40% of LTE subscribers, likely to be the high growth region
    • Drivers for LTE: Throughput, efficiency and low latency
    • TD-LTE: 12 commercial deployments, 24 contracts and 53 Trials
    • Streaming video dominates traffic on handheld devices, with YouTube being the top traffic generator at 27% of peak traffic
  • South Korea Data Explosion
    • South Korea has seen OTT explode, Kakao Talk 51 mins of usage per day
    • 20 times smartphone growth in 2 years (28M in June 2012, 53% penetration)
    • 60 times mobile data growth to 37TB per month in 2 years, 32% is from LTE devices
    • LTE subs use 2.9GB per month compared to 3G sub on average use 1.2GB
    • LTE subs reached 10M, 141% monthly growth
    • Customer drive for LTE is speed (37%) and latest device (31%)
    • Challenge Jan 2010 and Jan 2012 ARPU fallen from $48-$35 while data use risen from 180MB to 992MB
    • Focus beyond voice, messaging and data into VAS: virtual goods (Korean thing), ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and cloud services / solutions (focus on enterprise)
  • HK CSL Migration to LTE
    • 3G is congested, LTE is not
    • Key is LTE devices available, unlike the early 3G days
    • Migrating customers away from unlimited plans to family and shared plans that deliver value
    • LTE sub uses 2-5 times the data of 3G subs
    • CSFB works
    • Average speed seen is 20 Mbps
    • Using Software Defined Radio, Single vendor RAN, Self-Organizing Networks
    • Migration to LTE-A, small cells and WiFi where appropriate
  • Starhub's migration to LTE (they launched LTE at the event)
    • 50% of voice traffic is still on 2G
    • Using AMR to re-farm 2G spectrum to LTE
    • Site access is critical - drive to software defined radio to avoid site visits
  • NTT DoCoMo's VoLTE Evolution
    • 70% devices in portfolio are now LTE
    • All smartphones support CSFB
    • Drive to VoLTE is simply to switch off 3G voice (2G already off)
    • BUT IMS has missing functionality / standards - migration from 3G to VoLTE is not easy - example of failing in standards on basic issues
  • Yes: Example of innovative converged 4G operator in an developing market that uses web principles for service delivery
  • Role of Mobile Identity in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
    • BYOD is as significant a trend if APAC as any other market
    • Provides a nice review of the approaches in managing BYOD
  • LTE Quad-Play in Emerging Markets: TD-LTE case study
  • Smartphone growth implications: Review of the signaling problem and mitigation strategies across 3G and LTE.  Highlights challenge current standards process 

Read the complete post here.

Friday, 13 July 2012

OTT Messaging and the need for Telco-OTT Strategies

Sometime back I created a OTT Stats, Facts and Figures presentation for the FWIC conference and in that revealed the shocking figures of how popular the OTT messaging have become and how its impacting the operators worldwide by cannibalising their revenue. Below is a presentation by Dean Bubley from Disruptive Analysis who believes that in light of the OTT messaging apps eating into operators profits, Telco-OTT strategies are inevitable. Its not the question of 'if' but 'when'.

Available to download from slideshare.

Monday, 9 July 2012

#FWIC Summary in Tweets with Pics, Presentations and Videos

Here is my summary from The 4th Future of Wireless International Conference (#FWIC). I created a OTT Stats, Facts and Figures presentation for the conference which is available here.


@zahidtg: #FWIC has started

@marekpawlowski: Full house for #fwic, sign of thriving, continually expanding mobile industry in Cambridge

@Qualcomm_UK: "Mobile is the largest technology platform in history" – #Qualcomm’s Joe Barrett at #FWIC keynote

@JawadAbbassi: Globally: 1 million new 3G connections are added on a daily basis. Source: @Qualcomm_IAR

@najeebster: 3.2bn 3G connections by 2016 Joe Barrett from Qualcomm at #FWIC

@geoffmccormick: data traffic to grow over 1000% in the next decade.

