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Ring! Ring! Monday News Analysis, 23rd September

“Ignore it - just like we do with the squid” - it could almost be a telecoms industry motto, if you took out “squid” and replaced it with “Internet”. Here’s some news you can’t ignore, though…

Technology Disruptions

IMS equipment sales to reach a not very massive $8bn by 2012? So say Informa Telecoms & Media.

Telco 2.0 Comment: What, IMS a failure? Never…

More mobile Linux: MontaVista joins the LiMo foundation.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Note that the LiPS mobile-Linux standards group is cooperating with the Open Mobile Terminals Partnership - handset software people getting involved with the interface between the device and the network. The industry has to become more software-driven in order to evolve.

Speaking of which, Nokia has a new application that lets you organise your SMS inbox thematically.

Telco 2.0 Comment: That’s more like it - nobody thinks of their friends alphabetically, and neither do they sort them in chronological order. It’s a pity, however, that the installation is made up of two separate apps!

Fortunately, some people in the business have a clue about usability. Six vendors agree to standardise on Micro USB for charging and data ports.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Can this be an end to the takeover of the globe by rogue chargers? And £30 vendor-branded data cables?

Broadband Connectivity

Intel still banging the drum for WiMAX.

Telco 2.0 Comment: More importantly, they’re now fabbing the chips at 45nm - Moore’s law in action for RF components. Interestingly, they also showed off a mobile variant of Ubuntu Linux at the same developer conference.

BT: perhaps fibre after all?

Telco 2.0 Comment: Go on, you know you want it. It’s always been a little odd that a carrier as advanced as BT hasn’t been sound on fibre deployment.

Google: Is a Telco.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Google already has a platform, a big IT infrastructure, and a ton of partners. It’s bidding for access-network radio spectrum. Now, it’s getting into the submarine cable business. Is it, in fact, the first Telco 2.0?

Digital Product Innovation

MVNOs are cheap - right? Unless you’re SK Telecom, which just sank another $270 million in Helio.

Telco 2.0 Comment: MVNOs struggle to differentiate themselves, unless they are part of a broader platform strategy. Like Cubic, who we’ll come to later.

After Nokia, Google is next to go into mobile ads.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Fear the mighty Google, even if the product is apparently just tweaked AdWords - our sources say Google is trying hard to hire Symbian OS engineers.

Portals, Partners, and Platforms

A “global mobile phone”? Aren’t they all?

Telco 2.0 Comment: This one is special, though - it comes with a SIM card issued by Cubic’s MVNO, which offers low-cost roaming worldwide. This is a rare example of connectivity being paid for with the device - Cubic also offers VoIP via WLAN, so it can be described as a sort of platform.

Orange apparently trying to put the squeeze on Nokia; won’t carry their new phones.

Telco 2.0 Comment: We’ll see who has the customers’ attention, eh? Supposedly Orange isn’t happy about Nokia’s portal, Ovi, competing with their roaring content business.

Speaking of roaring content businesses, Virgin Media darks its music download shop.

Telco 2.0 Comment: And announces that everyone who spent money there will have their record collection confiscated - they’re revoking the DRM. No wonder it was such a success - customer care’s the key!

NBC, meanwhile, wants to put ad-funded TV on the Web.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Not just on the Web, but on a peer-to-peer download network - how long before the DRM gets cracked?

Digital Youth

Blyk finally on the launchpad, after months of “studying the mobile advertising market”.

Telco 2.0 Comment: A cynic might say that time was mostly spent desperately searching for anyone who wanted to advertise with them; see our previous analysis.. Note that the service is invitation-only, making for better targeting and also reducing the risk of “catastrophic success”. Also note that data overage is charged at 99p a megabyte; so 1GB =£1000!!

Digital Politics and Regulation

Ofcom: we’ll have that 900MHz back!

Telco 2.0 Comment: Spectrum refarming - it’s bound to happen. The barriers will be lowered.

David Isenberg deploys extreme snark regarding Net Neutrality.

Telco 2.0 Comment: What, me worry? Check out that IMS story.
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Just in case you haven't seen this post from Tim O'Reilly

" love the idea of knowing where people are before I call them, as well as other details of a phone's status. And that's where Jaiku shines. How often have you woken someone up in the middle of the night because they were in Europe instead of Silicon Valley?

This is the way a phone address book ought to work. I continue to think that the address book is one of the great untapped Web 2.0 opportunities, and that the phone, even more than email and IM, and certainly more than an outside-in, invitation-driven "social networking application" represents my real social network."


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