Telco 2.0 News Review
Telco 2.0 Top Stories
- Broadband Connectivity: UK LTE - EE at the starting gate
- Online Video: Cisco buys NDS, Avaya buys Radvision
- Voice & Messaging 2.0: Facebook API to go paid-for? And “AdSense but with calls”
- Cloud Computing: 1 AWS = 450,000 servers
- Smartphone Roundup: Apple distributes spare banknotes
The UK may be looking at its first LTE network, as EverythingEverywhere seeks clearance to deploy 4G in the 1800MHz band. Stand by for a hell of a row, though, as if this goes ahead EE will have a year’s clear run with the new technology before the competition gets a crack. However, Vodafone and Telefonica get to keep their 900MHz GSM spectrum under this proposal, with the year’s head start for EE as a quid-pro-quo. Only 3UK is left out, not having any legacy spectrum at all. Expect them to make a serious fuss, unless OFCOM and the government cook up some way in which they can be compensated when the 800MHz band comes up. Vodafone’s not satisfied with this tacit deal, though - UK boss Guy Laurence accused OFCOM of being out of its mind, arguing that once EE launches it will tie up the main 800MHz auction in litigation.
As this post on the 3G & 4G Wireless Blog points out though with this week’s Chart of the Week, there are still some very tricky problems to solve before we can break out the 800s and party like it’s 2009, when the Digital Economy Act was being drafted and the spectrum was earmarked for a national minimum broadband service.
You’ll note that nothing has more problems than cellular. The 3G & 4G Blog also has an interview with Andy Germano from the Small Cells Forum.
The US TIA expects US mobile ARPUs to start rising again, after data overtakes voice sometime next year. However, it’s possibly worth being sceptical, as the inflection point is exactly the point where the forecast takes over from the real data.
DTAG is planning a major new network architecture. Very interestingly, they want to make extensive use of software-defined networking and the emerging OpenFlow standards in order to be more flexible and more efficient.
And the European Commission is concerned about the E5 group of major European telcos, and specifically that it might be a source of anti-competitive collusion as well as cooperation.
Ovum has a data-rich blog post on Free Mobile - since they launched, the daily flow of requests for number porting has increased by a factor of four compared to the average for last year.
The Voice of Broadband reports that Cisco has acquired NDS, a major provider of pay-TV systems including DRM, set-top box software, electronic programming guides and the like. This is part of their broader “visual networking” strategy around video conferencing and IPTV, driving the IP video traffic that sells so many Cisco routers. NDS is especially strong in the emerging markets.
Elsewhere in video news, here’s a Q&A with Hulu’s CTO. It’s certainly interesting that “device fragmentation” is high on his list of concerns - and that he wouldn’t rule out white-labelling/wholesaling Hulu’s backend and content delivery technology.
Wal-Mart announced its pricing for UltraViolet this week. For SD content, you pay $2 on top of the price of a DVD, for HD you pay $5. Dan Rayburn points out that the studio pays around 4 US cents to stream the HD movie from a CDN, so this isn’t necessarily a great deal.
Is there an Amazon streamer app for the XBox Live?
Another video story this week is more about video as in video conferencing than as in movies. Avaya this week acquired Radvision, maker of video-conferencing and 3G video telephony solutions to the carriage trade, with the intention of integrating it into their unified comms platform.
Dan York points out that Radvision owns two very commonly used H.323 and SIP stacks, as well as stacks for MGCP and many other VoIP technologies, and wonders if they’ll still be both available and under active development
Ars Technica asks if Facebook may be planning to charge developers for access to its APIs. There’s a vibrant little industry in Facebook-based apps, many of which either use Facebook as a way of distributing themselves or rely on information from its Open Graph API, or both.
Two sides of e-commerce and voice: here’s Freespee’s new product, Freespee Performance, which sounds rather like Google AdSense but with voice calls - websites that carry their ads could get a percentage of the revenue from calls initiated on their pages. (We blogged on the importance of click-to-call for e-commerce here.)
On the other hand, YouMail, a visual voicemail app for Android, now has a spam filter so you can get rid of telemarketing noise easily.
And former Skype CFO Eric Salvatierra has died.
We briefly mentioned Amazon earlier on - moving to the cloud, we learn that if Akamai has 105,000 servers, Amazon Web Services has 450,000. You’re going to need a bigger boat. Interestingly, 70% of the IP addresses used seem to be concentrated in their US-EAST region.
Elsewhere, OpenStack is making progress - you can now test applications in a sandbox at trystack.org and find development tools at (predictably) devstack.org. A Google data centre in Atlanta uses waste water for its cooling, but even that may not be as cool as the fact they colour-coded all the pipes and cable runs in Google colours.
ReadWriteWeb reports that Google wants to incorporate more Semantic Web technology into its search results, so the search engine understands your queries better. This field has been a notorious money pit so far, but perhaps Google can make it work. Not coincidentally, this year’s Google Summer of Code is supporting DBPedia’s semantic version of Wikipedia.
Amazon reckons one second’s delay in page load times equals $1.6bn a year less money. And Microsoft’s Windows Azure Blog has a forensic discussion of the major outage that hit their cloud on the 29th of February. Yes, you guessed it - it was a leap year bug.
Apple has problem - what on earth will it do with $98 billion in raw cash? That’s the kind of problem we could all do with. The solution: make the shareholders very happy, with a $2.65/share divvy plus a substantial share buyback.
They may also use a few old fivers to settle with the Chinese authors who are suing them over pirate editions turning up in the App Store.
It turns out, meanwhile, that secret talks were held between Apple and Motorola late last year in an effort to end the patent wars. Forrester Research’s Sarah Rotman summarises the upgrades to the iPad 3, which cost about 30% more to make.
Meanwhile, JD Power polled thousands of US smartphone users and discovered, not surprisingly, that iPhone users were the most satisfied with their phones. Nokia and RIM were the least. However, the most significant axis in the survey was “battery life”, although Symbian and BlackBerry OS have always been good at that.
Ars Technica mocks “ladyphones”.
While Apple clearly paid attention to the way the phone looks, both in software and hardware, the device is not in any way specially “tailored to women” and there isn’t a separate “lady” version. Yet an iPhone owner is 18 percent more likely to be a woman than a man, according to one study, and women over the years have regularly expressed more interest in iPhones than men. Hence, it’s probably fair to say women have bought more iPhones than any of the shamelessly underpowered pink substitutes.
Although if you really want to dispel pinkness, you might stick with Android and grab AIDE, the app that gives you the full Android SDK right there on your phone so you can (if you’re really patient with small touchscreens) write code without using a PC. The Register’s Bill Ray points out that you could do that on Psion PDAs.
Get a full virtualised desktop in your Web browser. Oink doesn’t just let you export all your data, it lets you export anybody’s data! Kim Dotcom gets a win in court. Hackpad, like a wiki but better? Using Morse code with your iPhone. Leave your mark on landmarks without getting arrested, using augmented reality. Sounds a bit like being a dog, really, as so many check-in apps do.