@Qualcomm_UK: “Consumers expect the amazing” – Joe Barrett of Qualcomm

@cambwireless: Joe Barrett from @Qualcomm_UK keynote 3.4 billion 3G connections by 2016, 1000 x growth in data by 2020

@Qualcomm_UK: #Snapdragon processors are used by 50+ manufacturers, in 340+ devices with a further 400+ in development – Joe Barrett, Qualcomm

@ndahad: The significance of mobile technologies globally, particularly emerging markets, & more smartphones to the masses

@Alliantus: Interesting first session. Powershift. New spectrum. More base stations - smaller & deployed to offload traffic - bring net closer.

@marekpawlowski: Does Qualcomm's Alljoyn hold possibility of internet of things network which meshes to become stronger the more entities which join?

@marekpawlowski: Qualcomm's Halo transferring kw power wirelessly over air gaps to charge cars. A final untethering of humans from power sockets?

@ndahad: Mobile - the digital 6th sense

@Alliantus: very interesting scene setting by #joebarrett #qualcomm one of best conference starts ever - on the button and no sales pitch. FAB.

@dw2: Note to self: learn more about the Qualcomm Halo wireless charging system for cars mentioned by Joe Barrett

@geoffmccormick: biggest challenge for wireless auto charging is not the tech but the system. New behaviours and challenges abound.

@RichardTraherne: Further support for small cells to solve cellular access problems, at Future Wireless International Conference

@zahidtg: Connected car by Qualcomm at #FWIC

@Qualcomm_UK: Hey, @CambWireless #fwic and want to see the video #Qualcomm’s Joe Barrett talked about this morning?:

Joe Baratt's presentation is available here and the video is here.

@bensmithuk: Listening to Olaf Swantee (Everything Everywhere CEO)

@Alliantus: everything everywhere #Olafswantec CEO. Partnering for #4G. Built for data. More speed 4-6 times faster in lab. Latency improved.

@najeebster: Olaf Swantee, CEO, Everything Everywhere reckons this 4G stuff can provide connectivity equal to fixed-line broadband, hmm

@Alliantus: 4G tool for proving connectivity. Part of solution. Data growth rates 250 times in past year - smart phones and smart data.

@roryponeill: CEO Everything Everywhere Olaf Swantee "I'm staggered by the continuing growth of data. We can't cope with 3G...we must go 4G"

@cambwireless: Olaf Swantee, CEO, Everything Everywhere speaks at #fwic "Growth rates of 250% in data on the network every year"

@Alliantus: UK more dependent on services than any other because of service culture. Infrastructure needs to be improved - UK early adopters.

@kumithiru: wonder what percentage of EE's UK customer base using data hungry devices use them at home? 50% 60% 70% ?

@najeebster: 4G carries a stronger signal even cell edge, will help to solve rural broadband issues

@rob_symes: olaf swantee says there would huge job creation by next gen 4G network

@roryponeill: Olaf continues "Britain is reliant on digital service industry - no.1 contributor to GDP - yet 40 other countries have 4G already"

@Alliantus: #fwic reason delay because industry is sweating assets in UK. Big capital expenditure has not come. ROI? Not enough profit? Hard to believe.

@BrianIsATwit: Olaf Swantee #fwic 4G use cases are video, TV and real time gaming. B2B cloud services. M2M also driving new apps.

@BrianIsATwit: Olaf Swantee at #fwic inferring UK economy impacted by poor fixed and mobile broadband. 4G positive investment impact £5bn & 125K new jobs.

@Alliantus: #fwic ironically really poor O2 service here. Blocking tweet on everything everywhere? Or just because it is about #4G?

@Alliantus: role of lawyers in causing delay? Are we destined to be laggards and not leaders because of cyclical nature of Tech adoption?

@Alliantus: can be back on track quickly. Already have a 3G network? Many users think they are on 4G already.

@Alliantus: thought provoking talk. Really believes in focusing on customers. Passion. Making experience better. Good operator perspective.

@marekpawlowski: Refreshing to hear Olaf Swantee prioritising fundamental improvements to network quality over 'tariff gimmicks & loyalty points'

@marekpawlowski: However, concerned by Swantee's faith in 4G to solve rural access. Unlikely economics will be any different than any proceeding 'G'

@marekpawlowski: Challenge for Swantee will be moving from sales culture of pushing 'broadband' & 'smartphone' SKUs, getting closer to customer reality

@cambwireless: Olaf Swantree stresses the economy is dependent on digital infrastructure. 40 countries rolled out 4g already - uk falling behind

@BrianIsATwit: as a rural dweller my fixed and mobile experience terrible. don't doubt 4G capability but do doubt deployment and economics.

No Slides. Video of Olaf Swantee is available here

@Alliantus: #paultaylor #google. Text to speech. Can't tweet because of sensitivity. Confidentiality works both ways Google.

@geoffmccormick: is there an irony in google asking for privacy ??? Txt to voice google insider info coming soon (I hope).

@eurocomms: Interesting... Google engineering manager asks #fwic if his speech can remain confidential ahead of upcoming developer conference

@geoffmccormick: voice input needs visual confirmation. Interesting point made by google.

@eurocomms: Apologies to all those asking re Google at #fwic - WiFi ironically pretty poor... – talk was mainly about developments in speech technology

@Lautarinho: Amusing efforts by Google to keep information at a major conference private it seems.

@Brill_Brum: Muppet!... Google engineering manager asks #fwic if his speech can remain confidential ahead of upcoming developer conference

@rpctelecom: Paul Taylor of Google gave an interesting talk whose title he doesn't want mentioned and said some interesting unreportable things

@rpctelecom: By the way, Paul Taylor of Google needs @connectifyme to solve his hotel Internet multiple-device problems

No Video or Slides for presentation by Paul Taylor, Engineering Manager, Google

ZG: Since the Google I/O 2012 is already over, I dont see why this cannot be shared now. I will add the pictures at the end of this post.

@Alliantus: Interesting panel discussion. Femtocell for capacity? Will we as consumers spend the money themselves?

@cambwireless: Panel session @DavidCleevely pushes femtocell opportunity for new business model

@rupert_baines: @davidcleavely at #fwic on need for #smallcell how femtocells create opportunity & new business model for carriers: economics view not tech

@cambwireless: Panel Session Olaf Swantree says femtocells are part of the equation

@marekpawlowski: Good point about expediting uptake of femto cells by operators recognising & discounting femto use in tariffs. Few currently do.

@JawadAbbassi: 50% of #cellular users in the #UK still do not use a #smartphone

@roryponeill: Olaf "we still have 50% of our customers in the UK who don't have smartphones" <--this game is not over ;)

@marekpawlowski: Swantee: As internet becomes personal, people resist advertising. Digital advertising works only when it helps users complete missions

Video of Panel discussion here

@Alliantus: Chewing on ideas surrounding the evolution of the device. Rory O'Neill RIM.

@najeebster: Future of wireless by speaker from RIM. Vaguely ironic?

@najeebster: RIM - there are still CIOs that think response time to an email in over 48 hrs is OK

@Alliantus: predictive conversations can impact on way we communicate. Conversations will be written across multiple devices. Simplifying life?

@zahidtg: Is this the industry challenge?

@kumithiru: @roryponeill that's a big percentage. Vodafone recently referenced only 27% of European customer base are smartphone users

@geoffmccormick: great talk by @roryponeill of rim. Concise explanation of the role of device innovation and associated experiences. Well done !

@Alliantus: plenty of room for innovation in the market. Incredible growth potential. More of a bb pitch than generic piece about industry.

@najeebster: very decent spiel by @roryponeill that there's room for more than 2 players in a $1.4Tr mkt

@Alliantus: global market is aggregation of lots of local markets. Interesting concept worth noting.

@marekpawlowski: A vision of Blackberry at heart of internet of things, using back end to predict, mediate conversations & transactions by @roryponeill

@marekpawlowski: Not sure I agree with @roryponeill that digital simplifies conversations. Rather allows us to deal with more simultaneous complexity

@JawadAbbassi: According to #Blackberry, globally #smartphones make up 23% of total cellular handsets.

Rory O’Neill, Vice President of Software and Services EMEA, RIM presentation here and video here

@Alliantus: RichardJacklin #anite my god its full of stars. iPhone created new form factor. Much reduced range of models. Is this a trend?

@Alliantus: Model range dip in 2011. Seen across all devices as shift in vendors.

@rob_symes: data prices must rise by 40 percent to make up for loss of voice and messaging

@dw2: Liked the Arthur C Clarke 2001 references in Richard Jacklin's #fwicinnovation talk. I'll have some more in my debate pitch tomorrow :-)

@mattablott: Some interesting studies on operator 'device ranging' by Anite

@dw2: Richard Jacklin's summary of Samsung's recipe for device success: experiment rapidly with multiple approaches + smartly observe market

@marekpawlowski: Hearing how differentiation moved to software. Is it that users don't want differentiated hardware or just it is currently uneconomic?

@sdfriedner: Hot topics at #FWIC How will devices, particularly smartphones evolve in the future and what will be the differentiator?

@marekpawlowski: Asked: is great RF performance a UX differentiator? Yes, but not at point of sale! Becomes relevant once you own, when it's too late!

@marekpawlowski: Revealing reaction to Q about improving sustainability by keeping, upgrading handsets longer. "Our industry is based on consumption."

@zahidtg: Interesting analysis of cost/defect by Richard Jacklin of Anite

Richard Jacklin, Business Development Director, Anite; presentation here, video here

@rpctelecom: Of the around 40 speakers and panelists at #fwic as far as I can see only 3 are women. Hmmm says something about our industry I fear.

Track 1: Four Pathways to International Business Growth - Chaired by John Davies, UKTI

@cambwireless: Finbarr Moynihan at Mediatek says smartphones will have 60-70% of market with 100 dollar smartphone possible


Track 2: Utility or Valued Brand - Chaired by Mark Neild, Nokia Siemens Network

@cambwireless: Track 2 at #fwic Looking at value based pricing - mobile operators need to focus on core bus. Partner with OTT - don't compete

@cambwireless: Mark Neild, Nokia Siemens networks: Up to third of revenue on handset subsidy

@cambwireless: iPhone put more focus on network quality. Customers care more about quality of their networks

@cambwireless: Mark Neild, Nokia Siemens Network says operators need to stick to what they are good at - delivering access


Track 3: Bandwidth Hogs or Experience Innovators - Chaired by Reginald Kipke, Velocix

@marekpawlowski: Terrifyingly prehistoric to be sitting in a session about 'threats and opportunities' of OTT

@marekpawlowski: Myriad's @MWJ encourages operators to do *something* with digital service innovation. Doesn't need to be perfect first time, just try

@marekpawlowski: Good point by @mwj about how forgiving customers can be of experimentation if it meets certain needs. Good UX isn't about perfection.


Track 4: Where Next for Devices - Chaired by Zahid Ghadialy, Explanotech

@zahidtg: Wow! Track 4 at #FWIC is completely packed. Everyone loves to hear about device evolution.

@JawadAbbassi: The Future #Internet of things will need a machine 2 machine gateway to be scaleable

@zahidtg: Lol. Ian Davidsons slide

@zahidtg: Arm did an analysis that even though your phone may be 2GHz and 4 core, most of the time its running on 200MHz

@zahidtg: Science fiction here...transmission of Smell @ track4

@zahidtg: From a presentation by Jenny Tillotson

@zahidtg: Who has tried transmitting smells

@zahidtg: Interesting slide by @BrianIsATwit


Track 5: The continuing role of Intellectual Property - Chaired by John Haine, Cognovo


Dinner in St. John's college

Day 2

@zahidtg: Cambridge consultants showing their Small cells reference design with Mindspeed tech inside

@zahidtg: Freescale and Arkessa showing M2M for the next 50 billion devices at#FWIC

@cambwireless: Day two of #fwic well under way with Matthew Postgate, Head of R & D, BBC talking “How is mobile broadband changing broadcasting?”

@dw2: Found a jackpot of fascinating videos about the future of wireless tech at courtesy of @zahidtg

@ndahad: the opportunities for mhealthcare. Professor Chris Lowe presenting on 2nd day of conference

@ndahad: what physicians typically looking for patients to track or monitor at home. Thousands of apps already available

@marekpawlowski: Perhaps there's no such thing as mHealth, just millions of distinct design challenges which, we hope, have some common tech solutions?

@ndahad: mhealthcare - the mhealth ecosystem

@marekpawlowski: Wealth of healthcare insights from Chris Lowe. Particularly the interest in doctors for using digital to facilitate more collaboration

@marekpawlowski: Also how greater self monitoring by patients could aid resource planning and epidemic response in the health system

@ndahad: big opportunity for mhealthcare solutions is in diabetes monitoring, 400 million affected worldwide, figure set to double in 10 years

@Alliantus: everyone saying what a fantastic job #ChrisLowe from Uni. Cambridge did this morning. Talking about mHealth

Prof. Chris Lowe, Director, University of Cambridge; slides here, video here

@kumithiru: Given voice to text keynote at yesterday's #FWIC fun to see@MatthewPostgate start with a Siri slide today

@Alliantus: How is mobile broadband changing broadcasting. A personal journey. Key enabler to redefine operating context. Industrial revolution.

@Alliantus: Towards a new broadcasting system. Universal. Live & on demand. Creation & curation. Immersive & pervasive. Shared and personal.

@Alliantus: Trend towards immersive and pervasive Tv. People want to be part of the service. Aunties view not the only one.

@Alliantus: Mobile equalised productisation with BBC content. No longer after thought.

@kumithiru: BBC 1-4-10 strategy for online service provision

@zahidtg: The 1 10 4 concept by BBC at #FWIC - 4 stands for 4 screens

@zahidtg: 50% of iPlayer access is now on 3G

@bensmithuk: BBC working on companion apps to play-out live in sync with programming including shows like Frozen Planet.

@Alliantus: is the broadcaster creator or curator? What is its role with user generated news, eg?

@BrianIsATwit: BBC #fwic future tech roadmap for broadcasting. LTE broadcast mode important.

@kumithiru: a lot of talk about e-MBMS in the US LTE networks good to see@MatthewPostgate of BBC deal with issue

@zahidtg: eMBMS is a research area by BBC :-)

@bensmithuk: BBC approaches for syncing 2nd screen: pure time sync, audio watermarking & syncing API interfaces (in order of 'frame accuracy')

@evolaris: Matthew Postgate, BBC: eMBMS interesting technology for broadcasters

@marekpawlowski: Matthew Postgate setting out immersive (3D, HD) & pervasive (new touchpoints) as tenets of BBC strategy

@marekpawlowski: BBC using Web sync, audio tags & home network API to link linear broadcast & companion devices. All must degrade gracefully

@marekpawlowski: Being able to link linear & companion content with frame accuracy is priority for BBC to try more creative multi-touchpoint experience

@marekpawlowski: Since iPlayer made accessible over cellular, has grown to 50/50 mix with Wifi on iPhone, but has not cannibalised Wifi at all

@marekpawlowski: However iPlayer iPad usage remains primarily Wifi, suggesting predominance of home usage

@marekpawlowski: I wonder if BBC will experiment beyond just multi-screen & start to build contextual experiences responsive to sensors & behaviour?

Matthew Postgate, Head of Research & Development, BBC; No Slides but Video is available here.

@zahidtg: Test challenges of connected car by Rohde&Schwarz

@zahidtg: We are also talking of VoLTE testing. The small note at the bottom has always worried me

Anton MessmerDirector of Subdivision, Mobile Radio Teseters, Rohde and Schwarz; slides here.

Innovation Hothouse - Chaired by Kevin Coleman, Project Director, 'Discovering Start-Ups'
Video here.

Policy Panel - Chaired by Stuart Revell, Chairman, ICT KTN Wireless Technology & Spectrum Working Group

@Alliantus: Airwave: spectrum is important to secure channels. Following global trends. Public safety network is minute in comparison to public.

@Alliantus: Small network for emergency response is expensive for small net. What price safety? Spectrum is important.

@Alliantus: Motorola. What do you want you phone 911? Someone who knows we ring 999. Cultural differences are interesting.

@zahidtg: Interesting. Emergency services use 0.9% of all spectrum between UHF and 6Ghz.

@RichardTraherne: Joe Butler, Ofcom, at Future #Wireless Conference #FWIC says radio spectrum access/use strategy must change

@Alliantus: International countries will not wait for Europe to make decisions. Sharing of infrastructure and services. LTE allows opportunity.

@Alliantus: How do we as a society value spectrum.

@Alliantus: voda. 15 year decisions regarding infrastructure. Where is the money? People don't care how they connect. How do we accommodate?

@cambwireless: Andy Hudson, Vodafone, head of spectrum policy, says that the most efficient use of spectrum is overall aim

@Alliantus: LTE not the soln for public safety. USA have made decisions that they will use it on the back of disasters such as Katrina and 911.

@Alliantus: Control will be driver for two networks. Could have sharing but only if emergency had control.

@zahidtg: I absolutely disagree that broadcasting is a complete waste of spectrum. If there were no broadcast ppl would try VOD, overwhelming nw

@cambwireless: Andy Hudson, Head of Spectrum Policy, Vodafone: "Biggest challenge is to make low cost high performance filter for handsets"

@rpctelecom: Jeppe Jepson of Motorola "broadcasting is the most wasteful use of the radio spectrum" - I'm not sure many would agree with him!

@rpctelecom: Ofcom wants a flexible spectrum map but will only "enable" not "regulate" for it. But will incumbents release spectrum if not pushed?

@rpctelecom: Andy Hudson of Vodafone says that Vodafone and O2 will share network infrastructure to give 98% indoor coverage in UK

Video of Policy Panel here.

@Alliantus: Colin Brereton #PwC Mobile enabler of global change. Interesting slide deck. Worth a download. Opportunity in Devoping World.

@bensmithuk: Don’t we need to stop marvelling at how the ‘young people’ are able to multi-screen and discuss / understand what all consumers want?

@bensmithuk: Tired of hearing ‘developed world’ & ‘emerging markets’ as binary distinction in mobile. Don’t we need a more granular description?

@Alliantus: New generation different mobile use. Apps 10Bn user market. See slides for other.

@cambwireless: Pwc - planet needs to be more productive. Mobile can become the primary enabler of social and economic development

@Peter_Whale: Thanks to Colin Bererton #PwC for laying challenge to focus creative energies on application of wireless to massively benefit society

Colin Brereton, Partner, Global Communications Industry Practice, PwC; slides here video here.

The Cambridge Debate

@zahidtg: #FWIC debate:This house believes that the future of Innovation in the wireless industry is within the Virtual rather than the Physical World

Video here.

@Peter_Whale: really stimulating 2 days. Head full of insights. Now the fun of connecting the dots; finding the takeaways; turning ideas into action

@vectafrank: well done@cambwireless - best yet!

@cambwireless = Cambridge Wireless official twitter account
@zahidtg = Zahid Ghadialy
@marekpawlowski = Marek Pawlowski
@Qualcomm_UK = Qualcomm UK
@JawadAbbassi = Jawad J. Abbassi
@najeebster = Najeeb Khan
@geoffmccormick = geoff mccormick
@ndahad = Nitin Dahad
@Alliantus = Kevin Coleman
@dw2 = David Wood
@RichardTraherne = Richard Traherne
@bensmithuk = Ben Smith
@roryponeill = Rory O'Neill
@rob_symes = Rob Symes
@BrianIsATwit = Brian Robertson
@eurocomms = eurocomms
@rupert_baines = Rupert Baines
@mattablott = Matt Ablott
@sdfriedner = Saul Friedner
@Brill_Brum = Stu
@rpctelecom = RPC Telecom
@evolaris = evolaris
@RichardTraherne = Richard Traherne
@Peter_Whale = Peter Whale
@vectafrank = Frank Morris

In case you enjoyed my effort in collecting the tweets please let me know by clicking the 'Very Useful' checkbox below.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Additional Information xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo 

As I mentioned in the beginning, Paul Taylor, Engineering Manager, Google, gave us a presentation and requested that we dont share information because of the Google developer conference. As this is over now, I am sharing the pics I took for his presentation. If anyone from Google raises an objection, I will take them down :-) 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

#FWIC: OTT Stats, Facts and Figures

The 4th Future of Wireless International Conference (#FWIC) is 2 weeks away and the main theme of the conference is "The Reshaping of the Mobile Industry". In some of the recent conferences I have attended, OTT has been one of the main topic of discussion and a concern for the operators. The operators are at the top of the food chain, whatever affects them eventually affects the other players within the mobile industry. With this is mind, we have prepared a document that collects all the figures in one place to be used as a handy reference for quoting stats and figures.
The above presentation is available to download from Slideshare here.

The agenda for the conference is available here. I am also chairing track 4 on day 1, "Where next for devices" so please feel free to join us in the discussion if devices are an area of your interest.

You can also connect with the other attendees of the conference on Linkedin here.

Finally, here is my summary of the event from last year. I look forward to meeting all of you who will be attending this event.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The 'Virtual' Femtocell and a competition for OTT Apps

Over the last few months we have been thinking of so many ideas around small cells and this is something that we thought. It looks very simple and straightforward and having talked to a few small cells experts, off the record, none of them seem to be able to see anything wrong with this concept. With the 'Small Cells World Summit' just round the corner I am sure this could be something worth a discussion.

I am explaining the concept using an HSPA+ setup but there is no reason why this would not work in an LTE Setup. This is a typical connection for HSPA+ Femtocell setup with the gateway acting as a concentrator for all Iuh connections and having a single Iu connection towards the core. I have not shown CS/PS connection separately for simplicity. 
We propose a 'Virtual' or 'Invisible' Femtocell concept where we think that the Femtocell is redundant but the concept can be used to avoid the coverage and capacity problems faced by the operators and at the same time avoid the 'Signalling storm', atleast on the access network side. Now most smartphones have WiFi stack inbuilt. For this concept to work, WiFi in the phone is a must. Instead of having a Femtocell in between, a modified stack could be embedded in the phone itself. The output of the phone over WiFi are the Iuh messages that can terminate at the gateway and no difference would be needed from the core network side. This is illustrated in the picture below.
The phones would also need to have an enhanced UI to be able to allow a user to select only this option when roaming. You don't want a situation where the user thinks that he is camped on the 'Virtual' femtocell and making/receiving calls while he is not and run up a huge bill.

Advantages of this approach:

  • The Femtocells are no longer really needed and the end customer does not require to buy a separate equipment, which is different for different operators.
  • The phones can be working whenever a reliable WiFi connection is available, even if they are abroad without incurring costly roaming charges.
  • Some operators that do not have a lot of spectrum available avoid using Femtocells as they can cause interference and black holes in the coverage. 
  • There is no worry of a femtocell being used abroad illegally thereby causing interference with spectrum in another country.
  • Some security issues can be totally avoided and it would be worth for the operators that the keys being used cannot be seen by others.
  • A lot of people use OTT apps like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp when abroad, being camped on WiFi to avoid costly roaming charges. This approach would mean that the normal Voice and Messaging becomes similar to OTT and can help operator avoid losing out to the OTT apps. 

Disadvantages of this approach:

  • WiFi spectrum is already congested and does not always give reliable coverage.
  • Security issues would have to be looked in detail to make sure this would be secure enough. Since this concept is similar to creating a VPN between the phone and the gateway, I wouldnt think there would be any issues though.
  • Roaming revenues are a big cash cow for the operators, most of them would be unwilling to lose this if the phones are using this approach.

I think this concept is more suitable for the Residential Femtocells rather than the other Small Cells (enterprise, metro, pico, etc.) and there will always be a need for them. The main reason being that on a large scale, WiFi is extremely unreliable, prone to interference and not future proofed. A new device may cause interference that may take forever to resolve. Operating a small cell in the licensed spectrum would always make sense and the reliability would be much higher.

If you think this makes sense please click the 'Useful' checkbox so that I know.

As a company we are always looking to engage with other companies to discuss similar ideas. If you are a company dealing with Small Cells and are open to discussing similar ideas, please let us know.